By labor, they mean business

Stella Claire Murphy
5 pounds 12.9 oz
19.25 inches long

Birth Story: not for the weak-bellied
Monday night, Dec. 13th -- I went to bed around midnight. Monday night became Tuesday morning, December 14th... at 2:30 a.m. I woke up with searing pain in my thighs and lower back. I decided to try to go back to sleep because we'd just been to the hospital 2 nights before with a false alarm and I did not want to be the pregnant woman who cried wolf.

I got out of bed at 3:30a.m. and started coffee. I sat through an hour of contractions that were spaced 4-6 minutes apart. The pain was so different than what I expected -- I thought it would feel like a fist clenching and unclenching in my groin. Nopers. More like someone poured kerosene on my kidneys and then intraveiniously pumped it into my thighbones as well.

At 4:45 a.m. I went and sat on the edge of the bed -- hubby's side -- and made him aware of our situation. He'd heard me moaning and figured I was up questioning whether or not it was "time."

By 5:00 a.m. I was in the shower. I managed to blow-dry my hair and even straighten it a bit! I put on the slightest bit of make-up, too. Not that anyone could tell, except for maybe the hair. I thought it kind of still looked decent after Stella was born. Score! (As for the rest of me... not so muchspice. )

By 6:30 we were on our way to the hospital. I never understood the true purpose of the "Oh, Shit!" handles in cars until then. It. hurt. so. bad. Hubs wanted me to think about how he would go get me my favorite hamburger from W.W. Cousins after the baby came  I was all, "I don't even want to think about that right now! Wahhh-aiiiilll." Not real tears, just cringing an saying ovre and over, "It huuuuurts."

By 7:00 a.m. I was thrashing around in an observation bed, and the nurse made the observation that I was 3 centimeters dilated and fully effaced. I immediately asked about pain relief and how soon I could get it... the nurse said to me, "Soon, and congrats on being in active labor! We're moving you to a labor and delivery room. Can you walk over there?"

Whore. But, yeah. I walked. It was, like, steps away.

At this point, hubs was out in the hall on the phone to his mom or something... and I wanted to give him hell for leaving me alone for even a second... I lay in my new bed and thought about how awful it would be to have to go through this alone. I kind of wanted my Mom, but the nurse wouldn't let her in to see me until they had me a bit more settled.
At 7:30, the only thing helping me breathe through contractions was knowing that the epidural was coming in 30 minutes and I only had to endure a few more waves of pain.

Got Stadol at 7:45, which makes you feel drunk and also makes your face look fat, because mine did in pictures. Anyway, Stadol made my next contractions feel far awayspice, like ringing in your ears.

8:08a.m... Amber + Epidurral = true love forever and ever and ever and ever. And ever.

However, the Anestheezy doc stuck around after sticking me (ha!) because he was concerened that I might get massive headache that plague about 2% of epi-getters... something about a wet socket... the ligament in my back was super thick and when he pushed the needle through he "went too far." If this happened I would have to come back at some other point in time and get a SECOND epi called a blood patch or some other such craziness. OMFG. Thankfully, I have had NO headaches so far and for that I am very, very thankful.

Anyway. Back to our timeline of womb-doom.

9:30 a.m. cervix check and I was at 6 centimeters. I was actually kind of shocked that I was over halfway. Since I recently learned that 10 c.m. = 4 INCHES I started obsessing about the logistics of allthatdownthere. Ya know.

My water didn't break on its own -- apparently that only happens to, like, 15% of women. My baby-doctor came in about 10:30 and broke it with a stick thingy and I immediately was at 8 centimeters. She said my cervix was like butter. Whatever that means. (All the better for the baby to slide through, like a child's head stuck in the banister?)

By 11:30, I could have had the baby. I was fully dilated. However, they instructed me to "labor down," which turned out meant RELAX. That lasted an hour. I started pushing at 12:30 with my husband on one side of me and my mommy on the other. I asked for a mirror to watch myself work, and I KNOW that sounds uber-gross but I believe it helped. Since I had the epi, I felt nothing but pressure... but seeing the top of Stella's head was motivation to push to that full 10 count each time. (I think I did three sets of three pushes with the nurse, and then one more set of three with my OB.

They stamped her footprint on Daddy's t-shirt!
 When her head popped out, my OB started suctioning, and I heard a cry. I think that made me involuntarily push or something, because then out came her little peanut body, and it sort of startled my doc. She caught my baby gal, though, and they put her on my chest. Time of birth: 1:02 p.m. Tears streamed down my mom and husband's faces. I didn't cry, I just looked at her in awe. Hubs cut the cord, and I had to warn him to "be careful, and cut right where they say to do it!!"

They took her to the scale and the warmer, and one of the baby nurses asked, "What's baby's name?"

I was all, "Wait, it IS a girl, right?!"

It was.

And her name? Stella. Little star. My Stellar Claire-Bear. My

p.s. My boobs hurt.


Awwww shoot! Congrats on Mommyhood, very exciting and I LOVE the name. (and now have Stella the Artist stuck in my head bigtime. Tnx David Gray.)
I always know your birth report would be fully of all the dirty details and it was. Very well done!
She is one cute little kid!
Congratulations! You survived and now you have the sweetest Christmas present.
Natalie Murphy said…

I LOVE her name!!
A. Grey said…
O.M.G.!!!! SUPER HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!! My niece is six months old now and I was present for the whole enchilada when she was born. My sis's water broke on its own but she was SO SLOW to dilate. They had that girl up on her hands and knees and side, and rolling, and she got carpet burn on her knees (I did NOT laugh out loud, I'm way smarter than that) but she 'pushed' for less than an hour.

BTW I laughed so hard reading your post. Like butter...

:D Beautiful name, beautiful baby, beautiful momma! oh, and the hubs seems like a nice guy too ;)
OMG you are SCARING the girls (like me) who have never given birth! When this day comes for me, I might have to call you. BUT, love the name, love that you blogged about this and Merry Christmas! Yay! So happy for you and your family!
Sierra Godfrey said…
Fantastic, Amber. And good thing you wrote all this down because a few years from now people will tell you that you forget the pain, and you can respond "Oh no. I wrote it all down." That's what I did, so I wouldn't forget. And of course I have, for the most part. But your story is a lot like mine was, especially the "Oh Shit" handle in the car--yes. Yes.

I'm so glad you got the epidural. See? We weren't lying. It is fantastic. It makes you nice again.
Awwww! It sounds like you had a really good experience!! I hope mine is that smooth... I will be definitely getting an epidural. I don't do pain very well.... Congrats again!

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