Sunday, January 27, 2013

Please Allow Me to Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest: Labor Stories

First, some fun news. Someone nominated my blog for Misha Gericke's My First Book Paying Forward blogger awards. There are so many talented and motivational bloggers out there, so I am especially flattered that I am one of four nominees for having the Best Writing and/or Inspirational Blog. Click here for more details and to see the nominated bloggers of all four categories. Thanks and sweet potato fries to Misha for organizing this!

Thanks and crispy BLT sandwiches to fellow bloggers Elise Fallson, Stephen Tremp, Carolyn Brown, Mark Koopmans for hosting the Please Allow Me to Re-introduce Myself Blogfest. On Elise's blog, she explains:   
I think it's a wonderful opportunity for many of us blogger to re-introduce ourselves to our readers both new and old as well as to the ever-expanding blogging community. So on January 28th, feel free to take a moment and tell us something interesting about yourself....It can be anything...

Well, lately, I've been brainstorming ideas for another WIP, and this story involves at least one childbirth scene.  So naturally, I've been thinking about my own experiences with labor. I don't know if this really qualifies as "something interesting about myself" but here it is--I had natural births with both my children. No doula either time.  

While I was in labor with my first child,  I'd arrived to the hospital partially dilated, breathless and whimpering from the heavy, excruciating contractions. By the time the nurse finished jotting down my curt, stammering responses to her intake questions, I'd become fully dilated. I pleaded for an epidural but was told I couldn't get one.

There were tears. More contractions. Some  pushing. More tears. Contractions and more pushing. And then I met my daughter.

While I was pregnant with my second child, I did some reading about natural birth and decided to try for one again, this time by choice. Last April, I was near the end of my third trimester. In addition to preparing for the new baby, I was also busy with the Blogging A to Z Challenge.  I was due to give birth in early May and I was seriously worried that if I went into early labor before the month of April ended, I wouldn't be able to complete the challenge! 

A week after I published my post for Day Z-sigh of relief- I was back at the hospital. I didn't fully dilate as quickly this time around, but I still refused the epidural. My decision came with hours of ruthless contractions and again, more tears. But at the end of the ordeal, I met my son.

My babies are growing fast.

Moms and Dads, what was the craziest part of your labor experience(s)? I respect everyone's birthing choices and experiences-- I'd love to hear stories about people who've had epidurals, C-sections, home births, etc...

For those of you who don't have children, feel free to share an experience dealing with labor (not the birthing kind) that was challenging for you.


Mark Means said...

Recently married (for the first time) but no kids as of yet. We are working on it, though :)

My mom always tells the story of how she was in labor for 24 hours with me and that I was 9lbs. 13 ounces...which I wouldn't wish on anyone.

I think the hardest "labor" I ever did was when I was about 17 and a guy hired me and a friend to, actually, dig ditches. It was only in his back yard, but was tough!

Well done on the A to Z challenge, too :)

Elise Fallson said...

Oh, I had a crazy delivery too. My first was 6 weeks early and the anesthesiologist botched the epidural and I ended feeling nothing along the left side of my body, but EVERYTHING down my right. It was awful. For my second, I decided against the epi, but went through 7 hours of hell. Anyway, both are healthy now and that is all I can ask but I think I'll stop at two kids, lol.

Thanks for participating in the bolgfest! It was nice to re-meet you. (:

T Drecker said...

Mine were fast, 2-4 hours (thank heavens!) All natural births too. Nope, no pain killers. The first three were huge babies, all over 9 1/2 lbs. Luckily, my last was a normal 7lbs, which my back really appreciated :)
Thanks for sharing. Glad to re-meet you!

Anonymous said...

My first baby took 13 hours, the second 4 hours and the third 5 hours, strange that going through childbirth many never really remember the pain.Yet a toothache one does.


Anonymous said...

My wife had epideruls. It was wither that or she would crush my hands into powder. Thanks for sharing yourself with us!

Unknown said...

I've had three kids, but only used drugs with the first one. He was very premature, and the drugs hadn't kicked in before he came flying out. With babies #2 and #3, there was also not enough time. I barely made it to the hospital in time. Fortunately I was planning to go natural either way. Though I did have second thoughts with #2. I had heard about the ring of fire, but never knew what it really mean until trying to push him in. There is no ring of fire with a baby who is 3 months premature. :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

In my first pregnancy, my water broke, and that was followed by 24 hours of no progress. Pitocin came into the picture, but the baby did not move toward the birth canal. It all ended in an emergency c-section. This was followed by days of racking back pain, because I'd apparently strained all my back muscles in fruitless labor.

The second pregnancy was a planned c-section, because the doctor considered me a risk. Once contractions started, I sailed into the hospital with a smile and was holding my baby 30 minutes later. Recovering from the second surgery was a piece of cake, because everything went so smoothly.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Cynthia,
Based on what women go through, I lift my hat to the women of old who had large families. Had to get a stitch put in, and even then, my son came nearly a month before he was due.

Laura S. said...

The hardest labor I had was last semester my senior year of college. The final six weeks before graduation were packed with papers, tests, projects, presentations and it was exhausting. Plus I was planning my wedding, too. The day after graduation I slept for two days. My body was physically and mentally taxed!

Unknown said...

Two all natural deliveries for me. First one hurt like hell, the second was like a party. Interesting to note the personalities of the two are the exact opposite. Hmmm.
Always fun to stop by your place. I feel like we're new neighbors! Please come on by the nut-tree for a crispy BLT with fresh basil from the garden--ummm, in July.
~Just Jill

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Our first baby was a ten-pounder, and I was in labor (with no drugs) for a very long time before the doctor ordered me to have an X-ray. (Nothing like trying NOT to push when every muscle in your body is screaming PUSH... just so they could take a stupid picture.) Long story short, our son was stuck. And in distress. So, I had an emergency C-section. Next two children were also delivered by C-section, and well in advance of their due date. Best labor ever? Being in the delivery room a couple years ago when our twelfth grandchild was born.

Nice to meetcha, Cynthia.

Unknown said...

My own labors weren't that eventful but I did write a childbirth scene into a historical fiction YA and I teach a women's studies class where we watch The Business of Being born and I have a doula in to answer student's questions. If you haven't seen it, do! How fun to introduce ourselves to someone new! Check us out at

Tara Tyler said...

love your story! my 2nd came so fast i couldnt have epi either... we with 1yo, were sharing a tiny two bed, 1 bath house w/my brother inlaw waiting for our house to sell 600 miles away. while hub was on phone with realtor, my water broke & we got an offer =)

Unknown said...

Reading your labor story was like reliving my own. I had the same, 'you've dilated too much' experience with my first and was better prepared for the second. I agree, the babies are growing way too fast.

Jackie said...

I have four sons so the deliveries were somewhat different, but my 2nd son arrived so fast that a first year resident delivered him (since the doctor wasn't their yet.)
Thanks for sharing your story. And nice to re-meet you. :)

Nicole said...

Hmm, no labor stories from me yet.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My labor stories are pretty short. First two were long, fruitless labors, one was a day and a half, ending in C sections. The next two kids were planned C sections.
Nice to meet you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Thanks for your visit and joining my followers.
I too will be doing the A to Z in April. I have done them all and I was the first to sign up on the very first one. Last year my brother and myself went to LA and met up with Arlee Bird, he is a wonderful person, he took us around Hollywood and surrounding areas, what a great day that was.
Look forward to read more from you in the future.

michelle said...

One son. Quick and almost painless labour... about 2-4hours. Natural birth with stitches and no fancy drugs/ painkillers.
Nice to re-meet you, Cynthia.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

I had natural births each time as well. Seems so long ago now.

Christine Rains said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us. I'm jealous of all the fast birthings. I was in labor for two and a half days with my son. Finally, just exhausted, I agreed to the epidural, and not long after, I had that beautiful baby in my arms.

Nick Wilford said...

Well, I do regret not being fully focussed on the moment my daughter came out of my wife (c-section), because I was trying to take a picture and that was the moment the battery decided to die. But I got to hold her a few seconds later and it was still the most amazing thing I've ever seen!

DL Hammons said...

As far as labor is concerned...if it were up to me I'd be stoned the entire time. I really admire women for what they go through. :)

Nice meeting you!

Jessica Salyer said...

My son's birth was scaring cause he was early, but all three where great... epidural included. :)

Livia Peterson said...

It's nice getting to know you better and meeting you, Cynthia! *shakes hands*

Unknown said...

Wow, Cynthia! First off, hand claps for you and your bravery. I have one kiddo, an eight-year-old, girl, and I was given an epidural, but because I was trying to make the Dr. feel like she was doing a good job, (I told her I felt better already, the instant the needle went in, and she took it literally) she turned my life-saving epi down, and it didn't kill all the pain. With that being said, I don't know how anybody has the guts to go natural because it hurts w/drugs and epi's. So, you're my new hero. It's great to meet you! :)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Cynthia,

SO nice to meet you, and congrats on the nomination!

No, kids here, but what a great experience to write about. There is nothing more beautiful than the birth of an amazing new life!

Cynthia Heart Books said...

Mark: Congratulations on your marriage! Your mom sounds like a strong woman.

Elise: 7 hours can feel like 7 days when you're in labor!

T. Drecker: That's wonderful that you had such short labors!

Yvonne: I think most people try not to remember the pain...unless they're thinking of writing about childbirth in a story...

Stephen: Glad your hands didn't get crushed into powder!

Stina: It's so intense when you barely make it to the hospital in time, isn't it!

Dianne: I'm so glad your second childbirth experience went smoothly.

J.L: I too admire how women in labor pulled through before all these technologies and medical advancements came about.

Laura: Sounds like you had a lot on your plate during that time!

Jill: "The second was like a party" did you pull that off?!

Susan: A ten-pound newborn, WOW! How awesome is it that you got to be there when your grandchild arrived!

Juliet: Thanks for the film recommendation.

Tara: So much happening all at one time!

Jenn: So you know how that was like!

Jackie: I'm so relieved to hear that a resident was there to help you with your second child.

Nicole: That's okay!

Cynthia Heart Books said...

Susan: Thanks for sharing...nice to meet you too!

Yvonne: Hello again...I look forward to reading more from you, especially in April.

Michelle: Glad it went smoothly for you.

Ruth: Time flies, doesn't it!

Christine: Two and a half days of labor...WOW!

Nick: Isn't it amazing when you hold your child for the first time?

DL: It's a tough job.

Jessica: Glad things went smoothly for you!

Livia: *shakes hands back*

Celeste: Sorry to hear that the epidural didn't get rid of all your pain!

Michael: Thank you!

Misha Gerrick said...

No labor stories from me, since I'm still childless. :-D

Anonymous said...

I don't have any labor stories, but I believe I'd go the way of the epidural.

Sherry Ellis said...

I did natural with my first. Ouch! And I opted for an epidural with my second - and almost passed out. My blood pressure went down really low, and all the nurses and doctors came rushing into the room. My husband totally freaked out! They pumped me up with a mega-dose of fluids, and I resumed consciousness. It was kind of a scary experience.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well, obviously no births, and no kids. Admire anyone who takes on the roll of parent though.
And congratulations on the nomination. Someone nominated me as well for supportive blogger.

Azara said...

Sweet potato fries, crispy BLT sandwiches...mmm! Congrats on your nomination.

My first baby was breech and I had a scheduled c-section at 41 weeks (they thought she had flipped and she hadn't). My 5-month-old son was born by scheduled c-section at 39w2d. Both experiences were perfect - virtually painless and I was able to cuddle and nurse them very shortly afterward.

I feel sad when I see women who are terrified of having a c-section, or are traumatized by having had one when they didn't want one. It isn't a bad experience for everyone (although if you had an emergency c-section because the baby was in distress, that would be really scary).

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I never had children, but I was a foster parent for 4 years. It was a big learning experience, and beyond that of just learning to cope with kids. Foster kids come with issues you can't even imagine.

Trisha said...

Well, my mum didn't have any drugs either - and she had us both at home! :)

Jay Noel said...

I told my friends, my worst fear would be the cord being wrapped around my son's neck. So when my first child was born, the cord was wrapped around his neck. Oh, and they couldn't let him breathe because he'd aspirate the meconium. Ugh. The delivery room had our OB and his nurse, a specialist and his nurse, an ambulance trainee to observe, and a couple other nurses. I was a wreck.

Tammy Theriault said...

maybe your birthing scene will be like those videos where they try to scare teens with...haha! good luck!

Cynthia Heart Books said...

Misha: That's okay!

Medeia: Sounds like a plan.

Sherry: That does sound pretty scary! Glad you're okay now.

Alex: Congratulations on YOUR nomination!

Azara: Glad to hear your labor experiences went so smoothly!

L. Diane: I could see that. Thanks for sharing.

Trisha: Your mother sounds brave!

Jay: Oh my, that must've been scary.

Tammy: I'll figure that out once I get started with the WIP. Thanks!

kjmckendry said...

I've had one baby each way, epidural, natural, and c-section. All of them had their advantages and disadvantages.

Mark K said...

So good to meet you - and no, I don't have kids, it sounds too traumatic!

Kern Windwraith said...

My daughter's birth was a bit of a gong show, but in spite of that, it remains one of the most joyous experience of my life.

Nice to meet you!

Shannon Lawrence said...

The craziest parts of my labors were how fast they went from check-in at the hospital and delivery: 3 hours and 1 1/2 hours. With the second delivery, I'd brought a DVD player and Breakfast Club to watch during labor. We turned it on, I went into transition, I finished before the movie was finished. Great soundtrack to a birth, by the way...

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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