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Sofia's Birth Story by Whitney J - The Snap Mom

Sofia’s Birth Story by Whitney J

My sweet Sofia is the big “1” today and I could not be more weepy about it! She has been a joy and honor to love this past year…

Before I get into her birth story, I will tell you that it surely is a humbling one to tell for many reasons. 

With my first baby, my husband and I planned to have a home water birth. We ended up (due to horrible blood pressure issues at my prenatal appointment) birthing her at a birth center. It was a tough labor and delivery. 39hrs in total with almost 3 hrs of pushing. Med-free, I might add! So when it came time for Sofia’s birth we decided that a natural hospital delivery would be the best option for us because we felt empowered knowing what we didn’t want and what we were okay with. The practice I was at was more than supportive of my “crunchy momma” birth plan. I was so confident having had a med-free delivery prior that I could achieve another one! That’s where real life came in. As you’ll read in the story that follows, our plans sometimes don’t work out the way we want. Sometime’s our bodies don’t do what they need to do. And guess what? It’s. Okay.

“You can devise all the plans in the world, but if you don’t welcome spontaneity; you will just disappoint yourself.” 
― Abigail Biddinger

I love that quote because after Sofia’s birth not going according to plan, I had 2 options. 1. Be upset 2. Not be upset. 

To me it seems like a simple choice. I am not a shoulda-coulda-woulda person, and so I choose to rejoice in the miracle that is birth. Maybe you had a birth that didn’t go according to plan? Maybe you have had multiple births that haven’t gone according to plan. Well what I learned from Sofia’s birth is to let go of what may be “disappointment” so that I am free to grasp the beauty of the experience. No matter how different it was compared to what I had planned. Having understood that, I can freely share this birth story, which to me is beautiful. Enjoy. 


So it begins…

October 2nd, 2012

Tuesday 10:00am- My due date. I could not believe I was 40 weeks pregnant, and, well…still pregnant! my husband Rei had off, and so we decided to be proactive and try to get my labor going! We “exercised“, walked, ate spicy food, and even bought a pineapple, as they are rumored to help jump-start labor! To no avail. I would get contractions, but nothing super strong, or close together.

6:00pm- I went up the stairs to get something, and near the top I felt a little gush! I immediately went to the bathroom, and got cleaned up. I started to get just a tad excited. Then later on I got up from the couch, and ta-da…another little gush! It happened the rest of the evening, and so Rei and I decided that we would make a trip to labor and delivery in the morning if nothing happened overnight.

October 3rd, 2012

Wednesday 11:00am- We got ready to go to the hospital (per our midwife’s instructions) and we were a  smidge excited, but very hesitant because we didn’t want to get our hopes up…again. I even refused to pack toiletries, or even my suitcase! We arrived at labor and delivery, got hooked up to the monitors, and checked. The nurse said that things were very “wet” when she checked me and she was pretty sure I at least had a high leak. (a rupture at the top of the placenta, causing small gushes of amniotic fluid). Next they used an over sized q-tip to test for the presence of amniotic fluid. It came back negative, but my dr. was not at all convinced that it was accurate, as he indicated that they were having troubles with this particular brand, and they had discovered I had a temperature which is a sign of impending infection from my waters being ruptured.  Consequently, he told me to put on a pad, walk the halls with Rei for a half an hour, and see what it looked like. wet=water broken dry=not broken.

So there we were, our sweet little family walking the halls, not entirely sure what to hope for because if it had broken, and my body did not kick into labor, it may necessitate interventions which we had not planned for. (Our birth plan was to have another med-free labor and delivery.)

12:30pm- we were done walking, and lo and behold…TMI…the pad was soaked with clear fluid! The Dr declared me ruptured, and told us that he was more than willing to let my body go into labor on its own, and they would continue to monitor the baby and me for signs of infection. He was willing to let my body “do its thing” until 4:00am on Thursday. That would be the cut-off, and then we would have to start Pitocin (a drug used to augment labor patterns).

Rei and I were quite happy that he was willing to let me go that long, as normally a delivery within 24hrs of a rupture is expected. I was admitted, and so began all the calls to family members! How exciting!

4:00pm- Operation get my body into labor began! Rei and I began to walk, walk, walk!  We walked, and walked, and walked some more. Contractions began to come, and we were so excited. It was an amazing feeling knowing that, I was “in labor” and that our families were coming, and we would soon be holding our precious Sofia!

10:00pm- Our families arrived! We were all so elated! Our daughter Mercedes (18 months), my dad, mom, sisters, niece, mil, fil, bil, and sil gathered around my bed and we all prayed and talked. Then we prayed some more for a safe, and smooth delivery. It was an amazing feeling to be surrounded by the people who matter most in my life, who were just as excited as Rei and I were for Sofia’s birth.

(We had invited my mom, dad, and sisters to be a part of the actual delivery, so they were especially excited!)

October 4th, 2012

Thursday 12:00am- Alarms started going off on the monitor, and I looked over and saw that Sofia’s heart was racing. They determined that she needed more sugar, fluids, and electrolytes. Within an hour, her heart rate stabilized. (This was further indication of low fluids around her, and a possible sign of impending infection.)

4:00am- Contractions were 4-6 min apart, and relatively mild. I had a climbing fever. We knew what we had to do. We had to start Pitocin to get my labor pattern going. My nurse started the Pitocin and within 15 min I really started to feel the contractions.

10:00am- As time passed things started to really, really get going. Rei held me through every contraction, encouraging me, and loving me. At one point he started reminding me that soon we were going to see Sofia! We both started crying at the thought of seeing and holding such an amazing life that we had waited nine months for. A life we had worried about for nine months due to our previous miscarriage. A life that for now, would complete our family. It was such a bonding moment that Rei and I shared, as I fought through the pain of labor.

1:00pm- Rei went to get my mom, and I asked my nurse, Deb, to check me. I was hoping I at least had dilated to 8cm as it had been 9 hrs since I had been on Pitocin. She checked me, and to my horror…I WAS ONLY 3CM!!!!!! What? How could this be? Why wasn’t my body doing what it needed to do? I was crushed and started to weep. How could I do this any longer? I felt exhausted, discouraged and utterly helpless. My mom and Rei were so sweet and tried their hardest to lift my spirits with words of encouragement.  My sister Danielle began to massage my feet. My mom was praying me through every contraction, and Rei was rubbing my back and stroking my head. Eventually my spirits were lifted, and I began to believe in my body and in my ability to continue to weather the Pitocin contractions without any pain relief. I started to eat ice and watermelon between the contractions, which were now 3 min apart, and 1 min in duration, and about an 8 on the pain scale!

3:00pm- My doctor decided to check me and she found that I was 4cm dilated, but told me she thought I would go much faster now!  I stood up and started swaying to try to cope with the contractions and bring the baby down. The very next contraction radiated from my head to my toes with an intensity that is very hard to describe. I got through it, and then not a minute later came ANOTHER ONE! It shook me it was so strong! I began to panic as I had NEVER felt anything like this! I started shaking, and puking, and literally began trying get out of my own body! They kept coming and coming, one on top of the other, like waves of hell overwhelming my very core! The 30-45 seconds in-between each surge were no rest, but a chance for me to panic about the next one coming! Rei, my mom, and my nurse tried to calm me down, but to no avail. I had absolutely reached my limit. I was passing out. I was yelling, begging Rei to help me! I was crying, puking, and panicking! I CANNOT DO THIS FOR ANOTHER MINUTE! I started pleading with Rei, and my nurse, that I “needed an epidural!” Words that I would never be forced to say! Rei waited for the contraction to end, asked if I was sure, and through my tears, and urge to puke, I said “YES!” He, my mom, and my nurse agreed that this was what needed to happen.

My nurse called for the anesthesiologist and told me, through my yelling, that he was on his way!

I was crying and telling Rei that I was so sorry. Sorry that I just wasn’t able to continue. He kept telling me that I did not need to apologize, that I was amazing and that he was so proud of me. I looked at my mom, all the while writhing in pain, and I asked her if she would think less of me because I had to get the epidural, and she cried “NO!” I asked the same of Rei, and he said “NO!”  They were each holding one of my hands as I cried, and screamed in pain! I had NO control over my body. I began screaming “HELP ME! GOD PLEASE HELP ME!” I looked at my mom several times, and she was praying, and telling me that I could do it, and I told her “I AM GOING TO DIE”!  I felt tortured in my own body! I could not believe the intensity of each contraction.  The worst of transition with my first-born Mercedes did not even hold a candle to these contractions!

My angel whose name was Geoff, (until then I had always told Rei that I HATED when people spelled Geoff that way, but now I love it, haha) arrived! He moved swiftly and got me prepped and set in a matter of 2 contractions!

I was in heaven! A wave of warmth and peace washed over me! I was on cloud 9! I was laughing and giggling about how wonderful I felt! My sister Danielle asked if they were pumping more than just fluids into me! Haha. Wow, the biggest sense of relief I had ever experienced! I was in a state of absolute bliss. I looked at my mom, who could see the monitors, and I asked her, all the while giggling, if I was having a contraction! She was amazed, and I am sure relieved that I was feeling such immense relief.

We decided to rest because at this point I had been up for 30+ hrs. My mom and sister left to go rest at our house about 10 min away. Well, about 10 min into the nap, I began feeling some pain on my left side, and I called my nurse. She put in a call for more meds, but in the mean time, got my doctor to come and check me. Dr. McCullen looked up at me, and said, “Whitney, you are complete and the baby is right here!” I went from 4cm to 10cm in 30 min! She said, “Give me a little push,” I did, and she said “Wow, stop!” Your baby is going to be here in a matter of pushes! I looked at Rei, laughed, and said… “Hurry! Call my mom!”

While we were waiting, the doctor asked Rei if he wanted to deliver Sofia! He got all suited up! How neat! He looked like the most handsome doctor I had ever seen in all of the scrubs, and such!

Meanwhile, there was a terrible storm churning outside, and all I could think was…MOM YOU BETTER MAKE IT!!!!! I began pushing involuntarily, and my mom, dad and sister made it just in time!!!! 

4:40pm- With my mom holding one leg, my nurse holding the other, my sister Danielle filming the r-rated version, my dad on the side filming the pg version, Rei and my doctor in front of me, Sofia was born with just a few pushes! Rei pulled her out and put her on my chest! She had a full head of black hair and came out screaming! It was exhilarating! She was beautiful! She was everything I had imagined and more! Everyone was exclaiming what a great job I did and how beautiful she was! I won’t soon forget that moment! I am forever grateful to my husband and my family for being a fabulous support to me. We are so blessed!

This story is truly special to us, and I know Sofia entered this world just as she was supposed to. She is our bundle of joy and every minute was worth it.

Thank you for reading! 

Happy Birthday Sofia!

Below are some photo’s of the birth…

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  1. […] deliveries as I am preparing to have my 3rd baby in a few months! My first was born med-free and my second was not. This baby will hopefully be another med-free delivery. I am prepping myself by inspiring myself […]

  2. Wonderful birth story! It is amazing how different one birth is from another. I had kind of the opposite for my sons. I got an epidural with my oldest-it stopped my labor and added around 5 hrs to the birth. With my youngest I was drug free and had him in my arms under 2 hrs of arriving at the hospital!