Posted by: Bethany Davis | May 19, 2011

The birthing experience (part 2)

just arrived at the hospital at 11:30 pm

At 12:30 am, the pitocin drip began. I was (naturally) dilated 1.5 cm and 60% effaced, and knew the remainder would be painful with the pitocin. Our adrenaline was also peaking, despite having been awake since 5 am. We dozed on and off until the morning — not expecting to rest again until after our daughter joined us.

Around 5 am, Kate and William joined us. That is, we decided to turn on the royal wedding. 🙂 After all, not everyone gets to have their birthday on such an occasion!

Until about noon we played Racko, watched Zoolander, and talked with our family members who were taking turns visiting. After noon? Well, that’s when things got a little more difficult.

Contractions were peaking around 80%. For hours we implemented techniques from our birthing class. Brian counted me through the contractions, we used an external focal point, did guided imagery exercises, until — I could not longer breathe through the contractions. At this point, I was crying which made Brian cry. I was in a lot of pain, which made Brian be a lot of pain. We were a mess. The nurse checked to see how dilated I was.

Three centimeters.
That meant I had approximately 8-9 hours left of labor. The realization was disheartening. Honestly, the thought of an epidural had already crossed my mind. I had wanted to go all-natural, but was wondering how much more pain I was experiencing due to the pitocin. I had heard it made things “worse,” but this was almost impossible.

mid-afternoon and not feeling so perky

I thought back to the most physically exerting thing I had done previously, which was 3-a-days in pre-season soccer my freshman year at Asbury. I that moment I would have begged our coach to let me switch places and rejoin the team. The pain from labor, at this point, was pretty much unbearable.

Brian and I prayed for wisdom, and discussed the epidural option. My mind was saying no — I really wanted to go all-natural. But, my body was saying “YES! Please! Make it stop!” So, I got an epidural. I remembering asking the nurse how it would take for the anesthesiologist to arrive. “Twenty minutes,” she said. And I wondered how I was going to make it another 20 minutes. Ha! Just think it that had been another 8-9 more hours without the epidural!

After the epidural (which was not as scary as I thought it would be!), I felt like a new woman. I napped for 2 hours (as did Brian). My contractions were hitting 90% and I was smiling. Wow, the wonders the medicine!

Time for a quick caveat, then back to the story…
I realize that blogging about your labor and epidural is not the norm. The path you take be it a home birth or hospital, all-natural or medication, to what OBGYN or midwife you pick, is completely up to the individual. In my mind, I did not “fail” because I deterred from my birthing plan (in fact, the birthing plan was thrown out the window the moment I went to my 37 weeks appointment on Wednesday!). Sweet Vera is here, she is healthy, and she doesn’t care exactly how she got here!

There are too many variables and individual preferences to take a stake on the “one” way to have a baby. I encourage you to keep this is mind when hearing others’ birth stories and/or when constructing your own birthing plan. I wanted to offer my story to help make the topic a little less taboo and let my friends in the ‘real’ deal. And let me tell you, it’s all worth it when you get to hold your little one! 🙂



  1. Very well written, Bethany! I couldn’t agree more. You did Amazing and I’m proud of you! I wouldn’t have done a thing different in your position. I’m glad Vera is here and healthy and thriving! And I’m glad you and Brian are even more bonded together through it all! Xoxo

    P.S. I love that you guys watched Zoolander and the Royal Wedding and played Racko! You should have invited some friends up for a game of Settlers of Catan!! Ha!!

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