Mordecai’s Birth Story

I still can’t believe Mordecai is here and real! I’m here to share his birth story, so buckle up and get ready for lots of TMI 😜

Newborn baby with black hat

Before I start, here’s a little background info: I went into labor spontaneously at 40 weeks + 5 days and we had our son at a freestanding birth center in downtown Pittsburgh.

Sunday November 13th, 2022

I woke up sometime between 4:30-5:00 am and started having mild contractions that were 10-15 minutes apart. I woke Jimmy up around 5:00-5:30 am and he shot out of bed, ready to go straight to the birth center. He was a little traumatized from the speed of our daughter’s precipitous birth, but I assured him I was feeling totally fine and that we had plenty of time.

He didn’t believe me, so he called the midwife on call and let her know labor was starting. She said to come in when we were ready or when contractions were seven minutes apart since my last labor was quick. She said not to wait until the contractions were intense, because that means baby is about to be born.

My parents drove to our house to get Sadie, I cooked us breakfast between easy contractions, and kept saying that I couldn’t believe this was real! We said goodbye to Sadie girl and then packed up, said a prayer together, and drove to the birth center. I was convinced we’d be sent home because my contractions were so mild. I even thought maybe this wasn’t the real deal (at 40 weeks + 5 days… okay, Allie 😂).

Husband and wife driving in Pittsburgh

We got to the birth center at 8:30 am and checked in. As soon as we got settled into our room (the same room we had Sadie in!), my contractions picked up. I got into the shower with a yoga ball and started laboring for real.

Jimmy hung out in the bathroom with me and I had him FaceTime my sister and asked her to pray for me. She said the sweetest prayer and gave me so much encouragement! We were going to stream church from Jimmy’s phone, but the contractions were getting closer together and longer within 15 minutes. After things started to get intense, I requested to go in the birth tub because I had wanted to do that during Sadie’s labor but never had the chance.

I didn’t spend long in the tub until I was restless, so I got onto the bed. It was 9:00 am at this point. I remember the contractions starting to feel so hard! Jimmy was right by my side telling me that I was doing great. My water broke at 9:21 and it wasn’t a huge pop like during Sadie’s birth. I wished it were because it felt like I had a lot of pressure from my water still built up.

My body started to push on its own at some point after my water broke, but I just didn’t want to do it. I even remember saying “I don’t want to do this anymore” quite a few times! I couldn’t get into a good position and my contractions just felt wrong, like they weren’t bringing baby down.

I was on my hands and knees at one point, then on my side, then leaning over the bed, then in a reclined position. I liked laying on my side the most because it let me be lazy about the contractions but I knew it would take longer to get him here if I laid on my side to push. Eventually, I stayed in a reclined position, which ended up being important once he was about to be born.

The midwife said that Mordecai was close and that he was just behind my pubic bone. I worked to push him down and eventually I was able to feel his head and they said he had hair.

By 10:41 am, he was crowning and boy did that hurt! At 10:42 am, his head came out and I heard the midwife tell the student midwife and nurse in the room “We have a shoulder” and I knew in my heart right away that Mordecai had shoulder dystocia.

I love learning about childbirth, and I knew that shoulder dystocia is a true obstetric emergency. It happens when the baby’s shoulder gets caught above the mother’s pubic bone. I don’t even want to think about what could have happened if what the midwives did next didn’t work.

The midwife asked the student to maneuver Mordecai’s shoulder while she did the McRoberts Maneuver (which I was already in a good position for, thankfully) and the nurse applied pressure on my pubic bone. I kind of blacked out mentally at this point, but Jimmy said that when the midwife used her whole body to push my hip (which popped super loud–eek!) I screamed like an injured animal.

The shoulder dystocia episode lasted 58 seconds and he was born at 10:44 am and placed right on my chest. What a relief to feel him come out and hear his cry! Right after he was born, Jimmy and I smiled at each other, gave a high five, and said “we did it!” It was pure joy to have our son here safe and sound!

Mom meeting baby

I asked the midwife if Mordecai had shoulder dystocia and she replied that he did and that he may have a broken collarbone. She told me that she was glad the midwives had recently done a “fire drill” on birth emergencies and they had practiced exactly what they did to us.

God was definitely watching over us. Shoulder dystocia happens in 0.4%-1.4% of births and is usually caused by a large baby, mom with gestational diabetes, or a mom with a small pelvis.

We noticed Mordecai looked pretty big, and were surprised that he weighed 8 pounds, 3.5 ounces! I’m thinking the dystocia was cause by me being a fairly small person and him being a fairly big baby. The midwives examined him (and his pediatrician did a few days later, too) and didn’t see any signs of a broken collarbone. Whew!

After Mordecai was placed on my chest, we did delayed cord clamping for seven minutes and I cut his cord. Jimmy said a prayer of thanks while we snuggled our son. We also banked the cord blood and his placenta with a kit from Lifebank. I got cleaned up, was able to pee without passing out (unlike with Sadie’s birth, lol), and we started texting and calling family to tell them the good news!

We FaceTimed my mom (who was still at church, lol) and she showed Sadie Mordecai and Jimmy and I both started tearing up when she said “It’s Mordecai! Hi!”

Dad holding newborn son

In short, my labor was great! We felt really blessed it didn’t come on quickly in the middle of the night. We had a full night’s sleep, breakfast, and were able to pass Sadie off to my parents and know she was cared for.

Once my body knew we were safe and alone at the birth center, labor went really quickly and I’m thankful for that. From getting into the shower and contractions really picking up to his birth was less than two hours. If he hadn’t had dystocia, I think it would have gone more quickly, but it wasn’t bad at all!

The dystocia was hard work, rough, and scary, but we got through it. I have a feeling it’s going to take me some time to process that and what it could mean for future births, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

I’m happy we had him at the birth center and that I was able to have another healthy baby! I felt amazing after his birth and honestly did much better physically after his birth than after Sadie’s. I didn’t pass out, need to be transferred to the hospital, and didn’t need to have a catheter placed. That was a huge relief!

Mom with newborn son

Jimmy was amazing, so solid, and encouraged me after every single contraction. I know having a baby out of the hospital isn’t what he would personally chose, but he knows it’s my preference and has always supported me.

My mom, dad, and Sadie came to see us at 1:00 pm, followed by Jimmy’s mom and step dad (who brought glorious coffee!). We were set to go home at 2:40 pm (4 hours post-birth) but another mom was birthing at the center and the nurse and midwives were busy so we didn’t head out until 5:30 pm.

We were happy to stay and snuggle baby Mordecai but it felt good to go home, shower in our shower, and sleep in our bed! We had a good first night (thanks, Mordecai!) and still can’t believe he’s here! God has been very, very good to us. My heart is so full and thankful!

Baby in bassinet

I’ll be back soon with lots more pictures of family meeting Mordecai and a special video of Sadie meeting her baby brother!

9 comments

  1. I’m glad your labour was short and went well. Overall, it sounds like a very positive experience. And Mordecai is gorgeous! 😊 I’d never heard of shoulder dystocia before, it sounds scary! Glad that the midwives quickly resolved it.

  2. That was an amazing re-cap- although I cried –
    A lot.
    I’m so happy he’s here, and am looking forward to so many fun times with our family!!
    Love
    YaYa x7 ♥️
    Aka Madre

  3. Oh my goodness, Allie!!!! What a precious cutie! I am sooooo happy for you and your beautiful family. Rest up, take care of yourself, and enjoy these precious moments with your newborn. Sending you all so much love! 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing the story! I am so glad that the midwives knew exactly what to do in this emergency situation! And totally understandable that you are going to have a lot of processing to do with this birth. If you need a listening ear, I’m here! ❤ Also, so excited to see the video of Sadie meeting her little brother!!

  5. Congratulations again Allie. I am also in awe at how thorough your posts go! For sure this will be so interesting to read back over in the future and to relive the experience.

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