The second most exciting day of my life was the day I became a mom. Rhett’s birthday; May 18th, 2015. The week before was Mother’s Day, & I had no idea that by the next Monday I’d be holding my sweet baby in my arms. Let’s rewind..
Sunday night Danny and I finished watching a movie around 1:00am. I can’t remember why we were up so late..we had both been going to bed by 9:00 almost every night by that time. Anyways, we finished watching the movie, kissed goodnight and went to bed. No more than 20 minutes later I felt a pop. But I wasn’t sure if it was my water breaking (lots of things I had never experienced before had happened down there by that point in pregnancy so I wasn’t positive). I went to the bathroom.. Saw a little blood and called Danny in. Here was our conversation.
ASHTON: Does it look bloody to you? I’m not sure..
DANNY: Well yeah a little? Are you okay? What’s wrong?
A: I think my water broke? I don’t know.
D: Let’s call the doctor.
A: Noo it can’t be my water I’m not due for two weeks!! Maybe it’s just some weird discharge or something? I don’t know. I don’t think it’s my water.
D: I’m gunna call the doctor’s office.
A: No. Let’s just see if it stops.
D: I called. The voicemail says if you think you are in labor, go to the hospital.
A: I don’t want to go to the hospital! I am not going in and having to come back home when they tell me it’s a false alarm. I don’t think I am in labor.
D: Ashton we need to just go.
A: Fine but I’m taking a shower first and I’m gunna take my time. I don’t think this is it. Can you get the rest of the bag packed?
D: Sure babe.
I took a shower and got dressed.. everything seemed normal. There was no pain, I thought maybe the leaking had stopped, but we were going in anyways. I put Riplee in her cage and a few things in the car, made sure I had my wallet and ID, my camera bag, the diaper bag etc. I came back inside to see what Danny was doing.. He’s a nervous nelly, so it was no surprise to me hearing that he had just thrown up in the bathroom upstairs. But he comes down with the bag and a smile..
D: Ready to go?
A: Yeah I guess. But they’re just gunna send us back home.
D: Do we have everything?
A: It’s okay if we forgot something. I don’t think this is it.
We got in the car and started driving.. On a good day, it takes 5 minutes to get to the hospital so we weren’t far. We got stopped at a red light and literally sat there for two minutes; not a single car drove by.
A: Dan please just run the light–if we get pulled over we can tell the officer we’re on our way to the hospital.. He can follow us there if he doesn’t believe us.
D: Are you sure? Yeah okay, you’re right.
At this point I remember feeling a little bit of back labor pain. It was uncomfortable to be sitting, but I still wasn’t sure it was the real deal. We arrived at the hospital in no time, but by the time we start walking in I believed it actually was my water that broke. It felt like I was peeing my pants and couldn’t make it stop! So we checked in with the receptionist who literally had no voice.. how do you do your job without a voice? Anyways, we got checked in and taken back to triage so they could test the liquid and make sure it was amniotic fluid. Surprise: it was.
Next I changed into a gown & they hooked me up to the monitors so they could see baby’s heartbeat and my contractions. The nurse asked some questions, checked my cervix (I was dilated 3cm), asked me the level of pain I was in, & put an IV block in my arm just in case I needed meds.. I wanted to see if I could deliver without using any pain medication. Then she left to go get a delivery room set up and I called my mom who lives in Nashville; by this time it was around 2:00am.
ASHTON: Hey I just wanted to let you know that we’re in the hospital and getting admitted to have the baby. I’m sure you have plenty of time to get here, I just wanted to make sure you knew.
MOM: Really?! Wow.. okay. I think we’ll go back to sleep for a bit and then head up in the morning, is that okay?
A: Yeah no problem. Get some rest and we’ll let you know how things are progressing.
M: Okay honey, good luck! I love you.
A: Love you too
Since we didn’t want anyone else in the LD room, it was only important to call my mom and tell her since she lives 7 hours away..everyone else was completely surprised to hear the news Monday morning! Right after her and I got off the phone, Danny snapped this picture of me. I didn’t want him to, but now I’m so glad I have it.. it’s my last belly shot, puffy face, towel under my feet, and all haha.
By the time we got into the delivery room, my contractions had slowly been increasing in pain and frequency, but nothing I couldn’t breathe through. Since I wanted to try going au-natural, I requested a birthing room with a jacuzzi tub in case I felt like being in water would help the pain (as it turns out the thought of being in water seemed daunting and unappealing so I did not use it) so I was left with a few options for how I wanted to position myself while birthing. I chose a yoga ball and found it to be the most comfortable. So there I sat, rolling on the ball, talking to Danny while I waited for the next contraction. This went on for about an hour. Each time the contractions would get increasingly more painful and harder to breathe through. I watched this video on tips for preparing for a natural childbirth and there was one thing that stuck in my head. She explained how contractions are typically not longer than 90 seconds in length; 30 seconds leading up, 30 seconds at peak, and 30 seconds back down. So I kept telling myself I can take 30 seconds of intense pain.. and the 30 on either end I tried my hardest to let my breathing overrule.
At 4:15 the nurse came in to check me and I was dilated to 8cm.. but there was no way I was getting back down to that yoga ball since I had to get on the bed to be checked. She told me she’d be back in a half hour to check me again. By this time, I was in serious pain and my voice was uncontrollable. I yelled and moaned and did just about anything someone in pain would do.. which I totally did not want to happen. No position that I laid or sat in was even semi-comfortable and I thought to myself, I don’t know if I can do this much longer. Then I remembered another thing from that video.. she said once you feel like you can’t go any further, you’re almost done.
So the nurse came back in and I told her I felt like I needed to push. She said okay lay on your side and push if you need to.. & that’s what I did. I felt like I had no idea if I was doing it right; another nurse came in to help and she coached me through the pushing and breathing, which really helped. They asked numerous times if the doctor was here yet, they’d called more than once (later, my nurse told us she thought she may have to do the delivery herself!). Finally the doctor shows up and says “well you can’t labor on your side so flip to your back!” and I thought, what a dick way to come in here. He of course was not my doctor and him coming in with such an attitude really was the worst. After the contraction I was having subsided, I moved to my back so that both nurses could hold each of my legs and feet and coach me through while I screamed and pushed. I even remember saying, “I didn’t want to be the lady screaming like the movies!!” It was really so all-encompassing and it took every ounce of strength I had to get him out.
After about a half hour of pushing, at 5:53am our red haired furry little baby bear Rhett (without a middle name yet) was born. It seemed like a dream and I couldn’t believe I’d done it without any kind of pain medication. Danny watched the whole thing from above my shoulder, & was just as excited and happy as I was to see our baby boy. I was shaking from all the hormones rushing through my body, like I’d been out in the cold for hours. But Rhett was here and he was safe and healthy and all was good in the world. Once he was checked and wiped off, they handed him to me for skin-to-skin and that’s where we stayed for the next hour; in a bubble of bliss our now family of three.*
*come back next week for Danny’s version of how it all went down!