CLICK HERE to listen to my BIRTH STORY & POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION JOURNEY with Leyton & Finn on THE BIRTH HOUR PODCAST in more detail HERE!
Life as I know it has changed forever. It changed on August 31, 2015 at 2:09 pm with the arrival of Leyton Samuel into this world at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham. This is the beginning of a new chapter and a new life for me and our family and I can’t wait to share Leyton’s birth story with you!
At my 39 week appointment at St. Vincent’s, my doctor told me that Leyton was measuring a little big and that my platelet count was a little low so it made sense to go ahead and induce me to have our baby on his due date. I was told I could check into the hospital at 10 pm on Sunday night, 8/30 and would be given a low dose of Pitocin around midnight and that Dr. Christine would break my water around 7 am to really get things moving.
Eric and I fully enjoyed our last weekend before baby by celebrating our 7 year anniversary early with a dinner at J. Alexander’s, home shopping at Target, church and me squeezing in one last Pure Barre class on Sunday afternoon. I became a little bit of a nervous wreck on the drive to the hospital Sunday night… anxious to meet our baby, excited, and scared of the unknown.
I tried to sleep through Sunday night but could hardly get in any more than 30 minutes at a time with my nerves and nurses checking on me, etc. As soon as my sweet nurse hooked me up to the monitor, she could see that I was having mild contractions but I couldn’t feel them. She also told me that when they checked my blood, my platelet count was still low and if it had been much lower, I wouldn’t have been allowed to have an epidural. I had NO idea this was a possibility and am so grateful it all worked out.
Around 5:30 am, I sat straight up in bed and said, “Eric, I’m not sure but I think my water just broke. OH! And Leyton just made a big movement!” Eric joked back complete with large hand and foot motions, “Leyton said I’m coming out today!” As I took a huge belly laugh, I was assured that yes, indeed, my water had broken and things were about to get real!
I started feeling contractions pretty strongly around this time and was given some medicine through my IV that I was told would make me feel like I’d had three margaritas and was finally able to sleep for about an hour. As the medicine wore off and I woke back up, contractions were becoming harder to bear.
My amazing day of the birth nurse, Jenna, let me know I had progressed to 5 cm and I could go ahead and get my epidural. I really didn’t think the epidural was bad at all and it brought such relief, that it felt well worth the small discomfort.
I did notice that there was a small spot in my left side where I was still feeling the full pain of the contractions. I was told this can happen sometimes and is called a “hot spot” where the medicine may not reach the end of those nerves. I got a booster in my epidural to knock out the hot spot but in hindsight wish that I hadn’t because it made me so numb to everything that I couldn’t feel what I was pushing.
Jenna came back in and let me know that I had progressed far enough along that we could start to push around noon. Eric pulled up some text messages we had received that morning from dear friends and co-workers and read me these Bible verses they had sent:
“How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.”
Psalm 36: 7-9
and my favorite Bible verse which one of Eric’s co-workers sent to him (which was such a cool God moment!):
“The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
As Eric read these verses to me out loud, we both got choked up. When our nurse came in to have me start pushing, I asked her if she could pray for us since we were both too emotional. Jenna prayed a sweet prayer over us and baby Leyton and then the work began!
I have never done anything so physically exhausting in my life. I have no idea how people who don’t work out give birth. I held my breath in 3 10 second intervals as we pushed during each contraction. I was shaking like a leaf which I didn’t expect. I was told that the epidural can make you shake, it was so odd! At one point I could feel myself starting to black out. Eric could see Leyton’s heart rate dropping on the monitor when I would push and got a little concerned. Jenna quickly gave me an oxygen mask and thankfully once I had the oxygen, I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out anymore and Leyton’s heart rate came back up.
I remember how hard it was to even imagine pushing again on that third 10 second interval each time. I was exhausted, I couldn’t feel my body pushing in my lower half and so I would end up tensing up all my muscles in my face and upper body trying to push in my lower body too but being unsuccessful.
Thankfully, Eric was an awesome coach through the whole thing. He told me things like, “Think about that first time we ran 5 miles together and you were running up that last hill. It was so hard to breathe, but you made it through. You can do this.” And funnily enough, he gave me the Pure Barre final 10 motivation that I should imagine this 10 count was the last sprint in a Pure Barre exercise. He was so amazing, in fact, that Jenna asked if next time she has a baby she can borrow Eric to coach her through! 😉
When Dr. Christine came in to check on me for the second time and saw things still weren’t progressing, she told me she’d have to help along the process. After about 5 more pushes, Leyton came into the world! We pushed for about 2 hours total and then saw a beautiful bunch of dark hair and heard cries initially but he quickly quieted down. We talked about how surprised we were he wasn’t crying really loud as they cleaned him up. As soon as possible, they brought him up to my chest and Eric and I basked in the glory that can only be described as baby bliss.
Leyton snuggled his head in so close to my neck that I couldn’t even see his face which was killing me. I kept saying to Eric, “What’s he look like? I want to see him!” but he felt so amazing and he had us in awe. Tears were shed, prayers were prayed and life is sweeter than ever before.
We are thrilled to have been entrusted with Leyton’s little life and can’t wait to see how God grows this little boy into a man.
Want to see more from my pregnancy through our first family photo session as a family of three and then Leyton’s one year old birthday party? I documented my whole pregnancy from beginning to end with weekly updates and now I treasure those to look back on. I highly encourage you to keep a journal during your pregnancy and post-partum! Don’t miss Leyton’s birth announcement HERE, Our Couple’s Baby Shower or our pregnancy announcement.
UPDATED: Click HERE to read FINN’S BIRTH STORY!