February 22, 2015

Elle’s Birth Story Part 3…why hello there floor!

If you haven’t already, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of my birth story.  This is the last installment…I promise ๐Ÿ™‚

Natural Birth 3


As a quick recap, my labor stalled so we went home. I really hoped that returning to the peace and quiet of my house would let my body relax enough to get things going again…and boy did it!  The idea of a hot shower and my warm bed was so soothing to me.  I was just about to change out of my hospital clothes when all of a sudden my water broke.  Some people say that water breaking isn’t really like it is in the movies (with the giant gush), but for me it almost was.   I’m probably grossing some people out, but come on, this is a birth story…you have to expect some ickiness.

I was so concerned that with my water broken, things would pick up really quickly and I would hit transition in the car, so we re-packed the car in a frenzy and sped to the hospital.


They got me settled into a new room and the midwife came in to check on us.  We all shared a good laugh about how I was back 20 minutes after leaving…I guess being at home really did work!  Even though I wasn’t any better rested than when I’d left, I was in much better spirits.  My water had broken on its own and contractions were starting to pick back up again, all without me having to pump, climb stairs, or walk a marathon.  My body had taken the rest it needed and was ready to get back to work.  


After a bit of laboring around the room, my contractions became strong enough that I wanted to get in the tub.  My doula had already prepared the bathroom with dim lighting, a waterproof pillow (so nice to have), and super hot water….getting in the tub was incredible!  I was able to completely relax between contractions and the water helped with pain management.

Soon, my contractions became really intense and I had to start vocalizing….I tried to keep it low and made horse lip noises (it felt so silly, but it really does work in keeping you relaxed!)  I managed pretty well for a while, but before I knew it, things were getting really painful and I was starting to have a hard time remaining calm and peaceful.  I’m almost embarrassed to write about how I handled  this next part of labor (transition), but hey, labor is raw and hard and can turn you into a different person, but it’s still normal and beautiful. 


So here it goes… I asked my midwife to check me (mistake).  She told me I was 8cm and I just about lost it….I was really hoping to hear I was 9 or 10cm, but after seven hours of labor I’d only progressed 1cm.  The logical and educated me knows that it doesn’t matter how long it has taken you to progress…it can take you 20+ hours to get to 8cm and then just half an hour to get to 10 (me, for example), but the emotional part of me felt like I still had FOREVER to go.  My midwife told me to have my moment (and having it I was), and then refocus. 

I tried, but I was fighting a losing battle.  The contractions kept getting stronger, longer, and closer together (all good things and all signs that I was almost done), but I was not coping well.  Gone was the relaxed breathing and controlled vocalizations…I was now writhing in the water trying to find a workable position (there was none) and letting out high pitched squeals (some might call them screams).  The only thing that was helping me was my doula’s efforts to refocus me, and my sweet husband pouring hot water on my back.

 At some point, I decided I’d had enough of the bath tub, but as soon as I climbed out I fell to the floor with a major contraction.  And so begins the “on the floor” part of my labor.  Thankfully, my midwife had the foresight to spread out a waterproof sheet.

This was by far the craziest and most intense part of my labor…and by crazy, I mean I turned into a crazy lady.  I’m sure I scared some other laboring moms into getting an epidural.  I literally felt like I would go insane with pain. I knew I was full on in transition, and that pushing was just around the corner, but I saw no end in sight.  I screamed like a mad woman (yea, so much for the calm and peaceful birther I was convinced I would be)….I can’t tell you how many times I said “I’m going to die!!” and “I CAN’T DO THIS!!!”  (Side note:  I’m really not a dramatic or openly emotional person by nature.  I tend to be pretty quiet and reserved, but oh my word, transition brought out a side of me I’d never seen before.)


I very distinctly remember one contraction where I decided to try crawling around….being still didn’t help alleviate the pain, so I figured I’d try moving through it.  This is the phase I’ve named the “possessed hyena” stage, because that’s seriously what I felt like crawling around on the ground screaming like a mad woman.  My husband said that at one point he looked around the room thinking to himself “Ummm, is no one else concerned about this?”, but everyone else was calm and nonplussed so he decided this must be normal.  I was feeling really discouraged that I wasn’t dealing with the pain better, especially since I’d spent months preparing, but after discussing it with my midwife (several days after delivering), she said that for many women, once they hit transition, there is no managing the pain, there’s just surviving it until it’s over.  Thankfully, transition is usually very short.


And then, all of a sudden, it’s like a switch flipped.  Seriously, the pain just vanished and an immense and intense urge to push took over.  While the transition was awful, the pushing was amazing and so powerful.  I just stopped right where I was on my knees and started pushing.  After about 30 seconds (maybe 2 pushes?) I heard my doula say “head is out” and my midwife say “oh crap”.  Not because there was anything wrong with me or the baby, but because she hadn’t gotten her gloves on yet!  2 more pushes and our little Elle was born.  (She told me later that she does one “glove-less” delivery a year, and I was it). 

I cannot describe to you the immense relief I felt that it was finally over and I was getting to hold my sweet baby.  That last half hour of transition was the most painful, intense, and crazed thing I’d endured in my entire life and I was SO HAPPY to be done and SO READY to meet my little girl.


What happened after that is kind of a blur to me…lots of skin-to-skin and nursing (and cramping, oh my goodness the cramping), nurses pummeling my belly (seriously), attempts at sleeping, and a whole lot of reveling in what had just happened.  For days after giving birth, I felt like I was on an indescribable high. After 42 weeks of waiting, I had given birth and it was AMAZING.  Yes it was long (25 hours), but most of the contractions were totally manageable.  Yes, it was frustrating when it stalled, but that meant my body got a break.  Yes I experienced incredible pain, but really only the last half hour of it.  And it was drug free and complication free and I had a beautiful healthy little baby.  God was SO gracious to answer so many of my prayers.  I told Allen that I NEVER wanted to stop having babies!

(A few hours after giving birth and feeling amazing)

Birth Image 1a



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Iulia is a former educator turned stay-at-home mama of a spunky toddler and a squishy infant. With a touch of sass and a good dose of self-deprecating humor, she has an ever-expanding repertoire of bloopers, insights, stories, and impassioned opinions to share. Iulia likes to think she has this parenting gig figured out, but her littles remind her daily just how far from the truth that is.

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  • morningmotivatedmom@gmail.com'
    Reply Emily February 22, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    Nice work! Your midwife is so on: There is no managing the pain during transition. It’s just surviving until it’s over.

    I would not want to hear “Oh Crap” from my midwife. I’m thankful it was just because of no gloves. What a sweet little baby. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Emily recently posted…10 Favorite Baby BooksMy Profile

  • plumtickledpink@gmail.com'
    Reply Amanda February 22, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    love this!!! Such a beautiful story!!! You are SO right! It’s like magic how the pain just disappears once it’s time to push. So crazy how that happens! Not to mention the amazing break between contractions is so peaceful and invigorating! Thanks for sharing your story!
    Amanda recently posted…{Not So} Wordless Wednesday // Valentine’s Edition.My Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 23, 2015 at 11:56 pm

      Thanks Amanda! I hope you have a wonderful birth with #2!

  • gentlejoy8@gmail.com'
    Reply Gentle Joy February 23, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Every birth story is different…. and even the hard, crazy ones end up being precious. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Gentle Joy recently posted…Small Garden-Part 2-Growing UPMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 23, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      Yes indeed! The opportunity to bring life into this world is a gift!

  • scdoring@hotmail.com'
    Reply AdoringFamily February 23, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Oh this is so beautiful! I just gave birth 3 months ago and so much of what I read here reminded me of my birth! I love that your husband was like “Um, is no one else concerned about this?” I think my husband was traumatized! I also felt like I was going to die but as you said, the end result was pure bliss! There is nothing better. One more thing, I thought the nurse was going to kill me when she was smashing my stomach after birth ๐Ÿ˜€ Blessings on your beautiful Ellie!
    AdoringFamily recently posted…6 simple Tips on How to Feel Like an Elegant MomMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 23, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      Oh my goodness seriously! I was like “Do you have to do hand stands on my belly?!” But yes, the post-birth feeling was nearly euphoric.

  • survivingtoddlerhooddotcom@gmail.com'
    Reply Rebekah @ Surviving Toddlerhood February 23, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    I never really laugh out loud at posts, but I was cracking up at the crazed heyena part!! My husband would have thought the same thing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Birth totally brings out different things in women. I was a loud birther and I never thought that would be the case, my plan was to be calm and controlled. Hah!
    Found your post through the Motivational Monday Linkup. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Rebekah @ Surviving Toddlerhood recently posted…Tips for a Newbie BloggerMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 23, 2015 at 11:51 pm

      Haha plans go out the window during transition! I actually apologized to my midwife afterward for how crazy I was.

  • tsbehan@gmail.com'
    Reply Sarah @ The Life of This Mother February 23, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    I loved reading your birth story! And oh, the last part is horrendous. I managed no pain relief with my son, but with my daughter, the labour was quicker and oh so horrible and needed gas and air {though it didn’t work in time with each contraction}. Transition was the worst minutes of my life. Nothing can describe the pain that takes over. But when you need to push, it’s this weird, uncomfortable but amazing feeling – no pain {barring when baby comes out} and there’s nothing you can do but go along with it.

    Really glad you got the birth you wanted! God is good ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 23, 2015 at 11:50 pm

      Sarah that sounds spot on! Transition truly was horrendous for me, but it made the relief of pushing (and being done) so much sweeter!

  • bblaze87@gmail.com'
    Reply Brandyn February 23, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    What a beautiful story! I am always amazed at how unique each woman’s experience is!

    Thank you for sharing with us at #MommyMeetupMondays!
    Brandyn recently posted…Mommy Meetup Mondays Week #12My Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 23, 2015 at 11:48 pm

      Brandyn thank you for your sweet words and for hosting a great link up!

  • momwithstyle11@gmail.com'
    Reply Melissa February 23, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    what a great story. Last time I gave brith was 4yrs ago, but reading your story brought back so many memories. It’s insane what our bodies can do. Props to you for being so courage and doing it drug free!

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 23, 2015 at 11:46 pm

      Melissa thank you! It’s funny that you call me courageous for going drug free…I was for more scared of the risks of the drugs than actual natural child birth!

  • cheryl.a.long@gmail.com'
    Reply Cheryl @Treasures from a Shoebox February 24, 2015 at 8:32 am

    What a great story! Some of those thoughts that run through a woman’s mind when she’s in the midst of labor… During transition with #8 I remember focusing on the door that led outside of the birthing center and thinking, “Just as soon as this contraction stops I’m gonna get up and walk out that door and be done with this nonsense!” As soon as the contraction ended I looked down and realized…let’s just say I wasn’t properly attired to leave the room, let alone the building. Haha. Those midwives and doulas and labor room nurses who choose to deal with crazy women in labor are courageous and have my utmost respect!
    Cheryl @Treasures from a Shoebox recently posted…My Daughters were Stopped for Drunk Driving!My Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 25, 2015 at 10:17 pm

      HAHA! This literally made me laugh out loud. I had so many of those “I’m DONE!” feelings too. Seriously…I was so over it.

  • nathanaclayaz@gmail.com'
    Reply Nathana Clay February 24, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Wow! I am glad you can laugh at the really painful parts in retrospect! ๐Ÿ™‚ I am preparing the best I can to enter birth calm and focused, but there is no guarantee! I trust my midwife, and despite his apprehension, I trust my husband. There is no one else I’d rather have by my side! Even if I go a little crazy!
    Nathana Clay recently posted…Faithful LoveMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 25, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      Hey you might not go crazy at all! I’ve heard some women really are super peaceful and calm throughout. My midwife said that she had one patient who was so calm she almost was concerned she died (because she was so still and quiet laying in bed).

  • sarahfrazer920@aol.com'
    Reply Sarah February 24, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Great experience! So happy for you!
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  • mrsjschon@hotmail.com'
    Reply Jennifer S. February 25, 2015 at 11:48 am

    This sounded so much like me. I’m a very reserved person – normally. Get me in transition and it’s a whole different story. I enjoyed reading your birth story so much. Congratulations on a job well done.
    Jennifer S. recently posted…Quiet, Unquestioning TrustMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 25, 2015 at 10:12 pm

      Jennifer thank you! Yes, transition turned me into a person I’d never seen before!

  • andiewilliams123@yahoo.com'
    Reply Andie Conn February 25, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I love your story telling! This is so funny and yet informational! My friend is considering natural birth very strongly, so I’ve been learning about it through her a lot. Thank you for sharing! (: Visiting from http://www.andieconn.com/get-rid-clutter-spring-fever-inspiration/ and would love a visit back.
    Andie Conn recently posted…Getting Real with Aisha Vanden Heuvel: Her Journey Through Lyme Disease and DepressionMy Profile

    • Reply Bestofbaby February 25, 2015 at 10:08 pm

      Andi tell your friend to go for it! It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done in life ๐Ÿ™‚

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