Judah’s Birth Story

Judah’s Birth Story

Mama: Michelle W.

Stats: 7.10lbs, 21 inches

Type of Birth: Vaginal

Birth Location: Hospital

Primary Care: Midwife

Image by Kristen Hafner Photography

My due date was February 12, and with our first being 5 days late, I was not counting on having our son prior to his due date. In fact, I was so sure that he would be late that I told my parents (who live in Chicago; we are in Texas) not to bother coming in town before the 12th, at the earliest.

So when I began getting crampy the morning of the 7th, I didn’t think much of it. My husband had to be at work for a few hours that day (Saturday), so I decided to start making baby boy’s baby blanket when Elizabeth went down for her nap. As I was sewing, I remember thinking “these cramps are getting annoying”.

That evening I went to work at our church nursery where, while rocking a very fussy baby, I watched the clock like a hawk and mentally kept track of what I was certain were actual contractions. When I arrived back at home I put our daughter to bed and told Brad that I had been having light but regular contractions all evening. He asked if we should go to the hospital but I told him no, I’ll tell you when we need to go. He fell asleep early, and I tossed and turned in bed and finally started really timing my contractions around 9 p.m.

Around 12:15 a.m. I woke Brad up and said, “We need to go to the hospital”. He thought I was joking and actually fell right back asleep! I got up and started throwing some last minute things into my hospital bag, only to realize Brad was still asleep! So I yelled, “Brad!! Get up and call your sister NOW”. He jumped out of bed from a dead sleep saying “wait, now?! I thought they weren’t real contractions!” My sister-in-law Tara arrived to take care of Elizabeth, and we ran out the door (leaving my wallet with my ID and insurance card behind), and by 1:40 a.m. I was checked in (thanks to Tara texting me photos of my cards) and my midwife said I was dilated at a three, but since I was obviously laboring and lived 30 minutes away, she wanted me to stay.

This starts the beginning of a labor and birth that was totally opposite from my daughter’s (in a good way, though her birth was wonderful and amazing, too). I was able to labor while standing (versus with Elizabeth I was told I had to stay in bed). I did try to labor while lying down, but after just one contraction, I know that wasn’t going to happen! I was Group B Streptococcus (GBS)-positive this time around so the nurse wanted to get a Hep-Lock in my arm and start the IV of antibiotics ASAP. Bless her heart, she tried twice and couldn’t get a vein. So a second nurse tried… three times. At that point it looked like my arms and hands had been beaten, so they called in the anesthesiologist. Thankfully she was able to find a usable vein on the first try!

I tried to use the birthing ball, as well as labor on my hands and knees, but these positions made the pain so much worse. Most of the time I was standing, bent over the bed, while Brad or my midwife held hot packs on my lower back and used counter-pressure during contractions. My midwife stayed with me for a while, rubbing my back and holding heat packs on my lower back.

We talked through my indecisiveness over if/when to get an epidural, and I’ll never forget her suggestion “you’ll know you’re ready for an epidural when this is no longer fun”. I remember laughing and saying “this isn’t fun now!” After that, she turned on the tub and I labored in the water for a while. The hot water helped so much and made the contractions much more bearable. When I got out the contractions hit me worse than ever before, and I told Brad to tell our nurse I wanted to be checked again. It was 4 a.m., and I had dilated to a 4.5. 1.5 cm in 2 hours? I was so annoyed! Heat packs made everything more bearable but by 4:30 a.m. I was having to moan/make noise/pray to get through the contractions. My previous mental trick of “concentrate on what isn’t hurting right now” was no longer working. It was around that point I knew I was going to need an epidural. I was exhausted and was seriously worried my legs would just give out after standing for so long. My whole body would tremor with every contraction, and at one point I told Brad I was seeing sounds.

The wonderful anesthesiologist came back at 5:00 a.m. to give me an epidural. It hurt! I don’t remember feeling my epidural with Elizabeth, but this time it hurt so badly. When she pushed the ‘test dose’ though the line, I saw a flash of white and my entire left side felt like it had been struck by lightning. However this time I didn’t pass out or get a metallic taste in my mouth! Both the hospital and my midwife preferred a lighter epidural, which was amazing! I was able to move my legs and sit up on my own the whole time, and actually didn’t need a catheter. At that point my water was broken and the contractions really started to pick up! As soon as everyone left the room, I ate two Luna Bars and then we rested up.

By 8 a.m. we said goodbye to both our wonderful midwife and nurse, and then welcomed our new (and equally wonderful) midwife, Allison, who would be catching our baby boy. My brother-in-law and his fiancé, Alyssa, arrived at 9 a.m., and thankfully Alyssa agreed to stay in the room and photograph the birth.

Brad prayed over me before I started pushing at 9:30 a.m., and at 10:06 a.m. our Judah Edward was born with full head of beautiful dark hair and covered in vernix. He was placed directly on my chest. Once his cord stopped pulsing, Brad cut it. I was so in love with Judah the moment I saw him. It was an instant and intensely deep bond, and I started sobbing the happiest of tears when he was placed in my arms.

We had kept Judah’s name a secret throughout the pregnancy, and it was so fun to finally be able to tell everyone!

A few hours after his birth, Judah had to be taken and observed for two hours because he was making a coughing sound and would have periods of rapid breathing. Those were two of the worst and longest hours of my life. It physically hurt to have him away from me, and I sent Brad to the nursery to be with him while he was observed. He ended up being just fine, and I’m thankful the precaution was taken, but I hope to never experience that type of pain again!

2 Responses to Judah’s Birth Story

  1. What a beautiful birth story! Congratulations mama :)

  2. What a great story! Thanks for sharing.

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