Posts Tagged ‘birth’

There was a moment in my labor and delivery room about to give birth to my third baby where I distinctly remember wondering if I might die.

I know, I know, this sounds dramatic. But I was feeling faint. Like I was about to pass out. The nurses has just given me oxygen, and they had be laying on my side to try to bring my baby’s heartbeat back up. That coupled with the fact that a couple of months before I had read a New York Times article about the maternal mortality rate for Black women in the US is is 3 to 4 times higher than that of white women. These statics are across the board by the way, regardless of income and education levels.

Hospital induction birth story

So there I was scared, on the bed wondering if I or my baby was about to become a part of this horrendous statistic.

Luckily for me, for us. We were fine. I delivered her quickly, recovered ok, and in a few months from now she will reach her first birthday.

So we are one of the lucky ones. Black women in the US are more likely to die from pregnancy or childbirth than any other racial group.

Hospital induction birth story

Why? There are so many factors that go into this. And I’ve been diving in and doing a lot of research on my own. Some say it’s access to quality medical care, the fact that black-serving hospitals provide lower-quality medical care (and 75% of black women give birth in those hospitals). High-risk pregnancies, and stress are other factors I’m reading about. The TIMEs article I read linked statistics to racial bias, and stress from a lifetime of discrimination.

I’m not going to speculate on why I think these statistics are the way they are. Instead I want to figure out what we need to do to fix this. One of the first steps is shedding light on the issue. I saw an Instagram post sharing the statistic and the shocking responses it garnered. “I had no idea!” I’m seeing over and over.

Well now you do.

It’s Black Maternal Health Week… I mean, I’m right here sharing this at the tail end. But this isn’t a conversation that starts one week and ends the next. This needs to be an ongoing discussion.

For a developed country we already have too high of mortality rates with childbirth. And beyond that, we need to pledge to examine why Black women are three to four times more likely to experience a pregnancy related death than white women. And speak up when we notice inequalities. Push lawmakers to address policies. We can educate our pregnant friends about this statistic so they can arm themselves with information to advocate for themselves.

I found this website Black Mamas Matter Alliance to be a helpful place to start diving in. If you really want some nitty gritty raw stories from women firsthand, check out the stories in the highlights of @sgarnerstyle on IG.

I’ll come back and update this post as I find more helpful information and ways we can support more women.

I hate admitting regrets, and I don’t harbor many but one that nags at me more than I care to admit is that I didn’t have any video of my wedding day. We have lots of beautiful photos, but I think videos capture the moment in a way pictures just can’t.

I didn’t video any of my births (I’m not sure if I’d want to watch that over and over). But I didn’t want to regret missing video of my big kids meeting their little sister.

Not one, but two cameras went into my hospital bag. I went back and forth trying to decide which ones to bring and ultimately packed my Canon EOS M50 and my Canon Powershot G7X Mark II.

The Powershot G7X Mark II is be easy enough for my husband, or even my daughter to use if need be, by just pushing the “on” button then the “record” button. I also planned to have a friend and photographer come to help document, thankfully because labor didn’t go quite like I’d expected. My friend Paige (who also shoots Canon, whoohoo!) came and captured some of our first moments together as a family. Many of those picture you saw featured in my birth story. Once Paige left I climbed out of bed, got some makeup on, pulled out my cameras to capture a bit more of these first moments together and get it on video.

Photographing siblings meeting for the first time

The smile the burst across my son and daughter’s faces when they walked in pretty much stayed the entire time they were in their baby sister’s presence. (Except for when they took her to get a shot and she started crying.They cried too. It was the saddest/sweetest thing I’ve ever seen).

Each of them held their hands out wide to take a turn holding her. They spoke to her, gave her kisses, and doted over her the entire time.

“You and your sisters were not like this,” my mom said to me. “You didn’t care about holding your little sisters, you had other things to do!”

Photographing siblings meeting for the first time

I knew Lil’ J was ready but I had no idea how excited my son was to be a big brother. Protective from the start, and excited to hold her. He asked me if she’d call me mommy too, and he was really concerned about her not opening her eyes (she was sleeping).

It only took a few minutes to record a video while in the hospital of our first few hours with our new baby girl. I didn’t do this with my others, and I knew creating a video was one thing I wanted to do differently this time. I pulled out my new EOS M50 and was able to create something I know we’ll cherish forever:

Tips for capturing first moments with your new baby:


  • -It’s not just about video, but sound too: One of my favorite parts of this video is my oldest whispering “I can’t believe it. She’s my sister!”
  • -Zoom in, get the tiny details: hospital wristbands, baby’s name tag, birth weight, and those tiny toes.
  • -Autofocus is BAE: Take advantage of your touch screen and auto-focusing to give a beautiful cinematic look to your videos.
  • -Flip your screen up: And get yourself in the video. You can prop your camera up on a nearby shelf or send it out
  • -Don’t be afraid to pass your camera along: If you can’t or don’t feel up to getting up right away, pass it along to a friendly nurse or your partner. I had my husband take the camera as our baby went over for her first measurements.


The best advice I can give to parents wanting to record and savor these early days is to keep your camera handy. I find when my camera is out and within reach I’m more likely to use it and record great video of our newborn. Try setting it in a place you know you’ll be with your baby. I kept mine on the diaper changer for a few days, recorded that part of our routine, then moved it near a seat where I nurse her. I’ve captured a lot of sweet moments this way.

Photographing siblings meeting for the first time

These first few months with a new baby become so hazy. The days are long but the years are short. A lot of days I can’t wait until it’s bedtime. Yet I can’t believe our little baby has already been alive a month. Years later, I know I’ll be so glad I took some time to record these moments and I’m sure you will be too!

You deserve to have great photos and video to look back on and cherish as your family grows up. I’m teaming up with Canon again to share how we capture special moments as a family and to help you learn how to capture some awesome moments with yours.

Read part 1 of my birth story here

Thankfully all of the lightheadedness and nausea passed and my blood pressure came back up. Baby and I were ok, and the epidural seemed to take effect. I could move my legs and still had some sensation but I wasn’t feeling the intensity of the contractions. I still had a strange hazy feeling but it could have been because I didn’t eat much that morning, or because I was in a daze about to have this baby.

I wasn’t in the correct bed, so I had to shift my way from a post-delivery bed to a labor and delivery bed. I was still able to move and feel my legs enough to do that.

My OB came in and checked me for the second time around 11:45 and I was 5cm dilated.

Although time was flying, I kept thinking I had all the time in the world. So I wasn’t in a hurry to do anything with my hair or put on the makeup I had packed. I should have done it on the way to the hospital like I had in the past but oh well.

Every cervical check felt as if it was only 30 minutes apart (when it was actually hours).

I even looked over at my husband at one point and said “Does it feel like we’ve been here for hours?”

He nodded.

It didn’t to me. It seemed like we had just arrived.

The haziness that started around the time I got my epidural never seemed to fully pass.

My OB came in for another check, I don’t remember how far along I was, maybe 7cm. She had the nurses get me a peanut yoga ball to stick between my legs to help get the baby to come down more.

“You could get to a 10 really fast so if you feel pressure let us know!”

I was pretty comfortable with that peanut ball between my legs. I think I dozed off for a nap. The next thing I remember is a different nurse asking me to turn over to my other side and things went downhill from there.

Shortly after I turned over baby’s hearbeat started going down.

“Ok baby doesn’t like that, let’s turn you back over,” she said.

About that time I started to feel some pressure and told them. Someone checked between my legs and without much effort (or maybe I just could feel anything because of the epidural) said the baby was right there.

The monitors were doing all sorts of beeping. The nurses put oxygen back on me. None of this was normal to me. None of this happened with my other two babies.  I asked if she was ok.

“The baby’s heart rate has gone down, sometimes that can happen when they’re in the birth canal.”

There was a lot of commotion about paging my OB but not hearing a response yet. Then someone said they should page the other OB–I think the resident.

At one point I looked over at the monitor and by baby’s heartbeat was around 70.

Once again, I felt like I’d been pulled into an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Dr. Robbins was going to rush in at any moment.

Instead it was my doctor who came in. An audible sigh of relief reverberated through the room. She slipped into the scrubs and asked me to push.

This I knew I could do.

“You’re a good pusher!” I’ve been told before. If only I could put that on my resume.

Two to three pushes later my little squish came into the world.

I don’t remember when we unsnapped my gown at the straps, maybe just then. They set her on my bare chest and she just about slipped right off.

“Oh she’s a slippery little thing!” Someone said.

Really. It was hard to keep her on top of me. But I steadied her to get a look at her. She looked a little blue to me and she wasn’t crying, but she was wiggling and very much awake. I figured all of this was normal because had it not been they probably would have whisked her away. After a couple of seconds she let out a cry and it was my turn to take a sigh of relief.

Hospital induction birth story

Hospital induction birth story

“Hi baby!” I told her. I kissed her slippery little face. I was basically hogging her all to myself, I don’t remember even showing her to my husband.

“Do you want to cut the cord?” My doctor asked him after a period of time.

He did, and I think that’s when I offered to give him a peek at her.

I got one stitch for a little tear and they took her over to see how much she weighed. She came in at a whopping 9 pounds 7 ounces. Big just like my other two. Almost matching her sister’s hefty birth weight. She measured 21 1/4 in long. And was as cute as could be with her squished and pudgy little face.

Hospital induction birth story

I snuggled and held on to her and decided I’d jump in and give nursing a try (I never know how soon to start after they’re born. In my mind they come out starving but I guess she’d been hooked up to a direct line of french fries and snacks for the last 9 months, she was probably ok.) She latched on pretty easily and has been ravenously nursing like you’d expect a chunky little baby to do.

Hospital induction birth story

While attempting to hold and nurse her a wave of nausea came over me again. I asked my husband to grab a barf bag and he got it to me just in time.

Retching while holding a newborn moments after giving birth isn’t ideal. Thankfully that passed before the kids arrived to meet their little sister. I’ll share more about that experience in another post.

Hospital induction birth story

Hospital induction birth story

I was very shaky for a while. At first I thought it was because the room was a little cold but it remained when we moved to the mother and baby room. It may have been a combination of the epidural wearing off and having gone the whole day without eating. I think mostly the former. I had serious jitters. But I was able to get out of bed, get changed, FINALLY put some makeup on (though not in time for pictures), and begin to feel settled back to normal. Or as normal as you can after giving birth.

Hospital induction birth story

Hospital induction birth story

We stayed at the hospital for a couple of nights. One of the pediatricians informed me that she had a broken clavicle but since they don’t treat it it was more to know. They did an x-ray to confirm it (looking back I’m not sure that was necessary), and told me to just be gentle with that arm. She’s got a little bump where the fracture was now–A sign it’s healing well.

Later, when my OB came in to check on me she said she got the page that the baby was having decels at 2:12 and she sprinted from the office across the street and little Sneaky was born at 2:19.

My nurse had also mentioned that had I been a first time mom they likely would have moved me to have a c-section, but since they knew I had experienced pushing and could probably do it fast they let me try that first. All that took me back to eight years ago and my fascination/paranoia about birth after watching The Business of Being Born.

Epidural poke Xs 2, low blood pressure scare, barfing, no makeup and broken collar bones. Not exactly the smooth delivery I expected after my first two. But she got here big and beautiful, we’re both healthy, and I didn’t have to feel the ring of fire. Overall I’d call it a win.

This girl snuck her way into our lives, and came into this world just as dramatically making us a family of five. I’m just hoping she doesn’t make the theatrics a habit.

Hospital induction birth story

Hospital induction birth story

Hospital induction birth story

Hospital induction birth story

Hospital induction birth story

All the Beautiful pictures in this post are by Paige Wilks Photography.

It’s been almost four weeks and I don’t want another second to pass before I write down how my second baby girl came into this world.

We were almost a week past my due date. Four days past to be exact. Five if we’re going by my charts. I was 2cm dilated and not thinned out for my 39 and 40 week checkups. I went in for another ultrasound to check her fluid levels and for a nonstress test to see how baby girl was doing. She still had plenty of fluids, and was looking healthy as ever. She was in no hurry to leave and we didn’t have any urgent need to get her out.

I asked if the nurse practitioner would strip my membranes and get things going. She tried but said my cervix was too long and she couldn’t reach it. That confused me cause I’d think if anything my cervix would be high, not long. But what do I know?

She asked if I wanted the midwife to try but I decided nah, I’m good. Enough people up my junk for one day.

People asked me if I’d tried acupuncture, or a chiropractor, lots of sex… I wasn’t feeling desperate enough for all that. She was either gonna come on her own, or get evicted in a few more days.

I had to call my doctor’s office a few times to make sure my induction was scheduled. My OB was working both Thursday and Friday but Thursday was sooner. She delivered my other two babies and I thought it would be awesome if she could go three for three. She’s pretty awesome and in high demand, but I was crossing my fingers.

I still hoped maybe Monday or Tuesday night something might happen on its own. I was having contractions on and off but nothing super strong, and not real consistent. Still, my son had been five days late and I went into labor on my own, so I had hope that would be a possibility again.

date night interracial marriage Date night before your bring a baby home.

Each day was a little more frustrating but I felt better knowing there was an end in sight. And I tried to really enjoy the last few days as a family of four. My husband and I went on a date and we watched the first season of Stranger Things (which turned out to be a bad combination with my weird pregnancy dreams).

We went to the outlet mall all together and before that I took my kids to the zoo. I knew I wasn’t going to be getting out of the house with them much once the baby was born so we tried to make the most use of our time.

Thursday rolled around and we were scheduled to get things going at 7am. On the way in I felt so nervous. We would be going home with a baby. My husband and I rolled up about 7:30. All the paperwork was ready for us and I got my bracelets on and they walked us to our room.

“This is kind of nice,” I said. I felt easy to have everything planned and ready to go.

I changed into one of the hospital gowns I had packed for labor. I brought my own for the delivery of my first two, and I thought I’d do the same for my third.

The next little bit I met my nurse, Lori, who was just getting off maternity leave herself. She was so sweet. She said we had the same doctor.

“Oh, did she deliver you?” I asked.
“No,” she said. “Well, she was my doctor who helped get me pregnant.”
“Did you have a homebirth?” I asked.

She did! Not totally surprising. I can understand how it wouldn’t be super fun to give birth where you work.

She put my IV in, asked me a few questions, then gave me the rundown of what would be happening next. I asked if I’d just have my water broken or get pitocin or both. She said they’d start with breaking my water then start me on pitocin and go up a small dose bit by bit and if me and the baby were responding well they’d keep going, or back off.

She asked me if I would want an epidural and I said yes. But I could stand to wait a little. I recalled how my last two times they wanted me to be 4 or 5cm or so. But she said they wouldn’t make me wait for it. My husband was like “yea she’s getting it.” Ready to go ahead and get that going.

“I’ve had it twice before,” I told her. “It worked great, no complications.” I should have knocked on wood.

Around 8am an OB resident (I believe, she wasn’t my OB but helping her out that morning) came in and checked me. I was 2.5cm dilated and 70% effaced. At least it seemed like those contractions I’d been feeling had finally done a little something.

She broke my water and I didn’t feel a pop or a gush like I expected. Lori asked if it broke and the doctor was all “yep, it’s clear!” I didn’t believe it either but I guess it was just a slow trickle. Unlike the waterfall I felt with the other two.

It wasn’t until my husband started making me laugh a little later that I believed my water was actually broken. Either that or I was uncontrollably peeing on myself.

“Do you guys have a name picked out?” Lori asked while filling in our details on the whiteboard.

“Aliyah,” I said. “A-L-I-Y-A-H.”

My husband and I had been debating the spelling for months. He wanted it Aaliyah but I wanted just one A.

He didn’t object.

When Lori stepped out I asked him if he was ok with that.

“Yea, it looks good like that,” he said.

I had a feeling dropping the subject until I was in labor was a good idea. How can you deny your wife’s name choice when she’s about to give birth to your child?

hospital birth story

Sometime within the hour my OB came and checked me. We all made guesses on what time I’d deliver and how much she’d weigh. I guessed first.

“Eight pounds, 2pm” I said.

My husband guessed just over 8 pounds and an optimistic delivery time of 12:30pm.

Lori eyed over my belly and guessed 8.5 pounds and my doctor guessed over 9 pounds and a 3:08 delivery time.

“Really?!” I said. Everyone had me convinced this baby was going to be my smallest. No swollen feet. Strangers all saying I look so small. And let’s not forget the 36 week ultrasound that said my baby was in the 26th percentile and looking to be about 5.5lbs. That ultrasound had be downing protein drinks and french fries for the remainder of my pregnancy.

I was chilling through my contractions for the most part. They were getting more uncomfortable but not unbearable. I knew if I got up to walk around it may have helped, but I felt like I just wanted to take a nap and relax a little.

My husband asked me if I was ready to go ahead and get my epidural. I said maybe. He took that as a heck yes and he requested it for me the next time Lori came in.

While we waited for the anesthesiologist, the contractions got more intense. About this time with my other two babies I had demerol through my IV to take the edge off. This may have been part of the reason why my epidural experience was less delightful.

You look really young. Was what went through my mind when I saw the doctor walk in ready to stick a needle in my spine hook me up with some pain drugs. You’re probably younger than I am. I don’t know what I think about that.

I didn’t say any of these things out loud but I was thinking this dude probably barely knew what he was doing and I really hoped he wasn’t clocking training hours with me.

He had me turn over to the side of the bed and that’s when I felt the huge gush of water I was expecting earlier. It went all down the side of the bed onto the floor and I was kinda like “whoops!”

The anesthesiologist noted the amniotic fluid which I was slightly embarrassed by. I mean, it’s all warm and coming out of your nether regions. It feels like you’re peeing yourself. I kept apologizing.

Lori was all “oh man, your cute gown!” but I was like nah, girl don’t worry, I’ve got another in my bag.

The anesthesiologist numbed my back then put in the epidural. Right away I knew it felt strange. I wasn’t sure if he didn’t numb me correctly or what but it felt off. Not centered.

“Ok, this is a little off center,” he said. As if reading my mind. “I’m going to need you to align your hips and try this again.”

Seriously? You’ve got one job!

I hunched over again after adjusting, squeezed the pillow and prayed this part would be over fast, and that the dang thing would work. I was wishing I had some demerol at this point cause the sensation of the epidural going down my back was so sharp in my mind and not lovely.

A minute later he was done. I took a sigh of relief and sat back. He said he’d be back to check on me shortly but Lori stayed with me.

Hospital birth story

After a few minutes I started to feel a little woozy, as if I had had demerol. I debated saying anything or giving it a few minutes and see if it wore off. But it seemed every second got worse. I started to feel light headed. Then I started to think of all of the articles I’d read earlier this year about black mothers in the US having way higher mortality rates and I decided I definitely needed to say something cause I wasn’t about to die cause I was too shy.

“Umm, I don’t remember this happening before when I had the epidural, but I’m feeling a little light headed,” I said.

My husband knew something was up and he came over and took my hand.

Lori said my blood pressure had gone down, it was a side effect that sometimes happens right after you get an epidural. She told me it was really low. Some low number/ 70.

I felt like I was going to pass out while laying down, which was a strange sensation.

Lori instructed me to take deep breaths, and she gave me some oxygen.

I started crying. That dang baby anesthesiologist! This is his fault!

I’ve watched way too much Grey’s Anatomy cause I felt like I was on the show and a bunch of crap was about to go down.

In a way I was right. The excitement with the epidural was almost over, but the drama was just beginning.

Read Sneaky’s Birth Story Part 2 Here

Read Birth Story Part 1 here

Read Birth Story Part 2 here

Photography by: Jackie Willome Photography (PG/Husband-approved photos included).

I tried to sleep a bit more, and nurses told me to let them know if I felt any pressure. I woke up after maybe an hour or so when I could feel something—someone rather, coming down my birth canal.

Luckily the crew was coming in to check on me just then. I told them I felt pressure and I was pretty sure the baby was about ready to come out.

It reminded me of when I was having my daughter. When I told them I felt some heaviness in my nether regions, they went to check, and her head was already visible and awaiting departure.

If I had a mirror I probably would have checked myself this time, but I left it to the professionals. Sure enough I was fully dilated, locked and loaded.

They called my doctor to see if she wanted me to get started on some practice pushes but she told them to wait, recalling that I’m a “good pusher.” I guess I could take that as a compliment.

9:21, I messaged my friends and posted an update on Facebook asking for last minute guesses and letting everyone know I was getting ready to meet the little guy or girl.

My photographer got positioned for the action, but once it started I didn’t even remember she was there.

It was really a surreal moment. I couldn’t believe I was minutes away from meeting my Little Leechie.

My nurses asked if I wanted to hold my baby skin to skin once s/he arrived and helped me get space ready on my chest for him.

My OB came in and everyone was suited up. They helped me straddle my legs on some leg hoister things. And as I lay there in a very compromising position one of the male delivery nurses said: “Oh I recognize you from the news!”

We all had a good laugh as a couple other people chimed in with their “AH HA’s.” How awkward it was that now, in this moment, they put the pieces together.

Everyone guessed boy or girl as I got ready to push. My nurse Heather and I were the only two who guessed boy, and everyone else in the room guessed we’d be having another girl. —My husband included.

When a contraction came I was ready to push and they were all ready to go. The nurses helped count through the pushes for me but there was no screaming or yelling. It was pretty peaceful. Between contractions they joked about the baby having red hair, and we laughed. Looking back at my photos it’s funny seeing myself laughing in between pushes.

It was maybe five to ten minutes later and the baby’s head was out. I was so excited I asked if I could keep pushing. They were like “sure, if you’ve got it in you!”

I was pumped and ready to meet this kid. Another push, and one more for good measure and the baby came flying out. —Almost literally, behind a bunch of water pressure. It was 9:38am. I heard a gush and then cheers and I looked down at my baby, which at the time, looked nothing like my daughter when she was born. My doctor set the baby on my chest and I just stared at that little chubby face, waited for cries that didn’t come right away.

I was looking into my baby’s blinking eyes when I overheard my nurse say “Oh he is a boy!” I couldn’t believe I had totally forgotten to look. I thought that would be the first thing I’d notice, or that my husband would have said something but I was too consumed with his sweet face. For the first time I looked down between his legs and sure enough—It was a boy!

A boy! I rubbed his back and he started to cry a little, but not for long. He was the calmest sweetest little boy.

“Do you want to cut the umbilical cord?” They asked my husband.

“YES!” I answered for him.

“I guess so!” My husband chimed in.

There was no pain in the delivery, the drowsiness was long gone, and I was just completely smitten with my new child all slimy and sweet against my chest.

For the first time I looked up at my husband who was beaming with joy.

“Well, guess we’ve gotta decide on a name now” he said.

I held my baby and stared at his face for what must have been ages but felt like no time. My husband was the messenger and let everyone know we had a son. He couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear.

I only needed one stitch for a tiny tear I thankfully didn’t feel right away.

After we had had some time to bond, my baby boy got weighed in at a hefty 9lbs 2oz. He measured 22in long. We were in love.

He latched on right away and nursed like a champ. Although I had forgotten how small and fragile a newborn baby felt in my arms, I felt like a supermom for knowing what I was doing.

The only bad part about my entire experience was all of the glucose testing and foot pricking. I should have asked to hold him instead of them keeping him under the warm lamp, but I didn’t think it would take as long or be as often as it was.

Since I had a big baby they had to keep testing his blood sugar levels and after the first test they suggested I give him formula after nursing him. I wanted to cry at what seemed like an absurd idea to me. In fact I remember my eyes tearing up as I sat holding my baby while the nurses prepared a tiny formula bottle.

“Do I HAVE to give him formula?” I asked.

“You don’t want to feed him formula do you?”

“Umm, no, not really.”

For the first time in my whole pregnancy/birth experience I felt a wave of mommy guilt as a flood of random lactavist phrases came to my mind like “virgin gut” and “exclusively breastfeeding.” I’m not anti-formula, I’m just very pro-breastfeeding. My daughter had never needed a drop of formula and I felt like I’d be failing this baby right off the bat. Is this how people who want natural births felt about getting an epidural?

I told the nurses I’d rather not give him formula and a pediatrician came to my rescue, suggesting I nurse him as long as he wanted, wait 45 minutes, then test his sugar levels again. When they did that they had gone up by 50%.

That was the first and last time they offered formula, thankfully, because it was some kind of strange hormonal trigger for me.

Big sister arrived a couple of hours after he was born and was amazed by her new little brother. Poor thing had been thinking he was a she all along though, and since we had a girl name picked out, she had been calling him her little sister Sanya. (It only took her about a week to get over that).

Watching her gaze at her little brother brought on an amazing feeling. She was truly so excited that “her” baby had “come out” and was ready to meet her. Her face scrunched up in the most adorable perked expression as she said “Hi baby! … My baby brother is so cuuuuute!” She was so in love, and so was I, as my heart doubled in size.

Recovery at the hospital was great. By the evening I was up and walking around, and the next day I was back in my comfy yoga pants.

One of my sweet nurses—Hilary, said she recognized me, and I thought she meant from my work but she said she reads my blog. She got to meet “Leechie” in the flesh, and complimented my take-home outfits.

My family arrived the morning after Ty was born, and other close friends. Everyone was so excited to meet our little boy. A boy! I still have a hard time believing it. Funny thing is though, comparing waiting to find out and finding out at my 20-week ultrasound—I was more surprised with my daughter, because I thought for sure she’d be a he. This time around I felt like I knew it was a boy from the beginning. In the middle of the pregnancy I started to doubt my gut but my guess was always boy. I loved finding out my baby was a boy at birth but I also loved the ultrasound reveal with my first.

Comparing my first labor experience to my second is also interesting. At 41 and a half weeks I was so ready to have my daughter, and induction was absolutely the right choice for me. I’d tried everything from nipple stimulation, evening primrose oil, pineapple, spicy foods, lots of sex and castor oil shakes and nothing worked. Because of my family history I didn’t think I’d be able to go into labor naturally.

This time I didn’t try any self-inducing techniques but just enjoyed being pregnant, especially since I wasn’t sure if this would be my last pregnancy. I thought for sure I’d be induced again and was shocked when I had to wake my husband up to go to the hospital.

I didn’t need a drop of pitocin, and I was much more relaxed before I got my epidural (but I’m not kidding myself, I was even better after I got it). But now that I’ve experienced both, and I’ve had two normal deliveries I think if I do have a third baby someday I’ll seriously consider trying to talk myself into wanting to attempt delivering at a birthing center (especially if they have Fentanyl) with and midwife. I figure the labor will be even shorter a third time, and now I know what to expect and how it feels. We’ll see though. A third is a BIG IF.

Two totally different experiences, both beautiful ones I’ll always remember.

I have a little boy and a little girl. Holding them both in my arms was one of the most amazing and overwhelming experiences of my life. And I couldn’t be happier to begin this new journey as a mother of two.

Read Part 1 here

My water didn’t break before it was time for another cervix check by Nurse Gentle Fingers. I hoped this check wouldn’t hurt as much as last time. She said she’d wait until my contraction was over before checking. That didn’t help.

Again she wiggled her fingers up and around and she told me it felt like there was a little change, but my cervix was “weird” so she called another nurse to check.

Thankfully this nurse was more gentle, and she seemed to know more about “strange cervixes.”

“That’s her bulging bag of waters,” the second nurse told my first. “And yes, she seems about four centimeters but we can’t feel the other side because of the bag of waters so we’ll say four for now.”

Just four centimeters? Really? And I was in so much pain. I felt like the biggest wimp. Last time I had made it to five centimeters on pitocin, and my water broke on its own before I requested the epidural. I thought maybe I could try without one this time, but I quickly changed my mind.

“Can I get my epidural now?” I asked.

The nurses checked in with the OB on call and let me know where we now stood. I was to be admitted officially (YES!) but the doctor wanted to wait until I had more cervical dilation before I got my epidural (NO!).

They told me they could give me some other pain medication in my IV. I was hesitant at first because I had some during my labor with my daughter and I didn’t like the drunken feeling it gave me. At least that’s what I assume being drunk felt like. I still felt the contractions but just felt dizzy on top of things.

I didn’t deny the narcotics this time though because #1: The name of it was different than the drug I had last time. I don’t remember what it was but I know it started with an “F” and what I had last time was like Stadol or Demerol, something like that. And #2: I was willing to try anything that was said to “take the edge off” at this point.

It was 5:15 at this point. We had been at the hospital three hours. I told my husband he could take our daughter down to our friend’s house now since the baby’s arrival wasn’t imminent. I texted him and let him know I was getting some pain medication and that I was going to try to rest.

Surprisingly the medication worked really well for me. It did make me feel slightly loopy but I was able to completely relax between contractions, and handle them better every time one came on. When my nurse came in to check on me I told her it was working well, and I thanked her.

I slept between contractions and got some rest. My husband made it back and also tried to get some sleep.

The next hour flew by. I hardly noticed when the doctor came in to check on me. I thought for sure I hadn’t made much progress.

“I’m such a wimp,” I told her as she went to check my dilation. “I was already asking for an epidural at only four centimeters.”

“Oh, you can never call yourself a wimp when you’re in labor” she told me. The nurses agreed.

“Ok, so yes, that’s your bulging bag of water right there,” she told me, her hands were much MUCH gentler than the nurses. “And you’re seven centimeters dilated.”

What?! Seriously? I’m already seven centimeters? I progressed three centimeters in an hour? I couldn’t believe it.

“So, can I have my epidural now?” Was my next question.

“Yes, we’ll go ahead and put in the order for your epidural.”

I texted my photographer to come back, my friend’s watching my little girl, updated my Facebook page, twitter, and so on. I was SO excited to be in the homestretch.

When the OB left and the nurse prepped me for the epidural and asked if I really wanted the epidural.

“You’re updating Facebook at seven centimeters and you seem very calm, are you sure you want an epidural? I think you could go the whole way.”

I contemplated that for a moment. Just three more centimeters to go. Could I do this? I could do this. Maybe. But then I remembered one thing I was pretty sure I didn’t want to experience.

“I’d rather not know what the ring of fire feels like. I’m sure.”

I still thought about it while waiting for the anesthesiologist. I felt a lot better with the narcotic. I wasn’t sure how long I could keep using it before delivering, but maybe I could push through so I could say I did it. And what if this was my last baby? Would I want to experience a natural delivery?

Ultimately I decided I wasn’t in the right mindset to truly enjoy whatever may come from a delivering without an epidural. It honestly wasn’t what I wanted and I didn’t feel I’d be able to appreciate it if I wasn’t what I was gunning for.

My anesthesiologist arrived; it was a woman this time. She was nice and gave me instructions for sitting still while I got stuck with the needle. My quirky nurse was a tremendous help bracing me while they stuck stuff down my spine. I tried not to think about it so I wouldn’t get queasy.

Once the epidural set in I was ready to go. I asked my husband for my makeup and finished what I didn’t get a chance to do at home.

My OB arrived around 7am and checked on me. I was about 7-8cm dilated. She said she could break my water but said things would probably move really fast after. Another doctor had requested her help for a complicated surgery so she said she could come back and break my water after that, so she wouldn’t chance missing my birth. I was fine with that.

My photographer arrived and we chatted for a bit before I got really sleepy and she told me to get some sleep.

An hour or so later my OB checked me again and I was 8cm dilated. She broke my water and I was glad I had my epidural. I knew things would get more intense now.

The water was clear, which was a relief since there was a lot of meconium in my fluid with my daughter. NICU personnel was on standby at her birth in case she wasn’t breathing when she came out. This time I expected things to be much less dramatic.

*Hoping baby and big sis will give me a chance to wrap this up tomorrow!*

Remember how I was up having contractions during my last post? Well, Leechie got the eviction notice and decided to start coming that night.

More on the birth story later but for now I’d like to introduce you to our new addition.

Born Friday April 5th at 9:38am weighing 9lbs 2oz, and 22in long.

Going forward he’ll be known as Big T here on my blog.

My birth photographer was amazing. I haven’t seen them all yet but from what I’ve seen I’m already blown away. Definitely worth it and the best push present ever. I can’t recommend her enough.

We are all in love with the little guy. Yes, little GUY! My gut feeling was right and I couldn’t be happier to have a son. Lil’ J still gets confused because she thought she was having a sister named Sanya (thanks to her dad) but we’re teaching her that it’s actually a brother and his name is Ty.

More coming soon!

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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I’m a 2017 Iris Awards Winner

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