On November 7th 2012 my life changed forever! I woke up early from an excruciating headache – the kind that prevents one from lifting their head off of their pillow. With my expected due date being November 8th all I could think was I hope I do not go into labor with this headache! I drank some water and forced myself to go back to sleep. I was able to rest until about 11am and when I got out of bed I was incredibly thankful that the headache subsided. Around noon I sat down in the living room eager to eat the subway sandwich my sister had bought me.
Within a few minutes I had this thought that a contraction may be coming. I had never felt one before so I didn’t know what to expect, but sure enough one came! Within 5 minutes another one followed. By contraction number four I called my husband to let him know that we may be meeting our son soon!
I continued eating lunch and even finished up a few blogs I was preparing ahead of time. By 2pm I had called my husband again, encouraging him to come home. The contractions had not let up, in fact they increased in pain and were getting closer together. I was excited that the time was drawing near as I was anxious to see the little baby who had been growing inside me for almost 10 months, but I was also nervous about experiencing labor and delivery. I prayed and asked God to help me and give me peace.
My husband got home around 4:30 and we arrived at the hospital by 5pm. I was 3cm and 100% effaced. I desired to have an entirely natural birth, knowing that pain management meds were an option. After two hours of my husband and my mother helping me breathe through contractions, the pain I felt was great and I wasn’t sure if I could handle much more. The contractions were less than 90 seconds apart giving me almost no relief to rest. This baby was coming quickly and my body was doing a great job of getting ready for him, however, I felt the need for relief so I turned to my husband and asked him for the epidural. As we waited for the doctor, my nurse checked my progression. Within those two hours I had jumped to 8cm!!
The nurse was surprised that I was so far along so quickly. She looked at me and said, “I know you were interested in the epidural, but you are already 8cm… let’s break your water and get that baby out!” She knew that I desired to deliver without meds, her encouragement and direction gave me the confidence to do it! I also give God the glory for giving me a body that was progressing as quickly as it was.
When the nurse broke my water she saw meconium, which can be very dangerous for the baby. She brought in the NICU team to be ready as soon as the baby came to check his lungs to make sure the meconium didn’t settle there. This hindered a few of my plans such as my husband cutting the cord in front of me and the baby staying on my chest after delivery… but I understood the seriousness of the situation.
It was just past 10pm when those final pushes brought our baby into the world. I was very thankful that the Doctor placed my baby on my stomach as soon as he came, even though it was only a few seconds. Feeling his warm little body is something I will never forget. They quickly carried my baby to a bed a few feet from me. I encouraged my husband to stay by his side as the NICU team checked his vitals. From my bed I watched my husband cut what was left of the cord, with a huge smile on his face and tears in his eyes.
It didn’t seem too long after that they handed me my son. The three of us spent time bonding in that first hour… just us. Eliott James Smith was born at 10:22pm weighing 8.4 and measuring 21 inches. We fell in love immediately! One of the first things we did together in that room as a family of now three was pray and thank the Lord for helping us through delivery and keeping us healthy. We stayed in the hospital two more days. Family and friends lavished us with their love! I am so thankful especially for my mother who had been there for me through it all. She drove us to the hospital, she stayed at my bedside, she rubbed my back to divert the pain I was feeling, and she comforted me just with her presence. Thank you mom!! I love you!
I am also incredibly thankful to have had my husband by my side the entire time. He encouraged me, cheered for me, and helped me to do the hardest thing I have ever experienced. I love my husband so much and I am so blessed to have such a Godly, selfless man I have the privilege of calling my husband.
Here are a few photos from those first few hours: