Category Archives: birth stories

Abel’s Birth Story

Abel James Lieb

Abel’s birth went nothing like I expected. I guess that’s generally how births happen. My other 3 boys were born on the weekend, in the wee hours of the morning. Abel was born on a Tuesday night. I was expecting a quick and intense labor but instead had a drawn out labor that had no real definitive starting point.

Let’s start with Monday. On Monday (January 26th at 41weeks and 1 day past my due date) I had an appointment with the OB to check on the status of my body and to make sure he was doing well. Everything checked out great and we scheduled me to be induced on Thursday morning hoping he would make his appearance before them. Monday evening Joe started feeling very sick and developed a fever. I also started having very strong contractions, they weren’t consistent enough to track but were pretty painful in comparison to what I had been experiencing. I didn’t sleep well that night due to the contractions and also because I was worried about Joe. If he had a fever he wouldn’t be allowed in the hospital if I went into labor. Tuesday morning Joe woke up feeling much better and after I took a shower and ate breakfast the contractions let up for a few hours. Because Joe hadn’t been feeling well he worked from home. I did some school work with Jude and we had a pretty typical Tuesday morning.

Around lunch time the contractions started again. The boys took their naps and I laid down to rest. I started timing the contractions. They were still inconsistent but about every 15 minutes on occasion. By 3pm they moved to every 8 minutes (still not very consistent though). I felt pretty uncomfortable and started pacing the house hoping to speed things up a bit. The boys got up from naps and I told Joe we might need to get things ready for the hospital soon. I notified my mom and we got things in order as I continued to time contractions. They were all over the place but I’d have a set of 2 or 3 really strong contractions in a row which let us know something was happening.

My mom arrived around 5pm and as the contractions got closer to 6 min apart we headed out the door. Our first stop was Chick-fil-a for something to eat. In the car the contractions slowed down a bit back to 15 min or more apart. We made our way slowly through rush hour traffic to the hospital. They didn’t want us to come in until the contractions were 5 min apart. So we walked around Whole Foods and the nearby shopping center until we had a few close contractions. We got to the hospital a little after 7pm (I think).

My contractions were still very inconsistent but when I had them, they were strong. After we checked in the midwife checked and said I was at 6cm and in labor. So we decided to walk around a bit to help move things along. I wasn’t fully convinced I was in labor. Around 8:30pm things started to pick up a little. I was very apprehensive and nervous about labor this time around. We decided to discuss pain medication options with the nurse. I opted for the epidural (which the nurse thought I wouldn’t have time to get but we could try). I had to be on the IV for an hour before I could get the epidural. At 10 till 9pm they started the IV. Almost immediately my contractions went from inconsistent to every 60 to 90 seconds. I anxiously watched the clock.

Around 9:30pm the nurse gave me some Fentanyl (at my request) because I was overwhelmed with the intensity of the contractions. It gave me a few minutes of relief to catch my breath, the contractions were still strong but it just took the edge off. A few minutes later they checked and I was completely dilated and had a bulging bag. Around 9:45 pm the midwife said the anesthesiologist would been in soon. No more than a minute later (or so) my water broke. There was no epidural happening now. My body was pushing and all hands were on deck. 3 contractions later he popped out at 10:02 pm

After he was out I started shaking uncontrollably. This happens every time. I hate it. It’s the adrenaline rush. While the midwife stitched up my 1st degree tear the nurses and staff tried to figure out how much he weighed. Apparently, the equipment measures in kilograms and the conversion to pounds was confusing. Ultimately we learned he weighed 9lbs 11oz. Everyone commented on how big he was while Joe and I said he was tiny. In comparison to my other boys Abel was the smallest (by 1oz smaller than Jude).

Even though this labor went nothing like I expected I am happy with the outcome… an adorable new son. I do feel better after this labor than I have with any of my others. I didn’t have any excessive postpartum bleeding so that’s probably a huge contributing factor. Overall, we had a great experience and every decision we made was our own.

We are so happy to have Abel here and our little family just got a whole lot more love.

Happy Birthday Abel

Dada and Abel

Simon’s Birth Story

Simon Edward Lieb
November 3, 2012
10lbs 2oz

At 10 days past my due date you could say I was more than ready to have this baby.

At my last OB appt we scheduled an induction for Tuesday, November 6th, the last possible day before I hit 42 weeks. I really didn’t want to be induced but they wouldn’t let me go any longer.

On Friday, November 2nd I sent Joe to work and attempted to have a fairly normal day at home with the boys. I had my regular contractions throughout the day but nothing regular or seriously strong. I did start to feel a little different, what they call lightening (basically my bowels were emptying themselves out in preparation for labor). It felt familiar but I was hesitant to declare labor to be on it’s way since I’d have several false alarms already.

When we went to bed that evening I had a sense things were going to start soon, but knew I needed to rest. I slept pretty soundly for about 3 hours and suddenly woke up at 1am to a very strong contraction. Often I have stronger contractions when my bladder is full and/or the baby would pull on my round ligament. So I got up, went to the bathroom and repositioned. I fell back asleep for a minute and then another strong contraction hit. I got up and went to the bathroom again and then stared at the clock, waiting for another one to hit. Almost exactly 5 minutes later another wave came in, it lasted about a minute and required a bit of concentration/breathing to get through. I drank some water and relaxed a bit waiting for a few more to roll in before I woke up Joe. After a few more contractions I woke up Joe to tell him I was in labor.

I kept timing the contractions which now were varying between 3-5 minutes lasting at least 1 minute each. We gathered our belongings, got dressed, called my mom and call the triage nurse. I paced the bathroom a bit which helped keep them going and gave me something to focus on. My mom arrived to stay with the boys. Joe talked to the midwife on call who suggested we come in since my previous labor went pretty fast. We loaded up the car and headed out into the cool November night. I sat quietly and breathed through each contraction as they continued at about 5 minutes a part. we arrived at the hospital a little before 3am. It was very calm and quiet as I moved throughout the birthing center. I like to find a quiet inner place to relax while in early labor and that’s just what I did. The nurses asked me questions and tried to make small talk but I mostly ignored them unless expressly directed a question. I felt like I was being a little rude but didn’t really care.

Our nurse Peggy was very nice and sat beside me the entire time. She entered my information, monitored the baby and was very respectful of how I wanted to birth. One of the first things she requested was a copy of our birth plan, we gave it to her and she sat and carefully read through the whole thing. The next bit is a little blurry but here’s what I remember. The midwife on call came in to check on me and asked if I wanted to know how far along I was, I said sure. She said I was easily 6cm, maybe more and that it wouldn’t be long. They wanted to give me a heplock in case I needed to be given some sort of medication during or after labor. Peggy attempted to carefully insert the hep lock but apparently i have “squiggly” veins. She jabbed around a bit before calling in another nurse who attempted to insert the hep lock in 4 different places. All the while my contractions are intensifying. Finally they found a vein and left me alone.

As the contractions intensified so did the pain in my hips. I remember having bad hip pain with Noah and my midwife suggest that I push to relieve some of the pain, so that’s what I did this time too. It helped! At that point my midwife suggested that I change position in an attempt to relieve some of the pressure. Before all of the hep lock drama they suggested the tub and/or walking which I was very interested in doing but that phase had passed. I didn’t want to move. They suggested hands and knees but I didn’t think I could handle a big transition like that so they installed the squat bar and I sat straight up which gave me some good momentum. It hurt more at first but I began to ride the wave and let things go. In all honesty, I wasn’t as encouraged or motivated to give it my all this time as I had been in my previous labors. I wanted it to be over. I had fears of this intense labor lasting forever. I finally asked the midwife if there was anything she could give me to take the edge off. She checked me again and I was almost complete. She said no. She said if she gave me something now it would make the baby sleepy and the whole process drag out longer. She said I was almost there. I didn’t believe her. I’d heard the “you’re almost there speech” before and that could me another hour.

A strong contraction came and I thought I was going to throw up. With my previous births I always threw up during transition but this time I didn’t. I felt the urge but it passed rather quickly. Both the midwife and nurse were encouraging me that I was so close, reminded me that when you want to give up you are almost done. I knew this to be true but my body and brain didn’t believe them. The next contraction came rolling in and this time there was no “riding the wave” it completely swept me away. Where I had been quietly laboring with low tones and deep breaths I was now in full out labor. My body moved without my control to find the optimal position, I let out loud cries and released any amount of control I thought I had to my laboring body. At this point the midwife asked if it were OK for her to break my bag of water.  I gave Joe the OK look and he told her it was fine. As soon as she broke my water baby Simon was on his way out.

Just as quickly as my body started to push the staff in the room multiplied and hurried about. The OB on call stepped in the room (he was required to be there since I have a history of shoulder dystocia). I don’t remember much else about the next few pushes but I knew there was nothing I could do to stop my body from pushing out this baby. Under no ones command I started to push. I felt myself open up and I also felt myself poop. (That’s the grossest part of labor but really, what are you going to do) The nurses moved stuff around adjusted the bed to the birthing position and I labored on. I pushed again and could feel the burning. The told me to hold the back of my legs and curl my body around the baby when I pushed. I did that and could feel huge progress. Finally, the head was coming out and they said, “one more push”. At this point they told me to pull my knees to my face they flipped me almost upside down and I pushed so hard and curled my body around that baby to push him out. I remember feeling like pushing upward was wrong, against gravity but they said they needed to get him out from under the pelvic bone. He popped right out.

Joe said my face and eyes turned red like something out of a cartoon or movie. He said it all happened so fast it felt unreal.

I remember them laying him on me and he immediately took a breath. I was still in a bit of birthing tunnel vision but was eventually able to focus my attention on to sweet Simon. I kept saying, “thank you, thank you, thank you.” to anyone that would listen. I looked him over a little and held him close then looked up at the ceiling trying to grasp on to the reality of what had just happened. It was all so quick and so intense. My body was shaking (as it did after my previous births). Joe cut the cord. And the placenta passed fairly soon after. The nurse examined him while I held him and he was fine. I put him to the breast and he latched on like a pro. I was so happy he didn’t have a tongue-tie or difficulty nursing like my others. Joe and I smiled at each other and I almost started crying because he nursed so naturally. Everyone in the room put in their guesses for how much he weighed. The midwife guessed 10lbs 2 oz and she was spot on. As they weighed him and did vary tests the midwife stitched me up (my least favorite part). She said I had a few small 1st degree tears but otherwise looked pretty good. At that point in labor you just want to be left alone.

Everyone asked his name and said they loved the classic names like Simon. (I’m sure they say that sort of stuff to all the new moms but I like to think my kid is extra awesome!)

A nurse brought us some orange juice and crackers as I tried to stop shaking. They continued to monitor our vital signs and fill out all the corresponding paperwork. The nurse checked my fundus and I had a bit more bleeding than she liked so they hooked me up to some pitocin to help stop the bleeding. (turns out the hep lock was actually useful.) After being on the pitocin for a bit she checked me again at which point I passed several golf ball sized clots, she wasn’t too thrilled with that. So the nurses consulted with the midwife and they gave me a shot of something to help stop the bleeding. All the while I felt pretty good and Joe said I actually look pretty normal, all things considered.

Finally the bleeding slowed down and they felt comfortable with me moving to a recovery room.

Overall, I was very pleased with our first hospital birth experience. I mostly missed recovering in my own bed and not having a nurse come check on me every hour, but fortunately we were all in good health and they discharged us within 24 hours.

We went into this pregnancy knowing it would be very different from our home birth experiences but we also knew it was the right thing to do given our history. Thankfully it was a relatively quick and easy labor. It was probably my most intense of the 3 but also my easiest. We had very few complications and for that I am extremely thankful.

Also, it turns out Simon is Rh negative so I didn’t need a Rhogam shot like with the others.

I’m not sure if we will be having any more but now I have 2 home births and 1 hospital birth under my belt, all of which were 100% natural.  Even though I’ve done it before I am still completely amazed at what my body can do.

Simon is 6 days old and nursing like a champ, he’s almost back to his birth weight.

I’m recovering well. Aside from being tired I’m actually feeling pretty good. I am extremely blessed to have an awesome husband like Joe who has been taking care of everyone this past week.


Birth Stories: Martha’s Story

Each week I am posting encouraging and inspiring birth stories from friends and readers. If you have a birth story you would like to include please email me:

Today’s birth story is from my friend Martha at A Softer Side of Strong.


“That’s it, I give up.” I thought to myself after 8 days of bouncing on an exercise ball, dousing everything in Chalula, taking long walks, doing squats, dancing, eating 858 pineapples, and drinking raspberry tea. Oh, and lets not forget having my membranes stripped. I woke up that Friday morning with a peace that this baby was not going to be willed out by me. He has going to come when he and the good Lord were ready.

When I got up that morning, I decided to have a self-indulgent day. I walked up to Starbucks and got a Grande Decaf Caramel Frappuccino. I had been good all 9 months and decided to hell with it, I was going to eat like I was 9 months pregnant. So I did what any rational 9 month pregnant woman would do, I ordered a cinnamon roll to go with my  Grande Decaf Caramel Frappuccino. Then I went next door to the nail salon and asked for a deluxe pedicure. You see, these amazing women give a deluxe pedicure where they massage your feet and legs for an hour… even using hot stones! The best part is, it’s 22 bucks. Everyone in there stared at me in disbelief and finally one yelled, “Ok fine! I’ll be the one to ask… WHEN ARE YOU DUE?!” I laughed and answered, “8 days ago.”

The women then talked to each other in a language I didn’t understand but I’m pretty sure it was along the lines of “Holy s#$&! I’m not responsible for cleaning up this lady’s water if it breaks.”

I sat down in the giant massage chair (after looking like an 18 wheeler backing into a compact car parking spot), grabbed the cheesiest People magazine I could find, and sipped and slurped my frappuccino. It was heaven.

Afterwards I walked back to my house and got ready to pick my dad up from the airport. We picked him up around 1 and got back to the house around 3 thanks to I-5 traffic. We all decided to seize the sunny day (they are few and far between around here) and take them on our favorite hike. It was full of gorgeous views of the Puget Sound and wildflowers. It took us all the way through what seemed like a rain forest and led us down to the sound where we sat on and took in “cocktail hour” because Sam had snuck some beers in his hiking pack. Of course my cocktail of choice was a refreshing bottled water… I hear it’s all the rage in New York.

We hiked back and got ready for supper. We decided to eat at our new favorite restaurant in Steilacoom, Jake’s. We headed that way and on the drive I felt strange.I didn’t say anything because I had felt some tightness in the previous week only to be disappointed it was probably indigestion. We dropped my parents off and Sam and I parked the car. I looked at him and said, “I don’t want to get our hopes up, but I think I’m having contractions.” Of course, not knowing that contractions can last a very long time, Sam immediately went into protective mode. “What?! Why are we here? We should go home! Are you ok!?” I told him there was no need to get hot water and a tarp and that we should enjoy a nice supper… which would be our last calm supper in awhile. So we walked to the restaurant holding hands, knowing that our world would be changed forever in a matter of 24 hours.

We decided not to say anything to my parents because we wanted things to remain calm and I still had doubts that I was truly in labor. So we ate supper, laughing at the fact that we’d spent so much time worrying that I’d go into labor early and Sam would miss it… only to be 8 days late. Through each minor contraction, I’d squeeze Sam’s hand under the table. They weren’t painful, they were just exciting reminders that our baby was making his way out into the world. We talked about the weather, family, and politics, all the while Sam and I would steal glances at each other and smile because we knew tonight would be an adventure.

When we got back to the house we changed into our PJs and watched television. Around 10pm, we all made our way to the bed. At 11:15, the contractions were no longer little reminders, they were flipping sirens going off inside of my body telling me to take cover. I told Sam that we needed to start timing. He grabbed the iPod touch and started timing each one. Then I wanted him to get some sleep so with some serious reluctance from him, I took over. I tried to rest but the contractions were about 5 minutes apart so I would catch 5 minute cat naps. Around 3am, I told Sam that I wanted to take a bath and that he should tell my parents I was in labor.

I started filling up the bath tub and I heard him knock on the door to our guest room (I’m sure praying that the queen bed my parents were sleeping in had somehow turned into twin beds and he wouldn’t have to see his in-laws cuddling). “Hey Janice and Graham? Martha is in labor.” I heard some shuffling and my mom came into the bathroom. We laughed, she checked on me, and I’m sure there was squealing involved. A little while later the contractions were 3 minutes apart so Sam decided to call the doctor and see what their thoughts were. We all walked downstairs and as Sam described the time and length of contractions, I’d breathe through each one, remembering all of the Bradley Method, Hypnobirthing, and Ina May techniques I’d read the previous 9 months. I expected him to say, “Ok sweet girl, they said come on!” but instead he looked at me and said, “They said to go back to bed and come in when they are a minute or two apart and lasting 90 seconds.”

It was going to be a long night.

I got back into the tub and continued to labor while everyone tried to sleep. Sam kept coming in and checking on me but I told him to try and get rest while he could. He would sweetly rub my head and head back to bed. At 7am, it was getting intense. I knew I wanted to labor at home as long as possible but it was getting a bit tough. I heard my parents up downstairs so Sam and I joined them. They were watching I love Lucy and laughing together. I remember thinking how nice it was that they were enjoying some time laughing together before they became grandparents. When I got downstairs,  I could barely walk through the contractions. I was having horrible back labor. Most of the pain would start in my lower back and wrap around the front. Sam, Mom, and Daddy all took turns during contractions pushing on my lower back.


The counter pressure was the only relief that would work. I’d continue breathing through and flapping my lips like a horse in order to relieve some pressure in my lady garden. I had read about that technique in Ina May’s book. I don’t know if it helped much but I was determined to keep doing it.

The next couple of hours were spent in different positions in the living room. I’d lean against the pillar in the living room, I’d be on all fours, I’d lean back into child’s pose, I’d be on my left side… I’m sure I looked like a disastrous “Yoga for beginners” video. Those hours downstairs were a bit of a blur but there are two things I remember. I remember my dad trying to distract me and make me laugh by showing me a magic video on his iPad… it wasn’t working. And I remember Roy coming and laying beside of me during my contractions. There was worry on his face and I remember feeling strangely comforted by the fact that my dog was picking up on my pain and wanted to comfort me.

At 9am, the contractions were over a minute long and 2 minutes apart. Sam called Labor and Delivery and they gave us the green light to come on in. I texted my doula and told her to meet us at the hospital. We grabbed our “go bags” and made our way to the car. We drove the 3 exits down to the hospital and when we got to the gate to show our IDs (gotta love giving birth on an army base) Sam started to hand all 4 IDs over and told the guard, “My wife is in labor!” and without blinking the guard asked Sam for some word and they had some sort of exchange that I can’t remember and we drove through the gate without having to go through the entire ID check. I remember feeling a little badass but that feeling was interrupted by my child trying to break his way through my nether-regions. Sam dropped us off and parked the car. It took forever to get to the front door because I had to keep stopping for my contractions. I remember a soldier walking by and wishing us luck. I remember wanting to say thank you but my body wouldn’t stand up right.

I hoped Emily Post wouldn’t be too angry at my bad manners.


** Warning: Photos of a pregnant lady in a sports bra in this post. If that makes you feel weird, don’t read this or watch women’s soccer.

**Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by Adidas. Although, I am sponsored by Willy Wonka Candy Company.

We got on the elevator and went to Labor and Delivery. We checked in and I asked if they had any midwives available. They did! I made my way to the tiny room for assessment. I was expecting them to tell me I was at least seven centimeters dilated. I was four. “WHAT?! Are you sure?” I squeaked in between contractions. They were sure. Sam handed them my birth plan and stared each of them in the eye and told them how important it was for us to abide by that birth plan as much as possible. I wouldn’t have argued with him. That is one of the first things that made me fall in love with my husband. No matter the situation, he has a confidence and sense of leadership without being arrogant. It still makes me swoon.

We made our way to the hydrotherapy room. I changed into my sports bra and climbed into the tub. It felt nice but not warm enough. Sam always thought I liked my water too hot, he called my baths “human soup”. But they made it a little hotter and I was finally comfortable in between contractions. Sam and my doula, Sarah kept it warm throughout the whole ordeal. It was around 10:30 when I made my way into the tub.

The next two hours were filled with painful contractions, Sam giving me gatorade, constantly giving me encouragement, rubbing my back and nurses frequently checking on me and the baby. My mom and doula were also in the room. My poor dad was waiting in the waiting room trying to occupy himself. After 2 hours, it was lunch time. I told Sam to go grab some lunch since I thought it might be awhile. I’m pretty sure that was the quickest lunch he’d ever eaten. While he was gone, I felt an extremely painful POP and some blood and other liquid came out. I had been silent through my labor, just breathing and funny horse mouth sounds. But that pop made me yelp. I looked at my mom and doula and told them I thought my water broke and it hurt like a mother licker. So my doula went and told the nurses.

After my water broke, things got real. The contractions seemed to last forever and there was no break in between. Sam was incredible support. He was encouraging me, praying for me, and rubbing my head. There was one weak moment when I looked at him and told him I didn’t think I could do it anymore. But we had made a pact that unless I said the code word for an epidural, “I want waffles” then he had to ignore me. I didn’t say the extremely mature code word so he just told me to take a breath and just focus on getting through the next contraction. He kept telling me how much he loved me, how proud he was, and that he knew I could do this. I remember standing up through one of the toughest contractions and hanging from a bar in the room. Sam told me later that my belly looked almost like a complete 90 degree point it was so contracted. I don’t remember saying much but after a really hard contraction Sam asked me how I was feeling and I said, “I feel like this kid is a pain in my ass.” That’s all I remember saying during my labor… is that bad? The good news is, for a brief second it made us all laugh.

I had worked up quite a sweat so my mom was putting cold compresses on my back and shoulders. This felt like a tiny piece of heaven. I don’t know how she knew to do that but it felt amazing. After a couple of contractions I found myself grunting at the end of it.

What was that?” my doula looked at me concerned. Sam asked if I was pushing.

All I could muster was, “I think so.”

I asked my doula to go tell the nurses that I was ready to push and to grab my mom. I looked at Sam with a determined but scared look. I was not planning on a water birth and I had told Sam in the prior week to pull me out of the tub with his giant muscles and put me in the bed. So, he asked me if I wanted to move. I looked at him and told him that I couldn’t move and we were just going to have to stay put. I was afraid if I moved I’d lose momentum and I had the eye of the tiger to start pushing. I smiled at my husband, we were about to start pushing our child into the world. He helped me make my way to the back of the tub.

The next thing I know the midwives and the nurses along with my doula, my mom and Sam were all crowded in this small tub room. The next hour and a half were filled with encouraging words, a lot of grunts, and determined pushing. I remember feeling very determined to push our boy out and wanted to do it quickly. My midwife Amber checked me and I was fully dilated. She told me to push through the contractions but honestly, that’s all my body wanted to do. The pushing contractions were totally different than the labor contractions. My body would just push through them but when they were done, I could rest completely in between each one. I felt like he crowned for F.O.R.E.V.E.R! Amber kept telling me to push through because he was almost there. Sam was rubbing my head and holding my hand, just telling me how proud he was. When Amber told me part of his head was out, I reached down and felt him… something I thought I’d never do. But I think I instinctually did it because I thought they were all liars because if I heard “he’s almost here” one more time I was going to have to go Jersey Shore on all of them. I had been pretty silent through labor but there were a few pushing contractions that made me grunt. Later on, Sam said my red face looked like Chris Farley as the bus driver on Billy Madison and sounded like the woman who fell on stomping the grapes in that old viral YouTube video. For some reason, picturing myself still makes me laugh.

The next thing I know everyone in the room is getting excited and telling me he’s almost here and to just keep pushing. I had a new determination. I remember talking to my son the whole time. “We can do this together bud”,  I kept saying.

Apparently my dad had been outside the curtain since I started pushing and when he heard the excitement I don’t think he could take it anymore. Have you ever seen Knocked Up? Well, remember when his friend pops his head into the delivery room as Katherine Heigl is pushing… yeah, my poor father did that and I don’t think he’ll ever be the same.

You see, the thing about natural labor is…. you feel everything. I mean everything. I felt the head and then I felt his face and then I felt his shoulders and the next thing I know, that little bundle of purple baby was being put on my chest. It was the most incredible mix of pure joy and relief that exists. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room. I was weeping and could only muster the words, “Love explosion”. The nurses cracked up and congratulated me on my natural birth. I winked and told them I was one stubborn broad… (ok, I didn’t use the word broad).


I held onto the baby and felt such an overwhelming love. But the most love I felt was towards Sam. I fell in love with him all over again. I looked at him and smooched him and my heart has never been so full for him. He was my rock and I could not have birthed our son without him.

I tried nursing and he latched on for a little bit. Once the cord stopped pulsating, Sam cut it. Then I looked at him and told him to get me the hell out of that tub. I stood up and they wrapped towels around me as I made my way to the other room. They checked me and the baby and praise the Lord, everyone was healthy. I nursed for a little bit and everyone held Bud. I was covered in blankets because I got the shakes from all the adrenaline and hormones. Then I wanted a shower, a cheese burger, and a milkshake like nobody’s business. And yes, in that order. So they took Bud to do some tests and I made my way to de-tub myself.

I remember taking the best shower and even used fancy body wash. When I came out I put on the awesome hospital giant granny panties and ordered room service. I nursed some more while Sam shoved food into my mouth… I told you I was hungry. Then the next thing I know they’re telling me that I have to move into the recovery room. I was bummed I didn’t get to enjoy the nice birthing suite. I thought flashing my boobs to the nurse would persuade her to let me stay in the suite a little longer but apparently they see those all the time around there. The recovery rooms at Madigan are double occupancy so it felt strange to be in there with another new family and all I could think of was the episode in The Office when Pam nursed the wrong baby. Don’t worry, it didn’t happen.

Luckily, the family was discharged and I had the room to myself the next two days. The other crappy thing is that they made Sam leave each night at 9 and he couldn’t come back until 9am the next morning. The nights were filled with nursing what seemed like every two minutes, trying to soothe a crying baby getting used to the world, changing diapers, getting checked every hour, and oh yeah…not sleeping. After the first night of not sleeping, I had enough. I finally grabbed Bud and pulled him into bed with me and we both slept for two hours. It was the sweetest feeling experiencing that connection with this sweet little pink baby that I loved so much.

We begged for them to let us go early but they wouldn’t budge. I had to stay for 48 long hours but when we finally left, I wasn’t scared. I just wanted to get home and welcome our son to our family. We named him Samuel Daughtry Metzler, Jr. but we didn’t have his nickname yet. Turns out we wouldn’t decide until we were eating supper later that week.

Welcome home our son, welcome home Bud.

On a final note,  we debated on having pictures taken of the birth but decided to in order to capture the moments that we would normally forget. Never would I have thought I would treasure the pictures so much for the fact that they capture moments like the one below of pure joy as the midwife laid Bud on my chest for the first time that I will never be able to put into words. And yes, it was hard work but beyond worth it. I would do it again and again in a heart beat.



About Martha
Martha Metzler is a counselor, mama to one adorable hurricane of a toddler named Bud, and wife to a hottie lawyer named Sam who is currently serving in the US Army JAG Corp in Afghanistan. She loves the adventure she is living and thrives in it with a lot of laughter, off color jokes, and handfuls of candy. She loves writing, playing outside, and hearing from yall! Check out her blog, Softer Side of Strong.

Birth Stories: Zoe’s Birth Story

Each week I am posting encouraging and inspiring birth stories from friends and readers. If you have a birth story you would like to include please email me:

Today’s Birth Story is from Sandra of West Philly Mama.


Leading Up To The Big Day

birth story

I was shocked when I made it to my “due” date (June 21st) since I had been yapping about how sure I was that this baby was going to come early.  Oh, mother’s intuition…  My sister, Larissa, had been in town for a few days already and had been helping me prepare the house for our impending arrival as well as doing fun things with Leo (since I was pretty much house-bound).  My feet were massively swollen, but I wasn’t very concerned about it since the same thing had happened toward the end of my pregnancy with Leo and my blood pressure had been steady.

I had a midwife appointment on my due date (Thursday) and there was a touch of protein in my urine and my blood pressure was slightly elevated.  That combined with the swelling made her suggest stripping my membranes to (possibly) get labor going – because if I didn’t have the baby in the next 48 hrs they would need to monitor my blood pressure and protein very closely.  I agreed and when she checked me she found that I was already 5 cm dilated (halfway there!) and that the baby’s head was so low and pressed against my cervix that not only could she feel the head – but she could feel the baby’s heartbeat through the fontanelle.  Wild.  She gave us the names of the on-call midwives for the next few days and said she’d be surprised if we weren’t back before the end of the weekend.

After the appointment I didn’t feel much different – except that I felt a little mentally foggy, emotional and light headed.  We went to dinner and ate very well.  We joked and talked and wondered what the next 48 hours would bring.  After dinner we went home, put Leo to bed (in our bed because it might be our last night as a family of three), double checked the birth center bag, talked logistics with Aunt Larissa and Uncle Daniel, and jb and I both went to bed early.  We knew we wanted to be well rested.

The Big Event

The next morning (Friday, June 22nd) I woke up to pee (again) at 5 am. With each bathroom trip throughout the night I’d been paying close attention to see if my water broke because that was how labor began for Leo’s birth – but each time was uneventful.  So at 5 am I peed once again – no water breaking.  But as I went to stand up I was rocked by a contraction.  I made it back to bed and thought I would try and rest and labor on my own for a bit.  So I crawled into bed next to my baby boy and true love and was immediately hit by another contraction – it was intense and I had to vocalize a bit to get through.  I knew it had only been a few minutes since my first contraction in the bathroom so I got out my timer.  I timed the next couple and they were about a minute long and five minutes apart.

I woke jb up and she helped me through contractions as I paged the midwife on call.  Leo continued to sleep as I labored next to him.  jb went to wake Larissa up so she could stay with Leo and I talked to the midwife who said to come on in.  jb put last minute items in our bag and continued to help me through the contractions.  Clearly I was in active labor and we needed to get going – but needing to concentrate to get through each contraction was really slowing us down.  I said out loud that it felt like it was getting really close and I was worried we might cut it too close.

At this point Leo woke up as I labored through another contraction.  He watched me and while he was concerned, he didn’t seem scared.  He was cuddling with Larissa in bed and I was leaning on the edge of the bed as jb held me and rubbed my back.  He kept asking Larissa, “What’s mama doing?” and Larissa and jb did a great job calmly explaining that I was working hard to bring bug.  As the contraction subsided I looked at him and tried to smile encouragingly.  “Mama’s ok, Leo.  Today is bug’s birthday!”  He smiled at me and said, “Give mama a kiss.”  He crawled over to me and gave me the sweetest kiss and I thanked him and told him that it made me feel a lot better – and I meant it.

We made it to the car (stopping several times on the way to work through a contraction) at 6:20 am.  jb drove quickly (but very safely) towards the birth center while holding my hand and talking me through each contraction.  I listened to my hypnobabies affirmations and they did help me remember to relax between each contraction as best I could.  I was gagging a bit and worried I would throw up in the car – which also made me think I might be in transition.  My suspicions were confirmed when just a few blocks into the trip I felt the urge to push.  Transition in the car: I don’t recommend it.

birth story

The birth center is not far from our house – but that ride seemed so long.  I spent the rest of the ride doing a flexed-arm-hang with my feet wedged in the front corner of the floor while my body was as straight as possible in a plank position.  I’m pretty sure this is why my arms and back felt like I’d bench-pressed a house for the next few days.  I just couldn’t  sit – it felt like I was sitting on the baby’s head.  During contractions I would rhythmically bang on the roof of the car and repeat the eff word.  I did comment to jb that I was glad we decided against having Leo be at the birth itself – mostly because I was enjoying saying the eff-word entirely too much. I also said several times, “This baby is coming!” and poor jb didn’t know whether to drive faster or pull over.

We pulled into the birth center parking lot (jb made it in 23 minutes!) and it took us a while to get across the (small) parking lot to get to the door because we had to stop for contractions three times – which means they must have been right on top of each other. We rang the doorbell – and it seemed to be hours before they answered, but it couldn’t have been more than two minutes. As the midwife answered I told her I needed to push and she told me to lay right down so she could check me. This was at 6:50 am. The instant she checked me my water broke and she confirmed that I was complete and free to push whenever I felt the urge. I rolled onto my side (and just like with Leo’s birth) jb laid in the bed behind me and held me and my leg as I pushed our child into the world.

There was a lot of ….vocalization. Mostly low-toned, productive, noises – but a couple of blood-curdling screams made it through also.  Totally thought I’d be zen about a fast and furious labor this time, since I knew to expect it – but it still hit me like a truck.  Luckily the midwife was great about getting me to refocus. I did CHUG a lemon-lime sports drink between pushes – and I don’t even like sports drinks. At 6:58 Zoe Aurora was born. For those keeping score, that is just under two hours after waking up and eight minutes after arriving at the birth center. 

 The First Day

birth story

We were able to just lay there with Zoe on my chest for a while.  jb and I admired her long fingers and looooooong toes.  We commented on how quiet and chill she seemed.  Leo cried nonstop for a good 30 minutes after birth, but Zoe barely made a peep (even later during her exam – just a little complaining, no crying).  The midwife and nurse both commented on how long the cord continued to pulse – and speculated about her weight.  The midwife ventured that she “wouldn’t be surprised if she was over nine pounds!”  Ha.  After a bit of soaking it all in and letting those endorphins wash over us, jb cut the cord and got to hold her for the first time.  We made some text announcements to our family and close friends.  I ate some of the snacks we had packed – that’s a lot of work to do without eating breakfast!  Zoe nursed.  I delivered the (impressively large) placenta.  The midwife gave me a single stitch for a small tear.  We marveled that our daughter (omg – we have a daughter!) was actually here.

After a bit we decided that since I still needed a few hours to regain some strength, shower and fill out paperwork it made sense for jb to go pick up Leo (and Aunt Lissa) to come and meet Zoe. I also requested pancakes. jb headed out and Zoe and I had some time alone while we rested. I was surprised at how vocal she was at just a few hours old. She gurgled and cooed – I don’t recall Leo making many sounds (aside from cries) until a couple months into life.

Soon the gang arrived – bearing breakfast.  Leo got to meet his baby sister for the first time.  He was clearly nervous – but so sweet.  Confirming that this was, in fact, bug from mama’s tummy several times.  He gave her many kisses and even held her (for about 30 seconds before changing his mind).  We all ate pancakes and eggs and Zoe had her check up where it was confirmed that she weighted in at 10 lbs. 4 oz. and measured 22 inches long.

Soon we were ready to head home.  Our good friend came to pick up Larissa – because we don’t have room for a passenger with two carseats! – and to meet Zoe.  Once we arrived at home Zoe got to meet her Uncle Daniel and I got to rest for a bit.  In the evening Uncle Jared and Aunt Mallory came to see us and we ate an awesome dinner of turkey burgers and salad.  Then we settled in for our first night as a family of four.

Wrap Up

Since then it has been a stream of welcome visitors, wholesome delicious food, and babymooning.  There has been no shortage of arms to hold Zoe, playmates (child and adult alike) for Leo, or support for jb and I.  I’ve been fed extremely well, have slept more than adequately, and have hardly lifted a finger since the birth.  I know this phase can’t last forever, but I’m loving it so far.  I want to write so much more – about Leo’s adjustment to bringing Zoe home, about all those little things from a baby’s first days that I don’t want to forget, about my seemingly complicated (but somehow totally natural) feelings about having two babies that need me, about nursing and how different – yet still challenging! – it is this time around.  Soon.  Right?  Now I need some lunch and a nap.


About Sandra
Sandra is a West Philadelphia Mama (not born and raised, but she does spend most of my days on the playground). A former professional activist turned stay-at-home-mom she is happily married to her best friend.  They parent a precocious toddler and new baby. Sandra blogs about parenting as a queer, Latina, feminist reclaiming family values at and tweets at @westphillymama

Birth Stories: Shawn’s Birth Story

Over the next few weeks I hope to post some encouraging and inspiring birth stories from friends and readers. If you have a birth story you would like to include please email me:

Today’s Birth Story is from Shana Dieli of Shanamama.


I woke up on Friday, May 30, 2008 at 7:08 a.m. and immediately started feeling what I thought may have been contractions. I sat down at the computer and started timing them. Surprisingly they were all at 3 minutes apart. There were a couple that were 5 minutes apart and then they were back to 3 minutes and 2 minutes apart. I was in denial for the first half hour that it could be real labor.  You see I had woken up that morning with the intention of getting all my last minute stuff done before the baby arrived, including doing my belly cast which I had always wanted to do but had never seemed to ever get around to doing it.

But he had other plans. After an hour my friend Gena convinced me that I should call my midwife and this was more then likely real labor. I contacted my midwife around 8:00 and she answered the phone saying “you’re not in labor are you”? I laughed and said actually I believe I am. So she made plans to drop off her kids, grab her supplies head out our way. As soon as I hung up with her I called Steve and told him I think that he needed to come home and he left immediately. Next to call was my mom and told her I needed her here ASAP to help me with my twi kiddos and to help set up. Off she went and got my younger sister from school and came over.
While waiting for everyone to get to our house I decided to take a shower to help me through the contractions (and hello I hadn’t showered yet and there was no way I was going to have a house full of people while delivering without showering. Yeah those are the random things that run through my head while in labor). Since I was home alone I brought the kids in with me and let them just play in the water while I held onto the side and let the water wash over my back. By the time my mom got there at 9:10 a.m. I was bent over the side of my bed breathing through the contractions and the kids were still playing in the shower. My sister helped me with the kids and Laura (friend and midwife) had called my mom asking her to go buy some last minute supplies for the birth. So she left and it was just the kids, my sister and I. My sister made them breakfast and kept them busy which I was beyond grateful for.

By the time my mom got back it was around 9:45-10:00 everything became a mad rush. They lined the bed with a shower curtain and lots of towels and then put one on the floor also in case I wanted to walk around. I “quickly” got onto the bed in all fours position with a pillow under my arms.  Steve walked in a couple minutes later. I was so worried he wouldn’t make it because he was coming from Los Angeles which is over an hour and a half away, so to say I was happy he was finally home would be an understatement. He immediately came over and held my hand. I told my mom I feel like I need to push because I was having pressure in my lower butt area. She then picked up the phone and called Laura and was like “WHAT DO I DO”? I found it kind of funny she called Laura and not Christy but my mom had never talked to Christy so it did made sense. She said it might help to put pressure on the sides of my hips, HOLY CRAP that did not help. I have very sensitive hips and have suffered from hip and back pain most of my life so that was a no go.

No more then five minutes later Christy came running in. She quickly got gloves, grabbed her jar of olive oil, rubbed it on me and said okay whenever your ready Shana. I never ever, seriously n.e.v.e.r thought that I would be a screamer, but man oh man did I scream. But at least I did so into my pillow and not at my husband right LOL. Christy explained to me that the screaming doesn’t help because it makes me tighten which pushes the baby back in. So she suggested that if I feel more comfortable making some form of noise to try grunting. :::Insert my laughter while contracting at her telling me to grunt like a dog:::.
Soooooo I tried my hardest to grunt/breath instead of screaming. I *think* I did pretty well, at least they told me I did. Finally after about 3-4 pushes the head was out. Christy said hello to the baby and giggled and said she always loves this part because it’s their first look at the new world. Everyone was like someone take a pic and my sister Tia was the only one right there with a camera. Poor thing was very hesitant (she was only 17 then) so I said told her “Just take the fucking picture Tia”. I wasn’t yelling it or being mean, I actually very quite calm which had everyone cracking up. Two more pushes and at 10:31 a.m.  we had a baby! He was 8 lbs. 8 oz. and 21 1/4 inches long and just absolutely beautiful. My oldest who was then five was the one to announce that it was a boy 🙂 I was so excited and I KNEW it was a boy! Steve was in shock. He was totally convinced we were going to have a girl…always trust a mothers intuition 😉

home birth baby

baby birth story
It was an absolutely amazing birth experience. I enjoyed doing it all natural and being in my home, my own element. It was very comfortable and no one was telling me what to do or how to do it. It was all up to me. Example, when Christy said okay I’m ready Steve asked does she push now and her reply was whenever Shana feels the need to. She is in control here, it’s her body and she will know what to do when the time is right. And I love her look on birth. In a hospital it’s the Dr who delivers your baby but that’s not how she see’s it. It’s the mother who delivered the baby, the Dr, midwife, whoever is there to assist but the mom did all the work.

shana birth story
So that was how our beautiful bouncing baby boy was born!


About Shana
Shana Dieli is the creative writer behind Shanamama. She resides in Central Oklahoma with her husband & three young children. She believes that laughter is the recipe of life & she enjoys bringing a smile to everyone. If she isn’t chasing after her kids you’ll find her behind the lens of a camera

Birth Stories: The Story of Molly’s Arrival

Over the next few weeks I hope to post some encouraging and inspiring birth stories from friends and readers. If you have a birth story you would like to include please email me:

Today’s Birth Story is from Emily from Full to Overflowing


Well…here it is. It has taken me a while to type it up and actually post it. Life with two kiddos has given me a run for my money–but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Here is Molly’s amazing birth story.

Thursday, April 21st, I went to bed like any other night. No sign of labor in sight. At 2:30 on Friday morning, April 22nd I woke up with a little cramp and felt what I thought was a trickle of water. I got up and sat on the toilet and the water kept coming out. It took me a few minutes to determine if it was water or I was just using the bathroom. As I sat there I was having very mild contractions come and go. I decided to wake up Tim and let him know what I thought was happening. We were actually staying in a hotel room because the week before there was a tornado and we were displaced from our condo. I told him to go ahead and call his mom and tell her to start making her way to the hotel so we could go to the hospital. She lives almost an hour away so I wanted her on her way just in case and knew she would understand if we got to the hospital and, in fact, my water had not broken. The more I stood there, though, the more I became 100% sure that my water had broken. I decided it would be a good idea for me to go ahead and drive myself to the hospital while Tim waited for his mom. I grabbed a towel and hopped in the car. The 10 minute drive to the hospital took forever and I seemed to hit every red light on the way. Just as I was pulling in to the hospital parking lot, I saw the blue lights behind me (I guess I was driving pretty fast). Needless to say, I got out of that ticket and was actually escorted by the cop into the ER. By this time the contractions were around 3 minutes apart and pretty intense. I had to check in at the ER and then they wheeled me up to triage in the birth center. I was checked once in triage and I was 5 centimeters dilated. The contractions were one on top of the other. I’m pretty sure Tim called me while I was in triage and I also called my mom to tell her this was it. Mom was on her way and Tim was too. The nurses at Wake Med were awesome because they already had my chart and saw my birth plan which was pretty specific. I wanted to go med free. They never mentioned anything of pain meds to me and were so encouraging! They were awesome! When I was done in triage they walked me (and made me walk!) to the delivery room. When we got to the delivery room the nurse checked me and told me to push a few times (so by that I assume I was fully dilated). The pain was INTENSE….I pushed a few times and the nurse called the doctor. I am pretty sure I talked to Tim one more time between pushes and he was in the parking lot. He was on his way! Once the doctor walked in I know I pushed a few times and then I heard Tim and his mom walk in. I had my eyes closed pretty much the whole time once in the delivery room. Maybe that was my way of coping with the pain—not sure. After Tim walked in Molly was out in three more pushes…she was born at 4:33 a.m. They placed her on my chest and she stayed there for a good while. I was also able to breastfeed her right away and she latched on like a pro! I was able to walk from the delivery room to my postpartum room—the nurse commented on how they don’t see that often. After just one night in the hospital we were released to go home.

We are now home with Molly as a family of four. We are all trying to find our groove (especially Emma). Each day comes with its challenges—but the blessings far outweigh those.Tim and I are blessed to have two beautiful, healthy girls and I truly feel like our family is complete. God is good!

Meet Emily
Hi, my name is Emily.  I am a follower of Jesus, wife to Tim, full time mom to Emma (4) and Molly (1) and a part time legal assistant.  I love my family, crisp fall days and coffee.  When I’m not wrangling kids or working, you can find me dreaming about our next cruise or up-cycling my latest yard sale find.

Noah’s Birth Story

Noah Asher Lieb
Born: 6/18/11
At Home with a Midwife
At 3:35 am
11lb and 22in
Not really sure where to start this story since I kind of felt like I was in labor for months but I’ll start with the real action.
After almost 2 months of mild-medium contractions every day (no seriously EVERY DAY) and at exactly 2 weeks past my due date Noah Asher Lieb was finally born. Whew!
The real action started on Friday, June 17th. After visiting the midwife I was instructed to go ahead and take a tiny dose of castor oil and see if anything happened. If I was ready it would work and if not I’d have some clean bowels. So around 2pm I took the castor oil then laid down for a nap. (Joe’s parents were in town and took Jude to Monkey Joes) For a couple of hours I felt nothing. I was slightly tempted to take another tiny dose but decided to wait until after we got home from dinner. While at dinner I started having some contractions about 5 min apart. Nothing too bad just noticeable and pretty consistent. 
After we got home the contraction started to get irregular so I just figured it was my regular night contractions and we’d go about our evening. We put Jude to bed and sat down to watch an episode of Psych with Joe’s parents and eat some ice cream. During the episode the contractions came back and were getting uncomfortable. It was about 10:30 so I decided to go lay down and time them. They stay pretty consistent for about 30 min (5 min apart). Joe and I got ready for bed and I asked him to time them for me. As soon as he started timing they started to slow down. So he put away his phone, we cuddled in bed and he opened his book to read. Two seconds later I heard a pop and felt a thump in my lower uterus. I asked Joe if her heard that and I popped up and thought, oh boy… I think I know what just happened. I stood up and began to feel the water flow from my body. I rushed to the bathroom and made it mostly in time to the toilet. I told Joe, my water just broke and to call Stacy. Joe said it sounded like someone was pouring a 16oz drink into the toilet. I was a little surprised it didn’t just gush out but it continued on and off for about 30 min. After Joe hung up the phone with Stacy he did a little dance of excitement since he was finally about to meet his second son. To be honest I think we were both pretty happy that I was FINALLY in labor.
between a contraction before the midwives arrived
As soon as my water broke (at 11:50 pm) my contractions moved to 4 min apart. While we waited for the midwives to show up Joe worked on filling up the pool and I paced out the contractions, stopping to hold the dresser and moan and try to go with the flow. About an hour later (1am) the midwives arrived. I was still pretty coherent and we decided to move to the pool. (The pool was set up in the nursery) It was relaxing to be in the pool but I only stayed there for about 45 min – 1 hr. While in the pool the contractions intensified, I threw-up and Audrey instructed me to push with the contractions because it would feel good. And it did, what relief. However, my hips started to hurt like HELL. That was Noah making his way down. So Joe and Stacy applied counter pressure to my hips and that helped a lot. Finally I got sick of the pool and we moved to the bed where I actually started pushing. (I’m not exactly sure what time it was… I was a little busy)
I’m not really sure how I ended up in the position but it’s what felt best. Joe was behind me, I was leaning on him and somehow he was hold me upright. I had my feet pressed into Audrey and Stacy on either side of me. This is the part where I did a lot of pushing. I would start of the contractions with a big NO and finish with a LETS DO THIS. I remember thinking how crazy I must sound going from I want to quit to I can totally do this. I don’t remember pushing that hard with Jude. I pushed with every inch of my body and still felt like I wasn’t giving enough. Audrey instructed me to put my chin to my chest, hold my breath and grunt. I would give a few big pushes with contractions but didn’t really follow through long enough. I was so glad to have support that called me out on not following through even though I wanted to fake my way through labor. (btw You can’t fake your way through labor)
This next part gets a bit hazy but here’s what I remember. I finally started to give some huge pushes and his head started to crown. The stretching of the skin burn and I reached down to feel his head and to help stretch the skin. (I didn’t do that with Jude, I was a little nervous about looking or feeling what was actually going on.) Finally his head came out and they said oh one more push and you’re done. But then I wasn’t done. He was stuck. Immediately, they flipped me onto hands and knees (Thank you Ina May Gaskins!) and Audrey reached in to help get the cord out from around his neck and to remove both of his stuck shoulders. I’m not sure the order of things but I remember hearing that both of his shoulders were stuck, then his hips need a little extra tug and there was some major pulling going on. Finally 4 min after his head crowned Noah was born. (At 3:35 am)
I couldn’t see him because of my position but a few seconds later I was able to turn around and see them resuscitating him. He was breathing on his own and already had a pink color to him but his breaths were shallow so they had the bag on him and were timing his breaths. I don’t really remember all of what happened next but I knew when I saw him start to cry he would be OK. They instructed me to hold him and touch him and talk to him. Right after he was delivered he had a huge bowel movement and probably lost about 2oz of meconium. (A stress induced poop)
First picture (Yes I do look a little like a zombie)
The Placenta
(With Jude I had a horrible time delivering my placenta. It was manually removed and caused me to hemorrhage. There was a duration of 2.5 hour between when Jude was born and when the placenta was delivered. This time we made sure it was different.)
I had a great deal of blood loss with the birth so they gave me a small dose of pitocin to stop the bleeding which also helped keep the contractions going which helped the placenta to be delivered very quickly and easily. (I’m not sure how long it was but probably less than 30 min)
After that was all done I was  shaking uncontrollably for at least an hour. It was mostly due to the intensity of the situation and maybe a little to the large blood loss I experienced. After some food, hydration, relaxation herbs and techniques I was pretty good. They stitched up my 1st degree tear which was not fun but thankfully they numbed the area and gave me plenty of distractions so I didn’t really know what was going on.
Me and Mr. Noah
After making sure everyone was OK, cleaning us up, cleaning up the house and taking a little breather the midwives left around 7am. Shortly thereafter Jude woke up. (he’d been asleep the whole time in the room next door…. so were Joe’s parents). When Joe’s mom got Jude he held his hands to his ears and told her he heard cats in his house and headed toward the kitchen to find him. She told him there were no cats and what he heard was a baby crying. Immediately he knew it was his baby brother and came running in the room to meet Noah. I was surprised and excited that it took him no time at all to put 2 and 2 together and happily greeted his new little brother.
Jude meeting his baby brother for the 1st time.
4 days later and we are all happy and health (aside from some breastfeeding issues which I will share about later.) I’m loving our new family of 4. It’s been kind of crazy around here the past few days and I’m looking forward to it slowing down a bit. (Joe’s parents are still here helping, which is great but adds a bit of excitement to Jude). I know eventually all the pieces will fall into place and our family will just be awesome. I love all my boys so much!

Jude’s Homebirth Story

On Friday, June 27, 2008 at 3:49pm.

It’s a boy, Jude Aidan Lieb.

9lbs. 12oz.
22.5 inches long

14 inch head
14.75 chest

In addition to documenting the newest Lieb family member I wanted to let everyone know
that despite the many complications we encountered during Jude’s birth we are very pleased with our home birth experience. I have a strong sense of accomplishment that I not only had a completely natural birth in the comfort of my own home but I also overcame many difficult obstacles.


On Thursday, June 26th around 9am I started to notice the first stages of labor with constant but inconsistent contractions ranging from 15 to 10 minutes apart. I tried to take it easy at home knowing labor could begin soon. That evening Joe and I went to get some dinner and had the Updykes over to play Mario Kart as a contraction distraction.

Around 11pm the contractions were about 5 minutes apart so we called Sabrina, our midwife, to give her a heads up that baby Lieb was coming soon. We decided to rest as much as possible and give her a call when we were ready for her to come over. Joe slept for about 5 hours and I tried to rest but ended up pacing the room most of the night. Around 4 am we decided to call Sabrina since the contractions were about 3 minutes apart and more intense.

Erin, our doula, arrived first and started setting up the birthing pool. Around 6 am I got in the pool, it was nice to be in the warm water. I started feeling nauseas which is a sign you’re headed toward transition and subsequently threw up. Around 9 am Sabrina checked me and I was around 9cm dilated. I felt certain I was near the end. During a contraction Erin was pressing on my lower back for counter pressure against back labor and suddenly I felt a pop and she immediately stopped pressing. We believe my tail bone was dislocated which should be able to be popped back in place by the chiropractor, Jude just needed a little extra room to come out I guess. At the time it didn’t hurt and for several days afterward it didn’t hurt but now my bum is sore and ready for a chiro visit.

So after birthing in the pool for a while and attempting a few small pushes I decided to move to the bed for a change of location and position. After about an hour on the bed with little success, his head would slightly emerging and slipping back, we moved back to the pool. Apparently his head needed to mold to the birth canal and it was taking a little longer than expected. Drawing near exhaustion and with still little success we moved back to the bed. After laboring on my hands and knees for several hours my upper legs and buttock muscles were burning, my last resort position was the typical hospital position of lying on your back. Even though gravity wasn’t working in our favor I was able to have the strongest pushes despite of my exhaustion. It had been nearly four hours of pushing and his head finally started to emerge. I hadn’t eaten much so I was weak and losing morale, wondering why it was taking soooo long.

Finally he was coming but I didn’t have much left to give. He finally crowned but my contractions seemed to be far apart and the ability to push was small. I screamed and gave every little last bit I had for a few more contractions but it seems like he was stuck. After 4 minutes of crowning the situation became serious and Sabrina had to perform an episiotomy then realizing he had shoulder dystocia (where the shoulder(s) of the baby are not entering the pelvis during the birth as they should) she had to reach in and grab him and pull him out. We all realized the seriousness of the situation and I told them to do whatever was needed to get him out safely. With a few seconds he was out and lying on my chest blue and barely breathing I was instructed to touch and talk to him as they gave him oxygen. At my first touch he took a gasp of air and soon regained his color. That is when we first met our little babe, Jude Aidan. It was the most overwhelming experience in my life.

Because of my long labor and lack of nutrition I was completely exhausted and my contractions had slowed drastically which inhibited the delivery of the placenta. After attempting several standard methods of aiding it out gently we were nearing the end of our window to deliver the placenta and Sabrina was forced to reach in and pull is out, which with the aid of Erin, Joe, a strong contraction and a horrifying scream it came out. Relieved and tired they brought me some food that Joe’s mom had prepared. As I was eating my food I had a contraction that resulted in a sudden hemorrhages of what appeared to be a massive amount of blood. Sabrina quickly massaged my uterus as Erin gave me a small injection of Pitocin to start contractions of the uterus which would stop the bleeding. Luckily, I didn’t pass out but did drink two large glasses of orange juice to help me regain energy.

During the hemorrhage Erin, who was draining the birth pool into the bath tube, was rushed into the room to assist. During which the bathtub overflowed and flood the entire upstairs bathroom. Everyone was able to clean it up but we do have some noticeable water damage on the ceiling downstairs. Oops!

Finally, it was time to stitch me up but Sabrina wanted another opinion so she called another midwife Audrey to come stitch me because she had more experience with the degree of cut/tear I had. There was some discussion of transporting me to the hospital because I had a hematoma(An abnormal localized collection of blood in which the blood is usually clotted or partially clotted and is usually situated within an organ or a soft tissue space, such as within a muscle). At that point I really didn’t want to transport to the hospital, they would have admitted me and probably kept me for a day or more but I was willing to go if that was their conclusion. After some evaluation they concluded everything was OK and they stitched me right here at home. I think getting stitches was probably the hardest part because at that point I was so exhausted I just wanted to be left alone, but in all actuality it wasn’t that bad… a case of mind of matter I guess.

Finally, after everything was said and done Jude and I were reunited and all the family came in to see the new Lieb family. Despite all the unforeseen complications I always felt safe, weather it was because I knew I had a skilled midwife and doula, or because I was in my own home or just because I knew God was taking care of me.. probably all of the above.

Would I have another home birth? Yes! It’s not something I want to do anytime soon but after all the healing is complete having this experience under my belt can only make me stronger. If I can accomplish this, I can probably do anything!