Anna Jubilee's Birth Story

If you would've told me I'd have to endure that much pain I don't know if I would've gone through with it. I would have begged for an epidural long before it was too late. Because, you see, when it comes to risk, pain, and anything where I know I'll get hurt, I'm a baby. Truly I am.

On the other hand, I'm also very stubborn and strong willed. When I have it in my mind to do something (or not do something), I do it (or not), no matter what. No one is going to talk me out of it.

So I had it in my mind to have a natural birth, and I went through with it, even when my nurse asked several times what my pain was on a scale of 1-10, 10 being I'm going to slap you if I don't get pain meds right now! Oh, a 6, I'd say. Yeah, well if she would've asked me that when I was dilated at 9 cm, I might have slapped her--if I had the energy. She didn't ask after 7 cm because by then it was too late. Hindsight, I'm glad I didn't have the choice after 7 cm because in the end I accomplished what I was set out to do--have a drug-free delivery relying on God to get me through so I could hold the child He created inside of me. And, oh, did I need Him more than ever!

As I type this, Anna is asleep on my chest. Our favorite thing to do. I look down at her in utter amazement. She is my child, I am her Mommy. This is something I've been dreaming of since I was a little girl. Some girls dream of their wedding, I dreamt of being a mommy. God gave me my heart's desire. He blessed me with the most beautiful gift anyone could give. And this gift means so much more because of what I had to endure to receive it. The joy that is brought after the pain is even better. Joy comes in the morning and she sure did!

I think Anna really wanted to give her Mommy the best birthday present because even though I went into active labor (4 cm dilated) at 1 pm on Thursday, the 20th, she didn't arrive until the next morning, on my birthday. From the beginning we were told I was going to have a long labor. She was posterior, so it was going to be more challenging to get her out. I was progressing very slowly even though my contractions were strong and every 3-4 minutes. We arrived at the hospital at 4 am on Thursday morning and waited in an observation room for 4 hours. By the time 8 am rolled around, the doctor told me I'd only dilated one cm since being there and if I stay they'd put me on Pitocin in 6 hours to speed things along. She advised me to go home and rest if I was set on having a natural delivery and to come back when contractions were so strong I couldn't walk or talk through them. So we went home.

I tried to rest, it didn't work. Every contraction felt like a kick in the back and I knew this baby was coming today (or so I thought). This is when I realized Anna's placement of being posterior meant I was going to experience back labor. My only relief was to have a fist in my back upon every contraction. And Travis had the perfect fist for the job (by the end he said he had to put himself in crazy positions in order to meet this demand and his hand was sore and swollen). We were back in the hospital 2 hours later. And we waited, and waited, and waited for 4 hours to get into a labor and delivery room. Apparently everyone and their sister were having babies that day too. Throughout this time contractions were getting stronger and I knew it was time to begin my breathing and relaxing techniques I learned in birthing class. If not for those, I would've never gotten through childbirth.

They finally found us a room and from there things progressed quickly until I reached 7 cm...and then I stalled. In my birthing class I was told "transition" (7 cm-9 cm) would be the toughest part of the delivery but also the shortest. Well for me it was the longest. I endured "transition" for 7 hours! At that point Travis said I went into a "zone". I was somewhere else. I didn't talk that entire time and it was as if nothing else in the world mattered but focusing on getting through every contraction, knowing each time I was one step closer to meeting my baby girl. Music played in the background, and even though the 15 song playlist was on repeat, each word gave me new energy to keep going. The pain was like nothing I've ever felt before but so was God's presence. Around 10 pm, the doctors suggested breaking my water to speed things along. There were no guarantees but what was guaranteed was the contractions would get worse. I decided to do it. They immediately found out meconium (baby poop) was in my water and when Anna would finally come they'd have to rush her away to make sure she hadn't ingested any during labor. Travis was discouraged and upset. I was bound and determined to get this baby out asap. But this lasted another 4 hours before I was allowed to push. And when they said contractions would get stronger, oh boy, they went to a level I never want to feel again! It was very difficult at this point to stay in my "zone"and to continue to breath and relax through each contraction. I needed Travis to hold my hand and dig his fist in my back from the beginning of each contraction or I'd struggle to get through it. My body was beginning to naturally push and a few times I thought I was ready too.

It wasn't until 2 am, Friday morning, when it was finally time to push! When that happened my mind got a new sense of energy, however, my body was completely exhausted and pushing for an hour and a half did absolutely nothing. I could see the discouraged looks in Travis and my nurse's faces. How in the world was I going to possibly get this baby out? I couldn't even hold my legs up or keep my chin to my chest by myself. It wasn't until my nurse suggested a tug-of-war move when I finally understood the feeling, and that's when all the doctors and more nurses began pouring into the room. I felt like I was on a movie set. The room had been dark the entire time and all of a sudden spotlights were shinning on me and 10+ people were up in my face and other regions of my body. After a few pushes one of the doctors realized Anna's head was positioned sideways and not in the normal face towards my back position (and yet another reason why this labor took so long!) So for every push I had a doctor inside of me trying to reposition Anna's head, and Travis, along with four other nurses and doctors, holding my legs and pushing my chin to my chest. The best part of pushing was hearing everyone in that room cheer for me for every push. I imagined my family and friends in that room with me encouraging me, rooting me on, and truly excited for what was to come. I really believe these doctors and nurses were genuine in their praises. Some of these doctors we saw the morning before (one who had told me to go home and rest). So they knew what I had gone through, and I believe they wanted to see it through to the end. That final push came and I knew this was it. I didn't want to push anymore so I pushed longer than I had before and that was it! Out came Anna Jubilee at 4:23 am on September 21st after 2 and a half hours of pushing and on her Mommy's birthday. Smiles, laughs, and tears filled the room, even by some of the nurses who see this stuff everyday! They whisked her away just like they said they would to make sure she hadn't swallowed any poop and to clean her up. I heard her little cries and all I wanted to do was hold her (and go to sleep!) When they finally put her on my chest, with her big blue eyes looking up at me, I was in heaven. It was love at first sight. 

Although it was a long, very painful, and at times discouraging delivery Travis and I both felt God's presence in that room, with us, and with Anna the entire time. We saw Him in our nurses, one who attends our church and the other who cried for us at the end. We saw Him in our friends who sent encouraging texts with scriptures and prayers. We saw Him in Anna whose heartbeat stayed constant for the entire labor and delivery even when her head was stuck in my canal for two hours (nurses continually commented in awe of how happy she was). We saw Him in our team of doctors who cheered for me as if they had known me for years. We saw Him protecting our daughter from ingesting meconium and contracting Group Beta Strep. We found Him in our joy that came in the morning after the suffering the night before. 

Anna (gracious, merciful) Jubilee (joy, celebration): How gracious and merciful is He! He has brought us much joy and so much to celebrate!


  1. Congratulations! May God Bless your beautiful family ... <3 Pat

  2. Wow, mama. You are a champion. Amen to this story. Blessings to you, Anna, and your husband as you enter your 4th trimester. :)

  3. On 9-26-92, I delivered my own Anna Jubilee after 21 hrs of labor. She has become more dear to me with each passing day. There is truly joy in the journey! Excellent name choice!

    1. Wow! That's truly amazing! I love my baby girl more and more every day too. What a joy. And yes, excellent name choice to you too!--crazy!!