When You Break Your Own Rules {and then have a baby!}

Sometimes you eat a delicious meal,
watch (and cry to) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,
sit on a labor ball,
and eat ice cream with a hint of Castor Oil mixed in…
and sometimes…

It works. After a solid 6 days of uncomfortable, sleepless, prodromal labor, daily walks, chiropractic, massage, and more bouncing than I could stand, I finally looked my husband in the eye and told him I was going to break all my own rules and drink castor oil to get this labor moving. So I took to Google. I found a blog a woman had posted about her use of castor oil and it’s success and that glimmer of hope was enough for to run to the store and buy myself some.

As a doula and childbirth educator I’ve {always} told my mama’s to step away from the castor oil. I have witnessed first hand the horrible effects that it has on woman’s tummies and how they’d go into labor in the most miserable of ways. But this was a day that I no longer cared. I was done with the 9pm-5am contractions only to have them stop just in time for my kids to wake up and do it all again the next day FOR SIX DAYS! I had been seen on Thursday the 18th and all the laboring I was doing had me dilated about 2cm and 50%/60% effaced.

Sunday Feb 21st we woke up, walked 2.5 miles, got a massage to push all the pressure points, took a nap, went for another walk, went to the grocery store bought the tiny bottle of anticipated liquid salvation, had dinner, and then made the concoction. 1tsp of castor oil carefully mixed into my delicious bowl of chocolate ice cream. At about 8pm we sat down to watch Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and I ate my ice cream, secretly believing nothing would be different this night than any of the previous few nights. At about 9pm I had a strong, fierce contraction just like the days previous. So I sat, bouncing on my ball. About 10 minutes later I had to use the bathroom. I was scared because I knew the castor oil would make this happen, but truthfully it wasn’t terrible. Just a normal poop {sorry… TMI}

Then about 30 minutes later another strong contraction. And another potty stop. Contractions got closer together and bathroom trips stopped and by 10 I figured I was in for just another evening of stupid prodromal labor. The movie ended around 11 and my contractions were getting stronger with each wave so I told Evan I was going to try to lay down and get some rest. After about 20 minutes of laying down I wasn’t able to get comfortable for anything and I told Evan we just needed to go. I didn’t fully believe I was going to have this baby, but I also knew I needed to be at the birth center. The ride there was agonizing. I couldn’t sit down because my butt hurt too much. So I was on my hands and knees on the reclined passenger seat telling my husband that if he crashed, I’d kill him, and if a cop tried to pull him over he better just keep going.

We arrived at the hospital just before midnight and I was put in a triage bay. Lydia was picked up and Eden was hanging out with me, excited that she got to be part of her baby brother’s birth story. Nurse Kim came in and checked me, only to tell me I was at 2cm. I couldn’t believe it. ALL that work over the last few days plus whatever the HECK was happening now and nothing had changed. In that moment I did what any sensible laboring woman would do. I swore, then said, “I can’t do this. This baby is never coming out.” As I changed positions back and forth on the bed Eden grabbed my hand and started telling me knock knock jokes during my contractions to distract me. She’s a great little doula <3

We spent about an hour in triage laboring and hoping something was changing. At 1am My favorite nurse came in and checked me again to the exciting news that I was 5cm! We got to a room to settle in and everything just kind of became a blur. I got in the tub, I got out of the tub, I looked at my husband at one point and exasperatedly said, “Why do we keep doing this?!” To which he responded, “Doing what? Having babies?” I shot back, “Yes! This is STUPID!”

The next thing I really remember is throwing up and looking up to see the familiar shoes of my sweet doctor friend, Dr.Medley, coming in. I asked how she was doing and she told me she was fine beings as she wasn’t the one in transition. I told her I wasn’t in transition, just 5cm. She kindly nodded and said “Oh, okay…” 🙂 Things just started moving so quickly from there all my memories run together.








I was up, I was down. I was on my side, I was on my hands and knees… then I felt it. My water was about to break. That was a new experience for me. With my other deliveries my water never broke so I was freaking out. I shouted, “My water’s breaking! Watch out!” and then nothing happened. I kept asking “Is anything happening? Is anything changing?” Dr, Medley just kept  saying in her sweet voice “You’re fine, just keep going. Don’t worry about it.” Then suddenly I was pushing.

I was shocked.

My previous labors were LONG and hard and I had plenty of time to find a groove. That was NOT the case here. I didn’t have a second to have one solid thought let alone find a place of “calm”.

Suddenly fear took over my whole being. I looked at my husband and told him I didn’t think I could do it. What if somethingwas wrong? He grabbed my face between his hands and said “You can do this. You help people through this all the time. You know exactly what to do!”

The sweetest encouragement. To which I responded, “Yeah, but I don’t doula MYSELF!” I’m telling you guys… I was FULL of one liners during this labor.

As the next contraction wave came I felt my body bear down and then water went EVERYWHERE. Eden, who was sitting by the window, shouted that it looked like “water fireworks”. 

I’m not kidding when I say it covered several feet of the room. It was a mess, but as my water broke I knew this baby wasn’t far behind. Another push and his head was crowning. As his head was birthed I felt his shoulders get stuck and in her still calm, sweet, but now stern voice Medley said, “Do not stop pushing until I tell you to.” I’ve been to enough deliveries with her that I knew exactly what was happening.

This baby was trying to get himself into trouble before he even came all the way out. So I bared down and vividly remember shouting “Get him out!”. In that moment I felt his not-so-tiny body finish his journey Earth-side and my whole world just stopped for a moment.

He was real.
He was crying.
He was a HE.

We have a SON.
All 8lbs, 19.5″ of his perfect little self…

In a matter of 3 hours, I went from thinking this kid would never actually get out of me, to holding him on my chest asking “What in the world just happened?!”

To some degree, a year later, I keep asking myself the same question.
But what a perfect birth this was for our family. Exactly what we needed it to be.
Quick and {relatively} easy. Just leaving us in awe of this tiny human and all he has to bring to our family. <3



All of these amazing photos were taken by my dear friend April from Photophire Photography

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