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Noah's Birth Story, Part One

Thursday, September 29, 3:15 p.m.

diana: how are you feeling?
amalah: braxton-hicks-ish
diana: excellent
amalah: ugh, they suck
diana: maybe they're real?
amalah: they hurt and there's absolutely no pattern to them
amalah: hoping they turn into something, but so far they're just duds

Famous last words.

All day, the contractions came and went.  Jason came home from work and I whined about how crappy I felt. I started to feel the contractions in my back and I could no longer talk during them. Still, they were all over the place and I dismissed it all as false labor.

We ordered Indian food. I did laundry, clipped the dog's toenails and brushed the cat's teeth. Then I MacGuyvered up the iron so it fit in the holder I bought months ago using packing tape.

20 minutes apart.

I realized the contractions were coming regularly sometime during Survivor. Jason started timing contractions during The Apprentice.

(Yes, all major life milestones can be measured by reality television.)

At 10 p.m. we took Ceiba for a walk. The contractions kept coming. We started to let ourselves get excited. Could this be it? Was it really going to happen?

Nine minutes apart.

Jason started taking inventory of everything we had left to pack while I smugly informed him that the contractions were getting pretty painful, but I could totally handle them.

Seven minutes apart.

We came back inside and I took a shower. Jason started to gather up the camcorder, camera, cell phones and the four frillion chargers and spare batteries that went with each.

I debated whether or not to put makeup on, although I still kind of expected everything to come to a screeching halt because me? In labor? For real? Nah.

My doctor told me to call him when the contractions were five minutes apart for at least two hours. By 11 p.m., they hit five minutes. By midnight, they were four minutes apart. I still waited another hour, despite Jason's belief that we should just call the doctor NOW, because I Follow Instructions To The Point Of Ridiculous.

At 1 a.m., the contractions were three minutes apart. Shiiiit. I called the doctor, who 1) was totally asleep and 2) had no fucking clue who I was ("This is your second baby, right?"). He gave the all-clear to get to the hospital and to see if I was dilating at all.

We were off.

And we were already hopelessly disorganized. What to do with the dog? Leave food down for the cat! Tape a key to the front door for the contractor! On second thought, maybe scratch that last one. And pack the snacks! All the books said to bring snacks! Send email! Tell boss I won't be working tomorrow! Update the Internet!


I called my mom and in-laws on the way to the hospital. Jason drove and periodically quizzed me about my contractions. "Are they still happening? Is this really it? Should I turn around?"

We got to the hospital around quarter of two, about an hour after EVERY PREGNANT WOMAN IN THE DC METRO AREA ARRIVED. They were completely full and I was left out by the reception desk for a good 40 minutes. (At least no one made me give up my chair.)


Finally a nurse came and took me back –- to the fucking recovery room. They still had no birth suites available so I was stuck on a super-uncomfortable cot in a big huge room with a dozen other beds separated by curtains. There was no privacy and no toilet paper in the one communal bathroom. There was another couple two beds down hovering around their newborn so walking around the room was out, as I was still holding on to some shreds of my modesty at this point.Allpics063

Two nurses (as in, one sort-of inept nurse and her terrifyingly inept trainee) came and hooked me up to the various monitors and asked me stupid questions that they then couldn’t figure out how to put my answers into the computer. Oh, and at first they put the monitors on backwards and upside down.

They asked if we'd taken any childbirth classes. I said no and started to tremble a little. What were we thinking? How could we not have taken any childbirth classes? I have no fucking clue what I’m doing and these contractions are getting bad and ow ow ow.

Then Terrifyingly Inept Trainee could not find my cervix. Sort-Of Inept Nurse found it and announced that I was three centimeters dilated and I could officially be admitted. Which meant Terrifyingly Inept Trainee needed to draw blood and hook me up to an IV.


The next hour or so was the longest of my life. The contractions quickly went from an uncomfortable tightening in my abdomen to shooting pain through my back and pelvis. The bed I was on was horrible and with the stupid monitors I could do nothing more than lie on my back, grip the mattress and moan and kick my legs like a child throwing a tantrum. Jason managed to get me on my side so he could rub my back.

Terrifyingly Inept Trainee watched Jason apply perfect counterpressure (while trying to figure out how to get my contractions to show up on the monitor before announcing that "I don't think this is the kind of monitor that can do that") and said bullshit, we'd obviously taken childbirth classes. Jason said no, but he did have this thing called "the Internet" and learned about it there.

It wasn't long before the contractions were so close together that one would barely bottom out before another one started. I tried to breathe deeply but couldn't and started to get a little hysterical. Jason pulled out the tennis ball. I swatted him away through gritted teeth, and then sobbed for him to come back.

I got out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom multiple times, dragging monitor cables behind me and no longer caring about the other people in the room or about the absolutely disgusting trail of bloody mucus plug that I left in my wake.

Terrifyingly Inept Trainee offered me a Nubain shot for the pain around 3 a.m. I was torn. I'd planned to forgo narcotics, but I'd also planned to be in a fucking ROOM where I could walk around freely (without showing my ass to an audience of new parents) and soak in a whirlpool tub at this stage of labor. I miserably accepted the shot.

"I'm sorry," I said to Jason. "I didn't want to do Nubain. I really didn't." Jason looked at me and back to the contraction monitor and then back at me. He probably said something comforting about being so proud of me, but his face clearly read: You are insane. Take the damn shot.

It was all pointless, anyway. The Nubain was fucking useless. It sort of helped with the back pain (that I was managing just fine with the help of Jason and his Magic Tennis Ball) (and are you getting just how awesome of a labor coach Jason was?) (he was so incredibly awesome), but I was still in way more pain than I expected.

Allpics066By the time my room was ready, the contractions were extremely intense and extremely close together. I could barely catch my breath before another one would start ramping up. Yet no one checked my cervix again -– they kept mentioning how I'd seen the doctor the day before and hadn’t been dilated at all. The assumption was clear –- I was going to be laboring forever.


Allpics068I did, however, get assigned a Real Live Nurse in my real room –- and I realized that Sort-Of Inept and Terrifyingly Inept were just kind of floating glorified candystriper help. They set up a delivery tray in my room and brought me ice chips but a Real Live Nurse took over the important duties.

Like getting the plastic thingie for the toilet to measure my urine output. Except that she broke her finger while getting it and left me stranded in the bathroom for a good 15 minutes.

No, seriously. She helped me into the bathroom (where I looked longingly at the whirlpool tub, knowing deep down that I was past the point where that would help anything) and then told me to wait until she found a plastic thingie.

I waited.

I contracted.

I yelled and howled and squatted down on the edge of the tub.

Jason came running in and I yelled at him to get out because GOD, I was not peeing on his shoes or something. He ignored me.

A different nurse flew in, plastic toilet thingie in hand. My nurse slammed her hand in a cabinet while getting it and had broken her finger. Or something. The point is: She completely forgot about the laboring, full-bladdered woman she’d left behind.

Allpics079I got back in bed. I knew I should walk around or sit or stand or SOMETHING, but I was exhausted. I lay on my side, clutched the bedrail and suddenly started shaking from head to toe. My teeth chattered. The contractions forced out involuntary yelps and sobs. At some point I was given an oxygen mask because the baby’s heart rate was dropping.

I buzzed the nurse and asked for an epidural. It was 6 a.m. No one had checked my cervix since the initial check around 2 a.m. To the shock of everybody except me, I was over seven centimeters dilated and in transition.

"We, uh, better get your doctor in here." Replacement Real Live Nurse said.

Jason found a laminated poster explaining the stages of labor (in Spanish) and handed it to me. "This is you," he said, pointing at the last in a series of smiley faces demonstrating the pain level associated with each stage. The seven-to-10 centimeters face was red and angry and had lightening-bolt-like lines of symbolic pain shooting around it.Allpics076

Through the pain, I was suddenly and enormously proud of myself. I'd assumed I'd be crying uncle and demanding the epidural by the time I got to the hospital. I never imagined making it to seven centimeters relatively unmedicated. (I refuse to count the Nubain because GOD, SO USELESS.)

And I briefly thought about not having the epidural. Not because I suddenly felt like Superwoman or because the contractions weren’t the Worst Thing I Have Ever Felt (they so were), but because I suddenly felt like a big fucking chicken about the whole needle-in-the-spine thing. The contractions were awful, but at least I knew what I was dealing with at this point. Needle-in-the-spine? Extremely scary all of a sudden.

Then another contraction hit and I was suddenly terrified that the anesthesiologist wouldn't get there in time.

I also realized that the worst and hardest work was still ahead of me: actually pushing the kid out. I felt the contractions in my back, which suggested that the baby was still posterior, despite all my efforts to get him to roll over. His head was still high and the nurse estimated that I would be pushing for two to three hours. There was no way I could do that unless I got some sleep and stopped the horrible shaking and blinding pain.

My doctor arrived at 6:30 a.m., in a suit. I was standing by the bed, bent over with my face buried in a pillow to muffle my howling. Jason rubbed my back with all his might, holding my hips while my legs shook and buckled beneath me. I lifted my head long enough to give my doctor an exhausted, deranged look before dropping back down to the bed. "Let's go see about that epidural," he said cheerfully. I moaned in response.

Jason leaned over and whispered in my ear to breathe and to not smother myself in the bedclothes.

Later he would tell me that, while it was scary and difficult for him to watch me go through everything, he was hit with a twinge of jealousy for what I got to experience. I completely understood, because even through the pain, I still understood that this was one of the most important things I would ever, ever experience. I kept repeating, silently and to myself, I'm in labor. I'm in labor. This is it.

The epidural arrived. I sat on the edge of the bed and clutched a pillow, trembling with fear and cold. No, hot! No, cold! Goddamn, contraction!

I felt the need to announce each contraction in case the anesthesiologist attempted to insert the needle during one, all but guaranteeing permanent paralysis or something because I couldn’t stay still.

Allpics080The next thing I knew, the needle was in. I had one more contraction…and then nothing. I barely felt the needle at all. I don't know if this was due to the Nubain or just the relative ease of a big motherfucking needle in comparison to the contractions, but honestly, it hurt less than the IV needle.

Jason and I watched the next contraction on the monitor in amazement. I felt absolutely nothing.

Allpics069_1We were both asleep within minutes.

My doctor came back in around 7:30 and checked my cervix. Nine centimeters. Holy shit. He had a scheduled c-section at 8 a.m. but decided to break my water anyway, figuring I wouldn't be ready to push until he was back.


I had a new nurse, who finally was both Competent and Contained No Broken Finger Bones. She broke the first bit of baddish news to me -– the amniotic fluid was full of meconium, and the baby was definitely posterior. No big deal, really –- a pediatrician would be on hand for the delivery to make sure the baby didn’t breathe in any meconium, but it's a fairly common hiccup during labor. (I knew this from watching hours and hours of those When Childbirth Attacks! shows on TLC and Discovery Health.)  The posterior position meant a lot of pushing and a need to try alternative pushing positions to ensure my pelvis opened up enough.

Jason and I both slept until 9 a.m. when my doctor returned and pronounced me fully dilated and ready to push. Everybody seemed kind of amazed at how quickly I'd progressed and congratulated me like I had something to do with it, which RIGHT. If I had the ability to force my cervix to bend to my will, I'd have had this baby WEEKS AGO.

After making sure that I couldn't see my reflection in the television or in the viewfinder of the camcorder Jason set up in the corner of the room, I pulled my legs back and tried to wrap my mind around the idea that a baby was set to come out of my vagina.

Pushing with an epidural was bizarre. I couldn't feel anything down there and had no idea if I was actually doing anything at all. I worried that I would poop and thought about reminding Jason of the solemn vow to Never Discuss The Pooping On The Delivery Table I'd made him make months earlier. My nurse assured me that I was moving the baby and that I was an awesome pusher and couldn't believe this was my first baby and blah blah blah.

I pushed three or four times per contraction. She let me relax in between and kept praising my efforts. I pushed through three contractions and was trying to catch my breath when my doctor came in.

"I don't like how this is going." He said.

My jaw dropped. What did he mean? I was doing awesome! Was awesome pusher! Ask the nurse! She will tell you of my awesomeness!

It was at this point that Jason and I noticed the baby's heart rate on the monitor just past my doctor’s head. It was bad. Crazy bad. Every time I pushed his heartbeat would practically stop and he was still in obvious distress in between pushes. With hours of pushing still ahead of me and a posterior baby and a narrow pelvis and meconium in the fluid, my doctor gently took my hand and broke the news.

"I think you need a c-section. And I think you need it now."

I blinked back tears and my ears started to buzz. Hell no. I’d made it so far. I felt so close. He was wrong. Everything was fine. Just give me another hour.

Then I looked back at the baby's heart rate and nodded. "If that's what you think, then I trust you."

And suddenly, everything moved into crazy fast-forward mode. Jason was given scrubs and just a few minutes to change and grab the camcorder and camera. My nurse shaved me and told me it was okay to be disappointed. I nodded, let a couple tears out and then took deep breaths and said I just wanted the baby to be okay.

They wheeled me to the OR and moved me to the operating table. (After asking me if I could move myself, to which I could only stare at them all, I haven't felt my toes in three fucking hours so you? Are moving me onto that damn table yourselves.)

My arms were placed straight out, all crucifixion-like, as a new anesthesiologist started work. I was naked from the chest down and really, really wanted them to put the drape up so I wouldn't feel so exposed. The nurse started rubbing my massive belly with iodine and I asked about the drape. She said yes, there would be a drape. I asked if the drape could be put up immediately. She looked confused. "This is just iodine," she reminded me. I said yes, I know, please put up the drape.

I was much more comfortable with the drape. I don’t know why.

I stared at Jason. He said everything was going to be okay. I nodded but kept staring at him. "You're my focal point," I told him. "The books told me to have a focal point and you're it. So don't throw up or something."

Jason nodded but suddenly looked unsure of himself.

I didn't feel the incision. They mentioned feeling some pressure. I didn't feel that either.

Then suddenly I realized that the surgeon assisting my doctor was practically SITTING ON MY CHEST while they struggled to get the baby out. I gasped in pain because hello! Lungs! Ribcage! Other assorted vital organs! OWWWWWWWW.

"Look at that big head!" My doctor called out.

Some random nurse suddenly told Jason to stop videotaping for some reason. I muttered that we'd signed a form and they said it was okay, but Jason decided now was not the time to bring up forms and permission slips, as apparently? There was a hell of a lot of blood gushing out of me.

The initial incision wasn't been big enough for the baby's shoulders. ("We've got a baby linebacker in there," my doctor quipped.) They cut me further and then there was more of the lung-crushing pressure and then there was a baby crying.

And then I was crying, because there was A BABY CRYING AND IT WAS MY BABY.

Allpics088"He’s HUGE," Jason gasped.

My doctor peered over the drape. "Wow. That's a really big baby."

"He's PERFECT," Jason told me. "PERFECT."

The nurses announced his weight and the entire room gasped. "You’re so TINY!" squealed my labor nurse.

Allpics085_2At some point my doctor informed us that, besides the obvious problem of that massive baby never, ever fitting through my pelvis, the umbilical cord had been wrapped around his neck. Each push had been pulling it tighter and tighter, which is why his heartbeat practically stopped every time I pushed. He took my hand and said we'd made the right decision.

Jason appeared behind him holding a tightly swaddled bundle.

I weakly reached out and touched his face. He was round and alert and looked just like the 4D ultrasound. His hair was damp and curly like Jason's. 

"Oh my God." I said, "He is SUCH a Noah."

"I know," Jason said. "Look at how gorgeous he is."

I looked.

I cried.

And my newborn son grabbed my finger and didn't let go.




AWESOME story. Just wonderful. What a beautiful little boy you have.


How frightening and scary and wonderful all rolled into one. I'm probably echoing the million people above me, but by gosh you are awesome! Very brave and yet? still chic. My idol.


Crying here as if you aren't a complete stranger or anything! Can't see monitor anymore through tears ...


Incredible! Just Incredible.


I don't know if I'm crying from laughing so much or for just being so happy and girly. :)


You did a great job.


Wonderful! I love reading other labor and birth stories. For some reason they all seem so much more exciting than mine ever do.


I have been bad at waiting so long to give my congratulations but this couldn't have been more of a perfect time. You did amazing. You brough a healthy baby boy into this world. Congratulations. Smell that wonderful sweet spot on the top of his head for me.


Ohmygosh! I just spent the last 30 minutes crying to my husband that this is what I'll be going through in February. I told him the less witness to this humiliation, the better. Of course he offered to make himeself scarce, which is not what I meant! I simply meant that I only wanted him to be there and not my mom, sister along with his whole family (his father's a doctor) and that I was scared that he would never be able to look at me the same way again.

I can't believe you survived that experience. Thankgoodness you have a healthy, perfect baby boy to show for it! Thanks for sharing. I've really enjoyed reading your posts.



I had almost the exactly samely birth with my son. Even the needing the giant incision for the giant baby. Now you'll start noticing this commercial for something skin care related (Dove?) and this redheaded chick with a cute baby and a teeny weeny c-section scar and you'll say (like I do every time I see it) "Wait a minute! That's not what my scar looks like!" Oh, well, it's worth it for those beautiful babies.



Oh amalah, I am totally weepy. What a great story, and you did such a great job. You should be so proud of yourself. And such a beautiful and healthy baby Noah at the end. Hugs!


never cried from a blog before.
there's a first time for everything, i guess.
congratulations amy and jason.


OMG I'm almost crying here. My first was by emergency c-section too; he was big (9.7 lbs) and was born with an angry red welt where his forehead was smashing against a pelvic bone. I know EXACTLY what you went through, emotion-wise, with the c-section.

Again, he's just beautiful!


You are a brilliant writer and have me in tears. I'm so happy that Noah and you made it through his birth OK, and I know you and Jason will be fantastic parents. Congratulations.


Sitting here crying. So beautiful!!!

Congrats, sweets!


I am totally crying... Thank you for be so honest and open. I am due in 6 weeks and feeling very scared and apprehensive. Hearing a real person tell their story makes me fell a little less panicky about the whole situation... And Noah is beautiful!


That's a beautiful story. And he is beautiful too. Congrats!


How wonderful you not only had such a beautiful baby, but your husband was wonderful as well. Congratulations.


I am crying now! Wow, what an experience... AMAZING. Thanks so much for sharing. And this was only part one? I can't imagine what part two could possibly contain.


Again congrats. I love how the swaddle a baby. They look like burritos :)


You are fantastic, and so is little Noah and lord, so I Jason for being so rad during labor. :) Thanks for the story, that was possibly the best birth story I've read yet!


Gorgeous! I love the little frankenfingies!


i still cannot get over how fricken HUGE that baby is. i know you were looking forward to a vag. birth, but i'm glad you're cutting yourself some slack.

congrats on a healthy, beautiful son!


Crying! Crying here in Texas.

I am so glad you are both ok!!! And YAY Jason for being a wonderful coach. You both are so kick ass!

(I am so never having kids...)


beautiful. It's absolutely amazing what we can do, isn't it? Would you ever really have thought? And after all the packing and the assvice and the birthplan and the whatnot, whatever happens to bring you the gorgeous, healthy baby is the perfect way. You did great! It's amazing how similar our stories are, in many ways. I guess lots of women end up with the same sort of thing. Just goes to show that 'normal' is a pretty meaningless word.

best wishes!


Hi,Your little Noah is so wonderful!! I have just started to read about you and your life. I have a lot in common with you. Like shopping and depression, and meds and so on. I just got married July 22, 2005 and you are just very inspirational to me. Thank you Amalah for being so honest about life!! -lbgeipe


sweetie, i know this comment will be lost in the many other comments already here (which i haven't read), but i have to give you your well-deserved congratulations.

i am sure you will laugh at this, but throughout your whole story, i was so very proud of you for all the decisions you made. you are a strong woman and are obviously a wonderful mother. blessings to your sweet little family, from a regular reader. :-)


Wow, what a wonderful and revealing story. What you have shared reveals so much wisdom and willingness. You are such an extraodinary observer of everything going on around you, and within you, at the same time. Thank you for sharing that intimate experience. You should know that all your devoted fans were in that delivery room with you, too!

To think that I found your site because I was surfing for Tony and Tina products last year. Now I'm roped in. I'm pretty sure I'm older than most of your readers, but I have to say: it gives me great hope that people like you and Jason are so care-fully bringing children into the world.

Noah is going to be carrying YOU around before you know it! That is one, ever more beautiful baby.


Oh awesome Amalah, goddess of the birthing center...seriously, congratulations and thank God everything turned out okay, because that's all that really matters right?


Every day I've been checking to see if you've somehow found the time and energy to write up the birth story, and to find it today, was like a present :) I'm so glad you shared - I was moved to tears, along with so many other readers, apparently!

You are so lucky you got to have your epidural even though you were at 7 cm. I was at 7 when I showed up at the hospital (for the 3rd time) and they couldn't get to me in the elusive time window for the epidural. I would have loved a nap. Boy would I have loved a nap :)

He is simply beautiful, and the good news is, that each day, parenting gets more and more fun. At each month I thought, this is my favorite age for him so far. I'm at 15 months now and it's so much fun with his personality and independent streak showing.

Isn't it seriously the best thing you ever did in your life?

Lots of love to you guys - and Miss Ceiba too!


You did awesome.

And yes, he is such a Noah.


New to your blog (thanks to The Washingtonian!) Congrats on becoming a mom!

Loved the birth story. This babymaking business can be scary shit, can't it?

Very jealous of you b/c you had such an awesome birth coach. My husband stood there like a deer caught in headlights. Both times.

S. Faolan Wolf

Cripes Amalah you know how to tell a story. I already knew the outcome but there I was, hanging on to every word; excited and then worried, concerned.

At the end I felt myself fighting back those weepy little tears that I work so hard never to shed....dang girl. You've managed to get that response out of me a few too many times for my own comfort.

Congratulations once again to you and Jason.


When I was walking to work around 9am on 9/30 I had a weird vibe and I said a prayer for you (plural, including Jason) and Noah. I'm so glad everything went well and I'm truly happy for you. You are such a gifted writer, too!


That just made me cry it was so sweet and made me remember the birth of my boys.


You are an amazing writer, Amy. I laughed, I cried, I felt like I was right there with you while reading part one. I am so glad things turned out so well when they could have been so tragic.

Surprised the Nubain didn't help you though - it was the only thing I had when I went through my 22 hours of labor with my daughter. One stinking shot of Nubain - no epidural or anything else...and I was on Pitocin to increase my contractions so I'd finally make it from 9 cm to 10 cm. The Nubain literally made me pass out for a short period of time, but then they wouldn't give me anymore no matter how much I begged. LOL

So glad you didn't have to give up your chair! Can't wait to hear part 2! Hugs and kisses to Noah and Ceiba!


What a beautiful story!


Oh God, Amy, you totally made me cry. Thanks so much for sharing this. I mean, I'm scared shitless of having my own kids now, but that's a ways off, so maybe I'll forget by then?


ICK but also holy crap that was great. i simultaneously want one but want someone else to have it. ;)

so glad for you guys again. what a wonderful experience.


What a story! And he came out totally sleeping! (Well, at least that's what it looks like in the one picture.) Like, "Hi, Momma! I'm here ... whoa, that little yelp made tuckered me out. Nap time!"


Sniff, sniff...I just relived my 3 year-old daughter's birth w/ your story. Thank you and God Bless your little family. It is the greatest joy you will ever know!


Thank you for sharing! Words can never describe how your the center of your life changes in a wonderful moment. This is what life is really about! Your delivery sounds so much like my second (the one that was planned down to the last detail - so much for *$!!@ birthing plans). It made me teary eyed with joy for you. Noah is a beautiful baby, and so lucky to have you and Jason. Congratulations!


Sitting here, thinking, "must not cry at work, must not cry at work" because DAMN, that was very nearly exactly what happened to me with my frist-born, except they put me under for the c-section...and I remember too being amazed at how fast everything went after they made the decision. Lovely ending to a great story, Amalah. :)


God. Reading this made waiting for the birth story soooo worth it. Got tears running down my face right now.


You are soooo brilliant! I cried reading your birth story. My story is similar - except haha I never fully dilated (9cm!! WOW), and after being induced, and pushing (I think - an epidural was involved and you know how THAT goes), we dicided on a C-section, which turned out to be a good idea, considering my son was totally wrapped in the umbilical cord (2x around his throat! so effectively he was too well anchored for any amount of pushing!) Am babbling. Sorry. Am totall and utterly impressed with you (and Jason and of course your gorgeous boy). I'll shut up now.


Christ almighty - great writing - brings it all back to me (was it really ten months ago?).

Good luck to all 3 of you (and yes, that boy is huge!)


Christ almighty - great writing - brings it all back to me (was it really ten months ago?).

Good luck to all 3 of you (and yes, that boy is huge!)


Christ almighty - great writing - brings it all back to me (was it really ten months ago?).

Good luck to all 3 of you (and yes, that boy is huge!)


Christ almighty - great writing - brings it all back to me (was it really ten months ago?).

Good luck to all 3 of you (and yes, that boy is huge!)


Christ almighty - great writing - brings it all back to me (was it really ten months ago?).

Good luck to all 3 of you (and yes, that boy is huge!)


Christ almighty - great writing - brings it all back to me (was it really ten months ago?).

Good luck to all 3 of you (and yes, that boy is huge!)


Wow, that was amazing. You are a very talented writer, and are going to be a talented mother as well. I can't wait for part 2!


Me again. Last night as I read the story I was rendered speachless. I am always impressed by birth stories, especially if told with so much emotion, yet with perspective and humor.
What's more, your births story coincides at many points with the story of my son's birth which made the whole thing more thrilling.
If anyone is interested, those points are: a most helpful and kind husband who kind of almost fainted, lack of privacy in the room, feeling of being brave, trying to push for a while, but emergency c-section due to the umbilical cord being wrapped around his neck, and some of the feelings around the whole thing.
I did not have epidural and as it was an emergency case, I was put to sleep when my first baby (a boy) was lifted out of my belly. My dh was not allowed to be there in the surgical room.
My main reason against being drugged during labor and birth is well described in your story.
But then again, it's upon choice.
Thank you for sharing the story. I liked the 'I'm in labor. This is it' part the most. And wait: that part when Jason tells you to leave that computer already. Hah-hah.
What I would like to add is that it is very important to know that there are other mothers around in the globe who prepared themselves for a vaginal birth and ended up in c-section and they are not alone with the feelings they felt about it. I kind of felt as if I had missed something. One day I felt lucky, because the birth was not as horrible as I feared it would, the other day I thought I am not a good mother for not being able to deliver normally. Now I have dismissed all those bullshit thoughts.
Good news: the baby is there and if you are opting for more, you can surely have it in the traditional way.

Finally: You are a great writer, but we already know that :)


OMG. this is not MY blog. Sorry for speaking that much.


So worth the wait-- the baby for you and the story for us. The only thing is I started having BH contractions at the same time I was reading about your contractions. Just nerves, I guess. I love labor stories even though they scare the shit out of me. Can't wait for my turn :)



Awwwwwwww! Oh man. I cried my way through that. Thanks sooooo much for sharing that with us, and I'm so glad you all ended up safe.


Memories.... today is my daughter's 4th birthday and right about now I was getting ready to receive an epidural after 9 hours of laboring. I, too, kicked like a child having a tantrum. I have no idea why that helped but it did.

Congratulations! You truly DID do an awesome job, Amalah! And Jason, too! Noah is beautiful. =)


OMG, I am cringing in fear and happy crying all in one feeling!


You rock Amy!
Thanks for sharing such a personal story in such an entertaining way. I laughed, I (almost) cried (I'm at work, so the tears had to be restrained) - it was just such a touching story.
Congratulations on an awesome job bringing your beautiful son into the world!


that so made me cry.


Thank you for sharing the story. I am so glad that you and baby Noah made it through. =) Congratulations!


Er, I meant to say that you two made it through with flying colors.


if you aren't making me swoon with cuteness i'm all teary from the AMAZING birthing story.
still in shock a little.
so beautiful and scary and WOW.
so glad everything turned out okay.


Wow, what a story. My first reaction is to get all weepy-eyed and smiley with happiness for you and Noah and Jason. My second reaction was to remember my own birthing experience (which was a year ago tomorrow), and my third is to say, "Holy crap, girl, which hospital did you give birth in so I can avoid it next time?" I know your doc was great, but the Inept Nurse in Training scares me.

You are a fantastic story teller.



Girl. WOW. A lot of this sounds so similar to my own birthing experience, I just realized that I'm not alone!

He's beautiful Amalah, so beautiful! You absolutely made the right decision and damn, you were a superstar right up to the end!


Beautiful story Amalah. Very well written and I really like the picture placement. Also forcing tears to go away at work. Can't wait for part 2!

suzanna danna


So emotional over here. You guys are amazing.


So teary. What a beautiful story and you write so, so well.


Wow. I just started reading your blog right after Noah was born and I've been enjoying it ever since. What an amazing, roller-coaster-ride story -- I was holding my breath the entire time! Glad it turned out so well with beautiful Noah. He's amazing and perfect. Congratulations!

Her Ladyship

That's beautiful. I'm so glad it worked out. Congratulations again!


*wipes away tears*

What an awesome, beautiful story. Love and blessings to you and your family.


Totally incredible. The story and you and your hubby. Even though some parts of labor still sound scary to me, after reading your story, I'm so ready! I can't wait to hold my little boy! :) Thank you so much for sharing.


It was like de'ja'vu when I read this. 17 years ago I went through the same thing - only for 23 hours. I ended up with an emergency C because My hips are fused together (This bit of info would have been nice to know earlier)and my son got stuck, then he went into distress. He also weighed 9 lbs 15 oz and was 22 inches long. He is now 6' tall and 230 lbs...


What a super momma you are.


*squinting at the screen, not that I'm tearing up or anything*

you did good, momalah.

Melissa S

You just brought me to tears. That was a beautiful, amazing story. Thank you for sharing. Congratulations! You did a great job!


Congratulations! What a beautiful family! I wish
you three great joy and happiness.



I'm crying here, too. A familiar story -- my labor was very similar, down to the Terribly Inept Trainee -- but never have I read one so beautifully written. Congratulations to both of you on a gorgeous healthy baby.


Awesome. Thanks for the detailed story... I'm due in 2 days with my first (and Noah is at the top of our list for names) and this was fabulous to read. Your Noah is beautiful and he's got one set of fabulous parents. :)


My girlfriend told me the tale of the pooping on the table during childbirth. Oh. my. god. But, she was so matter-of-fact about it, I realized she must have more important things to think about now.



Wonderful story. You guys did and awesome job he is very very handsome.

Wacky Mommy

what a great story! so glad you and Noah are fine and well. What a beautiful picture of your beautiful boy! OMG. Similar story here -- meconium, 10 lb., 2 oz. baby, posterior -- all i remember is the doctor telling me, after the C -- "If you two had been on the Oregon Trail you never would have made it." It was sobering, to say the least. And made me cry for all the mommies who didn't have the options i had.

So happy you and Noah are fine. So incredibly happy for you.


Congratulations! I had a similar experience with my first, and to top it off, his name is Noah, too, so your story really hit home with me. (Had some breastfeeding issues, too, what is it with these little guys?)

Every day will just keep getting better. Congrats again.


I guess I should have elicited the "No Talking About the Pooping During Labor Agreement" from my husband. He LOVES to tell that tale! Anyway, your story was very moving and brought back good, (yes, GOOD!) memories of a very similar nature! Thank you for sharing. All my best to the three of you!


You did great Amy, just great! I have tears in my eyes reading the story. Jason did great too and so did Noah!! What hospital where you at? I had my last one in Sibly but that doesn't sound like a sibley experience. I'm so happy for you guys and he's just soooo cute!


I just had a very similar experience. I didn't feel the epidural or the c-section incision either... even though I fully freaked out in anticipation.

Don't you feel like a champion though? You pretty much went through everything you possibly could!


Wow that was great! Thanks so much for sharing it with us. I'm so jealous, because the first 3 weeks of my baby's life I was so out of it I never got around to doing up the birth story. I'm so glad things turned out ok and you did so great to last to 7! I only lasted till 3.. when they said I could have the epi! Haha. I had a walking epi, and for myself, it was awesome. You could still feel pressure and I even felt her when she came out.

Every birth story is different, and special in it's own way. You did GREAT! Try not to think any different.


Why am I crying? I don't even know you, but here I sit, AT WORK, with tears in my eyes.

He's just so beautiful.




Awww dude! Totally a Noah.

I know what you mean about your body shaking uncontrollably... after Owen came out my body wouldn't stop.

Great post.


me - 3 births, one adoption, 4 very different stories - it was wonderful to read yours. I'm a nurse, and while I couldn't have had the same inept trainee, seems like we all had one. Mine was named "Mony" (pronounced "moan-ee") so we decided her sidekick must have been "Groan-y". After nearly 25 years - THAT's the part I remember most. sheesh.


Damn it, Amalah -- here I am trying to be all poised and professional and stuff, trying to ever-so-discreetly read your blog. Must now figure out a way to explain hot, happy tears as work-related. ;) Congratulations on a beautiful story and an even more beautiful baby boy!


I an sympathize with you. I labored for 19 hours before they decided to do a c-section. My son weighed 10 lbs. 15 1/2 ozs. I could have never had him naturally. Better yet, the next one weight 11 lbs. 6 ozs. (scheduled c-section) needless to say there were no more! God Bless you, your husband and your little one!


I pulled a full on laugh/cry blast when I read

"I looked.

I cried.

And my newborn son grabbed my finger and didn't let go."

Thrilled for you and Jason and both your families.


In the near future I'll be able to add little videos or sound clips to my comments. I wish the future were now because you totally deserve a HUGE standing ovation and thunderous applause. I'm newly pregnant, my excited husband is on a submarine, but next mail drop I'm sending him a copy of your post to show how fucking scary and beautiful this birth thing can be.

You don't know me but I'm So Proud of you!!!


Girl I just had to through in my Congrats with all the others. Basically a lurker ... but dang you did good!

Congrats on the wonderful new baby Noah!


He's just beautiful!


Oh man, I made the mistake of reading this at work and now I feel like I'm going to break down and cry.
How scary! How wonderful! How extremely lucky your doctor decided to do a C-section. And of course I had to speed read through the parts where you were talking about cutting and blood because yes, I'm squeemish.

Now I know why it took you a while to post this. Whew!! And I was hoping for a speedy (didn't happen) and painless (except for the lungs and ribcage part) delivery. I'm glad it's over for both of you and that little (or rather big) Noah made it out just fine. :)
Congrats again!


Amalah? Is awesome!

Thanks so much for sharing your story.


Thank you for sharing that story in so much detail. I couldn't help tears falling through half of it. My little guy was enormous too (10lbs 7 oz at 39 wks), and my doctor said c-section would be the best thing, so I've been sort of disappointed about missing out on labor and natural birth. Your story let me have a little vicarious look, so thank you so much for sharing it. And congratulations! Noah is a beautiful name and a beautiful boy.

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