Saturday, November 27, 2010

Henry: a birth story

When I think back to how our son came into this world, it was nothing like I pictured. In the ideal situation in my mind, I would have birthed Henry naturally, in a room with low light, perhaps some of my favorite music playing in the background, while my husband stood next to me, encouraging me to push, push, push, as both welcomed Henry into the world. And although nothing of the sort happened, although Henry was born in a bright, sterile white room, pulled out of my body by someone else, my lower half numb and unmoving, the experience was no less beautiful. The beauty comes from the result of the past 10 months- the fact that my body grew this beautiful person, half my husband, and half me...and however Henry needed to get here is irrelevant. What matters is that he is here. And this is that story --

My labor began on Saturday, so when I think back to my initial description of the birth, when I stated that I had 9 hours of labor- this is untrue. I had been laboring since Saturday evening, and labored throughout the entire day on Sunday. The 9 hours can be attributed to the 9 hours I spent laboring in the hospital, but my true labor lasted much longer. I had been having contractions since Wednesday, but they were irregular and mostly happened throughout the night and would stop in the morning. On Thursday evening (my due date) they were a bit stronger, but suddenly on Friday I slept through the entire night, a full 9 or 10 hours, and woke up feeling totally "un-pregnant," if that's even possible at 40 weeks and 1 day. Saturday was pretty uneventful until I began to experience contractions in the early evening. They lasted all night at around 10 minutes apart, and into Sunday morning. Throughout Sunday they began to pick up in intensity, and were getting closer and closer together. 10 minutes, 9 minutes, 8 minutes. I tried to rest throughout the day but as the afternoon progressed I began to get more and more uncomfortable. I spent the evening doing yoga, bouncing on the birthing ball, and watching really bad reality television. :) As the evening came upon us the timing started to get very close, and around 9 or 10 pm they started to get about 5 minutes apart. I remember calling my best friend Autumn, who is a mother of two, and asking if she thought I should head to the birthing center. I talked with her and my Mom throughout this time trying to figure out if we should go, but me, being a worrier, was concerned that if we went too early they would just send me back home. Even though I was uncomfortable I wasn't necessarily in a lot of pain, so it was hard to say. Everyone had told me "you'll just know when it's time," but I really didn't. At 11 we decided to just head over though, because it was getting hard for me to walk through the contractions.

The car ride over was so exciting. We live about 15 minutes away, and Hank and I just kept saying how crazy it was that this was really it. The anticipation of meeting our little guy was through the roof, and the idea that within a day or two at most he would be here was amazing. We arrived at the birthing center around 11:30pm and was taken in triage where I was checked to see what my progress was. Again, being the worrier I am I was thinking I was only dilated to 3cm at the most, so Hank and I were blown away when the nurse informed me I was almost 8cm and needed to be admitted now. We made our way back to our room, #1010, put our bags away, and got ready to have Henry! I was so excited; I felt proud of myself that I had labored so successfully at home and I was, for lack of a better word, pumped to give birth.

My goal was to have natural labor, and because I had gone so far without medication and was still progressing pretty rapidly, I really felt that this was attainable and within reach. A nurse came in to start my IV line "just in case" (ha) and it took a good hour for her- and four or five other nurses- to find an appropriate vein. Apparently my veins are extremely tiny so they had to use a pediatric IV line. They poked my arms and hands so many times and since I am pretty queasy about needles of the non-tattoo variety it was pretty much an nightmare! They got it though, and I continued to labor and deal with my contractions.

Time went on, hours went by, and one of the doctors came in to break my water when I was about 8.5-9cm. Much to my surprise this didn't hurt at all and it was strange to feel the gush of water come out. Around this point I started to feel extreme pain in my lower back, and this only progressively got worse. Apparently I was having back labor which I had heard about, but didn't think would happen to me. In our birthing class our instructors told us that it happens with about 25% of women, and comes from the baby's position- it's head or spine rubs against the mother's spine or tailbone, causing extreme pain. I found that the best position for me to deal with this was in bed, with Hank pressing my knees to my chest with each contraction. It took quite a bit of pressure off of my back, and even though it hurt like hell I was still okay and remained in a pretty positive mindset.

This is where my story changes a bit. Up until this point I had been having what I consider a good experience, and even though I was going through transition and really hurting, it was nothing I couldn't handle. Then out of nowhere I began to feel horrible. And being that I have a HIGH pain tolerance horrible for me is bad. I felt like there was a piece of my body ripping in two with every contraction, my lower back being pulled and twisted, every fiber of my body wrenched apart. I started to throw up. I couldn't stop, and when I did I was tired and started questioning myself and everything about my intention to continue on a natural path. I wasn't yet at 10cm, so they weren't allowing me to push yet, and I had to fight the pushing through breathing, which was one of the most challenging things I've ever done.

After awhile the doctor on call came in and let me know it was indeed time to push. I was beyond excited because after hours of labor I was so happy to know there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and I had still stuck to my original, natural plan even though I had reservations about it towards the end. I started to push, about 3 or 4 times every contraction, and it felt good in a strange way. It still hurt, but it was almost a relief to be able to do something, anything, during the contractions rather than just ride them out through breathing.

I pushed and pushed, and after about 30 minutes of this the doctor came in again to check my progress. He let me know that Henry was in a turned position, and due to this he was having a hard time getting past my pubic bone. Furthermore, Henry was bigger than I was wide, and he said that it would be very hard if not impossible for me to get him out if he didn't turn just right. For the next hour and a half the nurses had me pushing in different positions- hanging from a birthing bar while squatting, on all fours, on my side with my feet in one of the stirrups...but nothing was turning him. 2 hours had gone past and while this was all happening I was being periodically checked. No change, no change, no change. It was so incredibly disheartening to hear the doctor come in over and over again to take a look and tell me that Henry was in the same position, and all of the hard work I'd been doing had been for nothing. The nurse had to put a monitor into his scalp, and when she did she told me that he had so much hair, and even though this was encouraging (he had moved down enough for her to see), it was still hard because even though I had been working so hard for two hours he was still stuck, and after those two hours, I was no closer to meeting our son.

The pushing was the worst part. Because of the way he was turned, his head kept hitting my pubic bone over and over and over again. All of a sudden a monitor starting beeping and people rushed in. They let us know that Henry's heart rate was dropping and there was no way that he was going to be able to be pushed out, but he needed to come out, now. This was heartbreaking for me to hear, because I knew once they said that that my only option was a c-section.

My disappointment aside, this whole thing was extremely terrifying to me for a number of reasons- one, I was laying there in this bed, writhing around in terrible pain, only to be told that my son was in danger and I had to have emergency surgery. Imagining our sweet boy in danger, knowing that his heart rate was decreasing, was the scariest feeling I've ever had. And two, I don't even take medicine when I have a headache, and now I was going to have to have spinal tap along with who knows what kind of drugs pumped through my body. I was worried about the drugs affecting Henry- there were so many scary what-ifs that began to run through my head that I just wanted to stop everything and cry my eyes out. But I couldn't. The contractions kept coming, the urge to push remained, and even though I was going to be in surgery within thirty minutes, I had to deal with NOT pushing during this time. I was so scared- they told me that Henry's head was hitting bone over and over, and they tried to get me to breath through the urge to push rather than full-on push every time. This was so, so painful and truly the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life. At one point I remember looking up at Hank and just saying "please please please make this stop." He had tears in his eyes, and I saw how terrified he was. He had just seen his wife go through this crazy thing for the past few hours, and he still couldn't do a thing to help me.

I thought awhile about how I could try and describe the pain that I felt in this situation, and everything I went through. I definitely don't think my experience is unique- I know that most people's birth experience isn't perfect- labor hurts, contractions can be hell, and things go "wrong." I wish I could somehow though, convey more about how it feels to have something inside of you that needs to come out, but that won't. It's bizarre, and I can truly say that this was the worst and also the BEST experience of my life. Worst for obvious reasons, and best for obvious reasons too. You can plan all you want, you can have an idea of the kind of birth you want to have, but when it comes down to it, it is completely out of your control if circumstances don't go as planned. I thought about this as I was trying to push through the pain towards the end of the 30 minutes I waited for the anesthesiologist to arrive. I was trying to focus on anything. I just kept thinking of my sweet boy waiting for me and it got me through it.

Finally the anesthesiologist got there and I was wheeled away to the OR. Luckily my doctor was the doctor who just came on call for the day and it was so comforting to have him be the one operating on me. And even better, he is known for his "great" c-sections. Hank was in scrubs but had to wait outside until they gave me the spinal, and that was hard, but I knew he would be with me soon. The spinal tap was so scary to me- epidurals have always terrified me beyond belief, and this was just a more extreme version of that. I was still having contractions so the doctor had to wait until I was between one to administer the drug, and honestly it stung for a second but it was so quick and almost immediately all of my pain was gone and I didn't experience another contraction. Sweet, sweet relief. I started to go numb, and pretty soon I couldn't feel a thing below my chest. Hank came in and they let me know that they were starting the operation. All I felt was pressure, and I kept asking what the doctors were doing so they basically talked me through the entire thing. Soon I felt almost a shaking and a strong pressure, and my doctor told Hank to peer over the sheet...and they pulled Henry out of my body. Immediately I heard him cry, and turned my head to the left as they showed our beautiful, beautiful son to me. They brought him over to the table on the left and Hank cut his umbilical cord as they cleaned him up and checked him out.

Right after Henry was born I started shaking uncontrollably to point of my head hitting the operating table and my arms acting on their own. The nurses let me know that this was from both the drugs in my system and adrenaline. At this point I had numerous drugs running through my body, including pitocin, which they had administered to get my placenta to detach from my body so they could remove it before they sewed me up. The nurses gave me another drug to take away the shaking, but it took awhile before it subsided completely.

It's amazing because I thought that I would be devastated that I couldn't hold Henry right away. I really anticipated feeling crushed that I had to watch all of these nurses and doctors have these first moments with our son, but I still haven't had an upset thought about the way I gave birth, and this really surprises me. I expected to be upset, but all that matters is that Henry was born safely. Later when the nurses told me that Henry wouldn't have survived in a different environment, it put a lot into perspective. When I heard that first cry and saw him being lifted up over the white sheet they had hanging over my chest, it was a defining moment in my life. I became a Mom. I am a Mom. Our son now exists in this world, and because of that nothing else matters. Whether he was born naturally or born by cutting my body open, he was born. And this is the most beautiful thing in the entire world.

Happy birthday, Henry. You are my heart.

Happy birthday sweet boy!

100 comments:

  1. Hey, your story is amazing but it also brought out a lot of emotions in me, especially your honest descriptions about the pain.

    I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to ever go through something like that.

    I'm so happy for you though, and I'm glad you wrote your birth story. I hope all is going great so far with your new baby. :)

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  2. I'm just so thrilled he is here. Safe and sound.
    I love you and Henry!!!
    <333

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  3. you did great and are very brave! henry is adorable congrats to you and hank!

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  4. SO beautiful, Danielle. I am due in early April, and love reading birth stories.

    My husband and I had planned a home birth, but after realizing more and more every day that sometimes things just don't go as planned, we decided to have a natural midwife assisted birth in the hospital.
    I'm sorry that things didn't go as you had planned, but I also know that from your outlook on the entire experience, that it wouldn't make a difference, anyway.
    In the end, women just want to hold the healthy baby they spent so many months nurturing and creating in their bodies. Whether I get my natural birth or end up with a c-section, the most important part comes when you hold your baby for the first time.

    Congratulations, Mama!

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  5. What a beautiful story :). I am so happy that Henry made it into the world safely!Your story was so powerful & brought tears to my eyes. You are amazing, Danielle. I'm extremely happy for you & Hank. xo

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  6. Congratulations to you and Hank. Though your birth story didn't go quite as planned, you wound up with the best possible result - a lovely, healthy, gorgeous baby. :)

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  7. Beautiful. Just beautiful. Congratulations to both of you!

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  8. I'm so truly happy for you and your family! I love reading birthing stories and I can't wait to experience my own one day. I think your story is a great one to be told though, because it didn't turn out the way you planned- but the outcome remained beautiful and perfect. <3

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  9. This is such an incredibly inspiring story. You're a brave hearted, strong woman! Kudos for such a beautiful birth and son. He is absolutely adorable!

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  10. Amazing story Danielle! My birth story was a little similar, my son (now 14 months) would not progress past my pubic bone and after hours of laboring we had an emergency c-section. The only difference was that I had drugs early on, but towards the end the pain was unbearable even with the drugs because I think they started to wear off. All in all, a healthy baby is what matters most. And your nurse was right, our babies wouldn't be here in any other environment, or possibly even us. :)

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  11. what an amazing birth story. the first paragraph already had me doin the ugly cry. i related to so much of it and you have such a great oulook on your situation!
    henry is just perfect and im so glad you are both safe and happy and being over the moon in love with eachother!

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  12. That was beautiful Danielle.
    And I totally agree, NOT pushing when your body is screaming PUSH is one of the hardest things to do. And it is so so painful. But so very worth it in the end.
    It's wonderful to hear Henry cried right away, my daughter Harlow didn't, and that is hands down the scariest thing that I have ever been through in my life. Childbirth is not for the weak, that's for sure!
    I'm so glad your little guy is here safe and sound, and many many congratulations and well wishes to you and Hank!

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  13. This was so beautiful and very interesting to read. Its been a journey here on the other end, just reading every entry, seeing your results, following your life during the process and finally seeing adorable little henry. Its truly beautiful danielle.

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  14. I'm so happy for you! (:This was amazing!

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  15. you need to change you "about" section!! you've got your baby boy!!
    <3
    i love that you were so honest with this story. Labor hurts! But you brought your handsome little boy into the world, so job #1 of a mother done. Good luck with jobs #2-10,000,000!!!

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  16. You're story is beautiful. Congratulations on your sweet, sweet baby boy. He is precious.

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  17. Thanks for sharing this Danielle! You are such a trooper - and I love that all you cared about in the end was that Henry got here safe and sound.

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  18. Wow! I work with pregnant women and infants all day long and I always think it's amazing to see them one week pregnant and the next there's a beautiful baby! Thank you for going in depth and sharing!

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  19. Danielle,
    Your birth story was so beautiful and touching to read...it evoked so many emotions in me. I've never had a baby, and I can't imagine that kind of pain...I also can't imagine the overwhelming love you must feel for your precious boy. I hope I get to experience it someday! You are so brave to have tried to do it the natural way, and even though that didn't pan out, as you said, you have an adorable, healthy baby boy! Thanks for sharing your sweet story with us. Henry is just perfect! And good name too (my boyfriend's name is Heny) :o)
    xo - Amy

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  20. wow, what an amazing story. thank you for sharing that with us. it touched my heart to read it in such full detail. your positivity shined through while reading it. you are so right, it may not have been the birth story you dreamed of, but in the end it gave you a healthy baby and thats all that matters. he is gorgeous. congrats to you and hank, and the whole family. oxo

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  21. What a great story. I could have written this myself, well the c-section part. I had twins and my chances of having a c-section were pretty much 50/50. I found out when I was in labor that baby B was still breech and it would make the whole situation more complicated and stressful on both babies.

    So I had a kind of surprise c-section and it was so scary. But I felt amazing and there was nothing better than seeing my babies above that curtain the second they were born. :)

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  22. Such a sweet story with the best happy ending! You are one brave lady. Congratulations to you + Hank on your beautiful baby boy! All the best:)

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  23. Danielle this is an amazing story! You are so brave and I feel so honored to hear about your son's birth. Ive got tears in my eyes and am so happy everything turned out well! He's beautiful!!!! Congrats to you both and Im excited to hear more news! Happy holidays :)

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  24. Wow. I had a similar experience but reading yours brought tears to my eyes. I do know how you felt in many ways. I didn't have a c-section but I did have the epidural and lukie had to be pulled out with forceps eventually - he was too far down for the c section. Really scary - he had a big cut on his face under his eye. We are so lucky he's safe. But in the end, just like in your scary but beautiful story, all that matters is that we got our beautiful babies. And...that is over. lol.

    Thank you for sharing so openly.

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  25. thank you so much for sharing this! so happy you both are well!! congrats.

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  26. Such a miracle that you didn't go the home-birth route! What an amazing birth story and even more amazing that Henry will get to read every little detail leading up to his birth someday! So many people beat themselves up because their labor didn't go as planned, glad you understand that it was totally out of your control and that the most important part is that you guys are healthy! I'm so glad to hear you guys are doing well...welcome to mommyhood!

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  27. Congratulations! I am so happy for your family and that everyone is well. Best wishes to you all.

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  28. thanks for sharing your story. i am glad henry got here safely. i'm so happy for you and hank. congratulations, again.

    xoxo.

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  29. You did so, so, so well Danielle! :) Not pushing when the urge is there to push isnt easy at all. Im so glad little Henry made it into this world safe, happy, and most of all loved :)

    - Krystal xo

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  30. I'm so glad you and Henry are happy and healthy! That's the most important part. I didn't want a C-section either (and ended up having to have one for similar reasons) but looking back on it, I wouldn't change a thing because our story is... our story.
    Congrats mama, get plenty of rest and enjoy this new time in your life.

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  31. Hey Girl... Thank you so much for writing your birth story... I have been waiting anxiously for it. I know things didnt go as planned but I have to tell you, you have the BEST attitude!! I am a nurse with experience in labor and delivery and it would always drive me crazy when the moms would have major attitude about us doing what was best for them and the baby. I love how honestly you depicted your disappointment but you hit it on the head to say it is irrelevant HOW he got here just that he IS here! Way to go girl. You are stronger and braver than I would ever imagine myself.

    My husband and I have been struggling with secondary infertility and have longed for a second baby for over a year now. To be honest, I had given up and have no interest in trying again (even decided to turned our proposed nursery into an office) but your post reminded me of that sweet sweet time of labor and the following days thereafter. thank you thank you thank you! I think i might give it another go :-)

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  32. oh goodness, that's so scary. i keep hearing stories like this, watching teen mom (ha! don't judge me) and these things make me want to cut my uterus out of my body. how scary and awful.

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  33. You're story, and strength, are truly amazing! So happy you and Henry are both safe and healthy :) Congratulations again!

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  34. What a wonderful story. I hope you know what I mean buy that, just your persepctive on the situation. That he arrived safely!

    I too had to have a c-section. My little guy was very breach. His back was where his head was supposed to be. Natural birth would've put his life at risk. So c-section was our safest option. I was never upset though. I knew it was going to be just as special day, no matter How he arrived. I watched my husband look at our son for the first time. He got to hold him first. I wasn't sad though...My out look on that part was that i got to bond with this little boy for 10 months. I carried him, he was ALL mine for 10 months. Those first few moments his dad finally got to bond with him, and that was so special for me to see happen. I'm so happy that Henry is hear. I know that you are going to be such an amazing Mommy!

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  35. Wow, your story has left me crying with happiness.
    I had my little boy, Hank Garcia, 8 weeks ago with a very similar experience and emotion. I went into labour when my waters broke at 4.30am and he wasn't cut out of me until 10am the next day. The labour was experience was horrendous, but when my little man was born all that faded away. Congratulations on your little man and welcome to motherhood.

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  36. That was amazing, I've been reading your blog since way before you were pregnant and it's still so amazing that you have Henry now, I'm just so happy for you. I've heard my mom and her friends tell my birth story a million times and it's always so strange to hear. She has me at home with a midwife with no drugs and it was a wild birth also with lots of switching positions and crazy things going on too. So i know it could have gone so easily in another direction, but this just makes me so much more excited to someday join the club. Henry is so very cute and I'm happy he's here!

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  37. Aw what an amazing story. Sorry it didn't go your way, but at least he is a healthy little boy! I also hope recovery is going smoothly for you! :)

    Little Sugar Monster

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  38. teearrrs! oh this is such an amazing story, danielle. you are such a strong woman, and now mama! i am more than proud to be one of your readers!

    happy birthday little henry!

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  39. Totally teared up right now. I look forward to one day experience loving my own child. How beautiful.

    I love your honesty, as well. I know that millions of women around the world give birth every year, but it's still a really huge experience and I absolutely admire every single woman who does it, no matter what way. You did wonderfully!

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  40. He is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing your story. And congratulations!

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  41. One of your bests posts! I've never read a birth story before..
    Congratulations! Henry is gorgeous!

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  42. It really doesn't matter how you give birth, but WHO you give birth. The new person is the most important in the whole story.
    You are really amazing Danielle!

    Greetings

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  43. This is such a beautiful story, thank you so much for sharing this.

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  44. Danielle what a beautiful story completely written from the heart :) Thank you for sharing with us, you were a trooper, a massive well done to you and Hank x

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  45. Thank you so much for writing this all out. I am 22 weeks pregnant and have read so many horror stories of c-sections that I was starting to get terrified of birth and if some thing went wrong. Your outlook on what happened really is helping to show me that it's ok if it doesn't go as planned as long as in the end the baby is ok.

    Thank you again a million times,
    Casey

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  46. I know exactly how you feel. I had to have an emergency c-section too, and there is no way my daughter would have survived without it. It does hurt to not have the labor you imagined, but in the end that fact that they are healthy and safely here is all that mattered. Congradulations again, he's lovely! :)

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  47. This is absolutely beautiful. Birth in all of its forms is an incredible, beautiful thing. Henry is absolutely stunning.

    I am proud of you brave mama!

    Love,
    M

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  49. Your story is so endearing. I had tears welling up in my eyes. I had no idea you went through all that, it seems scary and so unknown. You are one strong cookie and I am very glad that everything did indeed work out, that you are fine and so is Henry. Very touching story, Danielle. Thank you for sharing it.

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  50. hey dani, i linked to your blog and twitter from bleubird vintage. the birth of my first son was very much like your experience with henry! i had a lot of disappointment and guilt because i felt like i had failed and a lot of people judged me because i ended up with a c-section. thank you for writing this, it gets to the heart of how vulnerable and strong we can be in labor no matter how these little souls enter the world! holding that new baby in my arms and being so grateful he was here was a huge victory and i know you feel the same. thanks for sharing yours and henry's story. i also really like how you included your husband in the story, it was hell for my husband to watch me go through this yet i was soooo happy he was there to hold our baby boy when i couldn't right away! they have a tremendous bond.

    hugs and congrats.

    alisha

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  51. You are brave! I hope you are recovering OK at home now. He is a beauty. xoxo

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  52. Beautiful story; thanks for sharing this. It brought tears to my eyes! I experienced many of the same things regarding pain and fear and shaking. Gosh, I was actually ANGRY at Andrew after he was born (misplaced anger, I know). But it hurt so bad!! I am glad you are doing well.

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  53. so beautifully written. so happy for your little family.

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  54. Your story is beautiful! I know the feeling of not having things go as planned, but not caring in the end. My birth didn't go as planned, either. I ended up having to get an induction. After 8 hours of induced contractions, I finally gave into an epidural (when they were a minute apart lasting a minute each). I was upset, but, like you, felt thay sweet relief! I was close to needing a c-section, but pushed her out at the last second (3hrs of pushing). She was stuck w/ her arm by her head. She turned at that last second, just enough to come out. Nothing mattered after that. I was a mom and our little family grew from 2 to 3.
    I'm so happy for you, Hank, and Henry. I can't wait to hear about your lives as he grows :)

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  55. Amazing story Danielle. You are a very very strong women. I am so proud of you. I am glad to hear that you aren't disappointed in having a c-section. Some things are just out of our control. Your story sounds very familiar to mine but I did have an epidural and yet they still had me in so many weird positions to get my son passed my pelvic bone.(with lots of people holding me up of course) I was lucky my son was on 6lbs9oz because I was able to finally push him out. Anyways, congrats you are amazing. Your son is a lucky little guy.

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  56. oh my goodness, danielle..i absolutely loved this!

    the part about hank tearing up made me tear up! you are lucky to have such a wonderful husband!

    beautiful story!

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  57. Wow-your story is at once thrilling and terrifying to me. I admire your determination to "stick it out." I don't imagine I would have lasted nearly as long! Thank you for sharing your story. So glad Henry is safe and sound!

    XO
    Carly

    All this is Grace and Charm
    http://allthisgraceandcharm.blogspot.com

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  58. I need a tissue... :) Your birth story is so beautiful and encouraging! I am so happy he is here!

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  59. Wow. That's such an intense story! Thanks for sharing with us.

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  60. If I wasn't scared to give birth before (and believe me I was, I've been watching mtv's Sixteen & Pregnant since it began two years go) I definitely am now.

    I don't mean any offence when I say that, mind you. I just think you are so incredibly brave. I can't imagine the kind of fear that I would go through, that you must have gone through, from the moment you found out you were pregnant until the day Henry was born.

    I almost cried reading this, and I want to tell you that you are so lucky to have had such a good person, who loves you so much by your side through all of this. There are so many people who don't(my mother was one of them).

    Henry is such a lucky little boy, to have both his mother and father with him, and I know you two will be amazing parents to him, and to any other children you decide to have. Congratulations.

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  61. I am in tears. Although the birth of my daughter was very different I could relate to just about everything you were saying. Thank you for sharing.
    Congratulations to you both! Your son is beautiful!

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  62. Aww - congratulations to your sweet baby Henry!!! He is perfect!!!

    Just found your great blog and can't wait to read about your adventures as a family!

    http://chrissyinamerica.blogspot.com

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  63. He is adorable and like you said what really matters is that is fine and healthy no matter how he came to this world. Although, I am sorry that you had such a horrible experience...

    Your story made me realize that we don't have the control of things we think we do. But also that we are SO lucky to be in a era where we can safely have babies. Before your experience, I wanted to go for natural like you did/wanted but know I am rethinking the entire thing. Do I really want to suffer, would have the courage like you did when I have the choice not to? But thank you for sharing, you are AMAZING!! And I am so lucky that almost a year ago I found you in this world :)

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  64. this is so amazing.
    congrats.
    i'm glad he is happy & healthy.

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  65. So glad to hear Henry's birth story. I know lots of people have tunnel vision with birth but as long as you were happy with it then really who cares! He's stunning x

    http://notsocountry.blogspot.com/

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  66. OMG just cried at Starbucks reading this. I love your positive outlook on the whole ordeal. I think giving birth can be pretty traumatic no matter which way you approach it, but you're absolutely right - the most important thing is that your son was born safely.

    Many happy wishes for a quick recovery from the c-section and so many congratulations <3 He's perfect!

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  67. thank you for sharing your story, I am going through my OB rotation in nursing school so it was extra interesting for me read =).

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  68. Oh my, I still have cold chills, that was crazy scary! I am not a mother, but can identify with how you dealt with pain, when I went through learning to walk again, I had the kind of pain you were describing...but what a treat to have such a beautiful baby boy to push through for! I am thankful you went to a place that took such great care of you and the baby, it really is scary how he was at such great risk. Your storytelling is amazing as is your attention to detail. I felt like I understand what a woman goes through, thanks for sharing yours and Henry's story! Take Care...Hearts, Janna Lynn

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  69. Congratulations! You are such a strong mama!

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  70. Oh my goodness, this story was so beautiful. i cried through the whole thing. you and your husband are wonderful and i commend you for all your decisions. what a little precious baby!

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  71. this is such a wonderful birth story. your attitude is inspiring, so many women are heartbroken and traumatized when their labour doesn't go the way they'd hoped or planned - good for you for keeping the bigger picture in mind, even though i'm sure it was hard - you have a gorgeous, healthy son.
    congratulations, i can't wait to read about your new life as a mum.
    xo

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  72. He is beautiful! Your birth story reminded me so much of what my sister-in-law went thru with her first. Such an exhausting roller coaster for her that day. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

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  73. Wow!!,,what an emotional story! I have been reading about your pregnancy from day one! I am so happy to hear baby Henry is finally here. Safe and sound. Congratulations to the both of you!!

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  74. Your story has me crying, in a good way. It reminded me of Adelaide's birth and how scared i was. and now how i have this amazing 3 yr old who is my entire umiverse. Thank you for reminding me how precious it truly is to become a Mother.

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  75. It's so crazy what you can endure and also what can be done to make sure everyone ends up safe at the end!

    With our first son I was all natural, some back labour as he was face down, but no problems. They broke my water, 3 hours later I had a baby, 3 hours later I walked out to the car to go home. Easy peasy.

    With our second son my water broke at home at 8pm and I thought 'oh great here we go, baby today. but things messed up, contractions stopped at 6am, I was risking a 'dry birth'. So they induced me, so I asked for an epidural (something we never wanted) but I figured if they were going to rush things I might need them. As it was I don't think it took effect in time and it was essentially a drug free birth. I still walked out 3 hours later :)

    But you are right, them important thing is that the baby arrives safely and what needs to be done is done.

    Congrats on your bundle of joy! It's still going to be difficult but the payoffs are fantastic :)

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  76. Your birth story had me in tears, mostly because I can totally identify with a lot of what you went through and your positive outlook on the whole birth experience is something I've been struggling with myself.
    My baby girl Scarlett was due on the same day as your Henry, but I went into labour at 2am the day before my due date. Like you I laboured at home for many hours with my husband supporting me as I too wanted a natural birth, before arriving at our hospital's birthing centre to find I was 7cm dilated.
    I then laboured for another 4 hours in the shower on a birthing ball, to eventually be told that I was still only 8cms. My Obstetrician broke my waters and the transition stage that followed was exactly as you described - absolute hell. When you say you felt like you were being ripped apart, that is exactly what it feels like.
    My transition stage lasted for about 2 hours but just as my midwives were checking to make sure I had dilated to 10cm, my baby girl's heart rate dropped and the room was suddenly full of doctors and midwives. It was the scariest experience of my life. Things happened pretty quickly after that, I was allowed to start pushing as her heart rate recovered somewhat and then my Ob reappeared and used the vacuum to get her out as quickly as possible. My little girl was blue and not breathing when she was put on my chest before quickly being whisked off for help.
    It was only five minutes or so later that she was placed back on my chest, but they were the longest minutes of my life.
    You're exactly right when you say birth may not always go exactly to plan, but we are beyond blessed just to have our healthy babies as a result.
    Best wishes to you and your gorgeous family xxx

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  77. Omg, Baby Henry is here already! I just can't believe it! He is so cute! Congratulations on the baby! I am so happy for you and Hank!!

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  78. He's BEAUTIFUL. Congrats you guys!

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  79. I am so glad for your honesty, for your recounting. I have had two babies and am now one day overdue for this one, and I know exactly what it feels like to have that feeling, when the pain goes beyond what is 'normal' and some unexpected situation makes your world go blurry- I have endometriosis and my birthing with daughter, the pushing and the tearing of my scar tissue...I still look back on it with awe, the things awe can go through. You did an amazing, amazing job through such unexpected and scary circumstances, and your Henry is gorgeous. Welcome Henry!!!!

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  80. congratulations! thank you for sharing your story. your son is beautiful and birth is beautiful :) happy healing.

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  81. Wow, I'm floored...I'm set to deliver a little boy via natural childbirth any day now, so your story hit home even more. Thank you for your honesty in sharing your beautiful story...you have alleviated so many of my fears. Congratulations on your amazing little man!

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  82. First, congratulations, Henry is beautiful! Second, thank you for sharing.! Third, it is very awesome to hear a birth story gone wrong told with such honesty and positivity. While I am not pregnant yet, my husband and I hope to add to our family soon and it seems there is such conflicting message to women on birth. It is very refreshing to hear that while you planned for natural birth, you do not feel any less for having your plans go south. I have heard of some women who have such guilt over not being able to birth with medical assistance, and I am glad you do not feel that way. I'm sure I''m rambling, but I hope you know what I am saying...

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  83. congratulations. I loved reading your story. My baby boy was due the same day as yours, but my Knox came 2 weeks early on Nov 4. I've enjoyed reading your pregnancy journey these past few months. I hope your first weeks as a new family are as smooth as possible.

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  84. WOW Danielle, I have so much respect for you, and that little boy you brought into this world. You are so brave, and your outlook on the situation and the at times harrowing moments is SO inspirational.

    Blessings always always for you and yours! x

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  85. Wow, what a beautiful story... it made me tear up! So sorry to hear about all the pain you went through, but so glad to know that you and your sweet baby are safe and sound. He's adorable by the way! All the best to the three of you! :)

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  86. He is beautiful!! What a wonderful story

    xx love it

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  87. SO proud of you, Danielle. Welcome home baby Henry!

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  88. I'm really proud of all your hard work through all of this, Danielle! Your son is so beautiful! xo

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  89. I should probably refrain from reading these posts at work... because boy do they make me cry! ( in the best of ways of course) To say your birth has actually touched me in some way is odd ( being that I have no real idea as to who you are), but it has! You seem like such a strong woman, I admire that. Baby Henry is probably just about the luckiest little guy to have parents like Hank and yourself. I'm sorry to read about all the troubles you had,but it must make it that much better to hold him in your arms now. I'm excited to watch your little one grown from a far! Congrats to you Danielle!

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  90. Such a sweet and completely honest story! Thank you for your honesty and willingness to share. Congratulations on the beginning of Henry's beautiful life!

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  91. I am so sorry this happened to you. I went through such a similar experience with my first son, and I was really disappointed for a long time. I too, never took any medicine, or had ever so much as broken a finger. To be told that you all of a sudden being taken to surgery can be traumatizing.
    I also had jittery arms that flopped all over the place before the surgery; it was so bad my arms were restrained by straps during the surgery.
    I understand the fear you must have gone through. I am glad that you were so willing to share your experiences with us in such a candid manner.
    When we share stories like this one, it not only helps to heal, but helps other women to deal with their own misgivings and trials in their own labor. I refused to talk about the pain that it caused me, and as a result didn't face it for almost 6 years.
    Enjoy your baby and welcome to motherhood!!

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  92. wow.

    thank you for this story.
    you are so brave.

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  93. Beautiful baby. You're a great mom, Danielle.

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  94. What a beautiful story. Welcome to the world, handsome. Congratilations Danielle & Hank. <3

    Michelle
    http://michelleenders.blogspot.com

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  95. sooooo happy for you!!! you put up a brave fight and are an inspiration!
    congratulations and welcome Henry!!!

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  96. first time visiting here. congratulations on your beautiful boy. your story is amazing and your strength is admirable. as a mama who had a c-section, i commend you.

    health and healing to you all.

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  97. Beautiful, beautiful story. I read it at work and cried haha. You are so brave and I think it's so amazing how you were able to tell us all the details, and make it so vivid. Congratulations!

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  98. I just got here from your guest post on Freckled Nest. I love reading birth stories. Yours and mine are very similar! Though I got the epidural at 3cm because I guess my pain tolerance is not as good and the back labour really sucked. My daughter was born with an emergency c-section after our heart rates crashed as well but I had already been frozen because they were attempting a forceps assist. And the shaking, oh my word, the shaking. I totally totally know how that feels. Yay mama. Henry is awesome. :) I'm glad I found you.

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  99. wow, thank you for sharing! i read these birthing stories all the time and it's comforting to know things go "wrong". especially for someone like me who plans everything!

    because of this experience will you being having your next child in the hospital as well?

    christine

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