Tuesday, September 24, 2013

ARCHER COVE {Birth Story}

August 13, 2013 - My last day of being pregnant - 41 Weeks

I wrote two versions. If you only want the skinny read Long Story Short. But if you want to long, almost every detail version read Long Story Long.

*And just a side note. When I was pregnant I was always just interested in the facts of labor, wanting to know step-by-step what happened. So, I chose to write my story in a more factual manner so that those newbees out there who are like me can see step-by-step how things progressed. 

I woke up on August 13 around 3:30am feeling very crampy. I noticed there was a pattern and decided to start timing the cramps. They were about 15 minutes apart.

Things began to escalate through the am and by 8:45am my contractions were 4 minutes apart. We were packed and ready to go to the hospital. We were just waiting for things to escalate a bit more.

Well, things slowed down before they would pick up. I spent the afternoon waiting and grew discouraged because they lost frequency after all that time. Bernie, my midwife, and my labor support said it sounded like he was in a bad position. I followed their instructions on how to help him get in a better position. I could tell their advice was working. Around 9:00pm I laid down and by 12:45am I was ready to go to the hospital.

When I arrived around 2am I was already 7-8cm dilated! They called Bernie and a doula to come to the hospital. I labored with their support through the night and morning and at 9:22am I delivered my beautiful baby boy. We named him Archer Cove. He was 9lb 11oz and 19inches long.

Every night for almost the past month, I went to bed hopeful I would be awaken by labor pains. It was kind of an emotional roller coaster. I was now a week late and wondered if he was ever going to come.

I woke up on August 13 around 3:30am feeling very crampy. I noticed there was a pattern and decided to start timing the cramps. They were about 15 minutes apart.

I laid in bed till about 5:00am. By 5:30 my contractions were 6 minutes apart. That’s when I had my bloody show. I figured this was probably the real deal!!!

By 7am my contractions were about 4 minuets apart. Bernie, my midwife, said to call when they were 3 minutes apart. So, Greg woke up and showered. He prayed for us, it was so sweet.

We both started getting ready for the hospital. Greg went and put gas in the van and put the car seat in while I showered. He also made me eggs for breakfast - what a guy :)

Around 8:45am we were so ready to go and just waiting for things to escalate.

Around noon my contractions picked up their intensity but slowed down in frequency. I called Bernie because I didn’t know what to do. From what I told her she said it sounded like baby was not in a good position. She said I should lie down on my right side and see if the frequency picks up.

I laid on my side for 3.5 hours and my contractions were really intense and long but only 10 minutes apart. And then all of a sudden they stopped being consistent. (From this point on I could no longer talk through contractions they were so painful.)

This is when I became discouraged. Things were not escalating and I seriously doubted he would ever come out. (I know it is irrational, but at the time it felt like a legit outcome)

I reached out to my friend Amanda, my on call labor support. She agreed that it sounded like the baby needed to be in a better position. Her words were “He needs to be in a good head down straight position in order to press on the cervix to keep the contractions coming.” I clung to her instructions. I went for a walk, I got on my hands and knees and rocked, I held onto the counter and did some deep squats and then laid down. This was all happening around 7:00pm.

At 9:30pm I realized my contracts became regular again, they were 10 minutes apart and WOW did they hurt. I continued to lie down and try to sleep in-between them. 

By 10:30pm they were 6-7 minutes apart. At 12:35 they were 4-5 minutes apart. I began bleeding and Amanda encouraged me to call Bernie.

Bernie agreed I should head to the hospital. So, I woke Greg up and said I think its go time!! I wasn’t sure how I was going to get to the car, let alone the hospital with these crazy contractions. Greg packed up the car and we drove – thankfully it only took us about 25 minutes to get there.

Once I got to the hospital I began shaking uncontrollably – the nurses said it was normal and it was just hormones. They wheeled me up to the labor and delivery and began a round of antibiotics because I tested positive for StrepB. They checked me and I was 7-8cm!!!! I was SOO happy! They asked if I wanted a doula – I took them up on the offer, which was honestly the best decision of my life! But, more on that later.

Around 3:00am I moved to the birthing tub to labor in the water. I was in the water and just wondering what was going to happen next. I felt silly, but I asked the nurse what we were waiting for, like what happens next. She just said, we are waiting for you to feel like you have to push. At the time I thought, well that doesn’t tell me much.

I was there for about two hours and than I rotated from rocking on the john to being on all fours on the bed.

Finally my water broke at some time around 8am. I moved to the bed so Bernie could check how dilated I was. At this point I was exhausted. I was loosing stamina – it had been over 24 hours. At the end of every contraction I would yawn and practically fall asleep.

Because I was at 9cm for almost two hours and I was barley hanging on Bernie suggested I be given some Pitocin. I consented, I knew at this point the baby needed to come out and it couldn’t possibly get any more painful.

That was just what I needed. The urge to push finally came and with my husband, doula and Bernie encouraging me (and placing the oxygen mask on my face) I pushed for an hour and out my beautiful baby boy, Archer Cove came. He was 9lb 11oz and 19inches long and very awake.

So there is the long version of Archer Cove’s birth story. I felt the need to write it all down for my own memory.  But I also hope it helps other women who want to deliver naturally. Even with a big baby you can do it - don't doubt your body. Just give into the pain and trust that soon you will be holding your precious, long awaited baby in your arms. 


This was the most difficult and painful thing I have ever done in my life. The entire time all I kept thinking was either I was going to die or that I was adopting my next child.

I didn’t realize it until after, but I'm so glad I psyched myself up to do an un-medicated birth by hearing other woman’s stories. And honestly, knowing that God designed our bodies to do this and millions of woman have gone before me allowed me to keep going even when I thought I was going to die from the pain. 

I chose to educate myself by surrounding myself with friends who had done this many times and who were passionate about it. I also watched The Business Of Being Born and the supporting episodes More On The Business of Being Born. I highly recommend doing both of those things.

One thing is that despite the pain of contractions coming frequently, you do get a little break to regroup after each one. In between I would often start laughing and say something funny about the situation. That is how I cope – laughter. I hope it helped my doula and midwife enjoyed my birthing experience as well because they were awesome.

On that note, if you are going to do natural childbirth, GET A DOULA! If you want to know more about them, just ask me and I’ll tell you a thousand reasons why.

Also, if you are going to labor at home you need support. I had a few close friends texting me and helping me cope via laughter the whole time. But also to help me know “yes, that is normal.” I cannot imagine doing this without them, including my amazing husband who sat by my side the entire time.

I am so grateful Archer's birth went well and only a few times did we have to veer from my birth plan. As difficult as it was I would do it again in heart beat.

Do you have your birth story blogged? If so leave a link, I'd love to read it!


  1. it's always interesting reading birth stories since I don't have a child but hopefully one day will have one/two/seven. Birth is such a beautiful thing and your baby is perfect!

    1. Thank you! I pray that one day you can carry and deliver children. It is so difficult but so wonderful and amazing!
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Hi Joanna! I was wondering if you would be willing to answer my question about your blog! My name is Heather and please email me when you get a free moment at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

  3. Hi Heather, I am not sure what question you are referring to :)

  4. What a beautiful story! I want to do an all natural birth too! I was thinking at home but I might go to a birthing center instead. (I am speaking as if I am already pregnant! haha).