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Missed Part I?  Here it is!

 

Where did we leave off?  Oh yes.  My water had broken, I had been contracting for seven hours, and I truly believed I’d be holding my baby soon.  That’s when things started to get intense.  Truthfully, the beginning of labor isn’t so bad.  Contractions aren’t long and are far apart; you’re more excited than anything.

 

Case in point:  Look how pulled together I look in this picture.  I was four centimeters.

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A few hours later, labor had begun to pick up steam, and I looked like this:

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So, Part II of Henry’s birth story is pretty different from Part I.  Part I is fun and games.  Part II is serious stuff.  I can’t imagine discussing my natural birth without addressing the ‘too much information’ details because that’s what childbirth is – it’s not pretty, it’s real.  So if you don’t care to read about all my cervix, blood, and other realities of birth, you’ve been forewarned. 

 

Around 11:00 AM, we returned to my delivery room, and I continued to labor in bed for another half hour or so.  Kristien was a great coach, talking me through each contraction and rubbing my lower back to relieve some of the building pressure.  He was full of positive encouragement, saying things like, “You are doing great; your body is doing exactly what it should be; soon we will find out if we’re having a boy or a girl!”  In the movies, women always scream at their husbands, “YOU DID THIS TO ME! I HATE YOU!” but I really could not imagine laboring without Kristien there beside me. 

 

My pain really started to pick up, so he turned on some music (I listened to the Dave Matthews Band station on Pandora for hours) and suggested that I get into the Jacuzzi tub.  The idea of getting out of the bed to move to the bath wasn’t appealing, but so many women have told me that laboring in a tub feels a lot better, so I decided to give it a shot.  He filled the tub with lukewarm water, and I climbed in. 

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It was amazing.  The water took away so much of the pressure associated with each contraction. 

 

I got into the tub at 1:00 PM, and soon enough, I started to go through transition.  I am extremely glad that I went through Bradley Method classes because I knew what was happening to my body – otherwise, I would’ve been really freaked out by how much labor suddenly picked up in intensity.  Transition is the last stage of active labor – when your body goes from 8 to 10 centimeters – and contractions are fast and intense, coming every two minutes or so and lasting a minute.  There’s basically no break in the pain level.  Although it doesn’t happen to every woman, many women will vomit during transition (thankfully, I did not).  It’s so overwhelming; Bradley taught us that transition was the moment you’d begin to doubt your ability to give birth without medication. 

 

As I went through transition, I truly felt like an animal, not a human.  That’s the only way that I can describe it.  I was moaning and screaming and cursing and arching my back.  I felt trapped.  There was no way out except to deliver.  I began to say things like, “I can’t do this; make it stop; I just want to go home,” which signaled to the Husband that I was definitely in transition.  He ran to grab my wonderful nurse Debbie, who joined us in the bathroom and helped me cope.  At first, I was just riding out the pain, trying to get through each contraction, but soon enough, I began to feel an urge to push.  After watching me go through several more intense contractions, Debbie told me that I needed to get out of the tub so my midwife, Sage, could check my progress and see whether I was ready to start pushing.

 

I began to cry and begged them to check me in the tub.  “Please, please, please check me in the tub,” I said. “I cannot stand up; I cannot get out of the water.”  Sage explained that I could not deliver in the tub, which I already knew, and that any cervical checks wouldn’t be accurate from that angle anyway.  So I got out of the tub; the pressure on my perineum (the space between your vagina and anus) was so overwhelming that I cried out and stumbled into the bed.

 

Sage checked me and regretfully informed me that I was nine centimeters, not the ten required for true pushing, and that the problem was a portion of my cervix was not effacing (a ‘lip’).  If you remember from Part I of the birth story, effacing is when your cervix thins out and disappears completely.  The cervix must entirely efface or the baby can’t get past it and through the birth canal.  She suggested that I push through several contractions to see if the pressure would make it efface, but it didn’t.  This was around 4:30 PM.  I spent the next hour pushing through each contraction as Sage held a finger on the lip, trying to push it down so the baby could slip past.  Sounds painful, but I couldn’t tell that from the contractions.

 

I tried to push in a variety of positions to help remove the lip.  I squatted through one contraction; it was horrendous.  I labored on all fours but it didn’t make a difference.  I was so sure throughout my entire pregnancy that I’d want to labor and deliver in an alternate position that the medical model’s ‘flat on your back,’ but it and a position that combined being on my back/right side were the only ones that were actually comfortable.  After an hour, Sage got the baby to move past the lip, and I could really start pushing.  I was so happy.  I thought it would be smooth sailing after that.

 

On average, the pushing stage lasts an hour for a first-time mom and twenty minutes for a woman who’s had a previous vaginal delivery (it generally takes longer if you get an epidural).  I ended up pushing for two additional hours – not outside the realm of normal but far longer than I had expected to push.  I had about twenty contraction each hour and pushed three times per contraction, so that meant I pushed about 180 times.  Pushing is NOT like the movies.  It was an intense abdominal crunch combined with pulling my thighs back with my arms, over and over and over again (my upper body was SO sore for days afterwards).  I have zero idea how I would’ve gotten through natural labor if I hadn’t stayed active through pregnancy. 

 

It took so long because the baby moved so, so slowly down the birth canal.  Instead of moving inch by inch, he moved millimeter by millimeter.  Debbie was monitoring his heart rate the entire time, and it was completely stable, so the baby’s safety was never a concern.  Everyone was more concerned about me tuckering out!  Every time I had a break, I would beg Sage, Debbie, and Kristien to tell me that I was making progress.   At one point, Sage told me that I’d be done in half an hour – I watched as the clock ticked out another hour and a half.  I became convinced that everyone was lying to me and that the baby wasn’t moving down at all, despite my best efforts.

 

With about an hour to go, my ability to push was diminishing.  Instead of pushing three times per contraction, I could only muster out two.  Kristien pulled out two packets of Clif Shot Bloks and told me to take them.  I inhaled them all – it was glorious.  Twenty minutes later, I had a huge burst of energy – just like in a marathon!  My midwife was fine with me eating the Shot Bloks because it wasn’t true solid foods, and I highly recommend that everyone pack glucose shots in their hospital bag.  It was truly a lifesaver.

 

The pushing continued; the baby was finally close to crowning but I couldn’t get him out no matter what I or the birth team did (in addition to putting me in different positions, Sage used other midwifery techniques to get him out, including perineal massage).  Finally, Sage looked at me and said, “Caitlin, I think you should get an episiotomy.”  An episiotomy is when the doctor or midwife makes a surgical incision between the perineum and vaginal wall.  It is extremely controversial, used to be performed way too often, and generally takes longer to heal than natural tearing.  Bradley classes basically told me almost all episiotomies were unnecessary and to avoid one at all costs. 

 

While we were considering our options (in between contractions), the supervising OB-GYN walked in.  I overheard him tell Sage that he would use a vacuum to pull the baby out.  Sage politely disagreed and he left.  At that point, I turned to Kristien and wailed, “What do you think? Do you think I should get the episiotomy?”  He nodded yes, and that’s when I knew I really needed one.  Kristien would never agree to an episiotomy if he didn’t think it was really needed. 

 

Sage gave me a shot of local anesthesia and performed the episiotomy.  I couldn’t feel a thing.  I pushed twice more, and Kristien yelled that the baby’s head was out.  “Look, Caitlin!” nurse Debbie said. “Look at your baby!”  I was so exhausted and delirious that I felt like I was completely outside of my own body, watching someone else give birth.  But I looked down and there the baby was – I could see a head, shoulders, and a torso.  One more push, and the baby came out.  I knew right then that, for me, the episiotomy really was medically necessary and the right decision.

 

“What it is?” I cried out to Kristien.  “Is it a boy or a girl?”  He just stared at the baby with a shocked look on his face.  It was probably only a few seconds, but I felt like I waited forever for him to say….

 

“It’s a boy!”

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Henry began to cry, and it really was the most beautiful sound in the entire world. 

 

I held Henry to my chest for over an hour.  No one moved him to weigh him or measure him.  His Apgar tests were performed while he laid on my chest (he got two 9 out of 10s).  Kristien cut the cord, which was a great moment.  However, when my placenta didn’t deliver within fifteen minutes, my birth team got anxious about the risk of hemorrhage and gave me Pitocin to urge my uterus to contract.  After an hour (which is a long time in a hospital setting), I finally delivered the placenta.  I handed Henry to Kristien, who held him for the next hour, and Sage sewed me up.  I ended up with a third degree tear.

 

After several hours, Henry was weighed and measured.  The baby nurse asked if I wanted him bathed, but I declined because I didn’t want him to get cold.  Instead, all three of us snuggled on the hospital bed and relaxed.

 

Labor was, by far, the most emotionally and physically intense moment of my life.  But I look at Henry now and know it worth it.  The entire pregnancy, the labor – it was worth it.  I really believe that all women should be very proud of themselves no matter how they deliver; there’s no right or wrong way, just what is best for each mother and baby, including their physical and emotional needs.  I am very proud of my birth story.  But I could not have done it without Bradley Method classes and without the support of Kristien. 

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Our labor wasn’t the exact delivery that I had envisioned, but it was perfect for me.  It was perfect for Henry.  And even though the birth story is important, it’s just a blip on the radar.  Henry’s birth is really just the beginning. 

{ 243 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Emma June 18, 2012, 8:31 am

    Amazing part II! You are literally one of the strongest women I know. Congrats on Henry, again.

    Reply
    • Caitlin June 18, 2012, 11:50 pm

      I have to say I completely agree with you 100%! This post alone proves just how strong and awesome you are!

      Caitlin- you may not agree with this at times but you are amazing and doing a wonderful job as a new mommy! I love reading about your opinions, ups and downs, trials and errors, the good and the bad. It’s perfectly ok to not feel completely confident in about taking care of little Henry (I love his name by the way, great choice!) you really are doing an amazing job. I have complete faith in you’re parenting abilities!

      Also, I’m pretty sure mister Henry has got to be the most adorable little guy I’ve ever seen!

      Reply
  • Sara June 18, 2012, 8:32 am

    Such a beautiful story, Caitlin. Thank you for sharing! I’m so glad everything worked out for the best! I hope you are healing and will recover quickly. Henry is BEAUTIFUL! And you still look like you are glowing :-)

    Reply
  • christy June 18, 2012, 8:34 am

    Beautifully written. Ive followed for a while and really have enjoyed the nonjudgemental and honest way you have written about your pregnancy and now the birth of your son. You are an amazing woman! My son is 21 months old and I knew from the beginning I would have an epidural and that my biggest priority was having a healthy child at the end, regardless of how he came out. Battling over natural vs. medication is so ridiculous and really as you say is just a blip on the bigger picture. All that being said, you’re one tough woman to go through that without meds- and this is coming from an ultramarathoner who has run a 100 mile race and several other long crazy distance races. You have a beautiful son and seem to have a great support system around you. It is a crazy ride especially the first 3 or 4 months but so worth it. Looking back I remember those early days with great joy and I do remember the feelings of inadequacy and wondering how in the world a tiny human life was left in my care- its OK, these are normal feelings. It was an amazing time then and somehow it just keeps getting better and better.

    Thanks for sharing your story and keep up the honesty. It helps other women more than you know as there is so much righteousness and judgementalness out there, especially on blogs! Enjoy that boy and know you’re doing this right- steep learning curve huh?

    Reply
    • Amanda June 18, 2012, 9:20 am

      I completely agree. You are the only blogger right now who I feel has been non-judgemental about the pregnancy and birthing process. You have been open, honest and completely down to earth. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy!!

      Reply
      • Lissa June 18, 2012, 9:30 am

        I ditto that … and especially hear you sharing those feeling EVERY NEW MOM HAS about feeling inadequate … we all felt that way, and sometimes still do!! But we do our best, and we master it one day at a time. You are an amazing mom already … and PS–the diaper changing gets easier. You’ll learn to do it while practically asleep and on a plane bathroom and in the backseat of your car … always bring a diaper pod with you wherever you go :) Best. Advice. Ever. :)

        Reply
        • Buttercup June 18, 2012, 9:57 am

          +1 I really appreciated how honest and comprehensive you’ve relayed your experience so that others could learn from it and make the decisions that’s right for them. Too often, pregnancy books scare the living daylights out of you. But your blog tried to give a personal but even-handed perspective.

          Reply
          • Jackie June 18, 2012, 10:24 am

            Agree again! I’ll probably have a “medically necessary” epidural (yes, there is such a thing…) even though I’m pretty crunchy granola about everything else. There’s not really an “easy” way to give birth – lots of pain, longer labor, major surgery. It’s always funny to me that women talk about how c-sections are an easy way out, but then talk about how they don’t want one because of the recovery time! Or epidurals are cheating but they don’t want one because it makes your labor longer. Way to be non-judgmental! I think it’s good to remember there are factors going on besides moms just thinking “I’m lazy, I want the easy way out.”

    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 4:15 pm

      Thanks guys!

      Reply
  • M.C. June 18, 2012, 8:35 am

    Wow! That was intense….HOW very proud you should be! So glad you had such great support in Kristien and your nurse and midwife! I honestly can’t imagine making it through all that (I don’t have kids)….. I’m so SO happy for you and your family! On a side note… I really should stop reading your posts at work! Someone always walks in right when I’m starting to majorly tear up! “Allergies people, I have bad allergies!!” (thank goodness i live in the allergy capital of the universe!!…LOL)

    Reply
  • Claire June 18, 2012, 8:42 am

    Great story and a great end result: a healthy baby to love, and a healthy mum and dad. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading about your experience, thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • Burchgirl June 18, 2012, 8:45 am

    Well done! You are spot on that there is no right or wrong way to labor or deliver. At first I felt bad that I had an emergency C-section, but 14 years later she is a happy high school freshman, and nobody knows or cares how she came into the world. You, Kristien and Henry are marvelous!

    Reply
  • Jen June 18, 2012, 8:50 am

    Such a beautiful story! It’s so true. W’s birth was no where near what I wanted or expected, but it truly was the best experience of my life and now- it kind of doesn’t even matter!

    Reply
  • Kamaile June 18, 2012, 8:50 am

    I do think working out helped you to push through too! That and completing other hard physical activities like running a marathon, not the same at all just that when you think you CANNOT go any further you find the inner strength and do it!

    Reply
  • Madeline - Greens and Jeans June 18, 2012, 8:55 am

    I definitely had tears in my eyes as I read this! You and your husband (and now your little one!) make an amazing team.

    Reply
  • Katya June 18, 2012, 8:59 am

    Amazing story and the perfect birth for you and little Henry. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  • Verna June 18, 2012, 9:00 am

    What a great story! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Reply
  • Stacie @ Snaps and Bits June 18, 2012, 9:02 am

    Way to power through it! Glad it all worked out, even though not exactly as planned. I don’t think any birth really goes with the envisioned “plan.”!!

    Reply
  • Jennie June 18, 2012, 9:03 am

    First up you need to warn people to get a tissue that was so raw and wonderful, I sobbed! Our stories of birth were so similar and yet so different! I puked in the jacuzzi ! TMI! Anyway Henry is lovely! Congrats again!

    Reply
  • Nikki June 18, 2012, 9:05 am

    So what was you reaction to finding out the baby was a boy? You didn’t comment. Were you surprised? Any emotions different had it been a girl. Congrats!!!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 9:37 am

      I think I was going to be surprised either way! I didn’t really have any idea if it was a boy or a girl and wanted both.

      Reply
      • Jackie June 18, 2012, 10:25 am

        Are you glad you waited to find out? Was the moment what you had hoped for?

        Reply
        • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 10:36 am

          I am so glad I waited. It really helped me during labor because it was like my ‘carrot’ – what I was working for.

          Reply
  • Ginna June 18, 2012, 9:05 am

    Caitlin I give you props for going natural! Wow. I ended up having a “lip” too. And pushed for 2+ hours! And you are right it was by far the hardest part of labor and the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I ended up with a vacuum assist and 2 tears. Our little girl was whisked away right after since she had poor agar score due to me onion aspiration. But she’s healthy and you’re right it’s never what you envisioned but it’s the perfect labor for your perfect little one! Give yourself plenty time to heal. I’m still a little site where they stitched me and I’m 9 weeks out! Congrats to you guys! Hang in there it hers a little easier and you learn as you go!

    Reply
  • brooke @ sweats & sweets June 18, 2012, 9:06 am

    I think you did a phenomenal job! Congratulations for staying strong, even when in doubt. You did everything you were supposed to do, this makes me so excited to do the Bradley Method (when the time comes for my husband and I).

    Reply
  • Amanda K. June 18, 2012, 9:06 am

    your story is a great example of why the only REAL goals are for healthy mama and healthy baby!
    my birth story is similar to yours (water broke, had “fake” contractions for hours and hours, and then BAM i became animalistic). i couldn’t be convinced to get in the tub because i just wanted to stay where i was and didn’t want to be touched.
    and i only pushed for 5 minutes because my baby was in distress…crazy how everyone is similar but different. labor is crazy :)
    …and i totally agree about staying fit helping with labor; i ran up to 37 weeks and i think that if i hadn’t i wouldn’t ahve had the stamina to labor as long as i did.

    Reply
  • Marissa C June 18, 2012, 9:08 am

    Good for you! I’m convinced that the most important part of having a good childbirth experience is being educated and knowing you have options and can make the choice yourself, regardless of what actually happens. In your case you had to have an episiotomy, but you knew the risks, you tried alternatives, and you wont have to always regret it and think “well, what if?” In my case, it was an epidural at 9cm (should have tried shot blocks!).

    I felt the same way as my husband. No way I could have done it without him.

    Reply
  • Megan@ The Running Doc June 18, 2012, 9:09 am

    What a great story, thanks for sharing! And even though it didn’t go exactly as you had envisioned, sounds like it ended up just perfect in the end. :)

    Reply
  • Erica June 18, 2012, 9:10 am

    You are exactly right…this is just the beginning of many painful and beautiful moments just like this one. And every single one is so.worth.it. My kids are 16 (boy), 14 (boy), and 8 (girl) and just thinking about them makes my heart overflow. Thank you for sharing so much of your life and your heart with all of us. Henry is just perfect and is so blessed to have you and K as his parents. :)

    Reply
  • Laura June 18, 2012, 9:11 am

    Wow! I was on edge since part one waiting for this! Thank you so much for this! I am not yet considering having a baby although I know that I want one in the future. I am so scared of so many things, including when the time comes for me to actually physically have a baby…you’re story was so beautiful though and it makes me feel like I have nothing to worry about!

    Reply
  • Tricia June 18, 2012, 9:12 am

    Ahh crazy!! But congratulations :) And some people might say these details are too much but for someone like me, who is not yet pregnant and wants to have as natural a delivery as possible, I say thank you for sharing. It’s very helpful to know that it is possible and the details actually help!

    Reply
  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed June 18, 2012, 9:14 am

    You are amazing! Thanks for sharing your story and always being so honest. I love your know what you want, but go with the flow approach!

    You rock :)

    Reply
  • Hayley @ Oat Couture June 18, 2012, 9:14 am

    You did fantastically well!! Loved reading these posts btw! (Just had a mammoth 10 post catch up as I have been sans internet for a while!) Really interesting and I’m so excited for you guys and your new addition! I’m sure it all feels pretty alien still but it sounds like you two are doing a grand job! :)

    Reply
  • Sana June 18, 2012, 9:14 am

    Woah! I was on edge the entire time I read this! Will you do an update about the placenta pills? I am super curious!

    Reply
  • Kristen June 18, 2012, 9:15 am

    Even though I’ve never had a baby, I’m pretty sure delivery never goes how you expect it will. In fact – I’m pretty convinced that almost no important life event goes how you expect it will. It happens how it is supposed to happen and we learn a lot from that :)

    Congratulations again Caitlin.

    Reply
  • Leslie June 18, 2012, 9:15 am

    Such a beautiful birth story. Your story reminds me of the birth of my two sons. They are grown men now but their birth stories are still a sweet memory for me. It sounds like your husband was a wonderful help to you during the birth. I’m so happy for you and your family. Thank you for letting us all share a tipping point in your life. Your son Henry is a beautiful baby boy.

    Reply
  • Allison June 18, 2012, 9:15 am

    Beautiful story!! So happy for you and your family :-)

    Reply
  • Elisabeth June 18, 2012, 9:17 am

    I’m literally tearing up reading part II! Reading this part makes me so proud (sounds kind of funny since I don’t ‘know’ you!) of the way you handled the delivery not going exactly as planned – definitely an inspiration to other soon to be or future moms. So glad that everyone come out healthy in the end! Congratlations again to the 3 of you! :)

    Reply
  • Amy June 18, 2012, 9:18 am

    This all sounds so familiar to me! My baby is almost 10 weeks old. I had an epidural for a short time during my labor (long story) but wound up drug free for much of the time until I got to 8 cm (and drug free was never part of my birth plan. Heh.) The way you write about transition and pushing is so true. And labor IS the most mentally, emotionally and physically difficult thing you will ever go through — nothing even compares. Good for on having the drug free birth that you wanted!

    (And I had a third degree tear too. Be gentle with yourself. Lots of sitz baths. Hang in there, you WILL recover!)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 9:39 am

      I don’t know if I just lack nerve ending or something but its really not so bad! Maybe it was only KIND OF a third degree tear? Dunno.

      Reply
      • Amy June 18, 2012, 10:34 am

        Eh, everyone’s different. It took me a while to get back on my feet! I’m glad you’re feeling good. :-)

        Reply
      • Mel June 18, 2012, 1:38 pm

        Love your story. I’ll admit I am terrified to have children after reading a lot of these birth stories but I do believe that the end result is worth it.

        I have a question! I hope it’s not too personal (I know that you share a lot on here :)) but I’m just wondering what happened after the tearing, when they stitched you, were you still numb? I remember reading a story a while back and they had said stitching up without the drugs was more painful than the birth. Probably an odd thing to wonder about but I’m curious what happens after all that! Are you just on a magical baby-high? lol

        Reply
        • Kari @ Human, MD June 18, 2012, 1:54 pm

          Totally not from personal experience, but I can try to explain from the perspective of someone who does the repairing. It’s easier when someone has an epidural because you don’t have the extra step of local anesthesia, but I personally think that people with local feel less during the repair in the end. Just getting local can hurt a LOT though because there are so many nerve endings! Most of the “inside” structures (vaginal wall, tissue between rectum and vagina on the inside) has very little feeling and doesn’t hurt much. It’s the skin edge that really causes issues, and is usually the last part to get sewn up. Hope that was helpful!

          Reply
        • Claire June 18, 2012, 11:25 pm

          I had stitches following a medication free birth, and it is the local anaesthetic that is the painful bit – holy moly! Then I didn’t feel the actual stitches being done, and really had no significant soreness down the track.

          Reply
  • Brittany June 18, 2012, 9:19 am

    I’m new here, but I have loved following the end of your pregnancy! My husband and I are a few years from starting a family but I just loved hearing your beautiful story! I was almost tearing up it was so beautiful! Your honesty and compassion for yourself is truly inspiring. Lovely!

    Reply
  • Lissa June 18, 2012, 9:19 am

    Congrats … I loved reading your story, and I have heard my friends who have given birth all-naturally also compare themselves to animals during childbirth … it makes sense, it’s the most primitive thing a woman can experience. And I love what you say here — “I really believe that all women should be very proud of themselves no matter how they deliver; there’s no right or wrong way, just what is best for each mother and baby, including their physical and emotional needs. I am very proud of my birth story. Our labor wasn’t the exact delivery that I had envisioned, but it was perfect for me. It was perfect for Henry. And even though the birth story is important, it’s just a blip on the radar. Henry’s birth is really just the beginning.”

    SO true. The birth is just the beginning. I had a scheduled C-section so I never experienced labor but I know that I look back on her birth day with fondness but now, today she is 18 months old … and that day feels so far away and clouded by so many amazing memories…and so many to come. It really IS just the beginning.

    I hope you heal OK, and rest and let Kristien take care of you. Dishes and all that can wait … right now, it’s about you three … and Maggie and James :)

    Reply
  • Angie All The Way June 18, 2012, 9:19 am

    I’m in tears right now – not sure if it’s just because it brings me back to that moment, or if it’s just the beauty of birth. Excellent job Mama (and Daddy)!!!!

    I also required an episiotomy because Cameron was sunny side up. No amount of pushing was going to work. He had to be turned with forceps and pulled out. I completely relate. I can’t compare my recovery to others and there were too many stitches to count but it did all heal up nicely. It took about 6 weeks I think. Make friends with your sits bath and ice packs, which I’m sure you have already!

    Loved your story and thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  • Z June 18, 2012, 9:20 am

    I want to be just like you when I grow up! Even reading through the pain, my ovaries ache! You both did such an awesome job, what a team. Congrats your little bundle of cuteness.

    Reply
  • polly June 18, 2012, 9:25 am

    you are amazing! love love love. XOXO

    Reply
  • Tiffany June 18, 2012, 9:25 am

    Congratulations to you and your Husband on the birth of your baby boy!

    i went natural too, i feel your pain in that department. But in the end its all good, and worth it.

    Reply
  • Katie June 18, 2012, 9:28 am

    Isn’t that the truth! It is just the beginning! Congratulations!

    Reply
  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie June 18, 2012, 9:29 am

    I cried while reading this because I know how hard birth can be.

    I just had my second son three weeks ago and my labor/delivery was incredibly hard. I did it naturally and have a whole new respect for women. My first labor was the dream labor, long, but not too intense and incredibly perfect. Both were natural, but opposites. Now that I’ve had a hard labor I can relate to stories like this.

    Congratulations mama. You’re incredible and your story is beautiful. Now life begins!

    Reply
  • Kelly June 18, 2012, 9:32 am

    It’s funny how perspective can change. My husband and I have suffered two miscarriages trying to have our first child. I was always pretty specific about things I absolutely would and would not do throughout pregnancy and labor. Now if I could just have a baby I would do whatever I had to do. All those do called ideals of mine have gone out the window! I just want a baby and how that baby us delivered has become significantly less important to me. I think Henry is precious!

    Reply
    • Hannah June 18, 2012, 10:34 am

      I am sorry for your losses. Good luck to you and your husband <3

      Reply
  • Maryz June 18, 2012, 9:35 am

    This is so beautiful! I have tears streaming down my face as I read this and remember the birth of my own kids! Congrats! What a fabulous experience it was for you and Kristien!

    Reply
  • Kattrina June 18, 2012, 9:36 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your birth story. Congratulations on the birth of Henry – you are such great parents already!

    Reply
  • Brita June 18, 2012, 9:38 am

    I hope that when I have a baby, I’m as laid back as you are :) You seem like you handled the whole thing with grace!

    Reply
  • Tara June 18, 2012, 9:39 am

    The ending to your birth story brought tears to my eyes. I remember being so proud of myself the first 16 hours of labor and then totally thinking I was crazy for doing this the last 4 hours (I’m pretty sure I officially lost my mind the last hour by the way my hubby tells it, but honestly it’s kind of a blur). A good friend told me that she learned two things from natural childbirth…1) a woman’s body is capable of amazing things; 2) you can’t die from pain! Lol, I agree with both statements after going through labor. You are absolutely right, now looking back one day (or two) of labor is nothing at all compared to the joy of being a mama. In the end, going all natural, having an epidural, or an episiotomy, is not as important as having a healthy mama and baby when all is said and done.

    P.S. I also had a 3rd degree tear and sitz baths were a life savior. I hope the healing process is quick for you!

    Reply
    • Jess June 18, 2012, 9:54 am

      I have agree with the Sitz baths. Do them, at least a few times a day. I didn’t tear but they really helped with the soreness and swelling.

      Reply
  • Jamie June 18, 2012, 9:40 am

    wow. I have 16 weeks to go and reading your birth story makes me want to run, not walk, to the gym this second and swim 100 laps in the pool followed by a round of squats and lunges! That sounds intense, and I’m so glad I read it. I want to have my husband read it, and get the bradley method book too. What a well-written birth story, Caitlin. And your photo of when you were 4 cm. to the next photo when things got intense was so perfect and had me laughing!! You did a GREAT job and you have SO much to be proud of. I’m totally humbled by your strength and feeling like a deer in headlights as I ponder my own upcoming experience. Yikes.

    Reply
  • Robyn (GirlonRaw) June 18, 2012, 9:41 am

    Such a touching account of your birth story and I loved reading it as it helped me to relive mine, which incidentally I wish I had written down and was almost identical to yours (in what transpired and how I envisioned it to happen too). Henry is just too cute.

    Reply
  • Stephanie @ Legally Blinde June 18, 2012, 9:43 am

    This is so incredible – thank you for sharing this with us (and so soon after Henry’s birth, too – I’m so impressed!). You are absolutely amazing and inspiring!

    Reply
  • Joanne June 18, 2012, 9:43 am

    Oh my goodness! I so enjoyed reading Part I and Part II because I’ve never had a baby and never will. I’d write more but can’t see because of the tears running down my face. I’m so happy for you all. :)

    Reply
  • Hannah June 18, 2012, 9:45 am

    You did an incredible job of describing your experience with each stage of labor. I cringe for you having to get the episiotomy, but I’m so glad it was helpful for you. Whatever it takes, right?

    I’ve never given birth so I’m just curious – is there any reason Henry wasn’t moving down the birth canal? Is there anything you could have done differently to avoid the episiotomy? That’s all a little blurry to me. In any case, I hope you heal swiftly! Henry is such a sweetie!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 9:08 pm

      I don’t think I could’ve avoided it. :( Maybe for the next baby I won’t need it. My canal was just very small so he had trouble getting through easily.

      Reply
      • The Many Thoughts of a Reader June 18, 2012, 10:33 pm

        My midwife promiiiiiised me I would only push for 20 minutes and my next baby would fly out. I think she lies. She kept telling me my baby ‘was almost here’ for the 2.5 hours I pushed. ugh. The upper arm soreness the next day was intense!

        Reply
        • April June 29, 2012, 11:56 am

          I am late to the party reading this, but i can totally relate – i pushed for 3+ hrs i think (it was 8 months ago:) Anyway, i hope the next one comes our faster:) Beautiful birth story Caitlin, i just found your blog and am loving every.single.word of it:)

          Reply
  • Amanda June 18, 2012, 9:46 am

    Reading your birth story is so inspiring. We’re taking Bradley classes now and just about to start week 5 where we actually get into the birthing. It motivates me to really embrace the Bradley method and practice my exercises and relaxation reading how the method really does pay off! I see you were relaxing in the side laying position in your picture towards the beginning :)

    Reply
  • Danielle June 18, 2012, 9:47 am

    Congratulations on an AMAZING job! Well done, in delivery AND in knowing your body. I couldn’t be happier for you and you should be SO PROUD!

    Reply
  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 18, 2012, 9:49 am

    Oh my goodness, what a story!!! I admire you for all of this Caitlin, and for sharing too as I know a lot of women (including myself) might not be so comfortable with sharing every last detail. I feel like I’ve been thorough quite an adventure by just reading these 2 posts, but I know it doesn’t even compare to what you did! I’m amazed, and congrats to you, the Husband, and Henry! :)

    Reply
  • Alett June 18, 2012, 9:49 am

    Perfect.

    Just like life – never usually goes how you expect it but always ends up as it should go.

    Thank you for sharing.
    xo

    Reply
  • Jess June 18, 2012, 9:52 am

    Congratulations! Childbirth is hard and natural childbirth…amazing. I agree that being confident in your body and having a supportive husband is the key to achieving a natural childbirth. Welcome to the club. :-)

    Reply
  • Jessica June 18, 2012, 9:55 am

    I am exhausted just reading this. I never get that feeling when I read other bloggers’ race recaps, but you conveyed the sheer effort involved in giving birth so well. It’s given me a new respect for mothers, that’s for sure!

    Reply
  • Lindsay June 18, 2012, 9:58 am

    Your birth story was so interesting to read!! I love how honest you were about everything. I am studying to be a labor an delivery nurse, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your pregnancy and delivery. You did an awesome job momma!!! Henry is a lucky little boy!!

    Reply
  • Ashley // Our Little Apartment June 18, 2012, 9:58 am

    Aw, I totally teared up!!

    I am so glad that you went with Bradley – it seems like yesterday that you were soliciting opinions about it! It helped me achieve a natural birth, too.

    I really, really related to your story – 2.5 hours of pushing for me and the best husband coach I could have asked for. Though I labored and delivered in water (interesting that you weren’t allowed to deliver! I’ve never heard that).

    I felt like SUCH a failure taking that long to push, but I tell myself that my abs were just too strong to let Gabe out. ;) Ha. Or something.

    Reply
    • Erica June 18, 2012, 10:01 am

      you know, I went to a midwife practice associated with a hospital, and my story is similar to Caitlin’s. We were allowed to labor in the jacuzzi tub but not deliver there.

      Reply
  • Lauren June 18, 2012, 10:00 am

    WOW, so intense, yet so amazing. The human body is truly magnificent. You did phenomenal! So glad you had Kristien with you- he sounds like he was remarkable :) You’re right- Henry’s birth is just the beginning of the journey yet to come! <3

    Reply
  • Erica June 18, 2012, 10:00 am

    Oh my gosh I got chills reading this, it was so familiar! Your birth story sounds so similar to mine (length of early labor, transition in the jacuzzi, pushing for 2+ hours). Your description is so spot on. In the end, we ended up having to use forceps for the delivery, not an episiotomy (and I still ended up with a 2nd degree tear). Congratulations on a med-free birth – it’s truly a crazy and wonderful experience!

    Reply
  • jen June 18, 2012, 10:01 am

    caitlin – your birth story has me in tears! it’s beautiful, honest and heartfelt. you are SO strong and SO lucky to have such a supportive husband who stayed by your side and coached you through. congratulations again on baby henry! xoxoxo

    Reply
  • Katie of Cabbage Ranch June 18, 2012, 10:03 am

    What a wonderful story, and a very happy ending. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • kirsten June 18, 2012, 10:03 am

    Thanks for sharing your story! It has me crying at my desk at work! Congratulations on Henry! :)

    Reply
  • Penny June 18, 2012, 10:09 am

    I was in tears. :-)

    I had to deliver both of my boys by c-section. Im always very envious of women that are able to deliver naturally. Delivery of babies is function my body just will not do. But, I’ve learned to accept this. If it wasn’t for the ability to get cesaerans, my boys and I would not be here now. And, every birth story is beautiful and perfect when it ends in new life.

    Thanks for sharing Henry’s story. I’ve been reading your blog for years now, and it’s so wonderful to take this journey with you.

    Reply
  • Heather@YSP June 18, 2012, 10:10 am

    AND… I’m crying. This was beautiful. You are SO awesome, SuperMama.

    Reply
  • Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) June 18, 2012, 10:12 am

    Wow, you’re amazing! I’m so impressed with your perseverance because reading your story I could almost still feel the intensity that you talked about. The beginning of labor made me feel like “oh heck yeah, I’ve got this!” and the nurses just smiled and nodded knowing what was ahead of me- haha!
    And at the end of the day, you have an adorable, healthy Henry in your arms. Congrats again! Life is good :)

    Reply
  • Morgan June 18, 2012, 10:13 am

    Beautiful story! You did a wonderful job! I also ended up with an episiotomy despite believing they were always unnecessary and I had a hard time reconciling that when I got home from the hospital. I had a precipitous birth though, and apparently that is one of the times that they are almost always actually medically necessary. I ended up with a third degree tear as well, but most precipitous births end in a 4th degree tear so I am happy that I was able to trust my husband and doctor when they recommended the cut!

    Reply
  • Morgan J. June 18, 2012, 10:15 am

    Caitlin that was a great story :] you made me cry!

    Reply
  • Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life June 18, 2012, 10:20 am

    Great story, Caitlin! You are amazing! Henry is one lucky boy to have you for a mama. ;) I had a natural childbirth too and your story brought me right back to my experience. Thank goodness for our husbands! I know I couldn’t have done it without mine. Congrats again to you and Kristien on a beautiful and healthy baby boy!

    Reply
  • Katherine June 18, 2012, 10:23 am

    Your story is so similar to mine….water breaking first, long time pushing, episiotomy and all. The cord ended up bring around my baby girl’s neck so I was so glad after all that pushing that we made the choice we did for the epiosiotomy. It’s so crazy how you truly become an animal. I ended up with a 4th degree tear and sitz baths are key to healing. Congratulations! So beautiful.

    Reply
  • Megan June 18, 2012, 10:26 am

    I just want to tell you that I too did a natural birth and needed an episiotomy. Mine was deemed necessary because my daughter was arriving as a late term preemie and the medical team wanted to minimize the risk that she could have a brain bleed. So many people had told me that the recovery was awful, but it’s fine. I was up and walking around the day of her birth. It did take up to a month or so to feel absolutely no tenderness but it was truly fine, and I had some tears as well as the surgical cut. I just want to reassure you that you will heal just fine and that it didn’t have an effect on my ability to orgasm, etc. Just fine, sexually. Now, sleep deprivation’s effect on sex, that’s another story…

    Reply
  • Liza June 18, 2012, 10:31 am

    Caitlin, you’re amazing! I’m in awe of your story. Congratulations again and I am excited to watch Henry grow :)

    Reply
  • Samantha Angela June 18, 2012, 10:31 am

    I really loved reading your birthing story. Your strength to hang in there while in so much pain is so impressive. You’re inspirational.

    I have a question though. Why is an episiotomy so controversial?

    Reply
  • Reenie June 18, 2012, 10:32 am

    Beautiful……

    Reply
  • Alicia June 18, 2012, 10:33 am

    Congratulations on such an inspiring birth story, so beautifully expressed. I hope that in 8 weeks or so I have the courage, strength and support like you did to give birth under the most natural conditions my body and circumstances allow.

    Reply
  • Andrea June 18, 2012, 10:37 am

    That was such a great birth story and so glad everything turned out okay. My husband is a Dr. And when it came time to have our babies he recommended I do it with an epidural. With my first I got to the hospital at 6am. Got the epidural went to sleep I was at a 4 when I woke up I had moved up to a 10 and. I pushed 3x and had my baby. My second was very similar. So your The comment that pushing takes longer if you have had an epidural is not always true. I’o had very fast deliveries even with epidurals.

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 10:38 am

      I’m so jealous!! LOL

      Reply
    • Tammy Root June 18, 2012, 3:05 pm

      I had the same experience! I pushed 5x (5 minutes total) with an epidural and my daughter was born. I think the epidural is the best invention on planet earth! But, I have the utmost respect for women who have babies naturally without any intervention. I couldn’t do it. Caitlin, and everyone else who has a baby naturally, I applaud you. You are amazing.

      Reply
      • Allison June 18, 2012, 7:31 pm

        Ditto. Two epidurals, two very fast birts (pushed for less than 30 minutes with both). I loved having epis but am very impressed with women who can do it without!

        Reply
  • Heather @ For the Love of Kale June 18, 2012, 10:42 am

    This was so beautiful, Caitlin. I was totally lost in your story. GOD BLESS YOU for going through that. So happy you’re all healthy and doing well. <3 xoxo

    Reply
  • Laurie June 18, 2012, 10:45 am

    Congratulations! Beautiful…..and while I know you are thankful for the bradley method and your husband, remember how strong you are….you did it..and although they helped, if you had had to due to an emergency, you would have done it on your own. You are going to be amazed at what you are capable of as a mommy! Henry is one lucky boy.

    Reply
  • Lindsay June 18, 2012, 10:50 am

    Oh I loved reading this, each story is so special and individual and I love how you seem to really soak in every detail and second. Your so right it is totally worth every second and I can’t wait to do it again :)

    Reply
  • Joy June 18, 2012, 10:51 am

    You made me get tears in my eyes!

    Your birth story is beautiful. You are so strong and as the other commenters say, Henry really is one lucky kid to have you and Kristien as his parents.

    Reply
  • Sarah June 18, 2012, 11:00 am

    Go you! I am so impressed. You should be so proud of yourself!

    Reply
  • Jillian @ Reshape Your Life June 18, 2012, 11:06 am

    What an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing Henry’s birth story, I am really interested in trying to have a drug free delivery whenever my husband and I have kids… Stories like this make it sound much less scary.

    Reply
  • Kate June 18, 2012, 11:07 am

    I totally got choked up reading this. I was also very proud of both of my birth stories, my first even more than my 2nd. With my first, I wanted to go all natural as well. The day before my son was born, I was likely in early labor, but I didn’t realize that. I’d had my membranes stripped and just assumed I was having residual discomfort from that. At 3 am I woke up and LABOR. STARTED. SERIOUSLY. My husband and I had heard so often that we needed to stay at home as long as possible that when I started telling him at 4 am that we needed to go to the hospital, that I needed drugs after all, he took his time, trying to keep to my real goal of not getting sent home and doing it naturally. We got to the hospital at 5:15 or so. I was wailing, clawing at people, begging for drugs, that I can’t do it all natural. Nurses smirked at my husband and he nodded understandingly at them — they all thought I was very much a drama queen, I’m sure! When I eventually got checked, they discovered I was 10 cm, fully effaced, and ready to push. Unfortunately, I was Group B strep positive, too, so I had to wait to push my little man out. And when the time to push came, it was over and done in less than 20 minutes – he was born just after 6 am. I am apparently a breeder, because I did that without tearing, either. My second son’s story is far less dramatic, I did have Stadol for his birth, but he arrived in ONE PUSH. They saw his head was out and told me to take a break but I kept going. My husband likes to say he came out like he was on a slip-n-slide, haha. So gross.

    Congratulations, Caitlin – you’re amazing. And thanks for inspiring me to share my birth stories, haha :)

    Reply
  • Earthy Nicole June 18, 2012, 11:09 am

    Congratulations, Caitlin! You already know I love you and your blog but it’s especially posts like this that make it so. It’s frustrating to read blogs or even forums where women act like there’s something wrong with delivering any other way than whatever way they delivered. Even before you had birth you knew things could go different than you expected and reminded your readers that these were the things YOU wanted, not what they should necessarily want. I think it’s important that women not condemn others for the choices they made to bring a child into this world. A healthy mom and healthy baby is the goal and like you’ve proven, there’s no wrong way to do it. With that said, you both look so happy with Henry in the last photo. Congratulations, again! xx

    Reply
  • Veronica June 18, 2012, 11:10 am

    Yay Caitlin! You just did an amazing thing!
    Whew!

    It kinda was like a TRIATHALON! Swimming in the Jacuzzi, followed by (bicycle) crunches, and then racing to the finish line. You hit the wall and then…..

    Husband to the rescue! Shot blox was a genius move! I’ve heard of Gatorade for the electrolyte/sugar boost, but that probably would’ve come back up around crunch #114. The blox were a great idea for energy with little volume. Kudos to Kristien for thinking of them in the midst of that craziness.

    Henry is beyond handsome. Congrats you two!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 9:11 pm

      Hahah it was like a triathlon. Love it.

      Reply
  • Anna D June 18, 2012, 11:13 am

    I had to take a break while READING this part of the birth story, I cannot even imagine going THROUGH it.
    Caitlin, you amaze me every day. Henry is so lucky to have a mom like you :)

    Reply
  • Soniathe Mexigarian June 18, 2012, 11:15 am

    wow. that was a beautifully written birth story. thank you for being so honest and open about the process and your emotions during it. it truly does give me a sense of what the process may be like. I love how Kristien was there for you every step of the way and being your number one support. major props to him :)

    Reply
  • Erin June 18, 2012, 11:24 am

    Absolutely beautiful birth story! Thank you for sharing. If it’s any consolation, I wound up with an episiotomy, too, and actually healed faster than several of my friends who naturally tore. I hope you are feeling well and getting used to things!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 9:12 pm

      That sounds awesome! I hope I’m healed really soon.

      Reply
  • Maija June 18, 2012, 11:30 am

    Pardon my french but I f*cking love your birth story and am so thankful you shared it! Party on Caitlin- thanks for being you and writing about your cervix, blood and all that other shiz :) Oh and congrats again on Henry!

    Reply
  • Jenn June 18, 2012, 11:38 am

    Caitlin – As a pregnant, first-time mom-to-be, I have to thank you so much for sharing the details of Henry’s birth story. I am 28 weeks pregnant and I have been struggling with determining a birth plan and figuring out what I want. Your story helped me feel more at ease about the whole process. You did an awesome job bringing Henry into this world. Thank you for inspiring me and sharing the words I really needed to hear. Henry is so blessed to have you as his mom. Best wishes to all.

    Reply
  • Denise June 18, 2012, 11:43 am

    Thank you SO much for this post! Your clear understanding of what was going on with your body has helped me immensely! I was a very young 20, 20 years ago, when I gave birth naturally. Not by choice. Your descriptions have made me understand the birth of my 20 year old so clearly! I have always wanted to give birth again naturally in order to be PRESENT in that moment and I am truly sitting here with tears streaming down my face because I feel like you’ve just given that to me!

    Reply
  • Maritza June 18, 2012, 11:51 am

    Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Kristin June 18, 2012, 11:52 am

    What a beautiful story. Brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing your honest reflection on Henry’s birth. Although I’m not planning to have a baby for at least a few more years, I admit that I really enjoy reading other women’s birth stories. Maybe this is weird…but I can’t be the only one?! I think there’s such a culture of fear around birth in the US, and even though I’m not at the baby stage of my life yet, I don’t want to go into that stage being fearful and scared. Reading birth stories (especially ones like yours) makes me feel more prepared and less afraid. Thanks again for writing so honestly and non-judgmental. You’re amazing!

    Reply
  • Lisa June 18, 2012, 11:55 am

    Wow! What a story! Glad everything went alright, even if it wasn’t exactly as planned.

    Reply
  • jen June 18, 2012, 12:06 pm

    OK A FUN QUESTION FOR YOU CAITLIN :)

    (sorry if i missed it somewhere). where or how did you come up with the name henry? i would NEVER think of that but it is so incredibly adorable i love it! details!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 9:13 pm

      I’m not sure where we got it – our three boy choices were Jack, Henry, and Oliver. We just waited until he arrived and decided which suited him the best.

      Reply
  • Leah June 18, 2012, 12:07 pm

    My my Caitlin, I felt like I was right there with you willing you to get Henry out while reading this story. Even though I know the outcome!!

    Did you try a birthing ball by any chance? Just curious. I didn’t do the tub but I would definitely next time. The birthing ball really helped me. That transition phase.. boy do I really think back now and know the exact moment that happened with me. Exactly when I asked for an epidural (didn’t get one in the end). You are right, you start to question your abilities. So happy it all went well and you guys are so healthy!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 9:14 pm

      No I didn’t – I don’t think they had one at the hospital, unfortunately.

      Reply
  • keren June 18, 2012, 12:07 pm

    What an amazing journey. Thank you so much for sharing!! I agree with everyone else that has commented; thank you for always being so open and honest with us! I wish you guys the best and look forward to hearing more about Henry :)

    Reply
  • miss pip kelly June 18, 2012, 12:14 pm

    You hero!

    Many many congratulations to you both again :)

    I got emtional just reading this!

    Reply
  • ellen June 18, 2012, 12:21 pm

    THANKYOU for sharing your birth story! It is the first one I have read where it sounds realistic and something that I can actually picture. I have mentioned that I am a few weeks behind so and highly anticipating going through the labor. I want to do it naturally and I have been reading the bradely method and doing exercises. My baby is breech still and has been for ten weeks, so I am now working on getting him to switch because I really do not want a c-section, and now reading your birth story has convinced me even more that I want to go through labor and delivery!….Thank you again!

    Reply
  • Kath June 18, 2012, 12:25 pm

    Tears!! And major woman power :)

    Reply
  • Cassie June 18, 2012, 12:50 pm

    I’m crying as I read this! Thank you for sharing and congratulations! Enjoy the adventures of parenthood!

    Reply
  • Kelly June 18, 2012, 12:50 pm

    What an amazing story, Caitlin. Child birth really is beautiful. I’m so proud of you guys for doing what was right for you and not feeling pressured to give in to the “this is how it should be”. Best wishes for a speedy healing and give that babies lots of snuggles for all of us here in the blog world!

    Reply
  • Samantha June 18, 2012, 12:55 pm

    Congratulations, Caitlin! He’s beautiful! I was just wondering how you chose to manage your visitors at the hospital? I am due in 8 weeks, and am already concerned that visitors will be all “up in our grill” while my husband and I are going through the labor experience and then trying to bond with our son afterwards. We have a lot of family and friends in the area, and I am just very nervous they’ll be pouncing on us to see the baby like the second he’s here. Just looking for some advice on how you might have handled that situation?

    Reply
    • Marissa C June 18, 2012, 2:37 pm

      Not Caitlin :) but why not just save the happy news for a couple of hours until you are ready for visitors. You’ll be busy enough anyway!

      Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 9:16 pm

      Honestly, I was all set to ban visitors for the first few weeks but I am SOOO GRATEFUL for our family and friends when they visit and they hold Henry. It gives us a nice break and lets me hop in the shower. However, I have kind of drawn a half hour to an hour rule (mostly because of breastfeeding) and I make everyone wash their hands. Our family isn’t boundary stompers though… we set guidelines and they follow them. I highly suggest reading the Delivery Room Drama Thread on BabyCenter if you need advice!!

      Reply
  • Lisa June 18, 2012, 12:55 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story with such candor and honesty. I think living your life so publicly as you do must be trying at the best of times but especially during vulnerable and emotional times. You handle it all with grace and it’s wonderful to see someone embody their values in all that they do. You will be an excellent mother, I’m sure you already are.

    Reply
  • Julia H. @ Going Gulia June 18, 2012, 1:00 pm

    Hoooooly cow. You are SUPERWOMAN. And virtual high-five to Kristien for being Super Supportive Husband Man.

    Reply
  • Colleen June 18, 2012, 1:02 pm

    I read this part twice. It brings back such vivid memories of my births. You definitely reach down in yourself and make sounds you never would normally to get through the pain and experience. Luckily I never had a ‘lip’ but the crowning moment and the passing of the shoulders burns like no other. Great job mamma!

    Reply
  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats June 18, 2012, 1:13 pm

    omg I started tearing up at my office reading this during my lunch break! Congratulations and you did an amazing job pushing through. I am not even dating anyone and I am already convinced that Bradley Method is the way to go – you know you can completely trust your husband’s opinions

    Reply
  • Morgan June 18, 2012, 1:14 pm

    Thanks for your honesty! Due in 7 days and of course, I have no idea what to expect (especially if I go unmedicated). So I really appreciate this.

    Congrats on little Henry!

    Can you tell us how you felt post delivery? What does the body feel like after the birth?

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 9:18 pm

      If I hadn’t gotten the episio and just delivered normally, I think I would be totally fine and would be back in the pool today (well not that I have the time right now). I am a little sore because of the episio but I’m hoping I’ll feel totally normal in two weeks or so.

      Reply
  • Lindsay June 18, 2012, 1:19 pm

    Beautiful! Congrats again!!

    Reply
  • Jenny June 18, 2012, 1:20 pm

    What a beautiful birth story! This seems strange since we’ve never met, but I am proud of you. I’ve followed your blog for awhile and am genuinely happy for you and your family. I feel the same way about my husband. I was so glad that I didn’t hire a doula because when the hard parts of labor arrived, my husband was the only person I wanted around. It’s wonderful to have such an amazing partner.

    I also made it clear that I wanted to avoid an episiotomy, but ended up having one. I think it was medically necessary our situation. Recovery was difficult, but that didn’t change my mind. It needed to be done and I have no regrets.

    Thank you for sharing your story so candidly. Pregnancy, birth, post-partum recovery and breastfeeding are difficult even when for those who have it “easy”. Your honesty is what keeps me connected to your blog and is greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  • Annette@FitnessPerks June 18, 2012, 1:45 pm

    Love this story!! I am SO proud of you. He is sooo adorable! ANd yes, to the part of everyone is different and each story is awesome. So cool!

    Reply
  • Katy @ HaveYouHurd June 18, 2012, 2:02 pm

    Wow Caitlin. You should be SO PROUD! What an amazing feat as a human being. Thank you for sharing your story. And thanks for making me cry at work ;) But seriously you should be SO PROUD! Henry truly is beautiful and you are going to be a GREAT Mom!

    Reply
  • Cassie June 18, 2012, 2:05 pm

    Your outlook on parenting is already very refreshing.

    Congratulations! Henry is absolutely perfect!

    Reply
  • Jenn @ Running Jennie June 18, 2012, 2:10 pm

    Thank you for being so honest with your story! So many women think just telling you how much it hurt is being honest, but it’s about so much more.

    Reply
  • Brigid June 18, 2012, 2:19 pm

    I loved reading your birth story! I would say that I’m sorry about the episiotomy, but if you’re happy with the birth you had, then I’m happy for you. I’m hoping to get myself one of those baby things before too long, so reading along with your pregnancy and birth has been such a great experience for me. Congrats again!

    Reply
  • Claire Zulkey June 18, 2012, 2:25 pm

    Damn, woman. This story is harrowing and beautiful. I’m going to bring Shot Bloks with me to the hospital too–although I think I’m gonna go with the epidural. I don’t think I’m nearly as tough as you are.

    Reply
  • Maria June 18, 2012, 2:28 pm

    What a great recap. It was beautiful. I am crying as I am reading. You did an awesome job and I am so happy for you and Kristien and your new addition. Much love to you.

    Reply
  • Rachel June 18, 2012, 2:30 pm

    Seriously, you are my hero! Thank you for sharing your experience and insight!

    Reply
  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction June 18, 2012, 2:37 pm

    You are such a great writer, I literally felt like I was there (sorry if that’s creepy!) Women are so strong it’s crazy! It’s amazing that a women’s body can transform like that and give brith to another human being like that! I wish you a fast and quick recovery!

    Reply
  • Amber K June 18, 2012, 2:40 pm

    Getting the baby out in a way that is safe for both him and the mama is so important. I am sorry that you needed an episiotomy, but good for you for doing what needed to be done.

    And now you have a beautiful baby boy. :)

    Reply
  • Justine June 18, 2012, 2:42 pm

    Beautiful story, thanks for sharing. And in birth, I really feel there is no such thing as too many details. As a nurse, I feel like patients can be much better served by education and part of that comes from googling entries like these to see real women and how things went. Everything should be taken with a grain of salt, of course, as everyone is unique in their own set of circumstances, but it is still better than facing the unknown.

    Reply
  • Vanessa (@IsleStyleLiving) June 18, 2012, 2:48 pm

    Amazing!

    You did an awesome job!

    I also had a “lip” and had to wait before I could start pushing- it was horrible! Pushing was such a relief to me.

    Congratulations to you and your husband! He sounds like a perfect coach =)

    Reply
    • Cristina @ Tiny Perfect Bites June 18, 2012, 3:30 pm

      What an amazing post. Thank you so much for sharing! I do not have children (yet), but I will definitely look into the Bradley Method. Understanding what is going on is very helpful to me, in general, and it sounds like you learned so much from the classes.

      Congratulations again on the beautiful new addition to your family!

      Reply
  • Amanda June 18, 2012, 2:48 pm

    Thank you for this story. I am crying happy tears for you.

    Reply
  • allpointswhole June 18, 2012, 3:04 pm

    Way to fight it out mama! Marathon training probably helps a lot with pushing past pain!!

    Reply
  • Debbie June 18, 2012, 3:13 pm

    I was in pain just reading this! Kudos to you and anyone that can handle natural child birth. I got to the hospital at 9 centimeters and was begging for the epidural…I only pushed twice and my son was out but I was so happy to have no more pain! Good work…congratulations!

    Reply
  • Jamie @ StudioEats June 18, 2012, 3:42 pm

    this story is beautiful and your writing is amazing Caitlin! Congrats.. You are SO strong.

    Reply
  • Lauren June 18, 2012, 3:57 pm

    That is such an awesome birth story! You can most certainly be proud of yourself :) Thank you so much for your honesty and for keeping it real. Enjoy snuggling with your precious new baby!

    Reply
  • Rebekah June 18, 2012, 4:13 pm

    I teared up reading this. Thank you for sharing and much love to you and to Kristien.

    Reply
  • Lori June 18, 2012, 4:15 pm

    So intense! I’m due in Oct & am taking Bradley Method classes. I am soooo nervous! Your story most definitely made it clear to me that I need to exercise more. Thanks for sharing and congratulations!!

    Reply
  • Kelly@Runmarun June 18, 2012, 4:23 pm

    Wow, what a beautiful birth story and KUDOS to you for laboring naturally! I have great respect for anyone who accomplishes that! I also love how non-judgmental you are regarding other mommies and their decisions. Enjoy your beautiful family!

    Reply
  • Emily @Emily's Olives June 18, 2012, 4:26 pm

    This is, quite possibly, one of the best blog posts I have ever read. It is gorgeous and informative and powerful. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    Reply
  • Jayce June 18, 2012, 4:29 pm

    I am SO proud of you! What a strong woman! I have been dying for part 2 as I waited to deliver my own baby, and here I am reading it from my hospital room 16 hours after delivery! Ha 13 days past my due date. Lucky you with a prompt baby! I am so glad Henry is healthy and thriving. You made me cry, which is the norm so far today with my already wacky emotions. I also had an amazing natural birth – 42 hours long though! I will be processing for a while! Thanks for sharing this :).

    Reply
  • Liz A June 18, 2012, 4:32 pm

    loved reading this, Caitlin. I’m 20 weeks along and at the point where I need to decide what sort of class we’re going to take, and your story has pushed Bradley Method up to the top of the list.

    Reply
    • Lara June 18, 2012, 5:09 pm

      Hey Liz, I haven’t given birth yet, but I just finished Bradley classes in preparation, and (no matter how my birth story goes), I am so with Caitlin in recommending the Bradley Method! Just the level of education you get gives you so much confidence.

      Reply
  • Jordan @ Bake Write Sleep June 18, 2012, 4:54 pm

    Hey Caitlin! It’s Jordan (the one who used to write Salt Sweat Sugar!) – I just stumbled across your blog again. I just got back into blogging. I’m so excited you’re doing so well. You’ve come a LONG way since I disappeared from blogging. You’re awesome. I just wanted to take the time to say congrats =] (I have no idea if you’ll even see this, seeing as it’s like 150+ comments down.)

    Reply
    • Allison June 18, 2012, 7:35 pm

      That is a weird comment about her coming a LONG way. ??? Seemed like a backhanded compliment.

      Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 9:19 pm

      Thanks Jordan! Hope all is well with you.

      Reply
      • Jordan @ Bake Write Sleep June 19, 2012, 4:24 pm

        Thanks! Dang. I meant you wrote THREE books and had a baby! That’s a long way! Maybe that person didn’t realize just how long I was talking about…

        Reply
  • Amy June 18, 2012, 5:00 pm

    i almost cried reading this and im at work haha so i really tried not to! we’re due sept 8th and i cant wait!! i love reading birthing stories..they scare me but also excite me..its just so amazing. you did a helluva job sister!! congrats!

    Reply
  • Laura WL June 18, 2012, 5:03 pm

    Such a beautiful story! These sorts of stories are part of the reason why my husband and I have decided to have kids after saying for many, many years that we would be child free. I think my initial choice to be child-free was mostly bc I was a nanny for 5 years and saw the frustrations of parenthood first hand. I knew that I was good at raising children, so it was never a fear thing, it was mostly the 24/7 aspect of child rearing and always having to be “on” that rubbed me the wrong way. However, as my husband and I think about our future we have started to frame our choices on what sort of story we want to live. Reading stories like this has helped me realize what a great story it can be to be a parent.

    Reply
  • Lara June 18, 2012, 5:08 pm

    Oh my goodness! I have been looking forward to reading Henry’s birth story as a fellow Bradley student and soon-to-be-mama, and it did not disappoint! What a tremendous job you did, Caitlin. Just reading this, I felt so much emotional intensity…I can’t imagine what you felt during it. Kristien sounds like an amazing coach, and I am so, so happy for your new family.

    Reply
  • emily June 18, 2012, 5:25 pm

    You have done such an amazing job of writing these birth story recaps! I’m not really sure how to say what I mean, but basically you’ve struck the perfect balance between clinical and grateful and calm and excited.

    Do you think you’d consider doing a vajay-jay update post later? My very biggest fear with pregnancy (other than the really big fears like something being wrong with the baby) is that I’ll have to get stitched up. I’m terrified of stiches in general and the thought of a needle near my lady-cave makes me want to throw up. That’s the one topic I’ve never seen anyone blog about (and none of my friends have children yet) and I think if I had more information I wouldn’t be so scared.

    And now I feel like a total creeper for asking someone to blog about their vagina.

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 18, 2012, 9:23 pm

      Hahah honestly I don’t think it’s been so bad. I don’t know if I’m just lucky or what but it’s not too painful. They give you stool softeners at the hospital so it doesn’t hurt when you poop. And I’m bleeding but that’s normally. I think I’ll feel totally normal soon but the stitches won’t disappear for a few weeks.

      Reply
  • Kimberly June 18, 2012, 5:31 pm

    Wow, what an amazing story! Truly shows what an amazing event/achievement giving birth is, and how it’s so wonderful our bodies are equipped to handle such extreme pain. Thank you for normalizing the fears/feelings of inadequacy surrounding parenting and birth. I’m not a mom, but it’s nice to be privy to a realistic version of what it’s like as a first time mom.

    Reply
  • Linda @ Lemons June 18, 2012, 5:32 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes, it is such a beautiful story. You are so strong and brave! I had two c-sections, so I don’t know anything about pushing, and it never sounded appealing to me. I’m not sure I would have had the strength. Henry is beautiful and so are you!

    Reply
  • Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama June 18, 2012, 5:40 pm

    The emotions that you conveyed through this post had me crying at the end. My son is now 3 and a half but I still remember his birth like it was yesterday! Hearing the sweet sound of their first cry is an amazing feeling! And you are exactly right: Your birth was perfect for you and your new family. Take care of yourself and Henry!

    Reply
  • Kim T June 18, 2012, 5:42 pm

    Henry is a seriously cute baby. Congratulations to you and Kristien. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Reply
  • Karlee June 18, 2012, 5:59 pm

    aw, i love it! congratulations!

    Reply
  • Vicky June 18, 2012, 6:44 pm

    What an amazing story! I also ended up with tearing, I used ice packs for over a week. My little one is now almost 5 months and hs birth (thankfully) is a distant memory!

    Reply
  • Amanda Sellers June 18, 2012, 7:02 pm

    WOW! Just wow… So happy for and proud of you!

    Reply
  • Carly June 18, 2012, 7:41 pm

    wow, great story, this post brought me to tears! So happy for you :)

    Reply
  • Aria June 18, 2012, 7:45 pm

    You are amazing! :) What a beautiful birth story <3

    Reply
  • Lauren June 18, 2012, 8:23 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your awesome birth story, especially for including all of the details! I loved it. I almost cried too.

    Reply
  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) June 18, 2012, 8:29 pm

    What a beautiful birth story :-) Thanks for sharing with us.

    Reply
  • Jen June 18, 2012, 8:49 pm

    Awww, I got chills and tears in my eyes reading your story! So beautiful! I also had an episiotomy, and the nurse gave me some tucks (which I believe are used for hemmorroids) and some antiseptic cream to take home with me, which really helped with the healing and reducing pain. I only needed them for a few days though.
    Henry is sooooo precious!

    Reply
  • Sarah June 18, 2012, 8:53 pm

    Wow! This is amazing! And equally terrifying!! I’m so proud of you and happy for you!! Congrats mama.

    Reply
  • Becca June 18, 2012, 9:29 pm

    At first I was hesitant about reading your post, because I’m 18 weeks pregnant and little scared of going into labor, but you know what?! It actually got me excited! Weird. But it did :) Thank you so much for sharing! By far my favorite post that you’ve ever written, and I’ve been following you for a few years now :)

    Reply
  • BroccoliHut June 18, 2012, 9:34 pm

    This was such a beautiful post, Caitlin–I cried, and I’m not even a mother (yet)! Thank you for being so open about all the details of giving birth. It really is helpful for those of us thinking of getting pregnant in the upcoming years.

    Reply
  • Emily June 18, 2012, 9:51 pm

    What an amazing woman!! Way to go! I can still remember when I FIRST stumbled upon your blog and you and the hus had just made your “we’ve got a bun in the oven” post. I was intrigued (even though I’m not sure I eve want children myself). Can’t believe I’ve been reading the blog for over 9 months now, it has been so awesome to watch you progress and read such honest posts about womanhood and pregnancy. It was like reading the grand finale to a great book! Of course, as you said, this is truly only the beginning! Cheers to you and your (now slightly bigger!) family, can’t wait to see what the years ahead hold for you.

    Reply
  • Jessica June 18, 2012, 10:11 pm

    This made me cry! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story and congrats on making it through what sounds like a VERY intense experience! Also, I hope your tear is healing quickly.

    Reply
  • Pam June 18, 2012, 10:19 pm

    Wow what an amazing story!! I give moms so much credit, I can’t imagine laboring but know I will someday.
    Congrats to you Caitlin and now you’ve got a wonderful new family member to enjoy, awesome!

    Reply
  • Emily June 18, 2012, 11:07 pm

    Such a wonderful story, Caitlin and so honest:)

    Reply
  • April June 18, 2012, 11:12 pm

    That last picture of you three leaving the hospital is so precious! Such joy and happiness!

    Reply
  • Maria June 18, 2012, 11:38 pm

    This brought tears to my eyes :-) No two birth stories are the same. Thank you for writing this, reading these blog stories are definitely helping me mentally prepare for labor.

    Reply
  • SarahNW June 19, 2012, 12:25 am

    Two extremely personal questions for you (feel free to refrain from answering!)
    1) Did you poop during delivery?
    2) Are you going to/did you circumcise Henry?

    again, these are weirdly in-depth questions and if you’re uncomfortable answering them I totes understand :)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP June 19, 2012, 8:25 am

      1) yes, of course. and i peed all over the place. there’s no way you can push that hard and not poop. trust me, you do not care!

      2) no we did not circumcise henry.

      Reply
  • Anu June 19, 2012, 7:58 am

    My Mother in Law has 8 kids. All of them were delivered naturally at home without any medical assistance.

    Reply
  • Ser June 19, 2012, 8:06 am

    I don’t know if I’ve commented here in the past, but congratulations! What a beautiful birth story and a beautiful Henry. (I have a Henry, and he was the only one of my three boys who’s sex was a surprise at the birth–so fun.) With my first I pushed for 5 hours and had a forceps delivery, even though everything else was “natural.” One thing that no one talked to me enough about was how hard it was to recover from the episiotomy/tear (third degree.) I remember crying and thinking it would hurt forever and I would never, ever want to have sex again. I hope that your recovery is much smoother, but if you have some moments of panic, don’t worry–the healing process just takes awhile. You are doing an awesome job learning to be a mama, and thanks for your honesty.

    Reply
  • Kaci June 19, 2012, 8:46 am

    Such a beautiful story! :)

    Reply
  • Lauren June 19, 2012, 9:52 am

    I’m so glad I read your birth story – as others have said, it’s a beautiful one – and very touching. I can tell there is already so much love in your little family. Henry is a blessed little boy!

    Reply
  • alicia June 19, 2012, 10:59 am

    What a great story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    Reply
  • Megan @ The Road to Skinny June 19, 2012, 11:28 am

    You get mad props from me to for pushing so long! I hated pushing and would have never been able to last that long!

    I 100% agree, every woman should be proud of their birth!

    Reply
  • Jenn June 19, 2012, 11:56 am

    Congrats on your new bundle of joy! I am so glad that everyone is healthy and doing great!
    Both parts of Henry’s Birth Story brought me to tears! Thank you for sharing your story with us!
    We can feel all of the joy, love and happiness of your little family!
    ~Jenn

    Reply
  • Howdy from NYC June 19, 2012, 12:26 pm

    Congratulations!!! What a beautiful post that literally brought tears to my eyes.

    And thank you for the best birth control ever ;)

    Reply
  • Ellen June 19, 2012, 1:57 pm

    Wow, that is amazing! You did SO GREAT!!!

    Reply
  • Melissa @ Be Not Simply Good June 19, 2012, 4:08 pm

    I teared up when I got to the part where you first heard Henry’s cry. Maybe it’s a cliche, but I really think every baby is such a miracle. Congrats!!

    Reply
  • Emily June 19, 2012, 4:15 pm

    Congrats on Henry!!!!!! He is adorable! Best wishes for your new family!!! :)

    Reply
  • Victoria June 19, 2012, 9:31 pm

    Congratulations!!!! I am thrilled for you and Kristien! Henry is just perfect – what a beautiful baby boy! And you look radiant – truly! I’m glad you had such a wonderful experience with your labor and delivery too!

    Reply
  • Amanda June 20, 2012, 3:43 am

    What a baller. Glad you and the baby are doing so well.

    Reply
  • Luna June 20, 2012, 8:43 am

    You’re so true and truly beautiful and (besides CONGRATS!) all I feel I need to tell you is THANK YOU.

    Reply
  • Jen June 20, 2012, 2:56 pm

    Incredible. I can’t believe how strong you are. But really how strong any woman is who gives childbirth. It’s amazing how something so wondrous happens every minute of the day all over the world.

    I do want to say though that I hate when people say “please don’t judge any woman for how they want to give birth”. I mean, no, I agree with it!! But I feel that in a way some of the bloggers that keep talking all about doing it the natural way, no drugs, etc. etc…well, they are the ones that’s judging. They make it sound as if they are superior or stronger. But that’s not fair or true. Every woman is different and if someone wants some help, an epidural, an epistomoty or hell even a planned c-section – it’s HER and the hubby’s decision. She is not any less than anyone else.

    Reply
  • Alice June 21, 2012, 2:52 pm

    I will admit that I cried! You are amazing! Thank you for sharing that with us. Like all of your posts, it was beautifully written. I am so so happy for you guys, and I wish you the best of luck.

    Reply
  • Georgia June 22, 2012, 12:44 am

    We had our little girl almost a year ago and my birth story is VERY similar to yours. I ended up pushing three hours (ugh) and finally my doctor asked me if I would be willing to push on my back.. and it worked. Go figure!

    But they are beyond belief and so amazing… believe me- it only gets better!

    Reply
  • Amykinz @ Foodie 4 Healing June 22, 2012, 5:18 pm

    Beautiful story, Caitlin! It made me cry! :) Congrats your beautiful SON!!!

    Reply
  • Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See June 22, 2012, 10:05 pm

    Wow what an intense story! I literally could not stop reading. Congrats :)

    Reply
  • Tanya June 23, 2012, 1:17 pm

    CONGRATS ON YOUR BABY!

    Reply
  • Tanya June 23, 2012, 1:21 pm

    CONGRATS ON YOUR NEW BABY!!!!

    Reply
  • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy June 24, 2012, 10:18 pm

    Oh my goodness, you are so strong and brave! I would love to have a big family someday, but the thought of going through labor terrifies me! I guess I’m going to have to do more research so I know what to expect :).

    Reply
  • Kelly June 25, 2012, 5:44 pm

    HUGE congratulations to you and Kristien! I read your birth story the minute it was posted, but I’m back for a second time now that I just found out my hubs and I are expecting our first next March. One question – did you do skin-to-skin contact with Henry during the first hour after birth? If so, did you notice any benefits from it?

    Thank you so much for being honest and open about your pregnancy and birth!

    Reply
  • Abby June 25, 2012, 10:53 pm

    Aw this brought tears to my eyes. Nothing more beautiful than a new life!

    Reply
  • Ali June 27, 2012, 8:44 am

    I’m floored that you did all of that. I have two babies and I know they say everyone can deliver naturally but I could not. I’m just not strong enough and I think you are AMAZING for being able to get through it! Good Job!!!!!

    Reply
  • Jaynie July 1, 2012, 4:41 pm

    With all due respect, I have a bit of a pet peeve regarding your (and others) use of “natural” to describe some births. I delivered my two children “naturally” as well. I simply chose pain management. Forgive me for being intrusive and possibly antagonistic, which is not my intent. This is a topic by which I clearly am bothered. Enjoy your sweet boy!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP July 1, 2012, 4:47 pm

      If you look up the definition of natural childbirth, it is with minimal medical intervention. A drug-free birth is the definition of ‘natural childbirth.’ You can choose pain management if you want it, of course, but that precludes it from being a natural childbirth as defined by the medical establishment. It’s not about being like, “Oh, my birth is BETTER than yours because it was NATURAL,” because as I stated at the end of the post, I don’t feel like that at all.

      Reply
  • Kt July 3, 2012, 3:18 pm

    Beautifully written!

    Reply
  • Jen @ keepitsimplefoods July 14, 2012, 6:19 pm

    Great post! And I totally agree that there’s no right or wrong way to deliver. It’s a case-by-case thing and a woman has to make the right decision for her at the time. Great job! Congratulations!

    Reply
  • Elsa September 13, 2012, 6:39 pm

    I’ve just started following you…out babies were born only a few weeks apart – my little girl was born 29 June. Reading your birth story actually made me cry as I remembered my own labor – tears of joy that I got my little girl at the end.

    ” Bradley taught us that transition was the moment you’d begin to doubt your ability to give birth without medication. ” exactly how I felt. I remember lying on my side on the bed (no way was I going anywhere!) and saying to my husband “I think I’m going to need an epidural”. I was convinced the midwife would come back in and tell me I was only 5-6cm….but I was 9cm! When she told me that I knew I could do it.

    I also remember yelling out “what is it?!” when she arrived and when thy told me it was a girl I looked at my husband and said “Matilda”.

    Thankyou so much for sharing your birth story. I looking forward to following your story with Henry.

    Reply
  • Denise February 8, 2013, 6:54 pm

    This is literally my exact birth story…from the Bradley method, to the episiotomy to the shock from my husband’s voice in announcing the sex of our baby. EXCEPT…I did vomit in transition! I share your love of running and triathlons! I have a daughter that’s 14 months now and love her with my whole heart. I find that having her has made me more ambitious and focused in my life…it’s awesome isn’t it!!! Best wishes to you!!!

    Reply
  • Jenny March 13, 2013, 1:38 am

    It was refreshing to read a birth story similar to my own. I needed pitocin to evict my tenant as she was two weeks overdue with rent;) I also pushed 4 hours which I didn’t think was humanly possible and still ended up having an episiotomy at my midwifed suggestion, very rare but at that point I didn’t really care. Glad all turned out well.

    Reply
  • Gracie March 17, 2013, 11:54 am

    Hi, Caitlin,
    I am a Bradley instructor and have started a Bradley Birth Blog on my site. I would love to post your birth story on my blog! Would you allow me to do this? I would of course include a link to your site as well! looking forward to hearing from you!

    Reply
    • Caitlin March 17, 2013, 6:46 pm

      Hi Gracie: I would prefer you simply publish a link to my story instead of reposting the entire thing on your site. Thanks!

      Reply
  • Sara June 19, 2013, 12:55 pm

    I’m pregnant with my first baby, and doing the Bradley method too. I have really enjoyed reading your birth story and your decision making processes! I’m sorry if you said this above and I just missed it, but I am thinking about delaying the cord clamping and wondered how long you waited after your birth?

    Reply
    • Caitlin June 19, 2013, 12:56 pm

      Yup! We waited until it stop pulsating, which took 3 – 5 minutes I think.

      Reply
  • Sara June 20, 2013, 6:59 pm

    Thanks!

    Reply

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