Photo: When we found out I was 10cm and having the baby like RIGHT NOW!
Since the moment I found out I was pregnant, and throughout my entire pregnancy, I was terrified just thinking about the birthing experience. How would something that big come out of something so small? Through friends, movies, blogs and even stories from my dad I felt like I had so many fears going through my head. As the final weeks counted down to Carter’s due date I felt myself getting more and more anxious about what was going to happen. There was talk of a possible c-section since he was so big which added even more anxiety into my birthing plan. To be honest, I wasn’t going to share my birthing experience but I thought I would as it was something completely and truly AMAZING. So, here it is….
For the record, Carter was born at 10:59pm on Wednesday April 24, just an hour shy of his due date. On Monday morning I had an appointment with my doctor in which she stripped the membranes (Google it). We set a plan in motion for induction Friday night if he wasn’t here by then. From the look on my dad’s face when I told him what she did I knew he would be arriving sometime before then. Throughout Monday and Tuesday I experienced “the bloody show” (Google it). When I was on a walk it felt like my water was either trickling or breaking plus I had some contractions starting. Early Tuesday evening we headed to the hospital to check things out. After a checkup I was 1cm dilated and in the very, very, very early stages of labor but nothing to get admitted for. Until my contractions were five minutes a part or my water broke I was to hold tight. So, we headed home and of course stopped at Red Robin so I could enjoy some good ‘ole steak fries. And that’s when it started.
Insane cramping. Like the worst menstrual cramps ever. I took a Tylenol PM to try to relax but by 3am I was wide awake. Hanging out on the couch I timed my contractions and would send an update to my dad every two hours. Ryan stayed and worked from home that morning and now mimics my noises I was making. I mean some weren’t horrible and I could breathe through the 45 seconds of pain but others just kicked my butt. My dad told me to go back to the hospital but being the stubborn one I am I didn’t. My reasoning? My water hadn’t broken and I didn’t want to be “that person” who keeps going in and getting sent home. You know what I mean? That’s just embarrassing.
Finally at 1:30 I had it and we headed in. THANK HEAVENS! Turns out I was 3cm dilated and the party was just getting started. Can we talk about the butterflies in my stomach that were fluttering when I was being admitted. The whole experience seemed so surreal. Getting the IV put in, grabbing the bags from the car…this was really happening. By 3pm I had the epidural (thank the Lord) and was a happy little camper. My doctor came in and told me to relax as based on how I was going he was probably going to come around 4am or so on the 25th. So husband took my phone, I read a book and tried to rest. We spent those final moments enjoying the Capretta as family of two. Still, it didn’t feel real!
Around 8pm the doctor came in to check how things were going. I was about 5-6cm dilated at this point and WOAH the water just broke. What does it feel like? Literally like you peed in your pants. So weird but thank heavens I was chilling in a gown and didn’t have to worry. Clean up aisle, err, Room 10! The plan at this point was still guestimating his arrival in the wee morning hours. Our parents, my bro and sis-in-law arrived around 9pm. We all placed some bets on the board of when he would be coming. It was such a cool moment in time enjoying the family around and everyone getting so excited for the new addition to the family coming.
While the epidural stopped the pain of contractions, it doesn’t stop the pressure that occurs during them. Around 10pm I was noticing the pressure was getting stronger and stronger. My dad (knowing what was going on but kept his grandpa hat on) said I should maybe call my nurse in. Right as I was going to my doctor came back to “check-in”. Our family stepped out for a moment not knowing that the next time they would see us we would be parents ourselves. Within two hours I had gotten to 10cm and it was time to try pushing. Chills I tell ya. Is this really happening? After a practice push it was a green light. This little man was not going to make it to the 25th.
My sister-in-law Tasha was the only other one in the room with us besides the most amazing team of doctors and nurses. The entire pushing process was so exciting and in a weird way fun. I know, crazy right? Ryan stayed above the curtain and helped hold my head when I was pushing for 10 second intervals. Tasha was snapping pics and cheering me on. In between the contractions we were laughing, cracking jokes and it seemed like a dream. This was NOTHING like the labor I had envisioned for months. I was actually enjoying what was happening. Mid-way my doctor had Ryan and I feel his head as he was coming out. My response? “Shit just got real.” True story that’s what I said. During the 30 minutes or less of labor I felt like I had a room full of cheerleaders. The support was fabulous! Two big pushes that kinda hurt messed with a little yelling (a big grunt if you ask Ryan) later, he was here. Right into my arms.
My baby boy.
Months of waiting to see what he looked like were finally over. He was in my arms. He was mine. I was a mom. It was the most exhilarating moment I have ever experienced in my life. My 9lb 2oz bundle of joy was finally here. They took him moments after to get weighed and washed then Ryan took him to do skin-to-skin (Google it) and that’s when I got emotional. Seeing my boys finally together for the first time will go down as the greatest moment of my life. The finished cleaning me up cause you know you’re not done when the baby comes out, right? You birth the placenta which was such a great feeling when that came out. With how big he was I only ended up with two stitches which is nothing! And I didn’t poop which was a huge fear of mine as well. That’s a totally different story though. My doctor was amazing and did everything to make the process easy on my body.
Once the second clean up in Labor 10 was done, Ryan and I enjoyed the GIFT hours. This was probably the best thing about our birthing experience. For an hour we enjoyed time just the three of us. First it was skin-to-skin on dad, then I fed him for the first time. He was so alert looking at his dad the whole time and I knew in that moment that I was more in love with something so soon it didn’t seem possible.
We were a family.
Our parents finally came into the room about two after the birth and it was so amazing. Seeing their faces as they held him was something I’ll never forget, but thank goodness for our personal photog in there! This child is so insanely loved and spoiled already it’s kind of crazy.
So, in ending if you’ve stayed along reading this long, something I feared so much ended up being the best experience I could ever imagine. Those 2.5 hours of active labor were everything better than I could have imagined. I’m so thankful for being in shape and taking prenatal yoga (I swear that was my savior), the amazing team of doctors and nurses involved, our ever supportive group of family and friends, but most importantly for my amazing partner who throughout this entire journey has been the biggest blessing of them all.
I love these boys so much.
Photo: My AMAZING team! (fun fact? My doctor came back from a nice dinner when not on-call to be there!!)
Photo: Best picture ever. Enough said.
Photo: Holding my baby boy while being cleaned up.
Photo: My boys.
Photo: Watching all the grandparents hold Carter.