a baby story

I was going through my email tonight and found this letter that I sent to a friend the week after James was born. I saved it because it was the first time I had written it all out and didn't know if I would get to it again. Nope. Glad I saved this one. So, here is the story of James' birth. His birthday isn't for a couple weeks but that day is really about him now, you know?

I started bleeding a little in the middle of the night on the 4th (dec 4th). The next morning I was having the usual contractions (belly tightening) but also had period like cramps. The bleeding continued. I had my midwife apt. that afternoon and she said I was only dilated to 1 and could go in 2 days or 2 weeks, impossible to tell. She did something that really hurt during my exam and made me bleed a LOT. She had said I might bleed so I just left after getting dressed but the MA that cleaned up after me was concerned and the midwife called me when I got home and made me lie down until the bleeding stopped, about 3 hours later. I found out later that she had stripped my membranes, without asking me. At this point, my contractions varied between 5 and 13 minutes apart and stayed that way, but got stronger, all night Thursday (the 4th), Friday and Friday night. By Saturday morning I was exhausted (patrick, too) because I hadn't slept in 2 days...I woke up with every contraction because they hurt so bad. I called in and they said I could come in at 7pm on Saturday for some sleeping medicine. Saturday was the worst. With every contraction I would get up and walk this path around the apartment with Patrick holding my hands, moaning. He started moving the furniture around so I would have to take a new path. (He also ran hot baths for me all day...he was so perfect.) Then the contractions got 3-5 minutes apart and stayed that way...we thought it was almost time. When we got to the hospital I was dilated to 3 and they checked us in. The contrax slowed back down. (grrrr.) But hurt like hell. At 10 pm they gave me the sleep medicine (Ambien - HA! what a joke!) and sent us home. It didn't work. We were back to hospital at midnight and I was dilated to 4. They gave me some shot (I will love the woman who gave it to me forever) (it was numorphine (sp?)) and Patrick and I both slept, finally. When I woke up I was dilated to 5 and then my water broke. Holy crap, the contrax hurt on a whole new level after that. I immediately signed up for an epidural...another heavenly experience. When giving it to me they said I had to remain totally still even during a contraction...I said a mack truck could hit me and I wouldn't move...that's how bad I wanted those drugs. Again, we both got to sleep. We woke up at 9 the next morning and I was dilated to 9. She told us to go back to sleep and woke us up at 10:30. They had turned my epi down so I could feel my contractions, but they weren't too painful. I started pushing at 11:00am and he was born at 12:03pm. There was only myself, Patrick, the nurse, and the midwife in the room during delivery. It was so quiet and peaceful...no one told me when to push, I just pushed as I felt my contractions. They all told me how excellent I was doing (you do have to push like you're taking a poop) (which I did not do, for the record) and Patrick wiped my brow and gave me ice chips the whole time. ("Good job, bunny. You deserve an ice chip for that one.") He was so nervous right when we woke up that the nurse went to find him a Tums. He started to feel better after he saw the pushing wasn't hurting me. We reached down and felt his head when it was past my pelvic bone, that was weird. Once the head was out his little body came out the next push...that felt so bizarre! He had meconium in his lungs so they had to suction him. Very scary for us but within seconds he was screaming and he got 9s on his APGARs. He was/is so tiny (6lb 9oz). Then I delivered the placenta, that was neat, too. My placenta was in the front of my uterus so it blocked a lot of baby movements while he was inside, that was hard sometimes because I wouldn't feel him all day. When we saw the placenta and the baby it made sense...placenta was so thick and baby was so small, it totally absorbed his movements. I did feel movements on the sides of my belly a lot, which also made sense, because James has loooong arms. :) We were so suprised he came early because I was very comfortable still at the end. My belly did get bigger and rounder but I never got huge...they said I carried him very tight to my body in an unusual way. Right now I weigh 10 pounds more than when I got pregnant, not too bad, thank God. I didn't tear or have an episiotomy, just a few "skid marks". (their term, not mine.)


  1. Thanks for this - I love birth stories...

  2. I love them too- superwoman, Stephanie. sounds like it went well- tearing/cuts are the worst, so it's so great that you escaped it. BTW, do they issue cloth diapers at the hospital? (I think that's awesome!)

  3. Yes they do, Ellen. I thought it was cool, too. I started out using cloth with James but quit after a horrible diaper rash at 2 weeks old. He had so many allergies/skin stuff at that young age so who knows what happened. Still wish I would switch with Ruby. (sigh.)


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