Oh boy, birth stories. Where do I even start with this? Do I start with when contractions started, one of the many false alarms or when my water broke and real labor kicked in? I’ll start with contractions starting. It’ll make sense with the timeline of things that happened on August 25.
In late July, if you had been watching my stories on Instagram, you would have noticed me talking about contractions that had started during our trip to Zion. We thought for sure baby Theodore was going to come early, especially if he was anything like his brother who showed up two weeks early at a whooping 9 lbs 14 ounces. We also don’t have family here, so we were trying to figure out childcare for Rainier should I go into labor when my friends were out of town and it was totally stressing us out. We were constantly on edge with every thing that felt like labor was going to start and jumping to head to the hospital.
The week before Theodore arrived, I was walking in the park with my family when I felt a gush of water. It seemed to be a bunch more than the usual gush with a cough or a sneeze, and I excitedly called my OBGYN to ask them what I should do. They sent me into the labor and delivery ward to get checked. My friend Lindsay was sweet enough to accompany me while hubby stayed home with Rainier. I didn’t want to drag my whole family there until it was confirmed labor was starting and they would admit me. Shortly after I got there, it was confirmed I had just peed myself silly. HA! How embarrassing! Turns out you lose control down there towards the end of your pregnancy. So I headed home at midnight a bit frustrated.
Then, a few days later I went in for my membrane sweep. It resulted in heavy bleeding accompanied with stronger type contractions, in which that evening, I was also SURE labor was starting. So we headed to sleep at my friend (Lindsay)’s place so that her hubby could help watch Rainier if I indeed did go into labor in the middle of the night and we wouldn’t have to wake Rainier and confuse him taking him to another house he’d never been to. Their house was only a few blocks from the hospital.
Of course we all woke the next morning in that same house. No baby yet. Frustrated with the false alarms, I was finally starting to give up. Contractions remained the same for two more days.
Friday rolled around, August 25th, and I went to pick up Rainier in Sugar House (about 25 minutes from where we live now) at 5:30 P.M. I then headed to the grocery store with Rainier. Afterwards, I drove back home and hubby joined me and Rainier for a walk to the local playground. On our way, a neighbor I hadn’t met before a couple of blocks away was hanging outside with her daughter and a new puppy. Puppy magnet for a toddler! We ended up chit chatting while Rainier played with the pup and the child. Soon after, Rainier lost his attention and wanted to keep going to the playground. I was enjoying my conversation with her, of which began in the beginning with a question from her, “When are you due”, and my response was, “Now”. So I stayed to chat further with her while Courtney took Rainier to the playground. LOL. Little did we know….
About 5 minutes later, standing in her driveway talking, I felt a pop. I immediately interrupted her and said, “Oh! I think my water just broke. But I’m not sure?!” I didn’t want to cry water breaking wolf AGAIN. Because I didn’t feel any water immediately gush out right at the pop. Then, something like 2 minutes later, it happened and the actual water came. It was 6:45 P.M.
My neighbor was so sweet and ran inside to grab me a towel and offered to walk me home. I turned her down and called Courtney, of whom threw Rainier on his shoulders and ran to me. I told him to keep running home and pack the bags. The real contractions had already started right away. I also told my neighbor I would be fine, and did the “walk of pregnancy shame” with water dripping down my legs home. (get it?) I immediately texted my photographer, who was shooting a wedding, to let her know it was the real deal this time.
By the time I got home, Courtney had most of the car packed and ready to go. I asked for 10 minutes to touch up my makeup and to do my hair, since I had a photographer coming and didn’t want to look like a hot mess. While doing my makeup, my photographer called to check before she committed to leaving the wedding and coming. I could barely even speak to her and the contractions were coming fast. She told me it sounds like I’m pretty far along and she would be heading to the hospital to meet us there. I dropped my plans for my hair as I wrapped up my makeup, because the contractions were coming so fast and were so strong already. I yelled at Courtney to get Rainier in the car and that “WE HAVE TO GO NOW!”.
As we’re driving along to the hospital (which was back in our old neighborhood, about 25-30 minutes away), I texted my family at 7:17 PM saying “Baby is on his way.” This is where I did two Instagram stories in real live labor, probably at 8 centimeters. Check them here:
I remember looking down at my belly in between a contraction and where it had been sitting all through the end of the pregnancy, right below your boobs where you sit your hands on top, it had dropped to half way between my belly button and bottom of boobs. It totally freaked me out. I told Courtney about it saying “Baby is SOO SOO LOW!” and of course he started freaking out I was going to deliver in the car. At this point, the contractions where only a few minutes apart.
We got to the hospital safely fortunately, and I remember getting out of the car and leaning on the car through a contraction. Hospital staff had rolled out a chair and asked me to sit during the contraction. I didn’t feel I could sit, and sort of half sat. They rolled me to the elevator, in which another contraction hit there. Then, once the elevator got to the floor and we got to the doors of the maternity ward, I hopped out of the chair for the next contraction. I told them I just couldn’t sit anymore. Right at the security doors I fought through another contraction, yelling at the top of my lungs and exclaiming “I’m going to SH*T MYSELF!! OH MY GOD!”. At that point, I recall others running to my side and helping me straight to the delivery table. I hear chattering, “Call xyz OBGYN now!” This was 7:49 PM.
I immediately start begging for the epidural. “Please, please you have to give me the epidural!” “GIVE ME THE EPIDURAL!”
Courtney arrived with Rainier from parking the car (there was 0 time to call and arrange friends for help with him) and as he walked in they announced that I was at 9 almost 10 centimeters and the head was right there.
I knew, but didn’t want to admit to myself, what that meant. That meant the one thing I wanted for this birth (selfish, I know), the epidural, was not going to happen.
I continued to beg to get the epidural in. In fact, I pleeded against Rainier’s life for it (joking!). My nurse, Lindsay, told me it wasn’t going to happen and I’d have to do it naturally. Shocked and choking back tears, I told her “No. NO. GET ME THE EPIDURAL!”. I can’t do it. I NEEDED the epidural.
Soon, my OBGYN arrived. Contractions were coming so fast and strong. My nurse, Lindsay, got me to focus. She got all up in my face and pep talked me through it all, along with my wonderful OBGYN. They set me up to push through a set of contractions. Courtney held a leg up and continued to help me focus on the pushing assuring me I could do this. I tried through one set of 3 during a contraction, but I wasn’t doing it right.
Here, my photographer, Elizabeth Ashdown, arrived, just in the nick of time. It was 8:05 PM.
Then, my OBGYN stuck her finger in down there and pressed and said, “HERE IS WHERE YOU PUSH. The next contraction, give us three pushes here and he will be out!”. Looking in the mirror, I didn’t believe her and said, “But I can’t even see the head yet!?”
After the first push, the baby’s head finished crowning. The subsequent push did the job. Out came Theodore like a little rocket. It was 8:08 P.M.
I, was COMPLETELY shocked that I had just done that naturally. I mean, people were talking to me and nothing was sinking in… for hours! It blew my mind and now, I totally appreciate that I had one birth with an epidural and one without. I can compare, and now I feel like like super woman. And, I have a billion times more appreciation for people that give birth naturally, and by choice, and that labor hard for hours or days. I don’t know how they do it!
I had ripped during the pushing which wasn’t a surprise and expected after Rainier’s birth. They put the baby on my chest (the baby was supposed to distract me from the pain.) as they stitched me up with some local numbing agent (that honestly didn’t do the job). But, they did a fantastic job stitching me up, in which I had virtually little pain and a quick recovery from this time around. Thank goodness!
Courtney started Facetiming our parents to tell them the good news. Meanwhile, I am getting stitched up on the table and he is having them chat with me. Funny guy that one.
Both Rainier and Courtney slept with me on the couches in my room that night to help me with the baby. Many times I had ridiculous shivering/teeth chattering phases throughout in the night in which the nurses said was hormones. I’m pretty sure it was from the shock of it all having happened so fast and naturally. It was so sweet to have Rainier there to witness the birth and the first night after birth. He won’t remember it, but the pictures below sure do melt our hearts.
It’s clear my body had been in labor for weeks, or over a month and perhaps that is why baby came so quickly. It’s also clear that should I ever be pregnant again (slow down there… there are 0 plans for a baby #3) that a home birth would 100% have to be in order and Courtney would need to learn how to catch a baby ha!
Theodore was born perfectly healthy and we thank God so much for that after everything he had been through during my pregnancy. He immediately latched and, well, the rest is history. We are enjoying every moment with this little guy and couldn’t be happier!
*A special thanks to my husband for being a huge support with loads of patience throughout the pregnancy and the birth. Also, a special thanks goes out to all of the nurses that cared for me during my time there. From the ones in the room when I delivered and never even officially met (or if I did, I don’t recall) that listened to my screams and cursing. And the other wonderful nurses who cared for me during my stay, and would wake me up when I fell asleep with baby in my arms, often. Woops. I had many great conversations with them and had an amazing experience at Salt Lake City Regional hospital!
Photo Credits: Elizabeth Ashdown Photography
^^ I know you want to know what I was thinking here: “I cannot believe I just did that without an epidural! WHYYYYYY ME?!”
^^ Theodore was born with lidding. It can be fixed with a modling device that will reshape his ears within the first two months of life. He’s our little elf boy <3
This is postpartum in all of its glory hours after giving birth. It’s not pretty, but it sure makes your heart whole in the moment of understanding and absorbing that you have created life. – My full birth story will be coming soon to the blog. It’s quite crazy and I can’t wait to share the details! However, there is something I wanted to talk about now. Those that choose to give birth naturally and unmedicated are the most bad a$$ moms in the world. 🙌🏻 I have so much respect for you all even more so now than before. How you do that for hours upon hours is just beyond me. – I 100% planned on the epidural. And I 100% did not get that option because the baby came so fast. I couldn’t have made it through without the coaching of my nurse (Lindsay), wonderful OBGYN who made it in the nick of time, husband, and Peppa pig playing in the background to distract Rainier. – It was an experience I will never ever forget. ❤️ and I am so thankful I had that experience even though it was not by choice. But that’s what’s interesting about births… you can’t predict or plan them… at all. – Did you go natural or not and would you do it again that way?