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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!