The Birth Story of Noah Zane Meichsner
This very special blog post is being told from Noah's mamma's point of view.
June 7th – 8th, 2023
Rachel Meichsner | Bay Area Hospital | AshMarie Photo
Waiting for Noah’s Arrival….
On June 2nd, we checked in at Bay Clinic for what would be our final OB appointment before the arrival of our son. My OB was out on vacation, so we were introduced to our back-up. Everything looked great, Noah’s heart rate was perfect, and I didn’t have any leg swelling or ailments. A couple days prior I had a couple globs of mucus plug come out and was able to confirm with the OB that labor would be coming soon.
I anticipated that Noah would be born around our next full moon, which was the 3rd of June. I anxiously waited for any sign that he was making his appearance. My practice contractions stayed steady. On the 4th I woke up with some stronger contractions and thought this is it! He’s coming. But to my disappointment, they stopped.
The next few days I was tired and unmotivated. I spent time reading, watching tv, sleeping, rubbing my tummy, and wondering when he was going to come. I really believed Noah was going to be early. Regardless of what my OB believed... It’s common for women in their first pregnancy to go a week to ten days past their due date. And as much as I believed her, I hoped she was wrong. This Momma was really hoping her intuition was right, because I was running out of room, and everything about getting showered or dressed had become more difficult. Thankfully I could still pick things off the floor and put my socks on, but I would have to hold my breath.
From the 2nd of June on, my mom called every day to check on us. Anxiously awaiting the arrival of her Grandson. The 7th of June came and like clock work she called to check in on us. “We are still doing good Mom; nothing has changed as of yet. I will let you know as soon it does. I really need to get off this couch and get some cleaning done.” We said our I loves yous and hung up. I finished the movie “Our Friend” with Jason Segel and Dakota Johnson. It was so touching and made me appreciate what I have. I found the energy to get up and clean the house.
I stripped our bed, vacuumed, emptied the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, scrubbed our toilets, and was sweating. I needed to shower and then I was going to fold the laundry and all of the chores would be done. While in the shower I brought my cleaner and scrubbed down the walls while my conditioner sat in my hair. I felt the urge to pee, all too familiar at this time in pregnancy, and relaxed my pelvic floor. A tiny bit came out, and then an unfamiliar gush of clear fluid. That continued after I had unrelaxed my pelvic floor. OH MY GOD! My water just broke. Is that what just happened? Surely that’s what happened?
I turned the water off and started to dry off. Lifting my leg over the tub I felt a gush again, all over the floor…. Holy shit, my water did break?! It’s time, our son is coming. Excitement rushed through me. I checked the time, 4:15pm. My husband would be home soon. My sister-in-law had just messaged to check on us and ask if I had been bouncing on a ball to induce labor. I replied, “Nope! No need to, my water just broke!”
I messaged my best friend to let her know my water had just broke. She is my 3rd support person with an almost 4hr drive ahead of her. Not knowing if I should rush to the hospital I called up to Labor and Delivery and told Ashley I’ll let her know what they say.
“What color was the fluid?”
“Was there any blood?”
“Are you having contractions?”
“Is the baby still moving?”
“Okay, you do need to come in to get checked. But you don’t need to rush here. You can take your time.”
Phew! I hung up as my husband walked through the door. “Honey, my water just broke. You have time to take a shower if you want before we go to your chiropractic appointment and then we need to go get checked into Labor and Delivery at Bay Area.” I text Ashley and let her know. She’s waiting for her Fiancé to get home and she’s leaving. “I hope I don’t miss anything!” I assure her, I’m not having any contractions. You should have plenty of time.
I put on some comfy sweats, a pad in my underwear, and my Dad’s Oregon Duck shirt. I was ready to go as soon as Tyler was. I started the car while he showered. Once Tyler was dressed, we were off to Range Sports Medicine & Performance.
Thankfully, I had planned ahead; we had everything we needed in the car from puppy pads to protect the seats, to our hospital bags and car seat. We arrived at Range for Tyler’s appointment and they asked how I was doing. They had seen me months prior in the first trimester for my lower back. “I’m doing well, my water actually broke, so we will be headed to the hospital after this.”
Maggie, “Oh my gosh, you don’t have to keep your appointment! We can totally reschedule.”
“Oh, that’s okay, I’m fine. Hardly having any contractions and they said we didn’t need to rush. I don’t want to push off my husband’s appointment. He really needs to be seen.”
“Are you sure?”
Ben walks in, “I can totally see him tomorrow. I don’t usually take clients on Fridays; we save that day for paperwork. But I can do his appointment tomorrow.”
“No really, I’m totally okay. If something changes, I’ll let you guys know.” I said with a smile.
I go into the room with Tyler and Ben for his adjustments. Ben continued to check in every so often with me. I was still doing good. Very light contractions still spread apart. With each one however, more fluid leaked. By the time we were done and back to the car, my pad was no longer absorbing anything. My entire backside was wet.
We arrived at the hospital at 6:15pm. They checked us in and took us to our room, the only one with a jacuzzi tub. Everything I had read said that laboring in water helped move thing’s along and deal with pain. By this point the excitement had turned into a little bit of nerves. This was what I had been preparing for all of these months from the moment I found out I was pregnant.
The nurse comes in and tests my underwear for amniotic fluid. It’s positive, my water has indeed broke. They don’t offer to do a cervix check at this point, no need to introduce unnecessary bacteria. They check my son’s heart rate and everything looks good.
I call my Momma and let her know we are checked in at the hospital and where to go. That she can come up at any time. She was just about to get into her PJ’s she said, so our timing was about as perfect as it could be.
While we are waiting for my mom and Ashley to arrive, I get changed into a hospital gown, and start walking around the delivery room. Tyler goes to tie the back so my behind isn’t out and a contraction comes. I gush all over the floor, almost on his shoes! He’s grossed out and I’m laughing because I think it’s funny.
Before long, my contractions start building, bit by bit. My Mom makes her arrival. We send Tyler to get food for the three of us, so I can eat before the hard labor comes. Mentally I’m preparing, I just have to get through the dilation process, and I’ll be able to push him right out. We have been active and preparing for this for so long. One of my gym’s members had recently given birth to her son. She pushed him out in four pushes. I’ll be the same! I’ve totally got this.
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Around 8pm, Ashley makes her arrival. We have been through a nurse shift change and met our nurse for the night, eating dinner, and just been laughing and talking. Each check on Noah he is still doing fantastic. Now the contractions are about 2 minutes apart and coming during the doppler checks. I continue walking around the room laughing and talking with my people. Then leaning on the bed or squatting down when the contractions build.
By this point, I have lost all track of time and I am completely focused on breathing through the contractions and resting after. It felt like it hadn’t been very long after Ashley’s arrival that I tried getting in the shower. The warm water on my back gave me something to focus and relax to between contractions. I would feel the contraction start to build in my body and squat down, holding onto the chair in the shower. At this point I was thankful I was in a hospital and not laboring at home. I didn’t have to worry about running out of hot water.
Eventually my legs and feet were fatigued from the squatting position and I was ready to climb into the tub. I could no longer walk normal. I waddled my way to the tub and carefully climbed in. Trying to find a comfortable position in the tub was difficult. It didn’t feel good to lay on my back or be on my knees. The best position was side saddle with my face leaning over the side.
I stayed in this position for the remaining dilation process. I asked Ashley, “How do I know when they should check me?”
“You’ll know, you will feel pressure.”
“Okay, I think they need to come check me.”
The nurse comes in and I have to lay on my back in the tub for her to check. A contraction comes and she has to wait. The pain greatly intensified in this position. I can feel my whole-body writhe with pain like a snake trying to get away. After it passes, she checks. “You’re about 6 centimeters.”
I’m disappointed. The contractions are so painful at this point. I wasn’t even sure if I could get back into the comfortable position after being on my back, but I manage to get back up. Only 6 centimeters…. Fuck!
By now I’ve hit my pain threshold, 10 out of 10. The contractions are so strong and so painful, it’s everything I can do to breathe during. My breath turns into loud moans and the occasional curse word at the end. I even bury my face into the towel in front of me. I do my best to relax and let the pain go between contractions.
We eventually try turning on the jets of the tub, thinking it may help. It didn’t…... It intensified my pain. It also felt like it distracted me from what was going on and being able to breathe. But I couldn’t get the jets off. So I stay there until it feels like there is a lot of pressure. Please, let me be dilated, so I can start pushing…. I don’t know how much more of this I can take.
The nurse comes in and turns off the jets. Thank God, that felt better already. I tell her I’m feeling pressure and want to be checked. But now I have to get back in that god awful position on my back. I move and here comes another wave. Fuck. Even more painful than the last. She waits for it to pass and then checks me. “Well alright, let’s have a baby.”
“What? I’m dilated?” I expected to have to wait longer to push.
I start moving back into the side saddle position I was in to get out of the tub. Once I get there, another contraction hits. By this point in my laboring process, every bit of movement, seems to bring another contraction on. This time my left leg cramps during the contraction…. And keeps cramping after it has passed. I have to wait it out until it passes to be able to get out of the tub.
It takes all my focus to be able to stand. With help I make my way out of the tub and over to the bed. We start pushing with each contraction in a squatted position next to the bed. There is a feeling of relief now being able to push when the contractions build. There is somewhere for that energy to go. The time and number of pushes becomes a blur. I know we tried every position. From sitting on the toilet. To sitting on a birthing blow up stool. Kneeling against the bed. Flying cowgirl. Side lying. To laying on my back to be checked. Which is where I stayed after a long period of trying everything else. I physically couldn’t move by body to get into another position, I was in so much pain. And with each small amount of movement, a contraction would come, along with the disappointment that I can’t get him out no matter how hard I try.
The OB on call is coaching me through my breathing and trying to use her fingers to help give me a focus point, while also trying to remove a lip that is over my son’s head. Her touch is unbearable, but she wants me to focus on that pain. “Get angry at that pain and push into it.”
3 hours pass…… Every push a failed attempt. My heart is starting to sink. I absolutely did NOT want to have a cesarean. But I am so physically fatigued by this point. I truly believe I’m not going to be able to push my son out and I only have concern for his safe arrival at this point. Cut me open and get him out, my body can’t take any more of this. The OB tells me she can call the doctor and they can attempt to vacuum him out. But if they attempt 2 times and can’t pull him, I will have to have a c-section. “I don’t care, call the doctor, I’m not going to be able to get him out. By the time he even feels close, my contractions are stopping.”
They call the doctor. She’s 45 minutes out………. It was the longest 45 minutes of my life. With each contraction I still have to try to get him out, knowing that I can’t. I’ve tried my absolute hardest. Finally, the doctor arrives and the entire energy in the room shifts. She’s barking orders and getting down to business. She’s talking me through the process. I’m hearing her, but also out of it at this point. I understood what was happening and also knew I was probably having a c-section.
She lets me push through a couple more contractions with this new breathing technique. I had been told to let the contraction build, take a deep breath, and push with that. Her orders were the opposite. Don’t hold your breath. Do this. The contraction feels more efficient this time, like we are close. But I am still unable to get his head out.
She starts applying the vacuum. It doesn’t take the first time. She repositions and has it on this time. My contraction comes, I do as she said with my breath, she applies the vacuum, and I feel his head come out. There is a ring of fire. I push again and out comes my son. He starts crying immediately and they lay his wet body on my chest. I’m in awe. “Oh my god, you poor baby” when I see the suction mark on his head. “I’m so sorry they had to do that to you, I couldn’t get you out.”
I look at my husband who is in tears at the arrival of his son. It’s real now, he’s a Dad. “We did it honey, he’s here.” I say as I grab his hand. We both look at him in absolute awe. “I can’t believe he has hair!” We fully expected him to be a bald baby.
He’s content in my arms and able to lift his head already. He starts looking for my breast and attempts to nurse instantly. We are able to latch a couple times on each side. Meanwhile I’m in the stirrups. The nurse is giving me a fundal massage to get the placenta out and help with the bleeding. The placenta is birthed and the cord has stopped pulsing. It’s time to cut it.
Tyler wasn’t sure if he wanted to cut the cord, but the doctor tells him he should. He does. I’m so proud of him. He always teases me about the vet shows and pimple popping shows I watch; he has a weaker stomach than I do. Now the doctor turns her attention to my perineum. I have a 3rd degree tear. I thought the painful part was done for me, but I was wrong. She starts stitching me up. While they do use a local anesthetic, certain spots don’t numb and I can feel her pushing the needle through.
I’m wincing in pain. Then they are touching and flushing me with cold water. “Can you please let me know when you are going to do that, so I can be prepared for it.” They honor my request. At one point I ask her if she is almost done. She isn’t. “Can you be?” I ask.
“Believe me honey, this is not something you want me to short change you on.”
“Okay, I throw my head back on the bed.” My body has been put through the ultimate endurance race of pain. But I just look at my son in my arms and tell him he was worth every bit of it all.
I love you, Noah. You will always be my baby. I will never regret laboring with you unmedicated and bringing you into this world. I have since learned things that I would have done different to prevent us tearing and bring you into this world without assistance. But through all the pain, blood, and tears, you were worth every bit of it all.
I will love you forever and for always,