Jack's Birth Story

Here's a picture of the big guy catching some rays as I type.

This blog post is sub-titled:  The story of how my birth plan was scrapped and then almost completely put back in place

Or alternately titled:  How God answered my prayers over and over.  Why should I be surprised! 

Or also known as:  The best day ever

What a difference a week makes!
Here is the account (or at least what I recall) of last Monday morning and the 21 hours that followed.  Although it won't be much, I would like to say here that I will be telling about some pretty gory stuff. My point is not to gross you out but to share honestly my birth experience.  It would have helped had I known some of this stuff beforehand :)

A little before 4:30 that morning, I awoke to a gushing sensation.  I thought that maybe incontinence had finally struck, especially since I had been going to the bathroom 4 and 5 times a night.  I ran to the bathroom only to discover a great amount of blood.  I called to The Husband, and he came running.  We were both terrified, me sobbing and praying aloud, and him wondering what to do.  I asked him to call 911.   Not five minutes later the ambulance arrived.  The technicians were thorough and asked lots of questions.  They loaded me up, and we began the long drive to the hospital.  And, I do mean LONG.  No sirens and speeding for my ambulance driver.  Nearly 45 minutes later, we arrived in the labor and delivery section of the hospital.  They took me to the same room I had been taken the last time I went into pre-term labor.  They began to monitor the baby and me.  Each time I went to the restroom, I saw that I was passing more blood clots.  I was so, so scared.  The monitored showed that the baby was fine and that I was having contractions (which I had started to feel in the ambulance).  My in-laws met us up at the hospital, and mother-in-law came in at some point to sit with me while The Husband drove back home to get our bags.  He had grabbed them on the way out of the room, and then promptly left them in the living room on our way out of the house!  Hah, poor guy!

The doctor arrived maybe an hour later to check me.   I was at a 3 or 4.  She reassured me that the blood was a normal sign of labor.  That was definitely something I was NOT prepared for.  I thought I'd have contractions (which I would feel long before having to go to the hospital) or that my water would break telling us it was time to go.  I had no idea that massive amounts of blood clots could possibly come pouring out of me.

After a while, I was moved to my own room and continued to experience contractions.  They were strong but not difficult to talk through.  An hour or so later, the doctor came back and said that when she finished up some surgeries, she would come and check me again.  If I hadn't progressed, she would break my water.  I was a little scared when she said that.  Up til then, my birth plan had still been hanging tough!  But, if she broke my water, I would not be allowed to walk around and they might have had to start an IV, and I definitely didn't want that.  My dream delivery included many things, but the main things were no IV (I was okay with them starting a Hep Lock), to be allowed to walk around, no induced labor, to be allowed to progress naturally, no pain meds (including epidural), and to be allowed to eat and drink.  They had already nixed my eating and drinking plan...though I could have ice chips, and I already had the Hep Lock placed by one of the EMS techs.

The Husband made it back by 9, and my parents arrived between 10 and 11.  The picture taking began around this time.  Using the photos to jog my memory, I'll tell the rest of the story in the captions. (I can't believe how big I was!)
The Husband watching my contractions (bottom squiggly line) and the baby's heart rate (top line) on the monitor. 
The Husband being his entertaining self.  Me trying, unsuccessfully, to read a book between contractions.  I kept reading the same paragraph over and over.  I gave up after a while.
Mom and me
My sweet friends Tina and Leah visiting 
Everyone watching me breathe through a contraction 
They let me walk around.  Check out my AWESOME hospital gowns!  Yes, gowns, plural.  I had to wear one backwards so I wouldn't flash people as I roamed the halls.
My wonderful doctor watching my contractions.  By this point I was a 7 or an 8. They decided to break my water to try to speed things along, so after this point, I was confined to the bed.
They let me eat jello!!  I was soooo hungry, and I begged them for some.  It made me happy :)

Here's The Bestie filling out paperwork.
Friends waiting to hear word.

You'll noticed the waiting lasted quite a while.

Watching my contractions on the monitor at the nurses' station.
Standing outside my room waiting to hear something.  This was taken about four hours before he was born.
Still watching....from this point on, I was in very hard labor.  My pain was incredible.  I didn't realize it would get worse.  I still had not had any pain meds or an epidural.  I would cry if any of that was mentioned as an option.  Around 11pm, my doctor said that I could not progress any further.  She said an epidural would give my body a chance to rest...I was beyond exhausted.  It was a struggle to keep my eyes open, and between contractions, I was falling asleep.  I was worn out.  I agreed to the epidural.  Contraction after contraction would hit, and I couldn't understand what was taking the anesthesiologist so long to get there.  I was begging for him to show up.  I started getting angry at him, haha!  My body was trying soooo hard to get me to push, but she said I wasn't dilated enough.  With everything in me I held off on pushing, but I just couldn't.  My doctor could see that, so she said to go ahead and push when I felt the urge.  So, I did.  From a little before midnight to right after 1am, I pushed and labored and passed out in between contractions.  During this time, she checked me again, broke my second bag of water (it was like the flood gates had opened...good Lord a lot of fluid poured out of me!), and then looked at me after one terrible contraction.  She said, "I know I dangled the carrot of an epidural in front of you, but his head is right there.  I think you can do it.  It's time to push."  And, for that hour I knew what the word labor truly meant.  I couldn't think.  I couldn't open my eyes.  Everything was a blur.  During the contractions, all I could think was, "I'm dying.  Please God help me."  Jack's heartbeat stayed strong the entire time until the end.  They lost the pulse (and I think it concerned my doctor), and she told me I had to push with everything I had left.  So, I did.
At 1:11am, after 21 hours of contractions, 4 hours of hard labor, and at least an hour of pushing, our boy, Jack Campbell, arrived.  
I longed to stare at him, but my vision was pretty crazy.   All I could do was smile and hold him as I shook with exhaustion and hunger and thirst.  But, I did it.  We did it.  And, it was a "we" thing.  If The Husband and The Bestie had not been there, I don't know what I would have done.  They were my source of strength.  They encouraged and love on and held my hands.  They were rock-solid.  Even now, I'm thanking God for those two amazing people.  I wanted to give up; over and over I said I couldn't do it anymore.  If it weren't for them, I don't know what would have happened.  
Best.  Day.  Ever.
Someone asked if I would do it again.  No pain meds.  No epidural.  A week later, a healthy baby boy, the pain subsiding more every day, I can say, that, "Yes, I think I would."  Did I think that my time had come and that Jesus was calling me home?  Most definitely.  Do I remember every moment with clarity?  I do.  Is the pain etched into my brain?  No.  All that's left is the knowledge that I did what women have been doing for centuries, and I have a beautiful, bright-eyed, completely sweet baby to look at, to give kisses to, and to spend quality time at all hours of the morning nursing.  I joked the other day that we had had LOTS of bonding time the second night we were home.  He was up tons wanting to nurse.  But, I LOVE it.  All of it.  He's just great.  I couldn't ask for more.    


  1. Nor could we ask for more!! You and Spencer are wonderful parents, and I am in awe of the strength you showed as you labored with nothing for pain. You are an awesome mommy. As one of Jack Campbell's onesies says, "Mommy Rocks!!" Love you all.

  2. Um, I also rubbed your upper buttocks and changed a towel or two. I need credit for those things! ;)

    I am so thankful I was able to be there. You were so amazingly strong. You are my hero!


    1. Good grief, of course you get credit haha!!! If I forgot anything else or got something way wrong, tell me. :)


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