Saturday, August 2, 2014

a birth story

Hello hello!!

Sooo..... remember that last post I wrote when I said I had 13 days left til I had a baby?? Well, it was actually only 4! Bah! Crazy. But I must confess that I knew my baby was coming soon, so I wanted to have at least one more pregnancy update.

My baby was born!! 
 Here is the story.... Get comfy :)


It all started on Tuesday, June 24th. I had a doctor appointment that day. In the morning, before the dr appointment I was just going about my normal business and I noticed that I was having some cramps, which I have now learned to call contractions (and feel very validated in doing so :). These contractions were kind of fine, but kind of hurt a little more than the ushe. It was then that I became somewhat concerned that I was going to have a baby soon. Remember with Summer my water broke, so I did not have to time contractions at all, nor did I even feel any until I was already in the hospital. But I had read up on what it feels like when you go into labor, and those cramps (contractions) fit the description pretty well. So, I did what any normal mama in labor would do..... I cleaned! I also packed Summer a little overnight suit case and I gathered some clothes and stuff I wanted to bring to the hospital. However, when I began vacuuming my contractions stopped. I didn't think too much of it since I have been having cramps on and off my entire pregnancy, so I just thought... "oh, they stopped." They always stop so it was no big deal. Fast forward a couple hours when it was time to go to my doctor appointment. I was 38 weeks now...and one day. She gave me the option to get checked to see if I was progressing at all. I decided that since I had felt a little somethin somethin that morning that I would see if anything was happening. She checked and lo and behold I was dilated to a 4 or 5 and 80% effaced. 
Whaaaaa?! I was not expecting that. Up until that moment I was in no hurry to have this baby. I was completely fine with going until my due date. I had things to do and sleep to enjoy. But then she told me I could very well have that baby today! I was a little shocked, but of course excited, because who isn't excited to have their baby?! My sister happened to have a doctor appointment that same day in the same office, and I heard her girls talking (laughing/shouting ;) as we were leaving, so I found her and told her the exciting/crazy news. (her dr wasn't there yet, she was just waiting waiting waiting for her to get there, that's why I could find her and talk to her :) When her dr got there we went out to our car and started to mentally prepare for the fact that we could be having a baby at any moment.

Wednesday came. .... but no baby.
Thursday came. ..... and still no baby.
Friday came. ..... and nussing happened. However. Friday was a very fun-filled jam packed day of happy. Which is maybe exactly what I needed for my last day of pregoness. Friday my sweet friend offered to watch Summer while I had some alone time. It was so so soooo nice of her and Summer had her very first mommy-less play date with a non-related friend :) I went to a prenatal yoga class at Centered City Yoga, which I highly recommend. Love that studio. It has so much to offer!! After yoga I picked Summer up and we went to the zoo with grandbob, crampa, auntie amy and cousin bird. After the zoo was nap time and then we went to dinner at my mom and dad's house and then played tennis. We may or may not have been trying to recreate the same occurrences that occurred the day before Summer was born. So I played tennis as a 9 month prego lady with no shoes, and we beat them 6-3 this time (last time we beat them 6-0 :). After tennis I took Summer on a brisk stroller ride around the track 4 times, equalling a mile. I feel like I did something else that day that was exciting. And this is where journal writing nearer to the event would come in handy, because I can't remember.. Hmm.... idk. I just know that it was a very very fun day!

leaving to go to Juju and Grandpere's house! 

38 weeks and 4 days

Scandalous! But not really. I wanted to take a pic of my henna tattoo :)
This is the day before I gave birth.

On Saturday morning I started having contractions at 8:22 am. I know this because I got an app to help me time my contractions :) They didn't hurt that bad though, so although I knew in the back of my head  that these could be legit bonafide contractions that could lead to a baby sooner rather than later, I didn't let myself get too worked up. That morning Spencer mowed the lawn and then went to help a neighbor move.

sometimes Summer likes to ride on Spencer's back while he mows the lawn :)

And since Summer and I were doing nothing, I decided to use a gift card that I got for my birthday to get a manicure. I called and made the appointment for 11:30. So around then I dropped Summer off at my parent's house and my mom watched her along with some other cousins. While I was getting my nails done (btw, I chose a brand called Butter, which is apparently vegan, and therefore not harmful to my baby :), my manicurist asked me when I was due and I told her July 7th, but really the baby could come today. That made her a little nervous and every time I would check the time to time my contractions, she would start painting a little faster. Poooor Felicia! haha :) After my manicure I went back to my parent's and my mom asked how I was doing. I had been having contractions the entire manicure, but they weren't that bad so I didn't think I really needed to go in any time soon. But my mom said I should because babies in our family come fast, and my dad said it is tacky to have a baby in the car and offered to drive me there himself.... So I called Spencer and told him that we better go to the hospital. Since I didn't think it was very urgent, he said he would take a shower then come pick me up. I told him to bring my hospital bag and Summer's overnight suitcase, and to put the clothes in the washer in the dryer. He did everything and then picked me up at my parent's.

What is nice about being in no rush to get to the hospital is that you can take pictures before your life changes dramatically. We took these pictures while waiting for Spencer to pick me up because I thought, holy cow, the next time I see Summer I will have another baby! And that was just a crazy thought. And I wanted a pic of my belly the day that I gave birth. (It is still so crazy to me that my baby was in me, and then a couple hours later he was outta me! Nuts!! )

And then Spencer got there! Time to take pictures with him!! 

this picture was just so dear. Summer love love loves her papa.

in the car! about to go have a baby!

Sooo, now is a good time to sum up until now. Ahem..
8:22, started having contractions (probably a bit before that, let's say 8 :)

8:00 -- contractions

8:00 - 1:30 -- did this and that

1:30 -- started gearing up to go to the hospital

2:00ish -- got to the hospital

When I got to the hospital I just strolled on in all casual like. The ladies at the front desk asked me what was up and I told them that I was having a baby, and my contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart but they weren't awful so if they sent me home I was fine with that. I told them that at my last appointment on Tuesday (remember it is Saturday now) I was dilated to a 4 or 5 and 80% effaced. They looked at me and said I probably wouldn't be going home.
Soooo, I got all dressed in my hospital gown and they hooked me up to the contraction monitor and the baby heart beat monitor and we were there to stay!!
I loooove the monitor that tells you when you are having a contraction, because it makes me feel like...yeah! see?! I am having a contraction! Boo ya!! 
And I was having contractions. Lots of them. 2 - 5 minutes apart. I didn't want to get an epidural just yet because I was not in super bad pain. I remember what painful contractions felt like with Summer and I had not reached that point. I guess I didn't want to get an epidural unless I really needed one. And I'll be honest, part of me thought, hey.....maybe I can do this without an epidural. Women do it all the time. Maybe my contractions won't get horrifically atrociously astonishingly awful like they did last time. That would be kind of cool.
They did get awful. But not yet, that comes later in the story.
I had to get antibiotics because I had group b strep. They like that to be in you for at least 4 hours before the baby comes. They gave it to me around 3:00? It takes about 30 minutes to get into your system and then lasts for about 2 hours then they would have to give me another round. After I got the penicillin they let me walk around! And so we did. It was kind of fun, walking around. They hoped it would progress my labor. Idk if it did much, but it was nice not to be confined to the bed.

filling out paperwork..

sending pics to family telling them I was there to stay!

waiting to have a baby!

ooh la la :) 

about to go on a walk!

 While we were walking around we found the room with endless amounts of lorna doones and drinks and graham crackers. I was not allowed to eat anything and both Spencer and I were starrrrrving. Spen decided to go to the cafeteria so he could be fueled up and ready to go when it was birth time, because when Summer was born he almost passed out on an empty stomach. So while he was gone I went back to the room. My nurse let me have some graham crackers since I was starving and I didn't have an epidural yet. That was nice :) But I don't even remember her name because I didn't like her super much. Meaning, she wasn't super over-the-top-nice like my about-to-give-birth self needed. She was just regular nice.. Annnyyyway, when she gave me that graham cracker I liked her a little more :)
While Spen was at the cafeteria, the on-call doctor, (not my regular doctor), Melissa Brown, came in and said she wanted to break my water now. I suddenly got nervous and said my husband wanted to be there so we should wait. She seemed a little annoyed, but I called him and told him to come and we waited til he got back. I was a little nervous to have them break my water. a) because my water just broke on its own with Summer, so why couldn't it just do that with this baby? b) I was afraid it would hurt. and c) my sister told me that after they broke her water she had her baby waayyyy fast. I told that to the dr. and her and the nurse laughed and said that would not be the case. 
So I guess by now it was roughly 5 something, because they broke my water at 5:20 ish? Let me do a time line so I can remember. 

3:00 ish -- they gave me antibiotics

4:00 ish -- we walked around the hospital floor. 

5:20 ish -- dr broke my water

Spencer got back from the cafeteria and the dr came back and she checked me, said I was at a 5+ and then broke my water. Didn't even hurt at all. Just felt a gush of liquid, kind of like when my water broke with Summer, but this was a lot more liquid. 
Literally the first contraction after they broke my water was a holy-this-hurts-I-remember-why-I-got-an-epidural-and-I-want-another-one-right-this-second contraction. I told the nurse and Spencer I wanted an epidural but I wanted to go to the bathroom first. I wanted to go to the bathroom because I felt like I needed to go numero dos and if I was going to get an epidural I wanted that outta me before I could no longer really feel what was going on down there.  So I went to the bathroom and went pee and tried to #2 but couldn't. All the while I was having awwwwful awful contractions. When I got out of the bathroom I expected the anesthesiologist to be there but for some reason my nurse didn't take me seriously when I said I wanted an epidural because I asked her if he was there yet and she said, oh I'll go page him. Ugggghhhhh!! I knew I hated her!! My contractions were coming coming coming and were super duper awful and as it turns out, it wasn't poo I was needing to push out. It was a baby. And he was coming fast!! The anesthesiologist finally got there (it was probably a minute later, haha), strolling into the room casually and talked in slow motion. He made me lay down on my side which I didn't like (sorry to keep comparing this birth to Summer's birth, but when I got an epidural with her I just got to sit up. Much nicer). He worked through my contractions and I have no idea how because they were hideous and I was hideous and at one point I remember thinking I was hysterical but I didn't care. When I felt a contraction coming on I would immediately want to die. They hurt. So. Bad. I kept getting reminded to take deep long breaths instead of short panic-y ones by the evil nurse who was silently judging me for thinking I could have a non-medicated birth when I didn't even take special classes! Bah! The nerve of me! (for the record, I am a firm believer that unless you have very strong reasons to do a natural birth, I don't think you will make it. Unless you are Super Woman and have a high pain tolerance. And I actually seem to know quite a few Super Women who just pop babies out with no pain meds like it was just another thing on their to-do list before the end of the day. So even though I thought it would be nice if I could maybe have a baby without an epidural, just to experience the back of my mind I knew I would get one).  This whole time I am still feeling like I need to push! And sometimes I couldn't stop myself. And I did figure out that it felt nice when Spencer would rub my lower back when I was having a contraction. So that was nice. But not nice enough. I wanted to feel NOTHING!! And I kept saying that, "I don't want to feel it. I don't want to feel it." I was crazy. I asked, more like plead with the anesthesiologist, "it's going to work, right?" He said it would, and that I would start to feel tingly in my feet and legs. Spencer touched my leg and asked if I could feel it. I responded with so much madness, "I can feel everything." I was filled with hope because the anesthesiologist, (gosh that is a long word, how about I name this guy. I don't know what his real name is but I'll call him Todd. That seems like a fitting name for him). So Todd told me it was going to work but then the nurse said that since I was progressing so fast the epidural might not have time to catch up. 
**Here is a fun fact, Spencer filmed part of me in labor. He filmed this part. And when the nurse told me that the epidural probably wouldn't work because this baby was coming so fast, I didn't say anything, but I stared at her, with pure hatred.** where are we. Oh yes. I now have the non-existant epidural and with every contraction I feel like I need to push. It seems like it took everyone forever to take me seriously that I was having a baby right this second. When I was back on my back they checked me and declared I was "complete" and started getting everything ready for me to deliver.  Complete shmomplete, you stupids! I have already been pushing this baby out for 15 minutes! Get with the program!! 
When you have an epidural you can't feel your contractions. So when you are ready to start pushing they tell you when you are having a contraction and when to push. When you don't have an epidural (or you do have one but it hasn't had time to kick in) you push whenever the heck you want to push. I just pushed when I felt like I needed to. Around this time is when Spencer got woozy. He is an experienced passer outer and knew that he was about to pass out, so he had to leave my side and sit down for a bit. This meant that Todd had to step in and hold my hand. Haha, thank you, Todd. And poor Spencer. 
So my contractions kept coming. 
And my epidural was nowhere to be seen. 
And I felt everything. 
And it hurt. 

And then the most beautiful magic happened. 

It was over. 

And my perfect baby boy was born. 

True Graham Stephens
born on June 28th 2014 
at 5:56 pm
7 lbs 3 oz
19 1/2 inches long

This was one of the first pictures we took of him and I took it because he is sucking his thumb! So so cute. Oh my gosh I love him.
Even though it hurt like hades, I love True's birth story. It was fast and crazy but so so wonderful. I still have nothing against epidurals, and believe they are a gift from the heavens, but it was cool to experience my body just doing its thing and taking charge. I just wish it didn't have to hurt like a mother.. -_-
And after all was said and done and I was done being in labor and giving birth, my nurse was pretty nice after all :) I told her sorry for being such a crazy woman. 
True is now 5 weeks old. 
Time. Flies. 
I have taken one billlllion pictures of him because I think everything he does is picture worthy. He is the sweetest and oh so handsome and we just love him. 
Welcome to the world, True!! We love you so. 

Summer was the first one out of our families to see True. It was the best moment ever. 

about to leave the hospital!

it was a long weekend. 

a really long weekend. 

welcome home, True!


  1. Wonderful wonderful wonderful! Makes me wonder what it's like to feel like you need to push. Yay True!

  2. This. Was. The. Best. Thing. I have EVER read in all my existence upon this earth. Makes me so fiery mad I didn't do the same for my 2 births. I let the man get to me thinking nobody wanted to read something that long. But I kept thinking "True and Alisha (and me) are going to LOVE reading this over and over again. I dead seriously laughed out loud and cried and wished I was you. And can totally sympathize and sorta want to do it that way again for the sake of the story. You da best.

  3. he is so so so cute. and you are amazing! I love reading birth stories. :)

  4. I love this!! and True! and you!! :) (and summer and spencer too)

  5. I HATE that nurse! But bless Todd for holding your hand. I hope you broke it as payment for not getting the epidural in time.

  6. I need to check your blog more often! Love this Alisha! He is so sweet and cute, and I can't wait to meet him!