Judah’s Birth Story
Judah’s 3rd birthday is in 10 days, so I thought it’d be nice to write about both of my children’s birth stories on my blog. Neither story was “ideal,” but they both produced happy and healthy babies, and for that, I am so very thankful!
Saturday night, August 30, 2014, I was up literally all night with contractions. I thought it was turning into something (my estimated due date was August 25), but by 11:00 am, they had basically disappeared.
It was Jubilee Sunday, which meant we only had one service that started at 2:00pm instead of two services at 10:30am and 5:30pm.
I went to church that afternoon and coordinated a special “Sheaves for Christ” fundraiser after service was over. We got home, had dinner, and Skyped my in-laws in Japan, who were anxious for news on the impending arrival of their very first grandchild. I had begun having contractions again at some point in the evening, but by
We got home, had dinner, and Skyped my in-laws in Japan, who were anxious for news on the impending arrival of their very first grandchild. I had begun having contractions again at some point in the evening, but by
I had begun having contractions again at some point in the evening, but by 8:00 pm they were getting pretty painful, so I excused myself from the Skype call (my husband was still chatting with them) and went to our bedroom to try to get comfortable.
My plan was to labor at home for as long as I could, and that’s what I did.
When my contractions were about 4 minutes apart my midwife told me to go ahead and come in.
I was triaged at 3:00am on Sunday night/Monday morning, and was dilated to 7cm! The nurse told me she couldn’t believe that I had labored at home that long.
I was admitted to Labor & Delivery even though I was registered to deliver in the hospital’s birth center (which is 2 floors up from L&D.)
There wasn’t enough nurses on the birthing center floor at the time. I labored in L&D for about 3 hours and when they transferred me upstairs I couldn’t get there fast enough!
The rooms in the birth center were more like master bedroom suites than hospital rooms. I was also able to labor, deliver, and recover in the same room without having to transfer. It was AMAZING!
Anyway, we got all settled into our new room and I got checked again and was dilated to between 8-9 centimeters. I assumed we were nearing the end.
Contractions were increasingly painful (I had AWFUL back labor the entire time) and Judah was so low that I couldn’t sit or lie down without the worst kind of pain.
My doula brought in a bean bag and I spent most of my labor on my hands and knees leaning on the bean bag on my queen sized birthing center bed.
Between my amazing husband, my wonderful doula, Bobbie, and my fantastic Russian nurse whose name I can’t remember, I was as comfortable as possible. I was given lower back rubs during contractions, ice water runs, and snacks and juice whenever I needed something for energy.
At around 11:00am, my midwife, Beth, asked me if I wanted her to break my water because things were slowing down.
I agreed and things started progressing more but also became much more painful.
It was around 12:00pm when I started pushing. I can’t adequately describe how exhausting this stage was for me.
Remember, I was up all of Saturday night with contractions, with only a short nap before church, and then all of Sunday night before getting admitted at 3:00am.
I had never been more spent in my life.
I felt like he was crowning for hours. I just couldn’t get him out.
No one was able to tell me exactly why, but my contractions stopped at some point.
My doula thinks it’s because I convinced my body, in my exhausted state, that I literally couldn’t do it, and my body sort of pushed pause on labor.
Because my baby was already crowning, I still had to push, even though my body was no longer telling me when to push.
I was sobbing and crying that I couldn’t do it. My husband, midwife, doula, nurse, and an OB resident were all telling me that I COULD do it, and that I needed to start saying that I can do this, because as long as I believed I couldn’t, I wouldn’t. (That could preach!) They were telling me that pretty soon I would be holding my beautiful baby boy in my arms 💙.
Their encouragement truly helped, and I pushed when I could summon up the strength to push.
FINALLY, after 3 HOURS of pushing, his head was fully out!
All of a sudden, the atmosphere changed.
My midwife, Beth said calmly yet with authority, “Call Cheryl. Call Code Pink.” At those
At those words, the room became a flurry of activity. No one told me what was going on, which I’m glad for because I didn’t have time to think about all of the
No one told me what was going on, which I’m glad for because I didn’t have time to think about all of the worst-case scenarios.
Timothy was holding my right hand and I heard him start praying in Jesus’ name and crying, so of course, I started praying and crying.
I didn’t know what it was, but I knew that something was very wrong.
Suddenly two people each grabbed one of my legs, and I felt the worst pain of my 20 hours of labor.
I screamed like an Amazon woman in those National Geographic documentaries I’d watched growing up.
I opened my eyes and Beth was pulling Judah out.
He was still.
He was gray.
He was silent.
The OB resident was about to cut the cord and Beth stopped her and said “No! Just wait.”
After what felt like an eternity, the cord started pumping again and Judah started crying!
What a beautiful sound! (You won’t hear me say that about his cry anymore ha ha!)
They immediately placed him on my stomach and I bawled and bawled and asked if he was OK.
Many smiling faces reassured me that he was perfectly fine and Beth told me what had happened.
When his head was out, she realized he had shoulder dystocia, which meant that baby’s shoulder bone was stuck behind my pelvic bone and compressing the umbilical cord.
Because his head was out and his lungs were still squished, he wasn’t getting oxygen from the cord or from actual breaths.
The intense moment of pain I had felt (when I screamed like an Amazon woman) was Beth pushing Judah back in, twisting him, and yanking him out.
The OB resident wanted to cut the cord right away which is apparently what she had been taught, but Beth told her to wait until it started pumping again so that they knew he was getting oxygen.
They let it pump for several minutes, and then Timothy got to cut the cord while Judah and I were doing skin to skin.
It had all happened so fast!
They told us Judah started breathing before one minute had passed! It had seemed like ages.
While I was getting stitched up, Judah, at just minutes old, scooted up my stomach and chest and started nursing.
It was an amazing experience!
The left side of his clavicle did break during the trauma.
Because a newborn’s bones are so soft, they didn’t have to set it or anything, we just had to be extra careful when dressing him and holding him.
It was healed completely in a short time.
After a very looong few days, my first baby, Judah (“Praise”) Nathanael (“God Has Given”) was born on Monday September 1, 2014 at 4:04pm.
He was 21.5 inches long and 8lbs 10oz (this was after a MASSIVE poop! The nurse told me she would have bet money he weight more than 9 pounds before the poopsplosion.)
He was born on Labor Day, and yes, the “You took Labor Day literally!” jokes were eye-roll inducing 😊.
Labor can be scary. So many things can go wrong, and you don’t want to dwell on the “what ifs” but on the other hand, you want to be prepared for the “what ifs.” I’m so thankful the Lord was in that room with us and had His hand on Baby Judah the entire time! When someone you know is going into
So many things can go wrong, and you don’t want to dwell on the “what ifs” but on the other hand, you want to be prepared for the “what ifs.”
I’m so grateful the Lord was in that room with us and had His hand on Baby Judah the entire time!
When someone you know is going into labor or having a C-section, say a prayer for them! God is listening!
I’m so thankful for the little boy that first made me a mom!