A Baby Story: Sweet E

I found out I was pregnant with Sweet E on a Saturday morning in January 2014. She was planned but unexpected, if that makes sense. We knew we wanted to have a second baby and we knew the time frame we had in mind, but she came into the picture about a month before we thought she would. Everything about my pregnancy with her was easier than the first. I had nausea during the first trimester but not as bad as with Lady A. I didn’t gain as much weight, and my blood pressure stayed at an acceptable level so I didn’t have to go on any sodium restrictions or anything like that.

On Monday, September 15, 2014 (6 days before my due date), I went to my 39 week OB check-up. At that appointment, I was already 75% effaced with 4cm dilation… but no contractions. Being that this was my second pregnancy, my body must’ve just known what to do. I’m sure the evening primrose oil capsules helped, too. My doctor and I agreed that she would do a membrane sweep at that appointment {a very uncomfortable but quick procedure}. There is a 50% chance that labor will ensue within 24 hours of the sweep.  She sent me home with very clear instructions, “When you go into labor tonight, make sure you tell me that you’re 4cm and 75% so I know to get my butt out of bed.” I had a membrane sweep with Lady A a couple years prior but with no luck, so I wasn’t optimistic. But, I went home, made sure my bag was packed just in case {it had been packed for awhile but I added some last minute things}, and emailed my boss to let her know that I would be working from home until the baby arrived.

Have I mentioned that I hate being pregnant? I mean, I hate it so much. I am so thrilled, blessed, and grateful that I got to have that experience twice but if I’m being real, I have to admit that it’s not my favorite. So, since I hated it so much, Lady A was voluntarily induced. That said, I didn’t really know what to expect when it came to going into labor naturally and knowing what contractions feel like and I was slightly nervous {I had an epidural with Lady A and only remember the excruciatingly painful ones right before I got the drugs so I wasn’t sure what to look for}.

So, Tuesday morning rolled around and it felt like a normal day. I showered, booted up my laptop, and started working from my sofa. Sometime around 11:30a I felt what I now realize was my first contraction. It wasn’t until about an hour later that I truly realized what was happening. So, I did what anyone would do. I went to the bathroom and put on a full-face of make-up, duh. If I’m going to give birth today, I’m going to look good while doing it, I thought. My BFF and I had a plan that I would let her know when I was in labor so that she could drive up from Orlando and take birth photos for us. Seven hours is plenty of time to get here, right? I wasn’t sure, though, if I was actually going to have the baby that day. I mean, it wasn’t my first time but it kind of was since this was a totally different experience. Nevertheless, she worked on getting her oil changed, packing, etc. so she could hit the road. Todd was at work but was on standby at that point, too. Nothing felt urgent because even though I was having contractions, they were irregular, my water hadn’t broken, and I wasn’t really in pain.

Around 2:00p my contractions started to become pretty regular {and close together} and kind of long. So, at 3:00, I finally called my doctor’s office who told me to head over to the hospital. Sometime in that timeframe I told Todd to come home; his office is an hour from our house.

Todd rolled in around 4:00 and decided at that time to finally pack his overnight bag. Are you freaking kidding me?! I’ve been packed for weeks and now you want to do this? I’m in labor! I used the time to email my team and tell them I was officially going on maternity leave, set my “out of office”, and shut my computer down {My coworker later told me that she was “mortified” that I was emailing her all day while I was in labor}. At this point my contractions had become the “stop you in your tracks” kind so I was less than pleased that he was seriously taking his freaking time to get out of the house. I would have killed him if I wasn’t in labor. Seriously. But, I kept my cool.

After a few days about 25 minutes, we finally got in the car and I called my mom to tell her what was happening and to plan to keep Lady A for a couple of days. She asked me if I was sure I was in labor… uh, yeah, Mom. Yeah.

We got the hospital around 5:00, water still in tact, and we got settled into our room shortly thereafter. The contractions were pretty intense at that time and I immediately started asking for my beloved old friend, the epidural. Give me the sauce! Where is the ‘sauce man’?!

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Well, it turns out that my white blood cell count was a little too high for the anesthesiologist (the sauce man) to feel good about drugging me up {fear of a hidden infection} so they needed a urine sample – reason being that if it was something silly like a UTI, no big deal. Well all of this took entirely too long, despite my incessant asks and cries, because the nurse checked me and the words, “There’s no time left for an epidural” left her mouth at which point I starting hysterically crying, “I can’t do this!” knowing good and well that I had no choice.

But, let’s take a pause for a minute and talk about my nurse. She was the worst. Now listen, I was not ready to endure all of that pain; I was pro-drugs and didn’t invest even a nano-second of breathing therapy or anything of the like. So instead, I screamed and moaned and cursed and cried through the contractions. Childbirth is no joke, y’all. But, I digress. My nurse was the worst because even though I can’t remember exactly what she said, she made comments to me that I should stop yelling, breathe, blah blah blah… but she wasn’t nice about it. Todd tells me that at one point he even told her that I get to scream if I want to. Thanks, Babe. I later learned that she gave birth to a gaggle of children without meds so she thought I was a royal wuss. And maybe I am. I’m not ashamed. I wasn’t prepared.

Okay so back to my agony. So, throughout all of this, my water was still in tact… until it wasn’t. Sometime during one of my contractions, I felt warm liquid exit my body and realized that yes, indeed, we were close to meeting my little girl.

So, in similar fashion to Lady A’s arrival, I needed to push and my doctor wasn’t there yet. Surprise, surprise. But {in similar fashion to Lady A’s arrival} she floated in just in time for the room to be flipped for delivery and I started pushing. With each push I let out a blood curdling scream and that solidified why I love my OB: the awful nurse tried to get me to stop screaming but my dear, sweet doctor said to her, “No, no. It’s working, let her scream.” God bless that woman.

So, remember how I said I thought my water broke?  Well, it turns out that was just pee. Yep, I peed on myself. Awesome.

My water finally broke during one of my pushes and it was like the geyser, Old Faithful. Gross, I know. At that point they told me that Sweet E took after her big sister and left me with a parting gift of meconium which would, yet again, prevent me from holding her right away. Freaking kids… just don’t know how to appreciate nice accommodations.

Thankfully, Sweet E was in a hurry to come out and after like 3 sets of pushes, at 6:35pm, she made her grand, perfect arrival.

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Total time from first contraction to first breath = 7 hours

I think it was a busy day in Labor & Delivery because my doctor pretty much caught the baby, made sure I was okay and left to catch another baby while my midwife finished the job with me.

So, what was it like pushing out a baby sans epidural? Well, I’ve had better days, that’s for sure. But the truth is, the contractions hurt worse than the actual exit. And, I could feel her limbs leaving my body which was a very interesting feeling, to say the least. But, I have to give credit where credit is due. Those “all natural” {crunchy} moms are on to something; I felt 10x better after having Sweet E than I did after having Lady A. And, since I didn’t have an epi, I didn’t have an IV bag so I wasn’t super puffy either. Plus, no epidural meant no iodine which meant no near-passing-out by Todd {who was super awesome throughout the whole ordeal, by the way}.

Oh, and even though I sweated like crazy, my make-up stayed in tact! Y’all. If you haven’t tried Urban Decay’s All-Nighter make-up setting spray, you are missing out. Buy some. Now.

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So, I finally got to meet Sweet E and she was beautiful. 7 lbs 12 oz, 19″ of perfectly round-headed baby perfection. She nursed like a champ from the start and was super snuggly. Sweet E just wanted to be held which I was okay with, because I just wanted to hold her. She’s always been sweet and, therefore, got her nickname at birth.

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My BFF made it to the hospital around 10:00pm, by the way, after our families had left for the night. We were so anxious for Lady A to meet her little sister the following morning. That first night was so much easier than it was with Lady A for a few reasons:

  1. It wasn’t our first rodeo
  2. Sweet E was able to nurse while I was laying down; Lady A never mastered that
  3. She slept like a pro because I held her for most of the night

We were in baby bliss. That said, having babies in the hospital is no fun because every couple of hours, someone comes in to check on you wake you up for one reason or another. It’s awful.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I never actually had an infection of any kind.

The next morning Lady A arrived to meet her little sister. I had pictured that moment so many times and hoped that it would be some sweet, picturesque vision of love at first sight. Wrong. Lady A wanted nothing to do with her. In fact, when she came in the room, she was thrilled to see me until she saw me holding the baby. She proceeded to stick her hand straight out and repeat “no” over and over again. There were a couple moments where we got her to come close and even give her a kiss but it was an uphill battle for a long while.

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We had a gift for Lady A at the hospital that was “from” Sweet E, a baby {doll} of her own to take care of, in hopes that she and I could care for our babies together. She was entertained by it in the hospital and for like one day five minutes at home. Sweet E plays with it now.

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We got home the following night (Wednesday) around 9:00 {with a stockpile of mesh panties that I brought home with me}. My BFF made a delicious dinner and I finally got to take a shower for the first time since the previous morning. Remember when I peed on myself and gave birth? Yeah. That shower was sweet relief. There was nothing else to do but get ready for bed and settle in as a new family of four.

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The day after that (Thursday, the 18th) was Lady A’s second birthday. My step-dad brought her home from their house mid-morning and because I am such a good mother insane, we had a birthday party for her that I had planned weeks before that night. I had put the word out that the only way it would be cancelled was if I was in labor or the hospital. It was a cute little Elmo party for just family but, in hindsight, I’m an idiot. It’s not like Lady A will ever remember it. But, at least I’ll get to use it against her at some point in life. I threw you a birthday party 48 hours after giving birth to your sister, you ungrateful little [insert appropriate noun here]!  I feel like that guilt trip argument will be valid in so many scenarios, right?!

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Truth be told, the party was actually a great thing because everyone got to see the baby at once and then leave at once. Sweet E spent the evening getting passed from loving person to loving person. She {still} loves to be held so I’m sure she was enjoying it.

Our lives had changed forever and I am so glad they did.

Before I close out this super long post, here are some similarities between my girls’ births:

  • They had the same due date of 9/21 (weird, right?)
  • They were both born on a Tuesday
  • They were both born at 35 minutes past the hour (2:35 and 6:35, respectively)
  • They both left me with meconium parting gifts (jerks)
  • I had the same hospital room on the nursery floor with both girls

So, tell me about your birth stories! Was your experience anything like mine?

Photo cred: M. Fewless & Brandi Sisson

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11 Comments

  1. October 24, 2016 / 12:58 pm

    Super mom! Who throws a birthday party 2 days after giving birth? You do apparently! Reading back on your archives and loving the blog. Also, GREAT TIP on the Urban Decay setting spray. One of my good friends is a make up artist and she told me she will come to do my make up when I give birth so I look good in all pictures… she then realized this would only work if it was a scheduled C section 🙁 So I might be on my own on that lol

    • October 25, 2016 / 10:02 am

      Thanks so much for reading! I’m telling you, I swear by that setting spray… you definitely need to get some! And yeah, in hindsight, I was *insane* for throwing that party but I’m so glad I did! Thanks for the love!

  2. Traci R Caswell
    July 8, 2016 / 4:05 pm

    This is awesome! Feel like I’m catching up with an old friend. 🙂 Love your face!

  3. June 7, 2016 / 8:37 am

    This was such a great read! I’m with you on the pregnancy thing- I definitely didn’t enjoy it like some moms seem to (or are they just lying and we all hate it 🙂 ). But can we just talk about how awesome you looked after giving birth!

    • June 7, 2016 / 8:53 am

      Thank you so much! Girlfriend, I’m telling you… it was all about the make-up setting spray!

      And yeah, maybe they’re faking it. I choose to believe that. Thanks for reading!! xo

  4. Sandra
    June 6, 2016 / 5:53 pm

    Loved reading this Shannon! I’m dying with your cross-outs! lol! 😂 You’re one tough mama that’s for sure! My labor and delivery experience with my youngest daughter was totally unexpected and scary (ended in an emergency c-section)…just goes to show you never know what’s going to happen!

    • June 7, 2016 / 3:19 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you liked it! And you’re right, nothing goes completely as planned! So thankful for healthy babies, though!

  5. June 6, 2016 / 8:28 am

    Love this 🙂 So glad I got to be there.

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