Looking back on Sadie’s birth, I am so amazed at how God planned the way she would come into the world and all the lessons He taught Jimmy and I along the way.
Our pregnancy was beautiful and intense. I struggled with anemia, gestational diabetes, and developed a hernia. Thankfully Sadie was healthy and did great during the whole pregnancy! Our prenatal care was through midwives and we planned to birth at a stand-alone birthing center here in Pittsburgh.
As Sadie’s due date loomed, it was made clear that not letting the pregnancy progress past 41 weeks was the safest option for our little gal due to the gestational diabetes diagnosis. We didn’t think I’d hit 41 weeks, but my due date came and went and we found ourselves with a scheduled hospital induction set for Tuesday September 25th. We spent half of the day trying natural induction techniques at the birth center on the 24th, but to no avail. I was bummed that we wouldn’t have the chance to birth at the birth center but Jimmy and I spent some time praying the night before the induction and just surrendered to God’s plan for Sadie’s birth.
We went to bed around 11:00 PM on the 24th after packing our hospital bags and I woke up around 11:30 with an intense contraction. I tried to lay in bed through it, but I couldn’t stand sitting still through the pain. I got out of bed and paced around the room. Jimmy woke up and I told him I had a contraction so he timed the next one on my pregnancy app. After a minute or two, another contraction came, then another. I thought I was going to throw up from the pain, so Jimmy got the garbage can out.
I started standing on my tippy toes and leaning over our bed to get through the contractions. I paced around the house and Malcolm started following me and thought it was playtime and attacked my feet. I danced, swayed my hips, even found myself throwing one of Sadie’s stuffed animals during a contraction because it was just so intense.
After a few more contractions I decided to get in the shower to get through the pain, which helped a lot. I just couldn’t seem to settle. Eventually I found myself on all fours on my yoga mat. I was in a lot of pain and wondering if I could make it through labor.
Throughout the end of our pregnancy, the midwives had instructed us to call when my contractions were five minutes apart, lasting one minute long, for one hour. I was starting to feel desperate and asked Jimmy if I had been laboring for an hour and he said yes. I asked how far apart the contractions were and he said none of them were five minutes apart and I thought he meant they were further apart, but he said they were all closer together than five minutes.
I told him to call the midwives and ask if we could come in because I already couldn’t imagine getting in Jimmy’s truck. The midwife on call was a little skeptical that we wanted to come in after only an hour of labor, especially since I was a first time mom, but Jimmy stressed that I was in a lot of pain and that he thought the car ride would be rough.
The midwife told us to head in and we slowly made our way to Jimmy’s truck. Thankfully we had our bags packed for the induction, so we just brought those with us. There’s no way I would have had the mental capacity to pack a bag. Jimmy even asked me which shoes I wanted before we left and I took a minute and all my focus between contractions to mumble “my vans” but also told him I really didn’t care, lol. Jimmy threw my yoga mat (I guess it was my safe place?!) into the truck for good measure. He called my parents and our doula and told them to come to the birth center.
I had a contraction on our front porch before getting in the truck and Jimmy rubbed my back and encouraged me and I said “No touch” in the nicest voice I could manage (which probably wasn’t too nice… sorry Jimmy!!). He was such an amazing labor partner and stayed so calm and encouraging through the labor and delivery.
We got in the truck and it was raining. For some reason I asked Jimmy if he brought my water bottle with us. I guess that was super important to me, even though I didn’t drink from it until after Sadie was born. The car ride was crazy. Every bump and sharp turn was so awful, and I started to feel my body bearing down and pushing without my control, which freaked me out a little.
At one point I was really loud and Jimmy reminded me to breathe. I pushed my hand against where Sadie’s head would come out during each contraction because my body couldn’t stop pushing and I was afraid she was going to come out while we were driving.
I faced the back of the front seat and had my head on the armrest while Jimmy drove through a few red lights. We were at the birth center in about 20 minutes, arriving at 1:20 AM. The midwife on call led us in and I hopped on all fours on the bed and had a contraction and my water broke. It was loud and there was a ton of fluid.
I asked if I could birth in the tub (the birth center offers these amazing jacuzzi tubs for labor and delivery!) and the nurse and and midwife said they didn’t think it would fill up in time, but that they would start to fill it.
The midwife checked me and said I was 10 centimeters dilated. She then checked Sadie’s heart rate, which was low. Her heart rate continued to be low during the next few contractions, so the midwife had me flip onto my back and called 911 for the paramedics to transport me to the hospital due to Sadie’s low heart rate.
She had Jimmy hold an oxygen mask over my face and told me that I could deliver Sadie at the birth center or in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. My body had been bearing down since I was in the truck, so I had no problem pushing. At one point, I looked over and saw the paramedics in the doorway, but I was so close to delivering that they didn’t have to transport us. With a few more pushes, Sadie entered the world at 1:59 AM weighing seven pounds and three ounces.
Feeling her leave my body and then be placed on my chest was indescribable. Jimmy and I were in shock that she was here and really existed, if that makes sense. I think the first thing I said was “Sadie! Hi Sadie!” or something along those lines. Jimmy and I were both crying and so happy she was healthy and doing great.
Her blood sugar was checked twice and it was perfect. Looking into Jimmy’s eyes right after she was born was such a surreal moment. We did it. We had our daughter. God had brought us through our pregnancy and Sadie was with us, safe and sound.
Our timeline for labor and delivery was:
- 11:30 PM – First contraction
- 1:20 AM – Arrived at birth center fully dilated and pushing without being able to control it.
- 1:59 AM – Sadie was born!
We feel very, very blessed that my labor didn’t start in the day. Traffic in Pittsburgh easily could have cause us to have a baby in the car.
Having a 2.5 hour labor was equal parts awesome and tough. I feel like I went straight into the transition phase of labor, and it was hard to wrap my head around the pain. I thought I had hours of intense contractions ahead of me, which really made me doubt my ability to get through labor. On the other hand, I’m so glad the whole experience was short and sweet. It definitely left us shell shocked!
Our doula made it to the birth center just before Sadie was born, but my parents didn’t. When Jimmy called before we left our house, they thought they had plenty of time so they brewed a pot of coffee. They were surprised when I called them around 2:00 AM and heard Sadie crying in the background! We were all kind of glad they didn’t make it to the birth because my parents definitely would have been freaked out seeing an ambulance and paramedics as they pulled up to the parking lot.
Once they arrived more tears of joy were shed! Jimmy’s mom had been up in the night thinking of us and picked up her phone on the first ring when Jimmy called and came right down, too! She had a motherly sense that Sadie was going to be born. So cool!
It’s also worth noting that Sadie was born on the full moon. I had a sense I would have her on the full moon in September even though it was a week after her due date. Full moons have been pretty special to Jimmy and I. As we drove to our honeymoon in 2014, we saw the honey moon, which only happens once every 100 years (it won’t be seen again until June 2098!). It was so special.
This full moon was the corn moon, which cracked us up. I was obsessed with all things corn during pregnancy, but it made my blood sugar super high. I was even reprimanded by the doctor who was tracking my blood sugars and told to stop eating corn until Sadie was born. We thought it was very fitting that she arrived during the corn moon!
We all hung out for a bit and soaked in Sadie Mae! We also called Jimmy’s dad and he and my brother and sister-in-law came to visit as well!
The midwife wanted us to rest and have breakfast, so our little family of three had breakfast in bed and took a catnap. I don’t think I slept at all, though. I remember laying in bed with Sadie between Jimmy and I and just crying tears of joy as I stared at my daughter and husband sleeping. It was such a beautiful moment.
Since this is probably the longest post I’ve ever written, I’m going to stop here and share part II soon. It involves another 911 call and a hospital transfer. Thankfully it was for me and not our Sadie girl!
Be back soon and thanks for reading if you made it through this novel-length post! Part II can be found here!