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January 4, 2010

Labor and Delivery Part 2

Nathaniel is currently sleeping on my lap, completely content after his latest meal and giving his mama a chance to finish the birth story. Continuing from Labor and Delivery Part 1...

We continued the labor process throughout the morning. Around 8:30, I noticed that my contractions were again causing pain. Like the night before, my entire body began shaking with pain as each contraction peaked. Jonathan continued to remind me to breathe and readily held my hand as I worked through each contraction.

The nurse checked me again and announced that I had progressed to 7-8 centimeters. Although I was so close to being done, I felt as though I couldn't continue through the pain. After discussing it with Jonathan and the nurse, I decided to have my epidural re-dosed. The anesthesiologist came in just before 9 and administered more medication. I waited for relief, but the pain from the contractions continued.

The nurse checked my cervix again at 9:15 and I had progressed to a 9. I struggled to continue through the pain, but I distinctly remember realizing how close we were to meeting our little boy. I prayed for strength and found the determination to push through.

At 9:45, the pain subsided and I knew that I had dilated to 10 centimeters. According to Jonathan, the difference was like night and day; I had gone from writhing in pain to laying calmly, completely relaxed. The nurse came back into the room around 10 and confirmed that I was completely dilated and ready to push!

We began pushing at 10:10. It was a strange sensation to push since I was no longer in pain but the effects of the epidural caused my lower body to feel numb. I pushed as hard as I could, but I wasn't pushing effectively since I couldn't feel the "right" way to push. After about a half-hour, the nurse suggested that we turn down my epidural to help me feel what I was doing. The idea of again being in pain was frightening to me, but I realized that I needed to be able to feel how to push in order to meet my little boy.

My epidural was cut in half and I began to be able to feel myself pushing differently. Along with the change, I found that I was becoming very tired; the lack of sleep had taken its toll and I had little energy left. As we continued to push, I asked to push every other contraction rather than each one. The break between the contractions gave the me the rest I needed and I started to push more effectively.

The nurses noticed the difference and I heard one of them say that it was time to call the doctor. Those were the words I was waiting to hear; I knew that we were so close to meeting our little boy!

The doctor arrived within minutes and I began to feel a significant level of pressure and pain. Amidst the pushing, I looked up at the clock and saw that it was just after 11:30. I decided that I wanted to have my baby before noon and I set that as my goal.
With the nurses holding my legs and Jonathan holding my hand, I pushed as hard as I could.

I heard Jonathan and the nurses encouraging me, telling me that I was almost there and I felt an immediate relief as Nathaniel was born. The doctor placed him on my chest and Jonathan and I saw our little boy for the first time.
The experience of holding my child was overwhelming; more than anything else, I felt a sense of joy and wonder that my baby had arrived and that he was safe in my arms. For the rest of my life, I will always remember that moment as well as the look on Jonathan's face as he looked at his son for the first time.

After holding Nathaniel for several moments, the nurses took him to the other side of the room to be weighed and measured. My little boy weighed in at 9 pounds 14 ounces and was measured at 21.5 inches long. The ultrasound had been accurate in that he was a very large baby; I ended up with an episiotomy and a second-degree tear from the experience. Looking back, it was all worth it; I would gladly go through every excruciating moment of labor and delivery again for my little boy.
Shortly after the delivery, we were moved to our postpartum room where we spent the next few days getting to know our wonderful little boy. We were released from the hospital about 48 hours after he was born on New Years Day. The labor and delivery experience was exhausting and overwhelming but equally as amazing and wonderful. Jonathan and I are in love with our little boy and each day we have spent with him is such a blessing.


  1. How perfect! He is a beautiful baby, and you three make a beautiful family. Congrats!! I'm so happy for you!

  2. Congrats - I loved the story! And Nathaniel is so sweet!