My Birth Story

This is the story of the birth of my second baby boy, Linus Nelson.

Linus was born at 3:30 PM on Monday, March 22nd. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 21.5 inches long.

He looked a little bit like his older brother Henry, but mostly he looked like Linus.

Monday morning I woke up and started working from home about 8 AM. Throughout the morning I had a few contractions that felt a little more intense than those I’d experienced during my two previous episodes of “false labor.” I had a little discharge that I thought smelled a little like my water breaking, though there was not enough fluid to think that my membranes had actually ruptured. I was also seeing a little bit of “bloody show”, a pink-tinged mucus, on the toilet tissue. And to top it all off, I had diarrhea that morning as well. I thought these were all good signs that labor was eminent but was so hesitant to say anything outloud for fear of jinxing us!
However, I did keep Dave informed about how I was feeling and what I was seeing. As I worked, we both gathered up all the hospital items that had gotten scattered around the house in the past two weeks so we’d be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice.

At one point, on a teleconference with a co-worker, I decided I couldn’t continue to have a thoughtful debate about the finer points of whatever we were discussing because the pain was a little too intense. I ended my call and called the doctor’s office. After being put on hold and transferred multiple times, I finally got someone who suggested that with my symptoms (contractions now 5 minutes apart and with a pain level of 4) I should come into the office straightaway. I was worried that we’d have to wait too long in the office, and asked instead to come right over to L&D. They promised they would expedite us and asked us again to come into the office, so that’s what we did.

We walked right in and they saw us immediately. Dr. Groff, the doctor who we saw in the hospital previously, was the doc who checked me. She asked me what my guess was for how dilated I was, and I said 5 cm. She checked me and said I was a good guesser. She let us know that she was going on shift at the hospital at 1 PM, so depending on how long labor lasted, she might be the one to deliver us!

We went straight over to the hospital and checked in. I was eager to get checked in and get the epidural process started – if you miss the window, it’s too late and then you’re screwed!

The nurses who took care of us were all very nice and very efficient. They knew it was a second baby and I was already at 5 cm, so they didn’t mess around and were quick getting my bloodwork done so they could order the epidural. They drew my blood for the labwork at 12:15 PM. I was starting to really experience the contractions, moving on up to 6 on the pain scale. Our nurse asked if I’d like something for the pain while we waited for the epidural order to come through. I had not ever thought about using more or different pain medication on top of the epidural, but as the waves of contractions hit me, I decided better living through science was a good idea. At 12:30, she gave me a dose of Stadol, which made me feel quite loopy. I could barely talk and had to ask Dave to stop swaying ever so gently on the bed because I thought I was going to get seasick. The stadol definitely helped take the edge off the pain, but the pain was still pretty intense and I felt so drunk, I would not recommend it as the drug of choice for delivery. As a bridge to the epidural, however, it was quite nice. The Stadol wore off right when the epidural started to take effect, which was great because it helped with the pain and once it wore off, I was able to be coherent and aware for the birth.

Anyway, around 1:25 PM, the anaesthesiologist arrived to perform the epidural procedure. It went very smoothly and other than having to stay very still during a contraction, was pretty straightforward and as painless as a procedure like that can be. Hooray!

By 1:35 PM I was at 8 cm and my water still had not broken. Doctor Groff came in at 1:55 PM when I was 9 CM and broke my water with a amniohook.
Shortly thereafter, at 2:30 PM, they disassembled the bed and I started pushing. It was oddly different from what I remember about Henry’s delivery. In that case, I remember being in a fog, a haze, and barely knowing what was going on. In this case, every minute of the delivery is clear and memorable to me. However, after about 30 minutes of pushing, it was starting to feel more like Henry’s delivery. Pushing felt totally and completely futile. I was quite shocked when she finally said she could see his head. I really wanted to ask about his hair but figured I could wait to see him. I started getting worried that he’d be turned the wrong way and we’d need another assist. I could also feel exhaustion starting to kick in. I’d had a well balanced breakfast of apple pie and coffee at around 7:30, and since then, the only thing I’d eaten was a banana on the way into the doctor’s office. Poor Dave was in the same situation and there had been no time for him to stop and get some lunch.

At this point, we found out that Dr. Groff was in the middle of four deliveries, and was juggling them all. Our nurse Margaret suggested that we might “labor down” and take a break while other babies were being born. That would mean we’d stop pushing and let the baby come down on his own for a bit. This sounded very tempting to me, and I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity for a break. But something, I’m not quite sure what, inside of me decided I wanted to win first place and got annoyed at being told I couldn’t do something. So the next time I had a contraction, I started pushing really hard and with more gusto. It was when Margaret said “Get mad at him” that I did my best, lol. The doctor came in at one point and checked on me, encouraged me to push harder and then I could really feel that the pushing was making a difference.

Then I heard it in Dave’s voice, who had been chipping in with the occasional “Push push push” but it changed to a much more heartfelt, “PUSH! Ohmigosh PUSH!”. He could see the baby’s head! I reached down and I could feel his head. And then Margaret paged the doctor and asked me to stop pushing. I breathed through a few contractions, avoiding the urge to push, and said things like “Dr. Groff is going to miss the baby” and “Margaret you’re going to have to catch the baby,” untl the doctor finally showed up. She just came from another delivery (we didn’t win!) and walked right in to catch our little baby when I pushed him out.

At 3:30 PM, he came out crying, little arms and legs quivering. I was so excited to see him. I couldn’t wait to hold him and touch him. He was perfect and cried like a little baby. They wrapped him up in a towel and placed him on my chest – he was so perfect. He nursed as soon as I put him to my breast, I was so shocked and impressed! Dave held him, wrapped up in a blanket. I was so excited to meet him — I’d been waiting months. Finally we had him in our waiting arms!

  1. Monica’s avatar

    That is a great story! I am so glad you were able to fully absorb the whole experience this time around. I agree, when I had Evan, it was sort of a haze for me, too.

  2. Cristin’s avatar

    “Get mad at him!” hahahaha! That is awesome! Wonderful story, Jeni! I’m so glad he’s here and I’m so happy for you that you got to deliver on your own this time! Hooray!