Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Finnegan's Birth Story

One of Finn's first pictures!

I've been going over Finnegan's birth story in my head a lot hoping to remember more and more and so that I don't forget any details.

Finnegan's birth story begins at my 39 week midwife appointment on July 16, where I was 3cm and 70% effaced. I was sooo happy and figured this meant he would be coming any day, but boy was I wrong. That week Tom and I started walking everyday for at least 2 miles and up to 4 miles a day. I had my 40 week appointment on Wednesday July 24th (2 days after my due date) and I was still 3cm dilated but I was 80% effaced so I had my membranes swept in hopes of starting labor. Still no sign of labor I went to my next appointment on Monday July 29th where I was 5cm dilated and 80% effaced. The midwife said that it was very uncommon for first time moms to be this dilated and not be in active labor. On Wednesday July 31st I was feeling very crampy and nervous so my midwife had me go to the hospital for a non stress test but of course still nothing strong enough so they sent me home. Of course I called Tom before I went and told him to leave work and meet me at the hospital (45mins away) because I really thought they were going to keep me, but they didn't. I had an ultrasound scheduled for 1:45 that same day to check my fluid levels so we went to lunch and went to my appointment. At the appointment, the doctor said she could barely find any fluid so she called my midwife and they decided to send me back to the hospital to be induced. Thank goodness I made Tom leave work since it really was going to happen. We called my parents to tell them they could finally come up since today was the day!

We waited for my midwife to get to the Birth Center and at 3:10pm she broke my water in hopes of starting labor. I walked around the Birth Center for all of 5 minutes and I was already feeling contractions so breaking my water worked and no need for Pitocin (I was soooo happy I didn't need it). At 4pm I got into the tub and labored there for the next two hours. Those couple of hours were pretty bad since I felt like I didn't have a break between contractions due to a stomach ache. At 6pm my midwife had me go back to the bed to check me and I was 7cm and fully effaced. Right before I was about to go back into the tub I threw up more than I ever have in my life and my stomach felt sooo much better. I got into the tub and it honestly felt euphoric between contractions - my midwife said she loved labors like this when moms get sleepy in between contractions and can really relax. I had to have the external heart rate monitors on the whole time (thankfully they are water proof) since Finn's heart rate dipped a few times but the pressure of the bands actually felt good to me. Then the contractions really started to get bad and my midwife asked me what I was scared of because she could tell I was holding back during my past two contractions. I told her the pain was horrible so she told me to just tell myself "open" during contractions and to really try to relax my body and moan through them. This was the best thing she could have said as I literally felt myself opening during each contraction as I told myself "open." I have to admit that I did ask for an epidural but Tom told me I would be so upset with myself if I got one and of course he was right, plus my midwife said I was too far along to get one anyways.

Then I felt the need to push although it was not this overwhelming need that I had read about, it just felt like the right thing to do and I felt like I was telling myself I wanted the contractions to be over with and pushing would do that. As I got out of the tub and headed towards the bed my midwife let me know that they had to call the OB in since Finn's heart rate had dipped below 80 for too long so they had to have her there as a precaution. The OB told me that if his heart rate dipped again for an extended period of time I might have to have a vacuum delivery or an emergency c-section. All I wanted was for my baby to be safe so I agreed to it on the terms that I was ok with that as long as it was indeed an emergency but that I wanted to try to push on my own first. The doctor said that was totally ok so the pushing started. The pushing definitely relieved the pain of the contractions but it is honestly the hardest thing I have ever done. I had to push lying on my back since it was the only position Finn's heart rate stayed constant at so I had to do all of the work myself and there was no gravity to help. After about 45 minutes of pushing a bunch of other nurses and two pediatricians came in just in case and they pumped me full of saline and inserted a catheter in case of a c-section. The doctor told me that the baby's heart rate was dropping again and I had to push him out now or I would need a c-section. I was exhausted but all I wanted was for my baby to be out and safe so I pushed harder than I had and finally his head was out. They said a few more pushes during the next contraction and he would be out but for some reason he wasn't coming out and I could tell something was wrong. They had me flip on all fours to push then back to my back to push and then finally my midwife saw his hand and shoulder were stuck so she put her hand in and pulled out his arm (probably the most painful part of the entire labor and the only time I literally screamed in pain). That entire time felt like forever but was actually only 2 minutes. In the next push he was finally out at 7:49pm (4.5 hours after my water was broke), but since his heart rate had dropped they cut his cord right away and the pediatrician took him to look him over. Tom went over with him and all I kept asking was if he was ok since he hadn't cried yet. He finally cried but all anyone would say was "don't worry."

1 week old!

After what felt like forever (but was really 6 minutes) they put Finn on my chest and it was the most amazing and surreal moment of my life. It is so true that the labor and pain completely disappears once you hold your baby and is the best feeling in the world.

I was at first disappointed that Finn's cord was cut so quickly since I wanted to wait for it to stop pulsating but I learned that his first APGAR score was very low and that he had needed oxygen so I am now grateful that my midwife called everyone in and made that decision. At my two week follow up my midwife told me that the average pushing time for a first time mom is 2 hours and I pushed for 1 hour even with my baby getting stuck. My midwife said that she believes I was able to push so effectively because I worked out throughout my entire pregnancy and that it's the reason I didn't need a c-section. I am so happy I pushed myself to continue to workout even when it was just walking fast with Tom.

The labor itself was a little traumatizing with all the doctors and nurses they had to call in and not knowing if my baby was going to be ok. I never felt the ring of fire during pushing and I miraculously only had a 1 degree tear. I also had a labial tear which is not something that is discussed very often but is fairly common especially with big babies (Finn was 9lbs 6oz). Once the swelling went down this was very painful and I honestly would cry when going to the bathroom it stung so bad. The stinging finally went away after 2.5 weeks, but there is not much information available about it and it is not something that can be stitched due to the skin being so thin there.

As intense and as fast as Finn's birth was, I wouldn't change a thing and I am so happy I had a completely natural birth, it was definitely worth it! I couldn't have done it without Tom though, he encouraged me the entire time, was so strong when things got hectic and is the reason I didn't worry and was able to push as hard as I did. I didn't sleep that first night I was so happy and overjoyed that our baby was finally here - I held him and stared at him the whole night.

We are so in love with our little man and love being parents to Finn - it has completely changed our lives for the better and I couldn't ask for anything more!!!

2.5 weeks old!


  1. He is so precious! Congratulations, Mama! xo

  2. What a dramatic story - I felt like I was watching a movie lol. I am so happy for you and the fact that you were able to do the whole thing naturally, like you wanted.

    Reading these stories freaks me out, but I know there is no going back now! What's going to happen will happen.


  3. he is so beautiful! birth is such a crazy, painful, emotional and amazing thing!! so glad you didn't have to push too long and that he was okay too! it is so scary! and i hear you on the going to the bathroom after - i cried many times :)