Our Five Ring Circus: Coen's Birth Story - The Delivery

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Coen's Birth Story - The Delivery

Coen's Birth Story - The Delivery

Time goes by so quickly when you have kids! It goes by even faster with each child that you add to your family. It seems like we were just anxiously waiting for our fifth baby to be born, and now he's 5 months old. I wish time would slow down! I already shared the first part of Coen's birth story - the labor. Now it's time for the delivery!

I haven't shared the details of the delivery with many people, other than to say that it was brutal! It took months to recover, and I'm still dealing with nerve pain. Let me just say that if Coen was my first child, he would be an ONLY child!

Here's where we left off:  Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time to get that epidural running again, so for the first time ever, I would get to experience a natural delivery. It wasn't what I wanted, and I was already in enough pain, but there was no turning back. Our baby was coming - NOW - whether we were ready or not! And soon, everyone in the room was going to be very surprised by what came next...

The contractions were coming one after another, and I was struggling to breathe through the pain. I felt an immediate need to push, so the OB and the nurses scrambled to get ready. Grant and Lexie took their place on one side of the bed, and Lexie had the camera ready to go. 

I was already in my pushing zone, where I block out everyone and everything, and just focus on the job, but this time, it wasn't calm at all. This time, it was extremely painful, and I felt every single contraction and an unbelievable amount of pressure. My nurse came over to coach me through a few practice pushes as everybody else rushed around preparing for the impending delivery. It is a teaching hospital, so it seemed like there were a lot of people in the room, but I didn't care one bit. I just wanted him out!

I really didn't push for long. After just a few pushes, the OB and nurse were able to see all of Coen's hair that was visible in the last ultrasound, so it was good motivation. That - AND making the pain go away! Lexie finally took a peek, and was absolutely amazed. Pushing was tough because I was in so much pain, but both Grant and Lexie were wonderful coaches. 

I don't remember much while I was pushing other than the pain, and how everyone in the room was cheering me on. When I get into the birthing zone, I block everything out. It's hard to explain, but it's almost like an outer body experience. I do remember feeling the "ring of fire" that I had only heard about, and never thought I would ever experience. The moment I felt it, I realized it was worse than I imagined it would be, but I knew my baby would be out soon. It truly was the worst pain I had ever felt, but I had no idea it was about to get worse!

Finally, with one big push, Coen's head was out. And that's when things got completely crazy! Everyone in the room suddenly yelled, "STOP PUSHING!!!" Total chaos set in. A nurse ran into the hallway and screamed something, and more people came running into the room. I was screaming, because I literally felt like I was being ripped apart. The OB leaned over me, and calmly told me that the baby was huge and was stuck in the birthing canal, and that they needed to get him out as soon as possible.

Let me preface this by saying that the medical staff had no idea Coen was so big. My recent growth ultrasound indicated his birth weight would be between 8 - 8 1/2 lbs, but that was obviously wrong. What happened next was physically traumatic, but the delivery team was like a fine-tuned machine, and delivered Coen quickly and safely. The pain was like nothing I had ever imagined or experienced, but Coen and I were in great hands.

It was go time. The OB and two other doctors were at the foot of the bed, there was a nurse on each side of me, and a nurse jumped onto the bed with me. People were standing around the room,  watching and waiting as they began the process of delivering my large baby, who was stuck inside of me.

They began to try different delivery methods, barking out code names like corkscrew (it's as awful as it sounds), and telling me to push and stop pushing and push again. The nurses on each side of me were pushing my upper body into a sitting position, while pulling my legs back to my ears, while the nurse on the bed pushed down on my uterus as hard as possible, and the three doctors twisted and yanked his body. 

It probably only took a few minutes to get him out, but it felt like an eternity. I didn't even recognize the guttural screams that were coming from my mouth. I didn't even know I COULD scream like that. I felt helpless and trapped, and didn't know how they were going to get him out. I can't even accurately put into words the amount of fear and pain that I felt as they pushed, twisted, and yanked my baby out of my body. It literally felt like I was being tortured. But finally, they succeeded, and he was born!

Birth Story

If you read the first part of Coen's birth story, you already know that I was never able to hold any of our babies immediately after birth for various reasons, and that Grant never got to cut the umbilical cord. That's all we wanted, but yet again, something crazy happened. This time, there was meconium in the amniotic fluid (just like with Lily), and they would need to suction him quickly, plus he had shoulder dystocia. Thankfully, our OB knew this was our last chance, and gave us the only thing that was on our birth plan!

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Shoulder Dystocia

I was still shaking uncontrollably and crying from that extremely brutal delivery, when they put Coen on my chest. I stared down at my purple, HUGE, bruised baby, and prayed he was okay. We still weren't even 100% sure if he had a chromosomal condition or not. The prenatal testing we had said no, but after Liam, we learned that anything was possible! I could barely see his face through my tears, and I was so shaken from the delivery, that I completely missed Grant cutting the cord. But I held him as tight as I could with one arm, and tried to enjoy the incredible moment of being the first person to hold my new baby.

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After a few seconds, they had to take him away to examine him and suction him again, and they had to tend to me. The pediatric nurse had Lexie come with her to meet her new baby brother, take pictures, and help with the entire post-delivery process. Grant stayed by my side, because I was so shaken, and needed a LOT of stitches. I was completely beat up!

Real birth stories

I tried to see everything that was happening with Coen while they stitched me up, but he was so far away, and there were a lot of people still at the bottom of my bed blocking my view. I'm not going into detail, but the stitching process took forever, and I felt the first few stitches before the OB realized I needed even more pain medication. The numbing effect never fully kicked in, so it was definitely unpleasant, but nothing compared to what I had just experienced!

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Long story short...Coen was okay. They were able to deliver him safely, without a clavicle fracture or dislocated shoulder. The prenatal testing was accurate. I asked at some point while I was being stitched, and they all assured me he was fine. He was HUGE. Everyone yelled, "WHOA!!!" when the nurse announced his weight and length. 10 lbs 3.5 oz and 22 1/2 inches long!

Large newborn

Coen was one of a few 10+ lb babies delivered at the hospital that day, and surprisingly, not the biggest, but I was the only mom who had a natural vaginal delivery! There were no risk factors, so there wasn't any reason to do a c-section. By the time they realized how big he was, it was too late.
I did end up with a very bad tear, they had to give me medication to stop the heavy bleeding, and I felt like I got hit by a truck. I didn't realize I had nerve damage until I came home, and although that improved, I'm still dealing with it 5 months later.


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After everyone realized Coen was perfectly fine, the mood in the room lifted, and some of the medical team started drifting away. Grant and I thanked the team of doctors and nurses for working so efficiently to deliver Coen safely. Everybody was relieved! The OB started joking around with us, and spent a lot of time with us after his birth, unlike any of our previous deliveries. The pediatric nurse let Lexie help examine Coen, and carefully explained every single step of the process. She even let her take Coen's footprints, and get our thumbprints.

Siblings in the delivery room

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Sibling Love

Despite the rough delivery, it was the best post-delivery experience we've ever had! The doctors and nurses were wonderful, and we were truly impressed by how much they involved Lexie in the entire process. Lexie loves medical stuff, so she went above and beyond. She quickly got a reputation in labor and delivery for being so mature and supportive during a scary delivery, and so interested in the post-delivery process with a newborn. 

So many doctors and nurses made sure to tell us how incredible Lexie was, and that she was a natural and should consider going to nursing or medical school. She definitely is a gift, and that's why we invited her into the delivery room. I know it was an experience she will always treasure, and she STILL talks about it with a big smile on her face. She bonded immediately with her baby brother, and to this day, she's like a mini mom to him. It was a special experience that we will always share.

The excitement in the room eventually ended, and we were left to bond with our new baby. The pediatric nurse handed Coen over for some skin to skin contact, and to breastfeed for the first time. There is nothing that beats that moment! He took to nursing right away, and seemed like the sweetest baby. The nurse took him back briefly because they had to check his blood sugar frequently for the next 24 hours since he was so big. When she gave him back, Grant and Lexie each got to hold him, too.

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We spent several hours in the delivery room after Coen was born. We had to wait for a room in the maternity floor to become available. We were all exhausted and starving, and the medication they gave me to stop the bleeding made me shake uncontrollably for hours. It was quite some time before I was able to get on my feet and walk.

The pediatric nurse, who was absolutely wonderful, finally came in to take us to our permanent room for the next 3 days. During the walk to our new room, she talked to Lexie about becoming an OB or a labor and delivery nurse, then handed us over to our new nurse. We were sad to see her go!

After we settled into our new room, we tried to sleep, but it didn't work well. After hours of shaking, it finally subsided. I was finally able to get up, snap a picture of Coen, and announced his birth!

Birth Announcement

The afternoon was a bit of a blur, because we were so tired and overwhelmed. We just kept saying how unbelievable the delivery was. We slept for a few minutes at a time, a nurse came in and let Lexie help her bathe Coen in the room, multiple nurses and doctors came in to check me and Coen, and Coen's blood sugar needed to be checked around the clock. Right after getting into our room, our sweet friend, Bekah, had a bear and balloon delivered. It was such a sweet gesture! (And funny enough, the balloon is STILL floating in the nursery!)

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Our close friends, Gary and Tracy, were the first people to meet Coen. They only stayed a little while, because they knew how exhausted we were. I was so tired that I didn't even think to take a picture. After they left, I got a few minutes of sleep before dinner arrived.

My dad and Dylan arrived soon after! Dylan was begging to come to the hospital so he could meet his baby brother. Unfortunately, my mom had to stay at home with Lily and Liam. Lily was too afraid to go to the hospital, and Liam still had the flu. Dylan and Lexie quickly started fighting for turns to hold the baby, but my dad was the ultimate winner! While they were there, our dear friends, Rich and Rex, stopped by to meet Coen. Yet again, I have no photographic evidence.


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Everyone stayed until 9, when visiting hours ended. Lexie and Dylan were very disappointed that they had to leave. We tried to let them stay, but only one adult was allowed to stay in the room overnight. They said a reluctant goodbye, and Grant walked them out, so I was left in silence with my new baby boy.

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When Grant returned, we tried to go to bed, but we were still living off the excitement and adrenaline. We knew nurses would be in and out of the room all night taking our vitals and testing Coen's blood sugar. We ended up just enjoying the calm for a while. A nurse eventually came in and said they had to take Coen to the nursery for a few hours for his newborn testing and another exam, but would bring him back soon to eat. We took advantage of the time he was away from us to get a few hours of sleep. We were so exhausted after going nearly 48 hours with no sleep! And life as we knew it was about to get a LOT busier!

Birth Story

As rough as my pregnancy, labor, and delivery was with Coen, he was absolutely worth it. Although I will never forget how incredibly painful it was, the actual feeling of that pain has faded. Yes, I cringe when I think of what I went through. Yes, I kind of felt like a warrior for getting through it. No, I never want to experience that again. It was an unexpected journey, from start to finish, to get Coen into my arms, but it's quite a story to tell! And his story is only beginning...

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"And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you." The Chaos of Stars

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Coen's Birth Story - The Delivery


  1. You did great! It is hard for me to read delivery stories due to my own disappointing births. I still think it's amazing Lexie was there!

  2. First off, I love that quote at the end. So beautiful. But wow, that definitely sounds traumatic! I'm glad that you're (mostly) doing okay, and that Coen was healthy! I'm with you - if that was my first time having a kid, I'm pretty sure it would be the only time. haha I'm glad you had your husband and Lexie there though, and it sounds like Lexie would make a great nurse!!


  3. My goodness, Stef, your this sounds exactly like my delivery with Jacob! I've never met anyone else who had a delivery as traumatic as mine! Jacob was HUGE and nobody knew it until it was too late, too! I had to push for 3.5 hours and we truly thought I wasn't going to be able to get him out. He was all banged up and bruised when he finally did and then I had terrible nerve damage in my pelvis and leg. I couldn't walk for months. It was terrifying. I literally JUST stopped seeing a physical therapist a couple of months ago from the damage. It took 8 years for me to heal. And that's why we did an elective c-section with Olivia! Haha. I've never really talked about it on the blog much, but I plan to do a post about it eventually. Your sweet boy is just beautiful and all of these pictures are, too. He is going to love being able to read this one day.


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