I love a good birth story. As I draw closer to 38 weeks, I am obsessed with  reading and hearing birth stories. For some reason, I find each birth story so unique, empowering and magical. No matter what the method – I am a birth story fan. I appreciate C-sections, natural, hospital, un-assisted etc. They are all beautiful and God’s plan for your baby to arrive. I’m also reminiscing quite a bit on Benjamin’s birth, my first baby, which was actually fairly traumatic. It involved an arrogant anesthesiologist, me screaming bloody murder for hours (back labor), Benjamin losing his heart beat, and a time-stopping moment with no one breathing. Quite a scene.

It started the evening, around 6:00 pm of Jan. 28th, 2013.  I was exactly 41-big-belly weeks. I was sooooo happy my water broke! YES! He’s coming, FINALLY!!! My mom and youngest sister arrived to our house with in a half hour, and we all went for a dark and cold walk around the neighborhood to get things going. I felt nothing, just water trickling. We waited a while to go to the hospital, thinking contractions or something would start. It didn’t, but we still went in to let them know and see what we were supposed to do next. They checked to make sure it was my water and told us that we had 6 hours to get labor going, otherwise they would induce me because as the amniotic fluid gets low, the baby’s risk for infection gets higher.

“No Problem!” I thought. Of course I was over-optimistic because I felt no contractions, and I didn’t know what was coming.

We hit the hospital halls, speed-walking and talking to get labor going. We walked and walked, until finally I felt some contractions. Yes! Things are moving. I was totally unaware of the pain that was headed. I read a lot of natural birth stories that were completely unrealistic for what was about to happen with me.

A few more minutes of walking, and I had to stop through every contraction. Then I had to go to the bathroom, and one hit me hard – I was on the floor in the bathroom….oh boy I thought. This is not fun. I struggled to get back to my room, and they checked me at ONLY 3cm dilated, then suggested the tub. Sure, I’ve heard great things about tubs. NOT SO MUCH.

I almost puked the contractions got worse. I leaned over and wanted to pass out. I barely made it out of the tub, got on the hospital bed, and started screaming every couple of minutes. I was dying. My head was going to explode. I couldn’t breathe. He was coming and coming fast, and little did I or any one know, he was face up, with his spine gritting against my spine causing worse pain.

“Someone Help Me Please…” I kept yelling over and over, while waiting for the epidural. I was going from a 3cm dilated to a 9 in a matter of a few hours with intense back labor, and the epidural was not coming.

My “angel” anesthesiologist finally arrived and told me he wouldn’t give me the epidural. No, please no. Please I need it, I thought. He just arrogantly stood there staring at me struggling and screaming, writhing on the hospital bed with a smirk on his face. Was this some kind of sick reality tv-show for him?!!

Then, he changed his mind, and he said I had to prove I could hold still during a contraction. Ugh.

I SCREAMED as loud as I could, and I held on as tight as I could to someone, while I kept my body still. I imagined  kicking him in the face. It really helped. I did it. I held still. Then waited and waited for him. Seriously, I just won the olympics, and he’s not saying I can get the drugs!!!

Finally, He said okay and gave it to me. It didn’t work on one side. It didn’t feel like one side, it felt like it didn’t work at all, and this was some sick joke this guy was playing.

“Please, someone help me, when is it going to work?” I kept asking, not knowing it was supposed to be working already. “Please, its go to work. Why isn’t it working yet?” He came back just in time to give me some more, and a miracle happened.

The pain was gone. I was a person again, not a dying animal. Oh, and I realized I was going to have a baby! A baby! I wasn’t dying anymore. It was time to push, but Benjamin’s heart rate was getting lost. They were telling me it was the monitors, but it wasn’t.

A few pushes and he came flying out, head up, arm out and not breathing. The cord was wrapped twice around his neck, he was purple and limp. Immediately there were more people in the room attending to him. Time stopped. My mom, sister, husband and aunt looked like death. They were trying to revive him. Then my husband placed his hands on him and prayed and prayed. There was no life in the room, everything stood still and no one was breathing.

Suddenly, Benjamin cried. He was okay. I was getting sewed up while this was all happening in a matter of a few minutes, and I can’t even explain the relief and joy that came with his cries. He made it. I made it. We had a baby. Everything was okay.

Benjamin had a bit of a slow start, which is actually fairly common that babies are born with the cord around their neck. It doesn’t feel common, but it does happen. I can’t believe here I am, going to go through birth again in a few days or weeks. The scariest, most painful, yet most rewarding experience I will ever have. Jack’s birth was very different, and I’ll write that in another post soon. It makes me full of excitement and wonder about how this little guy will enter the world. I always pray for all mom’s I know getting closer and closer to this day. I am happy to pray for anyone getting close to bringing their new baby into this world. No matter how you chose or what method brings your baby here, we pray for a healthy, happy newborn, full of life and joy.

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