Monthly Archives: June 2012

Haddon’s Birth Story.

Haddon’s due date was June 18th.  Really those dates are guesses and I’ll tell expectant mothers from now on not to bank on them.

“How long was your first child’s labor?”

I have no idea how I will answer this question some day.

Sunday night, June 17th: we went to a friend’s wedding and joked that maybe the cupid shuffle would bring him out.

Monday morning, June 18th: I had some stronger contractions not just Braxton hicks.

Tuesday morning, June 19th:  around 2am I woke up with even stronger ones and told Micah around 8 am today might be the day.  We even made Haddon’s birthday cupcakes to take to the hospital.  Contractions continued to intensify but were not consistent at all.

Wednesday morning, June 20th:  around 2am I again woke up with strong contractions and this time closer together.  I texted my mom to go ahead and head down our way whenever she got up.  Mom and dad got here and while the contractions were intense they again were not consistent.  We had a doctor appt that day and I wanted to skip it.  I didn’t think I could handle it if they told me I still wasn’t dilated after all these contractions.  Alas, I was almost completely effaced and 2 cm dilated!

Thursday morning, June 21st: around 3am after having contractions all evening long I told Micah I wanted to go to the hospital.  He woke up mom and dad and we packed the car and got ready to leave.  The last thing on my mind was eating but they made me eat oatmeal and fresh pineapple.  I am so thankful for that.  I had no idea how long it would be before my next meal.

We checked into the hospital around 5am and triage said I was 4cm dilated and they were admitting me.  I was so excited that it was time!

Micah’s parents were called and they headed down too.

We were assigned an amazing nurse who had been through two natural childbirths herself and had also used the Bradley Method.  Unfortunately she had to leave at 7 am for her shift change but made sure to put me with another great nurse.

Up until I was about 6cm dilated I was “okay”. I could handle the intensity with lots of concentration, meditation, prayer, and encouragement from my birth support team.

Then came the transition.

At times I didn’t think it was possible for me to move at all and someone would encourage me to change positions and somehow the strength would come.

I asked for intermittent monitoring, and the craziest thing is that when they would hook me up to the monitoring I would watch Haddon’s heartbeat for a minute, make sure he was okay, and then by God’s grace drift to sleep.  Sometimes I would sleep for 45 minutes at a time and only wake during the really intense contractions, apparently I would breathe heavily through the others.

Now, “they” say you should dilate about 1cm per hour.  That was clearly not the case for me.  After a completely textbook pregnancy my labor was not turning out to be predictable at all.

By this point a new doctor had come on and my first nurse had come back!

They asked to break my water (which I had requested in my birth plan I didn’t want).  They were very respectful about it and let me choose but essentially explained that I just wasn’t progressing.  I agreed even though I knew the pain was about to intensify.

Haddon’s water had a little meconium in it, but they weren’t terribly concerned.

When I hit 7cm I turned animalistic.  I’m talking noise I’ve never dreamed of and movement like I’ve never imagined or thought I was capable of.  One thing that Bradley Method teaches is to constantly change positions so that the baby can descend and the mother can open up.  I used the ball, squatting bar, shower, handrails, my mother and husbands hands, you name it!

To make a long story (of an extremely long labor) shorter –

I never progressed from 7 ½ cm, but my amazing doctor and nurse who were completely on board with how I wanted to deliver naturally, manually moved my cervix to a 10 (yes ouch, but really at that point, what didn’t hurt).

They then realized that our little boy was face up.

Alas, a reasonable conclusion for the delay in progression, progress, etc.

I pushed for 45 minutes and on Friday morning, June 22, out he came.

Haddon Isaiah Downs

6:47 am

8lbs 1 oz, 20 in


He hadn’t swallowed any of the meconium so was allowed to be put on my chest right away.

“Was it love at first sight?”

It was more like relief at first sight, and I love him more by the minute.

One of my first questions afterwards – did I tear?

I heard the amazing answer of: oh you don’t need any stitches.

Praise the Lord for Him, mineral oil and an amazing doctor and nurse (and food).

Haddon had a true knot in his cord.  It wasn’t tight enough to put him in distress.  Another praise the Lord.

I kept thinking about how His grace is sufficient, His power is made perfect in weakness, how women do this every day, some in fields in hot sweaty conditions not with hot showers and air conditioning and people cleaning up after you, mom, dad and Micah were constantly encouraging me.  One verse in particular Micah kept saying is “in the Lord your labor”… and I always had to answer “is not in vain”.

Maybe a little out of context, but it certainly wasn’t in vain…

We are blessed.

Thank you Abba.

And Micah, mom, dad, Dr. Madella, and Carla!

I love you son.  You were worth every second.


Two Years.

since the beginning of the most amazing adventure…

This is going to be a short post darling because, well our anniversary present for this year needs to be fed!

You amaze and inspire me daily.  Thank you for loving me so well.

Happy Two Year Anniversary darling!!  I love you more with every moment.

End in Sight.

Or, should I say the beginning… 🙂

I was off of work this week.  I took off a little early to rest, nest, and learn to slow down.  It’s been a bit challenging I wont lie.  I am not used to not having a consistent schedule.  I know I will appreciate this time though.

Well, just for a short wrap up in no specific order –

I have gained over what you’re supposed to.  I’d rather eat when I am hungry and give into the occasional craving than worry about what is on the scale and that is a big accomplishment given my past relationship with bulimia.  So I am very thankful I am not obsessing about my weight.

I can still paint my toes.  They don’t look perfect and it is certainly funny looking when I do it but the fact is, I still can paint my toenails.

Natural induction methods are all old wives tales.  I’m convinced of it.  The only ones I haven’t tried are castor oil and acupuncture.  He will come out when he is ready.

The doctors guess that he is on the average to larger side.

People have asked me if I am having twins… sometimes you just should not ask people things.  I know I am very big and I know they are trying to make conversation but this is how I answer: “sure does look and feel like it”.  I also know that I have a 5ft frame and there is nowhere else for this weight to go but out front.

I don’t really read labor books or think about birth plans, etc anymore.  At this point, I want to meet Haddon no matter how he comes out and I just want him to come out.  Now, don’t get me wrong – of course I am still hoping for a natural, no complication labor and delivery but the how is just not as on the forefront as before.

I am also very intimidated of when he does come out.  A life to be responsible with, someone small God has entrusted to us to grow into a man.  That is a whole lot of responsibility.  I am so thankful and so nervous, not anxious in a worried type way just realizing the magnitude of it all as it gets closer and more real.

I have started reading parenting books.  One in particular is amazing so far, Sacred Parenting by Gary Thomas.  Yes, the one that wrote Sacred Marriage, and yes it is as good so far.  Definitely an eye opener.

One of my favorite quotes he has in it so far :

If parenting were meant to be easy it wouldn’t have started with the word labor.

Amen. Noted

Haddon’s due date is tomorrow… I hear it’s not uncommon to go over by even 2 weeks with your first… hoping that is not the case and we get to meet our son soon.

Belly Shots.

just shy of 39 weeks.




I am starting to efface but still am not dilated at all.

So here is how a conversation went:

Micah: how is our son doing?

Sarah: (almost crying) he doesn’t want to come ouuuuuut!!

Micah: (laughing hysterically) he likes his mom.

Sarah: it’s time for him to like his dad!


I can hardly write, I’m choking up.

No, it is not just because I am less than two weeks from my due date, and extremely hormonal right now.

It is because my God is so good and He showed me that again today.  I am so fickle and earthly minded at times, but He in His own way always reminds me I need not be.

This is my last week of work before Haddon comes.  I’m taking off a week early to rest, nest, etc!  Which I felt a tiiiiiny bit guilty about because…

Micah’s job ends next week, summer is quickly approaching the school system and school will be out (he works for the adult ed program for Newport News City Schools).

So essentially we were going to have a couple weeks of not having an income before my leave kicked in.  Which isn’t the worst situation in the world, because of the living situation God put us in- you can read about that here.

However, today Micah got a job offer (they want him to start on Haddon’s due date but are willing to work with him).  Tomorrow he has an interview at another place.

We can do nothing but offer up our thankfulness and praises to a God that ALWAYS provides, knows our days, knows our hours, and the number of hairs on our head, even if He keeps us on our toes with what and when we need to know.

I am just so thankful.  Nothing I can offer up is good enough.  His blessings are not based on my performance or how hard I believe.  He takes care of His children, in His own way. Period.

Speaking of offers, I am ready to put one in for a house in the Riverside area (Micah is not) haha