Micah’s Birth Story

**Warning, this post is LONG and contains birthing details. If either of these will annoy you, don’t read this post!

When we first found out that we were pregnant, I called my midwife to make an appointment only to find out that they were currently in negotiations with my insurance company.  The day before my first scheduled appointment (at 8 weeks) I got a call to say that no agreement had been reached with my insurance company, so they were no longer accepting my insurance.  I really loved my midwife.  She had been amazing during Ethan’s birth, so I was really disappointed.  After doing some research, I found that the OB who had delivered Caleb had added a midwife to her practice.  I called them, was assured that they accepted my insurance, and made an appointment.  When I arrived at the appointment a few days later, however, I was told that they no longer accepted my insurance either.   It turns out that most of the OB practices in Boca were part of one management group.  After some more searching I found that there was one (only one!) OB in Boca who would take my insurance and deliver at Boca Raton Regional Hospital (where I had delivered my other 2 boys), so that is who I saw for this pregnancy and delivery.  By the time I had my first appointment I was 10 ½ weeks along, or so I thought.  At the very first appointment, they did an ultrasound and decided I was only 9 ½ weeks.  I never really trusted this as I had actually been keeping track of my periods this time around.  I fully expected to deliver this baby a little before my due date.


I was quite surprised when I was still pregnant at 39 weeks and then 40 weeks!  My pregnancy was very easy and complication free.  However, on a Friday afternoon when I was 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant (according to my OBs calculations) I didn’t feel any movement for a couple of hours.  I called my OB, and she told me to go to the hospital as quickly as possible to have them check on the baby.  The baby started moving again as we sat in the hospital waiting room, where they left us for an hour!  Good thing we got there quickly!  The baby checked out fine, but this experience had 2 important repercussions.   First my OB, who had assured us she would be happy to be but a “spectator” to my natural birth, started pushing for an induction.  She sent word to the nurse that I could be sent home, but “she didn’t want this to go on much longer.”  Second, being in the hospital reminded me how little I liked being at the hospital.  This further encouraged me that a natural labor with as much as possible at home, was the way I wanted to go.

Though, the hospital staff joked that we would probably be back within 24 hours, another week passed before my labor started.  At my OB appointment that week, my OB said that she would be willing to wait up to 41 weeks, but then she would insist on induction.  She would have liked to induce me sooner, but since the baby and I seemed so healthy she had no real reason to.  I hadn’t had any swelling with this pregnancy, and my blood pressure was as low as it has even been.  She even insisted that I have an ultrasound to estimate the size of the baby.  They estimated he was 8 lbs. 8 oz., which didn’t worry me.  Ethan was 8 lbs. 4 oz. and came out in a single push.  I asked her about stripping my membranes, as that had worked to get my labor started for Ethan’s birth.  She refused, saying that if she stripped my membranes during office hours, she would have to get up in the middle of the night to deliver the baby.  This was apparently unacceptable.  Needless to say, from this point on, neither of us was happy with the other!

Determined to get my labor going without the use of Pitocin, I actually bought Castor oil and planned to try and induce my labor naturally.  I planned on taking it the next Saturday, so that if it made me really sick, Jeff would be home to watch the boys.  That Friday though, I started noticing that my contractions were coming more regularly, though they still weren’t painful.  Friday night it was very rainy.  At around 10 pm, there was a break in the rain, and Jeff and I walked laps around the parking lot in our neighborhood hoping that would help things along.  It didn’t seem to make much of a difference though, so around 11pm we went to bed.  I had been having contractions for weeks, so I wasn’t really convinced yet that this was it and expected to wake up Saturday morning still pregnant.  Instead I was awakened a few times by pretty strong contractions.  By 3:30 am, they were so strong that I could no longer sleep.  I lay in bed lazily timing them using my alarm clock, and they were still about 8 minutes apart.  By 4:30am, they were so strong that I could no longer lie down through them.  I got up, woke Jeff up and told him this was it.  I decided to take a shower as the warm water would help me to relax, and I thought this would be my last chance for a shower for a while.  Jeff went back to sleep.  I was in the shower for about an hour I think.  The warm water felt nice and the contractions became stronger.  I was able to just focus on relaxing through them.  I kept reminding myself, that though this was painful, nothing was wrong.  This is the way my God created me to bring new life into the world.  I relaxed through the contractions, welcoming them to get stronger and open me more.

Eventually I got out of the shower and dressed.  I told Jeff he should get up and start getting ready to go.  I wanted to leave before the boys were up.  I went downstairs and stared using and I-pad app to time the contractions while I ate breakfast.  The contractions were strong and lasted about a minute each, but were still not coming consistently.  They were anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes apart.  To this point I had been standing through all contractions.  I would close my eyes and breathe deeply and slowly.  I was starting to get really exhausted, though.  I tried sitting down, but that spaced the contractions out more and made them even more painful.  I tried sitting on my yoga ball with the same results.  I tried one contraction down on my hands and knees.  That was quite possibly the worst minute and a half of my life.  By this point it was 7 am, and the boys were waking up.  I had wanted to leave by this time but the contractions were still spaced out.  I was so tired that I collapsed on our bean bag chair, and it was 15 minutes before I had another contraction.  I was concerned my labor was stalling, and since the boys were getting up, I took the opportunity to go back upstairs and take a nap!  Now, it seems crazy that I took a nap when I probably should have gone to the hospital, but at the time it seemed like the logical thing to do.  I actually slept for 20 minutes until a monster contraction woke me back up.

I decided to get back into the shower.  Standing in the hot water helped me to relax and focus once again.  My contractions picked back up strong and regular.  It finally occurred to me that standing in a shower alone was probably not the best place for me now.  Our shower is like a cave, and I don’t know that Jeff could even hear me if something happened there.  I went back downstairs and told him it was time to go.  I called the doctor while Jeff called our baby sitters.

While we waited for our sitters, Alexandra and Meredith, to arrive, my contractions were so strong that I started humming through them.  Remaining quiet was no longer an option.  This was the first time the boys had seen me go through contractions, and though Jeff had already explained to them what was happening and assured them that Mommy was okay, they were a little scared.  Caleb wouldn’t come near me or even look at me.  Jeff asked if they wanted to pray with us before we left for the hospital, but they said no, they were busy doing a puzzle.  Jeff and I prayed.  Then while we stood in the kitchen waiting for the baby sitters, I started shaking and felt like I was going to throw up.  Knowing this meant I was transitioning, I became very anxious to leave.

As soon as the sitters arrived, we headed out.  Luckily our drive to the hospital was very short, and I had only one contraction in the car.  Sitting down through it was horrible.  We arrived at the hospital at a little after 10:30am, and walked into reception where there were about 30 people having a tour!  I assured the receptionist that I was well into my labor, and she sent us right upstairs.  I refused a wheel chair in order to avoid having to sit.

When we got to our room, the nurse started the admitting process, and then checked me.  I was 7 cm and fully thinned.  My water hadn’t broken, but she said that as soon as it did, I would be ready to go.  She immediately called my doctor.  My OB arrived a few moments later, and assured us that she had not stopped for a single red light on the way over.  She asked if I could hang on while she changed her clothes.  Since my water still hadn’t broken, I said I could.  She changed, came back to my room, and checked my progress.  She then offered to strip my membranes.  If I hadn’t been almost delirious by then, I would have punched her.  She got ready to break my water and the nurse asked her to let her know as soon as I was fully dilated.  She told the nurse that it would happen immediately as she broke my water.  As soon as she broke it, I felt the baby drop so quickly and with such pressure I thought he was coming all the way out.  He didn’t.  With the next contraction I started pushing.

With Ethan, as soon as I started pushing he came out quickly.  Such was not the case this time around.  Pushing was effective, but MUCH more painful.  My OB and the nurse kept telling me to just keep pushing.  Normally I am reserved and quiet when in pain.  I screamed!  I can’t really remember what the pain was like – just that it was immense.  I had to keep reminding myself that if I could just (literally) push through the pain it would end very soon.  I felt his head come out, but my OB told me to just keep pushing.  My memory is pretty fuzzy at this point, but Jeff told me later that as I pushed the head came out, then my OB worked one shoulder out, then the other, and then the chest.  Finally, my OB told me to open my eyes and take my baby.  At 11:19 am, 34 minutes after we were admitted, Micah Jeffrey, all 9 lbs. 6.6 oz. and 21 inches of him, was laid on my chest!  The third time was every bit as amazing and miraculous as the first!

Micah Birth

Despite some tension in the final weeks, he came into this world, completely on his own schedule and with absolutely no Pitocin, before or after the birth.  Even more amazingly, there was absolutely no tearing!  Though I felt like the pushing had lasted forever compared to my other births, my OB assured me I had only pushed for 4 minutes.  My OB didn’t even have to come to the hospital in the middle of the night.  She was in and out in less than one hour!  He nursed hungrily right away, and within an hour I was up moving around feeling surprisingly great!  Since he was such a big baby, they did measure his blood sugar one hour after birth.  His blood sugar was low, so the pediatrician said we had to give him a couple ounces of formula, making the first one of my children to have any formula.  Don’t worry – he hasn’t had a drop since!  We were able to take him home the next day, only 30 hours after we pulled into the parking lot the day before!

Micah Newborn

One Response to “Micah’s Birth Story”

  1. Jessica Sheffler says:

    I absolutely loved all the detail and that definitely wasn’t too long winded! You are so amazing, Jill! I wish I could have been there and I can’t wait to meet Micah one day!! xoxox

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