Birth Story

Posted by on Apr 21, 2009 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

This is now very over due.  I hope that the teacher will still accept it.  If not, then I’m totally going to need some extra credit.  Maybe I can make a diorama or something. 

Around 4:00 am on Friday morning I woke up to this thought “that contraction was damp.”  I got up from the couch, where I was sleeping due to Jud’s cough and cold (imagining myself with any kind of sickness plus labor makes me want to heave), and went up to the master bathroom.  With Gideon, my water broke first and so I thought if my water had broken again that I would know.  That seemed like a logical thought at the time, but instead of knowing, I just got confused.  My underwear were wet but I wasn’t leaking any fluid that smells ever so slightly like bleach.  I began wondering if I had finally lost the very last shred of decency I had left and had become incontinent.  Figuring this to be the case, I changed my underwear and trudged back downstairs.  Not wanting to be right about it, I slouched in the office chair and perused the  most reliable source in modern medicine – google.  WebMD wasn’t being helpful but then again, neither were all of the blog entries I read.  I laid back down on the sofa and drifted off to sleep.

Sometime later I woke up to another damp contraction.  I put on an adult diaper (Is that funny?  Probably.  Is it practical?  Absolutely.  A friend in Dallas who works L&D at Baylor told me to pick some up for post delivery ease and I found that while I didn’t particularly like wearing them after the fact, they made things easier on both sides of the issue)  because I’d graduated to believing that it was indeed amniotic fluid and not urine and then I went back to sleep. Jud’s alarm went off and I heard him turn on the water in the shower.  I gave him a little time and then went upstairs to tell him that we needed to go get a litmus test. I was feeling annoyed for not knowing and he was very calm and pretty sure I was not peeing my pants. I took a shower, got ready and then called the doctor’s office.

My doctor was out of town that day and I spoke with the doctor on call.  She said she’d call the hospital to let them know I was coming.  As we drove there, there was some discussion about the hospital’s location and which street it was on and even if I was right, I tried not to gloat. It’s terribly unbecoming of a person to be haughty about knowing the location of a building when  – 1. They cannot even tell you what is leaking out of their body and 2. They have no idea where to go in said building upon arrival.  I kind of freaked out about that last part as Jud pulled the car into the garage.  I hadn’t pre-registered!  I didn’t know which floor L&D was on!  I am not prepared to do this! Halp! 

Amazingly enough, the woman at the front desk knew exactly where we needed to go and sent us up the elevator where a ton of nurses were hanging out just waiting to birth some babies. I handed them the pre-registration forms that I’d filled out months ago but never sent and they escorted us into a room. Then they made us switch rooms. I did not care which room I was in while I disrobed and put on the lovely hospital gown.  I only wanted to know if this fluid meant I was going to be staying in the room for a while.  A middle aged nurse came in and listened as I recapped the whole mystery fluid story.  She took the diaper and tested it.  There was a tinge of blue.  Not enough to get excited.  She checked me out.  No blue.  Great.  Mystery not really solved.  

Doctor S. popped into the room shortly thereafter.  She came in wearing a smart purple and black flowered suit, spiky bleached blond hair and sparkly purple eye shadow.  She seemed like fun.  After a quick peek she pronounced me broken but it was too high and small to get the ball rolling and needed a little assistance.  She then broke my water…again…only this time I knew it was broken because she’d shoved a pokey thing in there and jabbed a bunch until a ton of fluid ran out.  No mistaking that.  

I was still not dilating but was nicely effaced with contractions 5 minutes apart but not strong enough to make me care, so they hooked up the pitocin.  By the time I got to a four, the nurse suggested that if I wanted an epidural, I’d better get one now.  The pain wasn’t super intense yet, but I figured I might as well, so they called for the anesthesiologist. It took a while for him to get there and by the time he was free, I was very very glad he was coming. In came a former Husker football player who swabbed my back and poked around and eventually I wasn’t feeling anything but good.

Shortly after it was in, I told the nurse that I felt like I needed to sit up. She told me I couldn’t sit up much more because the anesthesia would pool in my legs.  I said okay.  By then it was lunchtime and our nurse called another one to come in and watch me while she went to eat.  In Dallas, our nurses all just checked in from time to time, which I think I liked more, but Jud appreciated that the nurses stayed with us, probably because while the main nurse was gone, I got a little loopy.  As he chatted with the new nurse about food and what to order for lunch, I started feeling really weird.  It was hard to take a breath.  My vision started tunneling.  I couldn’t speak.  I could think just fine but I couldn’t make myself say anything.  I was falling asleep.  As my eyes started to close I remember thinking “this is what it feels like to die.”  The new nurse looked down and noticed I was drifting off and had lost all the color in my face. She propped me up onto my left side a little more and took my blood pressure.  It was low but not alarmingly so.  The old nurse came back from lunch. 

The old nurse listened to the story and decided I had too much pressure on the main artery that runs through the back.  I told her that it might be the epidural, that I was still feeling ‘funny.’ She was pretty sure it was the artery.  After awhile she was about to leave to go get something when it happened all over again. She reacted much quicker and with much more decisive action.  Before long the former Husker was back in the room and dialing down my epidural from a 9 to a 6.  Yeah.  I’m not a 250 lb man.  I don’t need the 9 on a scale of 10.  I mean, come on dude.  Anyway, I felt a lot better once it was cut back.  

The nurse kept me propped up on my side for a while and then switched me to the other side. It was only about a half hour after that when Doctor S. called to find out how things were going.  The nurse was just about to check to see how dilated I was but the doctor told her just to wait until she got there.  A few minutes later, Doctor S. came back in, took a peek and pronounced me ready to push.  They got everything set up and I psyched myself up for pushing.  As soon as the next contraction came, I pushed.  I pushed three times total on that one contraction and out she came, squirmy and screaming and shedding hair like crazy.  Both of my babies have been pretty hairy at birth but she was more so than Gideon. The nurse actually came over to show us all the hair that was coming off as she held Piper. Jud took video of her getting cleaned up and she looks pretty red and smooshy.  She also looked a whole lot like her brother did when he first made his grand entrance. 

It’s almost six weeks since that day now and she is still just as awe-inspiring.  She’s been smiling at us for a few weeks, especially at Grandma Paula who has some kind of magic  She stares at Jud as if he is the most interesting thing she’s ever seen and he has a magic touch to get her to stop crying and settle down to sleep.  She already cranes her head around to watch Gideon playing.  She’s wonderful and we’re incredibly, inexplicably blessed. 


How could you not just eat this up?

How could you not just eat this up?


She is getting so big. It's happening so fast.

She is getting so big. It's happening so fast.


  1. i’m so happy to read the story… if i were the teacher, i would totally accept it. =) thanks for sharing. not gonna lie… i’m still holding onto the belief that like fairy tale magic, my baby is just going to appear in my arms. there is absolutely no reason for me to start thinking about that laboring/delivery process just yet, right?! =) in fact, it might be best if i never do really think about it… except that daniel and i do need to take some classes. shoot! =)
    love you!

  2. Don’t worry about those classes. If you take them, great. If not, you can always just get a dvd and tell Daniel to watch it. That’s what I did. Well, I didn’t tell Daniel to watch it, but you get the picture. And, actually, Jud was more prepared for the epidural insertion than I was. I’d say the water birth you saw in high school probably prepared you enough.

    My birthing strategy is this…don’t stop breathing. Get an epidural (amazingly enough you will not get a certificate for doing it without drugs nor will you be asked to join a special club. you will however know exactly what is meant by the term ‘ring of fire’. I totally enjoyed giving birth to both kiddos…once the drugs kicked in). Then, when they tell you to push…push. And, I know this is disgusting, but you use all the same muscles as when you push for a bowel movement, so as long as you’ve gone number two before, you know what you’re doing. No worries!

  3. thanks, friend! just what i needed to start my day… confidence that i, too, can birth a baby! 😉 daniel actually asked me this week if it was possible to pick up a video, and i made such fun of him. i guess he really wasn’t asking too much. he is so practical, and i’m… well, maybe i’m not always so practical. =) actually, we were just wondering when in the world to fit that weekend class in with all of the events over the coming weeks! i won’t sweat it.
    p.s. i still can’t help but laugh when people ask ME if I am going to give birth naturally! do they seriously not know who they are talking to??? I’ve been wondering if the docs would go ahead and give me some drugs for this ordeal, like now… and it’s 3 1/2 months away. =)

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