Our Birth Story

February 4, 2014

It all started on January 9th when my blood pressure spiked.  I ended up getting put on modified bed rest.  From that point on I had to take my blood pressure twice a day, daily weights, and making sure that I was actually resting.

On January 25 I was admitted to L&D for a blood pressure of 135/99.  Doesn't seem too bad until you remember that a normal BP is 120/60 and my bottom number (diastolic) was super high.  I had a nasty headache.  When I got to the hospital my blood pressure was at 150/90.  I ended up being put on magnesium to help prevent me from having a seizure.  That was awful!  I felt like my skin was on fire.  There was also the whole me having bad veins in general and magnesium being a rather caustic substance.  So you take a caustic substance and put it through a tiny vein and you have pain.

They also gave me oral cytotec to help ripen my cervix.  I received 4 consecutive dosages of cytotec with absolutely no change.  I came dilated to a 1, 60% effaced, and at a -3 station.  After 4 doses of cytotec I was the same: dilated to a 1, 60% effaced, and a -3 station.  At that point I had two options.  I could start on some pitocin or I could take an ambien and sleep.  I chose to take an ambien and sleep.

This brings us to Monday.  We started on some pitocin after a fabulous night of sleep and still no change.  We put in this catheter thing that was supposed to help mechanically dilate my cervix by putting pressure on it from above and below.

I had this catheter in for 12 hours.  Now the bladder sits right in front of my uterus and this catheter was through my cervix pumped up with 160cc of saline.  So needless to say I had to find the absolute perfect position in order to pee.  By the time 12 hours had passed I was very ready for this catheter to come out.  We decided on another ambien for the evening as I was going to be put on low dose pitocin during the night to again help ripen my cervix and coax it into opening.  Well around 1:30am my water broke.  I was so excited because it meant that within 24 hours we were going to be having a baby finally!

My midwife took over my care on Tuesday morning.  She checked me again and I was still at a 1, 80% effaced this time, and baby's head was no longer engaged.  So we decided on the pitocin and instead of increasing it by 1 every 30 min we increased it by 2 every 30 min.  This all started at 10ish on Tuesday morning.  By about noon or so I was having fairly regular contractions that felt like my normal period cramps just more frequent.  At 2pm my midwife came in to check me and add yet another thing through my cervix.  She put in a pressure monitor to see how strong my contractions were because if they weren't strong enough then they wouldn't help dilate my cervix.  This little procedure seriously sucked!  I seriously felt like I had an entire fist in my vagina!  Matt was there and held my hand through the crappy procedure while I pretended that it wasn't that bad.  Well our little one decided that he didn't like having that pressure monitor in so he kicked it out...this meant that I had to go through this whole terribly uncomfortable procedure a second time!

Because I was on pitocin I had to be monitored which meant I couldn't get up.  So I essentially 'labored' on my left side with Matt giving me counter pressure on my back during some of the contractions.  We watched Veronica Mars which was a nice distraction!  I was offered pain meds but I'm just not a fan of narcotics so I declined.  About 5:30pm I asked my nurse to call our midwife and have her check me again and if I had progressed I would opt for an epidural and if not it was time to be done.

Our midwife came in and checked me, nothing, no progress.  So I looked at her and said 'Jennifer I'm done'.  At this point I had been in the hospital for 70ish hours and my water had been broken for 16 hours and I was GBS+.

I cried a bit because I had wanted to pull our baby up onto my chest and nurse him right away.  I wanted those first moments of him on my chest gazing at his eyes and thanking God for this little gift. As everyone was coming back into our room to get consents signed and get me ready for surgery Jennifer asked what was wrong.  Matt told her how I had wanted the kangaroo care right away after birth.  She looked at me and said 'oh no, we're going to get you into the recovery room, get you both naked and you're going to nurse that baby'.  I was stoked, it wasn't my dream birth, but we were going to meet our baby!

In the OR they put Matt in a bunny suit (it was adorable!) and unlike the day I got pregnant I didn't have to wear a mask but everyone else did :)

Our anesthesiologist was spectacular, she did a quick spinal which finally brought my pressure down and then brought Matt into the OR.  While everyone was getting ready I was busy listening to nurse and tech count instruments and supplies.  I'm kind of a nerd like that, it's the OR nurse in me!  Since I'm an operating room nurse in the hospital where I was having surgery, I got to participate in the time out.  After the time out I started getting nervous, we were about to meet our son.  What should I say to him?  Would he love me as much as I loved him?  Would he know the sound of our voices?  Would he want to nurse right away?

After they made incision I kept telling myself that it's normal for babies not to cry right away, they don't always cry, it's ok if he doesn't cry for a minute, he'll still be ok.  Then they pulled out our son and he screamed!  Matt had the camera ready as they lifted Liam above the drapes so I could see him.  He was here!  He was breathing!  He was screaming!  The tears rolled down my face and I looked at our son.  His poor little head was cone shaped from being stuck and he had some hair missing where he was trying to get out, but he was perfect.  He looked just like his Daddy.  Matt then brought our son over to me so that I could touch him.  His cheeks were so soft and I kept kissing them and saying hello our little miracle and happy birthday!  Liam Alexander was born at 1851 and weighed in a 7lbs 12 oz.  He was 19 inches long and absolutely perfect!

This is me after 4 rounds of cytotec and a weird catheter thingy in my cervix

My last bump picture at 38 weeks
He was just a little mad, he was comfy
A little more happy because he was under the warmer

Happy next to Mama

I couldn't get over how soft his cheeks were

He always had his hand up like that when he was in my tummy too!
Our first family picture.  He quieted as I talked to him, I had waited my whole life for that!

Daddy is already in love
Our first night home, his poor little head was still coneheaded.

I lost quite a bit of blood so I'm fairly pale, but having this little guy sleeping on my chest was totally worth it!


  1. Congrats!!!!!!! he is beautiful!!!

  2. Congratulations! So happy for you :)

  3. Congrats Elizabeth! This is so interesting to read....I had no idea midwives even used things like pitocin. Sorry you had such a crazy time leading up to it, but Liam is so worth every bit of it I'm sure! Yay!!!

    1. I adored my midwife! She was amazing! She was actually more like a nurse practitioner rather than a midwife. She believed in natural childbirth but was realistic in what she was capable of and knew when to ask for help from the other doctors in her practice. Because I wasn't 39 weeks she had to have doctor's approval for the induction and because of my pressure, swelling, and massive headache she got it. I was soo soo thankful that she was on call the day that I delivered because even when I cried about not being able to put Liam on my chest right away after birth she calmed my fears and as soon as I made it into recovery I was naked with our son and we nursed...it truly was perfect for us!

  4. He is so handsome!!! Congrats and I'm so glad you're home now with your beautiful babe!

    1. We love him :) I sleep much better in my bed than in the hospital. The nurses tried to wait to do things all at the same time so they weren't coming in every hour but those first 24 hours after birth I was just hot and sweaty so sleep was hard to come by!

  5. What a sweet baby boy! Congratulations!

  6. You look amazing and so, so happy. Love this!

    1. Thank you :) It's totally worth it and as much as I loved being pregnant...I love being a mommy so much more!


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