The Birth Story-Selah (Say-la) Mae Stretch

The Birth Story-Selah (Say-la) Mae Stretch


Naturally, most people I talked to after giving birth asked how I was doing and how labour was. Because of this many of you have heard this story already but I thought I would type it out so you could get all the details (maybe too many details for some people) and then if I have not had the opportunity to talk to you, you will know what was up.

It all started at my doctors appointment the Wednesday before Selah came. I went to my normal weekly maternity appointment and my doctor informed me that I was already 3cm dilated (after having no contractions or pain whatsoever). She said there was a 50% chance the baby would come this week and she would be very surprised if it was overdue. Blair and I naturally got a bit excited but reminded ourselves it still could be a while before she came.

Sunday night (slash Monday morning) I was up during the night because of a nasty cold that had taken over my body. I was coughing and having a hard time sleeping so I got up, had some hot water and watched a bit of T.V. so Blair could get some sleep. Eventually I headed back to bed to try and rest. I didn’t even get to sleep before I felt some pressure that I assumed was contractions. I woke Blair up to tell him and as the contractions continued we began to time them. I started having contractions at 6:00am Monday morning.

As we laid in bed the contractions were usually about 10 minutes apart but still not too painful so we continued to rest. We then got up and started our day like any other with a shower and breakfast. I wasn’t in too much pain but Blair decided he would scrape the car off and shovel the sidewalk just in case we had to leave. While he did that I got a few last minute things ready for the hospital and soon after that we decided to go to the hospital. My doctor had told me since I was already 3cm we could probably come to the hospital if my contractions were 7-10 minutes apart and by now they were usually about 5 minutes apart (although still not consistent and I could talk through them).

We got to the hospital around 10:15am, parked a few blocks away and proceeded to Emergency. We were thankful we had been able to take the prenatal class as we knew where to go and felt comfortable walking around the hospital. After checking in and heading upstairs I was hooked up to a fetal heartbeat monitor and waited. I stayed calm throughout the whole process but as I was still feeling sick I kept coughing, moving the monitor. When the nurse came to check she said I had only had one contraction and that it was defined as mild. This could have been because my coughing had moved the monitor but either way she said the contractions could just be annoying and I could have them for a few days without them really doing anything.

Again, we had prepared for ‘the worst’ and knew we could be heading home.

The nurse then proceeded to check my cervix and after what felt like a long (painful) time she said she would have to get another nurse to double check. A bit confused, we waited for the other nurse to come. She checked and confirmed that I was already 10 cm (fully dilated) and that I was ‘in labour’. “This baby is coming today!” She exclaimed as they rushed out of the room. We learned later on that the first nurse did not believe I was fully dilated because of the mild contraction(s) and my calmness so she needed a second opinion.

We then proceeded from the monitoring room to a labouring room and I walked around waiting for my doctor to get there. My water had not yet broke so the doctor was going to break it in order to get things moving and hopefully increase the intensity of my contractions and bring them closer together time wise.

I felt really weird and unsure of myself as I paced the room trying to anticipate what was to come. It was a busy day at the hospital so Blair and I looked at each other while sounds of intense pain came down the hall from other women in labour. The nurse said “well, lucky for you, you get to follow your birth wishes. You are too far along for an epidural or other drugs so you just get to push this baby out”. Although I was not too worried about wanting drugs I was kind of happy (and a bit amazed) that I did not have a choice in the matter.

As it was around lunch time I told Blair to run out to the car and grab some snacks we had packed that we forgot in the car. While he was out (for a very short amount of time) the doctor came, broke my water (which was a weird but painless feeling) and we were started. Blair had come back, the doctor had left and we were starting the hardest part of it all.

I mostly remember being super hot during the pushing. My contractions were still somewhat irregular so I had lots of time to rest in between pushes, which I was not going to complain about. It all seemed very surreal and after about an hour of pushing they called my doctor back and we got ready for the baby to come. I was beyond surprised when the nurse said it would only be about 3 or 4 contractions before our baby was out in the world! It had all happened so quick and I could not believe any of what was happening.

Then, she came. They told us it was a girl and we looked at our little miracle, all purple, goopy and full of life.

There was quite a bit of poop when my water broke they had to have extra doctors etc. present when she was born. They quickly swept her off to make sure didn’t swallow anything and was happy and healthy. Everything was fine so they weighed and measured her. She was 52 cm and weighed 8 pounds 12 oz. One of the biggest surprises to me was how big she was! Although I looked big my doctor told me she thought it was just because I am shorter and that the baby would probably be average weight (around 7 1/2 pounds). During labour my doctor also told me that the baby had a nice small head (which was true). We were also surprised and delighted to find out it was a girl. Although we would have been delighted to hear either gender we had finalized our girl name months ago while our boy name was still in the works. Blair and I smiled at each other and were excited we already knew her name.

We were prepared for her to be on the table for a few minutes but it felt like second before she was on my chest. Apparently I also had a large placenta (I didn’t look and even if I did I would have nothing to compare it to haha) so we got rid of that. I had a second degree tear (mostly on the inside, if that means anything to you) so they stitched me up while I had my baby and Blair to somewhat distract me from the further pain.

I seriously could not believe the joy we both felt as we held OUR little baby. I cannot even put into words the intense feelings or remember the vast array of emotions going on at that time. It was unbelievable.

After only 7 hours of ‘labour’, our beautiful little girl came into the world. March 4, 2013 became a significant day that has changed our lives forever.


3 thoughts on “The Birth Story-Selah (Say-la) Mae Stretch

  1. Carissa!!!! This is such a beautiful story!! I’ll never forget what it was like being in the delivery room with my sister….it really changes your life. God bless you and your beautiful family! Your baby girl is absolutely stunning!
    Much love!

  2. I loved reading about baby Selah birth story . You are blessed and so glad you had a wonderful experience. I do know what you mean about seeing her for the first time and what a feeling , ubdescriable to realize you are now a Mom , the love that flows through , she is mine . God Bless your little family >3 Andrea

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