Chase’s Birth Story: Part Two
Ryan and I arrived at the hospital at 4:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning. Ryan dropped me off and as he went to park the car, I waited for him in the lobby and paced around since it felt much better to walk around and move during my contractions than it did to sit down. The hospital security guard wished me luck and when I told him I was just really hoping this was the real deal, he laughed and told me about one woman who came to the hospital with labor pains three nights in a row before she had her baby. At this point, my contractions were strong enough for me to feel quite confident that I was in labor, but I was still nervous I’d be sent home because I wasn’t far enough along. The security guard’s story didn’t exactly give me a boost of confidence!
After we checked in and I signed some forms with the most wobbly signature in the world, we made our way to a delivery room and I was instructed to change into a hospital gown. My contractions continued to intensify and before the nurse came in, I told Ryan, “This seriously better be labor because I want these contractions to count toward something!”
I was then hooked up to a monitor and the nurse told me what I already knew: My contractions were very strong and coming every two minutes (or less) at this point. When the nurse asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1 to 10, Ryan laughed because in the past, I told him that to me a level 10 on the pain scale is someone cutting off your finger. Ryan told me not to use my “severed finger scale,” but I told the nurse I was at around a seven and explained that the pain was increasing quickly. She then checked my cervix and told me I was only two centimeters dilated. I felt so discouraged and worried this would mean I would be sent home but the nurse told me she wanted to give me an hour and check me again since she had a feeling things were progressing quickly.
I spent the next 60 minutes walking around our room, groaning as the pain of my contractions started to completely overtake my body. (Do not be fooled by the smile in the above picture!) I never expected to be so vocal during labor but I could not stop moaning! I did my best to deal with contractions that began to feel closer and closer together and increasingly painful and while I always thought I’d be all about back massages and the birthing ball during labor, in the end, I wanted to be totally left alone to walk around and deal with the pain. Ryan kept asking what he could do to help but I was in my own little world and just wanted to groan my way through everything and try to figure out some way to make the pain less intense. (Not possible.)
An hour later, the nurse checked my cervix again and told me I progressed two centimeters over the course of the past hour. I was up to four centimeters at 6 a.m. and she assured me this was “go time!” HOORAY! Ryan then sent texts out to my family and our friends to keep them in the loop. Going into labor, I was already comfortable with the decision to have an epidural if I felt like I needed it at some point, so when the nurse brought up the option, I said yes and was given an IV and told I had to wait until the bag of fluids drained before my epidural could be administered. This took a while and I continued to do my best to deal with seriously painful contractions until around 7:30 a.m. when the anesthesiologist came in to give me an epidural. The pain relief was unbelievable and I was able to relax and rest for the next few hours after the nurse checked me again and told me I was up to 6 centimeters dilated.
At one point, I asked Ryan if I was allowed to just let myself pee because of the catheter they put in and he laughed and told me I already peed a few times now. Clearly I wasn’t feeling much down there at this point!
After a few hours, I spoke with my nurse and told her I thought my epidural might be wearing off a bit because I could feel my contractions again, though they were significantly less painful than they were before the epidural. My nurse told me this was a good thing and said that I’d likely soon be pushing whenever I felt a contraction coming on to get our baby out. I asked her a billion questions about what to expect, how to exactly to push (she said, “Like you’re trying to pass the biggest bowel movement of your life… Up and out!”) and how long she thought I could expect to push. She then checked me and her eyes lit up when she said, “Yep, you’re ready! Ten centimeters!”
At 11:20 a.m., my nurse encouraged me to try three “practice pushes” when my next contraction came on and after I did, she said, “Whoa! He’s coming right now!”
With that, more nurses began rushing into the room, along with my midwife who immediately sat down in front of me and, along with my nurse, coached me through more pushing as my doctor hurried into the room to join them.
I looked up at Ryan during a brief reprieve from pushing. He was gripping my left hand and we both said we could not believe this was happening. Ryan stayed up at my shoulders but when he told me he, too, could see our baby’s head, I saw his eyes absolutely light up and I felt a rush of emotions that were truly indescribable. I knew I was minutes away from meeting our baby and I felt more alive and alert than I ever have in my entire life. Our baby was right there. Ryan could see his little head and told me he had blonde hair! I couldn’t believe it!
At one point, my midwife told me to stop pushing and I heard her talking lowly to my doctor but I wasn’t focused on what they were saying, as I was wrapped up in talking to Ryan and my nurse. Apparently this pause in my pushing was due to the fact that the umbilical cord was wrapped around our baby’s neck. This was handled calmly and efficiently – so much so that I didn’t event know it happened until Ryan told me after birth.
When it was time for me to push again, I could feel significant pressure and knew the head was coming out. I pushed again and could feel our baby come into the world as I heard his cry. I immediately started to cry as I looked for my little boy and looked up at Ryan to see his eyes fill with tears.
Our baby was here!
At 11:35 a.m., after 15 minutes of pushing, I was holding Chase in my arms. I could not believe it and am pretty sure Ryan and I repeatedly turned to each other and said some variation of, “He’s here! He’s perfect! I can’t believe our baby is here!”
Immediate skin to skin contact was really important to me and I spent some time with our little boy on my chest as Ryan and I soaked in the sight of our beautiful baby boy. I kissed the top of his head more times than I could count and stared at his sweet face until it was time for him to get checked out by the nurses.
Ryan stood over him and watched everything while snapping pictures for me to see later. I asked him repeatedly how everything looked and both Ryan and the nurses assured me that Chase was alert and healthy.
Chase was then placed on the scale and when I asked how much he weighed, I was surprised to hear 5 pounds 10 ounces. A little peanut! I knew I was measuring small throughout my pregnancy and a 36-week ultrasound told me our baby was on the smaller side, but I was shocked to hear he was so teeny! I couldn’t help but feel a little concerned, but the nurses said he looked fantastic and his head was a normal size for his gestational age. Plus, he was 19 1/2 inches long! (Fun fact: Ryan was 6 pounds and 20-something inches when he was born!)
We spent the hours after Chase was born holding him, kissing him and talking all about our incredible baby boy and his journey into the world. Chase came two weeks early and he came out fast and I could not have been more thrilled to meet our beautiful baby boy.
I wish I could truly capture in words what I felt the day Chase was born and the way I’ve felt every day since his arrival. He is an absolute miracle and the love I have for this little boy is so consuming. I feel more vulnerable than I ever have in my entire life as Chase has quickly become my entire world. I cannot wait to watch him grow, learn and play and know I will only fall more and more in love with him every single day. I can’t believe we have a baby!!!
Amy Loper says
Congratulations on your beautiful son! I’ve read your blog for years now and I use to wonder when you would have a baby. ? Children are the most wonderful blessing. My husband, who is from Charlotte, and I have 3 sons and 1 daughter and each child is such a blessing. Enjoy every minute and soak it in because they grow up so quickly. Congrats again!
Thank you, Amy!
Barbara Boyle says
Tears and more tears of happiness! What a blessing! My twin and I were born six weeks’ early and together weighed less than six lbs. Chase will be like his Dad! ?
Lauren B says
Thank you for sharing your sweet story with us. It brought tears to my eyes. I am so happy that Chase’s birth went so well and look forward to reading along as he grows. Congrats!!!
I love this! For a needle/blood/gore scaredy-cat like me, this post is so reassuring. You had me tearing up! While I am still a couple years away from being ready to have a baby, I am SO anxious about pregnancy and labor so thank you so much for sharing your perspective. It makes it so much less intimidating and scary. Huge congrats to you and Ryan!
I was terrified, too, Maddie! When that time comes for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I honestly could not have had a better experience and would not hesitate to do it all again in a heartbeat!
Yours and my labor & delivery story are nearly identical! Labor came early and FAST! So glad things went well for you and congratulations! He’s precious!
I’m crying so hard! CONGRATULATIONS! OHMYGOSH! He’s perfect, honey. Just perfect.
Congratulations! What a beautiful birth story! And an oh sooooo beautiful baby boy! Big happy tears happening here for you and your sweet family! Family of four counting Sadie of course!
Kara lemmon says
I am so happy to hear everything went well. What a beautiful birth story. I teared up reading this. Congratulations to you Julie! and the rest of your family!
Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I’m tearing up haha! What a beautiful story and an even more beautiful baby. <3
Congratulations! He is precious! Thank you for sharing so much of your journey with us. I just found out I’m expecting our first (I’ll be 5 weeks tomorrow) and I know I’ll be coming back your baby posts as a resource!
Oh wow!!!! It all went so well in the end, and he’s so perfect! Teeny tiny but perfect, he looks super healthy, only small when you see him in Ryan’s arms! Did you go earlier than your due date in the end?
Lauren B. says
Congrats, Julie and Ryan! As a long-time reader, I am not sure whether I have ever commented. This was such a beautiful post, and I am so happy for you! I cannot imagine the emotions of seeing your baby for the first time. It must be an incredible experience.
Congrats Julie and Ryan! This is the happiest time of your life. Chase is so beautiful. Your birth story has a lot of similarities to mine- I labored from about 9pm until 5:39am when our sweet girl was born. I kept feeling like I had to use the bathroom too at the beginning. I only had to push for about 15 minutes and our 5lb 3oz peanut was here, but she was healthy!
Your story brought tears to my eyes…such an exciting time for you guys! He really was a little peanut:) haha. I can’t believe how quickly it went, but I’m so glad that things went fairly smoothly – it sounds like your team handled a scary situation like true pros. I am so happy for you guys! He’s a beautiful boy:) Much happiness to you, Ryan, Sadie and Chase!
Erin M. says
I loved reading this! Thank you for sharing!! Chase is beautiful!! Congratulations again!!
Congratulations again on your beautiful baby boy. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m weeks ago from the birth of my first daughter so I’ve loved reading any birth story I can.
This made me cry! I have been reading your blog for a long time and have been waiting for this story! He’s so beautiful! Congrats guys!
Sarah Aaskov says
Congratulations, Julie! I’m so happy for you and Ryan! You’re already amazing parents, because that baby is showered in love!
Vicki L. says
Congrats to you both!! He looks nice and healthy!
Pbfingers!! Congrats. I am so, so happy for you. I’m glad you posted all about your birthing process. I have no had children yet and like you, I AM TERRIFIED!! So much that I have asked my fiancee if we can just adopt one day. Is it that bad? How are you healing up? No exercise, right?
I am healing well! Definitely no exercise yet (though I did go on a short walk with Chase and Sadie for the first time yesterday). I am still a little sore down there and am just trying my best to rest and recover until I get my doctor’s blessing to work out again!
Congratulations!! So happy for you and your family!! I am due in October and have loved reading your updates. I would really love (when you have time- wink wink) to hear if you have any tips that you think helped your labor/pushing go so quickly- I’m sure others would be anxious to hear them too!
Congratulations again, what a beautiful baby boy 🙂
Congratulations! He is gorgeous. Best wishes to you and your family!
Congratulations Julie! What a perfect little miracle! I have followed your blog sometime now and have always loved it but it has been even more fun following along with your pregnancy. I am 6 1/2 months pregnant with our first, a little boy also and have been able to relate to you on so many levels. Reading your birth story had my crying throughout and I cannot wait to experience this all so soon. Wishing you and your family all the best, enjoy mommy hood!
Congrats on your little bundle of joy!! Thank you so much for sharing your store! I am 24 weeks right now and like you I am terrified of the labor process!! I am sure it will be amazing in the moment but until then I’m slightly worried! It was great to read another first time moms experience and has made me feel more excited about the who process, thanks!!
He’s absolutely adorable Julie! Congratulations to you and your growing family!
Thank you for sharing this amazing story!!
Awe, thats such a nice birth story. Chase looks so beautiful for a newborn. It going to be a handsome guy.
What a BEAUTIFUL story. I cried while reading it. My experience was so different, and yet the emotions you described are spot-on. Thank you so much for sharing!
I’m due 10 weeks from today and had to cry reading this as I imagine seeing my own baby boy for the first time 🙂
I totally cried reading this. I just love it! This makes my heart so happy!
congratulaions! My youngest just turned 18 this year. You brought back wonderful memories even though I had a 22 hour labor and a c-section. You are truly blessed and Chase is gorgeous! Thank you for telling us what happened.
Congratulations! I absolutely love your birth story! We’re due with our first sometime in the next 11 weeks and my baby delivery anxiety is ramping up. I loved reading this because it makes me feel a little braver and even more excited to welcome our son into the world! Thank you for sharing Julie 🙂
Kara Young says
Congratulations to you and your family!! Chase looks perfect. The idea of labor is one of my big fears even though I’m not thinking about having kids any time soon, so it’s comforting to hear/read a birth story that doesn’t completely freak me out 🙂
Julie thank you so much for sharing! I’ve never really read a birth story and I cried reading yours! It’s been fun to follow your story and I’ve learned a lot about being pregnant!
Julie, thank you for sharing your story, as a mommy I can soundly say that you could not have expressed the feelings and beauty of this moment any more beautifully than you have. Most mothers who read this will know exactly what you mean when you say you wish you could put it into words, but it is true that there are no words to accuratly describe such an astounding experience.
It is true what they say, you never know how much you can love another human being until you become a mother. When I was pregnant with my second son the thought occured to me that there was no possible way I could ever love anything as much as I loved my then nearly three year old son. How in the world could I possibly ever have enough room in my heart when this little boy was completely comsumming every ounce of love I had. That is the gift of motherhood, the love just doubles and it never stops being amazing.
Congratulations to you and Ryan on your beautiful, tiny, perfect baby boy. As the mom of two boys, one tween and one teen…they are the absolute best thing in the world!!
I love your blog and have never commented before, but wanted to tell you that I have almost the exact same birth story as you!! I felt like I was reading my own. My daughter is 9 months now and this brought tears to my eyes. It goes by so fast and everyday is better than the day before! Cherish every moment with your sweet little guy! Congrats!
Love that we had such similar experiences! <3 Thank you for your sweet words!
This is so beautifully written. Congratulations, he is absolutely perfect and you’re doing a great job. Remember when you are sleep deprived and doubting yourself that all he needs is the love you and your husband so clearly already have for him. Hang in there mama, the first 2 weeks are the toughest for sure.
Thank you, Amanda!
Sarah Miller says
he is adorable!!! I’ve been following your blog for years and am so happy for you, congratulations to you and ryan!
also no joke you look beautiful in your first few pictures with Chase, you would have no idea you just gave birth!
Daisy @ Fit Wanderlust Runner says
I am so incredibly happy for you! I started to get teary eyed when I was reading this story. He is so adorable. Enjoy these wonderful moments because I hear they grow up real fast!
Katie @ Live Half Full says
This was absolutely beautiful! I’m so happy you had a great labor and I can’t wait to hear more about your first few weeks with him!
What a beautiful story! It’s so great that you had such a positive experience after you were so nervous about labor! That time in the hospital is so special and so surreal. I just had my first 5 months ago and already I can’t wait to hopefully someday have that experience again. Congratulations, and I can’t wait to read more posts about life with your new little peanut!
Michelle L says
Julie, this is unbelievably beautiful. I don’t have children but this brought me to tears. I especially appreciate the details because I’ve always had so many (inappropriate) questions about childbirth and I’m glad you inadvertently addressed some of them (eg. the biggest bowel movement). I’m so so happy for you and Ryan and wish you guys nothing but the absolute best.
Kim from MN says
I’m also really curious about how your body feels AFTER giving birth? What is that like?
Congratulations to you and your growing family!
My oldest is almost three and I STILL can’t find a way to adequately and accurately convey how much I love my kids 😉
That love you have for Chase now? Somehow–beyond your wildest expectations–it will continue to grow.
I’m so happy for you and Ryan. I’ve been following you for years and it is great to see you gorw into this beautiful family!
I have four children, I measured small with all four of them, they were all born healthy tiny peanuts just like Chase. I was always concerned during my pregnancy and early delivery about their sizes but let me assure you, my oldest is 10 and youngest is almost 2 now and they are all perfectly sized.
My body, length and weight, is very similar to yours and I have a very active life style, could be that these bodies make small babies 😀
The bright side, I was lucky enough to still have a flat stomach and no stretch marks since my belly never grew much.
Enjoy every second, they grow up faster than you can imagine.
Lots of love your way !
This post gave me chills! Congratulations to you and Ryan again! I’m so sure you both will be amazing parents.
Absolutely beautiful birth story! Thank you for sharing.
I feel so much happiness for you and your family..Congratulations from a long time reader!
Jenn @ Mark My Miles! says
What a beautiful story. I have two of my own and can relate to all your thoughts and feelings when meeting my little ones. Hope you are enjoying the first couple of weeks. you WILL feel “normal” again. I promise! We are 3 months out since our second and life is feeling manageable : )
I’m due in about 6 weeks and feeling nervous – praying my experience is as smooth as yours! I can’t believe how tiny Chase is… given the tendency for giant babies in our family, I just keep hoping that our baby is closer to 8 lbs. rather than 10 lbs. Haha. But, he’s so beautiful, and your story makes me even more excited for the moment when I finally get to see, hold, meet our little one. Congrats!