August's Birth Story: Part III


Early Tuesday morning, while I was still sleeping, the nurse came in and started the pitocin up again. I'd still had contractions over night (which made sleeping difficult regardless of what they'd given me) but they'd been really irregular. At this point it had been 24 hours since I'd eaten anything but I wasn't allowed to eat again until after the baby came. The pitocin was a lot more agressive the second day and they added an antibiotic because my water was broken and I was more susceptible to infection.

By the afternoon my body was giving out. I am positive that if I had been able to have him on Monday or late that night (early Tuesday morning) I'd have been able to do it drug-free. But early afternoon on Tuesday (and something like 29 hours of labor into it) my body was just exhausted. Despite the regular contractions I was having when they checked me I hadn't progressed at all so I decided to get the epidural. I'd never really been against having an epidural. I know it's better to not have drugs in your system so I wanted to try to go without as long as possible, but I also knew that I wouldn't be hurting him. After over a day of contractions, no sleep, no food and no end in sight, I felt like there was no energy left to keep pushing through the painful and intense contractions I was having.

The epidural gave me complete relief from the pain even though I was still contracting. It also confined me to my bed. No more walking. I was able to get a couple hours of sleep and hoped when I woke up it would be time to push.

It wasn't. I was finally progressing, maybe 5 or 6 cm, but it still wasn't time. After a few more hours of labor and my epidural wearing off completely FINALLY around 5pm I was dilated 10 cm! Hallelujah it was finally time to push! Only it wasn't...

August was posterior, meaning he was facing the wrong direction for birth. Now, it's not impossible to have a baby posterior, but it's a whole lot harder, especially for a baby as big as August, because their head as to get over a bone in this position. It also causes back labor...and boy was I having it. I was 10 cm dilated but he hadn't dropped down into the birthing canal yet.

They could see his head so they decided to let me push despite this to see if he'd move down and into position. They were perfectly willing to let me have him posterior if that's what I wanted, it was just going to take longer. His heart rate was great the entire time I was in labor, he was never in distress. I didn't want to have a c-section and so I pushed. I didn't get another epidural because they wanted me to be able to feel the pushing. It was hard but the contractions hurt less when I was pushing and that was a good sign. My mom, John Paul and the nurse were coaching me through each one. The contractions came every couple minutes and I put all my energy into each one.

Fast forward three hours. That's right, 3 hours of pushing later...

He wasn't any lower or closer to coming. The epidural was long gone. I was losing my juice. I was not able to push for as long before collapsing onto the bed again. And worst of all...the deciding factor if you back started hurting in an indescribably painful way.

Up until this point I could handle the pain. But this wasn't just back labor. This was something else entirely. There is no way it was something women normally experience in labor. It didn't go away in between contractions, it was constant. It was so painful that I couldn't sit still, and yet there was no position where I wasn't in pain. So I was on the bed literally writhing in pain. There's no other way to describe it. I was in constant motion and over and over I kept saying that I couldn't handle it. There was no relief, ever. I told them regardless of what they were going to do I had to have something for pain. I couldn't even get into a birthing position at this point.

After what seemed like a life time I was given another epidural and the pain subsided. The doctor came in and laid out my options. We could keep trying...they suspected it would be at least another 5 hours since he'd made no progress with the 3 hours of pushing I'd already done. Or we could prep me for a c-section.

I had really wanted a natural birth and I tried so hard to keep going and get there but there was no end in sight and if he didn't come soon a c-section would become more and more likely. John Pauls family was in the waiting room thinking surely he'd be here sometime this evening. People were mad at us thinking we'd already had the baby and just not told anyone. And I was done. 36 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing and hours ahead of me to maybe or maybe not have August naturally...

So they started prepping me for a c-section. John Paul went to change, my mom went into the waiting room with my mother-in-law and just cried. I never cried. I was strangely at peace. Maybe because I had nothing left at that point and was just ready for it to all be over. Maybe because it was so tangible. Maybe God just gave me peace. I wasn't upset about it and I wasn't afraid, which was good because the worst was yet to come...

Dun dun dun... ;)


  1. Oh my gosh! I didn't realize how much you went through, that's insane Noelle! I can't wait to hear what happens....I hope you didn't have to have a c-section but man, your labor was TOUGH. I'm so sorry about that. The most important thing is that your babe was obviously healthy, beautiful, and strong!

  2. Oh no don't say the worst has yet to come!

  3. What a story! Looking forward to the rest!

  4. Noah was posterior too crazy!

  5. Your baby is so beautiful, and it’s unbelievable to read what you had to go through to get him here! Not going to lie, it makes me scared to ever have kids, but at the same time, I’m sure the joy you feel at the end somewhat cancels out the excruciating pain you describe. God’s grace is good. :)