Friday, May 4, 2012

Peter's birth story

The time finally arrived. 4:05 pm on Tuesday, May 1st. We held our son for the first time and our hearts filled with joy and overwhelming thankfulness.

This is Peter Daniel's birth story.

Peter's due date was Tuesday, April 24th. The day came and went, with a bit of disappointment in my heart. How much longer would we have to wait to meet our little son?

On Friday the 27th my doctor told me I was 2 centimeters dilated. She was my doctor for Sitora's pregnancy but unfortunately was not on call the Saturday she was born. But for both my pregnancies she has been completely supportive of my natural birth plan and assured me she would do everything she could to help meet our wishes. The weekend passed. On Monday morning, April 30th from 1:00-5:00am I had strong contractions, then they just stopped. They started up again around 9:00am as I started to get ready for my appointment that morning. They were 10 minutes apart and lasted 45 seconds each. The contractions continued slow and steady like this, but they were not strong and I felt like I wasn't making any progress. I would take walks, baths, sit, stand, read, watch movies, and do anything I could to keep my mind off it.

At 9:00pm my contractions started coming 5 minutes apart and were very strong. Danny and I watched movies in our room all night (and he drifted in and out of sleep) while I had these contractions all. night. long. (I watched a whole bunch of  "I shouldn't be alive" episodes and it really helped me see others in pain while I was contracting... isn't that hilarious? I guess I felt the camaraderie or something...)

At 5:30am on Tuesday, May 1st I told Danny it was time to go to the hospital. Sitora heard us talking and walked into our room and laid on the bed. I had a strong contraction and she immediately bolted up and said, "I need to help Mommy feel better! Should I rub her back?" It was the sweetest thing. (Earlier that night before putting her to bed she had been rubbing my back during contractions, what a sweetheart!)

So we got everything packed up and ready to go, put Sitora to sleep with Danny's little sister, and we drove off to the hospital. Our car does not have good shocks, and let me tell you, hitting those bumps during a contraction is not something I want to feel again. No thank you!

We stopped at a convenience store so my wonderful husband could buy me some quick snacks and then we arrived at the hospital around 6:30am. I was 3 centimeters dilated. Not what I wanted to hear :(

Unfortunately I had to be hooked up to an IV immediately because I had tested Group B Strep positive in my pregnancy (google it if you don't know about it). I had to have antibiotics fed to me through the IV almost the entire labor. I knew this would be difficult because for Sitora's birth I felt free to walk and sit and move however I wanted. This time I could move around a bit, but I would be tied up to the IV and have to pull it with me everywhere.

After about an hour or two I had only dilated to 4 1/2 centimeters, so she broke my water. After an hour or so later I then progressed to 5. This was not the progress we wanted to see. To make matters worse, I had laid in a funny position that baby did not like and his heart rate dropped to 90. My doctor was concerned since he was one week overdue to begin with, and she did not want me off the fetal monitor for the rest of the labor. This meant I could not labor in the whirlpool (which totally saved my life with Sitora's birth) and I could only sit/stand in positions where the monitor could catch baby's heartbeat.

I ended up finding a nice position to labor in for the majority of the day. I sat at the edge of the bed most of the time. The pain was strong, but it was manageable. Danny and I both fell asleep in between contractions for a few hours, we were that tired.

We labored like this until 2pm, and my doctor checked me only to find I had not dilated any more since 10:00am! I was still at 5 centimeters! My heart broke.

She suggested that my contractions weren't quite strong enough and asked if we would consider Pitocin, even though she knew it wasn't my first choice. We readily agreed because at this point I had had lost a night's sleep and had labored all day with hardly any food in my system. I was worn out and ready to get this show on the road. I asked for a shot that takes the edge off the pain.Danny prayed over me that this would finish the job and that we would indeed be able to still have a natural birth.

The pitocin kicked in full gear and I nearly lost my mind. The pain was almost intolerable. I'm not sure if the shot helped much, but if it did, then I don't want to know what the pain is like without the shot! I bent over the edge of the bed while Danny held my hand and rubbed my back. From 2:00-3:45pm I labored haaaaaard. I told Danny and the doctor that I didn't think I could make it anymore without an epidural- I had reached my sanity level. She checked me and I was 7 centimeters. She asked if I had the urge to push, and surprisingly I said yes! She told me that we should continue naturally and that she believed in me! It was just what I needed to hear. Danny was also always speaking words of encouragement into my ear and giving me the hope that I could press on.

My doctor let me start pushing at 7 centimeters because I was totally effaced. I pushed for 15 long hard minutes. I barely had the strength left in me to do it. I was weak, hungry, and emotionally drained. They put oxygen on me and that helped me breath through the pushing. The doctor needed the vacuum to help direct him out because he was a bit stuck. At 4:05pm our son come into this world! When he came out I watched as Danny cut the cord and they placed him on my chest. They gave Peter a 9 on the Apgar score and after being washed up and checked for a few minutes, he was quickly handed back to me. He nursed right away with a little help from the nurse and was so alert! I ordered room service immediately and gobbled down a fajita soft taco while Danny devoured chicken Parmesan. It was a great reward!  Danny grabbed our camera and snapped pictures of these precious moments after he arrived, and I am so thankful for the memories to look back on.

My eyes are all bloodshot after pushing Peter out. It looks like the whites of my eyes are actually bleeding, it's kind of creepy. But I think it's cool because it shows how hard I worked to bring him into this world!

I don't think down upon anyone who does not have a natural birth. I think we all have our pain tolerance and our insanity level, and I would never judge anyone else for their decisions. But I myself have done lots of research on the wonderful effects of a natural birth on a baby and mother (even though it can be harder). I don't like the idea of medicine passing to my baby, and that's mostly the reason I chose to opt out of an epidural. I think that's why both my babies nursed so well and were so alert right from the start! Plus I was able to eat and walk around within minutes of birth.

I am so thankful that my doctor was able to help deliver Sitora because of her support in our natural methods. She was amazing, encouraging, gentle, sweet, and thorough. She has a gifting from the Lord- being an OBGYN is definitely not just a "job" for her! She actually did medical work in Senegal last year and we loved talking about overseas relief work together during our appointments. The Lord answered our prayers and we are exceedingly grateful!

Peter Daniel means "A rock whom God is my judge." Peter and Daniel are two of my favorite Bible characters. Growing up I always thought I would name my son Daniel, but I married one instead :) I love how Peter in the Bible was always passionate for the Kingdom of Heaven! He may have messed up, but he always got back on his feet and tried again. 1st and 2nd Peter are some of my favorite books of the Bible as well, which talk about suffering with Christ and knowing Him intimately. We pray he would be a strong man of God, a rock of faith and passion for Him. And we pray that he would look to God alone for standards, for acceptance, and for identity. That he would not look to other men to be his judge, but God alone!


  1. Oh Casey, I am so happy for you and your family!! Your birth story doesn't sound too different from mine with Jackson. I was GBS+ and had to get IV antibiotics. I wasn't progressing very fast and had to get pitocin-that is tough stuff to get through naturally! Towards the end I had to get some IV stadol to take the edge off because I was close to caving and getting an epidural as well. But all in all, in the end I am sooo glad that I didn't get one because like you said-you feel amazing afterwards and can get up and walk! It was great to read your story!

  2. Congratulations!!! I want to see him soo bad. We'll be at Church tomorrow morning, will you? Let me know when I can come visit you next week, because I want to be able to hold him and chat with you! Love you so much. I'm so proud of your natural birth!! :) He's so incredibly handsome by the way.

  3. What a beautiful story, Thank you for introducing the world to Peter Daniel!