Nothing can quite prepare you for your first birth story. The small moments that lead up to that one big moment of meeting your child for the first time is indescribable…but for the sake of documenting and sharing, I’ll give it whirl. 🙂
A Birth Story & Fresh 48
After taking his sweet time (two days late I might add), on February 23, I started feeling contractions at 12:30 a.m. Friday morning. I got my membranes stripped twice that week to hopefully induce my body to naturally go into labor. I reached over to wake Andy up and started tracking my contraction length and consistency. I laid in bed for about two hours in and out of sleep. At this point, the strength of them wasn’t painful enough to really do much. It just felt like cramps.
Shelby (bestie from college and my doula) had been staying with us for about ten days at this point. We didn’t know when he was going to come, so we took precautions having her stay a while. Thank goodness she was there! At 2:30 a.m. I went into her room so we could officially start tracking contractions. What a way to start birth…pulling an all nighter. 🙂
For whatever reason, I had the soundtrack to “Beauty and the Beast” stuck in my head, so we watched that until about 4:00 a.m. I bounced and rolled on an exercise ball to alleviate some of the pain. Shelby also helped with pressure points on my hips during contractions. #lifesaver
After our hearts were content with Emma Watson’s performance, I woke Andy up at 5:00 a.m. to officially say we were going to the hospital. Contractions were five minutes apart at this point and coming on strong. That ten minute drive to the hospital felt like an eternity.
We checked into Labor & Delivery around 6:00 a.m. We were escorted into triage where they tested the strength of the contractions. They strap a fetal heart rate and contraction monitor to your belly. It was pretty crazy to see the peaks as each contraction hit. By 6:30 a.m. we were in our official room, ready for our new adventure to come.
I had a quick scare early on that week thinking my water had broken. Luckily it hadn’t but during the exam they asked me if I wanted an epidural. I responded with, “Let’s see how it goes.” Fast forward to 6:30 a.m., mid-contraction. At this point they feel like knives are stabbing my pelvis from the inside. The nurse came in and asked, “So how are we feeling about the epidural?” Through a clenched jaw, I said, “Get me the drugs…” 🙂 I don’t know how women do it without an epidural. They…are…amazing!
Since Shelby and I pulled an all-nighter the epidural gave us time to relax and sleep. If you can believe it, I slept for three hours and didn’t feel a thing! I woke up around 1:00 p.m. to our nurse saying, “Oh wow you’re dilated to a nine. We better get the doctor in here. You’re having a baby!”
Everything from there was a whirlwind. My doctor broke my water but found thick meconium. (Gross, but basically a baby’s first poop.) Due to there being so much, staff was worried he’d have respiratory problems. So last minute we had the NICU and respiratory teams in with us for delivery.
At 2:00 p.m. I was completely dilated and ready to push. We jokingly said prior that we should deliver to “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack…so I did. 🙂 We blasted “This is the Greatest Show” and I started pushing and tears started flowing. I couldn’t have asked for better support team. Between Shelby, Andy and our entire delivery team, we had our little guy here within 15 minutes.
Watch full birth story here:
- Van Armond Taylor
- Born at 2:20 p.m.
- Weight: 8 lbs. 15 oz (Yes, he was enormous so I had to have a small episiotomy. Suuuper fun.)
- Height: 21 inches
Luckily, we didn’t have any respiratory complications and we were able to have skin-to-skin contact immediately. That feeling of working so hard for nine months to keep him safe, eat the right things and hurt…was all worth it to hear that cry and hold this perfect little human. It’s strange how they say you’ll never know that feeling until you have one of your own. I finally get it. I finally get the feeling of being a momma and creating a family. What a blessing! It’s the best and also most terrifying feeling being entrusted with something so pure.
After delivery, they cleaned him up and took his measurements. I have never been so exhausted. When they handed him to me, my arms were so shaky. They laid me back so they could move us to our hospital room and Van and I both crashed. I don’t even remember moving but waking up in a different room. I just wanted to cuddle that newborn.
It took about six hours for the epidural to completely wear off so I could shower and move around. I’ll tell you this…there is nothing so satisfying or glorious than a shower after labor. Postpartum isn’t pretty. There is bleeding, swelling and pain. Not to mention that first latch. Luckily we have breast feeding down now.
For the next 48 hours, we took every opportunity we could to rest. We watched a lot of reruns of “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” at 3:00 a.m. while I nursed him. We ordered a lot of room service and of course the famous Oreo milkshake. (Yes, it’s as delicious as they say it is.) Thankfully Van had the support of the hospital staff since he had a lot of amniotic fluid in his stomach still. He’d throw it up and gag. Talk about terrifying! Our nurse ended up pumping his stomach twice but since then he’s been great. My advice…take the second day. Our insurance covered two days, take them!
There’s nothing more terrifying than a nurse saying, “Are you ready to be discharged?” Of course I wanted my own bed, but bringing home a new, tiny human is so freaking scary. We had amazing support from family and friends to help us with the transition though. Thankfully, things are going great!
We love you little Van. Welcome home!