Sunday, May 10, 2009

To the Generations of Mothers of the World

I have been trying to decide how to properly or best record the story of the birth of Noble. I have wonderful photos to share that almost tell the story all on their own. I have a great time table to tell the facts of what happened when and how I was feeling at each moment. I have a mirrored perspective of this experience as compared to our last experience at that hospital. And, with a few days perspective behind me, I have some thoughts and reflections I want to record about my "natural" birth experience. So bear with me in what I am sure will prove to be a rather lengthy post. I just want to get all of this recorded before it fades from my mind. If I can't finish today maybe I will do a few posts on this and put my reflections down a different way tomorrow.

Thursday May 7, 2009 8:55 a.m. - I have just gotten Sabrina off to school. I am still very pregnant. I haven't had any major contractions for a couple of days. I have been trying to kick myself into labor but nothing seems to help much except having my doctor "check" me. She is pretty rough about it and I always seem to have contractions for a day or two after she "checks" me. I am trying to decide whether to call and see if she will check me one last time and irritate my cervix in a last ditch effort to go into labor on my own and avoid having to be induced once again. I decide that the effort is worth the pain and make the call. I get a 2 p.m. appointment.

2:00 p.m. I go to my appointment where the staff is shocked to see I am still pregnant. They have already switched my chart to a "non pregnant" color because they were so sure I would have had the baby by now. I think "yeah right. me? go in on my own? I will probably still be pregnant come Sunday."

The doctor checks me and it actually doesn't hurt as bad as it has every other time. She gets wide eyes and tells me I am a 5 to 6 dilation. She says I am going to have this baby sooner than I think. I have heard that before. I discount it. She asks if I want her to irritate my cervix one more time. I figure why not? She does it again and it still doesn't hurt nearly as much as it has in the past. This time she says I am a 6 to 7 ... no I am fully a 7 and I am scaring her. She wonders how I am walking around and tells me I need to go to the hospital. She asks if I want her to break my water right there. I tell her no. I am still not really believing all this. I mean how can I be a 7? I am not even in pain. I tell her I will go home to walk some and think about it and hopefully see her tonight to have a baby.

3:00 p.m.  I call my parents, my in laws, and Jonathan to tell them the news on my way to the school to pick up the kids. Jon says "yeah right. You aren't having a baby tonight. Come home." My parents plan to head over to help with the girls. I call my friend Bari (she agreed to come act as my doula) and my friend Janelle (she is a labor and delivery nurse at my hospital and agreed to be my nurse for this birth.) They both say to stay home as long as I can, especially since I am not in pain and not having regular contractions. I tell them I will call them when I am.

I go home and pack all my last minute things for the hospital. Jon keeps wondering what the hurry is. It isn't like I am in labor. I take a bath and my parents arrive. We make dinner and watch a ball game.

5:00 p.m.  I have been home walking around my house and drinking water and eating some dinner. My contractions are hard for me to time but they are stronger and seem more frequent. My friend Janelle comes over to the house to check my cervix for me. She says I really am fully a 7 with a bulging bag of water and that I should head to the hospital. 

My dad stays with Lauren who has fallen asleep on a rocking chair watching the game. Sabrina, Annie, Jon, my mom and I head to the hospital. Janelle will meet us there.

6:00 p.m. We check in at the hospital and Janelle is there with our paperwork ready. She hooks me up to the monitors for 20 minutes. My contractions are about every 5 minutes but only one out of three is really strong. The strong ones I feel but they don't hurt. The monitor tracking their intensity records them "off the chart" intense. I find this curious and figure it must be because my water isn't yet broken. 
Here is Ann Marie very excited to finally be at the hospital to see the baby born.

After 20 minutes of monitoring, I begin walking the halls with my mom. We walk till my legs are tired (30 - 40 minutes) and then head back to the room. Janelle hooks me up with an IV lock in case I need an IV for any reason. My friend Bari heads to Target to get a birth ball for me. 

8:00 p.m. My doctor shows up. She checks me and my water breaks in the process. She says I am complete on one side with just a lip of cervix on the other side. Should be soon now. I blog that I am about to have a baby and wait in terror for the next set of contractions. 

My doctor, Michelle Lewis, eats a popsicle with Sabrina (in the lower right corner). She is ready for me to start pushing anytime.
Here I am blogging my post about my water being broken. Janelle is on the phone behind me.

The next set of contractions are a little bit more intense but still not bad. I am still a little scared but the fear is leaving me as I see I am able to handle this pain level rather easily. I do have to focus during the contractions now but I am still smiling and laughing between.

Here I am focusing during a contraction on the birth ball. Annie and Dado are giving me air in my hair with the pump. I was too focused to realize they were doing this.

This is my "focus" object. A necklace a friend of friend made for me after Camille passed away. It has a picture of the two of us on it. I know she will help me through this.

The contractions continue to get stronger and I am really working through them. Janelle checks me after my doctor steps out to help a colleague with a C Section. She says I am an 8 on one side and totally dilated on the back side. I am feeling the contractions totally in my back. I turn over on my hands and knees for a bit to see if the baby will turn around and face the right way. It works and the pain transfers back to my belly. 

I feel the contractions change to the "transition" type of contractions and I really have to breathe through them focusing on relaxing my body. They are about every 2-3 minutes now. My lips are dry and I am eating ice chips. I am getting tired.

9:30 p.m. My doctor comes back and checks me again. She says I still have a bit of lip on one side but that it is really elastic and she thinks I will be fine to just start pushing. I have no urge to push. I feel no pressure. I usually feel pressure with my epidural. I thought when you don't have the epidural you are supposed to "know" when to push. I am scared to wear myself out pushing too soon. I have done that before. I prefer to let the baby come down on his own and push when I feel the need. But somehow it seems that could take all night this time. I decide to give a few pushes a try and see how it feels. 

9:45 p.m.  I am gentle in my pushing. I am a little scared of pushing so soon. Between pushes I am smiling and happy to see the best coach ever encouraging me on. Ann Marie has the doctor gloves on and is standing next to the doctor. She is giving me thumbs up and counting the pushes for me and motioning with her arms like an air traffic controller to tell me to bring that baby on out. She is seriously WAY too cute.

My little doctor coach helping me push.

I am pushing and everyone is telling me I am doing great and the baby is almost here. It is only an inch from crowning. They say they can almost see his head. I still can't feel any urge to push and I feel no pressure. Why can't I feel him if he is really so close to coming out? I mean I definitely feel the pain of the contractions but why no urge to push? I ask for the mirror so I can see. (this proves to be big mistake.) 

9:50 p.m. They adjust the mirror so I can see. I see nothing. I push twice more and still see no head. Janelle tells me not to look at the mirror because it is not helping. Everyone is telling me I can do this and that the baby is almost here. I lose all confidence. I lose all rational thought. I lose myself and become a crazy lady. 

I am sure they are all just saying that I am doing great to try to keep my spirits up. The baby (if there really is a baby in there), must be still way high if I can't even feel him yet. This could take all night. How many shows have I watched where all the nurses and people are telling the mom she is doing great and the baby is almost here and an hour or two later she is still pushing. Too many. No. I can't do this. I start to scream through the contractions and tell my mom to take the girls out. I don't want them to see me go crazy. I start bawling and tell everyone I can't do this. I have changed my mind. I want an epidural. I can breathe through the contractions. I just can't push. I am too tired. 

My doctor puts her fingers in to help open the way for the baby to come down. I yell at her. That really hurts. I insist on an epidural. She looks to a nurse and nods. Then she tells me she is having the nurse call about the epidural but she wants me to push just one more time before it gets here.  (A very clever lie.) 

I am in another world. I have completely checked out. Someone else takes over in my body and decides to follow the doctors orders and push. She pushes with everything left in me and suddenly I feel the baby's head at my tailbone. My eyes are closed but he must be crowning. The nurse behind me says if I push it will counteract the pain. I realize the end is really in sight. I am mad at the pain and done with all of this mess. I am mad that I turned into crazy lady and that I couldn't control myself enough to feel comfortable letting my kids stay for the birth. All of that madness channels itself into the next contraction and in less than 2 seconds the whole of the baby is shot out of my body and into the doctors arms and then up onto my chest.
10:01 p.m. I open my eyes to see that my doctor has jumped up on the bed with me and her eyes are full of the fire of excitement. She is a great cheerleader. She helped me feel the pressure to push with her hands in those last two pushes. She is the reason the baby is out. I love my doctor. I love whoever it was that entered my body and made it push. 
I am still hurting though. I thought the pain was supposed to be gone as soon as the baby came out. I am still crying as I look at my son for the first time. I am hurting too much to hold him but I do take a moment to touch him and see his cute face. 

We cry together. 

He is taken away to be cleaned up and weighed and all that. Here he is weighing in at 8 lbs. 12.4 ozs. Meanwhile I am still laboring in my bed to deliver a placenta bigger than a honeydew melon and swearing that next time I am getting myself one BIG FAT epidural. I continue in this frame of mind all through the sewing up of my 2nd degree tearing. I feel most of the that process too despite the numbing shots. Is there an end to the pain? I am then hooked up to an IV to get Pitocin to contract my uterus back down and get my bleeding under control. Finally it is picture time.
Here are the angels that helped me through my own personal Gethsemane. 
After about an hour I am able to enjoy a few peaceful, tender hours with my newborn son and the unseen angels who helped the two of us through this most painful transition. I spend a good portion of the night enjoying their presence. 

I have contractions every 10 minutes or so till about 3 a.m. (Where is my epidural now?) Between the contractions, the nursing, the hospital interruptions, the trips to the bathroom, and the sheer adrenaline I only sleep from 5 to 6 a.m. The rest of my time is spent in shock and wonder at the reality of this all.

A few thoughts:
Opposite Expectations: This birth proved to be the opposite of everything I expected. I expected I would have to be induced. I expected the dilating part of labor to be hard and tiring. It totally wasn't. I expected transition to be part of labor where I was most likely to lose my mind and ask for the epidural. I was totally fine through this part mentally. I knew I could handle that pain. I expected to want to push - to feel an overwhelming urge to push - to know how to push. Nothing there. I expected to be able to keep my head and that if I got into too much pain I would internalize it. I did NOT expect to turn into crazy lady. Highly disappointed with myself for that one.  I expected to have a feeling of high after the baby was born. No didn't get that. Was still just hurting too much. I expected to recover much faster. No. I think my tearing was worse because I pushed the baby out too fast. This has been my worst recovery since Sabrina. I have torn every time but the other 3 were really quick to heal. I was ready to go dancing the next day. Sabrina it took 10 weeks (that was really a bad one) and this one I am feeling better now 3 days later. 

Would I ever do it without drugs again?: Hmmm. No. Mostly because of the after birth part. I like being able to enjoy seeing my child right after they are born because I don't feel any pain. I like being able to be patient in the pushing part so I don't tear as much. I like not feeling the delivery of the placenta or the stitching up of my tear or the first after birth contractions or the pushing on my uterus to check it etc... If all the pain ended when the baby came out I would certainly consider doing natural again. But, next time I want my kids to be able to be there and be sure I won't turn into crazy lady and I want to be able to enjoy my baby as soon as he or she comes out. But I am glad I did it once and especially this time.

In Comparison: I am very grateful for this experience. I found it cathartic. I found it interesting how similar the things that came out of my crazy lady mouth were to the day of Camille's accident in the consolation room. I am sure I was in somewhat of a "crazy lady" state that day too. Both events changed my life forever. Both were incredibly painful. Both were highly spiritual and attended by angels I could powerfully feel. Both were experiences I learned a great deal from. Both are experiences I never want to have again.

What I gained: I have a whole new perspective and respect for mothers through the ages. I have a new respect and appreciation for my own mother and what she went through in bringing me into the world. I realize all too vividly that I had a really easy time with this labor. I really don't know that I could have endured what so many women do in hours and hours of hard contractions and hours of pushing after. 

After Camille's death I have thought to myself SO many many times, "generations of women have felt this pain and endured it. They are all united with you in this grief." There is a certain comfort in being connected to these valiant strong women who have passed through this veil of sorrow in losing a child. Now I also feel connected to the "generations" of women who have passed through the valley of the shadow of death to bring a life into this world.

I am completely amazed that life has been perpetuated by these generations of strong, brave, powerful women. Seriously. This was my 5th kid. My labor was short and relatively painless up until the last 2 hours. How a woman does this with her first labor - the one most frequently the longest and most difficult - and ever is able to think of having another kid ... Well it just must be a heavy dose of Heavenly Amnesia that allows for that.

So this post is dedicated to all the mothers out there. I am newly in awe of mothers on this most special Mother's Day.


Diana...aka...MeMe said...

Happy Mothers Day Stpehanie! I had all 4 naturally, my first labor only being 4 hours long. The second was 2 hours and the 3rd and 4th only about 30 minutes. I know if I had gone longer the first time, I would have opted for mediciation!! Your story telling amazes me-- keeps me wanting more. Will you write a book? I remember you did a poll once about writing a book. Your pictures say a thousand words-- a priceless keepsake. Thank you for sharing this precious miracle with us. I, as a mother, am proud of you! Enjoy the rest of this special Mothers Day.

Nelson Family said...

Thank you so much for sharing that miracle story with all of us. You are an amazing woman and I have admired you through the many months of following your blog. I have had 3 children naturally and 1 with an epidural. I really prefer the natural child birth, but I know each experience is so different. You are a brave and valiant daughter of God and I pray that he sends blessings your way as you go through the hormonal changes of the next several weeks. You are amazing. Once again, thank you for letting me learn through you.

Rach said...


That was so beautifully written. Thank you so much for sharing this part of you with us.

Happy Mother's Day. :o)

Anonymous said...


i mean, wow.

what a beautiful treasure you will have with your documenting of this birth! what an amazing story and so nicely written. the highlight for me was hearing about the angels attending the entire event, what a miracle.

happy mother's day to you.... and a healthy recovery as well.

Anonymous said...

I love how you have documented this! Congratulations!! We are so happy for you! I agree with you that Dr. Lewis is awesome- she was my dr. with Thomas! I appreciate your candidness about it all- even knowing that you would not want to do it again without an epidural. Bravo to you for doing it, though! I think you are amazing! Enjoy all things blue (as in Baby Boy Blue!)

Laura Allen

shanan said...

The length of your post didn't matter at all. How great to be able document your experience like this - and thank you for sharing it with us. I know I've told you before - but, please be reminded that you are an amazing woman!

Much love,

a.k.a. Jack said...

So "crazy lady", you did it! Maggi and I both thought we could keep our cool too. Ha! Crazy lady-ness I believe to be unavoidable in natural child birth. So, don't feel bad. I think we all hit the "I want an epidural NOW!!!" stage. That's why having a doctor and nurses supportive of your decision to do it natural is so important. I'm glad your doctor was so "tricky" as you put it. As for the "high" you were expecting: From my experiences, the high is much more prominent with longer labors. Ben's 30 hour labor left me with an extreme high afterward. Jesse's shorter labor (only about 5 hours of real pain) didn't have such an impact (although it was still followed by the peaceful and spiritual night hours that you experienced with this birth). Sounds like you were as amazing with this feat as you have been in the rest of your life. Congratulations! I'm so proud of you. You are one strong chica! Love you.

sarah s. said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us Steph. I know I have been dying to know how it all went. I am so happy you are both happy and healthy and home! Such a blessing! You are so analytical- just days later and you have already broken the whole situation down. I admire you for that. Don't worry about the "crazy lady" part- you were giving birth- any reaction is an okay reaction! Congratulations- I hope you feel the support of your angels and of all of us! Happy Mother's Day!

Nannette said...

Well, you did it! Congrats! I have found that in those last few moments, you have no control over what comes out your mouth (I always yell...ow, ow ow) I'm sorry some parts were hard, but I am glad you were able to do it so that you could have the experience. Your baby is very cute! Happy Mother's day!

Samantha said...

We are in awe of you Stephanie! Congrats again on the birth of your son and happy happy Mother's Day!

Noorda Notebook said...

those pictures tell the story so well. who took all of those for you? i love the one with the keyboard on your tummy! ha! you were blogging while in labor. so awesome.

Steph K said...

Beautiful pictures, beautiful story, beautiful baby, beautiful MOTHER!

Susy said...

he is just beautiful....they are always worth the pain....and the tears.... even when they get older!

kathyrn_m said...

Happy Mother's Day, my dear friend.To me, you epitomize motherhood and all it entails -- with or without an epidural.

With the exception of a few "sniffs" of trilene gas with my first, I had all natural childbirths -- mainly because of quick labors. I was in labor 6 hours TOTAL with my four children.

I was 8 days overdue with Haylee and feeling pressure but no pains - since my labor the year before lasted all of 45 minutes (luckily I had gone to the hospital a few hours earlier because of "seeping" and an impending blizzard), I thought it prudent to head to the hospital.

I arrived at 12:30 and immediately was settled into the birthing bed -- I had been pre-registered as I worked in that hospital - when the nurse checked me at 12:36, it caused my water to break and I had my first contaction. I was 4 cms. dilated. When I began grunting after my 3rd contraction, they checked me again and I was fully dilated. They called a "Code Red" (unattended birth) and none of the 5 doctors in the hospital made it to the deliveryroom for her birth at 12:52.

Most everyone envied me my 16 minute labor but it was actually the worst delivery of all four -- with the other 3, I remembered the pushing as feeling really good (totally painless) - however, with Haylee, I was severely nauseated and totally a "crazy lady" because things were spiralling and no doctor was present.

The cord was wrapped tightly twice around her neck and had to be cut before her body could be delivered - I was totally beside myself -- the nurses did a heroic job but the cord would have been cut sooner had a doctor been there - as it was, they had to wait for the nursing supervisor to do it. This protocol was changed shortly after. What was probably less than a minute seemed like an eternity to me.

As a result of the delay, Haylee was born "flat" -- what I remember most is screaming that the video camera be turned off as the supervisor and staff frantically resusitated her - her 1 minute Apgar was 3 which is when a doctor finally arrived. Thankfully, it rose to 7 by 5 and to 9 by 10 minutes. I often wondered if the anoxia at birth contributed to her present difficulties.

Long story short: I guess I am telling you I can truly empathsize with your "crazy lady mode". While the circumstances may have been different, it is NOT a fun place to be. I was told I would likely have another precipitous labor & delivery yet I was in no way prepared for the experience as it actually played out.

It may have been short but it was in no way sweet. Much too fast -- I had no time to prepare physically, mentally or emotionally. Like you, I am a planner and all the happenings were so far afield of my expectations that I couldn't find a "safe place" in my mind so "crazy lady" came to my rescue.

After reading your account, it seems to me that things weren't "adding up" to you -- obviously, I can't speak for you but I have a real need to know what is happening and, even moreso, what is going to happen.

Those 16 minutes between my first contraction & her birth were the most unpleasant of all my labors combined.

You did an amazing job of birthing your son and chronicaling it to share with us all. You've done an amazing job of sorting it out in such a short time. You have a gift for giving meaning to events and your words paint pictures.

I am looking forward to more pics and seeing whether Noble has your wonderful hairline. [no slight intended, Jonathon - I just love your wife's hairline - hehehe]

Much love 'n hugs to all,

PS: Annie was an awesome air-traffic controller:-)

Nan said...

Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Mother's Day! Dr Lewis is my Dr. too and she is AMAZING! Honestly a true cheerleader:) I'm so proud of you for getting through it without drugs but even more proud that you can say (without feeling guilty) that you wouldn't do it again:) I would never imagine having babies without an epidural. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy!

Bacardi Mama said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story to end my Mother's Day. Congratulations! Your son is perfect.

Olsens R Us said...


Thank-you for eloquently describing what so many of us have felt....the crazy lady phase of natural childbirth! I still remember so vividly crying and crazily yelling at my husband during the pushing stage of the delivery of my 6th child about how stupid I was to NOT TAKE THE EPIDURAL WHEN THEY OFFERED IT! :) However, I like you, am grateful to have had the experience. I too felt the connection to woman throughout the ages who had done this is much less favorable conditions, and survived. But I when I had my 7th, I was dilated to nearly a 5 when I walked into the hospital, with hardly any contractions and had the epidural before I felt a thing! This time around ( due in Oct) I plan to allow some of the pain (believe it or not I missed that part of the process somehow with my "painless" one!) and then get the epidural before the worst of it kicks in. Don't be too hard on yourself for being the crazy lady. It sounds like you did great. Again, thanks for being so open and honest with all of us. You are truly a gift.


Amanda said...

Happy Mother's Day Steph! You are an awesome writer. The fact that you are already talking about "next time" is amazing! You rock in so many ways! I want to be just like you when I grow up;-) Enjoy your baby son!! XOXOXOX

Megan D. said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences! I had my last baby naturally (not on purpose might I add) and it brought back so many memories. Again your beautiful style of writing has uplifted my spirit and put things into an eternal perspective. Thank you again for your unwavering testimony of all that is eternal! Happy Mothers Day!

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Stephanie. I read every word of your post and appreciate - as always - your directness and honesty.

Love to you all and especially to little Noble. He looks beautiful.



OneFitLady said...

Happy Mother's Day! Thanks for sharing your story and pictures.

I think all of us who have been through a "natural"(drug-free) delivery know what it means to be a "crazy lady". With my 5th, I was so out of control that I took a swing at my wonderful nurse when she tried to check me. Luckily, my husband saw it coming and grabbed my arm before my fist connected with her face. It was not pretty.

It is such an empowering experience, though and I hope you feel the amazing strength you earned through this experience.

Noble is beautiful...I mean handsome!

Melissa-Mc said...

I can't believe how similar our 5th labors were. It was also my first natural birth. I remember being so calm and in control until pushing time and then I was screaming at the top of my lungs. As soon as he was born I kept waiting for the "immediate" pain relief that everone had promised me and it still hurt for so long and I felt mad about it.

Good job, mom! You've brought another "noble" spirit into the world. Hooray for all the angels and heavenly help we receive. Happy Mothers Day!

MM said...

Happy Happy Mothers Day - As a faithful lurker to your blog, you show such a warmth that I think some of us forget sometimes.

You did so great and I am so proud of you!

Anonymous said...

I love the detail that you put in documenting this experience. This has made me wish I had written down more when it was so fresh in my mind, I love personal history and journaling and you inspire me to do better. Enjoy your new baby boy - congratulations!!

Kara Jayne said...


Even though I haven't commented for months, I want you to know that I read every post and keep you and you family in my prayers often.

My best mother's day gift was seeing that you chose the necklace I made you as your focus object. I'm so glad you like it. It made me feel a part of something wonderful.

Congratulations on a beautiful baby boy. You will be surprised at how hard and fast you will fall in love with him. I'm so happy for you and your beautiful family.

Welcome Noble...what a blessed boy.

Stacy said...

Congratulations on your new addition. I have followed your blog since shortly after your Camille died. I really don't even remember how I found it. Having a baby's cries in your home again must create a whole mix of emotions for will be in my prayers as you have been many times before. BTW...this post brought back many memories for me. I pushed for 3 1/2 hours straight with my first son before them doing an emergency c-section. I still think I was closer to death than most people understand, as they were taking me to surgery I doubted whether I would make it. Glad to hear someone else use that same analogy...makes me feel a little less crazy!

Amanda said...

You are always so eloquent in your writing. I was crying right along with you. Whoever took the photos did an amazing job.

You are such an amazingly strong woman and I admire you so much for your strength and courage.

Bless you.

Becky said...

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for such a wonderful mother's day post. I am still in tears from reading your words. What a beautiful experience you had and I am grateful that you shared it with us. Happy Mother's Day. I appreciate all of your heart felt posts every time you post. You are wonderful.

Steph said...

As a mom who has delivered both of my children sans drugs, I know the crazy lady feeling! And the worst part is after the baby is delivered!! The placenta, the stitches, etc... I remember screaming at my dr with my first child and my husband said "What is wrong? You already delivered the baby? THis should be the easy part!" Oh, so little do they know!!!

Thank you for sharing your life. YOu are such a great example.

kathryn_m said...

Hi again, Stephanie:

I meant to add that I had no urge to push at all with my first -- may explain why she was a low forceps delivery. I was absolutely shocked with how ferocious the urge to push was with my second and subsequent deliveries.

I don't know the reason .. but, there you have it.

*Snuggles* for Noble.

janice said...

What a treat to read this story on Mother's Day. My oldest son's birthday coincided with mother's day this year. You brought so many precious memories of his birth to my recollection. I remember distinctly the feeling of angels attending. His was my only experience like that. (My other four, I was medicated)
Thank you for all your inspiration and realness. I've just realized what a role model you have become to me. I strive a little harder to attain the level of faith and obedience you possess. You are amazing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your personal birth story. I think you did great! You're an amazing woman, don't be too hard on yourself. Little Noble is adorable!! I'm so glad he's here and is healthy. I hope you feel better soon. Know that we all are thinking and praying for you and your sweet family. Congratulations!!!

janelle said...


It was great reading your side of the story! :) I know you don't believe me but you brought Noble into this life beautifully and perfectly! You needed to have the "give me an epidural" moment or it wouldn't have been a true natural delivery! :) Please don't discredit yourself. It was perfect and it was an honor to be there! I was crying and fervently praying for you and wanted to do so much more to take the pain away. I was torn on what I should do and how I should advocate. But I knew you could do it. I could feel an extra power enter the room when you didn't think you could go on any further. It really was an honor to be with you during this time!

I pray for your quick recovery! You amazed me, not that I was surprised, but you did! I am so proud of you and excited for the lessons you have learned and I am sure will learn from this experience.

I love you!

Jan S said...

That was SUCH a beautiful entry!! I agree with the first post...Please write a book or a book of your blogs! And you should be so proud of yourself, Steph, that you've now tried both natural childbirth and ones w/ an epidural. (But really..isn't ALL childbirth "natural," with the exception of a c-section?!?) I'm constantly amazed by your ability to take a life experience and turn it into such a touching, written account of your earthly, spiritual journey. Thank you for that! Your whole family is so gorgeous!

Jennie said...

Wow! You did it. I love this post, and your wisdom. Noble is beautiful and has a very fitting name. To come to your family at this time, he must be a very noble and special little boy. I feel like the after pains got worse with each child- I don't know if that's normal- but definitly how it was with me. I am proud that you were able to get through, and join the generations of Mothers of the world.

chanel said...

happiest mothers day! this was beautiful! you are amazing, and if you hadn't had a crazy lady moment I would quit believing once and for all you were even human! ;)

if you get a chance would you post your EXPERT advise on explaining childbirth/ sex/ and or anything you needed to to your girls for them to be there. I want so much to do it right, and I am sure you have an excellent approach. thanks!!!

Carli said...

Wow! You are a strong woman! I would never even attempt "natural"! Good for you though and now you have a beautiful baby! Great story. Hope you had a happy mother's day!

Leslie said...

Congratulations! He's beautiful!

Mimi's Toes said...

Wow to this Birth Story! I read every word and felt as though I was on the journey with you. What an experience! You are ONE AMAZING Momma! I loved how you inserted pictures of your journey.

April said...

wow, how amazing you are!

kh said...

Oh you're brave, Steph! Congrats. I'm glad he's here. And i LOVE the family photo. That is precious.

Anonymous said...

You have such a gift of expressing yourself. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Lisa said...

Congratulations on the birth of Noble! Yay for doing it natural like you wanted.

I, too, have hated the "crazy lady" of natural labor. My first child was an epidural/forceps. #2 - rapid labor 1.5 hours from water breaking to birth. #3, #4 - induced because of the rapid labor history. And those 2, I HATED the crazy lady. I thought it was because of the pitocin. I could handle it all until the pushing, then I just lost all control. I hated that feeling. So #5 actually wasn't induced, she came earlier. I was really excited to have more control, and STILL crazy lady. Transition and pushing just wasn't pleasant. I was hoping for a #2 birth everytime since, but each birth, of course, is different.

I have often thought of the women who have gone before me giving birth. It was very touching to hear you talk of the women who have gone before who have lost a child. That was powerful to me. I'm glad that thought has brought you comfort and strength. I know thinking of women birthing children helped me.

Thank you for sharing your birth story. I love birth stories. Thanks for letting me share mine, too.

StaceyT said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a beautiful story and a beautiful baby boy!! Im so happy for you and your family. Im not sure if I have ever left a comment but I have follwed your blog for almost a year.

p.s. Im SO glad you posted a picture of your friend/nurse Janelle.....I had my daughter in 2007 and Janelle was my nurse through my whole C-section but I never caught her name. She was SO nice and was by far my favorite nurse from the 3 days I was there =) My husband actually grew up with her brother but he could never remember her name after my daughter was born so it was hard to write about my favorite nurse in the birth story lol! Anyways just thought it was funny, its a small world sometimes! Congratulations again!!

D-9 said...

I loved your story. Congrats on your beautiful baby boy!
Happy Belated Mothers day!

Tami said...

Welcome to earth little Noble.
Congrats to the whole family. Stephanie, you really are amazing and an example to all of us. Your ability to write with such detail and feeling is just remarkable.
Thinking of you and sending love.
Joy's Mom

Mari Burgess said...

I know that you are busy with a new baby at home and everything, and I know you don't know me...but is there anyway I can email you? I would explain here, but seeing as you have hundreds of followers, I'd rather not make it too public. I promise I'm no stalker, we can go through a middle man if you'd email is

The Forney Four said...

thank you for sharing your journey with us. i am amazed that you did this. the picture of you holding that necklace of camille, just brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations!!!!

Davis family said...

Congratulations. What a beautiful real life story. You are amazing to me, each day when I read your posts I feel so in awe of you. Thank You for sharing your story. Happy Mother's day-a little late!

Chelsea said...

wow. i'm in awe. i think you have me convinced to do the next one w/o an epidural, even with your reservations. i just thought this was a powerful birth story.

Darleen said...

What an amazing experience! And to have little Camille there with you helping you through the process (I'm sure she was one of your angels). Interesting perceptive on natural birthing.

Darleen said... you remember me having Stella? I pushed for 3 1/2 hours with no medication. I know that pain--it's scary and frightening. The closely thing to death for me. I was crying with joy when they wheeled me into the surgery room for a C-section. I remember being a crazy lady as I was pushing--like REALLY crazy. I swore I was never going to have another child.

Heather B said...

What an amazing story. I was really understanding where you were coming from about not being able to enjoy the baby after the birth because it still hurt so much. I had an epidural that wore off for the last two hours, and I remember how shocked I was to feel like "a bomb had gone off" down there, and the stitching afterwards, everything...anyway, I really enjoyed reading your birth story, it was very touching and I learned from it. Thank you for sharing it, and congratulations, he is absolutely beautiful. And so big and healthy! Yay!

Amy Jones said...

First if all congrats! beautiful baby and love the name.
I am sorry you were disappointed with your experience, though. It's indictative of not waiting for the urge to push, though, and you end up having a lot of unnecessary postpartum pain when you are forcing your body to push, rather than just waiting for the urge, which can take hours to come sometimes, but there is not elevated risks to wait. Your body that knows how to conceive and grow the baby will tell you how to get it out if you surrender and don't force. For some reason we humans think we have evolved enough to know better than mother nature. Just wanted to clarify.
Most doctors haven't a clue the risks of forced pushing, since most of their patients force themselves to push and don't release the baby. The upside is that you did do your baby a tremendous favor sparing him unnecessary drugs to detox from, and you benefited clinically as well. In case you ever birth again, or for anyone else reading this, just be aware of that. Normal birth rarely happens in the hospital, even if it is natural, so to achieve as normal as possible birth in the hospital, you really need to hire a trained doula and educate yourself. Or just have a homebirth LOL. Midwives are the experts in normal.
Congrats again, Stephanie!