Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jude's Birth Story: Part 5

I was starting to get very discouraged.  Why can't I be ready to push?  I wanted it to be over so bad. 

"Have you tried any counter pressure?" my midwife asked.

"No," I answered.  Would that take the pain away?? I was willing to try anything.

She showed Adam how to use his fists to apply counter pressure to my lower back.  It was instantly relieving. 

"Now I am going to do circles on your belly," my midwife said.  "Your uterus is very sensitive during labor, and it picks up on any little activity.  So when I rub circles on your belly, your muscles are going to pay attention to that, and pay less attention to the pain.  Does that make sense?" she explained.

I couldn't tell if she was making this up, trying to make me believe it was working, or if it was actually working.  Either way, I went with believing her, and it did help.  I tried my best to focus on the circles, and less on the contraction. 

Adam and my midwife worked as a team over the next few minutes.  Eventually, the counter pressure stopped working. 

"This means that the baby has moved very far down, Amanda.  He is not situated toward the back anymore.  He is in the front now.  We are very close."  I hoped she was right.

I paced around the room.  I was starting to get very hot.  I really wanted to strip off my hospital gown, but I tried to resist.  I'm not into being naked in a room full of strangers.  I asked for a cold rag, and my nurse brought it to me. 

I walked over to the tray table that was by the big window in my room.  I leaned on it and focused out the window with the rag to my forehead.  It looked so pretty outside.  My view was mostly of the parking lot, but the sky was so pretty.  I thought about how this was just a normal day to other people.  It's so strange to be in one of the biggest moments of your life, and to look out and see people driving by, like it's just any other day.  I wish I had a picture of this moment.  It felt like such a private and desperate moment for me.  I thought about the curse that God put on women in childbirth because of  Eve's sin.  I wondered what it would have felt like if there had been no sin.

I gripped the sides of the tray table, trying to control the contractions.  I remember thinking that it didn't satisfy, and that I needed to grip something else.  I felt out of control with the pain. 

"I can't do this anymore," I whimpered to Adam.  I really didn't feel like crying, but I felt like I needed to, to let him know how serious I was.  I never asked for an epidural, but I thought about it, just to let him know how much I was hurting.  Everyone had been telling me how great I was doing with the pain and how calm and collected I was.  I felt like they didn't understand how much I was hurting, because I wasn't showing it.  But at the same time, I didn't feel like I needed to show it.  It wouldn't change anything.  I would have to deal with it either way, so I just kept quiet.

In my head, I started getting upset.  I wanted to start pushing, but I did not have the urge.  I searched my body and found nothing.  No need for bearing down.  No desire to push.  I spread my legs apart and started lightly bouncing and gently bearing down.  I felt like he was low, but I still didn't need to push.  I wondered if I would ever have the urge, or if I should just start pushing.  I continued to hesitantly bear down.

"I want to start pushing.  I want her to tell me it's time to push," I whimpered again.

Adam said something to my midwife to get her to come over.  I don't remember details from here.  She tried to check me while I was standing, but she couldn't see much. 

"What side does she like to lay on?" my midwife asked Adam.

"Her right side, " he replied.  I remember being surprised that Adam knew the answer to that question.  I smiled inside.  I thought it was so sweet that he knew the answer.  I didn't think he paid attention to things like that.  When the boy sleeps, he sleeps!

"Come lay down, Amanda.  Lay on your right side.   I'm going to check you," she said as she guided me to the bed.

As soon as I started to lay down, I jumped up.

"I can't do it.  I can't lay down.  It hurts.  I can't lay down!" I yelled as I tried to pull up on the bed rails.

"I have to check you.  You need to lay down," my midwife said as she gently pushed me back into the bed.  I was surprised that she was making me lay down.  I wondered why she wouldn't let me up.

I don't remember what I said at this point, but she managed to check me and said that I was about 9.5 to 10 centimeters dilated. 

"Let's just see what happens when you push.  Give me a very little push, Amanda."

I gave the slightest push that I could.

There are no words to explain what happened at this point. 

My body began baring down on its own.  I had no control whatsoever.  I had no control over how hard I was bearing down, how long I was bearing down, or anything.  I heard myself scream.  It was a terrifying scream, to me.  I did not recognize my own voice.  It was a mixture of a scream and a groan.  My throat hurt.

"Ok, let's go ahead and get ready," my midwife tried to say as calmly as she could.  Everyone in the room started running around.  "I need someone to grab her legs.  I can't see well enough.  She needs to be on her back."

I have no idea who was holding my legs, and who was where.  My eyes were closed.  My body continued to randomly bear down. 

I bit my wash cloth and kept my head turned to the side.  I continued to scream each time I bore down.  I had no control at all.

"Would it be possible for me to catch the baby?" I heard Adam ask.

"Yes!  Let's get you suited up!  Can we get him some scrubs? Hurry!  He's coming!" my midwife called to my nurse.

"Oh, wow!  Already?" Adam asked surprised.

"Oh yes, he's coming!" My midwife exclaimed.

I was so surprised.  I didn't think he would want to catch the baby, and things were happening so fast that I was surprised he even stopped them to ask. 

I remember hearing the "ding" on the warmer.  At some point, the baby nurse had come in, and the warmer was ready.  There were so many things going on, but I felt so out of it.  So out of my mind.

I felt myself bear down.  Hard.

"There's the head! Look at the hair!" someone announced.

I felt someone start playing with the baby's hair.  How strange, I thought.

"Ok, Amanda, I need you to give me a really good push," my midwife coached.

As soon as I began my first real push (on purpose), my body took over again.  I felt my body curl into a "C" as I bore down.  The pressure was so unreal.  My body must be exploding.  I was positive that I was tearing.  How could I not be? 

"The head is out!  Great push, now we are going to wait for him to rotate," I heard my midwife say.

Adam later told me that this part scared him.  Jude's head was out, but he was completely lifeless and blue.  No breathing, no facial movements, seemingly no life in him. 

"Would you like to reach down and touch his head?" I heard a nurse ask.

"No," I answered very bluntly, eyes still closed.  I was ready to get him out.  I did not want to sit in this moment.

"Ok, he has rotated Amanda," I heard my midwife say.

I knew nothing of babies rotating.  I guess I had never really read or researched about this point in childbirth.  I sat there, waiting for a contraction.  I didn't feel the urge to push.  I laid there peacefully. 

"One more push, Amanda!  You've got to get those shoulders out!" a nurse at my left shoulder yelled.

I remember feeling very irritated at her.  Didn't she know I needed to wait until I had a contraction to push?  I was mad that she was rushing me.

I went ahead and pushed, and I felt my body step in and take over.  The pressure intensified, and just when I thought he wasn't coming out, the shoulders delivered, and I felt his whole body slide out.  I remember thinking about how I thought I felt August deliver with the epidural, but this was nothing like that.

"Look at your baby!"  I heard someone say.

I looked down as he was being placed on my chest.  (Adam did catch him, but I missed that part.  Adam said he was much more slippery than he was anticipating.)  Jude was a mixture of blue and purple.  He had a towel around him, and several nurses was rubbing him vigorously as he laid on my chest.  There was no "white stuff" on him, and he didn't have a lot of blood on him either.  I was surprised.  I realized they were trying to get him to pink up, so I began rubbing his back and talking to him.  Adam later told me that as the head came out, they saw that the cord was wrapped once around his head, and that my midwife had to slip it off of him. 

"It's mommy.  It's mommy, honey.  I love you.  It's ok," I whispered to him. 

He began to open his eyes and look at me.  His color started to improve. 

"He knows his momma!"  One of the nurses said.

I am not sure how long I held him.  I remember feeling his cord rubbing up against my arm.  It was a very uncomfortable feeling.  The cord was so thick and big.  My midwife said it was very healthy.  I didn't like the way it felt on my arm, all rubbery.  But what I really didn't like was the way I felt it tugging inside of me.  I could feel it tugging on the placenta.  I remembered it still had to come out, and I wondered if it would hurt. 

"Ok, Amanda.  It's been a couple minutes, so we are going to go ahead and cut the cord.  Adam, would you like to cut it?" my midwife asked.

Adam said yes, and they handed him the scissors.  I could tell the cord was very tough. 

After a couple minutes, my midwife suggested that I give Jude to the baby nurse to have his vitals checked and his weights and measurements done.  I'm not sure if there was any kind of emergency, but I remember my midwife looking very attentively to things going on down below. 

A nurse came over to my bedside and hooked something up to my IV.  I'm still not sure if it was fluids or Pitocin, but I am betting Pitocin since my placenta still hadn't come out yet.  As soon as the IV was hooked up into the port, my midwife began pressing on my belly.  After a minute or so, I felt the placenta slide out. 

"Was that the placenta?  Can I see it?"  I asked.  Placentas always fascinate me.

My midwife held it up.  It was huge and bright red!  She showed me the hole where she had broken my water.  I couldn't believe how big the hole was!  It was about the size of a baseball.  She said the placenta was very healthy.

My midwife told me she was going to start looking for tears.

"I have found a tear that is about this big." According to her finger span, it was a pretty decent size.  "I would say it's a 2nd degree tear.  I am going to clean you up and look for more tears, ok?" 

I was very disappointed that I had torn again.  My legs were shaking so badly that they were convulsing.  It worried me, but I hoped it was just adrenaline.  My teeth were also chattering pretty badly. 

As my midwife cleaned me, she began to find more tears.  She gave me a numbing shot next to each of the tears before she began stitching.  The shot was very painful.  After the shot, I could feel the tugging of the sewing.  I tried not to cry.  The last 2 stitches she found at the last minute, and had to sew them up without a shot.  That was the hardest part.

During this time, the baby nurse tried to keep me distracted.  She announced Jude's weight: 8 pounds 8 ounces!  20 inches long!  I couldn't believe he was so big. He was the same length as August, but heavier.  And it showed!  He was so chunky. 

When my midwife had finally finished the stitches, I somehow managed to lift up so they could change the sheets underneath me.  They covered me with a blanket and handed Jude back to me.  I began to calm down, and my body started to relax.  I nursed him for the first time, just 20 minutes or so after birth.  He latched right away.  Not a great latch, but we would work on that.  I was just glad we were able to.  I can't even remember if he took both sides or not.  But I remember that we looked into each other's eyes as he nursed, and it was a beautiful moment.  I felt so at peace. 

We stayed at the hospital two nights after that and left without any complications for either Jude or for me.  It was a wonderful experience.  My recovery was so much easier this time around.  I was up walking around very soon after his birth.  I told Adam right after I had him that I would never have a natural birth again.  However, not even a week later, my tune had changed.  I now can't wait to do it again.  It's so funny how that works.  Adam laughs every time I say I would do it again.  But you really can't beat the simplicity and the experience of a natural child birth.  The pain and the work are so worth it.  I am so thankful that I was able to have this experience.  It is forever engraved into my heart.  Every time I look at Jude and he looks back at me, I feel like we have this bond between us that no one else can understand.  I can't think about his birth without getting teary-eyed.  It's such a part of me.  I am so grateful to God for His hand in Jude's birth and to my husband and midwife for their amazing support.  It was such a beautiful experience.  We love Jude so much, and I am looking forward to our life together as a family of 4.....well, 4 for now.  ;)


Hearing Test....passed 100%
Not happy about his first time in his car seat
Took a pic of my recovery room as we were leaving
I wanted to remember what my belly looked like the day we went home.


  1. This is the sweetest thing. I was crying the whole time reading it. Thank you for sharing!!! You describe natural child birth perfectly. I remember I was gripping my toilet seat during that "need to grip" stage, and it was the worst! I am so glad you experienced such an awesome birth and feel so bonded to Jude. You and Adam look so adorable and happy, I am so happy for you guys!

  2. Absolutely beautiful!!! So proud you got your natural birth :-) I am so passionate about this subject. Jude is so stinking cute too. Goodness. You are blessed.


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