Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Benjamin's Birth Story

Okay, it's been a long time in coming, but I've finally found the time to sit down and write Benjamin's birth story.

Once upon a time.....

Just kidding, it wasn't quite that romantic of a story!  As a matter of fact, nothing quite went as planned.

October 19th
4:30 am - I went into labor, one day before my due date.  The beginning stages were very mild, so mild I wasn't exactly sure if it was the real thing.

5:30 am - I woke Matthew up and informed him that today was the day!  We talked and chatted and had trouble falling back asleep, but we eventually did.

7:00 - We called my family to let them know.  It was my parents anniversary, so they were excited that baby Dickerson would probably arrive on their special day!  We also called the midwife just to give her a heads up.

8:30 - The contractions finally got to where I could actually count them as Matthew headed off to work and continued to build until around noon, at which point I had to stop what I was doing every time a contraction came, but it still wasn't that bad.

12:30 - My mom decided to come over and spend the afternoon with me, so we ate, talked, played games and counted through the growing contractions.  My contractions were lengthy, but very sporadic.  They would come 3 minutes apart and then 8 minutes apart, and then back to 3 and then jump to 11 minutes, but they all lasted at least 1 1/2 minutes in length up to almost 3 minutes.  So we went throughout the day charting the contractions with no real progression, other than they were getting more painful.
4:30 - When Matthew got home from work, my contractions became a bit more steady (my midwife said that my hormones were simply waiting for him to get there ;-).  But by dinner time, my contractions still weren't coming in any sort of pattern.

6:00 - My family brought dinner over and ate with us, and we watched the debate that night while making it through worsening contractions.

10:30 - My family headed back home, but Mom stayed the night with us to help if needed.  I tried sleeping, but only got a half hour in since the contractions were too painful.  Matthew stayed up with me and serenaded me with his guitar in-between contractions.
October 20th
2:30ish am - Mom woke up and watched a movie with me while Matthew headed to bed to get some rest.  The contractions were pretty painful at this point.

7:00 - We decided to call the midwife to have her check me to see where I was at.  I showered and ate breakfast that Mom had made.  Mom then headed back home to make cheese.

11:00ish - The midwife showed up and I was at 4 cm.  Matthew and I made the decision to continue laboring alone while the midwives spent some time in town.  Our hopes were that with just the two of us there, my hormones would kick into gear and do what they needed to do to jumpstart this labor.

12:30 - Still no consistency to my contractions, but they were hard now to cope with at this point.  The midwives came back to check me and I was at 6 cm.  The doula worked her magic and helped me through the contractions from this point and provided a great amount of relief to my back.
2:00pm - Our air conditioning went out, so my mom came back over and brought their temporary window unit.  Contractions still sporadic but lasting 2-4 minutes each.

6:00pm - Still at 6 cm.  Tried different positions and techniques to no avail.

10:30 pm - My midwife advised us to transport in to the hospital before I reached maternal exhaustion.  I had been against a hospital birth the whole way through my pregnancy, but with the advice from Matthew, the midwives, and my mom, we decided to head in.
October 21st
12:00am (midnight) - We showed up at the hospital and they took us right in.  They got me settled in and let almost my whole birth team come in the room with me: Matthew (of course), mom, my midwife, and her assistant/doula.  My other doula had to head back home, but she said she'd be praying for me.
NOTE: As for the rest of this, I have no clue what time any of this happened.  I was only partway with it at this point and so everything was a little blurry.
I was still at 6 cm when I arrived at the hospital.
The doctor broke my water, anticipating that it would start to help with dilation.
The anesthesiologist came to inform me about epidurals, which I flatly refused, stating that I was going to do this naturally.
The doctor checked me about 1 1/2 hours later and I was still at 6 cm.
My family showed up at the hospital to wait for Baby's birth.
The doctor suggested that I be induced with pitocin, hoping that maybe that would help me to dilate.  We spoke with our midwife who agreed that that is what I should do since I hadn't progressed at all.  So we agreed to go ahead with the pitocin.

A little while later, my midwife came over and suggested that I get an epidural since the pitocin was going to make my already very painful contractions "longer, harder, stronger".  I was completely against it, but she gently informed me that if I didn't this was probably going to turn into a c-section.  So tearily I agreed to go ahead with the epidural.  (My mom had a very scary experience when she was in labor with my younger sister, so that forever scared any of us kids from "willingly" having epidurals.)
The epidural took effect right away, allowing me some much needed relief.  I was able to sleep for the first time in 2 1/2 days and build a little of my strength back up.  When I woke up they were ready for me to start pushing.  I pushed for 5 hours, some with the nurse, some with my midwife, and the final bit with the doctor.
At this point I was just about ready to give up and ask for a c-section.  I was completely exhausted from the whole ordeal and the amount of pushing.  The staff kept telling me I was so close, just a few more good pushes....for like an hour and a half.  I stopped believing them.
My mom came over to help me push and encouraging me that I was close.  I cried saying, "They keep saying that but it's not true.  Baby is not coming.  They've been telling me that for forever!"  She just kept encouraging me and telling me when to push.
Finally the doctor got his scrubs on and we realized that it was the real deal this time.  Matthew came up by mom to help me push since my strength was not really there like it should have been.  He kept whispering to me that I was "doing good" and "our baby would be here soon".  Between him and mom and lots of prayer, they helped push me through that last little bit and I was able to watch our baby come into this world.
As soon as he was in my arms, the relief was amazing.  Matthew told me with tears in his eyes that we had a son, and (almost) all the previous agony was forgotten.  We ooohd and aahhed over him and Matthew announced his name:
Benjamin James Dickerson
Matthew wrote this!

Matthew actually had a low blood sugar attack right after I gave birth and had to lay down and drink some juice to get back on his feet.  He hadn't eaten any breakfast, and had been worrying about me the whole time and it was just too much.  My mom helped him till he was feeling okay and was able to go out to announce to my family that we had had a son.

We were so thankful for our little guy and we were so thankful that the whole 52 1/2 hour ordeal was over!!!  My family came in to meet little Ben and we called Matthew's folks as well as our siblings.  We were praising the Lord that he had helped us through it and kept us all safe.  Through the whole labor, Benjamin's little heart rate stayed even keel.  He was in no distress at all, praise the Lord!  We spent the night in the hospital and came home the next evening.

I later asked my midwife why it took so long.  She had several reasons...
1. I had entered 6 cm arrest and wouldn't progress any further.
2. Benjamin was in a posterior position, putting me into posterior arrest.
3.Benjamin's head was deflexed, meaning not completely tucked down.
4. Benjamin's head was stuck on my pubic bone.
We are praying that our next birth story will go a lot smoother and be able to be a home birth, but we are also praising God for the hospital for the situations like ours when you need them.  God blessed us with our precious little one and we are so grateful!!!


  1. Aww - so sorry your birth was so hard and long!! Benjamin is sooo cute! and those smiles...oh my...a little heart melter! Thanks for sharing. You had a great support team who went through this with you - so happy your Mom could help out too. God's ways are not ours and so many times that seems to happen - we have a plan but it does not work out anyway close to how we wanted it done. Congratulations on the new little one and I've been praying for you during this time. Again, thanks for being so open and honest and for all the photos you always add - I love them.

  2. Kelsey! Oh my goodness! I'm just seeing this and am all keyed up just reading about your 52 hours! Whew! but what a blessing at the end of it all. Congratulations on little Benjamin!

  3. Dear Kelsey,
    Thank you for sharing Benjamin's birth story with us! It certainly was a difficult labour. My sister had a near identical birth experience with her first, except she did not get an epidural. They has also planned for a home-birth, but ended up transferring to hospital to get induced as she had been in labour for almost three days! Eventually their son was born, but they vowed never to be induced again. The delivery of their second son was a breeze compared to the first, and thankfully, they managed to avoid induction. Her second was almost three weeks overdue!

    My husband and I have two daughters, and both were safely delivered at home. Praise God! Despite premature rupture of the membrane in both pregnancy. I also developed pre-eclampsia in the third trimester with both of them. Our first born was 8lbs 4oz (after 12 hours of active labour) and the second daughter was 4lbs 7oz (six hours active labour)!

    Your second delivery will be much better I can assure you... Much love in Christ.

    1. Oops, I meant to say 4lbs 15oz (2.2kg) not 4lbs 7oz!

  4. Wow, this sound so much like my experience with our first. 48 hours of labor and a miserable, painful birth. I know at first the memories are raw, and your dreams about a peaceful home birth are crushed. But they do fade with time. The second time went better for me, and I hope the same for you.

  5. I have been blessed with 10 children. The first was a natural birth in the hospital and the rest have been born at home. Four were posteier. Those were terribly long and painful (I can relate to you, hugs!). Two (#3 & #10) were beautiful births (or maybe ideal is a better word) and the other four were okay (maybe normal is a better word). It has been interesting to me how powerful birth experiences are. Yes the pain goes away, but the memories of it does not. Anyway, thank you for sharing!

  6. A late but heartfelt congratulations to you and Matthew! I know you must be enjoying Benjamin so much.I always love reading about your and your family's life. May God's blessings rain down upon you two and that lovely little boy! PS Benjamin looks like you, Kelsey! What do you think? :-)

  7. Haven't popped in to read in quite awhile, and though I obviously knew about your birth story, waiting with bated breath, praying all the while, I just want to say how thankful I am you were in good hands throughout, and everything turned out well. Praise God! And wee Ben's adorable! Not that I have to tell you that. ;)

    Love you, Kelsey. :)