| | | |

Owen’s Birth Story (Part Two)

Did you miss Part One of Owen’s birth story? That’s okay, you can catch up here.

I got a new nurse at 6 AM on Sunday morning. She took over for the nurse I had on Saturday afternoon for a couple hours so she was a familiar face. And I liked her. I think liking and getting along with your L&D nurse is really important. Months before I asked my doctor, “What if I don’t like my nurse?” She replied, “Ask for a different one. Not getting along with your nurse can ruin your birth process.” And I can totally see that. But thankfully I liked my nurse, and I was sad when her shift was over at 6 PM Sunday night.

My doctor called my nurse around 6:30 AM to check on my status. She told my nurse she was going to go to church, and then she’d come in to the hospital. After hearing this, I turned to Brad and said, “I hope she prays for my cervix to dilate to 10 cm.”

My nurse checked me at 6:45 AM and I was 2 cm dilated, 75% effaced.

I opted out of the 6th dose of Cytotec. I was over it. 5 doses only took me from closed to 2 cm. How much good was one more dose going to do?

My contractions were still 2-3 minutes apart, and the pain was getting to be unbearable again since the Nubain had wore off more than an hour earlier.

 I don’t know if contractions are like this for everyone, but I didn’t get breaks in between. The pain would be an 8 when I was contracting, and when I wasn’t having a contraction the pain would be a 6. I asked my nurse about more Nubain. She said in the event I needed a Cesarean, they didn’t like giving it within 4 hours of surgery because it can make the baby lethargic which can lead to breathing issues, so she brought up getting an epidural. I replied, “Sure, let’s get this party started.”

Within 15 minutes the anesthesiologist had arrived. Brad isn’t a fan of needles so he left the room, which was fine by me. Getting the epidural wasn’t too bad. Knowing the pain from the contractions, and from them checking my cervix, would be going away shortly is what got me through the uncomfortableness of getting the epidural.

If you know me well, you know that I like to find humor in any situation, but specifically awkward situations. So, like everyone else after getting an epidural, I required a catheter. As my nurse was inserting my catheter she asked what I did for a living. You know, a little friendly catheter chit chat. I told her that I’m an early intervention developmental therapist and a blogger. I always feel awkward explaining the whole blogging thing to people, let alone when a stranger is all up in my lady bits, so that was a comical moment for me. Maybe I should have just given her one of my blogger business cards so she could look me up during one of her breaks.

Around 7:30 AM, Brad left to grab some coffee from the cafeteria. While he was gone, my nurse came in and said Owen would benefit from me getting some oxygen so she had me put on an oxygen mask. I put on the mask, and tried to fall back asleep. As I was dosing off, I heard Brad come back in the room and say an expletive. Poor guy thought something awful happened while he was gone for 5 minutes because when he came back I was passed out with an oxygen mask on my face.

photo (32) copy

My doctor came in at 10 AM. Fort Knox was still holding strong at 2 cm dilated, 75% effaced so she broke what was left of my water in hopes of getting things moving faster. She said she was going to go home but she would call back in a couple hours to see if I had progressed.

In the meantime, I tried to get as much rest as possible in between the blood pressure cuff going off what seemed like every other minute and the nurses coming in to change my positioning.

At 12:00 PM my nurse checked me. 3 cm dilated, 75% effaced. In a little over 24 hours I had dilated from nothing to 3 cm. Things clearly weren’t looking good for a vaginal delivery, but I had realized this hours before.

My doctor called my nurse a little after noon to check in. My nurse came in and said my doctor advised that we either start Pitocin or go for a Cesarean. She said she would leave Brad and me to talk about it. A minute later my hospital room phone started to ring. It was my doctor.

I told her I didn’t know what to do. Owen was doing really well, and I didn’t want to risk the Pitocin stressing him out and then having to go for an emergency Cesarean. If this was going to result in a Cesarean, I wanted him to be born when he was doing really well instead of being in distress.

My doctor said, “If you want my honest opinion, I think you’re going to get stuck.”

We talked a little more, and she said to talk it over with Brad and let my nurse know what we decided to do.

Brad and I talked for a while. He said he thought I had given it my all to have what I truly wanted– a vaginal delivery. We talked about how it took me 24 hours to get to 3 cm so how much longer would it take to go 7 more cm, and then would I even have the energy at that point to push for who knows how long. I mean, I had been in early labor for 22 hours at this point. I said I didn’t think the Pitocin would help me dilate more, instead I felt like it would distress Owen.

Ultimately, around 12:30 PM, we came to the decision to go ahead with the Cesarean.

My doctor was right.  We were having this baby on Sunday.

The nurses got everything into motion pretty quickly. My doctor came in to briefly talk about the Cesarean. My nurse brought me this liquid antacid, which has an awful taste, to drink that neutralizes stomach acid in case I vomit on the operating table. I told her I hadn’t vomited in 6 years and that I didn’t want to break the streak today.

Before I knew it, I was being wheeled into the operating room. The anesthesiologist who did my epidural reappeared. The nurses got me onto the operating table. Then the room started to bustle with everyone prepping for the Cesarean.

The anesthesiologist asked me if the Jason Mraz Pandora station was fine with me. I said, “Perfect.” It was the station I had been listening the past couples months while I worked at my computer at night so that was comforting.

Brad sat down next to my head on the left side and held my hand.

The anesthesiologist talked about how he was going to give me different medicine to numb from the top of my chest down. He then went on to talk about what I would feel during the operation. He mostly told me things I already knew. I’d feel pressure and tugging. Then toward the end of the surgery I might begin to shake. He said typically the harder you try to fight the shakes the worse they get so I shouldn’t try to fight them.

Then they started the whole pin prick and pinching “can you feel that?” process. I kept saying “yes”. And the anesthesiologist said, “I’m sorry. I keep forgetting that you’re a tall girl. I’ll give you some more medicine.” I’m not going to lie, the cold water running down your back feeling of the medicine being administered through the epidural catheter is kind of refreshing sensation.

I felt another pinch so I said, “I could feel that one.” The anesthesiologist said, “Oh that wasn’t us pinching you, that was the scalpel. They’ve started.”

I started to feel the pressure. It’s hard to describe the pain, but it felt like a dull, sour pain. I could feel my upper body moving as they tugged. I squeezed Brad’s hand tighter. I closed my eyes and focused on breathing in and out. I also focused on not vomiting. I wasn’t about to break this 6 year no-vomit streak on a measly Cesarean.

Within 3-4 minutes, Owen was pulled out of my belly. At 1:08 PM, to be exact. My memory is a little fuzzy but I remember hearing Owen cry. And my doctor saying, “Oh my goodness, look at that cone head! You weren’t coming out the old fashion way, were you, buddy?”

I ended up being so thankful for that cone head. It was proof that we made the right decision. That there was no way Owen was going to be able to be born vaginally. His cone head was a relief.

owen 1

The anesthesiologist told me if I turned my head to the left I would be able to see Owen as the nurse walked him over to be examined. I was able to catch a glimpse.

I told Brad to get up and go take photos of Owen. While he was taking a video (the only 7 second video we have of Owen on his birthday), the nurses asked Brad if he wanted to cut the cord. He reluctantly agreed. His friend had told him months before how cutting the cord is a weird feeling so Brad had decided that he didn’t really want to cut the cord. But in the end, I think he’s glad he did it.

As I laid on the table, I was still the bossy photographer that I am, telling Brad to be sure to take horizontal photos. The anesthesiologist laughed and said it reminded him of when his children were born and his wife was bossing him around on the operating table during her Cesareans.

Then it came time to weigh Owen. 8 pounds, 11 ounces. The ultrasound tech from Thursday was only off by 1 ounce.

As my doctor was closing me up, my nurse told me she was proud of me for not breaking my vomit streak but there were a couple times she thought I was going to toss my cookies. I agreed.

While the other nurses got Owen dressed, Brad came over and sat with me again. Apparently he didn’t hear the part when the anesthesiologist mentioned the shakes because as I started to shake, Brad got this horrified look on his face.

And to be honest, the more I concentrated on trying to relax and not shake, the less I shook.

After I was closed up and moved onto a bed, Brad brought Owen over for me to hold. I didn’t have a super emotional moment where I cried. (I’ve had plenty since then– trust me.)  I just remember studying his face and trying to wrap my head around the fact that minutes ago he was in my belly, and now he was in my arms. In a way, it didn’t feel real.

I don’t know if other people have the same experience, but since I had never given birth before I clearly didn’t know what to expect. This is kind of hard to explain but for so long it was all about my pregnancy and this belly I had grown for nearly 10 months. I mean, I obviously knew there was a baby in there and in time the baby would come out. But it’s a weird yet amazing feeling when your baby is actually born and placed in your arms.

owen 2

I held Owen as they wheeled me back to my L&D room. When we got into the room, my nurse asked if I wanted to have skin to skin time. This was something that was really important to me so I instantly said yes. After we snuggled for a couple minutes, my nurse asked if I wanted her to help get him to latch on. I had barely any idea what I was doing so I agreed. Owen didn’t latch perfectly right away, but I knew it would take some time for us to get this whole nursing thing going. After a little bit of time my nurse excused herself so we could have some time alone as a family of three.

For the next hour or so I snuggled Owen, and Brad and I talked about everything that had just happened.

Once we had some special time with just the three of us, we called our parents and told them to head to the hospital. It was a surprise for both sets of our parents because when they finally arrived and walked in the room I was laying in bed holding their first grandchild. And that’s also when they learned his name.

After making the phone calls, a different nurse came in to give Owen a bath. I watched from my bed while Brad went over to take photos of Owen as he screamed during his first sponge bath.

owen 3

However, he enjoyed the warmer when she was finished.

b and o

When he was nice and warm, the nurse dressed him and brought him back over to me.

owen 4

A couple hours later, our parents arrived to meet Owen. And my best friend surprised us by driving down from Chicago to meet her first “nephew”.

It was definitely an exciting day for all of us.

It didn’t go exactly how I planned or wanted, but in the end we got what truly mattered– a healthy baby boy.

Some of you may wonder where we got the name Owen. It’s a name that I’ve loved since college, so about 10 years. It has always been my baby boy name, and, thankfully, Brad liked it.

Owen’s middle name, which we aren’t sharing on the blog, has a lot of meaning though. His middle name is in honor of Brad’s late cousin, who was only two weeks older than Brad. They grew up together and were best friends. Sadly, he died of a stroke on Christmas Day, 2005. Also, it’s a tradition from Brad’s paternal side of the family for all of the men to have a middle name that begins with a certain initial. It worked out perfectly because Brad’s late cousin’s name starts with that initial.

Click HERE to read Emmett’s birth story.

Similar Posts


  1. Jessica L says:

    Our stories sound very similar – especially the Fort Knox. I didn’t end up having a cesarean but was “in labor” from Sunday evening through Tuesday morning with cytotech and pitocin. Like you the end result was what mattered, a healthy baby. I can completely see now how birth plans do not go as planned, lol. Induction was something I never planned on… haha.

    Congratulations again. Owen is adorable.

  2. I had a very similar birth experience — longggg painful labour with a baby who wouldn’t budge, and then a C-section. It always makes me feel good to hear that other moms go through the same thing, because sometimes it feels like every one of my girlfriends is able to pop out their baby vaginally with no trouble. I opted for a scheduled C-section for my second baby, to avoid the horrible labour (and envitable C-section) all over again, and I was very happy with the decision! Congratulations to you and Brad! Owen is so sweet!

  3. Estáis guapísimos los dos…………….es como un muñequito………besos y cuidaros

  4. I am so impressed you haven’t vomited in 6 years! How do you avoid stomach viruses! Lucky girl!

  5. Loved hearing about your birth story. So glad Owen came out perfect and healthy. He’s such a little cutie!

  6. Jen Hartz says:

    I can sympathize with your contractions – mine were like that, too. I keep waiting for a break that never came and they weren’t even showing up on the monitor. It’s difficult when things don’t go as planned, but I’m learning no less beautiful. You totally made the right decision and Owen is perfect. Congrats to your lovely family!

  7. Oh those shakes!!! I remember a nurse watching her first c-section asking if I was seizing!!

  8. Aww! That little man is perfect and sometimes you just have to be thankful for modern medicine! You did everything right. He just had his own plans and that totally happens sometimes. I know exactly what you mean about that weird feeling of seeing this baby that has been inside of you, and now it’s here and it’s a whole person. So weird, and so amazing.

  9. Jill Cote says:

    This had me in tears! Thank you for sharing. The most beautiful part of this story was when you said “It didn’t go exactly how I planned or wanted, but in the end we got what truly mattered– a healthy baby boy.” Congratulations on your beautiful family!

  10. I’ve loved reading your story Chelsea, My first son was frank breech and my Dr didn’t notice {long story} until 38 weeks so I too had the sudden C-section realization. It was very hard for me b/c I had wanted an all natural birth but in the end I had three c-sections and 3 healthy boys (only labored with my last who insisted on coming before his Daddy could get home from Iraq) and in the end it all worked out. I will say that with my first I had that same weird sensation of observing my baby rather than being fiercely attached-not sure if it’s a c-section thing or a 1st time mom thing, I remember asking my husband if he was sure he saw the baby come out of me! The momma bear instinct kicked in for me about 10 hours after he was born-probably hormonal since I hadn’t labored? Who knows? Congrats, he’s gorgeous and I’m jealous of all your newborn snuggles!!

  11. Ditto to the feeling of amazement that this little person wad growing in your belly for 10months then is laying on your chest. It’s just surreal. I am so proud of you for your assessment of your labor and keeping Owen as your focus throughout! You really did try, and so hard! I remember feeling like I’d never dialate with #1 (I was 4cm days before he was born and still labored actively for 18 hours to get to 10cm, which after reading your story feels like nothing). Learning to follow your gut, as you already have, is the best lesson for any parent! Way to be awesome mom!

  12. Congratulations on your baby boy. By the way you have written out, you sound thrilled to be a mom and completely at peace with how your labor and delivery went even though that wasn’t what was your plan. Welcome to the greatest adventure ever!!

  13. Hi Chelsea.
    Congrats on your little Owen. He is beautiful. I could write all kinds of birth business here, from my personal experiences.
    27 wk vaginal delivery,
    33 wk footling breech c-sect, (until you have heard the words and I quote: “There is a foot stuck in the vagina,” you really have not lived)
    6w4d ectopic pregnancy-right salpingectomy,
    36wk VBAC,
    37wk c-sect.
    And we could move on to my professional (ultrasound) experience……but no.

    But my real thing here is to say ROCK ON to the tech with the fetal measurements, especially at that gestation.
    1 oz is nothing, with the standard deviation at that point being +/- up to 1#!!!!!! Woot! Woot! RDMS!!!

    Tara, RDMS, RVT, RT(R)

  14. I guess one professional story. I AM NOT LYING.
    A patient was at the clinic and baby was quick scanned and confirmed breech so the next morning, she arrives for her c-section. Ok. That’s easy peasy.
    Doc thinks it feels like baby “isn’t” anymore. A 40 wk pregnant woman comes to my department and I (pleasantly) tell her “Baby’s head is down, with the spine to your right. Looking over at Dad.” And I lean back in my chair and turn to look at Dad, in my excellent demonstration of fetal position. I am a great tech, I bring joy to people!!!! Kudos to me!
    Did not see this train wreck coming:” What? What the hell do you mean it is head down? It’s breech. I saw it on the screen yesterday. You have to be wrong. What the ^&*@???? Get someone in here who knows how to do this ultrasound job because you are wrong. You. Are. Wrong.” Ouch. No Kudos for me.
    The plan/need for a c-section, for baby #1 or whatever number, is upsetting for some. I respect that.
    Being worked up because you are not going to go right upstairs to have a C-section? Whoa.
    To each their own. But, I was by all means “correct,” much to her dismay.
    I will just say, I was happy my time with her was brief, as it was going to be a looonnngggg day for everyone involved.

  15. Greetings from autumnal Minnesota! I’m so happy for you and Brad on having your beautiful baby boy. When my doc was examining me he said, “Hmmm, interesting. I don’t seem to be able to feel the head.” I freaked out, started crying and became a bit hysterical b/c I assumed if he couldn’t feel the head there must not be one! I said, “What do you mean my baby has no head?!!” to which doc started laughing and said your baby is breech, not headless! He’s head up, butt down and if he doesn’t turn himself around by the time you go into labor we’ll have to take him by cesarean. I blew my nose, laughed, and a week later had my own bundle of joy. My son Shawn is now 32 and gorgeous, smart, healthy and happy. Congratulations, mom, and welcome to the mommy club. Owen is adorable and I wish you all the best. Vicki

  16. I had contractions like that, too. It’s a thing! And it has a name. Hypertonic uterine contractions, or uterine hyperstimulation. It was awful, I felt like my contractions never fully went away. Ultimately, that’s (probably) why Fort Knox held its ground, because HUC are ineffective at dilating your cervix. You were probably right to say no to pitocin, because that can make it worse! Congrats on the new baby boy, enjoy the heck out of him!

  17. I’m very sorry to inform you that you likely had what is known as an “unnecesarian”. Trying to assess low amniotic fluid via ultrasound is like trying to guess how much water is in a bathtub from underneath it. The cone head is because he was your first baby and was engaged in the pelvis. He was molding his head, preparing himself for his birth. Many women give birth healthfully beyond 42 weeks, and your body does not grow a baby that is too big for you to birth (unless you have pelvic malformation from rickets or a birth defect).

    Your doctor wanted to induce you because she was going on vacation soon, and didn’t want to miss out on the paycheque she would be making off your birth/section. FYI: The more interventions and drugs she can use on you, the more money she makes. Especially when a cesarean is performed.

    If you actually do want to have a natural birth in the future, just stay home. Don’t get ultrasounds. You and your baby will be safer that way.

    1. I’m very sorry to inform you that you are misinformed. I trust the two different ultrasound techs, using two different machines at two different locations to measure my fluid. Especially because one of them accurately measured my son within 1 ounce of his birth weight. I was skeptical of ultrasounds and their accuracy until she did that. Also, my doctor examined me and determined that I had low fluid. Even I could tell I didn’t have any fluid left because of how my belly felt and looked. Plus, I was experiencing decreased fetal movement. And seeing as low fluid can lead to stillbirth, I preferred to take my chances with an induction and cesarean rather than a deceased baby.

      If our bodies don’t grow babies too big for us to birth than why did so many women die during childbirth for medical advances?

      Also, my doctor did not want to induce me because she was going on vacation. You know why? Because she had just returned from a week long vacation. And she came in multiple times on her days off (it was Saturday and Sunday, mind you) to check on me and to ultimately deliver my son. So I don’t feel like she was merely using me to make her money.

      While I appreciate natural home births, it isn’t for me. I appreciate medical technology, and I trust my doctor.

  18. Just found your blog on Pinterest, and love your birth story! I’m right there w you – crazy, painful labor that ended in a very unexpected c section. Similar to you as well, I also was determined to BF for a year, especially since I didn’t get the birth I wanted. Just weaned my daughter at 12 mos, and glad I made it, but probably wouldn’t do it over again. I work full time and pumping was a nightmare! Anyway – thanks for sharing your story; always so nice to hear from other moms w similar experiences! Love your style too. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *