Asher’s Birth Story
Thursday, August 22nd-
39 weeks 2 days
I was heading out to dinner with a girlfriend of mine and snapped a few bump pics before leaving, as a sort of “possibly my last girls night before Asher” photo. Ryan was giving Annabelle a bath and as I kissed them both goodbye, I asked Ryan to take a picture of me and Belle. I just had in my head the past few days to take a bunch of pictures because I would want to look back and think “this was the last pic of just the two of us”- turns out- it was just that. I went to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory with my friend Julie and we joked about how the spicy guacamole should put me into labor. As we left that night, we hugged and I said “the next time you see me, Ill be a Momma of two”- we had no idea it would happen so soon!
I got home at about 8:30 pm, showered, and crawled into bed just ready to relax. Ryan and I were just sitting there, chatting, when all of the sudden at 9:50 pm, I felt a sharp pain, I thought the baby just moved in a weird painful way, until immediately following, my water broke. I remember thinking it couldn’t be my water- I thought, it doesn’t actually happen this way, your water breaking out of nowhere, without contractions first, but sure enough it was. Ryan jumped right up and said something along the lines of “ok, lets do this!” called his parents and finished getting together the last minute things for our bags. I just lied in bed. Scared. I hadn’t even felt a contraction yet, but I was scared. Ryan came to my side of the bed and I just cried and said, “ I can’t do this, I'm not ready.” He said, “sure you are, you’re showered, your bags are packed, you got this.” Unfortunately I wasn’t worried about my bags, and my shower, I was worried about the pain ahead. My labor and delivery with Annabelle was all natural, not even so much as an Advil. And you know how they say that eventually you forget the pain of labor? Well that is true, but let me tell you when it REALLY comes back to you- the memories of that pain- in the very moment you are about to start doing it again. WHAT IN THE HECK WAS I THINKING!
Ryan’s Dad came over to stay with Belle, and of course my crazy brain could only think, “I need to kiss her one more time” so I did and of course she woke up. I felt so incredibly guilty because she could tell something was up and it took her a long time to get back tot sleep after we left. But I REALLY needed to hug and kiss her again, before my ONLY BABY became a BIG SISTER. That was such an incredibly emotional moment- kissing her and walking out of her room, knowing how much her tiny little world was about to change. I felt guilt, happiness, sadness and excitement all at once.
Playing at the beach- a beautiful "last girls-only-day".
We arrived at the hospital with Ryan’s Mom at 10:15pm. We signed in and waited in the waiting area, where I had my first contraction at about 10:17pm. We waited for quite a while but I was relatively comfortable- wasn’t having many contractions- I was just excited, and nervous, and already thinking about how different this labor was to Annabelle’s. With her I had consistent contractions at home for about 11 hours before my water broke, we headed to the hospital and she was born 1.5 hours later. I could tell this time, it wasn’t going to be the same. So the “newness” of it all was scary.
We finally were taken back into triage at 10:40, we got signed in and I was in a room being checked by 10:50pm. I was 3cm 80% effaced. Which was basically where I was a week before at my Doc appt. I wasn’t surprised that there was no change, as I hadn’t had any real contractions.
Friday, August 23rd
We waited in triage for a long time and were finally taken to a labor and delivery room maybe at about 12:00/12:30am. Once we were all settled into our room, Ryan and I started walking the halls, trying to get some progress happening! By around 1:50am my contractions were ranging from 5-10 minutes apart. They would not get consistent, but since my water had broken already, I wanted to stay at the hospital. I was very uncomfortable, even though the contractions wouldn’t pick up. Hours went by and the pain of the contractions was INTENSE, but they were not getting closer and I could feel myself getting frustrated. At around 6 am my Doctor came to check me again and I was 5cm (up from 3cm at first check) but still 80% effaced. Doc suggested starting Pitocin since it had been over 8 hours since my water had broken and little progress. Even though it was not exactly my plan, I decided after many questions to GO for the pitocin and epidural. I felt defeated, wondering WHY I couldn’t do it without meds again, why was it so different? Was I just giving up to easily? But I did it. I got the pitocin and epidural around 6:30ish am. By 7:52 I posted a picture to IG with the following caption and since these words were written in the moment- ill just rewrite them- “Oh hello, epidural, my new BFF. I’m feeling pretty good, Pitocin kicked my contractions up to every 3-4 minutes in no time! And I can’t feel them! So crazy! Thinking it may not be long now! Ahhhhh!” So yeah- epidural was amazingggg. I had no pain, and pretty much experienced a super happy high, I was cracking jokes with my wonderful nurse, posting pictures to IG, talking, and just happily and calmly looking forward to meeting my boy.
And by about 8:30am, the nurses were asking me if I felt like I could push, I said “sure, I guess, I don’t know, I cant really tell” they told me the contractions were there and it was time. My Doc was delivering another baby right then so we “had to wait” and I was just so calm and content and LUCKILY in no pain so waiting was ok, although I was so anxious! Finally my Doctor came in and with just a few pushes, my sweet boy was born!
8:47am, 6lbs15oz and measuring 19.5 inches! Our beautiful Asher Shepherd!
I could go on forever writing about just how perfect his birth was and how different it was from Annabelle’s. But both were perfect in their own way. I appreciate both of them for what they taught me, for how they made me feel, and for the complete blessing that came from both experiences. I said it going into both births- I just want my baby here happy and healthy. And I was blessed to get JUST THAT both times; regardless of the way they reached my arms. I wont say which way I preferred. I cant even say what I would do if there was ever a “next time”. When I tell people of my experience and give my advice I simply state what I would go into it the way I went into both of these- with an open mind, no “birth plan” and just go with it. Decide how you feel in the moment. There is no right or wrong way. Just go with what you feel is right for you and your baby in the time. I enjoyed both experiences. Birthing Annabelle without medication was a completely powerful feeling afterwards- way afterwards. I felt on top of the world and it feels good to look back and think of what my body did, what my brain was able to overcome. Birthing Asher was so different. I was calm and focused and just able to enjoy it, every minute of it. I am just so incredibly blessed with my two babies. And speaking of- Goodness. I think the only thing better than meeting your baby for the first time is seeing your BABIES become SIBLINGS. Oh melt the heart; I will cherish this day forever.
I wrote the first half of this birth story within the first days and weeks of Asher’s life, and then finished it just a few days before his first birthday. I reflected using the pictures I posted and the comments I had written. What a wonderful little memory walk. I truly cant believe a year has passed since this magical day.
I love you, my sweet Asher Boy. You have truly blessed our family. I cant believe how much my heart has grown since knowing you. Thank you for choosing my to be your Momma. Thank you for loving me.
If you'd like to see the little slideshow I put together of his birth day pictures and meeting big sister- click the link below! I need a few tissues every time!