Baby New Year: A Birth Story

August 28, 2018

My due date came and went. I remember laying down to go to bed that night, relaxed from a long bath, promising myself I’d continue to take it easy until Desi decided he was ready to come. I played on my phone a little bit, then went to bed at around 11pm.

Having been in early labor for so long, my nights were often filled with random contractions, and like any pregnant woman, lots of trips to the bathroom. But at around 1:45am, I had a contraction that made me jump out of bed (well, as close to a jump as you can get when you’re all belly). I chalked it up as just being anxious and tired, but in the time it took me to go to the bathroom and walk back to bed, I’d had two more contractions, just as strong as the first. I woke Burkley up and we called the midwife. Again, in our 7 minute conversation with her, I had 2 strong contractions, so she told us to come in. 

By the time we got in the car and started driving to the birthing center, my contractions were 1.5-2 minutes apart, lasting over a minute long. This was definitely it. 

When we got to the birthing center, around 3am, I was 5cm dilated. We were given the option of going back home for a little while or staying and laboring there. Given that we lived 45 minutes away, we decided to stay. Since my contractions were already so close together and very strong, we all thought it was going to be a quick delivery. 

But the clock kept moving, contractions still coming every 1-2 minutes. 

By 9am I was 8cm dilated, almost there. 

A few hours later, I started feeling like something was wrong. I remember sitting in the bath during a contraction saying, over and over again, “I can’t. I need help.” The contractions had started spacing out for some reason, to around 5 minutes apart. At around 3pm, 6 hours after the last time I’d been checked, I was still only 8cm. The midwives thought getting some rest would help move things along, but that wasn’t possible the way things were, so we agreed that the best thing at this point was to transfer to the hospital for a therapeutic epidural. After 17 hours of nearly nonstop contractions, my body needed a break.

Best thing ever. 

I got some rest, got to eat a bit, and was finally fully dilated. Ready to push! 

I pushed for an hour and half. And then things took a turn. Desi wasn’t descending like he should have been (geometry problems), and his heart rate started dropping lower and lower with each push. The midwife called in an OB for a second opinion, and they both agreed a c-section would be necessary.

To say I was heartbroken would be an understatement. My dream of a medication free birth had already gone out the window, natural birth was close behind. 

They gave us the option of pushing for a little longer, but neither the midwife nor the OB thought that would change anything, and Desi’s heart rate kept going down. If we waited too much longer, it would become an emergency and he could have ended up in NICU, or worse. 

I looked at Burkley. “I don’t want my first decision of motherhood to be putting my desires before his needs.”

They wheeled me into the OR and before I even knew they’d started, at 10:18pm, I heard his cry. It was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. 

The nurses cleaned him up, confirmed he was doing ok, and then placed him on my chest. I was in and out of consciousness from all the meds, but I clearly remember the feeling of him nuzzling his face into my neck and placing his hand on my cheek. We knew each other. 

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  1. I remember I was in Mexico texting and waiting for the news that weren't coming and got a bit worried... I am so happy that Desi was born healthy! Thanks for sharing your experiences Deanna!

    1. It was a long day, for sure. But yes, him being healthy was the most important! And we were so grateful that we had people supporting us and wishing us well from all over the world!


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