Thursday, December 15, 2011

Abram's Birth Story

Best. Birth. Ever.

Okay, maybe not, because I didn’t experience one of those crazy “orgasmic” births that I’ve heard about (thank goodness – that’s a little too weird for me), but I really don’t think it could have gone any better!
I noticed the first contraction at 7:45 a.m. on Monday, November 28. I thought it was just one of those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions again, sent forth to get me all excited about nothing. Then I noticed another one at 8:00. And then 8:15.

Hmm…every 15 minutes, I thought. Well, that’s weird. They never did that before.
But they were completely painless. Absurdly painless. Not even uncomfortable. They continued like that all day. Hannah and I went to have lunch with Daddy. I told him not to get his hopes up because it was probably just a fluke…but maybe it meant it would happen in the next few days.

(I never experienced contractions like these on my own with the first labor. My water broke, and I ended up on Pitocin to speed things along. That’s why I seem so naïve/in denial in this story.) J
By suppertime the contractions were around 8 minutes apart and a little more noticeable, but I still wasn’t convinced that it was the real thing. (Yes, I know, I’m ridiculous.)

By bedtime we decided to get some sleep and figured if I really was in labor, things would probably pick up later in the night. The second I laid my head on my pillow, I had my first intense contraction. I had to breathe through it. Clint said, “I don’t think we’re going to get any sleep if you keep that up.”
They started coming about 4-5 minutes apart, and I finally called the midwife around 11:30 p.m. She was already at the birth center and said to come in whenever I was ready. We loaded up everything – including our poor, sleepy little Hannah – and arrived at the birth center at about 12:30 a.m. I hurried inside in between contractions and sat down just as one hit. The midwife said, “Oh wow, she’s serious.” (She had just sent someone home who’d had a false alarm.)

Our friend Jen met us there to keep an eye on Hannah, who by then was wired and totally excited about this middle-of-the-night adventure. They stayed in the waiting area, and Clint and I headed to the birthing suite. Turns out I was seven centimeters dilated. I was definitely having a baby, and soon.
Clint started filling the tub for me while I walked around a little and concentrated on breathing. I pictured Hannah’s face during each contraction, which actually really worked to take my focus off the pain. Meanwhile the midwife was running around like crazy while trying not to look like she was running around like crazy. A few times she called the nurse, who was on her way, and basically said, “Hurry.” I was excited because I knew I must be closer than I even realized.

Natural Birth Breathing Through Contractions
Sibling Love
By the time the tub was filled, the contractions were getting pretty painful. I labored in the tub for maybe twenty minutes and started feeling pressure. I had considered delivering in the tub, but by then I was in a lot of pain and couldn’t get into a comfortable position. I decided to move to the bed, and the nurse arrived just as it was time to push.
I’m glad that part doesn’t last very long. Talk about intense. I growled like a mama bear through several pushes, and then the midwife checked Abram’s heartbeat and said, “Okay, let’s get this baby out.” So I got serious.

One final, major push.

And then there he was. My son. He looked so much like his sister. I wondered what she would think of him. When she was brought to the room to meet him, she simply smiled and said, “Hi, Baby Brother.” I don’t think I’ve ever felt more blessed than at that moment.

I’m thrilled to have gotten the natural birth I wanted, but more importantly, I’m so thankful for such a smooth, uncomplicated labor and delivery. He’s here and beautiful, and we’re all healthy. I have nothing else on my Christmas wish list this year. Except a little extra sleep. ;)


  1. Aw! Fifty minutes from arrival at the center to... well, arrival! It was incredible and amazing! I had Hannah listen from the waiting room for the first little cries. We heard them at 1:26. I said, "Listen, Hannah, that's your little brother - that's Abram! He's here!" She got a big smile on her face and could barely wait to get in there; she just kept saying, "Go see him? Go see him?" It made my year to be part of that!

  2. Thank you, Molly! I was super pleased with how it went.
    Jennifer, that is so awesome! I love that kid so much, and I'm sure her brother will be just as great. :) I'm glad you got to be a part of it.