Birth Story Part I

Sharing is caring!

I don’t know why it hadn’t occurred to me until now, but instead of taking all this time to write my full birth story, I should have broken it into parts. And while the full birth story is essentially written, I am still going to go ahead and break it down to make it more manageable. Don’t worry you won’t have to wait long for the other parts:
Birth Story Part II 
Birth Experience Reflections (hypnobabies, hospital bags, etc)
Breastfeeding Journey 


If you’re new here, you’re welcome to read the following posts pertaining to Alexis’ birth: childbirth preparation, birth plan, hospital bags.

As many of you know I started preparing for labor a few months ahead. My hopes were to labor naturally without drugs, though I was always open to an epidural if such need presented itself. However, I was pretty confident I’d be able to have a natural birth experience  using Hypnobabies techniques barring any unforeseen circumstances. As I was getting closer to my 41 week deadline, I was told to schedule an induction date in case I got past 41 weeks. While I always wanted to avoid an induction, I was pretty sure that if I were to get one, my hypnobabies would go out the window (though many of you assured me it’s possible to labor naturally even with pitocin). In the end, the only thing I really wanted to avoid was a c-section, however I did realize a c section isn’t smth you “plan not to have”- it’s done when necessary, therefore in my mind there was no labor and birth experience end result that I would regret: natural, pitocin, epidural, c section- as long as my baby was here safe and sound.
Since I had never been in labor before I had no idea how it would go for me but I was putting all my faith into hypnobabies to help carry me through the contractions.

Birth story

My 41 week induction was scheduled for Wednesday evening with an application of Cervadil. Prior to that date I was doing anything and everything possible and safe to kick start my labor on my own: miles curcuit (which is what I think threw me into labor), walking, sex, etc.

Sunday night I spent most of the night not sleeping and trying to deal with pretty strong contractions that never got closer than 6-7 min apart.
All day Monday I was crampy and having light contractions. On Monday evening I started having strong contractions that kept getting closer together. I was using hypnobabies relaxation techniques to get through them. I labored in bed, on the birth ball, on the floor while hubby packed the rest of the things for the hospital. We were sure this was it. When the contractions got to about 3 minutes apart and it was difficult to handle them, I told Andrew that it was time to go. I was well beyond the excitement stage – this was serious! One of my fears was that I’d transition in a matter of minutes like my sister did and we wouldn’t make it to the hospital.
Well, let’s just say that fear was unfounded lol

I barely remember the ride to the hospital. I know I had my fuzzy blanket with me and that I thought it wasn’t that bad. I had my headphones in listening to HB tracks. I thought I was pretty focused on the tracks and relaxation and doing a decent job getting through every pressure wave.
We drove up and walked through the doors of the birth center. I couldn’t believe we had to actually come up to the guard and answer his “Can I help you?”
I don’t know… Do you see a very pregnant woman in the middle of the night looking miserable? lol I told him we were there to have our baby.
He had me take a seat while hubby parked the car.
About a minute later a nurse comes out and gives me a gown and a bag for my clothes to change into.

Michelle, the triage nurse, got me into a room and hooked me up to the monitors. She was really sweet and soft spoken. She quickly figured out that all the questions are to be directed to my husband and kept saying how cool it was that I was doing hypnosis and how well I was handling the contractions, which at that point, she told me, were 2-3 minutes apart over a minute long.
At some point during this process, which took a little over an hour, I started getting the shakes. In the back of my mind I was hoping it was transition, but now looking back at it, I’m pretty sure that was me getting sidetracked from my relaxation and actually tensing up at each contraction.

When she checked me I was 3.5 cm dilated and 40% effaced and after a quick call to the doctor told me we were staying.
That was just before midnight.

{In my labor room getting through a contraction before I even had a chance to change into my Pretty Pushers gown}


Now, based on most everyone’s experience, we were going in prepared to fight for our birth plan (certain things in it, at least). Hubby was the one who was supposed to be talking to L&D nurses to make sure things are done a certain way (or more like not done just for the sake of doing them).

Michelle left to get my paperwork and came back to admit me. I guess somehow she had a copy of our birth plan because, before we even mentioned anything, she asked us if a heplock was fine since we didn’t want an IV. We asked her if it’s ok if we skip heplock but we’ll totally do it if there’s a need to. She was so sweet about it too: “Oh yeah If you guys don’t want it, it’s fine. As long as you’re open to getting it, if we need to.”

That was the first shocker of the night. The one if two things, that even my OB said nurses will have a huge problem with, was a slam dunk.

So Michelle proceeded to go over things we could do:
We were fine to labor however we wanted, use birth ball, wear whatever we want, eat and drink, have 20 min on and off monitoring, no cervical checks, etc
She basically said if we’d like, we would just be left alone to do our thing with occasional visits from the nurse to put a monitor on.

I was honestly floored. I expected insistence on routine IVs, no food, continuous monitoring and a bunch of other “hospital protocols”. But she was so sweet and supportive and she had this nurturing quality about her. I could not have asked for more.

Once we settled in, I changed out of the hospital gown into my Pretty Pushers gown. I really loved having a cute gown to wear that had all the right access to medical personnel ( monitor, epidural) and was cheap enough that I wasn’t worried about getting it dirty. {You can read more about Pretty Pushers and win yourself a gown HERE}

We were assigned a nurse named Cynthia who was just as laid back as Michelle. She’d walk in every 30 minutes, put me on the monitor, didn’t really say much, just kept quiet and sweet. I have to say the L&D nurses made this experience a thousand times better and I am very thankful for their support!!!

I kept trying to hydrate to make sure I don’t get an IV, but a few hours after admittance, I started to feel sick to my stomach and just like my OB had warned me I promptly threw up the contents of my dinner earlier and later all my water into a bag. Cynthia offered me an anti nausea pill, which i declined, and warned me that if I continue throwing up, they’d have to hook me up to an IV. After I threw up again, I took the pill 🙂

This whole time I continued laboring with contractions that were coming every 2-3 minutes. It had been 7 hours since the strong contractions started and we all didn’t think it’d be much longer.

BOP I was doing the finger drop technique every time, however I am not sure how much it was really helping. I had never labored before so I wasn’t sure if the hypnobabies was taking the edge off or not. I could feel the contractins really well regardless how much I was relaxing and there was no real comfortable position for me to labor in. I remember feeling a lot of pressure on my pelvis, really overwhelming pressure during the contraction.  At the time I did think that it was due to my relaxation that I was handling the contractions. In retrospect, I am not exactly sure. End BOP

I kept going thinking that with strong contractions like these I must be near transition time and then I just have to get to 10 cm.

Around 4-5 am I started getting really tired. I hadn’t really slept the night before and here I was another night dealing with strong frequent contractions. I remember thinking that I’d take the pain so much better if I could just sleep. All I wanted was to put my head down and sleep, which is sort of weird when you’re in pain lol However, I was getting really worn out…. I’d slump over the bed and close my eyes and just wait for the contraction while I half slept in the meantime.

Soon enough I started thinking about an epidural. I voiced it to my husband who had been trained to know that it’s an emotional signpost meaning “I’m close to transition”. I knew that too but I was also soooo sleepy and tired I wasn’t sure I could take much longer of the same intensity. He held me off for a while and then we made a deal: I get checked for progress and then we go from there.


 Birth Story Part II

Sharing is caring!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    March 6, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    A cliffhanger!! So cruel!!!

    • Reply
      Lily McDowall
      March 7, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      Haha, that’s exactly what I just thought as soon as finishing!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Beautifully written! But a total cliffhanger 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    March 6, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    AHHHH!!! Can’t believe there is a part 2, the suspense is killing me! Love it!

  • Reply
    Heather @Cookies For Breakfast
    March 6, 2012 at 8:00 PM

    Ahh the suspense is killing me!! I’ll be counting the minutes until Thursday – can’t wait to hear the rest! Also love how you have pictures of the entire experience – we have a few, but I wish we had more. That’s probably the #1 thing I’ve learned since having a baby – TAKE MORE PICTURES! 🙂

  • Reply
    March 6, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    Really interesting so far! Can’t wait to read the rest of it. I’m glad you were open to a lot of different options as long as you ended up with a healthy baby.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    I tumbled across your blog last night, and I am already hooked! Congratulations on Alexis, she is beyond beautiful! I can’t wait to read through all of your pregnancy entries and follow early motherhood. I am currently almost 5 weeks pregnant, and look forward to learning so much from you! I do have one question unrelated to this particular post. I came across your blog looking up high hcg levels in early pregnancy and noticed that you had this happen to you as well. It’s something I’m concerned about, but I was somewhat relieved after seeing everything turned out great with Alexis. Did your doctors ever tell you why your HCG levels go so high?

    Sorry for the long question, but so excited to have found you!!

    • Reply
      March 7, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      I had high hcg levels as well and everything turned out just fine. I did find in research and such that possibly you start out pregnant with twins and only one develops into a viable pregnancy. I think this may have been true for me since I started spotting at five weeks and was sure I was miscarrying, only to find everything was fine with my baby. My hcg levels then leveled back to “normal”. My son is now one years old and perfectly beautiful and healthy.

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 7, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      Gwen, thank you for your sweet words and congrats in your pregnancy.

      High hcg levels are rarely of concern. They can signify a twin pregnancy but often don’t. I found a resource that cited a study that showed that the higher your Hcg levels are the stronger your pregnancy is and the lower your chances of a miscarriage. I really wouldn’t be concerned.
      I never had any bleeding (1 spot of old blood after a work out) so not sure if twins was the explanation for my levels.

      Good luck!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 10:19 AM

    Thank u for sharing it!
    Better than Hitchcock & Agatha Cristie combined 😀
    Can’t wait for Part II.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    You really ended it with a climatic point there! I can’t wait for Thursday to find out how the rest of your labor went! Thank you so much for sharing all of this information. I think it’s important for there to be an open and honest place for women to find others experiences with such a natural part of life. Thank you for providing that!

    • Reply
      March 7, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      I discovered your blog last summer and followed it throughout my pregnancy (and for the four months since my little wonder arrived). I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to get around to posting but better late than never I suppose. Anyhow many, many congrats and I’m looking forward to reading part II on Thursday!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    Wonderfully written and detailed! I can’t wait to read more 🙂 I wish I’d taken a bit more time with writing and posting mine now, because I love how thourough yours is. You will always be able to go back and relive this magical experience and have it play out fresh in your mind thanks to your excellent writing! 🙂 I’m embarrassed to admit I still haven’t even posted some last parts to mine. Ah well! Maybe some day…

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Eeep, the suspense!!

  • Reply
    March 7, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    omg reading this made me thank my lucky stars i needed a c section!! thanks for sharing

    • Reply
      March 8, 2012 at 3:07 PM

      lol Elle I have to agree. I went in to the hospital, prepped, surgery and holding and nursing a few hours later. It was kind of relaxing. Even the pain after was bearable.

      Love the beginning of the story… part II soon!!!

  • Reply
    The Art of Making a Baby » Blog Archive Birth Story Part 2 | The Art of Making a Baby_The Art of Making a Baby
    March 8, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    […] Birth Story Part 2 8 Mar 2012 by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby, No Comments » TweetBefore reading Part II, please read Birth Story Part I […]

  • Reply
    March 8, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    I have to ask what this means:

    We were fine to labor however we wanted, use birth ball, wear whatever we want, eat and drink, have 20 min on and off monitoring, no cervical checks, etc

    “We”? You were both getting cervical checks??

    • Reply
      Elena @The Art of Making a Baby
      March 8, 2012 at 5:39 PM

      It means my husband was as much a part of this whole process as I was, starting from conception all throughout pregnancy and in labor and delivery as well as now taking care of Alexis. So yeah it’s we- I didn’t consider myself laboring on my own. We were a team.

  • Reply
    August 29, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Catching up on your archives… can’t wait to read more, but I just wanted to say THANKS for mentioning pretty pushers. I’d never heard of these gowns. Such a cute idea! I just added one to my amazon baby registry and ordered one for my friend who’s also expecting. Yay!

  • Reply
    » Welcoming Fall 2012
    September 18, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    […] of course, but it’s mothers speaking from personal experience that gets us really excited! If you missed the stunning photography and birth story on The Art of Making a Baby, please take a lo… Special thanks to A Year Without Mom and Dad for the great review and giveaway that made last month […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.