the tale of Phoebe's birth {part final}

03 June 2014

... find part one right here

Okay. Where were we? Ready to push!!

Yee Haw.

The room was readied, the baby warmer turned on, and we all geared up to meet the baby. I was so happy because the nurse that helped deliver Sebastian came in to help and I really liked her and it was nice to have a familiar face (other than, you know, Simon) in the room.

Commence pushing.

And pushing.

And pushing some mo.

My doctor said she thought the baby was turned funny but we kept pushing.

And pushing.

And pushing.

And then my doc said she was afraid this baby was OP (occiput posterior - face UP) just like Theo was. And my heart sank. I had been able to push Theo out but my water had broken at 37 weeks with him and he had been pretty small (relatively! Not crazy tiny) and still it had been a marathon of really, really hard work. I knew this baby was bigger and I got a little panicky but I kept pushing.

And pushing.

My doc said the baby had no hair.

Oh, a disappointment of a child already.

Kidding! Lighten up!

And we kept! on! pushing!!!

An hour passed and I was really tired and asked if the baby was moving down at all? Could I do anything differently? Was I a miserable failure at life? And I couldn't stop apologizing because I felt terrible my doctor had come in at 1am to a seemingly simple delivery and had found herself in the middle of a really boring session of pushing.

But we persevered.

And kept on pushing.

They put these little handles on the edge of the bed for me to hold onto to get a little better leverage (my pre-baby self would be freaking at this, "HANDLES?! What?! I can't picture this at all ...") and it seemed to help a bit. The nurse started some pitocin to try and make the contractions a little stronger but still ... the baby was just realllllly stuck with his/her little head sunny side up. I started to close my eyes and lay my head back on the pillow between contractions because I felt awkward after 99999 million pushes just staring at everyone ... doo da doo. I'm sure I looked super dramatic especially when I started asking Simon for some ice chips. Pathetic.

At this point I was starting to think that perhaps I was going to be headed for a c-section. I really didn't want to go down that route but if that's what it took? FINE. I wasn't going to be the patient throwing a big sulky fit about the best thing for the bebe. No one mentioned anything about having to do so and the baby's heart rate was perfectly fine the entire time. My doctor mentioned the possibility of trying the vacuum. I was totally game. I looked at Simon who was nodding emphatically about that option. We pushed for a bit longer and I kept apologizing and my sweet nurse assured me that some people would've given up by now (lies! but ... I ate it UP ... I was a champion - albeit ineffective - pusher). I asked if maybe we could try the vacuum? Simon was still nodding - yes! Let's do it.

I didn't know this but there's a big vacuum that you wheel into the room - heavy duty style. And then there is a little vacuum called a Kiwi and so that's what we used. Or my doctor used ... I didn't touch it.

She popped it on the baby's head and after one push ... out came Phoebe's head! One more push and out she slid completely at 3:37 in the am after two full hours of futile pushing.

God bless the Kiwi. God bless it real good.

During the Ironwoman of pushing I told Simon 99 times that it was DEFINITELY a boy because that was logical. Theo had been stuck and so surely it was another stubborn little boy. SURELY.

And so when we all saw that Phoebe was a Phoebe and not a little man baby .. I burst into tears. I was a big fat emotional casserole of shocked, happy, relieved, happy, and so very grateful. With each baby I get more emotional at the birth because I realize that the baby will soon grow into a little person with an adorable and frustrating and hilarious personality.

She was screaming, exactly like Julia (and a zillion other newborns) had been when she was born. They laid her on my chest and she immediately stopped crying, very much unlike Julia who had screamed for an eternity.


They asked what her name was and we both said, "Phoebe Anika" as I tried to get over my surprise that we had another little lady.


I didn't need any repairs but I guess that makes sense since Phoebe didn't exactly come flying out at the speed of anything other than a three-legged tortoise. I don't know. I don't specialize in lady part tears and repairs.

Simon held her for a bit before they took her over and weighed her and got her cleaned up.


We let our families know that she was here and healthy and fine. I can only imagine the cow my poor mom was having after she heard I was getting ready to push at 1am and then ... SILENCE for over two hours.

She latched on just fine and ate for a little bit while the room was cleaned up. Two nurses eventually came in to bathe her and she screamed bloody murder through the entire thing while I watched Simon straight up pass out in his chair. Polar opposite sleeping habits attract, I suppose. I don't know if I slept a consective hour during my entire hospital stay ... I was too busy enjoying all of the amenities and the silence.

I already told you about the kids meeting Phoebe. I still can't watch the video without crying because I'm a softie.

During my resort stay, every time a nurse or doctor would come in to look at Phoebe they would take off her little hat and couldn't help but comment on the bruise on her head ..


(the best photo I have of the damage, sorry)

And I would laugh because ...


Theo won that war.

AND SO ... that is the birth story of our sweet little Phoebe Anika. After a nice long nap I would gladly do it a thousand times more.


She's worth it. They always are.

Simon's mom's name is Ann and my mom's name is Bettina and so Simon says we have to have another girl and name her Bettinika to make things fair. 

Sounds good to me. 

And if you're in the mood to read more more more birth stories there are close to 300 of them right on over HERE. Enjoy! 

48 comments:

  1. Oh yes-the handles. Things pre-pregnant me is glad she didn't know about ever needing to use ;)

    And yes-the babies are so worth it!

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  2. I wish that little vacuum would have worked on mine! Apparently the bones in his head were moving around too much so it kept popping off. And now at 4 months he still has a decent bump on his head from it...it's cool though, I like to rub it. Anyway! Little Phoebe is of course adorable and don't tell my husband but you make me want to have another one!

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  3. Oh you are a warrior and I can say that and truly mean it as I had 2 c sections so I have no idea what actual labor and pushing is all about but I believe that any woman who does that is a warrior! Sweet Phoebe is just the best little addition to the Camp! :)

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  4. Love birth stories and this one didn't disappoint! I pushed for 3 hours and 15 minutes with my first....at the 3rd hour they got the vacuum out - God Bless the creator of that thing!! After she was born and the nurse exclaimed "Look at the size of her!" We all realized what the difficulty was. She was 10 pounds 3 oz and carving the way for her younger siblings to slide out later on....HA! :-)

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  5. Read that as Bettinka and thought it was cute, if a little eccentric... But not as eccentric as Bettinika. Nice to know Simon keeps his good sense of humor in spite of crushing sleep deprivation!

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  6. Wow! Too bad they didn't try that vacuum an hour earlier - you poor mama! I can not believe you are talking about the next baby already, you are amazing!

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    1. HA. oh gosh I didn't mean it like that!

      Just a little joke/humoring Simon's crazy ideas!! :)

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  7. After 3.5 hours of pushing, I'm wondering why they didn't get the vacuum out for me! My little chica also came out sunny side up (head tilted to the side and cord around her neck- what joy!). I am **insanely** jealous that you had no repairs because slow doesn't always mean escaping unscathed. Level 4 tearing lady right here, at your service. But like you said, they're so worth it. And I would do it again. And again. Congrats, mama. She's gorgeous. I love reading birth stories- especially yours.

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  8. thank goodness it was a small vacuum (with a cute name!) i think the big one would scare me. you're a champ, for sure. i laughed out loud at phoebe's lack of hair :) and oh theo, that bruise gets me every time!

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  9. I love this. So funny about the ice chips because I had my husband feeding them to me while I was pushing and I was all "I can't breathe! My mouth is so dry!" like a true drama queen. But two hours of pushing? Man! I only pushed for 15 minutes after being in labor for 22 hours and it still felt like an eternity. Good for you! Love your beautiful babies! How do I convince my husband to let me have four?!

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  10. "too busy enjoying all of the amenities and the silence."- my favorite.
    and...when I saw the picture of poor theo, I giggled a bit (not a sick psycho giggle, but more like a 'oh my gosh' giggle) and my oldest (3 years) asked, "mom, what are you laughing for"- I didn't answer.

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  11. Thanks for sharing your story...your kids are precious.

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  12. You rock! "After a nice long nap I would gladly do it a thousand times more"

    and no repairs? im jealous.......
    sweet, sweet babies! thanks for sharing.

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  13. YES! Bless the kiwi! My doctor had to use it on my first who tried coming out with her fist in her mouth. 24 hours of labor and 5 solid hours of pushing later...out she came. So yes, I couldn't agree with you more. All hail the Kiwi!

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  14. Amazing! I love that you were convinced it was a boy. My husband has requested that if we are blessed with baby number four, we keep it a surprise. I don't know if I can do it, but I will try. And man, the Kiwi, what a device! My last two were both face up, but they turned them? when we started pushing. I didn't ask questions....I just went with it! haha

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  15. Thank goodness for the Kiwi! I had a very similar pushing story with my little dude. So many pushes, but his head was just so stuck. Glad you didn't need any repairs - I had tears in places I didn't know possible after they yanked my little guy out with that sucker. Yikes. But like you said, so worth it :) Thanks for sharing your story, and so glad you've got a happy, healthy little girl to hold!

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  16. I love birth stories! I also had a Dr called in and then made him wait around for an hour and a half of pushing. He made himself comfortable- apparently he even took his shoes off, although I was in no state to notice things like that at the time.

    If you ever need a good Biblical reason for Julia and Phoebe to get along, you can tell them that there's both a Phoebe and a Julia mentioned in Romans 16. If sharing a chapter of the Bible isn't a reason to stop yelling at your sister, I don't know what is. No Sebastians or Theos though.

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  17. I love your story telling--the perfect mix of humor and sentiment--and Phoebe's birth story is no different :) Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Ahhh I love it! Our little guy was also occiput posterior, hence his conehead and my traumatic birth experience that made me question if I would ever do it again au natural. Thank God he was only 6 lbs 11 oz. Anyways, she is so beautiful and these always make me so emotional (esp. with all the lovely postpartum hormones).

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  19. Yup, a kiwi girl here as well! OP first baby, she took 3.5 hours...transfer of care from a midwife to a doctor, our came the vacuum and she came out. With an episiotomy of the third degree...but boy was I happy to have her out lol. That doctor is my true Hero in life. If I ever see her out in the real world I would probably run up and hug her lol. I am 2 months away from delivering number 2 and I am not gonna lie..your story made me happy but also pretty nervous. Like..oh yeah..I am actually going to have to deliver this baby. Hopefully facedown! They are so worth it though :)

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  20. The Kiwi is what rendered me sexually incapable for a year after my second-born's debut. But our circumstances were far less optimal for that device than yours were I'm sure. A third-degree tear, episiotomy and one push later he was out! Thank God I had an epidural.

    I loved reading this. You are so funny. Congrats again!

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  21. Despite the difficulty of the pushing-phase of Phoebe's birth, I just love the warmth with which you told this story. Especially the end. They sure are worth it -- whatever it takes.

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  22. No one mentioned the vacuum to me and it would have been welcomed with open arms because I pushed every 2 minutes for over 2 hours as well. After he was born, I PASSED OUT I was so exhausted.

    All this story made me do was want another baby.

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  23. Love it! Man do birth stories make me weepy. And want to get pregnant againy. And wistful for those sweet newborn days! Oh sweet Phoebe, you are a doll & you Grace are a champ!

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  24. Being that my husband and I have no babies yet when you started talking about the vacuum, I was like, "wth is this vacuum thing?" and then I continued reading and it made sense:)
    2 hours of pushing!? I hope Simon got you a nice, cold adult beverage...and a gold medal!

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  25. Loved reading this story, I had a vacuum delivery as well. My baba got a little stuck too and his heart rate dropped so out came the kiwi suction thing (to me it looked like the box with curly wires and a handle on it that cartoon characters use to explode dynamite). I felt a little guilty that maybe it was me having the epidural or being a bad pusher but if a mama of 4 gets one too than I guess sometimes it's just necessary and it's not necessarily me!

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  26. I just want to thank you for sharing this story and all your daily exploits! I'm suffering from hyperemesis right now (preg with #2) and at home on an IV 24/7. The birth story makes me so excited to meet my new human in December!

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  27. Awwwww, that picture of her in the warmer with a little frowny face... TOO CUTE.

    Love this story. Love you!

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  28. I have never made it to the pushing part so I can't begin to sympathize. Two hours. Damn girl. You're a beast. I have always skipped every birth story ever written, but somehow I read this and loved it! I hope this is not a new addiction. Thanks for sharing!

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  29. you manage to make everything funny. and sweet too. Loved reading! Thank goodness for the vacuum. saved me after 3 1/2 of pushing. labor is no joke!

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  30. Congratulations!! The doc used a Kiwi on my second baby. After pushing until I was exhausted I said, "Doc, you've got to help me out here." I didn't even know what that help might be, but out came the Kiwi, and out came the baby. Yay! . . . Congrats again!

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  31. So sweet! She is adorable btw!

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  32. Phoebe looks so much like Julia with the frowny face in the bassinet photo! Congratulations for another healthy baby.

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  33. I do believe that your sweet sweet nurse was indeed full of lies. Because after two hours of champion (albeit ineffective) pushing during my son's birth, I DID give up, and yet they made me keep going. I mean, it's not like I could have just thrown a tantrum and stopped, and they definitely had not control either. Hard to stop the train of horrors that is birth. But really. There should at least be a rest stop.

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  34. My first had to be vacuummed out after much pushing. He had a giant head. And for weeks after he had a huge hematoma on the top of his head from that thing.

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  35. Oh man, sounds like mine. 28 hours of labor and 3 hours of pushing...but who's counting! It is SO crazy how when it is over and you have them in your arms you are like, 'oh, it wasn't that bad'. I was already talking about #2 the next day and my husband was like, 'did you just experience what I experienced?' I still have little panic attacks sometimes when I think back of it all and I can't remember if I took a second to offer up all the pain for the souls in Purgatory so I could get a few outta there...because I'm gonna need all the help I can get when it is my time to go! It just was so crazy at the time- I am gonna be so pissed if I missed out on offering all of that up! Haha.,,,,but really /:
    Thanks for sharing your story! Love your little family. If you end up in Birmingham, I used to live there. Good little town! Auburn or Alabama...you will have to choose a side though if you want to survive.

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  36. for some reason I smiled my way through this but when I got to Bettinika I almost choked on my strange banana milk maple syrup oat concontion that I am using to make up for my tiredness of a yesterdays student nursing shift wow i've forgotten how to use grammar.

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  37. I'm dying here, because with my firstborn (who turned TEN yesterday, omg), she was also sunny side up, I pushed for 3-1/2 hours (this was after nearly 60 hours of labor), and they ended up having to use the vacuum to get her out. And, my mom too freaked the hell out when she'd heard things were finally progressing (Ha! oh, so many HA's!) and then didn't hear a thing for more than 3 hours. My parents actually CALLED THE DELIVERY ROOM. I am not kidding. I don't even know how that was possible. Anyway, also, the second my daughter was out and washed (basically), my husband passed sound asleep out in a chair too. :)

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  38. Loved this! So sweet! She is adorable and you are AMAZEBALLS!

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  39. Your birth stories always win. And seriously, after pushing a baby out of your bod, make the story as many parts as you damn well please.

    Welcome, Phoebe! You lucked out with yer mama.

    And, yes, medicated, intervention-ous births are wonderful.

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  40. Your birth stories (or any story for that matter) are my absolute FAVES! I cry on every birth story of yours (pathetic, I know)! I'm sorry it took so long for little Miss to make her big debut...you make me nervous that #2 won't be any easier than #1 when she comes within the next 3 weeks! haha but it's good to know that the vacuum help is NOT the end of the world. :) Phoebe is beautiful and so perfect....can't wait for your next birth story! ;)

    disclaimer**I have been dying to comment but I don't comment from my iPhone anymore since it's super lame and won't post once I submit**

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  41. I had to push for 3 hours for my second (and last!) birth which was a VBAC. And she was tiny (6lbs, 5oz) and not sunny-side-up! But the position that worked for my pushing was TUG OF WAR with the sheets! My awesome OB grabbed a sheet from the empty bed next to me, tied it in a circle, gave one end to me and the other to my husband. We played tug of war with it for more than 2 hours but it was the best leverage for pushing in the right place! Remember that trick for baby #5!

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  42. I've only had one (so far), but I couldn't agree more with the "She's worth it. They always are." I felt that way immediately after giving birth and 4 months later feel that even stronger! YAY babies :)

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  43. Handles would have been nice with my first! I was dead to the world from an over ambitious epidural (gross!), and one of the nurses made a loop out of a sheet. She held one end and I held the other. Thank God I didn't send her flying into the wall! She needed a vacuum boost, too. My second was unmedicated and came out in about 9 minutes of pushing. All 9 lbs of him. Yeah, I needed ALL the repairs! God bless those little frozen diapers they make!

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  44. Great job, Mama! What a crazy/interesting story- start to finish! Thanks for sharing and hope the recovery and wonderful baby cuddles are treating you well.

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  45. I literally snorted out loud after the comment about no repairs needed on lady parts and the speed of a three-legged tortoise. Glad she was safe and healthy! Your post made birthing seem so...tolerable. Gearing up for my time in 10 weeks or so.

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