Holden's Birth Story

Friday, April 18.  It started as a normal Friday.  Good Friday, to be exact.  My last scheduled day of work.  I awoke to my alarm, rather than the labor pains I had anticipated waking to each night that week.  I was going on four days of knowing I was 3-4cm dilated and 80% effaced and getting frustrated that still nothing had happened.  Not only had nothing happened, I had absolutely no contractions or signs that labor was anywhere near.

I went to school and taught blocks one, two, and three.  Forth block was my planning period.  Craig emailed me around lunchtime to ask how I was doing.  He also asked if I had felt the baby move.  I thought about it and decided I hadn't felt him quite as much.  He encouraged me to call my doctor, which I did.  The nurse advised me to drink something cold (either pop or orange juice), then lie down and wait for three kicks in an hour's time.  Luckily, I was on my plan period by that point, so I finished an email to my long-term sub and headed to the nurse's office.  Funny--as I was entering her office, she said "You're not coming here to have a baby, are you?"

I drank 12 ounces of Coke and laid down to wait.  I felt a couple of subtle movements, but not what I would consider kicks.  In the 45 minutes of me laying there, I also had a couple of cramps.  It was around 1:45 that afternoon.

I headed back to my classroom around 2pm and called back to my doctor's office.  The nurse told me to come in and they would monitor the baby via sonogram to ensure everything was okay.  At that point, it was nearly the fifth and final block (seminar) of the school day.  I attend math lab during this block so I told one other math teacher what was going on and informed her that I wouldn't be in math lab.  As I was telling her, another cramp.  It was at that point that I wondered if the "cramps" were beginning labor pains.  However, they weren't what I thought contractions would be, as my stomach wasn't tightening like with Braxton Hicks.

I headed out and had two to three more cramps en route to the doctor's office, which is about a 15-minute drive from work.  They were bearable, but definitely uncomfortable, especially while driving.

Craig met me at the doctor's office and I had another cramp while walking towards the door.  I had to stop and wait it out in the parking lot.  I remember telling him "I think I might be in labor."

Luckily, we were called back for a sonogram pretty quickly, especially considering we were there without an appointment and they told us it could be awhile.  Because at that point, I was certain I was going into labor and just wanted to be at the hospital.

Of course, as I was laying on the sonogram table, I felt some distinct kicks and knew Baby was fine.  The technician verified this and confirmed that my amniotic fluid and fluid through the umbilical cord were fine, as well.  While laying there, I suffered through a few more cramps.  The technician said that though she couldn't officially diagnose my "condition", she agreed that I was in labor.  She mentioned that sometimes the baby's movement will slow or stop right before labor begins.

She took us to an exam room to wait for the doctor.  (Which was not my regular OB, by the way.  She had already left for the day/weekend.)  I had another stop-me-in-my-tracks cramp in the hallway on the very short walk to the exam room.  The nurse told me that the doctor would want to introduce himself before I removed my pants.  My cramps were so bad at that point that I said I didn't care!

The doctor came in right away and was quite surprised that I was in such pain.  He thought he was checking on a baby that wasn't moving, not a woman in labor!  He checked me and said I was 5-6 cm dilated and 80-90% effaced.  He said we needed to head straight to the hospital (across the street), as we'd be having a baby very soon!  This was around 3:45pm.

We checked into the hospital and were taken to a labor and delivery room around 4pm.  There were a couple of nurses scrambling to get my information, labs, and IV in place.  They knew I wanted an epidural ASAP, but that couldn't happen until my blood work was complete and I had received a certain amount of fluid.

I had pretty severe labor pains for about 45 minutes and remember feeling like throwing up due to the extreme pain.  I was still 5-6 cm according to the labor and delivery nurse.  By 4:45, the epidural was in and working, thank God!  Like I said with Brantley, epidurals are amazing things!  I can not imagine doing it without!

I did have to push the button for more dose of the epidural a couple of times.  And the anesthesiologist was also called back to my room to adjust the meds because I could feel pain and uncomfortable pressure in the lower left side of my abdomen.  But once she did, I was good to go and completely pain-free! 

The doctor stopped by and broke my water.  And for the next hour and a half (ish), we hung out, texted friends and family, listened to the nurse tell stories about her life, and even dozed off for awhile.  Around 6:00, Craig mentioned something about that night's Royals game and the nurse said we'd definitely have a baby by first pitch at 7:10.

At 6:45, it was go-time.  The room filled with nurses (more than normal, I think, because 7:00 is transition from daytime to nighttime nurses).  I pushed for under five minutes and was shocked to learn that Baby was here so quickly.  I could feel the doctor pull him out--immediate relief in my belly area!  Baby Holden was born at 6:49pm.  He immediately started wailing and within minutes, he was laying skin-to-skin on my chest.  As the nurses did what they needed, Craig and my eyes each filled with happy tears.  He was here--a perfect, healthy, and beautiful little boy!

Holden came out with a full head of dark brown hair!  Oddly enough, our tow-head Brantley had dark hair when he was born as well, but very little of it.  It was almost hard to believe that this was Brantley's brother!  He also came out with a red and beat-up face.  The nurses said this was the result of him descending so quickly.  On the plus side, because he came so quickly and spent so little time in the birth canal, he had a very round head for a vaginal delivery.  Almost immediately of being placed on my chest, he lifted his head (super strong neck muscles) and looked around at his new world.

After all we went through with Brantley, we were very relieved to hear that Holden appeared to be a healthy newborn.  He quickly latched and breastfed, which was also a relief.  We enjoyed the next couple of hours--just Mommy, Daddy, and Holden.  Craig had specific orders not to post our news on social media until we notified family and close friends first.  I must say, these initial moments were my absolute favorite.  No visitors, no social media--just a special time with our precious little bundle of joy.

Holden's birth weight was 7 pounds 2 ounces.  However, overnight on Friday night, he weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces.  It's highly unusual and unlikely that a baby would gain six ounces in a few short hours, so my recovery nurse is certain the delivery nurse transposed two digits of his weight (in grams), and hence, the conversion to pounds was incorrect.  The following night, he weighed 7 pounds 1 ounce...which is more consistent with the 7-8 weight, as most babies lose about 5% of their birth weight in the first couple of days.  So, weird story.  His birth certificate will say 7 pounds 2 ounces because that was "official"; though, he probably more accurately weighted 7 pounds 8 ounces.

Because Craig and I each went straight to the doctor's office from work, and then straight to the hospital, we had nothing except the clothes on our backs.  Which meant no camera.  Which, if you know me at all, you know that this killed me!  Of course, we had our iPhone cameras, but no "real" pictures.  I'm still a little disappointed about that, as iPhone pictures just aren't the same.  Typical for baby #2, I suppose.  Sorry Holden.

I always imagined I'd go into labor overnight.  I'm not sure why.  I'm still shocked that I was teaching about inverse functions, and a few hours later, delivered a baby!  It's so not how I pictured my labor going, but it sure makes for a fun story!  Thankfully my contractions (cramps) didn't start during class, and I'm even more thankful my water didn't break at school.  It really couldn't have happened in a more perfect manner.  I also can't believe I went from zero to severe labor in such a short amount of time!  So much for it being a long, slow process!

Overall, it was yet another wonderful labor experience.  I thought Brantley's delivery was easy, but Holden's was even easier.  I had another epidural that was the best of both worlds--I could still feel my legs and wiggle my toes, but it absolutely diminished all pain.  It also helped me relax and get to 10 cm in no time!  I was also up and walking within hours and took a shower less than 24 hours after giving birth.  The only unpleasant side effect was extreme itchiness all over my body and that was gone by Saturday.  I was a bit bummed that my regular OB (Dr. Cooper) wasn't the one to deliver, but we feel very lucky to have had an amazing on-call doctor (Dr. Sheridan) that we did.

I will always look back on Holden's birth story with such joy and happiness.  I am grateful for the positive experience--the one that gave us a perfect and beautiful Baby #2.

And now for our below-average iPhone photos.  My husband isn't the best at capturing all the little moments...I kept having to remind him...but he did his best and I'm thankful for what we have!


  1. Congrats mama!! What a memorable story!!


  2. Congrats Sides family on your sweet bundle of joy!!! Love his entrance story into this world and glad he's happy and healthy!!!

  3. How did I know the a Royals game mention would make your birth story?! :)