Porter’s birth story

Today Porter turned 5 years old (pictures and birthday post coming in the next few days) and I have big feelings about this day. For one thing, I have a 5 year old! How did this even happen?!?!? Surely I can’t be old enough and grown up enough to have a 5 year old.

I thought it would be fun to share Porters birth story today in honor of his birthday. Below is an excerpt from my journal, edited of course. I had so much fun reading through this and reliving the memory. Many of the memories of this day have already faded, so I’m really grateful that I took the time to write it all down when it was fresh. I know I’ll treasure these details for years to come.

This was taken the day before Porter was born, in between contractions.


My contractions started at 3am on May 24, 2012, which was Porter’s due date. I woke John up super excited that this was actually happening! We started keeping track and at about 11am they were pretty regular and what I thought was pretty painful- but that’s because I had no idea what was to come! We went to the hospital to get checked out. By that time I’d been having contractions for about 10 hours and they were about 5 mins apart. I was shocked to find out I was only 2 (or was it 3?) cm dilated- not enough to even be admitted yet! They sent us home, it was so disappointing.

After that my contractions seemed to let up enough to let me take a bit of a nap. But they continued to progress and get more and more painful. I stayed home the rest of the day, resting, snacking, and going on walks. At 11pm the pain was pretty intense, so we went back to the hospital. This time I was dilated to 4cm and was admitted. Though I was a little surprised that after so long and so much work and pain I was still only a 4! We called Deanne (our doula) and she arrived by about 1230 or 1am. I continued to labor pretty uneventfully. Deanne and John took turns to rub my back as I got a contraction, and I also labored in the shower for a while too, which felt so nice. My contractions were painful, but I could handle it because I knew it only lasted about 60 seconds. With their help I was actually able to handle it pretty well.

But when I was checked at around 6am, I was only 6cm dilated and not progressing as fast I should have, so my dr. came in to break my water. Also at this time I decided I wanted to take some laughing gas to take the edge off of my pain. The laughing gas was amazing. It really did take the edge off. I could still feel the contractions, but it wasn’t bad. IT also made me feel… super relaxed. Like my mind was in a haze and nothing really mattered. Anyway, I loved the gas. I still had to breathe through the pain and really focus, but it wasn’t bad.

After my dr. broke my water (very weird sensation btw) things really started to pick up. As soon as I hit transition (the last like 3cm- the most painful part of labor) the pain got much worse. This was when it was most helpful to have Deanne. She helped us understand that the weird out-of-control things that were happening to my body (like getting sick and shaking all over) were totally normal. When I started to hyperventilate a little Deanne helped to steady my breaths. {I actually don’t really remember much of this part. I’ve heard that after so long women’s hormones help her to forget the pains of labor, otherwise if the memory stayed fresh she would never want to do it again!}

Eventually, I got the urge to push. It was so weird, I didn’t really understand how you could get the “urge” to push. But when it came it was unmistakable, with each contraction I literally needed to push. In fact, it was hard work to hold back. My nurse was a little unsure of whether or not I had contracted enough, so I had to wait while she went to get someone else to check me out. This was probably the hardest part of my entire labor. I cannot understate how difficult it was to fight the process of nature that was happening inside of my body.

When I finally got the okay to push, it was sweet relief. But it took forever. I pushed for 1.5 hours, and it was the hardest, most exhausting thing I’ve ever done. After what felt like forever and a day, and I was so exhausted it was becoming harder and harder to muster more energy to push, my dr asked if I wanted to reach my hand down and feel his head. It was probably one of the most unsettling things I’ve ever felt, but that touch gave me the motivation I needed. With the next contractions I pushed harder than I had yet and within a few pushes he was out.

John got to cut the cord, and then they immediately laid him on my chest.  Its hard to describe that moment- I was on such a high and had so many emotions! It was hard to believe that this slimy little creature was my baby, the one that had been in my tummy for so long. I think what I felt the most was shock, and I wasn’t quite sure what to do with him!

The most memorable moment came after the nurses took him and measured (8.14 lbs, 21 inches long, 37cm head), washed, and dressed him, and then handed him to John. When I looked over and watched how happy John became as he held his son, as I watched the love, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of joy that brought tears to my eyes. That is the moment I’ll remember most of all.

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The doula service I used was Doula Connections. They were great, and I would highly recommend both them and using a doula in general, especially during your first birth and especially if you’re trying to avoid an epidural like I was. Their pre-natal class was fantastic, personable, and informative. Deanne herself was great as a doula- she was very supportive and seemed to know just what I needed. Even as the details of the birth fade, I still vividly remember how helpful it was to have her there.

I remember being on such a high for so long after giving birth. I was in awe at what my body had done. I grew, nourished, and then birthed a baby. And I continued to nourish him from my own body. I’m a superhero! I felt a reverence and gratitude in those first months after birth for my own body and the miracle it had achieved. I couldn’t get over it. And now anytime I need a little boost, I just remind myself: “Asha, if you’ve given birth without any pain medication you can do anything.”


On this day five years ago, Porter was born. We became parents, a family. I became a mother.

Thank you, Porter.


One thought on “Porter’s birth story

  1. Totally sweet story Asha!
    It took me back to my labor with you!
    Being a mother is the best role in the whole world, Oh I mean universe!


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