Our Birth Story

I never want to forget the details. I want to have a full birth story on record for our sweet baby girl, Teddy to read as she grows older. Every year on my birthday, my mom texts me throughout the day telling me what she was doing the day I was born, and it is so special to me. Teddy, this is for you, sweet girl. I hope when you grow up, you read this and know just how excited mommy and daddy were the day you were born.

Let’s start from the beginning. I had a very physically challenging pregnancy. When I wasn’t nauseous, I was exhausted. And I dealt with the excruciating pain from symphysis pubis dysfunction throughout the last 13 weeks of my pregnancy. Between bed rest, the inability to walk, and the independence I was missing, I was struggling. When I went to my 36-week check-up with my obstetrician, I was measuring 3 weeks behind schedule. My fundal measurements were not lining up with where they were supposed to be. They scheduled us quickly for a sonogram to look at our girl to see what was going on. This was our first sonogram since our twenty-week scan. We went in, and I felt nauseous lying on the table hoping everything would be ok. We just kept praying.

We had to wait four hours between that sonogram and our report review with my OB. We sat at a local Starbucks and worked. But, I had a hard time focusing on work when I was so consumed with what we would hear next. Finally, it was time for our appointment with my OB. It was a chilly, rainy afternoon, and we drove to the hospital as I cried uncontrollably. We listened to the song Million Little Miracles the whole way to the hospital, and I kept trying to remember every miracle God has ever performed in our lives. I tried to remind myself that He would keep His promises, and how good He was and is. As we walked into the hospital, we were feeling anxious, and quite frankly, scared. I shouldn’t have googled the possibilities.

“She looks great. But, her abdomen is in the 4th percentile. Overall she is in the 10th percentile. Because of the size of her abdomen, we want to go ahead and induce you at 39 weeks”. The first thing I remember asking the doctor was “Are you worried about her?”. I was so confused about what this all meant. I asked more questions, and we found out my placenta was not functioning properly. The nutrients I was eating were not making it through the umbilical cord. Hence the early induction to prevent my placenta from dying completely before she was born and I could nurse her. The doctor seemed confident that if I could deliver her early she would be okay. The amount of relief I felt was unbelievable when the doctor told us she thought we would be able to go home normally, and wouldn’t need to worry about a NICU stay. That day was a big day for us, and more specifically for my relationship with the Lord. I was reminded that I am not in control. He is. Thank goodness.

As a side note, that appointment was when we were told the duration of my pregnancy would be three weekly appointments. Mondays were sonogram days and report reviews, and Thursdays were BPP tests. At first that made me feel really scared that we had to go to the hospital so often. But, then I realized it soothed my anxieties knowing she was being so heavily monitored until she was born.

The week of Valentine’s Day at my BPP test they wanted to go ahead and schedule my induction date. We agreed on the night of February 22nd for induction, and delivery would likely be on February 23rd. “We will call you on the 22nd, and let you know when to come in!”, the doctor said. The morning of the 22nd I was heavily in my birth zone mindset. I was so ready. There was still a lot to get done, so I got up and started the day strong. My mom and I went to Starbucks for my last peppermint mocha while pregnant (this was my biggest pregnancy craving!), and Whole Foods to get flowers and make some Amazon returns, and it felt so good to be out and about, walking, staying active. It was a rare day in February at 80 degrees, and I wore a half-zip sweatshirt and shorts. We waited for that phone call from the hospital. We waited. And waited. And waited. It was 10:44 PM at this point and still had heard nothing. Hayden and I were laying in bed wondering why they still had not called. Finally, I decided to call the hospital and ask if I should go to bed and get some rest or if I should stay awake. What they said next was the most surprising thing I could’ve imagined. “Oh! We actually have you down for tomorrow evening.” A scheduling miscommunication. The doctor’s office and the hospital somehow got mixed up and my induction date was scheduled for the 23rd, with a likely delivery on the 24th instead. I was absolutely devastated. Another 24 hours doesn’t sound so bad, but when you are in so much pain, and you’ve prepped to meet your child on a certain day, it breaks your heart. We questioned everything. We cried. We just tried to rest as much as possible knowing what the next night would hold.

I woke up the morning of the 23rd and got a phone call that we were set to come in for our induction at 7:30 PM that evening. We spent time that day writing down every answered prayer and miracle we could think of that happened in our pregnancy. From specific prayers, to test results, and everything in between. It felt so good to recognize all of the times God had pulled through for us. He wouldn’t stop now.

My mom came over and made us chicken Alfredo for dinner for my last meal before induction (hospitals do not usually let you eat while you are in labor). We left our home around 6:45 PM. Hayden had loaded the car with our bags, her car seat was ready. It was time. It was cool outside, and raining the entire drive to the hospital. We listened to my Christian Hypnobirthing tracks on our way to the hospital, and Hayden kept praying over me and spend the entire drive reminding me of God’s faithfulness. It was the perfect way to kick off the wildest, most miraculous night of my life.

We got to the hospital just before 7:30 PM and went up to the Labor and Delivery unit. It felt so surreal. We got in, and the lights were dimmed, it was quiet and calm. I was feeling good and well-prepared. The nurse led us to our room. She instructed me to get into my hospital gown, use the bathroom, take off my jewelry, and get comfortable in my bed.

When she came back in around 7:50 PM, the nurses inserted my IV of fluids, and Zofran and performed my first cervical check. I had bounced the HECK out of my birth ball at home, hoping I had dilated a little more. No such luck. I was 1 centimeter. The nurse decided on our plan. She would come back in and place a cervix softener inside of my cervix, and then come back every 3-ish hours until they could start me on Pitocin at 5:30 AM the next morning.

The nurse was watching my fetal monitor and said, “Do you feel that? You are having contractions every 2 to 4 minutes”. I was so surprised! I could not even feel them. After she placed the cervix softener around 8:45 PM, she told me I would probably start to experience some mild, period-like cramps within the next hour or so, and they were planning to come to check me again in 1 hour. Within about 15 minutes, I began to notice a lot of pain in my lower back. I laid down to try to rest, and Hayden turned on the Illinois basketball game for me to watch to distract me while I tried to fight the back pain.

It wasn’t long before I was having a hard time talking through the pain. Around 11:15 I had to use the bathroom, and Hayden helped me get my IV taken into the bathroom with me. When I sat on the toilet, I started to realize I was having back labor. I was groaning through each contraction at this point. “Is it too early for me to ask for the epidural?”, I asked Hayden. I felt so weak. I felt like I had just gotten to the hospital and I was already wanting the epidural. I hadn’t even started Pitocin yet. I called my mom and asked her opinion, and she and Hayden both encouraged me to call the nurse and at least ask.

I got back into bed, Hayden was doing counter pressure on my hips and trying to help me push through each wave. We called for the nurse and I told them I wanted to see if I could just go ahead and get the epidural. The nurse certainly wasn’t rude, but her response was, “Well, I can’t deny you an epidural… but, I will check you and see if you have dilated any further. If you have, I will call for the anesthesiologist to come to place your epidural”. She checked me again. I was only 2 centimeters. I felt so stupid for even asking to get the epidural at only 2 centimeters. But, I knew the pain I was in was still really extreme.

By midnight my epidural was finished. I had the most amazing anesthesiologist who helped me get prepped and explained every detail of the process. I trusted him, and it helped me get through this big step in the labor process. He told me I would feel a big bee sting. I cringed a little bit and waited for the sting. I never felt it. He told me I was going to feel a lot of pressure as he inserted it. I waited for the pressure. I never felt it. I was shocked that it was over so quickly and I didn’t feel anything. For anyone worried about the pain of an epidural, I can tell you it was quite truthfully a zero out of ten on the pain scale. They warned me of the side effects of the epidural and said if I started throwing up to let them know. I asked for extra Zofran, and it prevented all nausea. Phew!

A short while later, the nurses put a peanut ball between my legs and had me lay on my side. They told me they would come back every hour to flip me from side to side to help the epidural spread evenly throughout my lower body. Right after they left I started to feel way less pain, but a lot more pressure. I called for the nurse again at 12:45 AM. “Can you just look to see if her head is coming out? I am not even kidding” is all I kept saying! I think the nurse thought I was crazy. But I knew what I was feeling. They came in to check my cervix again. She told me what I was filling was my amniotic sac was bulging, and started to push its way out. Then, I watched the nurse’s face fill with confusion. “I need to check this again”, she said. My heart started racing. Was something wrong? “I was right. You are at a 7, and your water is about to break..” My response was “Are you being serious?” I had JUST been at a two right before my epidural was placed 40 minutes before. Everyone was shocked. They told me to try to stay calm and just try to get some rest. This baby was most likely coming sooner than we had anticipated. Hayden texted my mom who was about 40 minutes away at this point, and within 5 minutes, she and my aunts were on their way to the hospital.

I was hyped up on adrenaline at this point. Feeling the best I had felt throughout my entire labor. Or my entire third trimester for that matter. Then I felt something else weird. Was that sweat? Or pee? Or amniotic fluid? I called for the nurse AGAIN (LOL) around 1:30 AM, and asked them to check it out for me. Sure enough, it was my water leaking. Not fully broken, but leaking. The nurse said she wanted to check my cervix again. I remember her counting aloud, “6,7,8,9,10… You’re at a 10. We need to start pushing.” The amount of serotonin pumping through my body was unmatched. That is when Hayden went out to the waiting room and got my mom. She came in to give me the last boost of encouragement I needed before I would deliver. It was so special to have those moments with my mom, and I will cherish that memory forever.

Around 2:00 AM my room began to fill with medical staff. I remember seeing them set up the baby station, and knowing my girl was coming so soon. By 2:07 AM I was pushing. Hayden along with the doctor and nurses made me feel like an absolute superhero. In fact, I vividly remember thinking, “No one has ever pushed this hard!”, and “If I push any harder, my brain will pop. I need to be careful.” Every single person in the room was cheering for me, and rooting for my girl. Part of my birth plan was that I wanted to use a mirror to see myself push. I cannot recommend this enough. It helped me feel SO motivated. There was a point where I remember the doctor telling me to reach down and feel her little head. Our worship song, Million Little Miracles was playing in the background. I could see her dark hair in the mirror, but when I felt her head, NOTHING was stopping me from getting this girl out right then. My next contraction came, and with my eyes closed I pushed harder than I ever thought possible. I heard someone shout, “Look down, Mazie!” and when I looked, I saw the most beautiful girl squirming around, with a loud cry. Just as we had prayed, she was roaring like she had the Lion of Judah inside of her at 2:36 AM. They handed her straight to me and the moment she got to my chest, my entire world changed. Hayden and I were in awe.

All I can say is that God is so good and so incredibly faithful. My labor and delivery experience was better than I could have ever imagined. I know that was all God’s doing. He gave us exactly what we had prayed for and more. This experience brought us both closer to the Lord than ever. We felt His presence so heavily not only throughout my labor and delivery but throughout the entirety of my pregnancy. We are so thankful and feel so blessed to be Teddy’s parents.

Teddy Lucille