the peanut gets shelled: a home birth turned hospital birth turned c-section delivery

So here goes folks, Baby Pickles’ (uterine code name: Peanut) birth story in all its gorily (well, not really, they didn’t actually let me watch the operation) detailed glory.  May seem a little personal for the internet (and warning the tmis start in the first paragraph), but I LOVED reading other folks’ birth stories on the web during my pregnancy, and I wanted to give my own four cents back to the virtual birth-blab community.  If this sort of thing is totally not your bag or if you are a particularly sensitive brand of pregnant right now and/or might be bothered by a bit of a rough obstacle/complete melt down around the pushing bit of the story, I’d recommend that you don’t read it.  Go read this instead.  This birth story has a happy ending, but it’s not entirely peaceful.  Otherwise, onward!

labor at home

Friday morning I wrote an e-mail saying that I didn’t think labor was happening that night.  But by evening, when the rocks that had been in my intestines for weeks turned to lava and made their exit, I was sure that I’d been wrong.  It was how a lot of the birth stories I read began.  The Beard and I watched an episode of Dexter, and I kept my mouth shut.  I didn’t want to jinx it by saying it out loud, but I cleared off my dresser and set up my computer (where my playlists lived) just in case.

The Beard fell asleep early, and I watched episode after episode as the Braxton Hicks turned into real contractions.  As each came and peaked I stood, leaning against the shelves that house our clothing and television, chanting to myself in a whisper “relaxrelaxrelax relaxrelaxrelaxrelax.”  I wanted to let the Beard sleep for as long as possible—he’d worked late the night before and needed to catch up—so instead of waking him up to start timing contractions, I searched the internet for a timer.  Bingo.  They were coming every two to four minutes and lasting for about 40 to 50 seconds.  Oh.  Oh!  That’s like, umm, serious.  Shit.  Shit!  It was 2 am, and I’d only been having “real” contractions for about a half hour.

People keep asking me what contractions feel like, and I was annoyed as hell for the lack of concrete description available in my reading beforehand.  (And forget getting any real description of birthing pain in any of Ina May’s books.  If those books had been my only impression of birth, I would have been pissed to find out how it really feels.  Hint: In no way psychedelic.)  Anyway.  So what does a contraction feel like?  Well, a little like period cramps, except concentrated, more.  They are like no other kind of pain I’ve ever felt (though just different, not the worst), but if you could imagine the cramps you get on each side of your abdomen during your period joining together to create a larger, unified ball of pain, that would come close to how I experienced them.  Painful, but totally manageable.  Thank cod.

It might have been 3 am when the Beard woke up.  He looked at me and asked me if I didn’t think I could just try to sleep.  I laughed.  “Umm, no I don’t think sleep is an option any more,” I told him.  “I’m having contractions every two to three minutes.”  He didn’t seem to believe it at first, but after a few more sleep-smeared minutes he trudged out of bed and off to the kitchen to make some coffee.  I continued my ritual of leaning against the wall through each peak.  When he returned we timed about fifteen minutes of contractions together, and he started getting things set up for the birth (one table moved, another cleared off, candles set up and lit).  Around 4 am we called the midwife, who mumbled something into the phone and hung up.  We assumed she was on her way and went back to dealing with my peaks.

During the next hour I started getting tired—standing up for each contraction was too much.  I had been vocalizing through each contraction for the last hour or so, but found that holding the Beard’s hands and looking into his eyes while we breathed together and I vocalized on the exhales worked much better.  So I laid on the bed on my side (despite this not being the most comfortable position for coping), we dealt with each peak together, and I was able to rest a little in the few minutes between each contraction.  The midwife arrived just after 5 am.  (Hereafter known as Clara.)

When Clara arrived, she crawled into our bed and strapped on the heart monitor (the kind you can see me wearing in the next picture) to check out the baby’s heart rate and the intensity of my contractions.  They were “this baby is coming soon” contractions, and Clara told us later that she’d initially expected that we’d have that baby out in three or four hours tops.  But!  Alas!  My cervix was not opening.  When she finally checked it around, well who fucking knows when, but I think it was light again outside, it was at a measly two centimeters.  The exam hurt so much that I practically climbed backwards up the wall trying to get away from the pain.  (Which makes me wonder if it was the pain that made me close up or if it hurt because I was still so closed.  Food for thought.)  Clara poured some homeopathic something or other into my mouth to give me longer breaks between contractions, and there was an hour or so when they weakened and I managed to doze off between each peak.  Aaaand I managed to throw up all over the bed before we’d covered the mattress with plastic.  Whoops.  Note to self: don’t put that part of the preparation off.

More time passed.  There were more contractions.  I moved onto the birth ball so I could be upright but rest between the pains.  At some point I played half of my “good mood” playlist before turning it off.  Clara dozed on a stool next to the bed.  The Beard took a coffee and bathroom break and Frau Doktor came over to take his place.  I found contractions easier to deal with looking into her eyes than the Beard’s.  Often his eyes were mirroring back my own pain, which I did not want to see looking back at me while coping (I eventually told him this and he made a point of looking peaceful thereafter).  Her eyes were full of empathy, perhaps simply because as a lady she knew her body was capable of doing this to her too.  I didn’t like closing my eyes during the peaks because it made me feel like I was trapped inside my body, alone with the pain.  Through the eyes of another person I could come outside of myself and escape it.  The contractions remained as constant and intense as they had been from the beginning.  Clara gave me a suppository meant to help soften my cervix and help it open and left to get some breakfast.  But when she returned—after seven hours of labor—my cervix was still at two centimeters.

“I don’t know what the problem is,” she told us, “but the intensity of your contractions doesn’t match up with the state of your cervix, so I’d like to go the hospital.  When something doesn’t add up, it usually means that something is wrong.”  I thought I would need a moment to mourn the loss of our home birth, but I didn’t.  I had picked Clara because of her birth philosophy, and I felt confident that any decision she made would be the same decision that I would have made were I the midwife with 35 years of experience.  Looking back now I’d add that this is the most important aspect in having a birth deviate so far from your own ideal without any feelings of regret, so ladies planning your births, find a midwife or a doula who you trust implicitly to be your voice!  It may be the single most important bit of preparation that you can do.

“If we go to the hospital, I don’t think I’m going to be able to say no to painkillers,” I told Clara, while the Beard scrambled around packing (I had already packed things for the baby and some of the things for the hospital, but didn’t have my own things—wallet and clothing and the like—ready), and somebody got the key to the car we’d be taking.

“And I don’t think that you should,” she replied.  Well, ok then.  I’d read about pain killers helping ladies rest or relax, helping them achieve a birth without surgery, so why not?  I waddled out to the car.

We only live about ten minutes from the hospital we’d chosen (there is another hospital even closer, but one with a pretty bad reputation as far as natural birth philosophies go), so I only had to deal with three contractions in the car.  I remember bracing my feet against the floor and moaning at a stop light, wondering why the hell anyone would chose to get in a car feeling like this without complications to force them into it.  The Beard held my hand from the backseat, but I couldn’t see his eyes for the needed escape.

labor at the hospital

Outside of the hospital I had to sit down on a concrete planter to deal with a contraction, and two women having a smoke heard me moaning and asked if they should call someone.  “No, no, thanks,” I told them.  “The contraction will be over in a minute.”  And it was.  They grinned giddily at us, maybe both mothers themselves, and we wound our way to the labor and delivery rooms where a nurse hooked me up to a wireless heart moniter while the Beard fielded paperwork at the front desk.

Someone put a hep lock in my hand (that’s the perma-IV hook up you get in the hospital so that you can be quickly attached to any meds you might need), and Clara hooked up a bag of fluids and a bag with a few drops of cervix softener (heh, every time I say it that way I think of fabric softener and chuckle) and a whole bunch of a light pain reliever that she said would make me feel like I’d had a couple of glasses of wine.  It did.  It was excellent.  My cervix sprang open like a jack-in-the-box.  (Roughly put.  Over the next four or five hours it opened completely.  Time flew.)

Drunk for the first time in nine months!  As much as I’d hoped to get through the birth without any pain meds, I’m here to tell you: these were frickin’ awesome.  (I hadn’t even realized that there were grades of pain relief below epidural.  Sweet!)  Considering the fact that Clara only used a few drops of meds to help my cervix, it may have actually been the pain relievers that finally helped me relax enough to let my cervix open.  Either way things were back on track, and I spent most of my contractions laying on the bed on my right side, holding the Beard and Frau Doktor’s hands and grunting like one of my favorite characters in Tetris Attack.

It must have been about 2 pm when my water broke.  I was still laying on my side, and I was convinced I had just pissed the bed.  (But where are all the fluids coming? from I remember wondering, I can’t have drank enough for that kind of a piss.)  And then it happened again, and again.  “I think I’ve just pissed the bed,” I announced.  I may have even laughed.  Everything felt surreal and absurd.

“You know you can get up and go to the bathroom if you want,” Clara told me.  Then she took a look at the fluid.  “But this is your amniotic fluid.  Your water just broke.”  Well shit.  If I remembered correctly, that meant pushing was about to start.  We were in the home stretch.  And now for the hard part.

Clara checked my cervix and after another half hour (maybe?  ten minutes?  time was meaningless at this point) said I could safely push.  I did.  I felt baby head pressing down near my vag, and I felt her slipping back in.  Which must have been when she jammed her head against my pelvic bones because she never came that close to a natural exit again.  I pushed and pushed.  Nothing happened.  Clara directed me into a few different positions.  I pushed and pushed.  Nothing happened.  My body started intensifying the contractions to try to get Peanut out.  My vocalizations became screams.  Clara—who had always complained that we weren’t loud enough when we practiced during class—actually told me to try to be a little quieter.  “But it feels. GOOD. TO BE. LOUD,” I spat/screamed back.  I can only guess that she just didn’t want any doctors running in and sticking their noses in our business prematurely.

I pushed, I tried not to push, I pushed, nothing happened.  Things became a blur.  The pain was becoming unbearable as my body continued to intensify the contractions, futilely.  Every time I pushed I was pushing baby head against pelvic bone.  Clara tried to free Peanut’s head with her hand.  She gave me meds that should have stopped my contractions for ten minutes or so to give me a break.  They didn’t work.  Pushing felt horrific.  Trying not to push was worse.  I said my pain killer password (the Beard and I had a code word so that I could swear and complain, but he would know when I meant business about needing pain relief).  I was falling apart.

The doctor on duty, a real unfriendly bitch with nothing behind her eyes, came in to check the baby’s vital signs.  After fucking up the test twice (the one where they screw a thing-a-ma-bob into the baby’s scalp, the scab from which still hasn’t healed completely by the way), she determined that Peanut was distressed.  Heart rates were sinking.  My contractions were useless and getting worse.  Someone shot me up with some more contraction blocker.  It didn’t work.  I was desperate, barely coping.  The doctor recommended a c-section, and Frau Doktor sent her out of the room so we could consult.  Clara said she would recommend the same.  She had tried all of her tricks—short of giving me an epidural to give me a break and a fresh start—but didn’t think it would solve the problem (that Peanut’s head was caught on my bones and not budging), and considering the stress signs the baby was showing…  I said yes.   At that point I would have sold my soul to Monsanto to make the pain stop.

the c-section

Once the decision was made, everything slowed down.  Doctor’s came in to read me lists of horrific risks that I was to sign off on before the operation.  I couldn’t care less, and I could barely manage a signature.  If we were going to do this I wanted to do it NOW, wanted the pain to stop NOW.  The contractions kept coming.  Finally I was wheeled off to the operating room, and the Beard was directed to the scrubs closet.  Four more doctors jabbed me with medicine to make the contractions stop, completely ignoring the fact that each time they did so I told them that I’d already had quite a lot of that medicine and THAT IT WASN’T FUCKING WORKING AND WHERE WAS MY FUCKING HUSBAND???!?!  Still having massively painful contractions, but left alone to deal with them by myself in a room full of bustling doctors I was a total fucking mess.  The Beard followed my screams into the operating room.

I hadn’t removed my belly button ring, and all the docs in the room started freaking out when they saw it.  “She has a belly button ring!” they repeated frantically, once again ignoring me, and the fact that I was telling them that, no, they couldn’t remove it without pliers and that if they would just get my fucking husband we had some with us and could take the fucking thing out with them. And WHERE THE FUCK WAS MY HUSBAND ANYWAY???!?  No one paid any attention to what I was saying.  Minus three hundred points for the medical community.  And when Clara arrived in her scrubs they gave her shit too.  “Sorry,” she told them, “but I don’t take babies out this way.”  Her job is a constant battle against over-medicated births and oft-pointless hospital regulations and bitchy doctors (note: doctors ask you to take out piercings before an operation because if they have to revive you with those shock things, any metal on your body will burn the skin around it).  Strong lady.

I heard the older woman in charge of the operation saying “It doesn’t matter, we found mumblemumble in her blood, we need to get going.”  (Still haven’t found out what it was they found in whose blood.)  The anesthesiologist finally stuck me in the back (I had a spinale PDA, which the dictionary is telling me is called a spinal epidural in English).  My legs went numb, and the pain was finally gone.  It was glorious.  Someone brought in what looked like a race-car seat with straps—that was for the Beard, and the straps for the birth partners who pass out when they look behind the operating curtain.  The Beard had arrived and was holding my left hand.  I could feel people groping around in my innards and wanted to watch (with a spinale you feel some pulling and pressure, but no pain).  Now I’m glad I don’t have those images burned into my brain.  I had no idea she was even out of my stomach when there was a cry from the right corner of the room.  Our baby our baby!  I couldn’t believe it.  At 3:36 pm. after about fourteen hours of labor, Peanut was on the outside, had become Baby Pickles.  Wow.

I turned my head to the right and watched Clara weighing her across the room.  (She got a 9 on the initial apgar, and then two 10s.  I was impressed.)  Then Clara laid Baby Pickles on my chest, and we blearily gazed into each other’s eyes, hers crusty, mine probably crazed.  I cried, and sang her all her favorite womb songs.  It was hard to focus on each other from that close (the curtain was hung just below my ribs, so the baby was about three inches from my face) but it was amazing and even more surreal than anything that had come before.  After five, maybe ten minutes, the Beard went with Clara and Pickles to the delivery room we had started in while the doctors finished stitching me up.  At 4:15 they wheeled me out, flipped me from one bed to another with a crazy machine lift, and Clara pushed me the room where Frau Doktor and the Beard were chilling with Baby Pickles, who was wrapped up in a bright green towel.  Never in my life have I ever been so happy that something had ended, or begun.

If any of you have your own birth stories online, I would love it if you posted a link in the comments.  There are so many amazing birth stories on the internet.  I want to read them all.

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Thursday March 01st 2012, 9:00 am 46 Comments
Filed under: conspiracies,gorilla parent (pregnancy)

46 Comments so far. Please leave a comment.

Having just read this over my morning cup of tea you’ve rendered me entirely speechless. My tear glands have been fully activated and my jaw is resting on my knees: I think I’m going to have to try coming back to comment properly later.

Comment by Frau Dietz 03.01.12 @ 9:39 am

Wow, your story is so similar to mine. However, the doctors and midwife with me were sooo much nicer and knowing that I was so against having a c-section took extra care that I was still as ‘involved’ and in touch with process as possible. Took some of the sting of disappointment away. Then when I heard that cry, oh, I didn’t care anymore what the last 18hours were or the hows of his birth.

Congratulations again and awesome job! Thanks for sharing. It definitely brought a tear of happiness to my eye, despite the pre-warnings and the challenges you faced.

Comment by Michelle 03.01.12 @ 10:58 am

YYEEESSS!!! Great Post Nicki!! Holy shit. Thank so much for sharing. As a basis, I really respect your writing and opinions, so to read about something as gruesome and surreal as birthing, from you, is just perfect.

Comment by Lark 03.01.12 @ 11:11 am

Frau Dietz: Awwr, wow. I keep tearing up when I read the last paragraph. And I keep rereading this because I just can’t frickin believe it all happened. Even though the results are sleeping on my chest right now. I hope it didn’t scare you out of potential pregnancies though. :)

Michelle: It was def a crazy ride, and I felt so joyous at the end of it. Though recovery has been a pain in the ass (as I’m sure it is no matter what sort of operation you get), I have no regrets. Thanks goodness. I was worried that if it came to this I’d need to mourn. But as it was I feel good about it. My philosophy about c-sections was basically “I don’t want one, but I also don’t want either of us to die during labor.” So there you have it.

I keep wondering what they would have done with me a hundred years ago. I keep meaning to look into it. I don’t think we would have died over a stuck head just before the birth, but I bet they would have done something totally gruesome like reached in and dislocated or broken my hips or something to get her out. Ech. That doesn’t sound like much fun either.

I did feel totally supported by my midwife through it all. (She wasn’t in the room during the really annoying bits with the doctors, she was getting her scrubs on too I believe.) And the doctors gave her so much shit for just doing the job I had hired her to do (usually folks take whatever midwife is on duty when they come into the hospital, but I had hired her as a Beleghebamme which means, as a midwife who would come with me where ever I went and whatever the circumstance. But doctors who you’ve just met as they are scrubbing up to operate on you, yeah not much chance of building any sort of trust or communicative relationship there. Ah well.

Lark: Thanks so much, wow, means a lot to me. Glad you enjoyed the tale. STILL can’t believe it all really happened…

Comment by clickclackgorilla 03.01.12 @ 12:53 pm

Oh! I have been waiting for this! You are both beautiful :)

Comment by LeAnn 03.01.12 @ 2:49 pm

hah, your face as you’re giving the finger in the hospital room.

What a story; I love how much consistent detail you’ve been able to put into this. Nothing is glossed over or forgotten. What you’re saying just comes as very direct and real.

I’m just glad you’ve all come out of this healthy and safe. Congratulations! again!

Comment by haveyouseenthisgirl 03.01.12 @ 2:51 pm

Thanks so much for writing and sharing about your baby’s birth in such detail. I much prefer that to glossing over — for an event that occurs so often, people talk very little about the actual details of the experience. Anyway, thanks. And congratulations, you must be over the moon about your baby daughter. :)

Comment by Mandi 03.01.12 @ 2:52 pm

I love how you write that your husband’s eyes were mirroring back your own…aww:) So sweet! I can’t believe home, to hospital, to pushing, to C-section. That was always my worst fear to be in labor for hours, have to push & get a C. Glad she’s here safe & sound & hope you walking better;)

Comment by Jess Carr-fein 03.01.12 @ 2:53 pm

LeAnn: Thanks! :)

haveyouseenthisgirl: And thanks to you to. Glad to hear this comes across as direct and real. That’s def what I was going for. Hope you’re doing ok. Been thinking of you.

Mandi: Glad you enjoyed it! I felt like all the detail was key, no glossing over anything! It’s what I was always looking for in birth stories when I was reading them obsessively while pregnant. And you’re right, totally over the moon. Hee hee hee.

Comment by clickclackgorilla 03.01.12 @ 3:07 pm

Wow! So powerful. What an intense experience it must all have been. I hope you’re recovering ok.

Comment by Lindsey 03.01.12 @ 4:36 pm

Oh man. Oh man. Your story is so wonderful! I love every single word. (But I think my favorite sentence is, “At that point I would have sold my soul to Monsanto to make the pain stop.” WOAH, NIKKI IS SERIOUS. Hahahaha.) I love you, I love you! Reading this, well for one, made me cry tears of total joy, and for two, just made me feel so calm and, I don’t know the word. Complete or whole. Happy! I’m totes gonna post our birth story soon, too! xoxox. Just The Best.

Comment by katey 03.01.12 @ 5:28 pm

Oh – and I meant to say – every picture in this post is AMAZING!

Comment by katey 03.01.12 @ 5:28 pm

Well done you! You told your story brilliantly as well. I was on the edge of my seat! It’s amazing, however they make their way into the world! xx

Comment by fiona 03.01.12 @ 5:49 pm

As I read this my little fetus dweller kicked and flailed the whole time. Not sure what that means, probably just responding to all the emotion.

“I thought I would need a moment to mourn the loss of our home birth, but I didn’t. I had picked Clara because of her birth philosophy, and I felt confident that any decision she made would be the same decision that I would have made were I the midwife with 35 years of experience. Looking back now I’d add that this is the most important aspect in having a birth deviate so far from your own ideal without any feelings of regret, so ladies planning your births, find a midwife or a doula who you trust implicitly to be your voice! It may be the single most important bit of preparation that you can do.”

And once again I am reaffirmed that switching from the traditional big city doctor to the Birth Center in the middle of an Amish/Meninite/Olde German community is the right choice.

Also I’m curious how did they get your belly ring out?

Comment by Foy 03.01.12 @ 5:53 pm

Awwww, just what everyone else said, loved the story and the pics!!! And cried a few times too…

I know you’ve read my birth story already, but here is the link if anyone else wants to read about a non-dramatic, unrealistically easy birth: http://frugalveganmom.wordpress.com/2011/03/10/janes-natural-birth-story/

Comment by Frugal Vegan Mom 03.01.12 @ 6:09 pm

p.s. when it got to the really intense screaming part, do you switch to english or keep swearing in german?

Comment by Frugal Vegan Mom 03.01.12 @ 6:22 pm

oh…..and did you pooh????

Comment by haveyouseenthisgirl 03.01.12 @ 6:33 pm

whoohoo! congrats!

Comment by suicidalbunnis8me 03.01.12 @ 7:58 pm

haha I was also wondering what language the screaming was in.

yeah that first picture with ms. pickles is a great example of what we were talking about- she totally looks like she’s plotting to kill you in that one. a stewie-esque look i would call it.

Comment by fishinthewater 03.01.12 @ 8:17 pm

Everyone: Oh my god thank you so much for all the awesome comments. I would respond to each one individually, but then it would just be like “name: thank you, name: thank you, name thank you” for about a hundred miles down this post. So instead, thank you all! I’m so glad so many people have gotten something out of reading this.

Katey: Haha, yeah, saying “I would have sold my soul to the devil” just didn’t really get the point across. Because we all know the devil is actually way cool.

Frugal Vegan Mama: Haha, I stayed in German almost the whole time. At one point just before the c-section decision I started wildly switching back and forth. At one point the Beard was distracted or something and not doing what I needed to to help me through the contraction, and I was all “Oh my god please help me” in English. But otherwise, I stayed surprisingly fluent in German. Was expecting that to deteriorate much more so. I even managed to speak German while screaming in the operating room. A miracle.

fishie: Holy shit I laughed so hard when I read that bit about her looking like she’s plotting Stewie-style already. Oh man. Good thing my scar is at a point where laughing doesn’t hurt so much anymore.

Comment by clickclackgorilla 03.01.12 @ 10:20 pm

Oh and two questions I forgot to answer:

foy: They left my belly ring in ultimately. They were in too much of a rush, and you know, totally ignoring the easy and quick solution I kept offering them from below. Good thing they didn’t have to revive me with the electro things, huh?

haveyouseen: Hahahaha. A little bit, but not too much. I was on all fours for a lot of the pushing as Clara thought that position would help the head, so the whole time I could see everything that was dropping out of me and onto the pad thing they had under me to suck everything up. Every once in a while there was a brownish spot, but it was mostly blood that I saw.

Comment by clickclackgorilla 03.01.12 @ 10:30 pm

My God, I feel quite traumatised reading that. You poor girl. Just take care of yourself and Peanut.

Comment by Anni 03.01.12 @ 11:32 pm

omG NIKKI! this is the best! i fucking LOVE birth stories and read them voraciously and this one is fucking EPIC and even qualifies as totally metal! you are a fucking badass, and i am so impressed and proud of every single thing you did. i love that you screamed in german, i absolutely ADORE little pickles, and i am SO EFFING GLAD you described the contractions! so few birth stories do describe that pain! so they were the same feeling, only way more intense, right? when you knew you had to push, did your contractions get even worse or what? i love hearing this.
also, i am writing this from the Homeland of Monsanto (St. Louis) so if you still want to sell your soul feel free to visit ;) xoxo

Comment by karen 03.01.12 @ 11:34 pm

Who took all the photos?

Comment by jill 03.02.12 @ 1:48 am

Congrats on Baby Pickles! I love her skeptical expression and your glowy excitement.

My first was a c/s, too, and like you I knew that it was absolutely the best way for my son to be born. That makes such a huge difference to recovery, I’ve found. It never really occurred to me to be super disappointed because I knew that, given everything I had to work with, I had made the best decision for me and him. Maybe not the ‘ideal’, but the right one for my reality.

I hope your recovery is quick and smooth. Congratulations again to your new family!

Comment by Rachel 03.02.12 @ 2:39 am

And, thanks for being so clear and specific about how things felt! I’ve had two kids, two epidurals, and now I’ve got another baking and am doing the homebirth thing. Good to know what to expect.

Comment by Rachel 03.02.12 @ 2:41 am

Fantastic news Nicolette!
Much congratulations to you and The Beard.
Welcome to the world Little Peanut.
I hope it’s a great place for you…

Comment by Keith 03.02.12 @ 7:12 am

You so reminded me of a buddy of mine flippin’ the bird at the camera I laughed out loud. Great story- sorry it was so traumatic- probably more than it needed to be- but I’m glad it (it? she) all came out ok. Congratulations again.

Comment by paula 03.02.12 @ 8:12 am

Anni: Oh no! The warning wasn’t enough to keep ya away? Is kind of like watching a car crash though…hard to look away. We’re doing great now at least. The pushing bit was quite traumatic for me. If I can ever bear the thought of having more children, I am going to have to do some serious purging of the fear that the experience has implanted in me.

Jill: Frau Doktor did.

Keith: Aww thanks!

Paula: Haha, that picture seems to be everyone’s favorite. It certainly is mine. Pretty much captures the mood of the moment. No sleep all night, contractions, in the damn hospital. Heh.

Comment by clickclackgorilla 03.02.12 @ 10:44 am

congrats congrats! and thanks so much for sharing your story. you are an inspiration to me to try a home birth but just go with the flow too :)

Comment by Sarah Allison 03.02.12 @ 9:11 pm

yay! i loved reading this – birth stories are the best. such a gigantic, amazing experience for everyone. of course i wish you’d magically had no pain & no c-section & everything was all warm & fuzzy, but i loved your honesty here & i’m glad you’re not disappointed about how it turned out. the baby arrived safely, that’s the biggest victory. i’m so happy for you three! i wanna meet miss pickles! xo.

Comment by finn 03.02.12 @ 10:13 pm

what an amazing story. i don’t know if i’ve ever felt more empathy and pride for a stranger before. it sounds like you were just absolutely courageous and stalwart through the entire experience, and your midwife– what an amazing warrior she must be. i hope that you and baby pickles are thriving (seems like this is the case). much love and will be reading. thank you so much for sharing this story with us.

Comment by Emily 03.03.12 @ 9:55 pm

Wow Nikki! I wish I had wrote my birthing stories down for my two girls. I’m sure I can’t remember all those details now. This will be great for Pickles to read in the future. Drama all Hail the Queen! Glad that is all turned out well. Hugs for making it through it. Some hospital staff needs slapped. I had one nurse that if I ever see her crossing a street, and realize it’s her, I will run her down.

Comment by Patty Squirell 03.04.12 @ 9:04 am

Congrats on your little lady making a safe entrance into the world. I hope that the whole family is healthy, happy, and well. Thank you for sharing your birth experience and your life experience on this site, (I have recently discovered it, and I’ve been getting a big kick out of it!)

Comment by Vanessa 03.04.12 @ 4:46 pm

This is so beautiful. I too had a homebirth turned hospital birth, and I can so relate to what you said about not needing that moment to mourn the birth. That came a few days later for me. In the moment, once they said we ought to head to the hospital, I said let’s go. I was just done. After going through what we all thought was transition and being told I could try pushing and then finding out I was stuck at 3 cm, I was totally done. You can read my story here… http://onbeingamama.blogspot.com/2011/07/birth-story-of-sydney-rose.html

Thank you for sharing this. Reading others’ stories still helps me. :)

Comment by Samantha 03.04.12 @ 8:18 pm

My goodness, you are a brave! brave! amazing women. As a doula and mother myself, I am continually amazed by women, the extremes their bodies go through and the glory that comes through it all. Thank you for so honestly sharing your story! You & your family are incredible!

Comment by Darla 03.04.12 @ 8:57 pm

[...] Clack Gorilla had her much-awaited baby. And oh how beautiful she is! Here is her birth story: it’s EPIC! Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This [...]

Pingback by Sunday Surf: Homeschooling, Frugal Living and Babies | Radical Ramblings 03.04.12 @ 10:45 pm

I love birth stories, and yours was a great one. Pickles is adorable. I followed a link from Facebook here, and I laughed so hard at the “would have sold my soul to Monsanto” bit. Too familiar! My birth story is here. It took until our son was 4 months old for the scab from the internal monitors to disappear. He’s 8 months old now and the scar is still quite visible beneath his hair.

Comment by Manapan 03.05.12 @ 9:17 am

I finally posted our birth story. Hip hip, horray! (I’ve been loving reading all these birth stories, too!)

http://travelingoldenhearts.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/our-home-birth-story/

Comment by katey 03.11.12 @ 12:01 am

OMG I’ve totally been MIA but your bebe is soooo beautiful!!!

Comment by Marcus 03.12.12 @ 4:16 pm

Congrats on the baby, she is beautiful! What is it wih getting wonderful OB care then having a bitchy dr at the hospital? You know, both my dr and midwife told be they don’t do APGAR scores here.

Comment by Jill 03.24.12 @ 10:16 pm

[...] story of a home birth turned hospital birth turned c-section delivery from Click Clack Gorilla. It’s a tumultuous story, but it has a very happy ending. Be on [...]

Pingback by Preparing for Birth: Birth Stories » A Little Bit of All of It 04.30.12 @ 2:04 pm

[...] the peanut gets shelled: a home birth turned hospital birth turned c … [...]

Pingback by Any funny pregnancy stories? 06.06.12 @ 11:25 am

Loved reading your story! I,too, can never get enough of reading birth stories, online or in books. :)

Here’s mine: http://plentifulthoughtsofmiscellany.blogspot.com/2012/03/birth-story.html

Comment by Holly S 06.08.12 @ 2:20 am

Last April we had an hbac attempt turned transfer and second c section. I love beautiful natural birth stories, but in the last year they have sometimes been hard to read, even though I have largely positive feelings about the birth. Thank you so much for sharing, sometimes I just need to read from someone who went through it too.

Comment by Renee 06.08.12 @ 3:50 am

[...] the peanut gets shelled: a home birth turned hospital birth turned c-section delivery [...]

Pingback by cloth diaper diary: one year down, more than i’d like to think about to go | click clack gorilla 03.04.13 @ 9:02 am




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