The Arrival of George, Part Two

Part One

Where were we? Oh yes. The news we didn’t want to hear.

Little guy’s heart rate was a bit in question, and our midwife was worried that my placenta might be getting worn out, so to speak, since I was twelve days over (is this TMI? IDK.). This worried me, and I knew what decision was coming…

Our midwife told us that I needed to be put on a small dose of pitocin in order to accelerate the labor that was already happening, just to make sure that the baby would be ok. In her words, we needed to “throw some gas on the fire”.

My face immediately dropped and I almost gave up right then and there. It’s not that I’m so opposed to pitocin, but we were hoping for a natural birth, and I knew from stories that pitocin contractions tend to be much more hellish than regular contractions. Couple that with the fact that I’m such a huge wuss, and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it.

So I allowed myself a brief moment of feeling defeated before I even began, accompanied by some silly tears, and sucked it up right before I was transferred to labor and delivery.

Thankfully, our midwife was dead serious when she said a “small dose” of pitocin. She was so encouraging. She reminded me that one of her five labors was with pitocin, and that she was able to still have a natural birth. That helped me refocus and not be so … woe-is-me.

Around 5 p.m., I was put on the smallest amount of pitocin possible and Dave and I kicked up our feet to watch more Property Brothers while waiting for the real party to start. Fortunately, I responded to the pitocin very quickly, and it wasn’t very long before I sternly told Dave to turn off the TV. It was getting real.

From there, things are kind of a blur. Funny how that works, isn’t it? I remember wanting to quit early on. It was tough. The husband-coached method from Dr. Bradley was very effective for us. Dave reminded me of my intentions for this labor, and, at that point, that’s all that kept me motivated. I was tired and ready to be done. Right as I was about to throw in the towel, our nurse (who was a God-send) came in to check me for the first time. She happily declared that I was a 6, and my mindset shifted dramatically.

“I’m over half way there!”, I thought. And then I knew I could do it.

Because I was responding so well, the nurse soon turned off the pitocin (much to my delight) and let my body do it’s thing. Again, the rest is a blur for me …

Somewhere around 5 a.m., our midwife declared that she suspected I would be ready to push soon. So Dave text my parents to give them the “go-ahead” for coming to the hospital. The nurse stated she thought I’d be ready to push in an hour or two.

If only.

We were a long way away from pushing. It took a lifetime for me to progress from 8 to 10 cm. There was lots of walking, rocking, and bouncing followed by moving from the bed, to the bathroom, to the rocking chair. David was my rock and I can’t believe he was able to stay awake the whole time!

When transition finally began, it was a welcomed sensation.

According to Dave, my transition lasted about two hours, and it definitely proved to be everything I had read about transition: lots of intensity.

I finalllyyyyy reached 10 cm after what felt like for-ev-er. At that point, our midwife said to me: “Ok, now’s where the real work starts. Are you ready?”.

I looked at Dave like, WTH?! Real work? What was the last 20 hours?! I was under the stupid assumption that pushing was the easy part. Ha …

I really sucked at pushing, which is probably why it took me two and a half hours to get the kid out. I could not get in the groove of effective pushing for the longest time. But I eventually felt what it was like to have a really good push, and I got to work. The birth team – nursery nurses, NICU nurses (because I was overdue), extra labor and delivery nurses – was called in and all of a sudden I had quite the audience. Good thing labor gets rid of all self-consciousness. The president could have walked in and I would not have lost my focus nor my declining sense of modesty.

Having such a supportive team there made all the difference in the world. David is literally the whole reason I lasted through labor, we were blessed with awesome nurses, and our midwife is just incredible. I owe it all to them! Toward the end of the pushing, we all just kept repeating: “C’mon, George! It’s time to be born, let’s go!”.

I was suddenly struck with “the urge to push”, and holy cow is it ever the urge! At one point, the urge sprang on me in between contractions and I declared, “I can’t wait for a contraction, I have to push … NOW.” In my mind, I was having quite the stern conversation with little baby’s saintly namesakes, forcefully demanding that they step up their intercession for me because holy crap was I ready to get this kid out.

Because of their unwavering encouragement, George Francis made his appearance at 2:53 p.m. (which, as my coworker pointed out, is ironically the exact time that school ends each day).


Animal instincts really do kick in at this point. They laid George on my stomach and I immediately grabbed him and tried to bring him up to my chest. I simultaneously felt a tug and heard our midwife exclaim, “Whoa whoa, Olivia! He’s still attached and the cord is short.” So little man hung out on my belly for a while until Dave cut the cord. We just gushed over him from there on out. All my fatigue left me instantly and everything but George and Dave faded into the background. I’m pretty sure nurses were asking me questions that I unintentionally ignored because I was so enamored.

A couple of hours later we were moved to the mother-baby unit and welcomed lots and lots of family. Much to our delight, George and I were both doing so well that we were able to go home about 24 hours later. The rest is history in the making …


Was labor what I expected? Actually, yes. Did it go exactly as planned? Not exactly, but I knew it wouldn’t. And to be honest, we came pretty darn close to perfect. Would I do it again? Absolutely. But not today. {wink}

Curious about his name? He is named after Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati (“George” is the English form of the Italian “Giorgio”). Aren’t we predictable? His middle name is primarily in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, but we will also take St. Francis Xavier, St. Francis de Sales, and Pope Francis. Gladly.

I’m an open book, people. Feel free to ask me anything about labor and delivery and I’ll divulge all the deets, if you so wish 😉


  1. Wow. That’s an intense labor & what a story! We’ve been praying that he and you and David are resting and that life is going well. Lots of love!

  2. Oh my goodness you did awesome! I love it! Congrats again mama!

  3. That’s great you were still able to have a natural childbirth…all my friends who have used midwifes say it was such a wonderful experience for them, and really was a blessing during pregnancy. Love hearing stories of how babes get their names…a friend a mine named her third boy John Paul Francis.

  4. Wonderful story and congratulations! I couldn’t help giggling over all the fussing of the medical personnel. If they would have just left you alone, you would have been fine and eventually had that urge to push all on your own. lol. Sounds like you did an amazing job, mama! Praise God for the gift of little George!

  5. Thanks for the wonderful birth story! I’m glad everything turned out well! You were very brave to go ahead with laboring natural while on pitocin! I don’t know what I would have done! Congrats on your little guy!

  6. ps! Waiting for babies to come is the WORST! It’s so hard! And the fact that my first one was two weeks early, always has me hoping that I’ll get another early one. My babies have gotten later and bigger successively. Lol.

  7. Elise Schlipman says:

    Wonderful birth story- we did Bradley too- Dr Bradley actually delivered my mom and all her siblings!!! So glad you are doing well- he is simply perfect!

  8. Oh my gosh. You can probably tell I’m starting my quest to catch up on your blog, and so far right now you’re my favorite blogger 🙂 Your posts remind me of the household summer newsletters I would compose (people would mail me their updates and I would re-format them) before there was like … facebook. It’s like they are funny, but, the humor is a side-effect.
    … I’ll prob share more ‘reflections’ as I go …
    Whenever I have a baby I’ll just be like, “Oh everything is going to be fine. Olivia did it all already.”
    Thanks for being the trailblazer 🙂
    ~ Clara

  9. I finally got around to reading this in my feed and wow, what a story! So glad it was a good experience for everyone 🙂 My husband and I are looking into the Bradley Method now…I’m glad to hear another success story from using it!

  10. If the President walked in the room, I’m pretty sure I would be all “meh” too.

  11. What a beautiful birth story! Goodness, I cannot imagine everything you went through, you are such a trooper. Doesn’t it make you feel like you can do anything now?! I’m so glad you got to have a natural birth, despite all the challenges. I know I would have been an emotional wreck if suddenly I wasn’t able to have a natural birth. What a blessing.

  12. Transition is the worrrrrrst. But husband-coaches are the best 🙂 Congratulations!

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