Hugo Devereux: A Birth Story

Thursday, October 22, 2015

On the morning of October 13th, my husband readied himself for work, kissed my cheek, and wished me a good day. "Call me if anything happens, ok?" he asked. He was referring to the false alarm we had the night before. 2 hours in triage being checked after I thought my water broke. It hadn't. My contractions were 6 minutes apart, a minute in length, but I could hardly feel a thing. Just a couple of cramps here and there. I promised Scott that I would call him if there was any change and drifted back to sleep as I heard him lock the front door and start the car. 

I slept for about an hour when I began to feel tightening in my abdomen at 7:30 a.m. I was still tired and fought this feeling as much as I could in order to get as much sleep as possible. The night before was long and discouraging as the little one wanted to stay in the womb just awhile longer. At 8 a.m., I could no longer ignore the tightening and decided to get up for the day. 

I went about my morning routine, trying to clean up the house to distract myself from the pain. The Dr. had said the night before: "Return if your water breaks or if you feel like punching someone." I felt none of those things so I plucked along thinking it was yet another false alarm and that I would need to be induced at my 40 week appointment on the 14th. 

My husband texted constantly from work asking how I was doing. I told him that I was experiencing tightening and pain but that I didn't think that he needed to come home just yet. 

Around 1 p.m. the pain became more intense and more frequent - lasting longer. I crawled into bed and snuggled our moo cat. I laid next to her and would burrow my face into her fur when I felt pain. Eventually, our cat was annoyed that I interrupted her nap time and hopped down from the bed leaving me to work it out myself. At this point I thought it might be a good idea for my husband to come home - just in case. I texted him: "Maybe it's time to come home?"

As he walked into the house, he went into our room to check on me. "How are you feeling? I'm doing okay. He had made a quick trip to the store to pick up something ready-made as I hadn't eaten. As he watched me eat, taking stops whenever I felt pain, he suggested that we should go to the hospital. "But my water hasn't broke," I protested. After a few minutes later, I agreed that we could go to the hospital - just to get checked. 

Driving through rush hour to the hospital, my husband asked me if I knew how close together the contractions were. I hadn't been timing them. I was still convinced that it was a false alarm. He began timing them as we drove. 2 minutes apart. We get to the hospital and Scott asks if I would like to be dropped off in the front while he finds a parking spot. I told him to park and leave the bags in the car. I complain to him about how embarrassing this is going to be to have two false alarms within 12 hours of each other. 

We walk to the entrance and he grabs a wheel chair. I sit, although I feel extremely self-conscious as I feel everyone's eyes on me being wheeled to the elevator. As we go up, I complain: "This is all a little dramatic with the wheel chair." We reach our floor and ditch the wheel chair. Once we got to triage, I was asked several questions about whether or not my water broke, scale of pain 1-10 knowing it will get worse, etc. I was still in denial that I was in labor. The Dr. came in and after examining me said that I was, in fact, in labor. 5 cm dilated, 100% effaced. Wait, what? But my water hasn't broke! 

We were moved to our room and within the hour I was given an epidural. After having the epidural, I felt so much better. I was chatting with our labor and delivery RN. She was from Germany and new to the Pacific Northwest. We chatted about Volkswagen vans and how they are the epitome of coolness. Soon her shift was over, and she joked that she wouldn't mind if I waited until tomorrow to have the baby. As my eyes grew wide, she laughed and said that she would come and visit us in the postpartum unit when she came in for her shift the next morning. 

Birth Story
A couple hours after the epidural, just waiting. 
My new RN came in and encouraged me to get some sleep and told me that I would be checked again for progress around 10-11 p.m. 11 p.m. came and I was ready to deliver this little boy. That's when I learned that I hadn't made any progress. 6 hours and absolutely nothing. I was discouraged. They decided to check my contractions. They were good, and strong. There was nothing else to do but sit up and wait. We waited until 2 a.m. and I had only progressed 1 cm, at which point I wanted to cry. They broke my water and we waited some more. 

At this point, everything changed. I was laying on my left side and several staff members came running into the room and moved my position right away and explained that our little's heart rate was dropping. Once moved to my right side, he did much better and you could see the relief on their faces. As I laid on my right side, the epidural wore off on my left. I began to feel the pain again. 

Another shift change, my RN from the evening before came in looking noticeably distressed. "I was just joking when I said to wait for me!" I half smiled from the pain and nervousness. I was checked again, 8 cm. I was becoming increasingly tired. 

Eventually, I felt the need to push. Another check. It was finally time! With the midwife, my RN, and my husband encouraging me - I gave my first push. I was told to stop. The little's heart rate was dropping again. They thought he could be "sunny side up" and perhaps had an arm or leg attached to the cord causing him to remain high. After an ultrasound, they confirmed that he was facing the proper way. The Dr. thought that I might need an assisted delivery but he was too far and I couldn't push. We waited again for the contractions to naturally bring him down and I was given more pain medication. 

I woke up again, with pain and it was time to try pushing again. We tried several different ways to see which would work for our little. When we found what worked, I pushed for 3 hours with little progress. I was exhausted, receiving oxygen. I couldn't do this anymore, I said. 

More pain medication and an hour of rest later, my RN and midwife suggested that we tried pushing one more time. I had more strength after resting. I pushed for about 45 minutes and finally, he was positioned where I could be assisted. My RN called in the NICU nurses to standby "just in case." I was ready. Let's do this! I was warned that if this didn't work, I would definitely need a c-section. I was scared of the idea of having a c-section and gave all that I had to push. Within 5-10 minutes later, we had Hugo at 11:45 a.m. on October 14th. 

There was silence in the room. No cry. No skin-to-skin. What happened? My mind was numb. Why didn't they give me my baby? Why didn't they ask my husband if he wanted to cut the cord? Didn't they know my birth plan? I couldn't see anything. People were crowded around my baby. I couldn't see him. He wasn't breathing. 

He wasn't breathing. These words still leave my husband and I in shock - despite having our healthy week old baby. He had been caught in his umbilical cord and was delivered slightly sideways. Everything moved so quickly and I don't know if I will ever be able to fully process or understand that moment. I haven't posted Hugo's birth photos after his resuscitation, and I never will. Seeing Hugo in his bassinet, after his initial cries, with his blue hands and feet are too painful to look at.  

After he was resuscitated, they told me what a beautiful baby boy we had and asked what we were going to name our son. We proudly said, his name is Hugo. Hugo means "bright in heart, mind, and spirit," which fits him perfectly - he is so full of spirit! Hugo's birth story didn't go how I imagined or how I wanted it to go. I imagined my water breaking, photographing all the big moments, having an easier labor/delivery, and above all - holding my son in my arms, skin to skin, right after his birth. 

Even though Hugo's birth story isn't how I would choose to write it, we are so blessed to have our little boy - healthy and home with us. 

Birth Story
Our precious boy, one day old.


  1. I love this so much.. You have so much strength! He is precious and came into the world with an angel right next to him! Such a sweet little blessing. I miss you!

    1. Ah thank you, he is truly our little miracle baby. We are so blessed to have him in our lives! He brings so much happiness and snuggles. :)


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