Tag Archives: birth story

willa’s birth story.

img_2723This post is so overdue, it’s ridiculous.  Our sweet baby Willa is more than 6 weeks old already!  Insert all of the parenting clichés about time flying by here.  But seriously, I can’t even believe it.  I also can’t believe it’s taken me this long to write out her birth story… but here we are!  Finally.

The best way to start this is probably to explain what our “plan” was for baby girl’s arrival.  I use the word “plan” very loosely because based on my first pregnancy, I was aware that things would likely not go exactly the way we wanted them to.  With Crosby, I was induced due to high blood pressure at 38 weeks and then after laboring for a full day, I had an emergency c-section after his heart rate dropped to scary lows, which we found out later was bc his cord was wrapped around his shoulder (ahh, memories…).  This time around, I was hoping for basically the exact opposite labor experience.  Ideally, I wanted to go into labor on my own and deliver via a vbac (vag birth after cesarean).  I wanted to avoid a c-section if possible because of the long and intense recovery it demands, and I also just really wanted to have the experience of delivering my baby this time.  But knowing the likelihood + all the risks of a having vbac, I tried to mentally prepare myself for the high probability of having another c-section.

Cut to my 37-week doctor appointment, when after a relatively healthy pregnancy, my blood pressure was suddenly high.  The nurse took a few readings during that appointment but each time it was high, higher than it should be at that point in pregnancy… so my doctor asked that I monitor it closely at home for a few days and then come back in later that week to check in with her again.  My readings continued to be on the high side throughout the week and again at my next appointment, at which point my doctor said that the baby was better off out than in so I would need to be induced.  Again.  This was the exact same situation that happened with Crosby.  I wasn’t exactly thrilled with this turn of events since I had hoped to go into labor on my own this time… I also didn’t know if it would be possible to have a vbac anymore since many doctors avoid inducing labor when a woman is trying for a vbac.  Casey had come along to my appointment with me so we talked everything over with my doctor, and thankfully she thought that I was still in a good position to at least give an induction/vbac a try before resorting to a c-section again.  So with that in mind, we scheduled my induction for the following week. And then we went home.

You know what’s weird? Scheduling your child’s birth and then attempting to resume normal life for the next few days.  Like, how am I supposed to prepare dinner when I’m having a baby in 3 days?!  It was so hard to focus on anything else.  Crosby kept us in check though.  Having a squirrely toddler to entertain and take care of is about as good of a distraction as you could have in that situation.  And I will say, in some ways it was nice to have a few days to prepare.  My mom and Casey’s parents were able to fly in over the weekend.  They planned to stay at our house and watch Crosby and our dogs while Casey and I were in the hospital.

On Tuesday, October 18th at 7am, Casey and I checked into the hospital.  An hour later I gave birth.  JK, I wish.  What actually happened was kind of a rollercoaster of calamities, but (spoiler alert!) it ended well…

Over the course of my first two hours in the hospital, three different nurses attempted 4 separate IV spots in my arms before one succeeded.  And let me tell you, the bruises I got from the failed attempts were horrifying.  My arms looked like a banana that’s been stuck at the bottom of your backpack for a few days.  Childbirth war wounds!  Once the IV was in, they administered pitocin to get the baby show on the road.  It was after 10am at this point and I was only dilated to 1.5cm so we knew it was going to be a long day.  So I ordered myself some peanut butter toast and Casey watched the Price is Right and we attempted to relax.  (Ha.)

Contractions started slowly but consistently.  At around noon-ish, my doctor came in to manually break my water… which didn’t work the first time because I wasn’t dilated enough.  She left and came back a bit later to try again, still no water breakage.  She left and came back a third time, and thank god it worked (apparently my pregnant body lives by the motto, third time’s a charm)  because I was about to pack it up and head home.  Have you ever had someone try to manually break your water?  Ouchie.  Is all I have to say about that.

At this point it was early afternoon.  I had been advised to not eat anything after breakfast in case I needed to have a c-section, so I watched Casey eat two enormous chicken salad sandwiches that my mom had made and packed for us… and then I bitched at him after I realized he ate all of it.  I mean, the least he could have done was save something for me to eat after I’d GIVEN BIRTH TO OUR CHILD.  Am I right?!  Ugh.  But, I’m over it I swear.  No really, it’s fine.  I’m FINE.

My contractions increased in intensity over the next few hours and by 3pm I threw in the towel and asked for an epidural.  The anesthesiologist hit a nerve when he was putting the baseball bat needle into my back.  Which will go down as one of the weirdest and most unnerving (hey!) feelings I’ll ever experience in my life.  But I was willing to overlook it to feel the sweet loving touch of the epidural.  But…the epidural itself didn’t actually work quite as well as I had remembered from the last time.  Throughout the rest of labor, I kept feeling numb on one side but not the other, and I also was feeling intense contractions in my left buttcheek.  Which really creeped my mom out.  And probably a few of you.  And probably Willa, when she reads this someday.  Sorry everyone!

The next couple of hours were slow, contractions would intensify and then subside.  It’s worth noting at this point that from the time I got to the hospital that morning to sometime around 5pm that evening, I had only dilated to a 4.  AKA not even halfway there.  At this rate, I thought my baby would probably still be born on her Nov 4 due date.

One of the most stressful parts of this experience was that throughout the course of the day and into the evening, my BP was still high.  I think I was given 5 different BP medications throughout the day to try to stabilize it, the result of which made me look and feel like a total junkie.  I couldn’t stop shaking, my eyes were incredibly bloodshot, I was so so cold, and honestly just super miserable.  Finally, later in the evening, one of the medications started to work and my BP lowered to normal.  At which point, baby girl’s heart rate started to drop during contractions.  AGAIN, this was also the exact same situation we’d been in with Crosby’s birth, which ultimately resulted in a c-section. So of course now I was extremely worried about the baby + extremely frustrated that we’d made it this far and I was probably going to have to have another c-section again.  But my nurses and doctor knew what my “plan” was and they kept fighting for me.  I did some position changes, they put an internal monitor on baby’s head and reduced my pitocin and thankfully, her heart rate didn’t stay too low for too long.  It would dip during contractions but come right back up in between, which was a good sign.  So, we kept on.  (We found out after she was born that her heart rate was dropping because her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.  My babies like to do somersaults in the womb, apparently.)

The rest of the night is a haze of uncomfortableness, BP medications, and contractions, but somewhere along the way I started to dilate quickly.  And then somehow, I honestly don’t know how, it was midnight and the nurse gave me the best news of my life… it was time to push!  I was so so thrilled.  I kept thinking throughout the whole day as we hit obstacle after obstacle that I was going to end up having a c-section again, so to get to this point was the best feeling ever.  I pushed for about an hour and 45 minutes… and that hour and 45 minutes was honestly one of the most amazing things I’ll ever experience.  It was bizarre because pushing was the part of labor I was looking forward to the least, but it ended up being the extreme high point of the whole experience.  Casey was a champion husband and cheerleader and was equally as amazed with the whole experience as I was.  Seeing our daughter come into the world made all of the chaos and stress of the day disappear.

Willa Rae Thompson was born at 1:55am on Wednesday, October 19th.  She came into the world weighing 6lbs 12oz and was 19.5″ long, with the same head of brown hair that Crosby was born with and the longest arms and fingers, just like her mama.  She has the most beautiful eyes and the sweetest soul I could ever imagine.  I cannot stop kissing her.

Once again, this was not the birth story I imagined.  It was a stressful birth and the recovery was not ideal.  (Shoutout to icicle diapers though, those things are the freaking best!)  But none of it really matters, because in the end I got to hold my healthy baby girl in my arms.  And the next day we got to introduce her to her brother.  He’s pretty smitten with her too… but maybe more smitten with the dinosaurs she got him as a gift.

It’s been over a month and I’m still just as obsessed with sweet Willa as I was the moment she was born.  I cannot even imagine a time when she wasn’t in our world.  Though I faintly remember a time when I slept more than 2 hours at a time…

We love you so much baby girl, and are so very thankful that you are ours.  Thank you for coming to hang out with us, we think you’re going to like it here :)


crosby’s birth story.

DSC_0361_3[ All photos in this post were taken by my lovely and talented friend, Krista. ]

It was Friday, August 29th and I had just wrapped up my last day of work before going on maternity leave.  I had my 38 week doctor appointment that afternoon, which Casey surprised me at.  He originally didn’t think he could make it to that appointment but thank jeeves he did, considering how it turned out…  My initial blood pressure check was high, which is not cool at that stage in pregnancy, so the nurse took it twice more (both high) before my doctor concluded that she’d like me to go across the street to the labor and delivery wing of the hospital to take a series of BP tests over the course of an hour or two to see if it would stabilize over time.  If not, we would talk about inducing.  Gulp.

At this point I was thinking that maybe my BP was high because I was just a little riled up, given I’d just finished my last day of work and was anticipating a bunch of plans we had over the holiday weekend. (LABOR DAY weekend, how charming!)  So I was sort of expecting to take the few extra tests and be on our merry way.  They put me up in a bed, hooked me up to a bunch of machines and set the BP monitor to go off every 15 minutes in hopes that it would level out once I was able to relax in a more calm setting.  Let me tell you that the setting was not at all calm, however, since my nurse decided to make it her mission in life to try to remove the wedding band that was stuck on my swollen finger.  After many failed (and painful) attempts to remove it, and coincidentally many more high BP readings, we had to cut it off of my finger.  Again, not a calm setting.  At this point my Dr decided that regardless of the stressful situation, my BP was just too high and the baby was better off out than in.  And with that, she explained that I was to be officially checked into the hospital and they would start inducing that night.

Well, damn.  Of course Casey and I knew that at that point the baby could be arriving any day, but we honestly were not at all expecting to be that early.  We were fully preparing for me to go way way past my due date because that’s what everyone had warned us of.  But apparently everyone is a liar.  Luckily, my doctor let us run home and pack our hospital bag (the only thing in our bag so far was a few pairs of Casey’s underwear and my slippers) and get the pups set up with a ride to doggie daycare.  And you know, take a few minutes to wrap our brains around the idea that we were about to become parents.  No big whoop.

We got back to the hospital at about 9pm (with Jimmy John’s, because priorities.) and I was given cervidil to “ripen” my cervix for labor.  Which is quite possibly the squirmiest thing I’ll ever talk about in my life.  But, you know, reality.  Throughout the night I started having little tiny contractions but was mostly just mildly uncomfortable with having the cervidil in place.

The next morning my water broke at about 10am and from there they started administering pitocin to get labor going.  I then started to have REAL contractions which ranged in frequency from 2-8 minutes apart.  Contractions were not at all what I expected.  In fact, once I actually knew I was having one, I realized I’d been having them for a week or two prior.  I was expecting to only feel them in my lower belly but my contractions were actually the most painful up near my ribs and in my lower back.   And by “painful”, I mean holy f*ck that shit hurts.  But I did the damn thing and saddled up on a birth ball and rolled with the punches until mid-afternoon… at which point I threw in the towel and asked for the mother-effing epidural.  Sidenote: no one ever mentioned the fact that you have to breathe through contractions while you’re getting an epidural.  I mean, I guess that’s obvious but I hadn’t really thought about it.  Being slowly murdered from the inside while someone is stabbing you in the spine with a needle the size of a baseball bat is no picnic.  I must say though that when the sweet angel of epidurals kicked in, I was a-ok with errythang.

At that point my mom had arrived from MN (woohoo!) and with my drugs in full effect we all just kinda sat back to wait for more labory things to start happening.  Not long after, the doctor informed us that the baby wasn’t responding very well to my contractions.  Basically every time I had one, the baby’s heart rate would drop.  Over the course of a few hours we tried a few different things to combat this – reducing pitocin, injecting me with fluid, placing an internal monitor on the baby’s head to try to get a better read on the situation, and rotating positions like crazy to see if there was one that the baby might respond to better.  Which, let me tell you, is super difficult to do when half of your body is numb.  We got to the point where nothing was really working and baby’s heart rate got down to a scary enough level that the doctor starting talking about a c-section as worse case scenario. We had found a position that the baby seemed to like, (which was me on my hands and knees. AKA: flattering!) and I was dilated to a 7, so the plan was to sort of wait it out and see if things got better so I could hopefully deliver naturally.  Things did not get better.  After one significantly scary drop in baby’s heart rate, the doctor and a bajillion other people rushed into our room and it was decided that we would be having an emergency c-section.

I cannot even begin to explain how scared I was at this point.  The last drop in baby’s heart rate left me with so much fear that I couldn’t really focus on anything other than getting the baby out safely.  I kept thinking about how I’d do anything, go through anything, to make sure that the baby was ok.  I couldn’t imagine that we’d come that far and something would happen to him. It was the absolute scariest moment of my life.

The doctors and nurses did a dandy job of (attempting to) keep me calm and the mood light while I was wheeled back into the OR.  Casey wasn’t allowed into the room until everything was set up and ready for surgery so I was left on my own while they prepped me for surgery.  The meds were intense, everything was super hazy, and most of what I remember consists of my entire body shaking uncontrollably and trying to form sentences that didn’t sound like molten lava coming out of my mouth.  Casey was finally allowed into the OR to join me behind the scary blue curtain of fear.  And thank god because he somehow was the calmest I’d ever seen him.  And I needed that.  The c-section itself was much more aggressive than I ever imagined.  Though I felt very minimal pain, I can’t really explain the intense amount of pressure and overall uncomfortablness that comes with being sliced open and having a human pulled from your body.  (Apologies if you’re eating lunch while reading this…)

As soon as I heard that the head was out, I asked if it was cute (obvi) and then within 20 seconds the rest of the baby was pulled out.  We found out then that the reason he was in distress during labor was because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his shoulder, and every time I would have a contraction the cord would pinch and his heart rate would drop.  Once he was out and I heard him cry, the relief that washed over me was overwhelming.

Casey’s job was to tell me if we had a boy or girl and I remember staring up at him as he peeked over the sheet and his eyes got huge (I found out later that he got a real good glimpse of the situation that was my wide open stomach) before looking down and telling me that we had ourselves a baby boy.

We named our boy Crosby Earl Thompson.  Crosby because we loved the name, Earl after Casey’s dad, and Thompson because duh.  He was born at 8:23pm, weighing in at 6 pounds 15 oz and 20.5 inches long.  He was also born with the most perfect head of brown hair you ever did see and the most precious button nose that I really hope stays… buttony.

After Crosby was cleaned up a bit and Casey helped cut the cord, the nurse placed him on my chest for a little skin-to-skin action while he screamed bloody murder into my face.  (Crosby that is, not Casey.)  It was the most fun I’ve ever had being yelled at in my life.

Casey’s parents had arrived somewhere between heart rate drops and the c-section and they and my mom were awaiting news of the little one in the waiting room.  One of my favorite memories of the birth (even though I wasn’t even there to witness it) is of Casey walking into the waiting room and telling our family that we had a son.  His parents weren’t originally planning on flying in for the birth, so the fact that Casey could break the news in person to his parents, and to tell his dad that we had named our son after him, is super special.  I really wish I could have seen the looks on all the faces… but I can imagine.  It makes me ugly cry whenever I think about it.

Looking back, I realize a lot of his story is a bit stressful and scary-sounding.  But it is kind of true what they say, you forget about all of the shitty labor stuff as soon as the baby arrives.  Which is then replaced by actual shitty stuff.  Black, sticky, shitty stuff.  That you will find in your sweet little baby’s first 10-15 diapers.

Crosby Earl, your papa and I are so excited that you’re here.  Thanks for coming to hang out with us in life.  We love you so much.

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