The Most Painful & Beautiful 24 Hours (part 2)

Yesterday I left y’all hanging and it drove most of you crazy! I’ll just pick up where I left off…

(if you didn’t get a chance to read part 1, click here)

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Now I had mentioned that my midwife accidentally broke my water when I was still around 3 cm dilated. After that my contractions started to feel harder and heavier and I’ll be honest…only 2 things were going through my mind at that time…1) This is really happening now…she is coming! and 2) How could my midwife accidentally break my water?! I wasn’t too happy with her at that point. Thankfully she had to step out of the birth center for a few hours and my absolute favorite midwife took over. If you’ve ever watched “Call the Midwives“, I think Fran would be Sister Julienne. She is the epitome of wisdom and serenity in the birth room. When I heard that she would be walking me through the next 3-4 hours of labor, I felt that even though I was struggling more, I could do it with Fran and my team.

Soon after my water broke, all the labor pains began to settle in my lower back. We tried all the labor positions to make me comfortable and we even turned on Jim Gaffigan’s 4 Kids comedy routine to try to ease some of the pain…it helped for about 10 minutes! Lindsay told me that watching a comedy routine during labor was a first for her in her five years of being a doula. (We like to try to laugh in our family!)

1404_Wood birth_073073During our attempt to distract me from the back labor…oh Jim Gaffigan…it almost worked

At one point late in the evening, probably around 10 or 11, everyone thought I was transitioning because of the intensity of the contractions and my emotional state. So they sent me to the bathroom and they got the bed ready so that Fran could check to see how much I had progressed. And sadly…I had only progressed to 6cm. I was trying to stay positive, but I was clearly frustrated. My team was amazing at that point and rallied to help me continue to overcome the pain. At that point, I couldn’t move from the bed anymore to try different positions and I was exhausted. So I labored in the bed…for 4 more hours. I became so exhausted that I would fall asleep in between contractions and be rudely woken up by severe back pain. Jason tells me that on numerous occasions I told him that I couldn’t do it anymore and I would never do this again (I don’t recall ever saying that).

1404_Wood birth_155155At 2:30 or 3 in the morning, I was checked again to see if I was getting closer. I was convinced that I was because of how much pressure I was feeling. But when my midwife (the one who broke my water had returned) checked, I hadn’t progressed at all. At that point she told me that I had three options. I could continue laboring, but the downfall of that was my contractions were shortening, so little progress was going to be made and my exhaustion levels were going to increase-which could lead to fetal distress. My second option was to take a pain medication that they had at the birth center which could lessen the pain from the contractions for a time to give me rest so I could get a reboot. The third option was to head to the hospital for an epidural so I could rest and deliver our baby with a little more energy and less pain. I went for the second option…

As my midwife was administering the drug, she infiltrated the vein so I didn’t get the full amount of pain medication, but she said it should be enough to still help ease the pain a little. After the meds were administered, Lindsay, my doula, kicked everyone out of the birthing room so that Katie and Jason could have a chance to rest and so that she could get some time to just talk with me one on one….if I could stay awake.

Lindsay and I soon found out that the pain meds didn’t really help ease the contractions and they weren’t slowing down either. All I remember from our time together was her explaining to me how exhausted I was and what my risk factors were for continuing to labor without medication. All I could think was, “Everyone will be disappointed in me if I get an epidural because they all know I wanted a natural childbirth.” When I asked Lindsay if she would be disappointed in me, her immediate response was “Of course not. We all want a healthy mama and a healthy baby and we can get that at the hospital too. You are not a failure.”

So at 3:30am, I decided that it was time to go to the hospital to get an epidural. Lindsay and Katie packed up all our things as Jason helped me get to the car. Thankfully the drive to Tucson Medical Center was only about 5 minutes because it was NOT comfortable! We arrived at TMC, were admitted and by 4am, the epidural had been administered. All I remember from that time is telling the nurses over and over again how I wanted our birth to go and what I did and didn’t want them to do with our baby once she was born. The nurses finally let me go to sleep at 4:30 and I fitfully slept until 6am.

1404_Wood birth_191191By 6:30 I had progressed to about 8 cm, was 100% effaced, and baby had moved into the right position. All I needed was just a little rest and my body was able to catch up to what it needed to do! By 7, they gave me a small dose of pitocin to encourage the contractions a little bit.

Also, my new midwife for the day arrived on to the scene. When I saw Judy walk in, I was deeply relieved because I had been seeing her fairly regularly during my third trimester at the birth center, so I was comfortable with her and enjoyed her style of midwifery.

At 7:30, Judy gave me the run down of what pitocin will do and how I will know when I’m starting to feel the urge to push because it’s a little different feeling with the drugs. She said she’d be back around 10am to see how I’ve progressed and told me to keep resting.

About an hour later, I started to feel the symptoms that Judy had described, so I called Lindsay over and told her. She asked me a few more questions and then told me to hang tight, she was going to go find Judy!

Judy arrived back in my room at 8:30. I answered the same questions that Lindsay had asked and then she checked my dilation. Her next words were: “We’re having a baby!”

My next words were: “Seriously? Like right now? Are you sure?”

Judy: “Yep, get ready to push sister.”

And 28 minutes later at 9:12, Naomi Elizabeth Wood was brought into this world!


Even though it didn’t go exactly as how I had pictured, it was the most beautiful moment of my life. When Naomi was laid on my chest, I was overwhelmed with joy and love. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen and I couldn’t believe that she was mine! What a precious gift.


She was able to stay on my chest for an hour and a half before the nurses did any of their testing and we were blessed to never leave her side the entire time we were at the hospital. The nurses at TMC were so fantastic and accommodating to our wishes…even when they were a little crazy and caused them to do a little extra work.

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That day I also fell more madly in love with my handsome husband. His support and encouragement during not just labor and deliver, but this whole pregnancy leaves me feeling overwhelmed and deeply loved. He is such a good daddy to Naomi already and I can’t wait to see their relationship bud and flourish.1404_Wood birth_274274So there’s my long-winded birth story! It was exhausting, exhilarating, and a true gift from God. There’s more to the story as well as we learned a little bit more about how much of a miracle Naomi truly was, but I’ll just leave it that there is a purpose God brought our daughter into this world and I am humbled that He chose Jason and I to parent her to be the woman God has called her to be.


  1. Go Mama! I can tell you that there is such a difference in labor when your water is broken and when it isn’t:) You did great!

  2. Alisha says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!! I have sooo many more questions for you 🙂 mainly I’m curious if you wish you had done anything differently?

  3. jennymarrsphotography says:

    Amazing story! You go, mama!!!! So proud of you. What a beautiful story of how your precious daughter entered this world.

  4. Sarah, what a beautiful story! You did such a magnificent job birthing your baby girl… and you did what needed to be done for her to be born without complications. Love the pictures. Your friend really captured the emotions well (from exhaustion, to waiting, to pure joy). Beautiful all around.

  5. Beautiful! :). Thanks for sharing!

  6. Congratulations! I’m so happy she came into the world happy and healthy!

  7. whitneyconard says:

    WOW – i don’t know if I could have done natural childbirth if my labor was like yours! And you DID natural childbirth for 24 hours! what an amazing story of the support you had in birth. and seriously, we’re so lucky we have access to care and medicine when things don’t go as planned. thanks for sharing!
    Whitney @ Journey Mercies
    ( – Declan’s birth story if you want to read it 🙂

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