A Birth Story: Shepard David

My due date for our little guy, Shepard, was October 28th. His due date came and passed and I started to get very nervous about going into labor. I didn’t want to be hit with intense contractions while my husband was at work and I also didn’t want to be surprised with them out of no where. I wanted a plan. I told my husband I wouldn’t mind having to be induced because we would know exactly when to go to the hospital. With my last two births, I hated driving to the hospital during contractions. I hated getting poked and admitted while being in so much pain. I was scared to death of labor once again and wanted some kind of peace.

I had an appointment on Thursday, November 1st with my OBGYN because baby boy would be 41 weeks on Sunday, November 4th. My doctor checked to see if I could be induced that night because of the complications that can occur the longer the baby is in the womb. There were no openings until 9 pm the following night, Friday, November 2nd. This was perfect because my doctor would be on call and it gave me time to mentally and physically prepare. Based off of my last two labors, we assumed I would labor through the night into the next evening and (fingers crossed) that my OB would be the one to deliver our baby. Because of our preparation I was also able to request a specific nurse that I had wanted!

Friday morning came and I stayed in bed for a while with my two girls. We laughed and talked and took our day slowly. We watched a movie and I soaked up my last day of just us girls. My oldest was so excited to finally meet her brother while my youngest said something along the lines of “he’s supposed to stay in there forever” Lol

I was able to clean the house entirely so the baby would come home to a calm environment and I’d have some peace of mind.

My husband came home from work and we dropped our girls off at my parents house. I was beginning to get nervous. We ran a few errands: Target, gas, and I can’t remember what else. I got little houses for the girls to paint and FaceTimed them one last time.  Then we decided to head back home to eat something before the big moment. I kept thinking “This is it. This is the beginning of his birth story.”

When we got home, I was so nervous I could barely eat. I had a few bites of chicken and rice. Bland was good!

I took one last picture of my belly and we left to the hospital!

I don’t remember much of the drive to the hospital. Only that I was really nervous and my husband, Isaac, was so excited. We were definitely ready to meet this little boy!

We got to the hospital, parked (next to a wall… maybe I’ll want to remember this detail?) got our bags and I tried to soak up everything we were doing. I remember trying to make sure we did everything perfectly so it would be easier on us as we left the hospital.

Did we park in the right spot? Can we get in and out with the car seat? Is the car seat going to be ok in that seat? Will it be cold? Will we need our big coats?

We walked through the cold parking lot and headed into the quiet hospital. Memories of being in labor with my daughters flooded my mind as we passed familiar hallways. We stepped into an elevator and got to where we needed to be. As we checked in, Isaac said something that made some nurses laugh and I felt less nervous. He was happy, I was happy, we were ready. Everything went by fairly quickly and as we walked into our room I noticed Shepard’s clothes were laid out and ready for him! It felt so surreal.

The nurse that I had requested got me ready for labor and my doctor discussed what the plan was! She inserted a “lucky” Misoprostol and explained that it should work within 4 hours. But again, since my last 2 labors were so long we didn’t expect to meet baby boy for another day or so. The plan was to start Pitocin after the Miso.

We were left alone and Isaac tried getting some sleep. Within the hour I started to feel cramping and knew that labor had started. I used that hour to pray and talk to God. It was peaceful and although I was scared, I felt prepared. I remember that Isaac was freezing cold and he didn’t get to sleep much because he saw that I was uncomfortable. At some point he wanted to distract me from the cramping so he put Beauty and The Beast on his phone.

While he held his phone out for me I started to get more intense cramping and real contractions began. I started to close my eyes and just listened to what was playing. Then I felt an intense sharp pain and kind of panicked. A nurse ran in and told me to move into a different position and said she couldn’t find the baby. It was extremely scary but everything resolved within a few minutes of me getting repositioned. I started to cry as she left and I could see that Isaac was nervous as well.

Labor came on fast and strong and felt much more painful than my last two births, and both were so painful! The Miso did its job and got my contractions going on their own. I was so thankful. My nurse had also been a doula so she knew exactly what to do and when to do it. She helped so much and always made sure I was okay.

I leaned on Isaac the whole labor. He helped me more than I can express and it was such a blessing to have him. He talked me through things, prayed, helped me relieve pressure. Anything you can think of.

We were left alone again and I was sitting on the edge of the bed. I felt a “pop” inside and liquid started running down my legs and onto my feet. I told Isaac “I think my water broke. Or I peed. I’m not sure, but I felt a pop” and he laughed. “You think it broke?” So he called the nurse in and she checked. Sure enough! It wasn’t pee! She told me she did pick the “lucky” Miso and we were laboring well!

My birth plan was to go unmedicated but I was open to an epidural if labor was too long and if I felt like I couldn’t go any further. Beforehand I had prepped my mind and made sure to have Isaac and my sister, Korie, read about natural birth so they could reassure me of things and remind me to change positions, etc.

During early labor (an hour or so) my mind kept playing the Sound of Music’s “The Lonely Goatherd” and I would focus on that instead of contractions. I don’t know why, but it helped! Once the harsh contractions came, it no longer worked and all I could say was “no, no, no, no, no” and needed silence. I tried to focus through each contraction and closed my eyes.

I don’t remember much else of the labor. I remember telling Isaac it was time to call his mom and Korie. I remember hearing Korie come in the room and then his mom shortly after. I remember Korie trying to braid my hair and reminding me to change positions. Then I kept feeling intense pressure and I asked Isaac to take me to the bathroom. We stayed in there for what felt like forever. There was a bar that I could hold onto and I was just terrified to move. I was in so much pain and told Isaac that I was done. I was ready for medication and couldn’t go any further. He told the nurse and she said I needed to be checked first. I was so scared to walk to the bed and it took a great amount of courage to move. I remember telling Isaac “don’t ever let me do this again” and wanting so badly for everything to be over.

My nurse quickly checked me and said it was baby time! I wasn’t able to get medication, which I was thankful didn’t happen, but I’m glad I requested it because we were able to start the pushing process. The doctor was called in and she said I was indeed given the “lucky” miso and she seemed so glad that it worked! And worked quickly! I only labored for 5 hours! It was definitely shorter than the other labors but so much more intense. Korie and Isaac’s Mom, Bev, were there for maybe an hour (or two?) before I started pushing.

Everyone was in position and I was told to push. I couldn’t comprehend HOW to push and felt so confused. The doctor and nurse told me what to do and I was honestly so upset I had to do it on my own. ( Insert eye roll here )

With my last two births someone would hold my legs while I pushed and this time I was told to hold my own legs and push. I felt like I didn’t have the energy and didn’t think I could do it by myself! It seemed like my doctor was getting bothered and I felt like I was acting like a crazy lady Lol. I had Symphysis pubis dysfunction throughout my pregnancy (still have it two months later!) and I just remember my legs and hips burning with intense pain and I kept yelling about my legs. I couldn’t even bend them because it hurt so badly.

I’m not sure how long I pushed for but it felt like 15 minutes. The nurse and doctor told me to push when I felt the need to and to listen to my body. This was also new because the last two labors I was told to push during contractions and all of these other “rules” I had to follow.

This time I felt like I had to get in sync with my body and really listen to it. It was a whole new experience! A more powerful experience.

Finally the doctor told me to gently push and then she had me stop and said “Kayla, look!” And there he was! My big baby boy! He barely cried. Everyone, including the doctor was saying how big he was! Especially for me (4’11”) and I remember Isaac saying how light complected he was Lol.

I was so over the moon with Shepard and I was so thankful for everyone. Shepard was born without any complications and everything went so smoothly and perfectly! God is so good. I felt a huge relief, especially after all the chaos during pregnancy.

Shepard was born at 2:56 am, weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 19.5″ long

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