Warning: This is my birth story. Graphic images (to some) and graphic words (to others). Don’t wanna read about birth- exit now and move on.
It was an ordinary week, I was 38 weeks pregnant heading in for my daily checkup. The past week I was dialated to a 2 and 90% effaced. I was excited to see If I had progressed. I arrived at the clinic, I did the usual routine: temperature, pulse, urine sample, blood pressure. I had a perfect pregnancy, never anything crazy, high risk, I say I got pretty lucky. I had no ER visits the whole time, nothing to make the Dr. nervous or scared over. But when he read that my blood pressure was high, he decided to keep a closer eye on me. He said it was high up in the 100’s and that could be a sign of preeclampsia starting. I had heard of the word before but I thought there was no way that I could be coming down with it, I had a perfect pregnancy, no swelling, and I only gained 12 lbs within those 9 months!. The doctor checked me that day and I was at a 2.5, 90% effaced! Whooooo progress!! ****Preeclampsia: a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure.”
My doctor wanted to see me again in two days to check on my BP (blood pressure.) If my BP wasn’t down next time I came back, I would have to be induced. As you would, I spent the weekend worrying about this whole BP. I rested (for the most part.) but it was so hard to just lay there because to help your body dilate, they say to walk. I really wanted to go into labor on my own because I had heard so many horror stories of being induced. I walked, bounced on a exercise ball.. I tried everything (that was safe). No labor signs… At all…
I went home and relaxed & prayed this baby would come. 7:00 pm rolled around … Nothing. 10:00 pm rolled around … 3:00 am came & went and still NOTHING. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to just sit and wait. I woke up at 5:00 am to check that I was still on to be induced. Everything was on check & we were going to have a baby today. We drove to the hospital. I remember my mind being blank. This was the last moment of my pregnant belly, the last moment T and I would go anywhere just the two of us, the last moment before I became a mom. I was scared, nervous, absolutely terrified for what was about to come. But somehow I felt peace. Knowing today I would meet my son brought a sense of comfort over me. We arrived at the hospital & got all check in.
Our room was spacious, comfy, and relaxing. I was dilated to a three at 8:00 am. Received my IV at 8:30 am which contained pictocin to help induce my labor. The contractions started around 10:00 AM. I was dilated to a 4 and I could feel the pain. Contractions are like a really bad stomach ache. They hurt, not going to lie. The nurse kept asking if I wanted my epidural. I kept saying no because people had said to wait until your a 6 or a 7.
After several checks and several tears later, I decided to get my epidural. I was dilated to a 4. My anesthesiologist was amazing. My IV hurt so much worse then my epidural. He put it in so calm, and was so good at what he did. I didn’t feel a thing. The epidural did some amazing things. I felt more calm, and more prepared for labor. I was much happier, I could laugh, talk with T and my mom and I wasn’t dealing with the pain. I am extremely thankful that I had an epidural.
It was around 11:00 AM by now and I was getting so tired. I zonked out for about an hour when my doctor came in to check on me. He decided to break my water right then. I have mixed emotions about the water breaking. It was not the most pleasant feeling and quite frankly I felt like I was peeing myself. Water broke around 12:00 noon, and now we just had to wait … and wait… Around 1:00 PM the nurse came and checked me and I was dilated to an 8! I had jumped super fast in a limited amount of time so we all figured the baby would come within the next couple of hours. I called my birth photographer, T called family and told them to head down that baby Yardley would make his dispute here shortly!
4:00 PM rolls around and I started to feel more pain. With each contraction brought a load full of tears, nothing was calm anymore. My body ached and I didn’t think I could have this baby.. I got really scared and my nurse kept telling me to just push the epidural button and it would give me more. I pushed it about 4 times and still nothing felt any better. My legs started to go so numb that I couldn’t move my toes or hold my legs up. The epidural had been skipping my mid section- right where the contractions were and was going straight to my feet. After getting some more meds in me I felt great.
I was checked again at 5:30 PM and I was dilated to a 9.5. It was time for some practice pushes. T held one leg and my nurse held the other and helped me count to push. I started on the first push when my nurse threw down my legs and said “Shalyn, you got to hold this baby in! Your DR. is in an emergency surgery and cannot be here yet, this baby is ready to come!.” The next hour slowly rolled by and luckily I wasn’t in pain, but I felt that if I did one little sneeze that my baby would be born. My Dr came running in and he was out of breath, he barely had time to say hello before our sweet baby boy was born.
I pushed for about 5 mins, 3 pushes later and Archer Trevor Yardley came into this world at 6:34 P.M. I had tears rolling down my face, my mom was bursting into tears and T had the sweetest, calmest look on his face as tears streamed down his cheek. They laid this little 8 lb. baby boy on my chest and he looked at me with those little eyes, and I fell in love. I had never felt love like this before. His little face melted my heart & words couldn’t even describe this moment. I instantly became a mother, we became a family of three. T comforted me & was my biggest supporter. He never looked stressed, he stayed calm and made me feel so beautiful. My mom was a huge impact and I am so glad she joined me in the birthing room. They took my baby to get weighed and measured while I got cleaned up. I had to get a couple small stitches, but nothing too major. My little boy weighed 8 lbs even, and was 22 inches long! We loved on him and held him, he got cleaned up with a bath and then our families anxiously came in to meet Archer. Our families are in love with our little guy and we couldn’t be more happy with how everything turned out.
I wouldn’t have been able to get through these 9 months and labor with out T by my side. He is my best friend, and my biggest fan. He never gave up on me and spent hours rubbing my aching feet, going to the store at 2:00 AM for a chocolate bar and loving me. My doctor was amazing, the staff was fantastic and I enjoyed this experience.
Some people have told me that labor was horrible, some said it was okay but for me… I found it perfect. If I could, I would go have another baby tomorrow. It was the best day of my life, time stood still when I got to hold my little babe for the first time. He is perfect in every way and we are so obsessed with him. Even after being in labor for 16 hours, it was the greatest experience of my life. I feel so strong for carrying this baby for 9 months, having my body be his home. I have felt him these past months, he was happy and content. T was such a great inspiration during all of this. He thanked me several times for bringing such a beautiful human being into the world and making him become a dad. I fell more in love with my husband the day Archer was born then I was the day of our wedding.
Since labor, time has flew by. Our little boy is health and perfect in every way possible. We are so happy to be a family of three and nothing else in the world even compares to the love I have for these two boys in my life. I am beyond blessed with everything life has given me.
Photographs by Steel the moment birth photography.