Brantley's Birth Story

My baby is ten days old today.  I've been wanting to blog about his birth story, mainly so that I remember all the little details, but also for anyone that cares to read it!  I was so nervous about the labor and delivery process and feel compelled to share my less-than-scary story with all the future mamas out there! ya go!

The day was Friday, July 6.  Our alarms sounded at 5:45 a.m. and we scurried around, anxiously preparing for our trip to the hospital.  Of course, our bags my bag had been packed for weeks, so there was little to do besides throw in those last-minute items and snap my final "baby bump" photo.  The morning was so surreal.  Every so often one of us would stop at say, "We're having a baby today!" Craziness...

Because his birth was a scheduled induction, I didn't get to experience "going into labor".  I was slightly disappointed about that, as I wanted to know what it felt like to happen naturally.  But, looking back, I wouldn't change anything about it!

We said our good-byes to Kinnick and headed out around 6:40.  We were scheduled check in at the hospital at 7.  Again, driving to the hospital, parking, and walking inside knowing that day was going to change our lives forever was so weird - good weird, amazing weird, and somewhat scary weird.

We checked in and were taken back to our labor/delivery room pretty quickly.  I was hooked up to the IV, baby heart monitor, and contraction monitor.  The nurse checked me and I was nearly 2 cm dilated and about 70-80% basically no change from my appointment a week before.  (So much for stripping the membranes!)

Craig snapped a few photos of me and we took one of the two of us together, courtesy of the self-timer.

At 8:10, I was started on pitocin.  My doctor stopped by around 8:45 and broke my water.  Eew.  It was weird.  Like disgusting weird.  Not so much a trickle, as they told us in childbirth class, but rather a gush of fluid.  I'd sure hate for that to happen in public.

She also said whenever I wanted the epidural was just fine with her!  Love my laid-back doc!

Around 10:00, I was dilated to 3cm.  Until that point, the contractions were very manageable...slight tightening in my stomach on the lower end to period-like cramps on the higher end.  And they didn't last long, so I was able to handle them just fine.  At 3cm, I was struggling.  There were times I felt like throwing up because the pain was so intense and seemed to last for five minutes (though I know each contractions was really more like a minute).

I was hesitant to get the epidural so soon, as I didn't want it to slow my progress.  However, the nurse suggested I go ahead and do it, assuming I knew I wanted one eventually.

That was the best advice ever! 

I gave the go-ahead and the anesthesiologist was there soon after.  He prepped me and pretty quickly, inserted the epidural into my lower back.  Since they numb the area first with a local anesthetic, I didn't even feel the actual epidural.

Within a few minutes, the contractions were less intense; however, I could still feel much of my left side.  They had me roll to my left side, which helped, and my pain was completely gone in about 15 to 20 minutes total.

At that point, the anesthesiologist said something like "This is the point women usually think 'Yep, I can do this again.'"  That couldn't be closer to the truth! 

I was pain-free for about 45 minutes and then the contractions started to hurt again on my left side.  Again, I remember thinking "I'm gonna throw up".  Luckily, I never did.

At 11:30, Craig pushed the button* to increase my epidural three times (once every ten minutes).  It was about 45 more minutes before I was completely pain-free once again.

Despite being pain-free, I still had decent feeling in my legs, feet, and toes.  I could lift my legs and move them.  I was able to feel them when touched.  I think I had the best of both worlds - no pain, but not completely numb legs, either!

My parents made their way to the hospital sometime late morning and chilled in our room for awhile.

At noon, I was approximately 7 to 8 cm dilated.

At 12:30, I was the same, but the baby's head had dropped significantly.

At 12:50, I was 9-10 cm dilated.  Apparently the epidural helped me relax and things progressed very quickly!

(My notes stop here, so things are a little fuzzy...)

I think, around 1:30, I began pushing.  However, my doctor was going back and forth between me and another patient in labor, so my nurse was instructed to have me push only every other contraction.

Since I couldn't feel anything in my pelvic area (not even pressure like some people), I had a hard time pushing.  The nurse tied a knot in the end of a towel and had me play "tug-of-war" with the towel.  Apparently, when doing so, you use the muscles required to push.  It worked like a charm and Craig eventually took over the other end of the tug-of-war towel.

Which means he had a front-row view of everything.  And he watched the entire thing.

My doctor finally showed up (after delivering the other baby) and it was go-time!  Despite being "sunny-side-up" (face up) the entire morning, the baby had turned face down shortly before delivery.  I pushed only a few more times and before I knew it, they said the baby's head was out.  I could feel my doctor pull out his other body parts and just like that, he was here.  The official time was 2:38 p.m.

The rest is kind of a blur.  They immediately put him on my chest and then cleaned him up, took his stats, etc. while the doctor delivered my placenta.  Craig headed to the lobby to share the good news with our families (his mom and sister arrived about 30 minutes prior) and then we had some time to bond before family came back.

So, there's the story of my baby boy's birth.  The whole experience was amazing.  Not at all scary and not nearly as painful as I thought it would be!  Now, why on Earth you'd want to attempt it without an epidural is beyond me.  No thank you.  But, with an epidural, it was a wonderful, joyous, and best of all, pain-free experience!

*Until our childbirth class, I didn't realize that a catheter is inserted into your back during an epidural.  The medication continues to flow until they remove the catheter after delivery.  You can also push a button to increase the epidural if ever you experience any pain. 


  1. What a great experience! It sounds so much like my little guy's arrival and I agree it didn't seem as bad as I was expecting...but now I'm getting closer to delivering #2 and wouldn't you know I'm a nervous again! Ha! :) Hope everything is going well...are you guys home now? Take care!!

  2. WOW! That was beyond interesting to read! I find the birthing process extremely interesting but would be super nervous too. Thanks for sharing your experience and hope you guys are all taking care!!!