A Birth Story…

Thank you everyone for your comments last week! It brings me the biggest smile when a new note of encouragement or congratulations posts and I feel so grateful to have such supportive readers. I promised a birth story so I’m finally back to share what’s been going on this past week (ahhh – between hosting the new grandparents and great grandparents and then coming down with a the flu it’s been hectic – and this post is late).

After this, back to the usual posts, promise.


So from what I’ve heard it’s not an awful one, Olivia’s grand entrance, that is. But then again when you’re in that just-shoot-me-and-get-this-over-with moment noooobody can tell you any differently (a reference back to that hit by a train feeling).

Here are the details (a note in advance – please forgive me if this story is too detailed).

It all started late last Saturday night while sharing a big meal with friends (10 days overdue at this point and wondering if Liv was ever going to arrive). Itty bitty contractions let me know that something unusual was up, but they were quick to die down and disappear before we hit the hay that night.

At 2 in the morning I woke to the strangest feeling – my water breaking! Since PROM (premature rupture of the membranes, not the frilly dress version) only occurs in 8-10% of pregnant women, I had just assumed I would skip over this initial indication that labor was soon to begin.

From that moment on it was 45-60 second contractions 2-3 minutes apart. A quick call to the midwife confirmed that I needed to be at the hospital immediately.

I think I had pictured early labor as an opportunity to distract myself with cleaning up the house, packing the last of the hospital bag and all that jazz. Even the birthing instructor recommended having a new cookie recipe on hand to tackle, when those cookies emerged from the oven you might be ready to bring the bun in your own oven (and yourself) to the hospital.

But alas we drove at the wee hours of the morning to the hospital with me sticking my head out of the car window breathing through intense contractions that didn’t allow for much of a break.

We had opted early on to work with a midwife through a birth center located in our local UCSD hospital. All of the personal care of a midwife and doula but with the comfort of knowing that we were just two floors up from the actual labor & delivery unit if we needed the assistance.

Kevin and I participated in Bradley classes for eight weeks prior to our due date in preparation for a natural, husband-coached birth. We brought with us to the hospital all of the remedies recommended – massage tools, aromatherapy oils, red wine (yep), a chanting Buddha CD, even a contraption called ‘bed of nails’ that helps to take your mind off of pain in one area of your body by applying acupressure in another. I had prepared myself for a relaxing water birth for nine straight months and I was shocked at this point to find myself throwing all of the above out the window.

Ha. All of you moms are probably smiling at this point. :)

So we arrived just before 3am and came in through this entrance (Kev relived the early morning spree later the next day to capture some pictures for me).

And this was the room that we checked in to:

The goal of the birth center is to create bedroom-style birthing rooms with double beds, night stands and even lamps. It’s still pretty much a hospital room, but the extra decorations are a nice touch. That big teal thing in the corner is the birthing tub.

So now it’s 3:30 in the morning and the contractions are incredibly intense. An all-natural birth is beginning to feel like the worst idea in the world but there’s no turning back. Kevin, the midwife and the on-call nurse help me to push through the incredible pain. Praise God it didn’t last long. 5 hours to be exact.

Doctors were rushed in at the very end of Olivia’s birth after meconium staining was found in the amniotic fluid and she was quickly taken away for suctioning. Our hope was that we could have skin-to-skin contact immediately following her birth as well as a delayed cord cutting which would have allowed the cord to stop pulsating naturally before clamping – delivering the last of the intended blood from the placenta and mom to the newborn. While we didn’t get to follow through on these two plans, thankfully Liv was born happy and healthy and in the end all was fine.

All in all Liv’s birth was a life changing experience. I can’t say I want to relive the experience anytime soon, but bringing a beautiful baby girl into the world is absolutely incredible. And she’s absolutely perfect.

Three days in the hospital for observation brought with it plenty of rest as well as friends for visits.

And then it was time to go home!

Olivia did not love her first car seat experience, but before long she was happily asleep.

I asked an etsy artist to create a hand knitted sleep sack for Olivia’s going home outfit (in a gender neutral white). Of course I didn’t take into consideration the car seat conundrum and how she couldn’t wear a sleep sack while buckled in. So we brought with us the hospital blanket as well.

Shortly after arriving home we introduced her to her big brother. Bodie wasn’t exactly sure how to react to this new little human.

To help make the transition easier, Kevin brought a baby blanket and treat home to Bodie while the family was still at the hospital. Bodie had a chance to familiarize himself with her smell for a few days and received a special bone so he immediately associated her scent with good things.

Just for fun, here’s Liv enjoying her first bath (she looooved the warm water):

It’s been a sleepless, exciting, busy first week but we’ve loved every minute of it! We can’t believe this little miracle is finally here.

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  1. says

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, especially the bath time pics :). Congratulations to you both, you have a perfect little girl. Thanks for the details above; children are yet to arrive here, so its always nice to hear other peoples points of view…. on birth that is:)
    Best wishes to you both, may your family of 4 be forever happy
    Lady S

  2. says

    Loved the story!
    Isn’t it funny how we have this picture of how it will be and it turns out completely different!
    She is beautiful!! Congrats again, your going to LOVE being a mom, especially to a little girl! (I’m a little biased ;)

  3. says

    Hi Dear New Happy Family!
    Morgan, Kevin and Bodie welcome to family
    life. Great to hear all is going fine.
    Olivia is such a bright, allert babe.
    She looks like she knows she is the centre
    of attention. Bodie is just such a sweet
    dog. A new baby is such a gift.
    Enjoy the moments, feel free to skip some
    posts while you are going to be busy as.
    Best Warm Wishes,

  4. SheilaG says

    Olivia is BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank you for sharing your story. Don’t you just love when people somehow are able to know your level of pain and say oh, yours wasn’t so bad…. :)

  5. says

    She’s perfect and reading it is a nice break from all the decorating “stuff”. My daughter was born 22 years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday and your story just brought back all those fond memories so thanks

  6. says

    she is such a doll – congrats on a really quick labor and delivery! :) You will get mommy memory soon enough – so you won’t remember how crazy delivery was and be willing to have another – LOL :)

  7. Kelsey@daisiesofourlives says

    Thanks for sharing you and little Liv’s story! She has the most beautiful eyes!!! Hang in there with the sleep, it gets better every week that goes by.

  8. says

    What a wild experience! T also decided to make herself known with a 2am water break. I don’t think it’s as uncommon as people think…and I can’t imagine trying to bake anything after that happens! Your pictures are just so adorable. The bath photos are particularly beautiful. She’s so alert! Thanks for sharing your experience, it’s so interesting to see how every birth story is different!

  9. says

    Thanks so much for sharing the story! I love your design stuff, but this is awesome too. She’s adorable…and the sneak peak of the kitchen in those bath pictures looks amazing too.

  10. says

    Great story Morgan. Yes I did have a chuckle when you got to saying about all your birth plans. ;)
    I know it’s an incredible experience… but absolutely horrible at the same time. I’m kinda glad I don’t have to watch me going through it!
    Keep up the great work. She’s a darling.
    xo MODELmumma

  11. says

    Morgan, I think she got even cuter since the first pictures!
    You had the flu in the midst of it all?! Poor you!
    I hope you’re enjoying snuggling with little Olivia!

  12. Carolyn A. says

    Awesome story! Thanks for sharing and I hope you’re adjusting well to the changes your beautiful daughter has brought :)

  13. says

    I love it!!! I haven’t even been following your blog for 2 full weeks and I’m just elated with joy for you all! I love that you shared so many details… it’s what we do – it’s our proudest moment to endure.

    Congratulations – you’re a warrior!

  14. says

    Oh, she is so beautiful! It sounds like both you and Kevin are already great parents! :) I can’t wait to hear about more little updates as the weeks go by!

  15. says

    Your baby is gorgeous! Just perfect.

    When you talked about all your plans and then while in labor, throwing all the idea out the window, I chuckled. I even had an elaborate birth plan written down. I brought it to the hospital and did not one thing on my plan.

    I guess it doesn’t matter so much ‘how’ we birth, as long as they get birthed. I enjoyed your story and photos.

    Your baby is really beautiful. Take the time to enjoy each minute with her while she is tiny. They outgrow the baby-baby stage so quickly. I often wish I could go back.



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