Hey mamas! Welcome to the eighteenth post in my Honest Birth series! I’m excited to share another real mama’s birth story, because I think it’s so important to share our childbirth experiences with each other. My goal with this series is to provide a place for women to share their birth stories without holding anything back, as well as compile stories for pregnant mamas to read in preparation for their own childbirth experiences. Every mama is different and every birth is different, and I believe that when we share our stories we help each other.
Today I am featuring my new friend Jessica! Jessica and her husband just moved from Texas (like us!) to Utah with their three children (two girls and a boy). Her husband is a family medicine resident (just like my husband!) and she is a Registered Nurse and worked in labor and delivery for five years, but now being a mother is her top priority. Two months ago, Jessica started the blog All Birth Stories to create a space to educate and prepare women for their birth story and provide a place to share their experiences to celebrate their birth stories (very similar to what I’m doing with my Honest Birth series!). Today, Jessica is sharing the epidural hospital birth story of her son, Benson.
Ready to read all about her son’s story? Here we go!
The Birth Story of Benson Larsen
I love reflecting on my sons birth. He is 4 months old and my third child. I like to summarize stories in my head. I love putting titles to stories. If I had to summarize Bensons birth story with one word, it would be described as “surprise”.
Surprise you are pregnant! (We struggled for a long time to get our second child and it wasn’t it our planning right at that moment to have another. Our first and second children are 3 ½ years apart. When we found out we were pregnant right after our second daughter’s first birthday, we were in complete shock).
We have two little girls. Our house is pink and princesses. I come from a family of all girls. I only know drama. My husband has a sister and no brothers. He knows how to be an awesome girl dad. So… Surprise you are having a boy! I didn’t cry at my other ultrasound appointments. However, my husband and I were emotional when it was announced we would add a little boy to our family. I felt something special was coming.
My first two pregnancies I went to the doctors at 38 weeks and I was 3cm dilated, babies were low and ready to deliver. Both doctors set up induction dates immediately. 39-week appointment with my son, Surprise! Your cervix is closed, baby is really high up and you are definitely not ready to deliver. While walking away from this unexpected appointment, my thoughts raced, “this is my third baby??” “Shouldn’t I be dilated even earlier than my girls, not later??” Both my girls were induced at 39 weeks and 2 days. Surprise, no induction, you need to wait. My personality loves plans. I love knowing the next step. Calendars are my jam. I thrive off of order. I don’t love surprises when it comes to my life.. Benson was definitely teaching me many lessons with his surprises.
When 39 weeks and 2 days past, I became restless. Every minute of every day I was thinking about the unknown of him coming. Every step I took, I would imagine if it was the last step I would take before my water broke. It was consuming my thoughts. Not knowing the day was giving me anxiety. (dramatic much?) For the next week I walked everywhere. I walked around my neighborhood and walked till sometimes I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I would park at the very back of Target’s parking lot by choice and waddle into the store. I had a doctor’s appointment at 39 weeks and 5 days. I was finally dilated to a 3!! My doctors response was “you’ve been walking, haven’t you?!” I sat up and literally laughed out loud because that was exactly what I had been doing. We set up an induction for the day after my due date and finally my nerves were calmed a bit.
I worked in Labor and Delivery for 5 years. My days in the hospital have ruined the desire for me to feel labor… I’ve seen too much. In the past, I jumped on the epidural and never truly felt a contraction. On the morning of my due date with Benson (Feb 21st ), I woke up at 6am with a jolt of pain shooting down in my pelvic area. After a few minutes, it went away, and I fell back asleep. 30 min later it came back, and it was so sharp I couldn’t keep laying down. I jolted out of bed onto my feet. My first initial reaction was the baby is sitting wrong inside of me and I need to stand up and move him around – he must be pinching a nerve. Then when the shooting sensation came on again 30 minutes later, the light bulb turned on, this might be contractions. I had had many months of contractions, that obviously weren’t doing anything to my cervix.
These were different, much lower, and the obvious, much more painful. Floods of emotions overcame me as I realized what was going on. Here he goes again, surprising me! I had never felt labor pains before, I always made it to my induction at the hospital and got the epidural pronto. When it dawned on me that I was starting labor, I jumped in the shower. I wanted to get a shower in if I could. (If you have the option to shower for your nurses, they will thank you later! If not, they have seen it ALL so they will survive too, haha). Luckily, I got my shower in, threw a few things in a bag, and grabbed my husband to head to the hospital. We arrived at the triage area about noon. By this time, the contractions were about 3-5 min apart and the pain was becoming so strong. (I sat here for a while trying to think of a good way to describe “strong” and could not come up with another word!) I did not want to lie in bed! When I felt a contraction starting, I would pause what I was doing, clench my eyes shut, think of the end result of the baby coming out, and squeeze whatever was near (husband, bed sheets). My thoughts raced back to when I was working and helping women with labor support. Rarely did a woman want to labor unmedicated laying on her back in a bed, and now I knew why!!! I literally couldn’t stand the feeling of lying in bed! I hurt way less and took pressure off of my back to stand up.
The nurse checked me, I was 5 cm dilated/ 90% effaced and baby low. She told me they were keeping me, checked me in and took me to my room. Everything seemed to happen so fast. My doctor broke my water, I got my epidural, felt sudden pressure, nurse checked me, doctor came in running and panting out of breath, one push, and within 3 hours of getting admitted, I was
holding a fresh new piece of heaven.
This whirlwind of labor and delivery left me in shock. I had no words as I held this perfect baby boy (BOY!, I still can’t believe I have a boy!). He’s beautiful, healthy, and I sat there in awe with how the universe works. My heart grew as held the fifth member of our family.
Even though he is my third child, even if I thought I had it all figured out, surprises still happen. There are and were so many moments where I feel like a “first-time mom”. I wouldn’t trade any of it. Four months into his life he is still teaching me. I love my Benson and all the learning he brings. I want order in my life and God sends me surprises.
Photography by Sarah Jenson
Wasn’t that amazing? I loved how she talked about all the different ways her son surprised her during pregnancy and his birth! And it really is crazy how different your labors can be with each of your children! Thanks so much to Jessica for sharing her story on the Honest Birth series! Make sure you check out her blog and follow her on Instagram! And don’t forget to check back again later this month because I’ll have another Honest Birth post going up!