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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Houston’s Birth Story Part 2


Houston’s Birth Story Part 1 on his 6 month birthday and Part 2 not until a couple weeks after he turned 1?

I’d laugh if I didn’t want to first cry at my ridiculous procrastination.


The rest of the story…


Last we left our story in Part 1, I was tearfully making it through a contraction every 5-7 minutes and on the verge of being sent home by the medical staff.

Did I mention I was so lucky to be experiencing back labor? That with every contraction it felt like multiple knives stabbing into my lower back?

Am I exaggerating?




The thought of them sending me home and telling me to come back *when* the pain was becoming unbearable???


I. was. frantic.


We took a few classes and I read up a bit on pain management in the months prior. I knew I wanted an epidural but also logically knew that epidurals usually aren’t placed until you’ve done at least a smidge of the grunt work on your own.

I had already done about all I wanted to do and I was scared to death about being sent home.



And now, I’d like to take a brief moment to plead my case to you. Because there are many of you out there that have had a baby… naturally. I’m not sure how it felt for you or how to compare the pain. You may judge my pain tolerance or you may empathize with me. Either way, I KNOW I was in some serious pain…. and it was only the beginning. I had no desire to see how much worse it could get or whether I could get through it, because let’s get real – I would get through it. The pain would not kill me.


It’s the others around me who may not have survived.


It finally donned on the nurse who was checking me that maybe, JUST MAYBE, the contractions on the screen and level of pain she could see in my gritting teeth JUST MIGHT NOT MATCH.

Lo and behold, a new monitor was attached and my contractions started to peak. A nice nurse-midwife came in to “check” me and decided to help things along a bit… helping in a way which was mighty painful, but in the end said “There, that should make you about 3 1/2… you can stay.”



About an hour later, anesthesia came and placed my epidural. They had to revisit after it took to only one side…. my luck. After the second visit, my lower half was numb to the world, legs dead as logs, rolling off the bed and struggling to keep pulling myself up in the bed.

Some people hate the feeling of being numb. My own parents refuse all pain medicine during dental appointments because they say they hate the feeling of being numb an hour later. I DID NOT inherit this trait from them and I am quite a happy camper when OUT of pain.


Dead legs? Who cares! I was watching contractions on the screen without feeling them – Oh, Happy Day!

The rest of the evening brought lots of family visits, slow progression and the realization that Houston would be arriving sometime the next morning and not on his Mimmie’s birthday like we had hoped.

photo 4



Nick and I with his mom and brother.



My parents and sister.



Over night, our families attempted to get some shut-eye in the waiting room {semi-impossible} and some even went home to take a shower. Though the epidural was probably the reason for my slow progression, I still believe I would take the 28 hours of labor I endured in exchange for being mostly pain-free.


By morning, I had even enjoyed a few hours of sleep, but my waters were still intact and for some reason that I still don’t understand, the medical staff wouldn’t break them.

It was taking so long, anesthesia had re-dosed me once already in the middle of the night when the contractions began slowly creeping back up into the back-stabbing pain I experienced earlier.


Since it was the weekend, my doctor was off and had I delivered before 8 am on Monday morning, I would have had someone besides her. Again, I was THANKFUL for the 28 hour labor {bet you don’t hear that one often!} because my doctor was in promptly at 8 am to announce my water had FINALLY broken and that it wouldn’t be long now.


Around 9 am, I let my nurse know the contractions were quickly coming back and that it was probably time for a re-dose. Epidurals are not made to last for days after all…

She left saying she would retrieve the anesthesiologist like they had in the middle of the night for a re-dose, but never came back.

45 minutes later and feeling the almost full force of the contractions coming even closer together than they were before, {since I was nearly fully dilated at this point}, I hit the nurse call button. When she finally came back, I asked about the anesthesiologist again.

Her response: “Oh, I talked to some other nurses and they agreed that you didn’t need a re-dose since you’re so close to pushing and it would take longer for you to recover and the anesthesia to wear off afterwards.”


EXCUSE ME?! You and who else decided WHAT on my behalf?!?!?!?!?!?!?


She had never talked to my OB or an anesthesiologist. A group of nurses who hadn’t even seen me decided that I should spend the most painful hours of delivery without medicine in the epidural that I already had placed.

I was angry and tearing up with each contraction.

My sister was extremely angry and annoyed on my behalf and saying all the words I wanted to if I could have only caught my breath.

Nick was scared.


The baby’s heart rate started decelerating and they placed an oxygen mask on me to help get more to him. It smelled. I got nauseous. I was shaking my head back and forth like a crazy person, unable to say a word but not knowing how I was going to make it through what was about to happen next.



It was time to push.

My legs went up in the stirrups and for the third time in the past 28 hours, I had to vomit.


I still wasn’t able to move well because even though the pain was back the epidural still had me semi-paralyzed, feet up in stirrups with nothing covering my lady parts and balancing a bed pan on my enormous squished up stomach while vomiting only water since I hadn’t been allowed to eat anything in about 21 hours.


Not my proudest moment and I’m pretty sure you DID NOT want to read that but it’s a birth story… did you expect all hearts and rainbows?



If you did, you probably haven’t had the joy of giving birth. Nor are you probably even a female.



The irony: I never vomited my entire pregnancy. But 3 times during labor sure was a total blast. I also remember my mom standing by me the first 2 times while Nick left the room. He was only “stuck” with me this third most shining moment in my life because I was about to give birth to his son. Maybe I did it just so he could witness once for his own precious birth memories ;)


That was the last time I remember feeling any pain or misery. As soon as I started pushing the adrenaline kicked in. I was excited. Elated to be on the way to meeting our son. I know there was some pain but it was NOTHING compared to the contractions. I watched the mirror down there a bit. Nick stayed mostly at the foot of the bed and did not look at the mirror :) He said sweet things and did whatever he could to help. Having him right next to me was perfection. He could not have been a better labor coach. My knight in shining armor.



My sister was there as our photographer and I am EVER GREATFUL to her for snapping away pictures of that blessed time. {We even have the Rated R photos of his birth, which of course, shall never make their way onto this blog!} The nurses told me they could see hair on the baby’s head! I asked “What color?” and they laughed at my ridiculousness. I pushed a little more with just the nurses and then the doctor came in. I SMILED.


What the heck happened to the satanic laboring woman I was just 20 minutes ago?!


Just a few more pushes and our angel arrived!



Houston Michael Roberts was born at 11:51 am

Monday, August 29, 2011

7 lbs 5 oz and 19.5 in long


Daddy cut the cord and I was beyond impressed!



I can barely look at these pictures without a giant lump in my throat welling up. This was without a doubt the most exciting, joyful moment of my entire life.





His cry was the most precious sound I had ever heard.



Father and son, the first of many sweet moments.







From this moment on I floated on Cloud 9. There was pain in the recovery for weeks to come but I had my healthy boy and I was overjoyed. I LOVED those first few days of his new life in the hospital. I will cherish those memories forever.





Houston stayed wide-eyed for hours after birth. Every move and sound he made were amazing to us!




Our photographer {my sister} got to be the first to hold him after Nick and I! I nursed him just 10 minutes after birth for the first time and it went so much better than I had anticipated. Very weird and VERY wonderful :)



After Houston’s first meal, the family finally go to meet him!

My parents:






My aunt, Shari looking on:



Nick’s mom:







Nick’s brother, Chad:






This post has a already went a little overboard, so a few more pictures to come of the our blissful hospital stay tomorrow!






P.S. Don’t miss Part 3 – too much love to fit in just TWO posts! ;)


  1. Great birth story! I love hearing everyone elses story. Love the pictures with his eyes wide open.

  2. I'm impressed you can remember all the details! It's not like you've been sitting around twiddling your thumbs for the last year, you're a working momma! No biggie if you haven't had much time, energy or desire to update. =)

    Shameful confession: why was I thinking about different prostaglandins while reading this (contractions, ductus arteriosus)? Gah! Pharmacology!


  3. Lovely. I remember mine like yesterday!

  4. Just cried my eyes out reading this! We are a matter of weeks away from meeting our little girl and I couldn't be more excited. Thanks for sharing this special moment!

  5. I still remember mine like yesterday, as well. You look gorgeous through it all, though! Isn't it incredible?! Such an amazing thing. We actually just lost baby #2 and reading this made me so grateful for what I have. It's a crazy thing being a mommy, so heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time.

  6. I remember everything about my daughter's birth as well, She had me puking all 9 months and all through pushing! So I totally understand how great it feels to be pushing and puking at the same time. I found your blog when my husband and I were trying to get pregnant, and now I have an almost 5 month old of my own. Enjoy your munchkin!

  7. I loooove this post Stephanie! Thanks so much for sharing all the real details, as always! :) You're not the only one who wells up at these pictures!

  8. Ahhhhh! I love your story. And how in the WORLD did you manage to look so darn pretty during labor!?!?! : )

  9. Sweet story! I love that you had a photographer and am amazed at how beautiful you looked while pushing. I'm pretty sure I didn't look like that. :) I do think I will get someone to take pics next time I have a baby (God willing). It's weird that you got sick during labor without having it during pregnancy... I was severely sick my entire pregnancy and never got sick during labor. Crazy! Anyway, loved hearing your story and you have beautiful family!


I just shared my thoughts, I'd love to hear you share yours! {Besides, I'm tired of listening to the voices in my head.} I kid, I kid... ;)