Posted by: monsonmadness | March 11, 2013

Grace’s birth story

Grace is one week old today and it’s about time I got her birth photos up here. I had great intentions of writing a fantastic blog about her birth, and every day I’ve sat at the computer and no words have come out. I’m not sure if it’s too personal or what, but for some reason I just don’t feel like writing about it! Sorry.

What I’ll do is list all the facts of what happened, and maybe later I’ll write another blog about the more personal/spiritual side of things and why I chose to deliver naturally.

Here we go…

On the evening of Saturday 2nd March, Michael had been asleep on the couch for a couple of hours while I watched several episodes of “Everybody Loves Raymond”. I turned off the TV and we went to bed. Michael fell right back asleep. Just before 10pm, I started having contractions. It was weird because they weren’t like the consistent, not very painful ones I had experienced in previous labors. These ones were spread apart, but very intense. I was only having them every 15 minutes or so, so I didn’t wake Michael up, and just dealt with them on my own. The pain was bad enough that I couldn’t sleep through them, and even had to concentrate to really breathe through each one.

By about 4am, I couldn’t handle it any more, and knew this was going to be the day that Grace would be born. I came upstairs and got on the computer to send the email to our family and a face book update that I was in labor. Back downstairs, I woke up Michael and told him that he wouldn’t be able to attend his 7am church meeting that morning, and that I needed him to put pressure on my back during contractions. I waited until 4.30am to call my doula Katie, as well as Michael’s Mom to come over to watch the kids.

My doula Katie was driving from Orem, and didn’t arrive until around 5.40am. By now, the contractions were about 6-7 minutes apart, but were really bad, and Michael was doing his best to relieve some of the pressure. I was over the moon to see Katie!

Unfortunately, we were not able to get hold of Michael’s Mom! We tried her cell, her home phone and texting, but no answer. We started to panic that something had happened to them, but tried to focus on the moment.

Our plan was to labor at home as long as possible, and then make the 20 minute drive to Park City Medical Center for the delivery. I didn’t want to have a horrible car ride, so I didn’t want to leave it too late.

The pain was getting worse, and when I started throwing up because of the pain, we knew we were getting close. My contractions moved very quickly to 1-2 minutes apart and we knew we had to get to the hospital right away. We finally got a hold of Michael’s Mom just before 7am and she headed up the canyon. (turns out she had accidentally turned her ringer off!)

It was hard being at home at this point because the kids were awake and kept coming into the room, asking for breakfast etc and it was hard to concentrate on focusing on each contraction. We kept laboring at home until 7.30am when we knew we couldn’t wait any longer. I was so focused on not having this baby in the car, and knew we had to leave right away. I left with Katie, her driving the 20 minute journey in only 13 minutes, and me kneeling on the floor in the front seat of the car working through four more contractions on my own (and yes, throwing up some more!) Michael stayed home and waited for his Mom to arrive. He made pancakes for the kids and wondered if he would make it in time…

Katie and I got to the hospital at 7.45am and I was in trouble. I couldn’t face sitting in a wheelchair, but I could only walk a few feet at a time. We finally made it up to labor and delivery and I was scared the nurses wouldn’t think I was in labor because I was silent. Being quiet was the only way for me to get through the contractions.

When they checked me, I was discouraged to hear I was only dilated to 7cm. I didn’t think I could handle several more hours of the pain, and was certain that because of the throwing up, I had been closer to transition. I threw up again, then continued to work through the contractions.

Michael showed up at 8am and wasn’t sure what role to take! The room was full of females…me, Katie, two nurses, and the on-call OB who came in quickly in her jogging clothes. I remember soon after Michael arrived, he must have felt uneasy with the silence, and so as I’m working through an excruciating contraction, he calls out to the doctor, “So…are you busy today?”. He broke my concentration and I yelled out, “MICHAEL…SSSSHHHHHHH”. Silence again, phew! When the contraction was over, I apologized and let him know plainly that he was not to talk during contractions!

In between other contractions, I would whimper, “this hurts, this really hurts”, and then focus again as the next one came. I told Katie that I felt like I needed to push, and I was given the go ahead. My water broke as I was working through contractions and then the OB said that I should try to birthing stool. I came down off the bed and sat on it with Michael straddling behind me to support me, and I started to push.

I had been determined that I wouldn’t be a “screamer”, but when the excruciating pain of pushing came, I really wanted to scream! Instead, I yelled out (and it seems hilarious now), “Ow, this REALLY hurts!” Duh! I also shouted out several times, “She doesn’t fit, she’s breaking me!” Oh dear.

After 15 minutes of pushing (and only 45 minutes after arriving at the hospital), the baby was born. Unlike my other births, she wasn’t whisked away by nurses, but was placed on me skin-to-skin for as long as I wanted (which turned out to be not so long because I still had the placenta to deliver and needed stitches as well!).

The nurses were relaxed and the room was calm the whole time. There is no way on the earth I could have done this without my doula. She was amazing.

The baby scored a 9 and a 10 on her Apgars and was as healthy as can be. We named her Grace Elena (pronounced Elayna) which is Samoan for Helen. She was 8lbs 2oz, and 21 inches long.

The hospital and staff were amazing. To me, it is such a miracle that things worked out the way that they did. I was having real problems with my OB (understatement) who wasn’t letting me choose how I wanted to birth my baby. He went out of town on Saturday, and that’s when I went into labor! I had no idea who would be on call, but having freedom to move around, no IV,  no stirrups etc was amazing. The OB let me do whatever I wanted, she was just there to catch the baby!

My hospital stay was short but sweet. I stayed overnight and came home the next day. Of course, you know me, I loved the food more than anything. Having room service at my beck and call was awesome. They also made a congratulations dinner for me and Michael, we chose steak and salmon and had yummy cheesecake for dessert. The view from my private room was pretty amazing too, and did I mention that I had the whole maternity ward to myself?

Grandma brought the kids in for a visit and Grace had her first experience being mauled! Check out the photo of her flailing with several kids’ hands all over her! Poor thing. The kids all adored her though and could hardly wait for her to come home. My friend Addie also drove down from Kaysville to visit.

It was an unreal experience, and we are so blessed to have another sweet child in our family. Welcome to the world Grace!



  1. Congratulations! You are both so beautiful! I’m so glad you were able to have the experience you wanted! (Perhaps a little more painful than you wanted, but still!) I’m sure you’ll be ready for a trip to Oregon really soon! Actually, we’ll be in Utah this summer for a wedding – maybe we can see you guys!

    • A road trip sounds awesome, but meeting in Utah sounds doable!!!! When are you coming?

  2. Aawwwwwww!!! So sweet!!! Ellie is only 8 months old but I see your sweet Grace and another sweet new baby who belongs to a friend of mine and I want another baby! lol. Oh dear.

    I would love to hear your other version of your birth story that you alluded to in the first paragraph, if you ever feel like sharing it! I’ve often wondered if I could do natural births. I never had any pain with Stockton ever but got the shot “just in case.” With Ellie, I hurt a lot but I didn’t get an epidural until l I was at a 9 and even then it only worked on half of me so I got another one. Come to think of it – I got 2 epidurals with both of my children! I think I could have done it without it. Anyhow. Your thought process would be interesting! 🙂 Love you guys, Helen. You’re terrific parents 🙂

  3. awesome experiences, so you shouldn’t make a move up all the beautiful photos, you are such and amazing mother…loads of love..

  4. She’s so cute!! It sounds like the labor went like you were hoping for, so yay! Can’t wait to meet her!!

  5. Oh, Helen! She is just too adorable – but all of your sweet kiddos are =) Congratulations on her arrival – can’t wait to hear more about your experience!

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