Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nathan's Birth Story

He's here!! We have a new baby! Little Nathan Daniel joined our family on September 14th at 12:33 AM. He weighed 8 lbs 5 oz and was 20" long. And he has red hair. We have a redhead! He's sooooo cute.

It's funny to think I'm posting his birth story on my due date. Heh. No due date baby this time around! I'm definitely not complaining about him coming 6 days early ;)

The birth story itself may be TMI. If you're like me and like to read all the gory details of giving birth, read on. If not...well, just scroll to the pictures ;)

I started losing bits of plug 3 days before I went into labor. I had a few contractions here and there, but nothing consistent or painful. I woke up around 6 AM on the 13th with timeable contractions. Most of them were pretty mild, but they definitely built in intensity as the morning wore on. We knew we'd be going in that day.

Our baby's name changed on us during labor. We planned on naming him Benjamin Luke, but it was very clear to us that his name is Nathan Daniel. It was a special spiritual experience for our family; one that I'm not willing to post all over the internet. I haven't even fully explained it to some family members yet. Not that I think they'd be rude about it or anything, just...it's kind of hard to explain and I'm not sure how accepting they'd be. If that makes sense. Most of my family doesn't have the same beliefs as we do.

The name change totally surprised us. Neither are names we would have chosen on our own. Not that they're bad names; we just had reasons not to use them. We have a brother-in-law named Nathan and a nephew named Nason. And...I almost married a Daniel who turned out to be a major loser. So, yeah, not exactly names on our list!

But when it's that clear that that's his name, who are we to argue?

The night before I went into labor, we discovered that our babysitters would only be available during the evening/night. Understandable, since they're both in school, but it was definitely stressful to look for a day babysitter while in labor! Thankfully, our awesome friends Ben and Vicki were able to watch Emma and Hyrum for us until Tori and Adam could come over.

We finally got to the hospital around 1 PM and I was miserable! Oh how I hate contractions. They didn't even put me through triage; they just put me in a regular labor and delivery room since it was my 3rd and I was so unbearably uncomfortable.

Ha, they don't know how long my labors are. But that's ok; the sooner I get in, the sooner I can get my epidural ;)

I was 4.5 cm dilated when they checked me. I got my epidural around 3:30 and life was good! Kudos to the women who do it without. I...am a wimp. I don't like pain. I like drugs that take the pain away. I have really long labors, so drugs are a very good option for me. Sure, it might be faster if I didn't get an epidural, but I'm not willing to find out. I don't think that it would in my case. I'm exhausted by the end enough as it is.

I was thrilled to find out that my doctor was the one on call at the time. I'm not really a fan of the other OB at their office. He's rubbed me the wrong way every time I've met with him.

I got stuck at 7 cm for a loooong time. I always get stuck somewhere! So annoying. I experienced a bit of karma with this one; my son decided to float back up - just like I did to my mom when she was in labor with me. Little stinker. Things sped up after I changed positions (I tried to nap a little before) and used the bed pan (I warned you ;)). I quickly went to a 9 after that.

But then I got stuck at 9! Aaagh! He did not want to move back down! It seemed to take forever. It's funny; every time the nurse mentioned trying pitocin, my body decided to behave and have some mega contractions. LOL, she even brought in a pitocin drip and purposefully left it there (but not hooked up) since the threat alone seemed to work.

Even so, we had to do some less-than-pleasant things to help me dilate the rest of the way. Like attempt pushing while being checked. Can I say ouch?! Even with an epidural, that is just awful!

That alone exhausted me. By the time I was finally dilated enough to push for real, I was sooo worn out and ready to be done. I had a bit of an emotional meltdown. "I can't do this, I just want him out, I just want to be done" crying kind of thing.

Thankfully, the nurse said I only had to push for 30 minutes and if that didn't get him out, we'd get my doctor in and try the vacuum. Phew! Well, 30 minutes of misery later, we got my OB in and tried to push for a few contractions before he pulled out the vacuum.

By that point, I had nothing left. I was sooooo exhausted. Although technically I only pushed for 30 minutes, I really pushed a ton more because of all that time we tried to help me dilate. But my OB told me I still needed to push with the vacuum and that he had a limited number of pulls. He didn't tell me how many until after (probably a good thing - sometimes ignorance is bliss).

While we waited for a contraction to use the vacuum, I prayed with everything I had. I had no strength of my own left to give; I needed help. I prayed as hard as I could.

He came out with only one pull.

I did end up needing an episiotomy (again - 3rd time's the charm!) and then tore a little beyond that. 2nd degree again, just like with Hyrum. Still, it's better than the 4th degree I had with Emma. I wonder what it'd be like to not need stitches after...

Afterwards, my doctor said he was amazed by the strength I found at the end. I told him it was because I prayed for it; it totally wasn't me at all.

We were all astonished that baby Nathan had red hair. My OB is a redhead, so of course he thought it was awesome. We love his hair! My grandpa (Dad's dad) had red hair, as did one of John's great uncles (I think?). So it's not impossible...just a bit unexpected.

We thought we'd get another blonde or a baby with John's really dark brown hair. But nope, not this little guy! He likes to surprise us. Like by changing his name during labor...or by coming a week early...or by being a boy...or by this pregnancy happening when it did...yeah, he definitely keeps us on our toes already!

He had a hard time learning to latch at first, but a very astute nurse noticed that the poor little guy was tongue-tied. Once we got that taken care of, he learned to adjust and can now latch better. He's still a little lazy about opening his mouth enough, but we're getting there. Good thing I have as much nursing experience as I do!

Now we're all home and adjusting well. I recover amazingly well so I constantly have to remind myself not to overdo it. I've done too much a few times already anyway. Like walk to my favorite craft store...with stops at the consignment store and the grocery store on the way...with 3 kids...yeah, that's a LONG walk. Don't worry; my mom was with me so it's not like I went by myself with 3 kids. Sooo not ready to do that! We had John pick us up after so we wouldn't have to walk home :)

Emma and Hyrum just adore him. Emma keeps saying, "he's so cute! I love him." Hyrum says "baby" all the time and tries to give him toys. He helped me burp him today, too. They both love to hug and kiss and hold him. They also love to help with diaper changes. Such sweet, loving, good older siblings!

My mom is here to help and it's been SO helpful. I'd be lying if I didn't say we've had our disagreements...anyone who knows our relationship would know that we can't spend that much time together without some sort of issue popping up. But she holds the baby, changes him, cooks, cleans, etc. After being so spoiled, it will be tough to adjust to not having her here when she leaves!

And now, for the part you've all been waiting for: pictures!!!

Just after birth

Brothers ♥ Hyrum kissing baby Nathan ♥

LOL, Emma looks annoyed, but she loves the baby and was rocking him. Tori's comment on Facebook was the best: Emma's like, "I know how to hold a baby."



Aaaaaaw ♥


Snuggled up with Grandma

"No more pictures, Mom!"



The big kids all dressed up for church; obviously I stayed home with the baby!

And this is why we walked to the craft store; to get supplies to make this cute name sign for Nathan.

All 3 name signs together ♥ It's on a built-in shelf in their room.

Grandma hard at work ;)

Yay, he likes the swing!!

And that's our sweet little baby ♥ We just adore him. He's so cuddly and sweet. He's sooo cute! Everyone loves him ♥


  1. Love the story.. i am also a detailed birth story person... after i had kids that is.. lol..but wow..what a story!! congrats.. he is beautiful!

  2. Oh my goodness! He's such a beautiful little boy!!! Congrats!

  3. such a cutie :) What a birth story! Yay for blessings when they are needed :)

  4. Oh how sweet! I love the gory details too! It's so nice you had your mom to come help. I'm sure she was a life saver. I need inspiration like that for my children's names. It is so hard for us to agree on names. I'm sure that is one great story. I really like his name. And just so ya know...all the Daniel's I know are completely awesome. That's my brother's name and he is the best. Enjoy all those newborn snuggles...you know how fast they grow. Best wishes :)

  5. He is just adorable Sara. I am so happy for you, your family is gorgeous. Congratulations!!