My Second Miracle: Zoe's Birth Story

We want to extend a special thank-you to Betty for sharing her birth story with us. Betty is mother to Alex and Zoe and generously shared Zoe's birth story with all of us. Betty is a blogger and author of the website Check it out for great #momlife tips and a good laugh about all the quirks of motherhood. As many seasoned mothers know, labor is marked by measurement of cervical dilation to monitor labor progress. Read on to learn what happened when it seemed that her cervix "was not dilating fast enough"... And, to read Betty's son Alex's "Natural Hospital Birth Story" (when cervical dilation also played a role!), you can find it here.


By Betty Boiron of

“This one better come out faster,” I remember saying to myself when I started feeling contractions around 4 AM. I was 38 weeks, still a couple of weeks away from full-term, but Zoe had dropped for several days now. She was so low that I felt like I was walking with a bowling ball between my legs, and my belly felt like it was going to rip open.

When the result came back negative for GBS (Group B Strep), I was so excited. I had tested positive during Alex’s pregnancy, which meant that I had to go to the hospital at least 4 hours before I started pushing so that I could get antibiotics. For Zoe, I was determined to stay home as much as possible so that I could spend as much time with Alex before going to the hospital.

The contractions slowly but surely got stronger and more painful. By 7 AM, I was having a little trouble not gritting my teeth through the contractions, so we started to load the car for the hospital. I said bye to Alex, knowing that it would be the first night ever that I would not be at home with him, and explained to him that mommy was going to deliver his little sister. I don’t know if he understood fully, but he nodded and waved bye as we drove away, leaving him with grandma. I think he was more upset that daddy wasn’t taking him to school than the fact that mommy wasn’t coming home that night.

The contractions were hitting me like gigantic ocean waves, but my cervix refused to open up.

The contractions were getting more intense and, as we waited for a nurse to let us in the maternity ward, I was scared that we waited too long. Luckily, we got the last room available. Unlike the first time around, I was not in the mood to relax and watch Netflix or chitchat, but I think that’s because I was already in so much pain. Unfortunately, just like the first time, I was not dilating fast enough. The contractions were hitting me like gigantic ocean waves, but my cervix refused to open up. I was getting angry at the nurse because, though she was super nice, she seemed to have no clue what she was doing. She had to go get another nurse to get my IV in, which did not give me any comfort. Good thing the only task she really had was to get me drinks and strap me with the baby monitor.

I was getting more and more verbal about my pain, and Marc did his best to compress my hips and push against the contractions. I could tell by his shaky arms that he was getting tired. Come on cervix!!! I kept telling myself, “mind over matter,” and tried picturing the cervix opening up and the baby’s head coming out. Every time the mid-wife came in to check, I was so disappointed when she said that I barely progressed.

Come on cervix!!! I kept telling myself...

As much as I wanted to ask the mid-wife to keep checking, I did my best to hold off and not be annoying. Around 10AM, the contractions were just unbearable, and I just could not stop myself from pushing anymore. All the sudden, a handful of nurses and the mid-wife ran in, and I just heard one of the nurses say, “She sounds like she is ready.” I guess I was screaming so loudly that they heard me down the hallway!

The mid-wife checked one last time, and she looked at one of the nurses and said, “9 ¾ centimeters.” She had this concerned look on her face, which scared me. The nurse replied, “I don’t think she can hold it, she is pushing the baby out.” So with a mutual nod, they set up and prepared for delivery in what seemed like 2 seconds. I had pads underneath my bottom, the nurses and mid-wife were all in position, and the necessary instruments were all ready to go.

“Push!” Ah, what sweet words. I remembered well what I did wrong with Alex’s birth. People always say to push as if you are going to #2. I was so afraid the first time to actually deliver a poo that I did not push correctly until the very end. With Zoe, I was 100% determined to get her out as fast as possible. So I bit down and pushed. I could feel her head pop out! Holy cow that was fast! I relaxed and barely took a breath when I heard the nurse urging me, “Push again!” I took a huge breath as if I was diving into the pool, and pushed. The sensation was like… Well, for the lack of better analogy, popping a pimple. And not one of those small whitehead pimples either – I am talking about the big, red, painful pimples that take all your strength to pop, and when the pimple finally pops, the stuff inside squirts out and shoots across the room. Anyhow, the pressure all the sudden released and I felt her slide out of me. I could also at the same time feel myself tear a bit, but my focus was not really on my privates. Zoe was out!

The nurses wiped off the gook and blood off Zoe really fast and laid her on my chest. She was so small! I could tell right away that she was bigger than Alex at birth, but after having a toddler, a newborn just seemed so tiny. She only cried for a little bit, then stopped and cuddled with me. One of the nurses said that she had to cry more to get fluid out of her lungs, so she rubbed Zoe’s back and lightly tapped her until she started crying again. Poor baby! I tried breastfeeding her, but Zoe kept trying to suck on her own hand instead. The nurse explained to me that she probably had her hand next to her mouth while in my belly so she was used to sucking on her hand. I kept trying to nurse her, but she kept wanting her own hand instead. Just as I was getting worried, she sucked on and started feeding. Whew!

I held my baby and nursed her while the mid-wife helped deliver my placenta and sewed me up. I had a second degree tear, so the stitches took a lot longer than when I had Alex. It is the most awkward position ever… To be nursing your child with one boob out in the open, legs spread apart with my gaping hole of a vagina for everyone to see, and all the while having a handful of nurses running around the room. At one point the nurses took Zoe to take her measurements, but quickly handed her back to me for more skin-to-skin bonding.

I guess as a second time parent, you just know what to expect, so the fear wasn’t there.

After about an hour or so, we were transferred to the postpartum recovery suit. Marc said that I looked so relaxed and happy, as opposed to when we had Alex. I guess as a second time parent, you just know what to expect, so the fear wasn’t there. Even though I knew that sleepless nights were coming, I also knew that we would survive those long nights and that she would be a toddler before I knew it. We planned for two kids, and we got two. I held Zoe close to me, vowing to treasure every moment with my last baby.


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