{ A Birth Story }

When you have a specific date in mind for something to happen, it’s really hard to get that date out of your mind. Feb. 26, 2014. That was the date. A date that unfortunately came and went without a second thought. A date that for 7 other people in our house was THE date. 7, not 8 because I had one little stinker of a son, Austin that thought that it would be funny (or inspired) to pick March 5 as his due date when we made our baby chain. (More about our baby chain back here when Ryan was born). We all laughed that there was no way that I was going to be a week late. I have always been on my due date or at latest two dates late. We laughed it up, and went on with our countdown to the magic day. When that magic day came and went, we were laughing less, and Austin was grinning from ear to ear. He just knew that he was going to be right.

Every morning and every day after school I was met with disappointed faces from everyone that I was still at home. Everyone was on the lookout for a “contraction face” that I may have, and would question me, “Are you having a contraction?” Their hopeful attitudes were so cute, but unfortunately making the days go very slow. I had been having contractions for the last two weeks, but they would either be strong but not consistent, or consistent and not strong. Our little guy was just very content to stay right where he was.

I had a doctor’s appointment the week before my due date and was happy to be 2cm dilated and about 70% effaced-more progress than I had ever shown in any of my other pregnancies. The doctor’s appointment the day after my due date I was at 3cm, and the doctor’s appointment on March 4, the day before Ethan was born I was 4cm dilated and 75% effaced. We all agreed a mere whiff of Pitocin was all I would need to get things started. They set my induction date for the next morning, March 5-Austin’s guess and at 41 weeks gestation.

That day at my doctor’s appointment the doctor had stripped my membranes which started contractions within the next hour. After a few hours I was sure that I just may not make it to the next morning. We decided to keep ourselves busy and go out to eat at Texas Roadhouse. A little steak and soft rolls was not enough to tempt our sweet little boy out though. He was determined to stay in as long as he was allowed.

We were to call the hospital the next morning at 4am to see if they had a free bed for me to be induced. They did, but suggested we come in at 6:30 after the shift change. Brooke had also woke up at 4am throwing up, so we decided that a little extra time might be good. We had agreed to let the kids stay home from school that day (I’m pretty sure that there would have been not a lot of concentrating by them at school anyways because they would have been so excited), with Brianna and Austin babysitting the younger kids. We headed down to the hospital at about 7am, and got checked in right away. History taken, monitors hooked up, IV in, blood taken for epidural, and epidural in by 9:00am.

I had ice chips and a popsicle and was pretty much as comfortable as I could be. They started the Pitocin at about 10:15am, and gradually upped the dosage every 15-20 minutes or so.

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I was smiling as I would see those big humps on the screen showing the intense contractions I was having, but not feeling one of them. Epidurals are my saving grace. I have given birth once without one with Brooke (not by choice), and boy was it hard. At this point, I was exhausted, felt so uncomfortable, and was just ready for our healthy little boy to be here. I have no shame in using the epidural route. My one issue I have is sometimes getting a pocket on my right side that doesn’t take, getting the shakes, or sometimes throwing up. Okay, that was three issues, but they are minor enough to out way my epidural choice. Lucky for me I didn’t get the shakes or throw up this time. The epidural was working great for awhile and I was all smiles, but don’t be fooled. It quickly went from this…

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…to this.

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At about 12:30 the midwife who was on that would be delivering me (our doctor wasn’t on that day) came in and checked me and broke my water. I was at 7cm and after that things went very fast. A short time before she came in I was starting to have to breathe through the contractions as they would come. There is this magic little button that can administer more medicine through the epidural, and then maxes out after 3? times. In all my pregnancies I have never pushed it. I don’t know why, I guess I feel like if I push it I am being too picky and expecting the epidural to work miracles and take away all the pain. I pushed it once, but was afraid to push it too many more times because the epidural was really working great. It was taking away the pain, but I still had great mobility in my legs. I have had other times when I couldn’t move my legs at all. When my legs started getting more tingly, but the pain wasn’t going away, I figured that I would have to take 2 out 3 of the side effects not happening. I had gotten a pocket that didn’t take, and boy did it start to get painful fast.

After she broke my water, the contractions were much more painful and things moved very quickly. The midwife could tell things were moving much quicker than they had thought. Her guess earlier was that I would deliver at about 2:30pm, and Aaron’s guess was that it would take 6-7 hours-or at about 4 or 5pm. Within about ten minutes I was at 9cm, and she thought if I pushed I would be a ten. Nurses rushed around the room prepping everything for our little boy’s arrival. The midwife has said at the next contraction just push, so I did, and kept pushing, but her and Aaron and the other nurses were just kind of chatting and waiting. Aaron looked over and said, “Are you pushing? You aren’t screaming or anything, just pushing like a champ”. Inside I felt like screaming and dying a little bit. The whole birth experience with Brooke was becoming all too real again, and I pretty much was feeling everything. I guess I was happy that the epidural had gotten me to this point. A few more minutes of pushing and our son was here. At 12:55pm, Ethan Christopher Starbuck was born. He had the cord wrapped around his neck, but had still come out very quickly-he was a bit blue and his poor little face was bruised from being evicted in a much quicker manor than he would have liked. But he was here, and after a few seconds of encouragement he was screaming and letting us know that he was perfect in every way.

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After they weighed him in a 8lbs. 4 ounces, Austin’s birth weight as well, we were sure that him and Austin just might be kindred spirits. His hair was even a bit lighter just like Austin’s was when he was born.

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The midwife who delivered Ethan, Captain DeSantas.

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After eight pregnancies, and eight births, I still get a little choked up when I look at these perfect little beings who get sent to us. They really are miracles in every sense of the word. His hand can barely grasp around just ones of his daddy’s fingers, yet he has a way of fully grasping our hearts in a way that will never make us the same. Just minutes old, and we are already completely in love with the little guy. 


The Austin Family said...

We loved reading your Birth Story. Congratulations again on your precious little boy.

Lisa said...

So exciting! Loved reading the post and seeing all the great pictures. Congrats. Love you guys.

Dre + Drew - Pacific Northwest Living - DuPont, WA said...

Love Monae congrats on your beautiful baby boy!! What a miracle. They are such blessings!! Sure loved the birth story and the beautiful photos!