October 3, 2011

a birth story (part three)...

[To read part one, click here; to read part two, click here!]

When it was time to start pushing, I couldn't believe my labor had progressed that quickly. I was truly expecting to not give birth until the next day. But apparently the wee one had other plans.

What I loved most about this part of the delivery was how intimate it felt. In my mind, I had thought I would be in a cold, sterile room with lights shining in my eyes, surrounded by a bunch of people I didn't know who were pretty much taking charge of the entire situation. In reality, the only people I could see at that point where the nurse (who held back my right leg) and Jay (who held back my left leg). It was like we were the only three people there, and although it was a rather intense situation (obviously), the fact that I felt so safe, comfortable and encouraged by both the nurse and Jay helped me keep my calm.

For the record, it was bizarre to me that Jay was just standing there in his jeans and t-shirt, right there with me as I was pushing. I think he was surprised that he would have a role in that part of the delivery, too, to be honest. For a moment, as the nurse instructed him to hold back my leg, we looked at each other and both had this moment of, "Well, this is…not what I was expecting." (I look at photos of my dad from when I was born and the guy was covered from head to toe in what looked like a surgical uniform. Including a facemask. And Jay wasn't even asked to wash his hands! Oh, how times change.)

Anyhow, the nurse let me know they were going to turn down the epidural so I could feel when to push. And feel it I did. It wasn't awful, awful pain or anything; it was just…odd. The nurse would ask me when I felt a contraction and then she would count through so I could get three good pushes during each contraction. I actually found it difficult to push, because even though I could feel that I needed to, and knew how to, I couldn't really feel the baby descending or anything. It was hard to tell if anything was happening, even though they had turned down the epidural. Also, the nurse would keep telling me to push harder and I felt like saying, "Well, at this point I think my face is going to explode. Is this normal?"

But I pushed. Through about five contractions. All the while hoping that Jay wasn't looking at my "situation" and henceforth destroying our marriage. (I kid. Mostly.)

The nurse informed me that the baby's heart rate was starting to slow with each push, so she wanted me to take a break. At that time, another nurse walked in looking very confused and told Jay that there was a priest here to see us. Jay and I were both like, "What? Who? Why?" And all I could think was, "Is a priest necessary right now? I mean, who called for a priest? AM I DYING?" But then we realized that it was actually just our pastor, who we didn't know was stopping by, and immediately felt a little ridiculous about our mild freak out.

All the nurses left the room to let me rest for a bit (although it didn't feel like rest) while we had a quick visit with the pastor. It actually meant a lot to us that he came to visit. He chatted with us for a few minutes, said a blessing and said a prayer for both us and Eisley. I don't think he realized that I was on the brink of delivery when he arrived, and I managed to hide it well, I think. Even though I kept thinking, "Holy moses, this child is going to come out, like, NOW!" But I didn't want to interrupt the Lord's Prayer. Because that would have been awkward.

As the minutes wore on, I kept feeling intense pressure that was getting stronger with each contraction. It was the weirdest type of pain, and I guess it's just something you have to experience because it's impossible to describe. Finally, I mumbled something to the effect of, "Um, I think that…maybe…I should start pushing again…ehhh…" Jay and the pastor were like, "WHAT? Oh, okay. Yeah. Let's get the nurse."

The nurse checked me again, and I think she was surprised with how quickly the baby was coming. At that point, someone went to get the doctor, and everyone prepared for Eisley's grand entrance. I think there were a few more people in the room at that point, but the atmosphere all around me was of pure excitement. It seemed like everyone was cheering us on and was just as excited for the baby to arrive as we were.

The doctor came in a few minutes later, I started pushing again, and then (to everyone's surprise) Eisley arrived only two contractions later. She was born just eleven minutes shy of midnight.

The way I was positioned, I was able to see her body as the doctor helped deliver her, which was truly incredible. I kept thinking, "Oh, my gosh. That's her. She's here. That's my little girl." She cried immediately, and Jay cut the cord. I always figured I'd be someone who would burst into tears of joy after giving birth, but my emotions were surprisingly subdued. I remember just feeling so at peace. Even though I didn't get to hold her right away, I was okay. I just felt like everything was perfect, and she was here, and there was nothing else in the world that mattered.

The nurse next to us announced that Eisley was 6 pounds, 2 oz. and 20.5 inches long. Jay gave me a kiss and squeezed my hand. We couldn't stop smiling.

The room was still busy around us, but the mood was light. The nurses commented on how well I did, and one of them even said, "Well, that's not fair. Your hair looks just like it did when you got here!" (She must have known what I needed to hear. I wanted to hug her.)

I can't tell you how thankful I was to be surrounded by people who, although they had helped deliver hundreds of babies, made our moment feel like a celebration. It was perfect. One of the earlier nurses who had assisted with my labor even came by after Eisley was born, just to see us and congratulate us. I felt like everyone who took part in our birth experience was a close friend, as silly as it sounds. I just couldn't have asked for better.

As the doctor was stitching me up, he commented on how he couldn't remember the last time he'd experienced such a quick labor with a first time mom. Apparently my body progresses incredibly fast and any future deliveries are sure to be even shorter. "For the next one," he said with a laugh, "you be sure to come to the hospital right away. Unless, of course, you'd like to have a baby in the car."

After Eisley was cleaned up, they put her on my chest. She was completely calm. We looked at each other and it was the sweetest moment. She snuggled into my chest, sucking her thumb as Jay and I admired all her tiny features and felt her soft, baby skin. She was just as I'd imagined she would be, and she was perfect. The little girl I'd always dreamed of was finally in my arms.



  1. What a beautiful story and it brought tears to my eyes! Congrats again to you both :)

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  3. What a perfectly peaceful delivery! It sounds like the nurses were amazing. It's kind of hilarious that your pastor came by right then! I don't know if I would have been horrified or thrilled, hah.

    This is unrelated except that it involves preachers at hospitals, but when I was in the hospital for something else, mine came by and anointed me very unexpectedly, and my husband said something about there being sacrificial lambs for the rest of the ceremony in the parking lot. That wasn't awkward at all.

  4. This is so sweet and I'm so glad everything went so wonderfully for you!

  5. Love this, K. Such a special day and I'm so happy you decided to share it here!

  6. AH! I love it, congratulations again! Our deliveries were very similar and I'm so, so glad you had awesome nurses. I watched Knocked Up again yesterday and the portrayal of the L&D nurse and doctor were just SO AWFUL. I was like, They're not really like that! (Good god, I HOPE they're not like that for other people!)

  7. I probably would have freaked out too if someone told me a priest came to see me in the hospital. Thank you for sharing your story, I loved reading it and sharing a little piece of your joy. Congratulations again!

  8. I LOVE hearing about this and honestly teared up reading it. I'm so glad that I get to come here and read your beautiful words, just a few weeks before my own little one comes... you are such a blessing and encouragement :) And a fabulous mother!

    Also, (in reference to your last post) I am totally glancing in car reflections at my enormous bump right now.. it will be unreal to see my feet again :)

  9. What a fabulous post- I hope mine goes as smoothly and wonderfully as yours! Have to say I did laugh at the Pastor turning up- perfect touch though for the arrival of such a precious bundle!

  10. That last line just kills me. I know all labors are different but yours definitely doesn't terrify me. :) And the pastor showing up? Pure comedic relief. Something to laugh about one day! Hehe.

  11. Soooooooooooooooooooooooo sweet. <3 I love this. So whimsical. Yay for y'all! <3

  12. I can't believe your pastor came for a visit when he did! I would have told mine to get lost if I was that close to delivery :D As it was, I pushed for over two hours only to have my doctor come in and tell me Topher was stuck and no amount of pushing would have gotten him out anyway - so she had to use the vacuum AND forceps. Ugh. I'm glad you had an easier delivery than I did :)

  13. What a beautiful story! I am so happy for you!

  14. I can't believe they let your pastor in in the middle of delivery! I laughed at that part.

    Sounds like you had an amazing experience. I had a (scheduled) c-section and I just remember so much attention and love in the room from all of the complete strangers. We spent a few days afterwards in the hospital and all of the doctors and nurses were completely incredible. Makes such a difference.

  15. "I kept thinking, "Holy moses, this child is going to come out, like, NOW!" But I didn't want to interrupt the Lord's Prayer. Because that would have been awkward."

    Not gonna lie, I bwahaha-ed at that! What a wonderful story, full of humor and love. Thank you for sharing. :)

  16. Oh Kerri! I got teary eyed reading that. And only you could make me laugh in a birth story :) Seriously I'm so happy for all of you and cannot wait to see Eisley grow up through your blog.

  17. What a beautiful birth story! Congratulations on your beautiful daughter!

  18. Ohhhh, what a wonderful story! I'm so glad I didn't miss this and that you were generous enough to share!
    I can't believe you're a MOM! How cool is that?! Still soo, sooo, soo happy for your family! :)

  19. This made me teary-eyed. So perfect and so sweet. (love the hair comment from the nurse!)

  20. What a great story.

    By the way, I like hearing about good hospital experiences. Sometimes I feel like all I hear is people talking about how they'd NEVER have a hospital birth because it's so sterile and this and that. But my experience was wonderful. I loved every minute of it (you know -the minutes AFTER I had the epidural).

  21. Kerri.. I hope you how much we all love reading your blog. I am a student studying dental hygiene and whenever I get leisure time I most definitely check your blog for new posts! :D Congratulations on your new bundle of joy!


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