This is technically “late” because I had Ezra 4 months ago, but I’m actually pretty impressed I got this up now since Aria was a year-and-a-half old when I got her birth story up :D.
A picture of Dave and I getting to lead worship together at our friend’s church the weekend before Ezra came :).
Ezra’s Birth Story
To give you some background info and set the scene for you: I was in labor with Aria for 37 hours and expecting something long-ish as far as labor was concerned with Ezra. Man was I off! Labor from start to finish was FOUR HOURS!!! I didn’t even have enough time to use everything in my hospital bag I thought I needed/used during labor w/ Aria.
Although this pregnancy felt like it went by super fast (mainly b/c I was constantly feeding or chasing after Aria and keeping busy with work), I got VERY impatient at the end. I was beyond ready for Ezra to come–not just because I wanted to meet him but also because I was incredibly emo, tired and oooover all the pregnancy discomfort.
The Lead Up
Ezra’s estimated due date was August 10th, but I (along with my mom, my doula and some other folks) had a strong feeling he was going to come early, especially since Aria had made an early appearance. It was August 2nd, and there was still no sign of baby boy, but since we were expecting an early arrival, my parents took Aria that day to go home with them. No joke–the minute my parents left with Aria late that morning, I got my first contraction (It’s as if my body knew it could get ready now that Aria was taken care of). They were really infrequent, so I knew we weren’t close to go-time yet, but I just knew that this was the early part of early labor. Thursday was a little bit more of the same–nothing newsworthy.
My mom got this of me saying bye to Aria before they took her with them. Such a weird feeling knowing it was the last time I’d see her as my only baby on the outside.
August 4, 2017: That morning, life went on as it normally does. I was cleaning and organizing as a hardcore nesting preggo does. I went to the bathroom and realized that I had lost my mucus plug (Yuuuppp, sorry…there’s no other way of putting that. Well, there is, but it’s no better. Trust me.), which was also indicative (for some women) of being close to labor. Soon after, my friend/doula, Katie, came over and we went to Santa Barbara’s annual Old Spanish Days Fiesta parade. It was soooo hot that afternoon, and pregnant me was doing my best to not be a complete B in the heat. We made our way through the sea of people and parked our sweaty selves in front of the Banana Republic since we could feel the AC from the store blowing out onto the street (insert praise hands here). No contractions during the parade outing. Once we were done with the parade, we spent some time at my apartment with the fan blowing on our faces while drinking smoothies and watching So You Think You Can Dance and American Ninja Warrior. Cuz why not?
After Katie left, Dave got home from work and we took a nap. As soon as we got up, it was time for us to meet our friends at another Fiesta event. But before that, we had some special Aria’s-with-her grandparents-mommy-and-daddy-time if you catch my drift (hahah, saying it like that probably made you more uncomfortable than had I just said it straight out, huh?) [Side note: Sex is one of the best ways to induce labor in case you’re wondering]. Fast forward: He and I decided to walk there, since we live downtown and it’s only about a 12 minute walk away. As soon as we got close, I felt a BIG contraction. It was big enough to where I told Dave to note what time it happened: 7:57PM.
A few minutes later, we met up with our friends at a boba shop downtown. I ordered a drink, and Dave went next door to get a pizza for us to share. Before I could even sit down with my drink, another contraction happened so I had Katie pull out her App, so we could start counting them. The first couple were 7 minutes apart, and then very soon after they were 4 and a half minutes apart. I remember one of my friends asking me if Ezra could come any minute now, and there was that thought in my head that…YUP, we’re close. Between the contractions being 7 and 4 minutes apart (you’re supposed to go to the hospital once the contractions are 5ish minutes apart, BTW–whoops), Dave came back with the pizza. When Dave went to get food, I had had that one big contraction. By the time he got back, I was already taking pauses from talking because the contractions were biggies and getting closer and closer together.
Katie got this picture of us in between my contractions.
When we realized that the contractions were already less than 5 minutes together, we needed to get a move on! We had walked downtown, so Isaac, one of the friends we met up with offered to drive us home, so we could pick up our hospital bag and zip over to the hospital: 9:00 PM.
We made our way to the hospital, and by this point, my contractions were getting to the point where they were about 2.5 to 3 minutes apart (again–we waited a biiiittt too long there, haha). Dave was going to drop Katie and I off at the entrance, but for some reason, I insisted on going with him to park the car (slightly stubborn–possibly partly delusional at this point). I had a really big contraction as soon as we got to the parking garage, then an even bigger one once we got to the registration counter as the Santa-clause looking gentleman was trying to get my info.
I was completely clear-headed for everything up until we got into the triage room. By this point, the contractions/back labor were so bad that we all knew I was already in transition (basically the point where you think you cannot do it if you’re unmedicated)–completely in the zone. I was already writhing in pain and barely able to talk to the nurse while she was asking me questions and getting me prepped to go to the delivery room. That’s how quickly I went from fine to go time!
As soon as we got into the delivery room, we asked for a medicine ball for me to labor on. OMG the nurse (MAJOR FACE PALM)–bless her heart: She brought the medicine ball in and would not stop talking! I just tuned her out and kept on doing my thing.That didn’t last long before I needed to alleviate the pain from the gnarly back labor, so I went into the tub and labored there. Dave got an emergency call from his work at the time WHILE I was laboring in the tub, so he had to step out to take the call (turns out they needed him, but he had a really good excuse not to come in). I stayed in the tub until I felt like I had to poo since that’s kind of the gauge for when you know you’re ready to push (I didn’t have this sensation w/ Aria since my labor stalled at around 33 hours and had to be given an epidural). At this point, I was mentally all over the place–thinking I had no idea what to do and feeling like I was ready all at the same time. Everything hurt so bad, and I was simultaneously ready and scared to push. I just knew I wanted the contractions to be over with.
Once Dave got back, I told the nurse I was ready to push b/c it hurt so freakin’ bad. I was SO loud while I was in active labor (again, no meds–hence the volume ;D) that a nurse mentioned something when she came in about how the walls aren’t as thick as we might think–sorry not sorry. I remember laboring on the hospital bed for a while. At one point, I had Dave in a headlock. He told me later that he genuinely thought I could have broken his nose at that point because I was putting so much pressure on it as I was squeezing his head in the crook of my arm–I believe it. Women having babies are not to be messed with. We crazy strong.
As all this was going on, I had my dynamic duo: Dave’s manly-man strength helping put counter-pressure on my back and Katie’s gentle, maternal encouragement and whatever else I needed (diffusing oils, back rubs, etc…). Sidenote: Katie is getting certified to become a doula, and Ezra’s birth was her first in the certification process, and she knocked it out of the park!! If you’re in the Santa Barbara area and are looking for a doula, let me know!
Once pushing started, that lasted about 15ish minutes. I did 4 to 5 solid pushes, and out came Ezra at 11:55 PM! Here’s the crazy part: It turns out that I would push out another baby unmedicated ANY day over laboring with insane back labor. Pushing is a BREEZE compared to the contractions/back labor–at least for me. With pushing, you know there’s going to be an end. With contractions, you wonder when (or if) they’ll ever end.
Once Ezra was out and on my chest, it was the most surreal feeling. Dave leaned over the both of us, and I’m pretty sure we were all crying. The waiting was over, and he was…here, and he had such a peaceful presence about him. I just remember lying there thanking Jesus for this baby–on repeat. There was so much anticipation that had been met in that moment, and so much of what felt like an extended exhale because our family just grew in that instant, and all of the discomfort and pain that led up to his arrival was so far from my mind. I was super clear-headed after this birth since I hadn’t gotten any meds. With Aria, I did feel a bit more out of it (well that, and I was labor for SO much longer with her). We were all kind of shocked by how everything happened so quickly: Katie, Dave and I were all like, “What the heck just happened?” So nuts.
The Next Day
Grandma & Grandpa meeting their grandson 🙂
This pictures is all the heart eyes emoji personified:
Aria meeting Ezra was the sweetest thing. She couldn’t stop kissing buh-yuh and kept asking to ho-heem.
If you stuck with me through all that–high five :D. I’ll go into what the early days of having Ezra home with us was like and recovery stuff (eeeesh–it makes me cringe just thinking about it) in an upcoming post. Until then, here are some pictures that Mycah from Redmond Digital Media got for us when Ezra was 2 weeks old (she also took maternity pictures for me with both babies :)).
What were your birth experiences like? What tips would you give to other mamas going into labor? Are you for meds? For the natural route? Open to whatever? Curious me wants to know it all :). Let me know if you have any questions, too. I’m really an open book, but I didn’t want this to go on even longer than it already did :P. xo