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Birth story: a boy named praise

25 June 2014

On Friday June 20th at 12:02 pm, our boy Judah David was born. It is so fitting that his name means “Praise” and “Beloved” (respectively) because as soon as we laid eyes on him, we were completely in love with him and praised God. That was a factor I hadn’t thought of when we named him. Such a blessing!

On Monday June 16th, I was 4 cm dilated and 50% effaced at my prenatal. (I wasn’t planning on getting another exam, but my doctor said she wanted to do one and I was too curious to build up the nerve to say no. During, though, I remembered one of the reasons I wanted to say no – Soooo uncomfortable!) I started bleeding a couple hours later and having more frequent and stronger contractions (these actually started the previous Thursday or Friday). It was exciting because my dear sister in law had her first, a beautiful daughter, on the 16th so I was hoping we’d have our babies on the same day. But Monday night passed. Tuesday, my contractions started following a pattern and, in the evening, my water broke. We didn’t go into the hospital for a couple reasons: 1. It was a slow leak, rather than a gush. So, we guessed it was a high, small break. (In fact, I kept leaking until Judah was born.) 2. I did not want to be induced and there was a risk of that. So, instead of going in, I tracked my temperature and Judah’s movement and if there had been any change, I would’ve gone in. Wednesday, my contractions started getting stronger throughout the afternoon. And Thursday, I had very mild, patternless contractions. Every time I sat down all week, no matter how strong or how frequent the contractions were, everything all but stopped. The week was very, very difficult emotionally and mildly difficult physically. By the time Thursday rolled around, I decided I wasn’t going to expect anything anymore and pretended everything was normal (with only minimal success).

That night, I was still really tense (there had been lots of tears shed throughout the week), so my sweet husband offered to read a bedtime story to me to help me relax. (The BFG.) While he was reading, around 11 pm, I felt a huge pop in my low abdomen and immediately after, the contractions that had been mild and patternless all day became quite strong and regular. Strong enough that I had to focus and around 5 minutes apart from the get go. I let David sleep for a couple hours without saying anything about the pop or contractions  – mostly because after a week of stop and start labor, I expected it to stop again. But it didn’t. So I woke him up around 1:30 or 2 and told him it was the real deal. And we decided to not labor much longer at home because I had already been 4 cm dilated for at least 4 days and things started out strong so we were sure it would be quick. After David sent out emails to the necessary people at his work and we called Julia, a friend studying to be a midwife who observed the birth, we headed out to the hospital. We got there around 3 am.

They put me in triage and did an exam and I was still at 4 cm but I was 80% effaced. We were surprised to learn that they don’t consider you in labor until your are 5 cm dilated so we stayed in triage until 5 am. While waiting, my contractions were so strong that I vomited a couple times, shed many tears, and vehemently informed David that if I ever met Eve, I’d punch her in the face. Pretty soon after arriving, my contractions started coming one after another with little (15 seconds or so) to no break. As you can imagine, the words “we can’t admit you until you are in labor” were very frustrating. (For all you Bradley people – I was already sure I couldn’t do it. So confusing.) Eventually they admitted me (at 4 1/2 cm) because I kept puking, crying, and begging to get in a tub. (Later, we found out I was the first person they admitted all night… that was frustrating, too. Triage sucks.)

When we got to the room, I got straight in the tub and the water felt so good. I stayed there for maybe an hour with David sitting next to me, coaching me through each contraction, which had started spacing back out. After awhile, he started getting a feeling that I was no longer progressing as I should so he encouraged me to get out of the tub. I immediately noticed how much more intense the contractions were out of the water.

When I got out, I was 7 cm dilated and 90% effaced. Soon, the contractions were right on top of each other again and I vomited again. (It is weird. Normally puking makes me really anxious but it didn’t at all while I was in labor. I guess I was too distracted!) I couldn’t find a position in which I was able focus the way I should so after watching me struggle through endless waves of contraction (I say singular contraction because there was LITERALLY no break.), the OB on duty suggested I use the squat bar. That was my saving grace. I alternated between squatting and rocking (and shouting things like “Dear Jesus, get me through this!”) during the peaks and sitting for the five to ten seconds (no joke) of managable pain, during which I would doze.

Somewhere in the next three hours, I told David I had decided we would adopt the rest of our children.

Around 8:30 am, I got the urge to push. They checked me and I was still only 7 cm dilated so I had to wait. Three long hours. Somewhere in here they checked me again because I kept insisting that I had to push. At that point I was 9 cm dilated but my cervix was swollen. After waiting some more, finally they decided to see if I could push with them holding my cervix out of the way because it was clear nothing was going to change except for my tolerance of humans and capability to keep not pushing (I’m going to be real… I did push some of the time just because my body was trying to push him out on its own and that was HORRIBLE). It worked a bit, but my cervix kept slipping back when they let go, so I had to wait for the doctor, who was catching another baby at the time, to find out if they were even going to let me push. After awhile, she came in and finally let me push, albeit with her holding my cervix back. Twenty to thirty minutes and a handful of contractions later, I had a beautiful little boy on my chest.

Judah was born with a fever and tachycardia (And I had a fever as well as an elevated white blood cell count). So we both had to have some tests done and they considered keeping us longer than the standard time to observe us. Thankfully, we both leveled out and they let is leave the next day.

Since then, we had to get Judah’s bilirubin tested four times (outside of the one time they tested it at the hospital before discharging us) because his jaundice kept getting worse.

David and I cannot express the joy Judah has brought us. He is such a blessing! Even despite the significantly effected sleep. :) Thank you, Jesus! :)

And I just want to say that I could not have done this without David. I wanted to give up from the moment they put me in triage, but he talked me through everything. He praised me when I needed to know I was doing well. He stood ground for me when nurses tried pushing for something I didn’t want. And he told people to leave me alone when I was overwhelmed. I have never had anyone help me so tremendously or stand up for me so vigilantly in my life. What a blessing to have my husband and son. :)

One Comment leave one →
  1. 27 July 2014 08:43

    Such a beautiful birth story. It sounds like you two did a great job together. Thanks for sharing.

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