The Day Baby Beckett was Born

There were many things I had prepared myself for when it came to being pregnant, going into labor and even being a mom. One thing that no one could have prepared me for though is the amount of overwhelming love I would instantly feel for my son and new little family. The past few days have been nothing short of incredible and some of the happiest days of my life. I don't think there are any words to describe my feelings, but I do want to write down and remember all the details of the day he was born while they are fresh in my mind.

August 13th

10 PM- I began to notice what felt like menstrual cramps. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for weeks and I thought that when I was starting to go into labor it would feel like that, but just stronger. It turns out the "cramps" I was having were actually contractions, I just didn't realize it. I did mention to Mark that night that something felt different, but I didn't think it was the beginning of being in labor. The cramps went all through the night and woke me up a few times, but after several months of not sleeping through the night, I didn't think much of it.

August 14th

7:30 AM- I arrived at work as normal, early in the morning. I felt a bit off from a rough night, but I knew I would be happier being distracted at work than at home not feeling well.

10:30 AM- (Here's where the first of the gruesome details begin. If you're wishing I was going to skip past the personal details I would stop reading here). I began bleeding. Anyone who has been pregnant knows that going to the bathroom and seeing blood is one of your most dreaded moments. Since I was almost due I knew it could be a good thing, but part of me was also a bit nervous. I called my doctor's office and she wasn't in so they told me to head straight to labor and delivery at Ogden Regional. I knew that if I called Mark and my Mom they would go into "we're-having-a-baby-today!" mode. I wasn't sure anything was happening, and I didn't want them to drop everything they were doing for nothing so I almost didn't call them. Looking back I know they would have killed me, and I would have regretted it. I didn't know it at the time, but I really needed them and I'm so glad they were with me every step of the way. I called to tell them I was on my way, to stay where they were, and I would call them soon with what I found out and that it was probably not a big deal. Before I was even taken into my room, my Mom was on her way to Salt Lake to pick up Mark from work and head to the hospital. I love those crazies, I couldn't have had a better support team.

11:00 AM- I knew the dreaded "check" was coming and I couldn't put it off any longer. Turns out it sucked as much as I thought it would, but I made it through. The worst part was finding out after weeks of contractions I was only dilated to a 1. They told me this could be the beginning of things, but it might not be. They gave me the option to walk the halls for a while and see if things progressed, or to head home and come back if they did. I'm deathly afraid of hunger and knew that if I stayed at the hospital I wouldn't be able to eat anything. I also knew that if it was the real deal and I stayed at the hospital, it would be a super long day. I wasn't in any real pain so I decided to head home. The nurse told me to come back when the contractions were 5 minutes apart and I couldn't talk through them. She predicted I would be back at 6:00 or 7:00 that night. I felt bad Mark left work and my Mom drove all the way down because we were just going to sit at my house for hours and see what happens. It was like watching a pot of water and waiting for it to boil.

1:00 PM- I got a Jamba Juice on the way home. I knew I should probably eat more, but it's hard to eat when your stomach is hurting. I did the dishes, cleaned a little, and got out the last minute things to take to the hospital just in case. Whenever I read other people's stories and they talked about labor starting, but staying at home and doing regular things I didn't understand why. I thought "you crazy people get to the hospital right away!" I was surprised at how calm and relaxed I was and how I didn't want to be at the hospital until I needed to. I laid on the couch and chatted with my Mom as the contractions got stronger. By 7:00 I was still able to talk through them, but it was very uncomfortable and I had to stop if I was walking. I had been having them consistently since 12:00 PM every 10 minutes, and although they were stronger, they weren't any closer.

6:00- I decided I was going to need some nutrients to get through what was ahead of me. I made a great pre labor and delivery meal of cous cous and celery with peanut butter. I should have had a steak.

7:00 PM- Since it was cooling down outside, I decided I was up for a walk to see if we could get the contractions closer together. I was really starting to be uncomfortable and the last thing I wanted was to make the 25 minute drive back to the hospital, just to be sent home. The three of us went for a walk to the park. The contractions were more like 6-7 minutes apart, but they were painful enough that we decided it was time to go. In my calm state I forgot to yell, "thundercats are gooooooooo!!!" like on Juno. Maybe next time.

8:00 PM- We checked in at the hospital. After all those contractions I was certain that I would be at least a 3 or a 4. I was only a little over a 2 though. For some reason the nurse I had did not want me there. She kept telling me that for a first time Mom I really needed to go home until the contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. No one else ever told me that. She said she would call my doctor, but kept repeating that I really should go home. I wasn't dieing yet, but I knew that within a few hours the pain would be really strong and I was preparing to beg to stay at the hospital if she told me to leave. Luckily my doctor is much more wonderful than that nurse and said I should stay. I'm so glad she did. My contractions were never closer than 5 minutes apart, up until the minute he was born. I would have had that baby at home if I listened to the nurse. My Mom called my Dad and he started to head to the hospital. I was told I could have an epidural when I was ready. Even though all along I've said that I would get an epidural the second I walked through the door, I decided to wait. Things were going so slowly already and I knew the epidural would just slow it down even more. I'm glad I waited as long as I did. I wouldn't ever want to feel how strong the contractions are at the end, but I feel like I got a good sense of what labor is like. I used the breathing techniques from my yoga classes and just tried to stay relaxed.

10:00- Mark and I walked laps around the halls for 30 minutes. Now I understand why there are hand rails all along the hallways. They were the only thing that kept me from sitting down in the middle of the hall about every 5-7 minutes.

10:30- My Dad showed up. Even though he wasn't going to be in the room, it was so comforting to have both of my parents there. He gave me a blessing, and then they moved us to what would be my room for the next few days. The rooms at Ogden Regional are beautiful, homey, and big. There was a couch that turned into a bed, a jetted bath tub, warm lighting, a pretty view, and plenty of space for all our things. I wasn't worried about any of that at the time, but after spending a few days there, I really began to appreciate the room and the wonderful staff. Except for that first nurse, she is not on my thank you note list.

11:00- We walked some more. This time I got to stay in my fancy open back evening gown. The first walk Mark kept me moving at a pretty fast pace, this time I wasn't able to keep up. I could feel that my body was getting tired out from the contractions.

11:30- I had read so many times that sitting in a warm bath really helped with the pain. Lies. The warm bath felt nice I suppose, but contractions are just as strong whether you're surrounded by water or air. By this point I was dilated to a 3. Slowly but surely.

August 15th

12:00 AM- Mark rented Wreck It Ralph so we decided to watch a movie and rest for a bit. I felt so bad for my parents. My Dad was sleeping in the waiting room, and my Mom on a rocking chair in my room. They were so awesome to stay there. I think we were all hoping that I would start dilating faster, and from the nurses comments I was sure our baby would be there at least by early morning. Around this time I started shaking. It felt like when you have a really bad fever and the chills so bad you can't control the shaking, except I didn't have a fever. I think part of it was nerves, but for some people I guess it's just part of labor.

1:00 AM- I wasn't able to get any sleep because the contractions were close enough together that by the time I relaxed it was time for more. I'm surprised I didn't get frustrated or discouraged at this point because I was definitely nervous, tired and hungry, but I was still calm and a little excited. They came in and gave me my IV. Luckily when you're pregnant your vessels are bursting so they didn't have a hard time getting it in, but it stung pretty good.

2:00- The contractions were getting strong enough that I was having a hard time controlling my breathing through them. I was a little frustrated because I held out without the epidural for so long, but I knew I was still dilating so slowly. I had wanted the epidural for probably 30 minutes by now, but I was so scared to get it I kept telling myself I could make it a few more minutes. Finally I'd had enough. Before I could have the epidural they had to give me something through my IV for 15 minutes. During that time I began shaking worse. Then I started getting more nervous that I wouldn't be able to stop it while the epidural went in. I tried practicing controlling the shaking, but I wasn't having much luck.

2:45 AM- The anesthesiologist was an angel from heaven. She had the best bedside manner, explaining  every step to me as she did it. I sat up on the bed indian style and hunched over a little. Mark came and sat in front of me so I could death grasp his hands. I must have been scared stiff, or sitting up helped the shaking because I was able to stop. She gave me the numbing shot first which hurt half as much as the IV, and then when the epidural went in I had to ask if she was finished because I didn't even feel it. 9 months of worrying for nothing! The epidural worked perfectly. I had tingly legs and feet, but I was able to move my legs the entire time. At the end I could feel when a contraction was starting and I needed to push, but I didn't have any pain. It was incredible. I was getting through the process in 4 scary steps: having my cervix checked, the IV, the epidural, and then delivery. Mark looked up at me when the epidural was done and said, "3 down". I had one more step to go.

3:00 AM- After the epidural I was at a 5. Half way there. That didn't feel like much, but since I wasn't feeling anything anymore I didn't mind because I was hoping to get some sleep. My Mom and Mark slept for a bit, but I was shaking so much that I wasn't able to. I finished watching Wreck It Ralph and tried to at least rest. I figured that if there wasn't much change by early morning they would break my water and give me Pitocin, so I was hopeful that there were only a few more hours of being tired and hungry. Early morning came and went. Mark went and ate breakfast with my Dad while my Mom got her first hour of real sleep.

10:00 AM- My doctor came in and I thanked her for not letting them send me home. I know it would have been a very rough night. She checked and I was at a 10. A 10! We just had to wait because he was still really high up and if I started pushing it would have taken hours. They decided to let me keep contracting and just wait for him to move down on his own. I didn't even realize as she was leaving, that she had also broken my water. Thank heavens that was done after the epidural. There was some meconium in the water, but she didn't seem too concerned so I wasn't concerned.

11:00 AM- Because I have always gotten nauseous very easily, I assumed I would be really sick while I was in labor. I wasn't up till now. I began throwing up, and when the nurse came in she said "Oh yay! This is a good sign! She told me to continue resting while we waited for him to move down. Although it had been several hours of resting and waiting, I was actually grateful she told me to rest rather than get ready to push. I was supposed to let her know when I started to feel some pressure because he would be getting close. By this point I was exhausted. I remember laying on my side, sleeping for the first time in hours, and starting to feel pressure. I was obviously a little out of it because I told myself that if I didn't tell the nurse about what I was feeling, then I could keep sleeping. I finally came to my senses and called the nurse in.

12:00 PM- I told my Mom that I was so grateful they were waiting until he moved down for me to push because I was already so tired. I said that I was fine to lay there as long as I needed to if it meant less pushing. Right then two nurses came in and started bustling about. Within a matter of seconds the room was full of people and very busy. Everyone was pulling out equipment and getting things ready. One nurse in particular was acting like the baby was coming any second. She was training another girl and talking very fast and almost sounded panicked. I wanted to tell her to calm down. I had been laying there for 12 hours, there was no need to be in such a frantic rush.

12:15 PM- Once the doctor was in and everything was set up, it was time to start pushing. I was shaking a little again, but I felt relatively calm. I was much calmer through the whole thing than I ever imagined I would be. I think I was so tired that it almost seemed like I was in a dream. After the first few pushes I began to wake up and really focus. I asked the nurse how long first time Moms usually push for. She said anywhere from 10 minute to 2 hours. I told myself I could do this in 10 minutes no problem. My contractions were still about 5 minutes apart so I would push, and then we would all stand around for 5 minutes waiting for the next contraction. The nurses chatted about their hair cuts, my Mom asked the doctor a few questions, Mark gave me some words of encouragement and reminded me to relax, but after several rounds of this I felt like the room was just silent. At one point I remember thinking that it must be really awkward for everyone and maybe they should watch a movie or tell jokes, but I just kept my eyes closed and tried to rest up for the next round of pushing. I think I had my eyes closed the entire time. After probably 45 minutes the doctor said we were going to try playing tug-of-war. What? It didn't sound like a good idea to be doing with a baby. What she meant was I would pull on a sheet when it was time to push and literally play tug-of-war with the nurse. It was supposed to help me use the right muscles for pushing. It didn't work because I was so focused on pulling the sheet that I wasn't pushing right. And looking back it was very weird and I'm glad I didn't have to do that for long.

1:20 PM- The baby's heart rate had dropped a little bit so they gave me some oxygen. Because I had been pushing for over an hour they started some Pitocin to get my contractions closer together. I just kept thinking about how wrong that first nurse was about not returning to the hospital until they were 2-3 minutes apart. The contractions were closer together, but also my epidural had run out. I wasn't in a lot of pain, but I was starting to feel more and more. I got really worried and they told me they could give me another dose if I needed it, but he was so close. He was coming out just a little sideways so all that pushing was just squishing him against my pelvic bone. Because of the meconium, the NICU team came in the room and set up. They told me that I wouldn't be able to hold him right away because they would need to clean out his lungs. I wasn't disappointed at all, but incredibly grateful that I had this amazing team of people right in my room ready to be there the second he arrived.

1:45 PM- The doctor decided we needed to try a vacuum to help him come out straight. It popped off the first time so she tried a different kind of vacuum. It did the trick. I pushed 3-4 times during a contraction. I was feeling so much pressure and in some pain, but not unbearable. Having the epidural start to wear off at the end was the coolest part because I was able to feel exactly what was happening. I think it gave me a boost of energy to know he was so close because the contraction ended, but I had the motivation and energy that I needed to push 3 or 4 more times. After an hour and a half, little Beckett was born at 1:45. Hearing that tiny cry was the most amazing moment. I instantly started crying from joy and also relief that I had really done it. He was 7 lbs 11 oz. and 20 inches long. Everyone was amazed that he weighed that much. My doctor predicted I would have a 6-7 lb baby and even when he came out, she didn't think he looked that big. I think it was all in his cheeks. I have never seen a newborn with such chubby cheeks! I couldn't wait to kiss them. Mark, my Mom and I all watched as the NICU team cleaned his lungs out. I think it took about 20 minutes, and I just watched in amazement as he screamed and wiggled. He was beautiful.

After they were finished they handed him to Mark to pass him to me. I was instantly in love. I never could have imagined it would take so long, it would go so well, and that I would be talking the very next day about the next time we had a baby. I am so grateful that my Mom and Mark were with me every step of the way. It was the most incredible experience I've ever had.

Our first family picture. Minutes after he was born.

This is one of my favorite pictures. Their faces say it all.  

Part way through the night, my Mom brought out this adorable shirt and some matching pants. We hung it on the wall for me to focus on the fact that in a year he would be wearing this shirt and we would be out hiking as a family, not laying in a hospital bed. It really did help me get through the contractions and remember that this is one tiny day in a much larger picture and I could get through it. 

Mark also gave a present to me and one to Beckett. It was so sweet of him, and again, I just felt very lucky to have him and my Mom there with me. The three pearls symbolize our new little family of three. I love them and can't wait until I'm feeling up to going out and can wear them. 

So tiny in such a big world. 


Sarah @ Life, Love & Dinner said...

Congratulations!! He is precious! And looks so much like you!

Rachel Kunz said...

I delivered at Ogden Regional and loved it! I LOVED reading your's so true about the amazing amount of love you have for them. I know it sounds silly, but I was so worried it wouldn't be the same the 2nd time around and it totally was. The love is insane. He is SO beautiful!!!
P.S. isn't the shaking crazy? My sister warned me about it so I wouldn't freak myself out....oh and Hansen was the same way with being way high. They had me wait 3 hours after being a 10

Kati O'Driscoll said...

Congrats to the both of you! It's such an exciting time!

Mandy and Brian said...

I love all the pictures you got! I wish I had more. You also look so good at the hospital! I'm pretty sure I couldn't sit or stand up straight for like three weeks...