My Birth Story

Anyone who is not comfortable with the mention of bodily functions is welcome to click out of this post now. :)
Also, I won’t be offended if this sort of thing doesn’t interest you – it never interested me until I was pregnant. But I feel compelled to write it down so I don’t forget the details.
Hello. My name is Erica Lea. I gave birth. Here is my story.

It’s funny how everything seemed to slip into place just before I went into labor. I feel that God had been preparing my mind for the ordeal – it wasn’t with a sense of fear that I anticipated labor, but a sense of urgency to get it over with and start recovery. And there were various little things that we needed that we received just before I went into labor. Our midwife brought the birth pool (I had decided to try a water birth) THE DAY that I went into labor. Talk about perfect timing!
Around 3:00 PM I started to have cramps. I had been experiencing some mild cramping during the days leading up to labor, but I could tell that these were different – more intense.  Like full on menstrual cramps. I was able to snooze on the couch for an hour or so, but it drove me nuts that I didn’t know if I was actually in labor or not.
Then, around 9-10 PM I had a bloody show. I had heard that it could be a few days after a bloody show that you go into labor. Reuben Googled it – a few hours to a few days. Rats – I still didn’t know if this was it. My cramps started to get more intense.
They made me so uncomfortable that I was finding it impossible to go to sleep. It was about midnight. Reuben had already gone to bed, so I crawled under the covers and tried to get some shut-eye. Almost immediately, I felt a strange gurgle (at first I thought it was the baby kicking). I jumped out of bed, heading for the bathroom. But it was too late: I felt liquid uncontrollably gushing onto my legs and the floor. I felt so helpless. Reuben grabbed me a towel to clean up. Now I knew that the time had come.
The cramps had definitely turned into contractions by this time. I started timing them and found that I was farther along than I had thought. And they were getting pretty miserable. I decided it was time to give our midwife, Rebekah, the heads up. I called around 2:00 AM. She confirmed my feelings that things were moving along and to me that I should call her again when things started picking up pace.
Reuben decided to head to bed and try to get some sleep. That was out of the question for me. The next few hours were spent timing my contractions, trying to sleep on the couch between them, and hopping up and doing deep breathing, pelvic rocking, hip circles and other pain coping techniques as the contractions came. I couldn’t STAND to be laying down when a contraction came. At some point (I’m not sure when), I threw up. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Just another part of labor.
I decided to wake up Reuben at 5:00. I held out until around 5:30.
“Reuben, I need you.”
Everything was too intense to face alone.
With a terribly strong contraction, I jumped into the shower to try to assuage the pain. I begged Reuben to call Rebekah; she didn’t answer. At 6:19 she called back and wanted to know if I wanted her to come. Yes, yes I did. She was a couple hours out.
A little bit later I threw up again and expelled more amniotic fluid.
“I’m sorry,” I apologized to Reuben as I stood there helplessly.
“It’s okay, girl,” he assured me as he wiped my legs with a towel.
I hopped back into the shower to clean up further.
After trying to cope with the contractions for a while longer, I begged Reuben to start filling the birthing pool – he didn’t realize how far along I had progressed (later Rebekah told us that I had probably already gone through transition). At around 7:00 he started filling it.
As I slipped into the warm, comforting water I could feel my body relax. It felt so good. But the contractions kept coming. They spaced out some but grew in intensity. Reuben kept the water warm with kettles of hot water.
At around 8:30 Rebekah arrived. I was so incredibly tired, having had basically NO sleep. It was very hard for me to stay calm through the contractions now – they seemed to build to an intense crescendo each time. Rebekah suggested that I try to empty my bladder, which could help with the pain. It was impossible for me to do so.
Around 10:00 I started having the urge to push. After a few pushes, Rebekah checked my cervix to make sure it was okay for me to push. She felt the baby’s head was low, but the cervix wasn’t quite ready yet. I tried not pushing for a few contractions, but had to keep going.
I was exhausted and wishing desperately for sleep. At around 11:30 we decided to move to the bedroom so I could get some rest. There I continued to push, and at 12:03 PM, we said hello to our little Helen.
Rebekah put the little girly in my arms immediately. It was so sweet to finally meet her, grey skin and cone head and all.
About 10 minutes later I had the placenta. And we had a bit of a scary moment. I started to bleed heavily.
“I need you to stop bleeding,” Rebekah said.
“Oh great, I’m gonna die,” I thought.
“Oh great, my wife is going to bleed out after having our baby,” Reuben thought.
But Rebekah had it under control – she put two dropperfuls of some sort on tincture under my tongue and had me drink half a cup of lemon juice. Soon the bleeding slowed. Rebekah massaged my uterus to make sure no clots formed – that hurt!
By the time Rebekah left, Helen was nursing well. I was so happy and thankful that we weren’t having troubles with that!
“You did such a good job,” Reuben told me.
And that’s how my labor went. I don’t know how I could have done it without the help and support of Reuben and Rebekah. It was so hard and tiring, yet nothing compared to what I had to face ahead. But that’s another story.

Until next time,
Yours ever,
Erica Lea

16 Responses to My Birth Story

  1. Jemima 
    Beautifully written Erica – and a big well done for giving birth to your precious little girl! I admit, I had a few tears, I’m getting soft in my old age (or maybe I’m finally finding my maternal instincts after all!!).
    I’m looking forward to reading your next installment of recovery & life as a new mum, I need all the information & encouragement I can get if I ever want a baby!!
  2. Jessica 
    You new baby Helen is just beautiful!
    Thank you so much for sharing your birth story on here; you sound like a very strong woman. I am an aspiring midwife and I really find it incredible to be able to share in the birth stories of others in this way!
  3. Carissa @ Pretty/Hungry 
    You’ll be so glad you wrote this down. I’m like you, never cared for reading birth stories until I became pregnant myself, now I can’t get enough of them!
  4. Diana 
    Thank you so much for sharing! I am thinking about becoming a parent and am fascinated by what others have gone through. I am glad that everything went well. Best of luck on your new journey.
  5. Rebecca Lately 
    Thank you for sharing your story, Erica. It brought tears to my eyes. I’m glad it turned out well. I look forward to hearing the next party of your story :)
  6. Rebecca Miller 
    Way to go! You did it and so well. I am so impressed. I would love to read the follow up and love monthly updates of your little one. She is so precious!
  7. Moriah Mari 
    Thanks for sharing, Erica! I look forward to hearing more.
  8. jill 
    What a wonderful birth story. Helen is a beautiful girl. God is good!
  9. Heather Michelle@ A Sweet Simple Life 
    It’s nice to hear positive, yet honest stories of natural childbirth. Thanks for sharing, Erica. You’re little girl is precious!
  10. Cait 
    Thank you for sharing – well done Erica! I had a homebirth just over a year ago with our sweet girl and it was the most painful and beautiful thing, just as you experienced. But I know now that my recovery was not what it should have been/should be next time, Lord willing! I thought it was normal because it was my first time, but for two weeks I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. Six days after giving birth we realized I had part of a retained placenta (so scary!!), plus a UTI and mastitis. After giving birth at home the last thing I wanted to do was be in the ER with an IV. It definitely showed me how bad of an attitude I could have. But God was good and the rest of recovery was hard but smooth. Whatever has happened, I pray that your recovery will soon be completely behind you and leave you free to simply enjoy your baby and care for her and your home and husband again. I remember feeling helpless to even change a diaper and walk around with my baby and wanted so much to enjoy the first days feeling normal. We’ll hope for next time!! Blessings to you and your precious girl.
  11. Shelly 
    Uh…way to leave us hanging, girl.:) But I love a birth story. I have six of my own. It is the hardest thing you will ever do, but there is nothing that compares to the birth of your baby. Such a miracle! Hopefully you are getting some sleep. Helen is beautiful!
  12. Janice 
    Dear Erica,
    Congratulations on giving birth to your beautiful daughter. I have been a follower of your blog cooking for seven for several years. Thank you for sharing your engagement, wedding and now the birth of your daughter. Helen is so adorable and I am so happy for you and Reuben!! I have been praying for you all. I am glad to hear of the safe arrival of Helen and will continue to pray that things will go well for you….remember the first one is the hardest….the second time around is a snap!!! All the best and God bless.
    Love Janice
  13. Sarah K. 
    Erica, hi! I didn’t even realize that you had a blog. Congratulations on your adorable little girl. She’s such a pretty baby! I’m looking forward to following your blog now. :-)
  14. JoyAnn 
    Thank you for sharing!
    it seems like only yesterday that we had our little baby boy, Seth, yet he is now 7 months!
    I loved reading your story, it brings me so much excitement and joy for you!!! CONGRATS!!!
  15. Loretta 
    Beautiful! It sounds like an amazing experience. And what a precious little girl :)
  16. garysgirl 
    Just read this for the first time! What a great birth story! I love reading happy endings! :) We’ve had 2 babies so far-both boys-and we had home births (water births actually) for both of them. They both went really well and were complication free. God was so good. I love birthing at home in my own environment, with just my hubby, my midwife and her assistant. It really is amazing! :)

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