Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hunter Jacob: A Birth Story

I cannot believe how fast time has gone since the birth of our son on the first day of November. I decided a few days ago that I needed to hurry up and write Hunter's birth story before I begin to forget certain parts:) I wrote it in the way that I want to remember it...in a way that I can relive the emotions and sensations of that day. 

(Although I chose to have an all natural birth at a birthing center, I in no way am condemning other methods of labor and delivery...this is just what worked for me and what I was comfortable with...I believe every mom who carries a child into this world in any capacity deserves respect:)

Four months ago I sat on the sofa with a good novel in my hands and a slightly odd feeling in my gut. I had spent the day shopping, stocking up on essentials. I had frantically organized our pantry like a mad woman, and made a huge crock-pot of chili… I was exhausted…and little did I know… I was in labor.

As the minutes ticked by, I remember thinking that these strange pangs in my gut felt different than Braxton hicks…and they were coming steadily at regular intervals. Since I had begun “leaking” a few hours earlier, the thought occurred to me that perhaps my water had broken and was just s-l-o-w-l-y trickling out. I decided to call the midwife, just to be sure what I was experiencing was normal and to confirm that I was probably not in labor and that my very pregnant body was simply having a hard time controlling my bladder (moms out there know just what I mean…right;)

Instead she urged me to gather my things and make my way to the birth center. I quickly woke Mike up, telling him that the time had come for us to go. I packed our things while calling my mom and a few other close friends…I remember laughing as I chatted on the phone, while Mike nervously (impatiently) ushered me out the door. As we drove to the birth center our excitement mounted and we tried to calm ourselves, reminding each other this could just be a false alarm. I remember holding hands and exchanging knowing glances. I remember peering into the backseat where the empty infant carrier sat, just waiting to be filled. I remember how good the seat heat in our Tahoe felt against my achy back as the contractions continued to roll in.

When we arrived at the birth center it was around midnight. The midwife on-call met us in the lobby and led us to an exam room where she could check to see if my water had broken. She confirmed that it had. She then showed us to the birthing suite that would soon become one of the most memorable places in our lives. She explained that I was still in very early labor and the best thing for us to do was to rest and wait. We climbed into the bed together and turned down the lights. I remember being so thankful that we were at a birth center, not a hospital, which meant that Mike could be right there in bed with me, and not in a cot on the floor.

Hours dragged by as I breathed and counted my way through contractions. The clock on the wall read about 4:30 when the mom in the room next to me began to let out bellowing cries which turned to screams as she gave a final push and her little one entered the world. We heard the sound of a newborn cry. I held my breath so I could hear the commotion on the other side of the wall. Mike asked if I was nervous after hearing a woman in labor, I told him I was jealous…her work was done and mine had not even begun…

I went to the bathroom and took a good hard look at myself in the mirror. I thought, “this is it woman…lets see what your made of…lets do it.” I decided that whatever pain I was about to encounter was for my benefit and that I would pursuit it at all cost. I could not wait to meet my baby.

Morning came and the contractions were steady but not progressing as quickly as I had hoped. My mom arrived to keep us company as we waited. The midwives suggested going for a walk to the bagel shop down the street…hoping that getting me moving would speed up my contractions. After stopping for a few breaks along the way, we made it to the bagel shop and ordered breakfast. I worked through the waves of contractions as I ate my bagel and drank my coffee. I remember thinking that this was just another day for everyone else in that shop…they had no idea what the pregnant lady in the booth by the window was experiencing.

We walked back to the Birth center and they checked to see how many centimeters I was. After agreeing that I was not progressing as quickly as we had hoped…we decided to have our midwife break my water completely to see if that would encourage my labor. I remember them reaching in to release my water, and the strangest feeling ensued. It felt like a wonderful release of pressure as warmth filled the bed where I was laying. From there, things began to happen quickly.
My sister arrived and we all met in courtyard behind the birth center. It was a fairly warm day and the sun was so bright. I remember thinking, “I want our baby to be born in the sunshine of this afternoon, not tonight or tomorrow”.

I The prayers prayed at that time were from somewhere so deep inside of me that I can honestly say that labor for me was an extremely spiritual experience. I knew that the purposeful pain that coursed through my body in those hours was mine and mine alone to endure. I also very consciously knew that God Himself was the only other one who could share those inward moments with me, being fully aware of what I was feeling, thinking, and sensing. I have never felt so alive, I have never felt so raw, and I have never felt so focused in all my life. It was the most exhilarating thing I have ever done, and the arms of the Almighty carried me through from start to finish.

As the pressure of my contractions intensified, the Midwife prepared a warm bath for me in the oversized tub. As I sank my writhing body into that water, warmth and weightlessness surrounded me. I spent the next 45 minutes riding out contractions in that tub with my sweet husband by my side. He coached me through them, reminding me to breath, take a sip of water, and remain calm. He praised my efforts and told me he was proud of me…his words of encouragement were like gold to me in those moments. It was because of his steadfast companionship and coaching throughout my labor that I never reached the point of  “I can’t do this”, that so many women reach in the final hours.

I remember feeling the pain of my body as it stretched and thinking that I had a choice to make. I could fight the pain, tense my body, fear it…or I could run into it, embrace it, encourage it with each contraction. I chose the latter every time. The pain reminded me that my little one was one step closer to arriving into our arms, and I wanted that more than anything in the world.

After 45 minutes or so, I felt a strong and involuntary urge to push. I had no control over it, and trying to tame it was like trying to rein in a wildfire. The midwife and Mike helped me make my way to the bed in between contractions.

I found comfort on my hands and knees where I rocked steadily through the next 30 minutes. Although I had already begun to push, the midwife suggested altering my position to perhaps move things along more quickly. As soon as I moved into a sitting position with my legs spread wide, I recall thinking, “this is it…I am minutes away from meeting my baby”. That knowledge directed my body as I gave two final pushes, and felt as my little boy flew out into the hands of the midwife. She immediately handed him to Mike to place on my chest. I felt warmth and joy as his little bare body was laid on my skin and a blanket was wrapped around us both. Mike said, “It’s a boy, I have a son!” as I exclaimed, “He’s beautiful, isn’t he?”…Tears streamed down our faces as we marveled at the miracle we had just participated in…I remember looking down at him and thinking that he was the most perfect little boy in the whole world…

We spent the next hour as a family…talking in hushed tones about the experience as Hunter sucked quietly at my breast…enjoying his first meal and the comfort of our voices…

It was spectacular, one of the greatest days in my life…

He is now four months old, and still fills our days with wonder. We marvel at all the new things he is learning and the way that he has captured our hearts so completely. We are so in love with this little guy…

So there you have it…my birth story...anyone else remember the day you gave birth to your son or daughter? I would love to hear about it!!


  1. Thank you for sharing this Adriane! It is so beautiful, and it makes me excited for the arrival of our newest baby in September. I love to read birth stories because every birth is so special and precious, and is a testimony to the grace of God!

    1. Thanks Jen!! It was so nice to sit and write this because it brought back so many wonderful memories:)) I can't wait for your baby #2 to arrive!!


  2. Adriane,
    Although, I could never have children I am just so happy to be a small part of your life with your child. Thank you for letting me into your life with Hunter. He is so sweet and such a cutie. I can't wait to spend time with you again so I can love you and him!
    Love you Adriane!

  3. Adriane,
    Your birth story was beautiful. A lot like my stories. I birthed both my boys in a birth center, in fact they were both born in the exact room their father was born in!
    My oldest was born they day after his due date. I knew the moment I had my first contraction at 2:04am, it was unmistakable, my labor progressed very fast, in only 12 contractions I went from walking and and preparing last minute things through them to throwing up and needing William to cope. I was already having hard contractions that I had to vocalize through by 4:20am. We reached the Maternity Center by 5:30am, and I worked my way to the exam room with William's help. They checked me and I was 6cm! I was excited to hear that.
    My parents arrived about an hour later then shift changed and I got a different Midwife (LOVED the second midwife).
    I started pushing at 9 and the relief was amazing! I couldn't feel the pain of the contractions once I started pushing, it was such a relief. I first started pushign on the birth stool but wasn't making much headway (ok pun not initially intended but left in for giggles ;P), then I squatted and he started to crown, I stood up and pushed, his hand was against his cheek, making me tear, the rest of his body quickly followed and they handed him to me and covered us both with blankets while stitching me up. They didn't cut his cord until the placenta was birthed, which I didn't know about or care until later when I knew more about birth. I looked a few minutes later and discovered we had a boy...Gabriel. September 14, 2007, 9:40 am, 9lbs 15oz, 20" long, 14" head and chest.

    I was an amazing birth, fast but intense...Jesus was amazing, though I didn't see until after the fact as I didn't have much of a relationship with him until after Gabriel was a year old. But looking back I see where Jesus helped the through my triple teared extremely intense transition contractions.

  4. 2nd Birth story It wouldn't let me publish both at once.
    Michael's birth was much quicker and much more peaceful in my mind. My first contraction was at 12:58 am, May 12, 2011, 3 days before he was due. I hadn't been sleeping well at all so I was only just getting ready for bed when I felt it and decided to lay down and take a nap as I knew this was going to be a very quick labor. I napped for an hour waking up every 10 minutes with light contractions and falling back asleep, an hour later I suddenly had a contraction 7 minutes later and knew it was time to get up. I packed snacks, toothbrushes and tooth paste, and my favorite pants that I wanted to wear home. Woke William when I had bloody show about 20 minutes after getting up. I called my mom who lived next door to come and stay with Gabriel who we decided not to have at the birth center during the birth do to his terror of the site of blood and very sensitive nature.
    We left 2 1/2 hours after my first contraction, I had initially been afraid of the drive as it was going to be longer then with my first son as we had moved more then 40 miles away from the center. But it didn't take that long to get there...hubby was determined I wouldn't birth in the car. The drive was horrible the first contraction or two then I realized it was only bad because I expected it to be bad, so I relaxed and decided this trip was going to be good and relaxing. I spent some wonderful moments conversing with Jesus. William said later I was so quiet he didn't know I had progressed so far. During each contractions I said to myself in my head "Open, I want my cervix to open" over and over again reminding myself that the contractions weren't injuring me they were just helping my baby come. When we got there I immediately got out of the car and immediately went into transition. I had 3 contractions waiting for the midwife, and pushed a little on the third one which really helped me cope because I was starting to loose it with these contractions. The mid wife arrived I announced I felt pushy Made it half way down the hall and stopped to push, when the contraction ended I made it all the way to the birth room stripped and crawled onto the bed on my hands and knees and pushed using my hand to provide counter pressure and prevent tearing again. The head was born and the midwife checked for a cord...nothing, so I pushed cradling the head in my hand and the body slipped out into my hands, I pulled him to my chest and he took a few good breaths before starting to cry softly, sat back crossing my legs, then gently placed him on my legs while I stripped my shirt and swim top (I was hoping for enough time for a water labor) pulled him to my chest for skin to skin and nursng, before I lifted him from my legs I saw he was a boy...Michael. May 12, 2011, 4:35am, 8lbs 8oz, 20 3/4" long, 14" head and chest.
    Very short and very intense but very peaceful.

    When Gabriel came it took him about 20 minutes to warm up to his surroundings enough to come over and see his little brother. But it was love at first sight. They are fast becoming best friends.

    These were my fast and intense but wonderful birth stories.

    1. Thank you for sharing your stories...what beautiful memories:) I am so glad you had such "easy" (you know what I mean:) births for your two boys:)) Hopefully someday Hunter will have a little brother to be buddies with, like your boys:)

  5. Thank you for sharing that amazing day again. it was one of the best days of my life as well and i loved being able to be a the birth center with you and mike! thank you you having the most beautiful baby boy! i love him so much! love,mom,(grandma)

  6. I love your birth story, seeing it completely from your perspective and not just from the perspective of the sister who swooped into town by train and started seeing the story in the middle of your contractions. your words of praise through the pain and anxious time are truly amazing and so cool. and i love the pictures of hunter then and now! WOW! he has changed so much already! and i love him even more than his beautiful birth day when you brought us in and i laid eyes his new-birthed face. i just remember thinking how beautiful he was.

    your memory of "peering into the backseat where the empty infant carrier sat, just waiting to be filled" made my eyes fill up with tears, thinking, that just a little part of the loving home and heart you had prepared for him down to the last detail! and... ah!.. that is going to be me soon! :))) it's a good thing i have you to help me get everything ready!!! :) love, me

    1. ahhhh pretty soon it will be you!!!! I AM SOOO EXCITED!!! you are going to make a wonderful mom;)


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