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Apparently my stomach started to look different Saturday night according to my mom and Trupe…but NO one told me! I really wanted her to be born Saturday for my own neurotic reasons (My mom was due with me on the 25th of October and I was born the 28th. I was due with Trupie on the 25th of September and he born the 10th-my birth month. Mom was due with Pj on the 17th of December and he was born the 20th of November. I was due with Ele on the 17th of August, and thought that if she’d be born on the 12th, her birthday month and day would add up to equal 20. Yes, I am THAT neurotic to think of things like that!) But 8/13/06 didn’t really fit anything…not to mention only one other person in our immediate families was born on an odd day, so that made it even more interesting!
Anyways. I didn’t get to bed until almost 2am on Sunday. I’m thinking my son sensed that something was going on major and thus would NOT go to bed. He told me at 1am that he was hungry, and so I made him some oatmeal. Then nigh-nights to sleep, and I laid him down with Trupe. I finished reading a birth story I had been reading and went to bed after stopping to potty (and checking my cervix, I’d had such long contractions and a bit of bloody show I was hoping something was going on. I was about 5cm dilated and the water bag was starting to bubble out into my cervix.). At 3:38 am I was awoken with the urge to pee and a monster contraction. This one was so different from all the others. And I’d had a variety of contractions. The night before I had some that lasted 4-5 minutes and took my breath away. But this one was quick. I knew right away I was in labor because it reminded me of menstrual cramps (and it only makes sense that they feel like really BAD menstrual cramps because in both cases the uterus is trying to empty itself). After it was over I went to the bathroom then got back in bed. I checked the time every time I had a contraction until 4:02 when my son rolled from his bed (a side-carred crib on my side of the bed) into our bed. I knew I could NOT nurse through these contractions and I didn’t want to risk waking him up, so I got up and went into the bathroom. I decided to sit on the toilet in case I needed to “empty out” first, and also because I had read in a number of birth stories that contracting on the toilet was fairly comfortable. Um…WRONG in my case! They were awful on the toilet. So I got a towel and a pillow and laid on the bathroom floor. During all this I read this verse: “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. I will praise You forever for what You have done; in Your name I will hope, for Your name is good. I will praise You in the presence of Your saints.” Psalm 52:8-9 and tried to focus on that thought.
At about 5 I thought I needed some support other than my own mind so I woke up Trupe. He woke right up and seemed ok (although he told me later he was scared half to death!). He told me had been having a dream and in that dream he heard the baby crying inside me. Wow! So we went into the bathroom and he got me some food (a tortilla) and some frozen orange juice mix and some water. I decided a few minutes later that I wanted to go into the living room because the bathroom floor was kind of cold, so we set up shop in there. I laid down on my side and Trupe read to me (Psalm 146 and Psalm 147). Then I had to move. I tried squatting over a pile of pillows and that felt pretty good for the next few contractions. Then it started to hurt too bad so we stood up. That felt ok for a few contractions, then it started to hurt too bad also. I thought maybe I’d like to lean over the back of the couch, so we moved the towels over there and Trupe got some garbage bags to put under them. Leaning over the back of the couch didn’t help either. So I decided it was time to get in the bathtub.
The bathtub was nice for a while, I laid back against the back and had a few bearable contractions. Then they started to hurt deep inside my hips. Getting onto my hands and knees seemed like the only possible comfortable position, but getting there was sooo hard. I felt like I weight 8000 pounds and could barely roll myself over, let alone get up on my knees in time for the contraction. I was starting to lose my cool by this time for sure. I decided to check my cervix, it was probably about a 6, very soft, and the waters were very bulgy. I was sincerely tempted to break them (especially since the mess would be nicely contained in the tub), but her head was still high and I was terrified of the intensity increase it would cause. So I got out of the tub.
We went back behind the couch. I remembered reading in another story that the lady giving birth asked God for a break, so I asked God for a break. He slowed my contractions down a bit and I slept between a handful of them. It was a very needed little break! Thank You Jesus!! They started coming a lot closer right after that, and after being shown such mercy I started going against God and telling Him “no God, no God” and asking Him to stop the pain, crying out that I couldn’t do it anymore, that I didn’t ever want to do it again, and that I just wanted to go to the hospital and have an epidural. (My mom woke up about this time and was nearly scared to death. She asked what I was doing and why we weren’t going to the birth center. I just said no. I was biting the back of the couch and nearly screaming-the only thing keeping me from screaming was the thought of my son sleeping down the hall. I didn’t want to scare him. My mom said later that she figured I was close, so she went and made coffee. Her reasoning-it’s a soothing smell. At first I was furious that she was making coffee…I was HAVING A BABY! But then I smelled it and it smelled sooooo good. Way to go Mom-intuition!!) Trupe was so awesome. He sat right beside me-putting pressure on my back if needed, although by this point it just made the pain worse, so he was just verbally supporting me-praying for me, asking God to give me strength, telling me that God had an endless supply to give, and telling me that I could do this. He is such an awesome husband! If he would have shown me a second of faithlessness I would have been on my way to the hospital! But we would have had to pull over somewhere to give birth because almost immediately after that it was time to push. Trupe helped me refocus on God and His plan and now I started saying “ok God, ok God, ok God”, submitting myself and my body to Him. The contractions felt better (still hurt, but enough of difference for me to notice). I was still freaked out though and I begged God for things to be near the end, I had to be done I told Him, she had to come out now. I checked my cervix again and it felt HUGE…I couldn’t even try to measure it though, I was getting primal. My body was starting to push…but that darn bag of waters that ruptured before labor with my son just wouldn’t go this time. I felt that God was telling me that now was the time to break it myself, so pinched at it with my middle finger and thumb. It was soo bulgy though that it was hard to get any between my fingers to pinch. I wiped my hand off and tried again. This time I could get it, but the tissue was sooo strong, I couldn’t break it. “Please God, get her out now!” and I finally tore through a tiny piece. I pushed a little to make the water come out. I wanted to check and see if it was clear, but I knew it didn’t matter. Suddenly I got that burning sensation (although really not that badly) and I knew what was coming next. My body completely took over, no more thinking, just PUUUUUSSSSSSHHHHHH. I was moaning and grunting through the pushes and it was amazing. It didn’t feel “good” but it felt empowering and fulfilling and so spiritual. Her head was getting close to crowning and Mom kept asking Trupe if he could see it. I told her he didn’t need to because I could feel it. Then I started yelling for a hot washcloth for my perineum (I’d had an episiotomy-which my husband thinks in retrospect I did NOT need-thank you doctor-with my son)…but I also remembered that you can tear forward too. Trupe put the hot washcloth on me and held it through a push or two. As she was crowning I realized that I felt burning in the front. Frankly, I’ll take the tear in the back, so I told him I needed the washcloth up front. No time though, more pushing, so I used my fingers as best I could to try to manipulate the skin back out of the way. Burning burning burning and finally her head was out. My mom says she’ll never forget the look on Trupe’s face as he realized what he was looking at (and how close he was, he had bent down within inches of it). He said he thought it was neck skin at first, but then recognized eyes and cheeks and a nose. He said her face was moving in astonishment! I could picture his face and it warms my heart. I checked to see if there was a cord around her neck, and there wasn’t. Then back to pushing, and her shoulders came out easily. My mom had her hand under Ele’s head and just kind of caught her gently as she finished being born. Trupe said there was a lot of fluid after she came out…and that makes sense since her head was well applied to my cervix and not much had come out. I snapped back to reality-to humanity when I heard gurgling and told them to put her face down with her head lower than her body to help her drain. They maneuvered her around to me as I sat down so I could hold her. She had a short cord just like her brother so holding her to nurse was a bit difficult. I had to continually make sure her cord wasn’t being pulled on. Trupe went and woke Trupie up moments later to meet his new baby sister. He was such a sweetheart and just stared at her. Over the course of her first hour, he came over to her and talked to her, hugged her and kissed her, said she was hungry and needed nigh-nights, and even told her to open her mouth (so she could nurse). What a sweet boy!
She nursed pretty much right away…maybe 15 minutes after birth. Some pretty intense contractions ensued again after a bit of break and I realized the placenta would be coming eventually. When she was about an hour old, the placenta finally made its appearance accompanied by some deep-grunting pushing. Trupe and Trupie walked back over to see what was going on just as it slid out. Trupie, in true man form gagged at the sight and turned around and walked away. Trupe was so proud.
I did tear a bit both ways I think, I’ve only looked once. But the pain is nothing compared to the recovery from my small episiotomy with my son. 38 hours later and my bleeding is already pretty light. After pains are well, painful, especially when I nurse both of them together.
This was such an amazing experience…we’re all kind of riding the wave still. We’ll never forget this, we are so blessed to have such an awesome God who guided us through this most intimate experience.
"Unborn children should be welcomed in life and protected in law." George W. Bush
Wow... Thank you for sharing that story! I don't read many birth stories that have so much focus on God, and I believe that is so important. I needed to see it! I also like you choice of bible verses that praise God. I love the Psalms.