Thursday, April 2, 2015

a birth story // everett orion

** you are warned that this is a lengthy and detailed post, mostly for my memory**

These past 3 weeks have been the most wonderful whirlwind of sleepless nights, late night feedings, diaper changes and baby snuggles - and I have loved every single second of it. The fact that I am writing "3 weeks" is just amazing to me. I can hardly even comprehend the fact that this little munchkin of ours is nearly 1 month old already! Time is flying and I would like very much if it would just slow down by a few hundred mph -- Sooo, who do I talk to about making that happen? ;)

Even though it's been 3 weeks and I can hardly even imagine what it feels like to live a life without Everett in it, it simultaneously feels like just yesterday that he was born. Little man was supposed to arrive on (or before) March 6th. However, he was simply just not in the mood to make his arrival without a little bit of help. (With as cold as the weather had been, I don't blame him for wanting to stay inside mama's nice warm belly!).

I am fortunate enough to work for my OB/GYN, so my Dr. (aka my boss) knew just how much I was ready to be done being pregnant and to have my baby in my arms instead. So, when March 6th came and went, my Dr. called me that Sunday to ask how I was feeling. He had mentioned that I needed to have an NST (a Non Stress Test, simply put it's just monitors placed on my belly to document baby's heart rate and any contractions I may have been having) on Monday if baby had not come on his own by then. In turn, I asked him if he would be alright with setting me up for an induction for Monday. 

-- You see, Nick had an unfortunate run-in with our snowblower the day before my due date and ended up needing to have surgery done on his hand sometime within that following week. We knew that if we just waited around for baby, it could potentially mean that I would go into labor while Nick was in surgery or recovering from it (which would totally happen with the way our luck is). So, the request for an induction was somewhat necessary. Besides, I was already overdue. --

After contacting the hospital's family birth center, my Dr. called me back and said that we were a "go" to be induced that Monday, the 9th. I was anxious about being induced because 1- I felt like I was cheating by not allowing baby to "pick" his own birthday and 2- because that meant that I would for sure be going into labor (like real, actual and painful labor) within the next 24-48 hours... ah!

With that anxiety and the excitement of knowing that we would soon have our baby boy in our arms, Nick and I hardly slept that Sunday night. We were wide awake by the time 4am rolled around. We were scheduled to be at the hospital by 6am, which meant that I had to call the Family Birth Center around 5am to make sure they had room for us (which of course they did). One perk to scheduling this whole she-bang was that I was able to curl my hair and just overall be prepared for the big day. ;)

my last bump picture // the morning of our baby boy's birthday! (40 weeks and 3 days)
We woke Peyton up and finished gathering all of our things and left for the hospital while it was still dark outside. We arrived a little bit after 6am (we are never on time for anything) and they set us up in our room, where my Mom soon met up with us. Around 7:15am I was checked by the resident Dr. to see how dilated I was -- 3 cm and 100% effaced, basically meaning that I was perfectly "ripe" and good to go ahead and start getting the Pitocin (the magic medicine to hopefully put me into labor).

our last picture at the house before we left for the hospital!
Right before they started my Pitocin drip!
Our last picture as a family of three!

After that, we just hung out -- waiting for the contractions to start. We played Apples to Apples: the Disney version and I munched on ice chips. Around 8am, the contractions began! Though, they were fairly mild and not quite consistent to start with. (Don't worry, that didn't take long to change!)

By 9:30am I had a few contractions that weren't too painful and were coming about 4 minutes apart, but had nothing going on for a while so the nurse upped my Pitocin level. With that, my contractions began to increase in both pain and frequency as 10:30am rolled around. For the most part, I stayed pretty quiet throughout the whole labor process.

As the contractions continued to worsen, Peyton and Nick were both by my side. Having Peyton there was something that we had debated on for a while and eventually, we came to the decision that we wanted her there -- she really wanted to be there as well and I know that it would have been very disappointing to her if she had not been a part of the whole experience. We knew that if it got to be too much for her to handle, my Mom was there to take her out to the waiting room and they could come back in once Everett had arrived. 

Having my sweet girl's hand to hold, my wonderful husband's belt loops and pockets to grip (since his hand was broken already, haha) and focusing on the gap between the cabinet doors straight ahead of me (strange, I know) with deep, steady breathing was the only way I was able to keep myself afloat as the waves of contractions kept washing over me. At 11:40am, my nurse, Abby, asked me if I was ready for my epidural and I said "of course!" but in the mean time, she gave me a pain medication called Stadol. Almost instantly, I felt drunk. Not in the nauseous/miserable way, but more like I was just kind of out of it and maybe a bit loopy. It helped to lessen the pain from the contractions in my abdomen slightly, but I could still feel them coming regularly. 

The anesthesiologist who was going to administer my epidural was very busy that day and he didn't arrive in my room until around 12:50pm. The funniest thing happened, though: when Abby told me that I needed to sit up for them to prep me for the epidural, I felt a pretty decent warm gush of fluid... Nick totally makes fun of me for this, but my response to that happening was to just nonchalantly mention to Abby, "Um, I think my water just broke". And then, as I was sitting there, there was another small gush, "Yeah, I'm pretty sure that was my water." She checked under the blankets, and sure enough, the dam had let loose!

Through the contractions following that, I held it together and kept fairly calm as the epidural was put into place. The anesthesiologist even asked Abby if I had fallen asleep (ha!) because I was so calm and subdued throughout the whole process. They had it set up and he had given me a test-dose of the medicine while he ran out of the room to go do something (like I said, he was busy that day). During that time, Abby said that she wanted to check me to see how far dilated I was now and to her (and my) surprise, she stated that she thought I was "complete" (aka 10cm dilated and fully ready to deliver this baby, right now!). She had the resident Dr. come check me to make certain, and sure enough - it was go time!!

My Mom and Peyton came back into the room (they left while the epidural was put in), as did the anesthesiologist. He had yet to give me a proper dose of anesthesia and since we had just put the epidural in and it was time to deliver the baby, he had to give me as much of the medicine that he could as quickly as he could. We waited for the attending Dr (Dr. Taylor) to arrive and they prepped my room for the delivery. All sorts of medical personnel filed in and my Mom quickly FaceTimed my sister, Jenna, who is studying abroad in Costa Rica this semester so that she could "be there" (via technology) to witness the birth of her new nephew. 

When Dr. Taylor arrived, everything was ready. I literally pushed four times (well, four sets of three 10 second pushes) and at 1:53pm, out he came! It was the most amazing and wonderful experience, especially with having Nick, Peyton, my Mom and my Sister (sorta) by my side. They laid him on my chest and Nick cut the umbilical cord. They even asked Peyton if she wanted to do the second cut on the cord, but she was not quite up for that. ;)

just moments after his arrival :)

little man's first (sponge) bath!

those little, tiny fingers hold onto Dad - I'm in love!

For the rest of that first day, we spent most of it just relaxing and basking in his sweet new baby-ness. Peyton asked me about every five minutes if I was sure that she wasn't in a dream (because she was so happy to finally be holding her baby brother). We had minimal visitors, really it was just my Aunt, my Cousin, and my Dad that came to visit. Around dinnertime, my Mom went to pick up some Chili's for all of us to eat (I have a serious obsession with their boneless chicken wings!). After that, it was time for her to take Peyton to her other grandparent's house so that she could get some sleep and then head to school in the morning. Bless her little heart, she did NOT want to leave. She had even pulled my Mom aside and said "but GiGi, I don't want to leave! I need to be here in case Mom messes something up." Thanks for having confidence in me, babygirl. ;) Eventually, Nick had to carry her down to the car because she refused to leave willingly. If it would have been okay with the hospital, I would have definitely loved to have her stay with us for the night.

Our night wasn't too terrible. Nick had a hard time figuring out the pull-out sofa at first, but we eventually got it set up. Rhett slept fairly well given that he was a newborn. Though, the nurses did take him out at one point so that I could get some rest and they brought him back in when he was ready to eat since I was breastfeeding him. I woke up bright and early to numerous visits from Dr's and nurses popping in to check on me and to take blood to do a few routine labs with.

That day, we only had two more visitors: Nick's brother, Matt and our friend Mandy - who also happens to be a photographer and took some adorable pictures of our sweet, 1-day-old boy (2 of which are at the top of this post). We were ready to leave as soon as we were allowed, but baby boy still needed to have his circumcision done as well as some testing that needed to be performed 24hrs after he was born, so we had to wait around a little while.
Rhett and Uncle Matt

 Our hospital was great and provided us with a congratulatory "celebration dinner" before we left and let me just tell you: if every meal was cooked as well as that one was, there would never be any complaints made about hospital food ever again! It was SO GOOD! We both had the filet with mushrooms on top, twice baked potatoes, and vegetables and I am pretty sure that I ate all of mine plus some of Nick's - ha!

my handsome dinner-date ;)
Around 7pm we finally got ourselves packed up and headed home! Of course it was pouring down rain the whole way there, but at least rain is kind've our good-luck thing so we didn't really mind it. We could not wait to just be home with our sweet boy (Peyton was spending the night at her other grandparent's house again) and to see what our dog, Rory and our cat, Willow would think of him. (In case you're curious, Rory could have cared less - she was just happy to see that Nick was home. She's obsessed with him, haha. And Willow was very intrigued by him at first, but now she doesn't seem to mind him either.)

As cliche as this is, this was one of the best days of my life (with Peyton's birth and our wedding day ranking right up there as well). But then again, who cares if it's cliche - it's the birth of one of my children for crying out loud. Of course it will always be special to me, and to our little family.

Everett Orion, we are so happy to call you "ours". We love you to the moon and back.



  1. I read every dang word of this and loved every dang word!!!!! ;) hehe! He is BEAUTIFUL! You make some gorgeous little babes, girlfriend! I'm so proud of you! You handled that labor like a champ, it sounds like!!! So excited for your family!

  2. This is so awesome! I wish I had written down everything with Logan's birth. A year later and some of the details are foggy. Congrats on your new bundle of joy!!


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