February 19, 2010

Micah's Birth Story Part 2

Okay, where was I...

Oh yes. Pain. Whole new meaning. People. Full of crap.

What is this picture? This machine is called a contractionometer.

Actually, I just made that up.

It does, however, measure the timing and intensity of my contractions. The bottom portion does. See the very end of the graph there? Let me just back up a second to say that in one of the books I read the author made the statement, "Because of the break between contractions, you spend more time pain-free than in pain." She is also full of crap.

But that was the constant refrain running through my mind: More time pain-free. More time pain-free. More time pain-free.

That picture is proof that I was not spending more time pain-free than in pain. See the mountain peaks at the end? Three in a row? See how they're best friends? All cozied up next to one another? Arms raised to the sky in a hallelujah chorus? That translates to no break in pain. And see how they're very tall? That translates to tall pain. (Tall pain is more painful than short pain, FYI.)

Okay, so back to my story. I believe we left off at 8 centimeters.

At this point, I had lost my normal mental faculties. I was in survival mode. And all I could think about was how weak and tired I was (no food for nearly 10 hours, an incredible loss of blood), and how if the nurse pressed the fetal monitor into me one more time during a contraction, I was going to break her wrists one by one by one. Because once I ran out of her wrists, I was going to start breaking the wrists of the people around me who thought it was a good idea to rub my back.

Because of the placental abruption, the baby had to be constantly monitored because things can go really badly very fast. This meant that during contractions the nurse had to press the monitor into my stomach, which was making a difficult situation a million times worse.

I couldn't imagine going the last 2 centimeters and then pushing as well. I was done in. I called the troops back and raised my white flag of surrender. I wanted pain meds. And quick.

I had no concept of time at this point, but I believe it was sometime after 10pm when I received my blessing.

(Also referred to as an epidural.)

Life took a very different turn after that. I absolutely and completely enjoyed every moment of the rest of my labor. I would even say it was downright fun. We laughed and joked about the words that came out of my mouth during the worst of it (more on that later), I rested, we turned the lights down and played some music, I ate a little bit.

It was just purely enjoyable. I was surrounded by people who loved me and were doing everything they could to support me.. I felt very at peace. I also felt very afraid. I couldn't believe after all this time, I was going to finally meet my son. In fact, I didn't feel ready. But there was no turning back and I knew I would never feel fully ready. Plus, the thought of being pregnant one more day was enough to send me screaming into the abyss.

I may have been dilated to more than 8 at the time of the epidural because shortly after I received it the nurse checked me (she finally could without fears of me breaking her wrist) and I was fully dilated. Just before I received it, I was sitting up to be prepped for it, and I felt my body transitioning. I began to shake and yell, "I have to push!" In fact I pushed with everything in me, it was an uncontrollable urge. I couldn't have not pushed if I'd wanted to. Which is why I kept asking, "Where is he? Where is he?" (He being the Archangel, Gabriel.) (Otherwise known as the anesthesiologist.) I knew that if I went much longer I would be too far gone to receive any pain meds.

I pushed for approximately two hours. Even with the epidural I strongly felt the urge to push. Towards the end I was getting extremely tired, and all I could think about was it being over and him being here. At 1:19am, I pushed and pushed and on the last push I thought, "I'm not doing this one more time, this is it!" And he came out all at once in one push. With his hand up by his head. All 8 pounds and 3 ounces of him.

The doctor immediately put him up on my chest, and I immediately began to cry. I didn't even look at him, I just held him to my chest and cried. I couldn't believe it. I had actually done it. He was really here. And he was mine. Ours.

The nurses let me hold him for as long as I wanted. I finally was curious to know how much he weighed, and that's when they took him, weighed him, cleaned him up, and gave him right back.

Side note: I could not have asked for a more fantastic experience at the hospital. Every single person I encountered, from the doctor to the janitor, was unbelievably kind and sensitive and made sure they respected my wishes.

The next hour was a blur as well. Everyone held him, Matt stayed close and kissed my head.

(I have tried for a ridiculously long time now to upload the picture that was snapped of Matt kissing my head, but Blogger is being dumb and I officially cannot. Sorry.)

So after a couple hours of loving on our son and rejoicing in his arrival, I was about to die of exhaustion. It was now probably about 4 in the morning. So they took him to get his first bath and I stood up to go to the bathroom, with some help. And almost immediately passed out. I don't remember this, but Matt says I turned pale white, my eyes became glazed over, and I just passed out. I woke up to alcohol under my nose and the next several hours are a blur. This same thing happened a couple hours later. It was probably a combination of loss of blood, lack of food, and utter exhaustion.

We spend the next couple of days in the hospital and left to begin life with our new baby boy. So that concludes my birth story. Except I must, for the sake of some humor, include some quotes of things that I may or may not have said during the heat of the contractions...

Stop touching me.

Stop opening and closing the curtain.


What is all of this crap on me?!

I think I'm going to die.

I want the rapture to happen.

Nurse: Can I check you now?
Me: No. No, no, no, NO.

Nurse: Sara, I'm sorry, but I have to check you, I haven't heard the baby's heartbeat in a few minutes.
Me: No. He's fine.

Anesthesiologist: Do you have any history of...
Me: No. No, no, no, no, no.

Baby Micah, we love you with all our hearts. You were worth every second and then some!


  1. Oh boy, your commentary just gave me painful memories of the birth of my first daughter! Pain, pain and more pain! I was "denied" the epidural because I had been medicated in the hospital for 4 days with a kidney stone, and because I had not "pre-ordered" the epidural! SOOOO, you bet your sweet bum that when my 2nd child came along, I ordered that epidural 6 months before my due date! It was heavenly!! God bless you sweetheart, you did it!!! (And God bless epidurals) :-) Your sister-in-law, Carol

  2. I have heard more birth stories than I care to admit----but yours was priceless! I am telling you---you need to write a book! So sorry you had ANY pain! You did a fabulous job---Matt is so proud of you. God Bless You sweet Sara

    Mom 2

  3. Sara,
    I loved hearing your story! I havent ever been able to give birth naturally,but was in inte, nse labor for 15 hours with my first daughter. I had a emergency C-section after that. My next 2 were planned C-sections, but they were so worth all the pain and re-coup time. I got tears reading your story(part 2) because the moment I saw each of my kids, I cried. They are simply and truly a blessing! Congrats and thanks for sharing.

  4. I laughed so hard reading this. You have such a gift for writing that I can remember the exact place I was at that moment. Thank you for allowing me the gift of being in the delivery room. I feel the most amazing amount of love for you, Matt and baby Micah. What an experience. I pray that over the years I will be able to witness other miracles in your lives. Love you.

  5. Oh my goodness....what a beautiful life story!!!! What a blessing your new sonshine is and the way you relived the moments leading up to his arrival!!! I love the story and I'd have to agree with all the others - you Sarah are quite the writer!!!