Thursday, May 10, 2012

Elijah Jon - My Birth Story

Our son, Elijah came into this world on May 4th, 2012 at 4:18 AM. He weighed 8 lbs, 1 oz and was 21.5 inches long. He is perfectly healthy and SUCH a good baby.

My birth story is truly a testament to lots of prayer, chiropractic care and is definitely a miracle. God blessed us with such a beautiful experience.

On Wednesday night, May 2nd, around 3:00 AM I woke up with some strong feeling contractions. They weren't super painful, but they were definitely different than I had felt before. I tried to not focus on them and to get some rest, as I knew that was the most important thing if I was going into labor soon. The contracts came and went until about 8:00 AM, but they never got stronger or closer together. Around 8:00 AM on Thursday, the contracts had stopped all together. At this point, I was more than a week over due, and I was bummed that progress seemed to stop.

We had an appointment with our Midwives scheduled for Thursday anyway, so we went in to see how things were progressing. We met with Nicole and student midwife, Kim. They said that most likely things would pick up again that night, after the sun went down. They wanted us to try and get lots of rest that day. They offered to check my progress and see if anything was going on down there. I was happy to let them. When they checked me at around 11:00 AM, I was 2 centimeters dilated, but still had about 3.5 centimeters of cervix left, which meant I had a ways to go. Our midwives recommend we get some Evening Prim Rose Oil and start taking that to help with thinning my cervix.

I took three evening prim rose pills when we got home, and decided to lay down and take a nap. I woke up around 4 PM having some contractions. I tried not to get my hopes up, as I knew my body still had a ways to go. They contractions kept coming, so around 5 PM, Mike and I started timing them to see if they were consistent. They were coming every 5-7 minutes and were lasting about 45 seconds. My contractions at this point were uncomfortable and definitely present, but nothing that I couldn't breath my way through. The contractions stayed at about 5 minutes apart and 45 seconds to a minute a part until around 8 PM. During this time we watched two different movies and tried to stay distracted. We decided to call our midwives and let them know about what was happening.

They said that it sounded like things were progressing nicely and recommended that I keep moving around and getting as much rest as possible. They wanted us to call back when the contractions got more intense or were in a 4, 1, 1 pattern (4 minutes apart, 1 minute long, for at least one hour). Around 10:00 PM, the contractions started getting a lot stronger. They were harder to just breath through and I had to keep moving to distract myself. We kept timing the contractions, and at this point they were 3.5-4 minutes apart and getting very strong. We called the midwives around 11:00 PM, and they said it was time to head in to the birthing center. They wanted us to meet them there at midnight.

As we were getting ready to leave for the birthing center, my contractions got a lot stronger. As we were leaving, my body started getting the urge to push, which was a new feeling. I told Mike we better get there fast!

When we pulled up to the birthing center, my contractions were coming every 3 minutes and were very intense. Tonya was the midwife on call that night, and student midwives, Terah and Kim were there as well. They had the room (room 1) all set up for us and the first thing they did when we got there was check my progress to see how far along I was. I was hoping that they would give us good news, as I was not ready to go back home and have to come back! When they checked I was 6 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced. They said that my progress was great and the baby was on his way!

Mike called my parents, his mom and my best friend to come meet us at the birthing center, as I wanted them there for the labor and delivery. I labored from midnight until about 2:00 AM, with my contractions getting closer and closer together, and much more intense. At this point, however, my water still hadn't broken. The pressure on my back and bum were getting really intense, and I knew I must be getting close, as the pressure was almost too much to bear. I was laboring in the birthing tub at this point, and with a very strong contraction, I felt a "pop" and knew right away my water had broken. Immediately, the contractions changed in intensity and feeling. I had officially transferred to the pushing stage. My whole body started to get the urge to push with every contraction. It felt nice to have break from the contraction pain, and to know that things were progressing forward.

Around 3:00 AM, Our midwives recommended I move from the tub to the birthing stool, as the baby had one little bump to get over still, and it would be the best position to get him around that. I started pushing on the birthing stool and pushing with all my might. I was tired and shaking, but I knew that our baby was SO close to being born. Each time a contraction came, I used all my might to push as hard as I could. It was definitely a 2 steps forward, 1 step back process. I could feel his head pushing lower, and then when the contraction ended, moving back up. Finally, with one BIG push, the "ring of fire" started. Holy cow, no one can prepare you for that feeling. I wanted to cry, but tried to remember that it was ALMOST the end. I pushed harder, and Eli's head came out, and the rest of his body followed, without needing another push.

Michael was able to catch the baby, and the midwives noticed that his cord was already done pulsing. They had Mike cut his umbilical cord right away. My placenta had already disconnected from my body, and it easily fell out with just a small push.

As soon we saw our boy, Michael and I were both in tears. He was so perfect and healthy.

The best part? Elijah was born on Mike's 31st birthday. Eli waited until dad's birthday to be born. May 4th is officially the most important day of our lives!

I honestly cannot say enough good things about our midwives and students. They were SUCH a huge support and coached us through the birthing process perfectly. They never intruded in the process, but made the best recommendations and offered so much support. I am so thankful to each one of them. I am so impressed with Puget Sound Birthing Center. We will definitely be going back when we decide to have another.

While birthing naturally was definitely intense, I wouldn't have had it any other way. It is such a miracle to be able to feel every part of the birthing process, and the sense of accomplishment after the baby was born is a feeling I wouldn't trade for the world.

Michael was such a HUGE support during the entire process; praying for me, holding me, calming me, and encouraging me. I could not have done this without his amazing support and love.

We are so blessed to have this baby! He is so calm, already sleeping 3-4 hours at a time, and is never fussy. He poops every time he eats and cracks us up with his silly faces. Our hearts are SO full and bursting with love.


  1. Congratulations!!!! He's beautiful. Love the name. God bless you as you start this new chapter in your life.

  2. I love this Angela! I want to have a natural birth too. Dan and I are reading the book 'Husband Coached Childbirth' and getting as prepared as possible. It is encouraging to hear your story, as I actually don't have many friends at all who went the natural route... all opted for an epidural. So excited for you guys!

  3. Wow Angela!!! That is beautiful!!! What an amazing woman you are! I honestly can't imagine going the natural route! I truely admire the strength in women to do that! I wasn't one. :) What a beautiful little boy you have and welcome to this amazing world of motherhood!!

  4. Angela, you were magnificent! It was SO beautiful to watch your incredible mother love empower you to give yourself so sacrificially with such strength and grace that your son might have the best birth possible. I salute you and love you very much.

  5. Congratulations Dr Weir!, Elijah looks really cute. Hello World Elijah.

  6. Joann O'TooleJune 19, 2012 at 10:47 PM

    Congratulations Dr. Weir! You will be an outstanding father to your beautiful baby boy. My son was also born on my birthday and it is indeed something very, very special! God Bless you and your new addition to your family. Children change your life forever but for the "better".