Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Emmett's Birth Story (Finally!)

I've wanted to write this story since it happened, but finding the words to describe that day has been so difficult. I read this beautiful birth story today, so I'm feeling inspired. I will do my best to remember the details. I can't believe it has been 9 months!

My water broke at 12:30 am on the night of July 1st. 30 minutes into July.

Emmett was supposed to be born in June. All through my pregnancy, in my head at least, it was supposed to be June. June 26th was his due date, and I never thought even for a moment that he'd be born in July.

I worked all the way up until my due date. My last day in the office was June 20th, but I worked from home until the 26th. My mom came to stay with us on the 21st in case I went into labor early. I wanted my whole family here, to be there when my boy was born, but it was impossible to know when he would come, so just my mom came at first. She planned to stay for at least 2 weeks to help us with cooking and cleaning, and anything else we needed. We spent time finishing all of the projects we wanted to complete before the baby arrived- putting finishing touches on the nursery, buying baby clothes, cleaning every inch of the house, and walking. My mom kept telling me all I needed to do was walk, and the baby would come. I remember that week so fondly- it was peaceful, exciting, and so much fun.

I woke up on my due date feeling excited, and expecting something to happen. I wasn't able to sleep very well at this point, so I would get up early every morning and go for a walk around the neighborhood. It was in the middle of the summer in Arizona, so if I wanted to walk outside, I had to do it before 7 am! But that day I stayed in bed a little bit later. Ray was able to begin his (6-week paid) paternity leave a week early, so we slept in and planned to relax. He got up around 8:30 and got in the shower, and I was still in bed when I felt a little pop and a huge gush. There was fluid everywhere, so I assumed my water had broken. I remember being so happy and so excited- he was coming right on time! What a good boy! I went to the bathroom to tell Ray, got cleaned up, and went to tell my mom. I was still working from home, so I sent an email to my boss and let everyone know that it was happening, so I wouldn't be working any more. I even sent emails to all of my accounts to let them know that my maternity leave was beginning. I didn't want to rush to the hospital, so I took my time showering, getting my things together, and getting dressed. I was having irregular contractions every 5-8 minutes, but they weren't bothering me too much. I remember thinking that it was all too good to be true- I couldn't have timed it better myself! No middle of the night wake up, no rushing to the hospital, no crazy hair and tired eyes for photos..

Arriving at the hospital on my due date. Look at that huge belly!

Still feeling optimistic. But my hair's looking pretty good, right?

We got to the hospital around noon. My contractions hadn't changed much by then, and I hadn't seen any more fluid, but I never doubted that I was in labor. They hooked me up to a monitor and did an exam, but weren't able to find any amniotic fluid, so they sent me to have an ultrasound to check the amount of fluid in my amniotic sac. I was sure that the ultrasound would show that my water had broken, and I would be admitted, but instead they sent me home. The nurse told me she wasn't sure what had happened, but it didn't look like my water had broken, so I should keep an eye on it and come back if I saw any more fluid.

I was heartbroken! I remember feeling so down, and so embarrassed. I told my sisters and my friends that I was in labor, but apparently instead I'd just peed myself! Ugh. I had to let my boss know that it was a false alarm, but decided not to go back to work. I couldn't face all of the people I'd emailed, so I decided to begin my maternity leave.

Anyway, after a few days of waiting and nothing happening, my dad decided to come along as well. He arrived on Thursday, the 28th, two days after my due date. We talked about asking my doctor to induce me so my parents would be able to be here for the birth, but I wanted to go into labor on my own if possible. We finally decided that if I didn't go into labor by Sunday, we would schedule an induction for Monday, July 2nd.

I was having contractions every 8 minutes or so all the time, and they would speed up to about every 2-3 minutes, lasting about a minute, when I would walk. So, on Saturday the 30th I woke up at 6 a.m. and went for a fast walk around the neighborhood. My contractions sped up and I was feeling really optimistic. I was sure he was coming today. We spent the day at the mall, walking and walking and walking and walking. My dad took this wonderful photo of me, eating a cupcake at the mall:

I made it extra large, for your viewing pleasure..

By the time we headed home, my contractions had completely stopped, and I. was. a. mess. I was upset, frustrated, and felt like this baby was staying in there for good. I knew, just knew, that he was coming in June, and I couldn't believe the month was over and still no baby.
I posted this picture on Instagram before I went to bed that night, because the whole world needed to know how miserable I was (as if that would help..):

I was so upset I exaggerated by a week. So dramatic!

So we went to bed thinking we'd never have the baby, feeling doomed to induce. And then, low and behold, at 12:30 am on July 1st, I sat straight up in bed (okay, more like I rolled and flopped and rolled some more until I was kinda half sitting up in bed) and felt fluid in my underwear. I went to the bathroom, and sure enough there was water, and it wasn't stopping this time. I did a little happy dance by myself in the bathroom because I knew that this was really actually finally it, and I was going to meet my baby boy!

I went back into the room and gently woke Ray, and we celebrated together for a few minutes before I went to tell my parents. They were so excited, but we decided it was best if they stay home and try to get some sleep, since we knew it was going to be a long night.

Ray and I got dressed and got our things together and called our doctor, and he told us to go ahead and go to the hospital. I was having contractions again, about every 5 minutes, but they were still irregular and weren't very strong. On the way to the hospital we talked about how excited we were, how calm we felt, and I remember thinking it was such a beautiful night to have a baby. I was so happy.

Here we are leaving the for the hospital the second time.

We checked in and they sent us directly to a room this time. They checked me (I was at 2 cm) and hooked me up to a monitor, but my contractions were still slow and weak, so we decided that I should get up and walk around for as long as I could.  I walked for about 45 minutes every hour, and then spent 15 minutes at a time hooked up to the monitor. I did that from about 2 until around 5. My contractions hadn't sped up very much, so they called the doctor and he decided to start Pitocin to get things moving.

I labored on the Pitocin from 5 until about 8:30 before having the epidural. I wanted to experience labor for as long as I could, but I decided early on that I wanted to have an epidural. Once the Pitocin kicked in my contractions were off the charts, and were coming so fast it that all I could do was breathe for a few seconds between them and then grab the bed rail and hold on for dear life. My parents arrived around 7:30 or so, and I'm sure it was hard for them to see me like that. My dad decided to go wait in the lobby for a while to pray, but my mom stuck around. She was so good.

The contractions were hard, but I think I was able to deal with them because in the back of my mind I knew that I could have the epidural whenever I wanted, and then I would have relief within 30 minutes, so I stuck it out. By 8:30 everyone was saying there was no need to be in pain, so I might as well start the epidural. The pain was getting pretty bad, so I agreed and we called the Anesthesiologist.

I was really nervous about this part- I'd heard horror stories about rogue needles and even one about a husband being sprayed in the face with numbing liquid- but it was calm and easy and the doctor who did the epidural was confident and kind. Everyone assured me that he was the best, and that made me feel better. So, the epidural went off without a hitch, and from then on, the day was pure BLISS.

My dad came in a short time later and said he thought the baby had already been born, since the room was so calm! It was such a change from the last time he'd been there. I was able to rest and relax, and even napped for a few minutes! My parents watched the Euro Cup Final game between Spain and Italy on tv, while Ray and I chatted or read or just spent time together. The nurses kept coming in to check my monitor, and I could see my contractions still going off the charts, but I couldn't feel a thing! I kept saying "This is too easy! My body is doing all this work, but I'm so relaxed!" I felt like I should be tired and cranky and in pain, I should be working really hard! I felt a little bit like I was cheating actually. The morning and early afternoon were so easy and calm.

My dad working on a blog post in the delivery room.

Our wonderful doctor was at home that day on call, so he was keeping an eye on my monitor and the baby's from his iPad. It must have been around 1 o'clock or so when I started to notice the nurses spending more time in the room, and seemed to be watching the monitors closely. They told me the baby's heartbeat had dropped suddenly, so they helped me to change positions in the bed and kept watching the monitors. When my doctor walked in the room I knew that something was wrong, but he stayed calm and smiled and put me at ease. He told me that he came as quickly as he could when he saw the baby's heart rate drop, but that he wasn't worried anymore. When I changed positions the baby's heart rate came back up, so everything was fine. The doctor very calmly told me that if his heart rate dropped again, we would need to "do something else", meaning an immediate c-section. He was smart not to say those words so that I wouldn't be scared. He checked my cervix, and I was at about 8 cm, so he decided to stay at the hospital to keep an eye on me and the baby. He thought it would still be a few hours, but then around 2 o'clock he came back in and checked me one more time and I was fully dilated!

My doctor told me we would wait about an hour to give the baby some time to come down further into the birth canal, so he and the nurses left the room. We went back to hanging out (Ray & I), and cheering loudly for Spain (my parents). By then my epidural had begun to wear off, so I was feeling some pressure.  The pressure began to build so we called the nurse and let her know, and the doctor came back in with my nurse and a nurse from the nursery and told me it was time to push. I went into a state of denial as the nurses got everything ready and the doctor pulled out the stirrups and sat at the edge of my bed. My dad was still in the room (the soccer game had just ended- Spain won!), so my doctor asked if I wanted him to go. My dad seemed surprised by that- he wanted to stay, so I told the doctor that I didn't mind if he stayed. My dad turned his chair away from me and worked on his computer, and I was glad he was in the room. I knew he would pray, and I knew he would make everything okay.

Getting ready to push/trying to keep it together!

Everyone was ready and excited but I was scared and losing my courage. I couldn't believe it was actually happening! I felt like everything was in slow-motion and I tried to convince myself that it was time, whether I felt ready or not. My mom went to my left side and grabbed my leg, and my nurse went to my right. Ray stood to the left of me near my head. It was happening.

My doctor sat on the edge of my bed and told me it was time, and the nurse told me a contraction was beginning. I felt it, and I felt the urge to push, so I pushed! It was incredible and exhausting and so hard and so overwhelming! Everyone said all the right things to encourage me, and I felt like I was in a dream. The pushing was hard and a few times I felt like I couldn't go on, but the nurse was so awesome and my mom was so excited and such an awesome coach, and my sweet wonderful doctor told me I was doing so good. I was worried that when the time came I wouldn't know how to push, but in the end it was the most natural thing in the world. I pushed for about 30 minutes, and by then I was so so so tired. My doctor kept saying just one more push! Just one more! And every time I believed him. He told me he could see the baby's head and that there was hair, and Ray and I looked at each other in disbelief. We were both bald babies, so we were sure he'd be bald too. My mom asked if it was red and I said "NO! Don't be red!" and then I remembered that my doctor has bright red hair and felt like a jerk for a couple of seconds before another contraction came.With each push his head came out a little further, until he was so so close.

I looked over at my dad between contractions and he was facing the window holding two cell phones up in the air and I think he was crying. He told me Geema (my grandmother) and my sister Shea had both called so he was letting them listen in. I loved that.

I got a burst of energy knowing he was almost out and gave the last push all I had, and then there he was! Right away he doctor laid him on my belly while the nurses checked on him and cleaned him up. He was facing away from me and I remember I was DYING to see his little face, but I was just so happy to see him at all. I looked at his little legs and bum and back and the back of his tiny little head and just drank him in. It was magic.

Our first photo together. 

I couldn't take it anymore and the doctor handed him to me and I just melted. He was so beautiful. He cried and cried and then I spoke to him and the moment he heard my voice he became quiet and looked right at my face. The room melted away and it was just he and I for a few moments while I kissed him and told him about all the love I had in my heart for him, and we just looked at eachother. I was overcome.

My parents asked for his name, and I told Ray he could finally tell them. "Emmett Arthur" he said, and everyone cheered. My mom was so happy and my dad said it was a good strong name, and I just kept looking at my son. My perfect, sweet, tiny, beautiful son. He was so calm and soft and I couldn't stop kissing his little cheeks! I held him for a long time and then he seemed like he wanted to nurse, so I put him to my breast and he latched on like a champ. Such a good boy.

It was the most perfect day. I kept thinking all day that it was all so easy, so wonderful. Everything went beautifully. My doctor and nurses said and did exactly the right things all day, and seemed to know exactly what I needed exactly when I needed it. Later that day I said it felt like my nurse was an angel, holding me in her hand and keeping me safe and calm. It was such a dream, from start to finish, and I wouldn't change a thing.

Sweet new boy, taking it all in.

His Ree is his biggest fan!

First photo with daddy!

So silly. 

We sure do love you Emmett boy!

P.S. My dad wrote his (much more beautiful) version of this story on his blog, here.
And here is my first post about baby Emmett!


  1. Thank you keep leading and I'll follow you eyelastin. Love all your inspirational pages.

  2. Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing - so, so touching and I need a good birth story as I psyche myself up for #2 :). Beautiful.

  3. Love that you linked back to this - it's a beautiful story!



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