Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Brody's birth story

After months of obsessive pregnancy posts and pictures, I'm finally a mommy! My beautiful son, Brody Gage, was born Thursday, November 29th weighing 9 lbs 2 oz and 21 inches long.

Here is his birth story:

Even prior to my pregnancy, my (future) birth plan was to deliver naturally avoiding medication at all cost unless of course it came down to the health and well-being of my child. I was convinced I was strong enough to endure labor regardless how long or how difficult it could be. After last Wednesday and Thursday, I'm going to paste a copy of my original birth plan in my son's baby book with the words "haha, just kidding" written over top of it.


I had my 40 week appointment on Tuesday afternoon... measured a tight 2 cm and roughly 75% effaced. We went ahead and scheduled an induction date for the following Thursday just to get it in the books. My plan was to prolong having to be induced for as long as possible. She decided to go ahead and strip the membrane to see if that would get things moving along.

I will never forget that look on my husband's face... xoxo

(Lil Arch's due date + full moon)

I knew stripping the membrane could result in cramping, but as the evening continued, my cramps became pretty severe. Around midnight, I noticed they were becoming pretty regular and lasting about 50-60 seconds. Hmm... So I broke out my trusty pregnancy app and starting timing contractions. The first hour they were 4:30 apart, then 4:00 the next hour and then eventually under that. Knowing that we should've left for the hospital when things were 5 minutes apart for an hour, I woke Clay up around 4 AM. We checked into the hospital an hour later with contractions 4:00 apart and still only measuring 2 cm.

By 7:30 AM, I had dilated to 4 cm with contractions remaining intense and constant... theeeeeen things just stopped progressing. We opted to go home and labor there for awhile around 1:00 PM. Over the next 5 hours, contractions picked back up to a constant 5:00 apart and became much more severe. After a quick shower and taking my weekly pregnancy pic (because I've been told numerous times a missed Picture of the Day would be an indicator I was in labor), we headed back to the hospital around 6:00 PM.

Of course, I was only a whopping 1/2 cm more dilated then. Five hours later, still with no further progress other than another 1/2 cm and 85% effacement, a different OB came in and presented some options for us. Miserable and obviously at a stalemate, we opted to tweak the birth plan and get some morphine in me so I could get some rest and hopefully progress some more over night.


I was woken up around 5 AM by my OB for an exam. I'm not going to lie, but her telling me I was only at 5 1/2 cm was pretty disheartening.... borderline devastating. Still with consistent, intense contractions, we decided to have her go ahead and break my water. Contraction intensity picked up, but not frequency.

By 11 AM, I was fully dilated. The nurse put in a call to my doctor and she instructed to start pushing and she'd be there by 12:30. I pushed for over an hour before the nurse said that basically the baby is stuck. My OB didn't show up until almost 2:00, so I was instructed to just lay there in the meantime and labor through my contractions fully dilated and needing to push. It was probably a good thing I was so emotionally and physically drained at this point because I probably would have gone ape shit on my OB for "chit chatting in the hallway" (her words, not mine) while I laid there in the most horrific pain in my life.

Doc finally came into the room, did a quick exam and declared she thought the baby was posterior and the face was getting caught up on my pelvic bone. As you can see now, my natural birth plan with going to be shot all the hell whether I wanted it to or not. I was presented with options that included the words "forceps" and/or "c-section." Because apparently using the forceps without medical intervention is not an option and I was convinced I was on the brink of death, an epidural was scheduled ASAP.

I will never understand why the Anesthesiologist waited until right before a contraction to start inserting the needle. Really buddy? I'm battling overwhelming back labor and the need to push and you're going to tell me to be absolutely still while you stick that gigantic needle into my back? Thanks a lot. Appreciate it. Anyways, epidural was in by 2:45 PM.

By 4:30, my contractions were still only 5 minutes apart. Pitocin was administered so that I could get them closer together. By 6:15, they had gotten down to 2 minutes and it was time to push again. Even though I hadn't felt a contraction in awhile due to the epi, I was scared to death to push. I cannot even being to describe the relief I felt during that first push when I realized there was no more pain this time. I pushed for roughly 45 minutes before my OB brought in the "holy shit, those things are going in me?!" forceps.

This is where I got especially nervous. She warned me that if she cannot safely get a good grip on the baby with the forceps, we would automatically have to go to a c-section. Even though my so-called birth plan was non-existent at this point, a c-section was my "worse case scenario." Not that I was afraid of surgery or the recovery, but I felt that it would ultimately take away from the entire birthing experience for me. I wanted to deliver as naturally as possible more than anything. Thankfully, the forceps slid into place with no problem.

Next contraction, I was instructed to push while she pulled. Usually an advocate of letting the mom rip naturally, she opted to perform an episiotomy during the next contraction. One contraction later, at 7:14 PM, my beautiful son was born. Turns out, he wasn't posterior, just was a big baby (9 lbs 2 oz).

It is truly amazing to go through the most horrific pain of your life and have it end with a miracle that you love more than life itself. He was so worth every single second of a very difficult 43 hour labor. I feel so incredibly blessed and in love with my little family! My husband through this entire process was truly my rock. He was such incredible support through every contraction, decision and life-changing moment. I honestly could not have gotten through it without him... from the bottom of my heart, thank you Clay. I love you!

Am I disappointed my birth plan was, more or less, a joke? A little. I don't feel I went into things with unrealistic expectations, but I am extremely proud of myself for getting through the first 39 hours naturally. Towards the end, I wasn't left with any options that didn't include medicating and my mind and body had absolutely hit their limits. I had nothing left to give at the peak of when I needed to be my strongest. At the end of the day, I have a beautiful, healthy baby boy and that's all that ever mattered.

Brody, we love you more than words could ever express and cannot wait to watch you grow every single day.

With much love, mom


  1. So glad you got a happy ending in the long run. Wow, that sounded dirty. Anyway. He is a beaute!

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Andrea. He is a handsome fella and we wish you and Clay wonderful memories with Brody!

  3. So glad you shared this. He looks so adorable and I can't wait to meet him!! I'm so happy and proud of both you and Clay. Parents at last!!!


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