Tag: birth story

A Natural Birth Story

My sweet baby boy. Oh, how I wanted a baby boy SO bad. I came from a family dominated by girls and my beautiful and sweet firstborn is a girl. I love her to the moon and back, but all my life I wanted a little mama’s boy and on August 30th, 2010 at 11:36 pm he entered this world in a way I would never have imagined.

My pregnancy was nothing out of the ordinary, other than suffering through a very long and hot Minnesota summer and also feeling extremely huge. (Full disclosure, I did gain 50 lbs and was, in fact, huge) By the 9th month, I was getting comments daily about my size. I had been watching my sugars because of a “borderline” gestational diabetes diagnosis, but otherwise had a very normal healthy pregnancy.

At my 34 week check-up, I was dilated to 1 cm. I was surprised and a bit nervous he’d be born a bit early, but my doctor assured me that this was nothing to be concerned about and that I should just be very aware of any contractions and to not over-exert myself. Sounded good to me!

At my 36 week check-up, I was dilated to 3 cm. WHAT! I seriously thought I was having this baby that day. A 3? Really?? The doctor again said not to worry, but to take it easy, a couple more weeks would be a good idea. NO PROBLEM!

At my 37 week check-up, nothing changed.

At my 38 week check-up, nothing changed.

At my 39 week check-up, my doctor tells me I’m at 3 and a half cm. Seriously? Three weeks I walked around dilated to 3 cm, every week my doctor teasing me that it could “happen any day!” and at 39 weeks I gain a half a cm. I’m HALF a cm from going into labor. UGH.

Now, I don’t know how you overdue mamas handled that because I was going bonkers at this point. My doctor offered to “strip my membranes” to try to get things moving along. Despite the discomfort of having this done, I was more than OK with it. He jokingly says, “Let’s do it, I’m on call tonight so If you want to meet up later we can have this baby!”

I love my doctor and saw him for EVERY prenatal appointment, but it was not a guarantee he would be the one to deliver my baby. You get whoever is on call, so now that I knew he would be there that night I was even more determined.

He stripped my membranes and sent me on my way. This was at around 10AM. My mom had driven up to watch my then 2-year-old daughter, while I went to my appointment. I called her right after, told her all the details, then asked if she minded staying with my sweet girl a little longer while I ran a few quick errands. Of course, she was fine with that.

So, I went to the nearest Target store and proceeded to speed walk laps around the interior of the store. I NEEDED to get things moving. It was insanely hot outside, so walking outdoors was out of the questions. I was a little crampy from having my membranes stripped, but I trucked on at full speed for almost 45 minutes. I’m sure people at the store had to have figured out what I was doing and to this day still makes me chuckle a little bit. (Don’t worry, I didn’t leave the store empty handed…wait…Is that even possible at Target?) I was DETERMINED to have my baby that night.

For most of that afternoon, I was kind of crampy and was having a lot of what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions, nothing in a real regular pattern and nothing overly painful, but it was a bit more consistent than normal. I was getting pretty excited!

We had a normal evening, put my girl to bed around 7:30. Hubby was playing computer games and I sat down on the couch to watch TV. I was, at this point, having regular contractions. Nothing very painful and nothing that I could for sure say was actual labor. I didn’t even mention it to my hubby.

My daughter’s labor moved VERY slow, especially in the beginning and I didn’t want to get to the hospital too early this time, so I was just hanging out, doing lots of breathing.

My first pregnancy I went into labor and delivery fairly blind. We did the classes and what not, but nothing was how I thought it would be, which was scary even though she was a very uncomplicated birth. This time, I did a TON more research. I wanted to stay at home as long as possible, I wanted to hire the on-call doula at the hospital and try for a drug-free birth. I did not have a “Birth Plan” necessarily, but I knew what I was going to aim for.

I’d read the Hypno-Birthing book twice and had my soothing music all prepared. I wanted it to be as natural as possible, but still having that safety net of being at a hospital. Since this was my second baby, I was much more relaxed and calm about the whole thing.

About 9:45 that night the contractions became a bit more intense. I still felt good, nothing that I couldn’t talk through, but I felt it was probably time to get going. My husband, of course, was a bit surprised since I hadn’t mentioned anything yet, but he called his parents, who were our stand by babysitters for our daughter, while I called the hospital to let them know we were on our way…

I had about 30-40 minutes until my in-laws would be there, so I decided to take a shower so I’d be clean and refreshed. I still felt really good, so I didn’t really think anything of it. That was when it happened. 5 minutes into my shower I started having the most intense contractions. With my daughter, I had an epidural relatively early, so I never felt any truly intense contractions. Holy bananas, it is INTENSE. I really struggled to finish my shower and get dressed. By the time my in-laws arrived I was on my hands and knees on my living room floor rocking back and forth and breathing very loudly. I absolutely could not walk during a contraction so it took awhile to get to the car because they were right on top of each other.

I’m pretty sure my husband was a nervous wreck, not that I was paying any attention to him, but I do remember, on the car ride to the hospital, asking him if he was speeding. I could NOT open my eyes for anything, but I could just tell we were moving fast. He lied to me and said he wasn’t speeding. We still laugh about that. It was a 30 minute drive to the hospital, we got there in 20. So, by now it’s about 11PM and we arrive at the hospital. This part cracks me up SO much. Hubby decides he wants to bring in all our bags. My first birth was a slow moving one and he wanted to make sure we had things to do this time, so he packed the laptop and a whole bag of snacks and games, plus an overnight bag for each of us. He’s carrying all this stuff and I can barely walk. Literally, CAN NOT walk during a contraction.

There was a super sweet gal who was leaving the hospital right as we were arriving and saw what was happening. (I’m sure we looked hysterical) She runs inside and grabs a wheelchair for me. I’m so grateful to sit down until I realize the wheelchair doesn’t have a footrest! WHAT?! Am I supposed to use my non-existent abdominal muscles to hold my feet up all the way to the 4th floor? YUP! And somehow I managed to do it!

We finally get off the elevator on the 4th floor (I don’t think I opened my eyes once the whole way) and the first person I see is my doctor. I was SO happy he would be delivering my baby! I was very much in pain and could barely talk or do anything other than moan and breath deeply, but I managed a wave and a smile in his direction. He comes over to us and says, “What did your doctor do to you this morning?” I managed a little laugh. It was obvious to him I was in active labor so he had them take me straight to a room and bypass triage.

It took a long time to get to the room because they had me walk. This is what I remember. Walk 10 steps, stop for a 30-second contraction. Walk 10 steps, stop for a 30-second contraction. I did this the entire way to the room, it felt like FOREVER.

My nurse was a super sweet older lady and she helped me change into a hospital gown (Very slowly since I wouldn’t move or let anyone touch me during a contraction.) At this point it’s about 11:15 and she checks to see how far I’m dilated. I’m thinking in my head, it’s gotta be at least 6 cm. PLEASE give me at least 6.

She looks up at me and says, “Honey, you’re at 9 cm. You’re having this baby pretty quick!”

WHAT!!! No way, really? Holy crap. AAAH!

We were waiting for the doctor to come in and the nurse tries with all her might to get an IV started since it’s standard procedure. I don’t remember this, but apparently, every time she tried, a contraction would start and I’d rip my hand away. There wasn’t enough time between contractions for her to finish so she just gave up saying, “You probably won’t need it anyway.” Oh, this makes me laugh too. I didn’t need one, so I was thankful for that. She frantically started setting up the room for the delivery.

At this point, even being dilated to 9 cm, my water still hasn’t broken. So, the doctor comes in a few minutes later and says they’ll break my water and to expect this baby to be born in the next 45 minutes or so! I was still so surprised by how fast things were moving!

They broke my water and he asked me if I wanted anything for the pain, I thought I was so tough, by saying no. Until the doctor left. As soon as he walks out the door I start yelling for pain relief. Oh, how indecisive I can be.

It didn’t matter, though, because maybe a minute after they broke my water I felt the urge to push. I forgot about pain meds and was just completely focused on pushing. They called the doctor and he came back immediately.

I pushed for 5 minutes (Threw up once during this time) and my baby boy was born. 20 minutes after arriving in my hospital room. 8 lbs 13 oz 21 ¾” long, my sweet baby boy was here.

I never dreamed I’d actually have a drug free birth, even though it’s what I really wanted. I will say, though, that I was up and walking around much easier and faster than my experience with an epidural. I had a few stitches but was feeling completely fine other than being a bit sore. I never even needed an Advil I felt so great. It was almost euphoric, I’m sure hormones were surging, but I was alert and had energy. I was laughing and hearing everyone go on about how fun and fast the birth was.

My favorite part was, of course, meeting my sweet sweet boy and sharing our first of many snuggles. He truly is a mama’s boy.

I’m so happy I was able to share my birth story with you all. My boy just turned 6 years old and started kindergarten a few months ago, time moves at lightning speed with little ones. It was such a joy going back in time and reliving such an amazing and memorable day in my life.

I want to thank The Not So Hoity Toity Life for inviting me to share my birth story. It’s something that is a truly special thing that only women can feel and understand, and it’s an amazing gift to be able to hear so many different stories and learn from everyone’s unique experiences.


Join me over at SimpleLifeDreamer.com where I blog about living a simple life in a not so simple world. Can’t wait to see you there!

A 2nd Child Birth Story

My birth experience with my second baby was vastly different to my first. With the first I felt very let down by the way I was dismissed as a new mother. How the midwives didn’t explain anything to me or ask my opinion or birth plan. I didn’t know any better. With my second, I was determined not to let that happen again! I can’t really discuss my first yet. I’m not sure why but it’s just too difficult to put into words how that experience affected me or made me feel. My first required a NICU stay for a couple of days. My second I was desperate to have a ‘real’ birth experience and avoid the NICU at all costs.

I made a birth plan involving kangaroo care and immediate skin to skin, with delayed cord clamping. I even arranged to sit down with the head midwife at the hospital and talk it over. Fortunately, she reassured me right away that I would get what I wanted, apparently kangaroo care was the standard now.

Funny how much can change in just three years!

Unfortunately, due to my condition (Obstetric Cholestasis, which I had had with my first and had returned this time) I had to be induced at 37 weeks. This was good in a way, I knew exactly when my baby was coming, we could make arrangements and plan accordingly. But at the same time, as the day approached so did the fear.

My first birth had been difficult, terrifying and had not been handled how I’d wanted. I had not been given skin to skin or delayed clamping (or even asked my preferences) and I had been given an  without asking. My first had started ‘grunting’ which required a NICU stay in case of infection. I have since done research which suggests skin to skin would have prevented this.

So with my second I was induced at 12pm. Along with the discomfort and undignified requirements of being induced it can also be more painful and my second baby had decided he wanted to be back to back, which has been estimated to be about twice as painful as a regular labour.

I started feeling contractions mid-afternoon which progressively worsened until we were convinced they were just going to be stuck at a crappy plateau for a while in the evening, so I sent Husband home to get some sleep and asked for some pethidine so I could nap also. I woke up about 2 hours later and it was clear the contractions were now unbearable.

The midwives called Husband to come in and I asked for an epidural, despite the fact I’d decided against it. They examined me and it turned out an epidural was out of the question, I was 9cm and just a few contractions after the examination I was feeling the urge to push. I was wheeled round to delivery on my bed, during which time my waters broke and the urge to push was overwhelming.

In delivery I was propped up on the bed and put up in stirrups. I had wanted to try being on hands and knees but the pain was so extreme I literally couldn’t open my eyes most of the time, let alone support myself.

I had only the gas and air to reply on and it soon became worse than that. It turns out my little monster had decided to try turning around at the last minute. He was now sideways and his head was stuck. He had somehow pinned a part of the amniotic sack with waters still inside. This wasn’t helping! The midwives manually broke the membrane which exploded all over them due to the intense pressure that had built up! (Which is pretty hilarious, looking back!)

They were concerned that he wasn’t coming fast enough and was in distress, so they started taking my gas and air away from me during the contractions! Their theory was that I’d push harder if I was in more pain, I’m pretty sure it made it harder for me to push at all!

Finally, he was out (without another episiotomy, thank goodness!) and I got what I wanted, immediate, gooey skin to skin, in all his waxy vernix covered glory! It was lovely, having my little baby, so warm and new, cuddled up on my chest.rhyd

We stayed like that for at least an hour as I was taken care of (stitches, ouch!) and the placenta was finally detached after delaying the clamping. Then Husband had his turn to cuddle him and took care of cleaning and dressing him. We were lucky enough to be left to have some time alone for another hour or so as I very slowly got myself up and had a shower. It was slow going and I was still in shock, but it was a huge relief to have my baby in the room with me this time, I didn’t realise how deeply it had affected me last time.

We were eventually wheeled to a bed on a ward where we had a little sleep and he had his first checks and things done. He was born just before 4am and we were discharged at 4pm! All in all, very different, but I felt so much better about this birth. I felt because he was my second I was taken more seriously and given more support, which is sad really, the new mums need it more, but I am grateful for it at the same time.

I was nervous about going home with a newborn and a toddler, but I needn’t have worried, his big brother loved him absolutely. Even now at 9 months, he and his brother still adore each other and are always cuddling and kissing and laughing at each other. I just wish I had been able to have to same aftercare experience with both of them. I feel almost cheated, like a huge experience was denied to me and I’ll never get it back.

img_20160913_091438A friend suggested I get assessed for PTSD. With my awful, difficult pregnancies and horrific labours it is an actual possibility. I am just extremely grateful it is unlikely I have PND given how I’ve been coping well and the focus of my anxiety is very specific, although I’m not sure, maybe it’s connected. I guess I’ll find out at my appointment!

I am waiting to see a doctor this month about a possible diagnosis. I love being a mum of two and feel I’m coping pretty well, we are all happy and healthy. However, since my second I’ve been more focused on the drastic differences between my birth care, I can’t forget the horrific agony I went through with both of them and the thought of getting pregnant again actually makes me feel physically sick with dread, I start to sweat and feel on the verge of panic. I have even done pregnancy tests when I know I’m not pregnant (I am back on the pill; I couldn’t breastfeed but that is a whole other story) because I’m so terrified of going through all that again.

Despite all this and feeling 100% certain I am done with having more, I always try to encourage new expecting mums that I know. I know not everyone has an experience like mine and am grateful for that. I always try to emphasis how worth it it all is when you’ve got that little boy/girl in your arms.

To read more  stories from this Mom, check out her blog at http://www.alifeinpracticeblog.com/! She covers mental health and everyday Mom struggles! She also gives amazing advice and some great recipes!


A Home Birth Story

The story of the birth of my first child is something that has taken me quite some time to come to terms with. Although I did manage to have a drug-free homebirth as I had hoped, not much else about it felt according to plan.


It was nine days past my due date and I was getting pretty anxious by this time. Here in Austria it is standard practice to induce labour once a pregnancy goes ten days overdue. Having read way too many scary labour stories involving medical induction online, I was pretty terrified of having to do that. It would have meant not only having a medicated birth, but also having to do it in hospital. And I was dead set on doing it at home with my midwife.

Finally, on the morning of the 9th day post-due date (and incidentally, also on the day of my second wedding anniversary), I started feeling little twinges. They were very infrequent, about every 20 minutes and certainly not very intense. I was excited. Finally I was going to be a mummy. And this didn’t even hurt that bad. Maybe all the stories I had read online about the pain of contractions had been exaggerated. They just felt like mild period cramps. (I can laugh now at my naivete.) I texted my midwife to let her know that I thought today was going to be the day. I promised my husband I’d let him know of my progress and he went off to work to tie up some loose ends, while I binged on plums in front of the TV and did some translation work. I know now that I should have taken a nap. But nobody told me how important that was and I was too excited to rest.

By the evening, my husband was home and things had sped up a little. This was getting a little boring. The midwife had given us instructions to call her once the contractions were 3 minutes apart. Even though they weren’t always so painful, by 2am they were indeed about 3 minutes apart, so she came over. She examined me and then told me the awful news. I was only 2cm dilated. After about 18 hours of contracting. She told me to go to sleep and call her again when things were feeling really intense.

So I climbed into bed finally and slept. Almost 2 hours later, I was awoken by truly agonizing pains. I was shuddering with them, almost as if I was trying to run away from the pain, which is of course impossible since the pain was coming from inside my body. Then I fell asleep again for 7 minutes. Then I was woken again by more of the same. This happened several more times with me being awoken by extremely painful contractions and then drifting back into sleep again, until I finally pulled myself out of bed and staggered towards the blow-up birthing pool we had set up in the living room. Once my hubby had added some more hot water, I climbed in and felt instant (partial) relief. Like when something really hot gets doused in cold water and steam shoots off of it.

This part is a little hazy in my memory because I was so tired, but I vaguely remember sometimes labouring in the pool, and sometimes getting out to bounce on my birthing ball. Time passed. Finally, at 2pm (a solid 12-hours since the midwife’s first visit), we gave her a call and asked her to come back. My contractions were back to every 3 minutes and were unbelievably intense. It was going to take her at least 40 minutes to drive over. I couldn’t take it anymore and I cracked. I started crying (a very unusual occurrence for me since I usually have such a stiff upper lip) and I told hubby that I couldn’t do it anymore. I wanted an epidural. I said, “I know I told you to ignore me if I ever ask for an epidural. But I was an idiot and I NEED it.” He was so sweet. He told me, if the midwife examines me and I’ve made no progress, we’ll go to hospital and get me some sweet, sweet drugs. Okay, he didn’t say “sweet, sweet”. That’s just what I heard in my head.

When the midwife arrived, I was secretly hoping she would tell me that I was still only 2cm dilated. Then I could go to hospital, they could make the pain stop and I could finally sleep. No such luck. 9cm!!!! She told me I could start pushing.

In a perfect world, I would have been ten minutes away from meeting my little baby boy or girl. But instead, I didn’t meet little Frankie for another 2 hours. I tried pushing in the tub, I tried pushing on the floor squatting (even though I was so exhausted that I could barely stand, let alone squat), I tried pushing on my back, on my knees and I finally settled onto my side on the sofa. Hubby and the midwife (who looked bored and kept sending text messages throughout the whole ordeal) insisted they could see the head. But they’d been telling me that for over an hour! At one point I yelled in frustration, “how big is this f***ing head anyway!!!!” By this time, 90 minutes had passed and I was completely spent. I’ve since been told that my face was completely grey at the time and I seemed barely conscious, not responding to hubby asking me if I was ok.

Finally, the midwife realized that I was not going to manage this on my own and she started talking about a hospital transferal. Even though I had visited the hospital ward and thought it seemed really nice, the idea of having to take a 30 minute ambulance ride with a baby part-way sticking out of me was terrifying. Hubby stepped in. He called our family doctor, whose practice is only 5 minutes away and convinced him that we needed help, even though family doctors almost never help out with homebirths anymore due to liability reasons. The doctor abandoned a waiting room full of people at his practice and was at our home in 5 minutes carrying two I.V. bags of saline and glucose. I was half aware of how naked I was as this man who I often see at church walked into my living room. He stuck the needle in my arm to give me the IVs and my husband watched as colour returned to my face before his eyes. It felt like a cloud had been lifted from around my head and the cotton wool removed from my ears. Then the wonderful doctor (a.k.a. the hero of the story) told me that he was going to push on my belly with my next contraction. With the next contraction, the head was born. And on the next one, my baby was finally here. A boy!


Unbelievably, despite my son having a rather large head as it turned out, I did not suffer any tearing. Although it took about a week to regain my strength, there was no other physical trauma. However, it honestly took a good 2 years before I stopped obsessing over the experience and having flashbacks.

Do I have any advice for women preparing for labour?

I understand that there are a million pieces of advice floating about out there for women preparing to give birth to their first child. But I think the two most important things I can impart to you are thus:

  1. Find a midwife / doctor (preferably more than one) who is passionate and not overworked.
  2. If you think labour is starting, but it’s not too intense, go eat a bunch of food and take a nap. You need rest and energy for the big marathon.

I understand that this labour story is not a very nice one but please don’t be discouraged by it. I have since had 2 more children and these births were much more positive experiences.


About the Mama:  

To learn about the hospital births of my 2 younger children, please visit my blog at thebabybuncher.com and check out some of my other videos on my YouTube channel.

My name is Kay. I am a British ex-pat living in Austria and a 3-time mother to a 4-year old, a 2-year old and a 9-month old. I love organising my home, eating food grown in my own garden and going on adventures with my family.

Although my husband and I always wanted a large family, wanting and having are 2 different things. ‘Baby bunching’ or having ‘Irish twins’ (several children close together in age) is more than a full-time job. Just getting through the day is sometimes a daunting task.

If you are pregnant, have a baby or are dealing with toddler tantrums, or perhaps all 3 at the same time (like me), then this blog is for you. Learn new tips and hacks with me for dealing with demanding little ones, while trying to do it on a budget. I am passionate about sharing what I have learned so far and connecting with a community of amazing, like-minded mummies and daddies.

My “Baby Bunching” adventure is far from over. Join me as I experience the highs and lows of motherhood with so many little ones to look after.

The Birth Story of Tenley

To my sweet, sweet Tenley:

It was Sunday, April 26th, late in the evening when I started having contractions. Even though I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions almost my entire pregnancy with you (these are like practice contractions), these contractions were different and were about 10-15 minutes apart. I went to bed and slept on and off throughout the night.  When I woke up the next morning, the contractions were getting more consistent, at 7-9 minutes apart. I had an appointment with Dr. Medlock at 9:30am so I figured I’d let him know when I got there. I also texted your daddy who was at work to give him a heads up. When I got to my appointment, they told me to go straight to the hospital. I had to call daddy’s work to have someone radio him in as he had already taken off in the helicopter with his students. I also called Granna who immediately left Virginia and drove all the way to Pensacola, FL! I drove myself, parked myself, and walked up to labor and delivery triage all while in labor!027

The nurses got me on the monitor and my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. They gave me fluids, took my blood and urine sample. I signed a bunch of papers and waited. Your daddy got to the hospital really quick and soon after the doctor came in. He checked my cervix and I was 1-2 centimeters dilated, 50% effaced and -1 station. He told me to walk the hospital for an hour to see what happens, so daddy and I did just that. Afterwards, the doctor checked me again and I went up to 90% effaced. At 2 PM, he called Dr. Medlock and he said to admit me! They took me to our labor and delivery room and that is where I met our new nurse, Dava. Dava was special because we had so much in common, including the fact that her family owned a beach house in Duck, NC which is where your daddy and I got married! In the meantime, my contractions were getting more intense and closer and closer together. They started a little bit of Pitocin to intensify them because I was still only 2 centimeters dilated. At this point, all I was feeling were really bad cramps so I was getting pain medication every hour until they decided to break my water (that is the sac of water that you lived in for 38 weeks and 1 day!). As soon as they broke it, I decided to get an epidural because I was warned that the contractions were going to pick up and mommy didn’t want to feel any pain. So at 7:15 PM, Julie, the nurse anesthetist, came in the room to give me my epidural (daddy left the room because he wasn’t sure he could take it). I also got another nurse at this time because it was shift change for the nurses. In walked Anna! Anna had been my nurse in triage when I was 23 weeks pregnant with you and I was having some contractions that needed to go away. I was so happy to see her and that she was my nurse! Anna checked me about an hour after my epidural and I had progressed to 7 centimeters, 100% effacement, but you were still at a -1 station (you didn’t want to come out!). I was placed in all sorts of different positions to help get you to come down! In the meantime, my epidural wasn’t working in a few places, these are called “hotspots”. But, Julie came to my rescue every time I had a hotspot and gave me more medicine to help with my pain right away. Eventually I couldn’t feel a thing from my lower back to the tip of my toes! I was 10 centimeters so I started practice pushing for a few minutes, which was weird because I couldn’t feel a thing! But, I guess I did a good job because you were making your way down pretty quick. I even played “tug of war” with a towel and another nurse to help me push!


We had a photographer, Jordan Burch, come to capture your delivery. This was one of the best decisions mommy has ever made because I have everything in pictures from one of the best days of my life. Around midnight, they called Dr. Medlock to come because you were right there and ready to come out! I stopped pushing until he got there and in the meantime we admired all of the hair you had on your head. When Dr. Medlock came, you were out in just a few pushes! You came out sunny side up, which means you were looking at the ceiling when you were coming out. This is pretty uncommon and everyone was shocked I only pushed for 30 minutes to get you out in that position! At 12:17 AM on April 28th you were born. Dr. Medlock let mommy pull you out the rest of the way and there are no words to explain the overwhelming happiness and joy I felt when I laid my eyes and hands on you. Mommy cried and cried (happy tears!) and was in disbelief that you lived inside of me for all those months. You were beautiful, with a head full of hair and beautiful big eyes! You did not cry very much and I remember asking if you were okay so many times. All you wanted to do was look around to see what was going on! They laid you on mommy’s chest for a little bit then took you away to weigh you, you were 6 lbs 13.7 oz. Then daddy got to hold you for a little bit on his bare chest! Your birth was the most incredible experience I have ever been through, and I would do it over and over again if I could have the same people in there with me.


These beautiful photos were taken by Jordan Burch Photography (http://jordanburchphotography.com) in Pensacola, FL.

To catch up on this Mama and her adorable baby girl, Tenley you can visit her Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/lu_mulloy/?hl=en!

The Birth Story of Chance

I had my first child at the young age of 21   yrs old. I was in a tumultuous, abusive relationship at the time, and finding out I was pregnant was terrifying. I knew this guy was not the man I wanted to have a child with, but I knew in my heart this child was going to save me. Through out my pregnancy I had many ups and downs, I was working full time in retail, I found out I had gestational diabetes and my mother was beginning dialysis to combat her renal disease.

The 30th week of pregnancy I had been getting a lot of tightness around my belly. I just thought it was the baby moving a lot, it felt like he was pushing around in there. It was uncomfortable but I was able to go about my normal work schedule and help my mom with her doctors appointments. Then the day of my 7.5 month check up I picked up my mom for an appointment and felt pretty good, but my legs felt tighter, like they were swollen.

At my appointment later that day, the dr came in, took my blood pressure a couple times, and explained she was concerned about Preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, often the kidneys. Preeclampsia usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman whose blood pressure had been normal. Even a slight rise in blood pressure may be a sign of preeclampsia.

So she insisted I head over to the hospital to get monitored for a bit. She wanted me to take an ambulance but I insisted on driving myself, saying I was picking up my boyfriend on the way. We arrived at the hospital and got checked in. I got hooked up to a machine to monitor my baby and they took blood, and urine samples and an ultrasound. When the nurse came in, she said words I will never forget “You are having pre-term labor and Preeclampsia and will probably be having this baby with in the next 24-48hrs.”

I was shocked! I was in no way ready, I wasn’t ready to not be working, I had nothing ready for the baby other than a bassinet and some hand me down baby clothes. I was panicked!

Once I calmed down, I called and told work, then I was rushed in to a room where they hooked me up to a very painful IV, gave me steroid shots to hopefully help my babies lungs. And started me on a Magnesium sulfate iv to help prevent seizures from my high blood pressure. The first 24 hours was miserable. After that though my body settled down and I felt better. I was still taking the iv, and was on strict hospital bed rest, which I was not happy about! I still wanted to be working. My boyfriend was sort of supportive but went about his life and left me in the hospital to rest which I am glad for.

I ended up stable for 2 full weeks on bed rest, the Dr’s were very happy with how my baby was growing, and decided I would be ready for delivery at 34 weeks. They prepared me for potential complications but they felt since anytime they lowered my Magnesium IV, my blood pressure went up, the safest course was delivery.

I told my family and the plan was for everyone to come up the first thing in the morning. I was moved to a delivery room and they started the induction by giving me Cervidil to ready my cervix. After that was whirl wind, as soon as they did that, I started contracting, and my baby decided he didn’t like that and was in distress. I was rushed in to the operating room, and luckily my boyfriend and parents got there just in time to see me off to the room.


My baby boy entered the world at 1:03 am on November 9, 2004. He was screaming and everything! I was so drugged up I could barely give him a kiss as they rushed him off to the NICU while I was being sewn up. They said he was ok, but he was little and needed some evaluations to see how he was.

I woke up from the anesthesia the next morning still feeling numb from the spinal block, and all I could think about was when I could go see my baby. It was pure torture that they wouldn’t let me see him until I could walk. They brought me pictures and my boyfriend spent time with him. But it wasn’t good enough. I needed my baby!

Finally I was able to be there in the NICU and was so happy with the news. He was small only 3 lbs 12 oz. and needed to be fed through a tube in his nose but he was breathing on his own and no other complications. The next two weeks were spent at his bedside, watching him gain strength learn to drink out of a bottle and overcome the initial prognosis of spending 6 weeks in the NICU. We were discharged after only 2 weeks!

My son certainly gave me an adventure getting in to this world and he’s continued to keep me on my toes. He gave me the strength to leave a terrible relationship shortly after he was born. I was lucky to move on and leave that man in my past. I met a wonderful guy that has taken on the role of Dad to my son and they have a bond like no other. I’m blessed to have found the love of my life because my son helped me pursue a life better for him.


At 2 yrs old he was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome, a genetic disorder causing developmental disabilities and nerve-related symptoms. We’ve met so many families with the same syndrome and we’ve seen how these kids have overcome so much of what doctors would say they could or wouldn’t do. I’m absolutely amazed at how his birth story was only the start of him overcoming obstacles and charting his own path that does not go by what’s expected.chanceschool-1

This inspiring birth story is from Shauna at www.happychaosfamily.com.  Check out her blog to read more about this amazingly strong Mom and  get recipes, fun DIY projects, healthy living tips and more!

My Birth Story

When I was pregnant I loved reading about people’s birth stories. It gave me so much excitement for my upcoming delivery. I was that pregnant woman who had everything ready a month before my due date. The nursery was completely ready and our bags were packed for the hospital. We just needed a baby. We waited and waited and waited. On my due date, the doctor saw no signs of labor. We made a plan for induction at 41 weeks but she assured me that the baby could still come any day.   I walked more than I have ever walked. I even tried running. I was determined to get this baby out. I tried every tip and trick I could find to induce labor naturally. I ate so much pineapple that my entire mouth burned for two straight days. Still nothing. The day before I turned 41 weeks pregnant we went into the hospital for a scheduled induction. That night they started with Cervidil. The next morning the doctor checked me and we were no further along in the birth process. Nothing. I wasn’t dilated, I wasn’t effaced. This baby had no intention of coming out. Pitocin was started and I had some very minor contractions throughout the day. After a day of Pitocin the doctor estimated that I was maybe dilated to a one. A one?!? You must be kidding me. I have been here for over 24 hours and still a one. I knew that I officially had the most stubborn baby. The doctor decided to take me off the Pitocin for the night so I could eat and give my body a break. I didn’t want to eat and I most definitely didn’t want to take a break. All I wanted was to meet my stubborn sweet baby. I didn’t have much of a choice. The doctor said that this approach was best for the baby and my body. We ate dinner and then walked laps around the hospital. Still nothing.

The next morning, the doctor said if I could bear the pain she could try to break my water to help move things along. Of course I could bear the pain. At this point, I could bear anything other than waiting another second for this baby to decide to make his or her entrance. She wasn’t lying about the amount of pain. I was barely dilated. How she even managed to break my water I don’t know and I didn’t care. FINALLY labor started. I had contractions all day. At about noon I decided to have an epidural. Prior to labor, I contemplated getting the epidural. I was pretty certain I wouldn’t get an epidural because I was more afraid of the pain and complications from the epidural procedure than I was of actual labor pains. But when the time came I figured what the heck? Let’s get the epidural. After all, I had little hope that this labor process was going to wrap up anytime soon so I might as well have a little less pain. To my delight, the actual epidural process was not as scary and horrible as I thought it would be.  Sam on the other hand, passed out. Yes, he passed out while a giant needle was being inserted into my back.

At 9pm I was finally ready to push. I pushed. I kept pushing. My due date was June 22nd so I felt fairly confident that my baby would be born in June. I had bought an ornament the Christmas prior, that had a man and pregnant woman on it. It said ‘special delivery coming in June’. We also bought a chalkboard to track my growing belly. The chalkboard had in large letters ‘coming in June’. For Valentine’s Day, Sam bought me a picture frame that said ‘We can’t wait to meet you in June’. Everything said June. I wanted this baby born in June. As the final day in June came to a close I tried bargaining with the nurse. I asked her if we could just write a different time on the birth certificate if the baby was born after midnight. I assured her no one would know.  Shortly after this request, she went to get the doctor. I think she thought I was losing my mind. I don’t think she understood. Everything said June.

I pushed for four hours. This baby was not coming out. The doctor said we had two choices. We could try to use the vacuum method which  may allow me to still have a vaginal birth however, there were risks associated with this. The doctor explained that it was likely that the baby was stuck for a reason and using the vacuum method could cause damage to the baby. The second option was a C-section. I never even considered a C-Section before. I didn’t research C-Sections. I skipped over the C-Section birth stories because I was confident that this wasn’t going to be part of my birth story. We were told we only had a few minutes to make this decision. This possibly life altering decision. I slept for approximately five hours in the past three days and now you want me to make this decision. A decision that could potentially change my babies life. There were complications with both procedures. I certainly didn’t research C-Section vs. Vacuum. How was I possibly supposed to make this decision? Luckily, I didn’t have to make it alone. Sam was there. We talked through it calmly and ultimately decided to proceed with the C-Section. The vacuum would have likely ended with a C-Section anyways so we decided to limit the risk of having both procedures.

Everything after this moment is kind of a blur. I was so exhausted that I kept going in and out of sleep. I could feel them cutting into me. They had to stop the procedure and administer more anesthesia. I wish so badly I could have seen the moment they pulled my baby out. But instead all I could see was an ugly blue curtain. I do remember that amazing feeling when I suddenly no longer had a giant bowling ball resting on my internal organs.  It was such a sense of relief. I asked Sam if it was a boy or a girl. He looked at the baby and then looked at me and said ‘I’m not sure’. This was the moment I had been waiting for since I found out I was pregnant. What do you mean you don’t know? ‘I think it’s a girl’. I had never heard better words than those. I secretly {or maybe not so secretly} wanted a baby girl so bad. My entire life I dreamed of having a daughter. I never imagined I would be so lucky to actually have a baby girl. I instantly started crying.

It didn’t take long for me to realize something was wrong. All of the doctors were rushing around. Lulu wasn’t crying like I knew she should be. I kept asking what was wrong. No one would tell me. I couldn’t see anything and I couldn’t move. This baby who I was solely responsible for over the last nine months was now in the care of strangers and no one was telling me what was going on. The nurse could tell I was starting to panic. She explained that my baby was having some breathing difficulty but it was nothing to worry about. She said this is common with C-Section babies. I don’t think she realized that I didn’t care about what was ‘common’ or what happens with other babies. All I cared about was what was going on with my baby. I wanted so bad to hold her. To have skin to skin with her. To look over her body and count her ten fingers and ten toes. Instead I was told that she was going off to the special care unit and I would be heading to the recovery room. I had to beg to just let me see her and kiss her. The nurse persuaded the doctor to let me have just one moment with her.  She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.


She was in the special care unit for about a day and a half. She had a hole in her lung which led to it collapsing. Babies are absolutely amazing. Her little body was so tough. The hole closed and her lung was able to function normally. Almost a week later, we were finally released from the hospital. The real journey was about to begin.

It took a long time for me to want to talk about my birth story. For me it was an incredibly traumatic few days. I realize now that these difficult days led me to Lulu. I need to celebrate this birth story. It was all worth it. A miracle happened in that hospital. My baby was born and my life forever changed.

4 Things C-Section Moms Need to Hear

I had a birth plan. It wasn’t complicated. I didn’t want a home birth, I wasn’t looking to deliver in a pool full of water and I wasn’t expecting butterflies released when my baby entered the world. I just wanted that magical moment, after all the pushing and pain, when the doctor laid my perfect baby on my chest and we had an abundance of skin to skin time. My husband would hug us and look at us endearingly. I would cry with happiness and it would be the best moment of my life. We waited the full nine months to find out our baby’s gender and I thought in the moments after birth we would be talking about how our baby boy was going to be on the soccer team or how our baby girl was going to be the princess I always wanted. What was definitely NOT on my birth plan was multiple failed attempts at an induction, actively pushing for four hours and being rushed in for a C-section. I didn’t expect to only get one glimpse at my precious new baby before she was rushed off due to breathing trouble and to give me time to ‘recover’. Also not in my birth plan was the sadness, guilt and jealousy I had after Lulu’s birth. It took awhile for me to cope with everything that happened during and after her birth. I wish someone would have reminded me of these four things after Lulu was born:


You gave Birth

After my C-section, I felt like I couldn’t say that ‘I gave birth’. After all, my baby didn’t come out of the birth canal like a ‘normal’ birth. I felt like I somehow cheated. The truth is, I did give birth. She wasn’t pushed out like I expected, instead she was cut out of me in a major surgery. Giving birth isn’t defined by the way your baby comes into the world. I carried my baby for 40 weeks (plus 1 week and 3 days…she was very comfy in there) and my body changed to grow my baby. If it wasn’t for me and my body, this perfect human being wouldn’t be here. My body grew this baby and my body gave her life! It doesn’t matter how she came into this world what matters is that I gave her life.

You Didn’t Take the Easy Way Out

Anyone who says that a C-section is the easy way out, clearly never had a C-section! We as C-Section Mothers had our abdomen and uterus cut open and then stapled back together. We were given a serious dose of pain meds and put on strict movement restrictions. Prior to ever entering the cold and sterile operating room, many of us, tried pushing out our baby, we attempted labor and the C-section was the absolute last option. We had to make a choice about what was best for our babies before they even entered this world. We definitely didn’t take the easy way out either emotionally or physically.

You Didn’t Fail

I am lucky enough to be surrounded by incredibly resilient women. The women in my family are strong minded and tough. They are amazing women and even better moms. I heard all about the birth stories that the women in my life experienced. I knew they all powered through labor and showed amazing courage through it all. I knew how proud they were of themselves and how proud their spouses were when they were able to deliver their babies. I knew that they all had vaginal births and I never anticipated I wouldn’t. It never even occurred to me that I wouldn’t have the same type of birth as all of the other women in my life. I remember right before I went into the operating room that I cried to my mom because ‘I failed’. She assured me that this was absolutely untrue but it didn’t change how I felt. What did I do wrong? Why couldn’t I deliver my baby the way a woman was supposed to? Why can all of these other women have vaginal births and I couldn’t? All of these questions went through my mind right before the C-section and after. It wasn’t until one night that I was holding my beautiful daughter and she smiled for the first time. It hit me. Of course, I didn’t fail. I loved her from the minute I found out I was pregnant. I changed my diet and my lifestyle. I took vitamins and went to all of my prenatal appointments. I did kick counts and I went to birthing class. I did everything I needed to do to make sure my baby was healthy. The way my baby came into this world does not determine my success or failure. It wasn’t my fauly that she was a rather large baby and that her head was positioned wrong which made her stuck in the birth canal. This wasn’t my fault, I did nothing wrong. How could I have possibly failed when my body created the most perfect being I have ever seen? I couldn’t have. I didn’t fail. C-section Mamas may have given birth in a different way than anticipated but they certainly didn’t fail. After all, when you have given the world a miracle there is no possible way you could have failed.

Stop Focusing on How Your Baby Came Into the World

The months following Lulu’s birth, every time I heard about another baby being born a little part of me was jealous. I hated hearing about other people’s birth stories because mine was so traumatic. I didn’t get the happy and exciting moment that everyone else got.  I cheated myself by getting bogged down in this thinking. I missed celebrating happy moments with my loved ones. I missed out on talking about my birth story. I missed out on celebrating the day that changed my life. I missed out because I couldn’t stop thinking of all the things that went wrong. I am not going to make this mistake again! If my next birth ends in a C-section my focus is going to be on how happy I am to have my baby in this world. I will focus on this new life that I brought into this world and what a blessing that is. These are the things that are important about your birth story, not which way your baby was delivered.

C-section Mamas {and all mamas} YOU are strong, you are courageous and you are amazing! Stop telling yourself any differently.


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