Friday, May 6, 2011

Reese's Birth Story

If you follow me on instagram then you know that Reese was quite comfortable and totally refused to grace us with her presence. You also know that I wasn't sure if I wanted any medical interventions at all. It seems Reese made that decision for us. Hubby and I had to schedule an induction with our OBGYN. He was only working one night within our induction window (the hospital we were having Reese at won't let you be too far past due because it is a risk to the baby). We called all our family, had Hubby's mom fly all the way out here, packed up our bags and went to the hospital. Hubby really wanted to leave all our stuff in the car (a duffel bag, 2 pink pillows, and a sleeping bag for Hubby) but since we knew we were getting induced, and therefore would not be leaving, I made him carry everything upstairs. Boy, was I wrong. We walked into a full, I'm talking F-U-L-L-FULL, Labor & Delivery ward. Nurses were running around, women were screaming, it was a little intense. They wouldn't induce us (obvi) so we had to go home.. we couldn't believe it! Hubby ended up just working his that weekend and taking his mom along. It was a little disappointing but it ended up being an awesome time for his mom and him.

We ended up rescheduling four days later and settled for whoever would be on duty that night. We showed up at 8pm (this time I let Hubby leave the stuff in the car) and checked in. We met with the nurse and the midwife on duty and began to discuss our options.

They originally wanted to begin the induction with a pill called cyotec. I was pretty nervous about taking anything (I hadn't even had a diet coke throughout my pregnancy, hello!) so when Reese's heart rate gave a little dip right before we began the induction (don't worry, it was nothing at all) I was actually a little relieved. They decided to try to induce with a technique where they use a foley catheter and inflate the balloon to simulate baby's head on the cervix. They are supposed to come in and check it every 2 hours all night long, but the first time they came in to check it, it came right out. That meant I was dilated to 3cm and it was 1am. The nurse was as surprised as I was! The midwife and the doctor came in and asked us if we'd like to start the pitocin right then or if I'd like to try to sleep through the contractions and see if my body just kicked into gear. We chose to wait, no questions asked. Hubby turned on the white noise sound machine, we both put on our eye masks, and we attempted to sleep through the night. Surprisingly, I did and the nurse had to wake us up at 6am. She gave me a tray of dry breakfast foods but I was too nervous/excited to eat. Hubby and I went for a walk around the L&D unit and just took some time to be with one another and pray. I of course, prayed for a pain free delivery as I had since Pregnancy Day 1. We went back to our room and the nurse started our pitocin at around 7am. To be perfectly honest, I feel asleep again.

That did NOT last long.

At 11am I was jarred awake by the most intense pain. Wow. I was not ready for that. I hear that labor hurts worse when you're induced because your body goes from 0 to 60 in no time flat. Hubby and I tried all the techniques we learned in the many classes we took. I tried laying in the bed (the most painful), I tried standing, I tried rocking, I tried sitting on the exercise ball, I tried bouncing on the exercise ball, I tried leaning over the exercise ball. We tried hand massage, we tried back massage, we tried rolling a tennis ball over my back, we tried using one of those handheld massagers, we tried guided imagery. I am telling you, we trued everything and nothing worked.

No, I wasn't one of those women who screamed and yelled and acted like a lunatic, I didn't curse Hubby or try to break his hand, I didn't say a single word. The pain was so intense and without more than a 30 second break in between contractions, I couldn't even take the pressure of Hubby's hand on my shoulder. Hubby tells me this was about 1-2hours worth of time until the nurse came in and asked me again if I'd like any pain management. In between contractions I asked Hubby if he thought I was weak for wanting an epidural and was met with a resounding NO. He hated seeing me in pain and not being able to do anything about it. The anesthesiologist came right in and started setting things up. Hubby was allowed to sit in front of me and hold my hand. It was very quick and the only pain (besides the contractions I was already having) was the lidocaine shot I got to numb the area. I started feeling relief almost immediately and within a few contractions the only way I even knew I was having contractions was by watching them on the monitor. It was absolutely incredible.

Around this time we called my sister and she brought herself and Hubby some food. We had originally packed Trivial Pursuit cards with us and so we spent the next couple of hours just talking and playing games. I felt no pain at all and we were basically just relaxing. At around 3pm the doctor came in and we began discussing breaking my water. I did not want to do it, but Hubby thought we should listen to the doctor. We were grappling with the idea when all of a sudden our personal OBGYN walked in the room. Apparently, they had hours in the clinic downstairs and were just coming in to check on us. How nice is that? He checked me (I was 4 1/2 cms) and also suggested we break my water and so we did. Like, within a matter of minutes and then he was off. Quick and simple and so we just returned to playing our game.

About an hour later I began to feel a strange sensation. I didn't feel the need to push, I didn't really even feel a lot of pressure, I just felt like Reese was, how do I put this, coming out the wrong way. Hubby wanted to immediately get the nurse but I didn't want to get them for no reason. Hubby and my sister were quite persistent and eventually Hubby had my sister just go get the nurse herself. The nurse came in to check me and I was 9cm! She left the room to let me progress further. She came back in a a few minutes later and said that our original OBGYN wanted her to check exactly where we were at because they wanted to come deliver us. This time, Reese's head was right there. She called our doctor and we did a few practice pushes while they were coming upstairs. The first round of pushes was a little strange, I wasn't really sure what I was doing and what direction I was pushing in. I got the hang of it by the 3rd set of practice pushes. Our doctor came strolling in and, feeling embarrssed because of the awkwardness of having all my business out for everyone to see I tried to break the ice by greeting them with a wide sweeping hand gesture and a "Welcome to my shooooooow". My doctor saw one practice push and walked out of my line of sight. "He's washing his hands" my sister said. Woah, did I feel nervous. We asked the nurse if we could say a quick prayer and she bowed her head and prayed with us.

At almost 5pm the doctor came over and began to direct me. Hubby was on my right side and counting for me "1-2-3-4..." and my sister was on my left side cheering me on saying"push push push, come on Ashley, push push and a biiiiiig push at the end". After one contraction our Doctor said, in an extremely calming voice "ok Hubby, next time lets try to count a little bit softer and a little bit slower." Haha! We were all so into it and knew Hubby so well that we hadn't even realized Hubby had been directing me using his command presence. After the next group of pushes my sister started to cry. "She has hair".

Hubby started crying and so I started crying, too. During the next couple of pushes things started to really happen. The doctor said "Hubby, come here right now!" and so my eyes flew open. My sister and Hubby are both gone & a nurse is standing over me and pushing on my pelvis. I guess Reese had gotten a little stuck so the nurse needed to help me with a push on my pelvis. Hubby got to the end of the bed and the doctor said "Put your hands right here" and Hubby DELIVERED Reese.

With his own two hands.

With no gloves.

Hearing that little cry was the most incredible moment of my entire life. Hubby put her on my chest and I couldn't even move. Everyone was crying and I just kept saying "She's so soft... so soft". Hubby cut the umbilical chord and then he kept saying how beautiful she was. I was asking over and over "What does she look like?" because I couldn't see her face. I couldn't move her to see her face, and after 10 1/2 months that is all I wanted to see!! A nurse helped me move her and I was even more in love. Reese was 7.8lbs and 19.75 inches long. Hubby finally got her little hand wrapped around his finger- something he had waited 10 1/2 months for.

It honestly was the most incredible labor and delivery ever. I don't think I could have even planned it to be more rewarding myself. I am so thankful to God, Hubby, my sister, and the entire staff, ESPECIALLY my doctor who came in on his day off to deliver my precious little angel. Here's hoping the next one goes just as smoothly!


  1. Awww what a great story! Reading it makes me want to have my baby right now!! Love the newborn pictures as well...soo sweet!

  2. I love birth stories! Congrats!

  3. awesome story!! reading it makes me think about my L&D story (quite different from yours - but wonderful nonetheless) :) thanks for taking us on your journey!!

    ps - this did not help reduce the baby fever I'm dealing with, just sayin' ;) *HUGS*

  4. This is beautiful...made me cry. This did not however stop my baby obsession. Infact I think it made it worse.

  5. "Welcome to my shooooow!" So funny!! Congratulations (a little late). :)

  6. you are such a beautiful mommy. :)

  7. Congrats to the both of you. Gosh, you look so beautiful in that last picture! Hard to believe you just pushed out a human being.

  8. Wow, what a story! You do look gorgeous in your pictures, I can't believe you'd just been through labor!

  9. Wow. What a beautiful birth story!! :) Can I ever relate with the pitocin! It's contractions on crack! I do NOT know how people deliver, on pitocin, naturally. Craziness. Oh we tried too! But yeesh! That blessed epidural...! Praise the Lord she was healthy and you were ok too! This time around we are trying to do it without pitocin through a water birth. I'm hoping our little man cooperates!! We'll see! if not, we might have another crazy 21-hours-of-labor story to tell! It's so sweet to look back at the birth story and see how tiny they were then! Not to mention remembering all the love that just floods your heart when you meet them for the first time! ((hugs))


  10. @Laura Railing:

    "I do NOT know how people deliver, on pitocin, naturally"

    They don't. Adding pitocin to the birthing experience makes it a medicated birth. No woman can give birth naturally with pitocin. As you said, "contractions on crack."

  11. I'm crying at my desk at work. What a beautiful story! And now look how precious your little angel is, growing every day :) Ahhhh I just can't wait! Makes all these aches and pains and lack of sleep seem worth it :)