Mae Belle: A Birth Story

12 November, 2016

August 18, 2016 12:30am

I woke up from an uncomfortable and familiar pain in my lower back.  Immediately I knew that it was the beginning of the end of my pregnancy.  I laid in my bed and felt another contraction.  I was surprised at how strong they were in just the beginning.  I contracted comfortably with Carsten for about 12 hours.  I knew that there was no way I would be able to handle these contractions for that long. I got out of bed to take a shower thinking the hot water might ease the back pain.  All that I could think was why? Why back labor again???  Lord have mercy.  The contractions continued and they were already lasting around 45 seconds and about 5 minutes apart.  I knew that I probably shouldn’t mess around and so after my shower I went ahead and woke up my husband.  It was funny. I woke him and said, “It’s showtime.” He barely opens his eyes and looks around and says, “Where am I?”  Haha!

We were very fortunate to have my mother staying with us.  She was there to stay with our 2 year old, Carsten, just in case we had to leave in the middle of the night. I go to tell her the news and she is beyond excited. I walk around packing some last minute items while Craig gets ready. The contractions are already so strong that they stop me dead in my tracks.

2:00 am

We say our goodbyes and walk out the door. I look up at the sky and shining bright was a full moon. All that I could think about was how upon our return, we would be a family of four.

Our original plan was to get a hotel room so that we could be closer to the hospital, but the contractions just kept getting closer and stronger. I call my Doctor and let them know the situation and they tell me to head on to labor and delivery.

2:30 am

We arrive to the hospital.  As we casually take the long walk to the women’s center it feels a bit surreal that we are going through this all over again.   Strangely, I am calm and even a bit nonchalant.  Maybe it was a ‘been there and done that’ sort of mentality.  It seems that my contractions have slowed down and I begin to get worried that they may send me home.  We go into triage and the nurse hooks me up and examines me. I am 6 cm dilated.  As with Carsten, my contractions were very irregular.  The nurse asked me if I was planning on getting an epidural and at this point I was still unsure.  I wanted so badly to experience a medicine free childbirth.  I wanted to actually feel what the woman’s body goes through during this miracle.  Everything except the pain of course.  I ended up telling her yes.


Our room is finally ready so we follow the nurse to the delivery room.  I am exhausted and all that I want to do is sleep.  My new nurse gets me all set up with the monitor and some fluids and we wait for the anesthesiologist to come…which seems to take forever.  Remember when I said that I was super calm.  Well, for some reason it all changed.  I felt calm on the inside, but my whole body was shaking.  I think it was because I was getting a little nervous or maybe excited?  My nurse was very sweet and bragged on the doctor who would be giving me my epidural.  He finally came and the epidural administration went smoothly.  At last, I could get some rest.  My nurse helped me to get all situated and she placed this huge peanut shaped balloon between my legs to help the baby move down.  I was comfy…had my praise and worship music on and was ready for a nap.


I wake up to something uncomfortable in my back.  I try to ignore it, but it just would not go away.  I called my nurse to help me readjust myself.  I have her help me roll over to my right side and the uncomfortable feeling turns into pain.  It felt like a knife was stabbing me through the right side of my back.  We spend the next 30-45min trying to ease my pain.  I told myself that I would not push the epidural bolus button, but I did…3 times.  It did not touch it.  I tell the nurse that I am pretty certain that my epidural was not working on the right side.  She then says to me, “Well honey, you are in labor…so you are going to feel a little pain.”  Oh my gosh…that was not the right thing to say to me.  I kept my mouth shut, but all that I could think of was that I had NO pain whatsoever with my first baby.


My nurse finally calls the anesthesiologist back to give me a larger bolus of the medicine.  In my heart, I knew that it wasn’t going to work.  Still, I was hopeful.  He comes in and I tell him that all of my pain is on my right side and he jokes that he brought in some right sided pain medicine.  Everyone laughs except for me.


I was right.  The extra dose of medicine did not touch the pain.  Craig did his best getting me through it and trying to make me comfortable, but I finally broke.  The tears came rolling.  I am not sure if I was crying from the pain or from the disappointment.  I think it was from fear of not knowing exactly how long I was going to have to endure this type of pain.


The midwife on call walks in to check on me.  I have never met her and I didn’t even care.  The tears were still streaming down my face.  She checks to see how far along I was.  She pops up from under the sheet and says…”Umm…your ready to have a baby.”  I was 10cm, fully effaced, AND my water had broke.  I kind of feel like my nurse dropped the ball on that one, but that is just my opinion.  All that she said was “really?” with wide eyes.


To make a long story short…I pushed 3 times and baby Mae Belle entered into our world perfectly.  I feel like maybe the fact that my epidural was not working was a bit of a blessing.  I was sort of able to experience what I wanted.  I could feel every contraction and so my body knew exactly when to push. I didn’t even feel her actually coming out…only the contractions.  It was so amazing how quickly the pain subsided once it was over.


The midwife says, “Open your eyes mama.”  They were still closed from pushing and when I open them I see her and the waterworks start back up all over again.  I couldn’t believe that she was finally here.  They immediately put her in my arms and all was right with the world again.







This is probably the most boring birth story ever written, but looking back I am so very pleased with my entire experience.  Aside from the epidural mishap, it all went so smoothly and I am beyond thankful for that.  She was healthy and nursing beautifully so we only had to stay in the hospital for one night.

It is three months later and we have all adjusted well to our little Mae Belle.  By the way, she is named after my late grandmother.  I miss that sweet lady something fierce, but I know that she has angels watching over our little girl.

We are looking forward to watching and helping her grow into a beautiful soul, but already…it is going much too fast.


Photo Credit: Leslie Wells Photography

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