the birth story {or how this c-section advocate pushed out a 9 1/2 lb baby}

Todd and I drove to the hospital so I could be induced at 5:30 a.m. on June 4. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I knew how the process would go and I had been wanting a c-section through the whole pregnancy. Because I felt like I owed it to myself and toΒ my child to try to do things the conventional way, I chose to be induced instead of go through with the c-section.

We checked in to the hospital, I got changed, and the nurses started pumping fluids into me. Around 6:30 a.m. they started the pitocin drip to induce labor. I was at about 1 cm at 7:30, but was still about 75% effaced. Around 11:00 a.m. the anesthesiologist came in to give me the epidural. The contractions weren’t horrible at that point, but the nurses thought I should go ahead and get the epidural while I was comfortable.

The epidural itself didn’t hurt at all. About fifteen minutes later, when the anesthesiologist started the Bolus drip, I started to fade. I got tunnel vision, I felt really dizzy, and my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. The nurses took my blood pressure and it was down to 70/40. I didn’t faint, though. They started pumping more fluids into me to bring up my blood pressure and about an hour later I was feeling good again. I only got 20% of the usual amount of Bolus that is administered through an epidural.

Around 12:15, the doctor came in to break my water because it wasn’t breaking on its own. I had reached 3 cm and they told me that labor would start progressing more quickly if my water was broken. Holy cow. Breaking my water did not feel good at all, but even worse than the pain was having to lie around in my amniotic fluid all day long. The nurses were switching out my absorbent bed pads all day so I wasn’t really lying in it without relief, but it definitely felt like I was peeing on myself all day long. Who knew that there were 2 quarts of water in there?!

So, the rest of the day and night was just labor. The contractions weren’t terrible because I’d had the epidural. My blood pressure was kind of all over the place all day and I was starving. I started getting sick around 8:00 p.m. when my favorite nurse of the day started her shift. We seriously had the best nurse ever who did everything she could to make me feel better, encourage me, and relate to my experience. I was throwing up about once every hour, which is nothing for me if you remember what the majority of my pregnancy was like.

The doctor came in to check me around 3:00 a.m. and it was finally determined that I could push! The contractions weren’t horrible and I wasn’t going through any kind of torture, but I was so ready to be done with the process. It had been nearly 24 hours and I knew that the bigΒ  stuff was still coming.

I started pushing at 3:15 a.m. and pushed for over an hour. The pushing wasn’t that bad because I was so determined to get the baby out! I was using muscles that I hadn’t used since I found out I was pregnant and I was working as hard as I could. The doctor and nurses knew that he was big and were encouraging me as best they could. Right at the end of the pushing, the doctor told me that she was going to give me some “help” with the vacuum. I didn’t feel any of that at all. I also had to have an episiotomy. I won’t go into the details of the episiotomy on my blog because I’m still a Southern lady, but if you do have any questions please feel free to email me and I’ll give you lots of straight answers. I know that pregnant women are often scared because they feel like they aren’t given many details about what could happen, but I think you know by now that I’m not into holding back. But… there are just some details that I don’t plan to put out here for everyone to see.

At 4:39 a.m. on June 5, John Matthew Hudson Carroll entered thisΒ world and the doctor and nurses were laughing immediately at his size and the size of his big cheeks! Todd took the sweet boy to meet his grandparents who were praying right outside the delivery room. I laid there for about twenty more minutes while they stitched me up. I had a 4th degree laceration.

The theme around our house since the delivery has been, “I’d rather have stiches where I can see them.”

They brought the baby back to me and I got to feed him for the first time. Then they took him to the nursery to be weighed and checked out by the pediatricians. The nurses got me to stand up so I could move to the room where we’d be staying for the next few days, and about ten seconds later I fainted. I knew I was feeling dizzy, but I had never fainted before in my life. They determined that it was because I’d had such an extreme loss of volume. Lots of blood, water, and baby.

About three hours later, I was well enough to move to the room where we’d stay for the next few days.

My delivery experience had its ups and downs, but I’m so thankful that we’re both healthy. I’m still going through a tough recovery and will be for a long while. Because I have such large babies, I’ll be going with the elective c-section next time around. And now I can tell anyone who tries to convince me otherwise that they’re crazy.

But, I’m sitting here right now while my little man is hanging out in his swing, and I know that this face is totally worth everything I’ve been through and will continue to go through.


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  1. says

    Oh Erin, I am so thankful that you and Hudson are healthy, safe and sound. It sounds like you handled everything like a champ, no surprises there. Congrats, sweet girl!

    Lyndseys last blog post: Just Beachy

  2. Jesslee says

    Wow, you are SuperWoman! So glad to hear that everyone is healthy and doing well. Congratulations on your handsome little (big) man!

  3. Elizabeth says

    So glad yall are both healthy! Looks like you did a great job- your baby is so cute!! By the way- your nursery looks great!

  4. says

    Oh Erin…what a story! Wow! Now I will know exactly who to come to when it is our day. You have gone through it all!!

    I’m so happy that you are both healthy and doing so well! Look at his little face πŸ™‚

    P.S. Matt and I laughed so hard at an e-mail Todd sent us last night. Apparently there was some hiding of the cake balls going on???, and we are to now tell him ahead of time when we are sending them so he is on the lookout! Ha! I love it πŸ™‚

    Jenny of Lucky in Loves last blog post: Retro!

  5. says

    Congrats! I am thrilled that everything turned out so well for all of you. C Section sounds like the safer choice for next time, but you boy is so aborable and worth it all. God bless πŸ™‚

  6. says

    Ahhh, you are an amazing mama! So happy that you are both healthy and happy. That sweet face is too precious. I’m so proud of you! xoxo

  7. says

    I had a 4th degree tear with my 7 pound 4 ounce daughter (she’s almost 21 months)… HELL ON EARTH! I’m pregnant with #2 and my NEW ob offered me an elective C. I go back and forth on a daily basis, but am really leaning towards the C… just so it’s a controlled surgery… because I personally think a 4th degree is surgery!

    There’s a numbing spray you can get at Walmart/Target that makes it a little more comfortable to sit. And make sure you do sitz baths… it helped tremendously with the tear healing.

  8. says

    Congratulations on your precious little man! What a blessing. So happy that both you and baby are happy and healthy. Enjoy this time with him!

  9. says

    YAY!! Precious Munchkin!! He IS worth it — He is freaking adorable –

    I wish you all the best in your recovery — My BF had some similar issues and her recovery was really tough — Good thing you’ve got a great husband and an amazing family supporting you in this!


    Newlywed Centrals last blog post: My Life In Dreams

  10. says

    Congratulations! I had a very similar delivery. I used a waterbottle every time I needed to go to the bathroom. I couldn’t have done it without it. Well, I could have, but it would have been very painful. No fun having stitches where you can’t see them. Hoping for a speedy recovery!

  11. says

    You are a freakin’ rock star! Thanks for sharing this seriously. I’m DEATHLY afraid of being preggo and giving birth (and Lord willing it won’t happen for a LONG TIME) but I’m glad you shared your experience! He’s just perfect! πŸ™‚

    Danicas last blog post: Welcome to my bano.

  12. pam says

    erin,what a journey you’ve been through…i was moved to tears reading your blog the night before hudson was born. i too had a 9 and a half pound baby and then a c section.. the c section was a breeze in comparison. i hope you start feeling better soon in the mean time look at that precious face,he is sooo beautiful…congratulations…

  13. says

    Ahh!! I love all the details and can’t wait to email more about them! I soo wish I lived closer to u so I could just come over and lay around with u while u continue to heal… Hudson is so adorable!! I just can’t get enough of him!! I love you lots!!!

    Emilys last blog post: What We Have Been Doing & 4d Pics

  14. says

    Yikes. Congratulations on getting through that! One question I have, as someone who is NOT a fan of throwing up (yes, I know, I should probably never get pregnant!), but when you started getting sick during the labour was it because of the epidural? Or from your blood pressure going wonky, or what? Is that usual?

    Also a name question: What’s the reason behind John and Matthew as the first names, since you’re going to call him Hudson? I know lots of people do this (my Uncle was Michael Richard, and always called Richard), but I wonder if it doesn’t get confusing when he goes to school etc and people try to call him John? I’m just curious; I’m not trying to be one of those people who comes across as “You can’t do that! You’re doing it wrong!” You don’t have to explain if you don’t want to!

    Ruby Slipperss last blog post: Photographer Friday: Christine Meintjies

  15. says

    He is beautiful! And I love the name Hudson- good pick! Thanks so much for sharing your story so honestly- it was so interesting to read. Hope you are enjoying these first few days and weeks as a new mommy. I will need lots of advice when baby Simmons comes in a month!

    Marinas last blog post: Site is FIXED!

  16. says

    HOLY CRAP girl. You are amazing! What a story!

    I don’t blame you one bit about the elective C section next time! At least you’re thinking about next time!

    He’s such a gorgeous boy! Congrats, enjoy every minute. Just soak and eat him up. The first few weeks are already a blur to remember.

  17. says

    Your story sounds so much like my own (vaccum, 4th degree, vomiting)! But as my ob said, no one can ever call you a wimp now.

    Hope you are healing/feeling better.

  18. says

    Oh Honey thank goodness you and baby are ok. My first was almost exactly the same, vaccum and 4th degree laceration…I know how incredibly painful that is, take it easy and take care of yourself. My c-section was way more easier than a v-birth. Congrats!!! He is beautiful!!!

    Ginas last blog post: My Hospital Bag

  19. says

    Wow, what a birthing story! You’re a tough momma – I am a huge advocate of c-section knowing how tough my mom’s labor was with all three of us. I guess I will make the decision years down the road when we decide it’s time for kids! I’m glad to hear you & Hudson are home and healthy.

    The Happy Dashs last blog post: what to do with my wedding dress

  20. TWHA says

    I enjoyed reading your story. It was almost like I was there! I am SO proud of you and happy for your son.

  21. says

    What a precious baby! Wow girl, your birth story sounds intense! I’m thinking a c-section is definitely the way to go. Hubby and I are considering beginning the conceiving process in the next year. Are there any books, etc you would recommend for trying to get pregnant and dealing with a pregnancy? This will be my first.

    If so could you please email me? Thanks!

  22. says

    Yep. I would have went for the C-section as well. My mom had some friends that delivered some VERY large babies–it wasn’t pretty.

    Congrats! He’s beautiful.

  23. says

    Congratulations! He is truly one beautiful baby!! πŸ™‚
    I had a 4th degree laceration also so I FEEL YOUR PAIN. Hopefully you will heal much faster than I did. But if you don’t, just do not feel bad–it took months before I was 100% completely pain free. Unfotunately I had scar tissue which needed to heal. I wish someone would have told me this back then–I felt so guilty/wimpy at the time.

    Petunias last blog post: {happy friday}

  24. says

    God is so good! I am so happy for you and your precious Hudson. When I had my daughter Grace, they determined that she was going to be a very large baby as well, and they decided that I was going to have a C-section. I delivered 10 days before her due date and she was 8lbs 13 oz, so I was glad for the suggestion of the C-section. You did a great job! So happy for you! Much love from the girl with a southern heart, stuckl in a City girl’s body! πŸ™‚

  25. says

    I am so glad to hear you story…and glad you left out the deets of the episiotomy. πŸ˜‰

    I am so glad you are both doing well. I hope your recovery gets a little better.

    As for scheduled c-sections…can I tell you that I am pretty sure the best part about having surgery on Tuesday is that if I ever get pregnant and give birth I now AUTOMATICALLY have the option of a scheduled c-section? Guess what my plans are?

    Mrs. Newlyweds last blog post: Mission Home Office: Complete

  26. says

    Wow! You are a trooper!! Thank you for all of the details. Hubs and I aren’t planning to have kids for about 4 more years, but I’m scared all ready! Do you normally have blood pressure issues? I have had low blood pressure problems for about 10 years and have always worried about that. I’ve always been told I will be fine and not to worry, but it’s nice to hear the other side so I feel prepared.
    Your little one is so precious. God bless and best wishes! Can’t wait to read more of your story!

    Brittanys last blog post: Why do I stress?

  27. MommaB says

    Not to be a twit, but you should really try natural birth next time. Pitocin, extreme overuse of “fluids, epidural, and “help” with a vaccuum contributed more to your episiotomy and subsequent 4th degree tear than a 9.5lb baby, and the fainting afterward.

    You’re kidding yourself if you think a c-section is any easier than what you have experienced. I’ve had 3 very much unwanted c/s they aren’t a picnic, and you open yourself and your future children to a lot more risk than is necessary.

  28. says

    Erin- Wow! That is a huge story. I’m so thankful you are okay (b/c it sounds like it was rough!). He is obv quite worth it though. As a nurse, try to do sitz baths a few times a day if you can. It does help to speed up the healing process.

    Are John and Matthew family names? What was the naming process like for you guys?

    Enjoy him! He’s too cute!

  29. says

    Congrats girl! He is a cutie! I wish we lived closer so Baby J could stop by and say hello and we could exchange stories! Email me if you want the perfect recipe for homemade “ice packs.” They saved me those first few days. I tore “naturally,” but that doesn’t make it feel any better with the recovery of it all. Me and my little squirt bottle got to be good friends. =) I also went through the whole blood pressure thing (ended up with post partum preelampsia). You also asked about Baby J’s clothes in a comment awhile back…email me and I’ll tell you all my secrets. Hope you are hanging in there. This first few months is tough, but it does get better!

  30. Surrounded by Boys says

    I always wonder why they bother stitching us up if we plan on having more babies anyway? Seems like it would be a lot easier to birth subsequent babies if they didn’t! I had stitches with my first two and the recovery wasn’t so bad, but I didn’t have stitches with my 3rd and the recovery was NOTHING in comparison! So no matter what happens with this 4th one, I’m going to say no to the stitches!
    p.s. It really didn’t make a difference whether they stitched me up or not – I still have to really make an effort to not pee when I sneeze!

  31. says

    Giving birth absolutely terrifies me but I’m sure you are right…that sweet face you see at the end of it all is worth it =) Thanks for sharing with us your story!!

  32. Jenna says

    Your baby is beautiful.
    He is amaaazing.
    I’m hoping for a boy with #3 (only 10 weeks, so haven’t found out yet) but know I’ll be entirely happy with another girl. (I don’t really care. I just really want to name a baby after my Dad…)
    I think that…you should do what you want for any subsequent births. While it is true that induction can make for harder labors/complications, my mother tells me it’s no picnic delivering an over 10lb baby…whether induced or not. So…I know if I were knowingly having a baby that was gonna be that huge if I waited until 40 weeks, I think I would just have to say “no thanks! I’ll let you do that for me!” to the doctor’s. My babies were only 7lb8oz and 8lb2oz so I (hopefully) don’t have to worry about that….but because of fear, I have never asked for an estimate. Well, not true. I asked for an estimate with my 1st the day before she was born and based on my measurements they expected her to be 5 1/2-6lbs…
    Enough about me.
    Go enjoy the beauty that is your son.
    Nothing is as amazing as watching them grow.
    And that is really the most important part of having them. Not the birth itself and how it happens, but being there for them and watching them and being in awe of them. (Um, not telling you you need to do this, but telling you something I’m sure you’ve already figured out!)
    I’m done writing my “book”
    Thanks for reading it!

  33. says

    Oh my gosh, you are a full on mommy rockstar! I am so impressed by you. I am so proud of you for pushing out that baby!! Gosh, seriously, I am in awe of your strength in what sounds like a challenging delivery. Enjoy your time with your sweet newborn! He’s precious. I’m so happy for you and Todd!!

    Have a great day!

  34. says

    I’m behind on things and didn’t realize you had your baby! You know Hudson is our boy name so I’m loving it! Also – I pushed out a 9lb12 oz baby so girl – I am feeling your pain. We could talk. It was HORRIBLE. I think she was 3 months old before I felt “normal” again (of course being in the hospital with her instead of recovering at home probably had a lot to do with that). NOT fun! I tore AND had an episiotomy and I want to be monitored on the next baby because if they are going to be big – I need a c-section too!!! He’s precious and so is his room!!!! So happy for you!

  35. says

    You are a brave brave woman. And guess what? I totally plan on having a scheduled C-Section if I ever have a baby (this story having nothing to do with that). I can hardly wait for the hate mail to roll in.

    slynnros last blog post: Odds and Ends

  36. Sassytimes says

    You are SO LUCKY you did not feel the vaccuum! I pushed for 4 hours and my daughter had to be vaccuumed out…it was worse than the 4 hours of pushing (with no epi, because it didn’t work after 3 attempts).

    You are BRAVE for going the C-section route next time…I’m scared to death to do that.

  37. The wife says

    Congratulations!! I pushed for a VBAC with my last child and your post reminded me why I am thankful that my doctor wasn’t having anything to do with that! I’m a scheduled C-section this time and there won’t be any fight from me about it! I will say, that I have the same issues you had with the throwing up. Mine just starts after I finish with surgery.

    On another note, where did you get the artwork in Hudson’s nursery? And has your mother ever thought about offering her design services via the internet? His room is beautiful!!

  38. says

    Let me say I FEEL YOUR PAIN!! I had a 4th degree laceration. WHen people ask about my labor I’m always honest…… The recovery was worse than the labor!!! My little one was 9 lbs and so worth it but OH MY!! πŸ™‚

  39. says

    Erin, this was GREAT to read! i missed this post some how!! I am so glad you are both healthy!! And it really sounds like, although long, the delivery wasn’t too bad! I got teary reading this!! So so sweet! I can’t wait to meet Hudson! one day πŸ™‚

  40. says

    What a precious baby boy! Your birth story sounds a lot like mine, I had a 4th degree tear and its been about 3 weeks now, and I’m still in pain!

  41. says

    Congratulations! June 4 is my mother’s birthday, Gemini’s are wonderful! ( I am also married to one)….He is absolutely adorable,
    Dolce Dreams

  42. says

    Um, wow. Just found your blog and have enjoyed browsing. I had a 9 lb 11 oz baby via c-section and can not imagine a vaginal delivery. You are awesome!

  43. Tess says

    I am happy that you are satisfied with your delivery. You have a lot to be proud of. I work on a big research project examine pelvic floor muscle and nerve injury during first pregnancies/deliveries, and you would not BELIEVE the amount of judging/unsolicited opinion giving that goes on toward moms about choosing vaginal vs. c-section delivery. We’re trying to understand if we can predict based on imaging/exams/birth weights/head circumferences/etc who is more at risk for the types of injuries you experienced (3 & 4th degree lacerations, YOWZA!), and whether offering elective c-section to people who meet those higher risk factors helps protect them from injuries during delivery. I hope we get useful information that will help better inform mommy to bes everywhere!

    But to me, I just think that as long as the mom is happy with how things go, that’s the best ending anyone can hope for. And you certainly have a lot to be happy about – Hudson is gorgeous! Keep loving your newest family member. πŸ™‚

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