Audra's birth story, Part 4

For the other parts:
Audra's birth story, Part 1- Where Stacy's Water Breaks
Audra's birth story, Part 2- In Which We Go to the Hospital
Audra's birth story, Part 3- In Which Stacy Rambles on about the Hospital

Now for Part 4. If you're still with me.

Let's see... where were we? Oh yeah. The doctor was coming back at 6:00 to check me.

He didn't come. Not by 6:00. Or 6:30.

The birthing ball came in, and I spent some time sitting on that, hanging onto the end of the hospital bed. It was while I was on the birthing ball that Annoyance #2 occurred. When Amy came, she thoughtfully brought dinner for Mark and herself, and they began eating it while I was in this stage of labor. It was Jack in the Box.

Now. Fast food generally grosses me out. I make it a habit not to eat it, ever. But let me just say, smelling Jack in the Box is one thing. Smelling Jack in the Box while laboring is a whole OTHER thing. So there Mark and Amy sat, scarfing down their burgers as quickly as they could, until I gave them the heads up that another contraction was on its way. Burgers laid quickly aside, both of them would rush to my side, and with them came The Smell.

At first I didn't say anything, because, well, you know-- I was glad they were eating. One needs to eat. I just wished they'd eat it ELSEWHERE. But after a few contractions with The Smell, I couldn't help myself, and told them they really needed to hurry along and finish those burgers because I might vomit if I had to smell that smell every time they came near me. But then, even when they'd finished up their dinner, they were still smelling like it. So then I asked them to please go wash their hands, brush their teeth, whatever needed to happen to omit The Smell. I know Amy was rubbing lotion on her hands at one point.

Finally, sometime after 6:30 the nurse checked me. I was stressed about this check. I was quite sure I would burst into tears if I was still a 2 or a 3. She checked me, pronounced me a 4, and I was a happy camper.

Mark and I headed out to pace the hospital hallways again. This time it wasn't so fun. For each contraction I was either down on my knees- on all fours, or, if a little kitchenette room happened to be nearby, I was leaning over the sink, focusing on breathing through my contractions. [By this time we'd added the glorious water bottle into our system. Now: the breathing, pressure on my lower back, the cool, wet rag, AND frequent gulps of water.] We did this for maybe half an hour until I decided I'd had enough of contracting in public. There's nothing like being down on all fours, trying to focus on your breathing, when a gaggle of hospital orderlies pass, chatting and laughing about who-knows-what, but definitely interrupting my concentration.

So we went back to the room, and I walked around in there. Sometime around then this picture was taken. I'm not sure what was going on, here. Other than the obvious fact that I am beautifully modeling the hospital gown, which can be worn in two different ways, pictured here:

After this picture was taken, I took yet another bath (which was not nearly so relaxing). It was in the tub that my contractions started to feel a bit unbearable. A few times I'd start to cry or say, "I can't do this." And my wonderful laboring partners would reassure me that I could, that I was, and that I was doing great. They'd remind me to breathe and I would and then we'd have some down time for about two minutes.

Once out of the tub, I changed up my positions. I walked or stood, then during a contraction I leaned over the counter or sink, mostly. (Not because I needed to puke, but because it just happened to be the right height.) And then eventually I crawled onto the bed on all fours. Finally I was on my knees on the bed, holding onto the top of the (raised) bed, feeling like I was going to die.

The nurse checked me again shortly after I was doing that, and I was a 9. Let me just tell you, never was I more relieved to hear that number. [I'd been afraid she was going to say a 5 or a 6, and I was hoping for a 7, but a 9? Oh my goodness. I love 9.]

It was at that point that I gave myself permission to lie down on the bed and cry. I'm relatively sure I was bawling things like, "I'm a nine. I'm almost done. We're almost done. I get to meet my baby soon!" And from then on out I laid there on my side and hung onto the railing and tried not to die.

And then of course the extra nurses come in, bearing tables and trays of tools for the doctor, and I love that part, because it means the end is near.

[Part 5 (last one!) coming tomorrow.]


  1. I had a similar experience during the birth of our son Jonah. My husband ate a Mars bar and then during contractions was breathing all over me and I almost barfed. He was banned until be brushed his teeth and changed his shirt :o)

    I also remember the "I can't do this part." But ya did and she is beautiful...good thing we forget so easily eh?

    I saw the pics on your friends blog...I love her little lips and agree she looks a bit like Ella.

  2. Seeing your picture reminds me of how hard it is yet it is such a beautiful experience. You did great!

  3. Dear Stacy. You don't know me but I feel like I know you. I'm a distant friend of Cutzi. Anyway, I am a avid follower of your blog. In fact, I told a girlfriend of mine weeks ago that my blog friend was having her baby any day.

    I am loving your birth story. Today it made me cry when you were dialated to a nine! Way to go!

    I am a mother of three...19, 16 & 15 and I can't even imagine going through labor w/o serious drugs. I have such respect for those women who labor with God as their source of strength. (And a few labor partners!)

    Audra is beautiful. My baby girl (15) is named Audrey!

    Be blessed.

    I can't wait till part 5!!

  4. Stacy, you are so cute! You have a precious way with words.

    And this... "And from then on out I laid there on my side and hung onto the railing and tried not to die."

    It's been eight months, and believe me when I say that I felt it when I read those words. Ugh!

    I agree totally, though, that there is GREAT joy in knowing how close you are when you get there.

    Love you! Q

  5. This is too much fun, Stacy- you are cracking me up! I'm feeling all of your pain as I read... almost feel a little nauseous. :/

  6. OK You are Killing me here! I just get into the story and then you quit for the next part!

    You have a real way with words and writing. Quite a gift!


  7. Sandi-
    HA! I loved your Mars bar story!
    (And I think our Audra looks most like Ella, too.)

    Yep. SO hard but SO beautiful!

    Nice to meet you! Thank you for leaving a comment. :) And I'm so glad you're enjoying the birth story! :) Fun that you have an Audrey!

    Thank you, sweet you. Yeah- the dying part. I know it sounds melodramatic but it is so not. I know you know what I mean. But... eight months and it still takes you right back? Yikes.

    Oh no! Don't feel nauseous! :)

    For you... I *almost* pulled the post for tomorrow and posted it tonight. But I'm not gonna. Because you'll likely not check again today anyway!

    Thank you for reading, all.

  8. The look on your face in that picture... PRICELESS!!!

  9. Goodness, I wish I lived anywhere near you guys. I'd so call you to meet for tea. You're a wonderful story teller. And way to go!!! 9! Hurry up with Part 5!

  10. My brave, brave, STRONG friend. I had an epidural so I am giving you major kudos, girlfriend. And since it was only 5 months ago that I was in labor myself, I am actually reliving the childbirth experience as I read this. Good for you!! I can't WAIT for the next part, and I'm going to be so let down when you are finished this birth story. Love this.

  11. K....go women! Go Stacy! It's so fun to be united in hearing someone's (your) story. Reminds me of you Labor Day book. It's theraputic, and healing and empowering to tell and hear these stories....this is the REAL stuff in live.
    Good work not dieing. I remember thinking. I made it through that one....I know I can do at least one more (this helped to only focus on ONE More and not the fact that there would be many more)....

  12. Aughhh!! I can't wait for the next installment! I want the next chapter NOW! :) You're a great writer, Stacy. LOVE the details. Keep 'em coming. Love you! Camee

    P.S. The dying part made me smile... in commiseration (how do you spell that?). I very well remember thinking how it felt like I was going to die. Or maybe rather that I just wished I COULD die so I wouldn't be in any more pain. :) Glad it's over for you now and you have your beautiful Audra in your arms!

  13. I'm so glad I get to read all of these in one afternoon. As I read you telling them, "I can't do this anymore!" I thought--oh man she's close. You only say that when you're close. When the nurse checked you and you were retelling the whole power of number "9"...I'm here saying, "MMHHMM, Yeah, Yup" and nodding my head. The verse about the end times being related to the pains of childbirth but the hope & joy of the final prize is understandable to a mama! Good job Mama--such a good job.

  14. Woo hoo! I'm gettin' excited over here!


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