Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Denver's Birth Story Part III

There I was, at the very end of labor. Pushing and Charley horsing. Charley horsing and pushing. Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, Denver’s head was born. This freaks a lot of people out because we had a water birth. “Isn’t that dangerous?” and “Won’t he breathe the water into his lungs?” are two common questions that we receive. The truth is that babies get their oxygen through their umbilical cord. They live in an environment where they are surrounded by liquid for nine months. When his head entered the bathtub, it was just like he was still inside the womb. He was still receiving oxygen through the umbilical cord, and his lungs don’t take their first breath until he is taken out of the water.

After his head was born, Donnellyn looked at us and said, “Okay, during this next contraction your baby will be born.” Words cannot express the excitement I felt in that moment. Austin says that I smiled for the first time in hours. I had a little person halfway out of my body, yet I suddenly felt almost no pain. When the contraction came, I pushed with all my might, and out came our beautiful baby boy. Denver was born at 5:36p.m. Donnellyn brought him out of the water and laid him immediately on my chest. His umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around his chest, which explained his dropping heart rate earlier in labor. She quickly unwound it, and after a few seconds he took his first breath. His little purple body started looking more and more pink. I was lying in the tub; looking at Denver, then up at Austin, then back to Denver, so completely overwhelmed with emotion. Within the same few moments, I felt relief that the labor was over, nervousness about being a new mom, exhaustion because of what I had just been through, but more than anything, I felt love for my son and my husband.

God answered so many prayers on September 7, 2010. The labor and delivery were basically complication free. I was able to have a natural childbirth. The entire labor was only 8.5 hours long (many labors are over 24 hours long). My son is healthy. I am healthy.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I was anxious about becoming a mom. I didn’t feel ready for our family dynamic to change. I won’t claim that I have totally overcome these fears, but God is truly changing my heart. I am encouraged by what Paul wrote to the Philippians: “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” (Philippians 3:13) I am excited (yet still sometimes scared) about what God has in store for us. Parenthood is what lies ahead. I expect it will be quite the adventure.


  1. THANK YOU for writing these, miss caitlin. i am so thankful to be reading about all of this and am sitting here crying, so proud of you and so excited for you and your family! he is so gorgeous (as are you, duh). what an amazing story!

  2. I loved this line: "There I was, at the very end of labor. Pushing and Charley horsing. Charley horsing and pushing."

    I know it was not funny while it was happening, but you tell it in such a funny way!!! Denver is gorgeous, and you did a great job! Only 8.5 with your first baby is awesome!

  3. I loved reading your story, Caitlin! I'm so happy for you! My mom had a natural childbirth too, so it's interesting to hear another person's story... Congratulations!!

    P.S. Denver is absolutely beautiful, and St. Louis misses you :)