{Birth Story} Owen Paul Stone

This is Owen Paul Stone’s birth story. I wrote it out for me – to remember – so please don’t feel obligated to read it!!

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Also – I feel the need to say – I had an epidural with Hudson (whose birth story I’ve never posted, but I will upload it sometime soon) & a natural labor with Owen and both were absolutely precious, beautiful experiences and I am blessed to have 2 healthy, gorgeous boys. I have no regrets about either experience and I do not judge the way that you choose to labor! So please, don’t compare yourself to my experience. Every pregnancy and every labor is unique. I really wanted to labor naturally with both of my boys. One I didn’t – and it was exactly right that I didn’t – and one I did – and it was exactly right as well.

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December 12, 2011

I hadn’t been sleeping super well because I was cramping/contracting irregularly & needing to pee often. I got up around 3:45 to go to the bathroom again & started having some bleeding {I’ll spare you the details, but it was not my mucous plug or bloody show, so I was concerned}.

 I woke Jordan up & called the on-call physician and told her what was going on (this happened to be the same physician who was on-call the night Hudson was born!). She thought everything was probably fine but said to go ahead and head to the hospital so they could check on Owen.

I called my mom to come over and stay with Hudson so we wouldn’t have to wake him up & drop him off somewhere. Jordan threw our stuff in the car & we hit the road. At this point I was still calm externally but freaking out inside over all the possible things that could be going horribly wrong to result in me bleeding. I wasn’t feeling much movement from Owen either which just added to my anxiety. I was mentally preparing myself to be rushed to the OR for an emergency C-section as soon as we checked in. Jordan held my hand, prayed over us, and got us to the hospital very quickly.

We got up to L&D and they put me on the monitor and immediately found Owen’s heartbeat – and it was 135 – such sweet relief!! We got checked in, signed paperwork, they monitored me for a while, drew some blood, and put in my IV (for my antibiotics & in case of emergency). Owen continued to look good. We hung out, Jordan read a book & I took a nap while they monitored me and we waited for my doctor – Dr G – to arrive & check me. At this point I was not in labor (pre-labor/early labor, but not active labor). I was contracting but not significantly.

Dr. G arrived around 7:30 – I was 3cm dialated and 90% effaced. He was confident that if he broke my water I would go into labor and progress fairly quickly. However, I wasn’t ready for him to break my water – for fear that I would not progress quickly, so he agreed to let me walk around for a few hours to see if I could get labor going on my own.

Jordan & I walked the halls and walked the stairs. I had contractions somewhat regularly but they were not particularly long or strong. Dr. G came back to check on me at 10:00. I was still a 3 and 90%. So, knowing that I still really didn’t want him to break my water, he said we could go home after they monitored me for 30 more minutes and that he expected us to be back and truly in labor soon.

At this point I was disappointed that I hadn’t progressed, but I wasn’t really surprised due to the nature of the contractions I’d been having. I was also super excited about the idea of leaving because I was so hungry having not eaten since dinner the night before. I was not at all in despair because I felt like I’d be in real labor before the day was over.

They put me back on the monitor at 10:15. Well…while I sat waiting for 30 minutes to pass and trying to decide what I wanted to eat I started having really regular & much stronger contractions. My nurse Brandy (who was AMAZING) came in and expressed some concern with the idea of us leaving, she felt like my labor was really starting and that I would progress quickly and we might not make it back to the hospital before I delivered OR that if we did make it back the process of checking in all over again and getting a whole new IV would be really hard on me. I acknowledged that these were more “real” contractions…but I still really wanted to leave and go eat. We decided to have Brandy check me and see if my cervix had changed. I was now a “stretchy” 4cm (which means somewhere between a 4-5cm). So, we decided it would be wisest to stay at the hospital. Brandy updated Dr. G and he agreed.

The morning had been such a roller coaster of emotions for us…we left the house not knowing whether Owen was okay or not, whether I was in labor or not, whether we’d been meeting Owen today or coming home to wait more…then after seeing Garner the first time, we were all geared up for labor to start…then it seemed to not, and we relaxed and were ready to leave and wait some more at home…and now I was truly in labor! So we were back in “go” mode.

We walked the halls again. This time my contractions were much more frequent and much stronger. I was having to stop and breathe and focus to relax through them. I would lean on the wall or the windowsill or Jordan. It was really helpful when Jordan used counter pressure on my lower back during a contraction. In between contractions we held hands and walked and talked about how excited we were to meet our little boy soon. It was a really sweet & exciting time. My contractions took focus but they were very manageable and I felt very confident in handling them.

After a little while we went back to the room so that Brandy could put me on the monitor and check on Owen. I sat on the birth ball for a while and leaned my head on the bed…I napped in between contractions. Jordan rubbed my back & continued to encourage me through each contraction. I also sat in the bed for a while, we adjusted it to be like a chair…straight-backed and the part where my legs were lowered. Both of those positions were really comfortable.

Dr. G came back to check on me at 12:15. I was 6-7cm!! I was surprised I had progressed so quickly! I agreed that he could break my water at this point. My contractions continued to get stronger, as expected, after my water was broken. At 12:30 I got in a hot shower which felt wonderful! I was really feeling the brunt of the contractions in my lower back and the water felt so good. Back labor is a good indicator that baby’s head is not in perfect position. After I got out Brandy helped me into a kind of crazy side-lying position in the bed that can help move the baby into a better position. My contractions were getting pretty intense at this point. I labored on my hands & knees for a long time, this helped relief a little of the pain I was feeling in my back.

At 1:35 I was measuring 9cm and working hard to stay focused during my contractions. In between I would try and rest but it was more and more difficult to stay “in the zone”. I asked if there was anything I could have in my IV. Brandy gave me a dose of Demerol which she said would help me relax…it definitely did! I was surprised how sleepy it made me…but it really helped me tune everything else out and rest between contractions, Jordan says I was pretty out of it between contractions. I remember hearing things that were going on around me but not really acknowledging them. My contractions were super intense and I didn’t think there was any way I could keep going. Jordan kept telling me that it was one less to work through, that I was doing great, that he loved me, and that we’d be meeting Owen soon. There is absolutely NO way I could have made it without Jordan. He never left my side & was my biggest comfort.

Brandy checked me again and I was still at 9cm. At this point I pretty much gave up, cried, and begged for an epidural because it was so hard (even though rationally in my brain I knew there was no way they could get my epidural in before I delivered…I still begged). At 1:55 I felt what all the books described as, “a burning ring of fire” and I knew it was time to push. This is the moment just after Brandy ran out to use the bathroom. I told Jordan, “I have to push…He has to be crowning…He is coming out! NOW.” He paged the nurses and they called Dr G (who had to run up from his office 3 floors down) and a whole bunch of people came in the room…but I don’t remember any of that. I remember Dr G running in the room and putting his gown & gloves on and asking me to hold off pushing for just a sec, but there was no way that I could wait. My body had instinctively taken over and there was such relief with pushing. Dr. G did however make it in time to catch our boy.

Owen Paul Stone was born at 2:04p.m.  7lbs4oz and absolutely perfect!!

There had been some meconium in my amniotic fluid so the nurse took him over to the warmer and suctioned him before bringing him back to me. He snuggled into me as soon as they handed him to me. He was wide-eyed and altert, he latched on and started nursing right away.

I am so thankful that I was able to labor naturally – it was one of the hardest things I have ever done and I am proud to have accomplished it by His grace – not “proud” in the sense that I am now a super mom for having a baby with no epidural (I am not!). But I am proud because it was my goal and I accomplished it. It hard, it took me to the end of myself, it brought my closer to my husband, it required endurance & perseverance, it required a new kind of reliance on the Lord – the One who makes all things & holds all things together. Glory & praise be to Him for it is only by His strength that I even draw breath.

May this little life, Owen Paul Stone, and our parenting of him glorify & magnify His name to the ends of the earth.

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I was so exhausted & hungry // it was so chaotic with all of our family in the room that I didn’t get a picture of us as a family of 4 at the hospital! Ugh. It is a huge regret.

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