One year ago Sammy’s birth story began. I meant to type it up and post it shortly after he was born. But, life with two kids took over and I never got back to it. I don’t know if anyone out there really wants to hear the nitty gritty details (well, not all of them), but I wanted to have a place where it was written down so I could remember! Warning: this is long. I won’t be offended if you don’t read it. :)

My due date, February 6, came and went without much fanfare. Sammy was comfy cozy in his little home. I decided to mentally prepare for a Valentine’s day baby instead and moved on with my regular schedule (as much as you can when you’re that preggo!) Thursday night, the 13th, rolled around and Jason was uber tired and so he went to bed early at like 8pm. I was dawdling around and watching the olympics and thought to myself, “I should go to bed. It’s 11pm and I might have a baby tomorrow!” Well, then I thought to myself, “um, did I just pee my pants?” and I ran to the bathroom. I sat in there debating what to do and called my mom. And then my doula. And then decided that yes, my water had broken and labor had started. So, what do you do? I decided to let Jason sleep and I sent emails and surfed the interwebs while letting my contractions grow.

At 1:30 Jason came down stairs wondering where I was. I excitedly told him I was in labor. “Let’s have a Valentine’s day baby!” (haha, that would have been fun). We called our doula and she came over around 3am. She’s so great, I don’t know what I would have done without her! Jason went to the store around 4am to buy mayo (naturally) and came back with fun valentine’s chocolates and tulips for me. Awwwww. It was a low key waiting and listening to music in the dim light sort of night. No sleep but not really awake either. Peaceful, really.

Around 7am Joshua woke up and came downstairs. I was feeling pretty normal in between contractions but was dealing with contractions by being on my hands and knees and breathing into a pillow. He came over and gently rubbed my back and our doula let him use her back rubber thingy on me. He was so tender and sweet. It was precious.

My sweet boy rubbing my back during a contraction

My sweet boy rubbing my back during a contraction. You know you’re jealous of my pjs

My mom came over around 8am so we could head to the birth center. She took Joshua home with her for a little vacation at Grandma and Grandpa’s and awaited news from there. They checked me out at the birth center and said I was only 1/2 cm dilated and not really effaced at all. They said I should go home and come back that evening and we’d see where I was at. We hung out at home. Honestly, I can’t remember that day at all… it’s so weird how quickly it fades from memory. I drank some castor oil mixed with a protein shake to try to get things moving a bit more (and boy did they move!)

Sometime in there my sister Kristan called and asked how I’d feel if she came up while I was in labor and helped out however she could. I said, “bring it!” and so she got to our house right as we were getting ready to head back to the birth center that evening. At the birth center they said I was now really only 1 cm dilated and that I should go home and try to get some sleep. Not exactly what I was hoping to hear but we took their advice and all tried to get some rest. Mind you, it’s hard to sleep when you’re having contractions every 6 minutes, but I laid down and did my best. Sometime in the middle of the night the midwives offered to come check on me at our house so I wouldn’t have to get in the car again. Bless them. I was 2.5 cm dilated. Not exactly swift progress, but progress nonetheless! My midwife called the hospital since it had been over 24 hours since my water broke. The hospitalist on duty said that if I had progressed to a 4 or 5 by morning (and the baby’s heart rate was good) I was safe to keep laboring at the birth center and didn’t need to be transferred. I was determined to have this baby at the birth center! So we carried on. Jason and our doula, Kathy, and Kristan took turns napping and caring for me and texting our prayer warriors. They were all so wonderful and supportive. I pretty much felt like a rock star the way they waited on me hand and foot!

In the morning we all headed over to the birth center. Let me tell you something about contractions. They are painful and uncomfortable. One way to make them unbearable? Sit in a car! I just wanted to jump out of my skin in that seat. They checked me out and said I was at 4cm! Wow, talk about barely making it.

(warning: I wrote the first half of this story shortly after Sammy’s birth. From here, the rest of this story was written almost a year later… details are kind of fuzzy at this point. I wish I had finished writing when I started!)

At that point I think we finally got to stay at the birth center. The time at the birth center blurs together into a great big hazy cloud in my memory. I think we were there from the morning of the 15th until I went to the hospital the morning of the 16th. I remember that the big bath tub was my favorite place to be during a contraction and so I spent quite a while in there. I also remember the only thing that sounded good to drink was ginger beer from my favorite pizza place (La Fiamma). Kristan, being the superstar she is, went and got some for me two different times! At some point contractions became much more intense and I remember having a moment in the tub where I mentally told myself I did not EVER want to do this again. I think that’s about the time that one of the midwives asked me if I still wanted to have the baby at the birth center. I stubbornly said yes, I wanted to stay. I also remember that my midwife was called by another client who was in labor. My midwife left after dinner time and came back around 2am. Apparently, her other client had her baby start to finish during that time! I was so jealous! (In her defense, it was her third baby. And I did have the most marathon labor ever.)

My wonderful doula, my wonderful hubby. The only birthing photo I'll ever make public :)

At the birth center. My wonderful doula, my wonderful hubby. The only birthing photo I’ll ever make public :)

Back to the story, I think it was around 2:30am they told me I could start pushing. I was so excited. Maybe I’d be done soon! Haha, or maybe not. I pushed. And pushed. I tried different positions. I yelled. A lot. I always thought I’d have this quiet, peaceful birth because I hate being loud and am especially quiet when I’m in pain. Well, not when I’m in labor! I’m like an amazon woman with my grunting and yelling. It helps, though, and I didn’t really care anymore! Around 6 am (yes, that’s at least three hours of trying to push) my midwife looked at me and told me she thought I needed to go to the hospital.  She said I was doing everything right but I was not progressing enough and I was so tired the contractions weren’t strong enough to make pushing him out possible. (They felt strong enough!) I was disappointed but I trust her immensely so I agreed.

Jason was such a trooper. He might not have been in labor but he still stayed awake for the better part of three days. Here he is taking a cute cat nap with my sweatshirt at the birth center.

Jason was such a trooper. He might not have been in labor but he still stayed awake for the better part of three days. Here he is taking a cute cat nap with my sweatshirt at the birth center.

They signed me in so fast at the hospital I don’t even know if they got me to sign my name. By the time I got to the room I was DONE. Not literally, just emotionally. I welcomed the epidural that I had never wanted. And I took a glorious one hour nap before they made me start pushing again. I had some awesome nurses. And they cared for me so well! I got lots of pitocin (slowly increasing) to increase my contractions… but I couldn’t feel a darn thing anymore so I didn’t really care. Then it was time to push and they kept saying “push harder!” and I kept saying “am I?” because I couldn’t feel it. Ha! Finally the doctor said he thought I needed either forceps or a vacuum. We voted for forceps. Which, it’s a good thing they don’t show them to you before hand because I was imagining small salad tongs. When I saw them I was like, “whaaat? those things are huge!” I’ll spare you the details but the wonderful doctor and his giant forceps brought Sammy into the world with just two more pushes at 1:30 pm on the 16th. There was meconium in my water (aka. baby poop) so they had to whisk him off to clear his lungs. In just a second, though, he was a beautiful snuggly bundle in my arms. I cried when I met him. And then I slept.

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You were worth every minute of it, Sammy. All 62 hours :)


Brand new. 21 inches, 9 lbs 2 oz.

Brand new. 21 inches, 9 lbs 2 oz.


Meeting big brother. I love Joshua's face. He was so excited!

Meeting big brother. I love Joshua’s face. He was so excited!


All four of us

All four of us