Saturday, January 22, 2011


I wanted to document, before I forget, all the moments that passed us by on the day Philip was born. I also hope, in the coming weeks, to document Natalie's birth story so we can all compare the differences and similarities.

The day (January 10) started off for me at 6:00 am. I was going to be induced and the labor and delivery team could call any time after 6:00 am, so they had told me to be awake and ready to come in any time after 6:00 am. So, I woke up and did my hair and make up, had a dish of oatmeal with blueberries and a cup of coffee...then I waited and by 7:00 had decided to go back to sleep. Thinking they would call as soon as I fell asleep. At 7:58 am my phone rang and the nurse asked if I could be at the hospital by 9:00 am. Yes! So I woke up Phil and told him we needed to leave in 45 minutes.

We got ready, put the bags in the car, kissed Natalie good bye and made our way to the hospital.

We arrived at 9:00 am, were in the delivery room by 9:10 and I was in my hospital gown by 9:15. I had what is called Group B Strep, which meant I had to have antibiotics prior to delivery. So they started the IV and then proceeded with all the "hospital" questions to finish my registration. Then they checked to see how far dilated I was and found I was still at 5 cm, which was where I was the week prior.

The nurse said they would call my doctor to see when they should start the pitocin to get labor going and be back to check on me. So we started to wait. At 11:00, the nurse came back in and started the pitocin drip at a "very low level" and told us my doctor would be in around 1:00 to break my water. They broke my water at 1:30 pm and I still wasn't feeling any pain from the contractions (which is normal for me). By this time my parents were both at the hospital and everyone, except me had eaten lunch.

Around 4:30 my mom left the hospital to pick up Natalie and bring her back to the hospital for dinner and to meet Baby Brother - who we figured would arrive around 7:00 or 8:00 pm. My brother also arrived at the hospital around this time. About 4:45 pm I started feeling contractions and when I walked around they weren't as bad, but knew, if it was anything like my labor for Natalie, they were going to quickly get worse. I made Phil walk around the room with me and then he insisted that we get the epidural. I agreed and sent him to find the nurse.

By 5:15 the nurse had found the anesthesiologist and I was laying on my side waiting for relief. Well, I'm not sure this person was a real anesthesiologist, because after sticking me with the long needle about three times he still wasn't able to get the epidural in. He kept saying, "Do you feel that?" Um, no...I'm still in pain. Then he would stick me again. Finally he said, "I think that did it" and instructed me to roll back over and wait to see if the pain of contractions would go away. But it didn't, so he had me roll back over and he decided to try again. By this point the nurse turned off the pitocin, because the contractions were coming so quickly.

The anesthesiologist started to stab me again to try and find the right spot, which is about when I said "I have to push". So he decided to abandon the idea of an epidural and go with a "spinal". Which is where he pushes drugs into my spinal column to give relief. Once he got that in, the doctor was in the room and as I rolled back over, she told me that I was going to start pushing.

At 6:00 pm, I started pushing. Basically, you wait for a contraction and then you push to the count of 10, take a deep breath, push again and then once more - so three pushes with each contraction. By the third contraction everyone in the room was convinced he would be born with the next contraction, and that is where things took a slightly different course. I had asked my doctor how they could tell the baby was getting enough oxygen and she said they were monitoring his heart rate and everything looked good, then she said to get ready to push again. I started pushing and was told to wait. At this point, looks and words that I couldn't hear fully were exchanged and the decision was made to bring the nursery team in and I was told that the baby seemed to be stuck. His big shoulders were getting in the way of him being born.

My doctor said that instead of waiting for the next contraction, I needed to just start pushing and not stop, so I started and after about the 5 push I thought I might die of exhaustion, but kept pushing. The entire mood in the room had gone from excitement to strange. It was like everyone knew there was a problem and no one wanted to tell me. At this point the nursery team was in place and two nurses were helping me push. At 6:28 pm Philip John came into this world and we found that not only his shoulder was keeping him inside, but that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. His whole head was purple and he wasn't making any noise.

My doctor quickly took the cord off his neck, had Phil cut the cord and passed him over to the nursery team. Phil followed to make sure he was okay, and I sat wondering why my baby boy wasn't making any noises...where was the cry? The first cry was all I needed to hear to have everything be okay. I kept saying, "why isn't he crying, what is wrong with him" and finally my doctor said, in a very reassuring voice, "Joelle, he is okay. He will cry in just a minute, don't worry". A few seconds after that, we heard the blissful noise of Philip's first cry and Phil looked at me and said, "he is fine, he is crying".

They finished cleaning me and the baby up and then passed Philip to me to hold. It was all a very surreal experience. His little face looking up at me and everything was okay in the world. Phil said that we should never forget the moment he was born and not crying and remind ourselves of it whenever he starts crying too much.

Phil and I enjoyed spending some time with Philip before we brought the rest of the family into the room with us. Around 7:15 Natalie came in with my mom and got to meet baby brother for the first time. She was overjoyed. I convinced her to go and get me some water so that the rest of the family could hold and meet Philip.

Godfather held him first, and by the time he was done holding him, Natalie was back and demanding to hold Baby Brother. I believe her exact words were, "No Godfather, my baby brother!!" After we let her hold him she didn't want to give him back, when Grandma tried to take him away for her first hold, Natalie went a little crazy yelling at Grandma to stop and not take him.

Grandma and Grandpa took Natalie on a walk to give me some time to feed Philip and make it up to my recovery room. They moved me on a stretcher, because the spinal hadn't fully worn off and Phil didn't want me trying to get into a wheelchair with weak legs. Everyone met back upstairs and we ate dinner and enjoyed some champagne. A perfect end to a very exciting day.


  1. What an incredible story! How scary that his cord was around his neck, I would've freaked out. I'm glad that you are all doing well! He is really cute!

  2. Wow! What a birth. I got teary eyed thinking how scary that is to not hear his little cry and the cord around the neck. I'm so glad everything was okay. We are lucky to have healthy babies!
    I'm not sure I'd want that same Dr. to give me an epidural the next time.....Three times is a little much.

    Hope you are enjoy that new little one!