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And baby makes three: The birth of Isaac Henry Epidural

And baby makes three: The birth of Isaac Henry

"I’m no hero—give me the drugs."

dsc_0130Saturday, October 15 was the big due date, and I had been having contractions for two hours every two minutes. I wouldn’t call them painful, but they were uncomfortable. All the professionals live by the 5-1-1 rule. Contractions every five minutes, lasting one minute, for one hour means it’s show time. So off we went to the hospital.

They monitored me for an hour and told me I was in labor but was not in enough pain, so I needed to go on home. They said to come back when I couldn’t walk or talk through contractions … because that makes all the sense in the world.

Sunday, October 16, I had contractions all through church—big time through lunch—and then sporadically throughout the day. Nothing that I couldn’t walk or talk through …

I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday, October 17 (Isaac Henry’s birthday!) My husband, Bryant, and I had decided that if the doc would induce me, we were going to do it. So when he asked if I had any questions, I said, “When can we get this kid out?” He told me he’d send me over right then if I wanted. I wanted.

I wasn’t having contractions; I felt great. And I fully expected to be in labor for 24 hours, being that I’m a first-timer and all. So we checked into the hospital.

They actually rolled me up in a wheelchair, which I thought was absolutely ridiculous because I wasn’t in active labor—but whatever.

I was dilated to 2 and a half, maybe 3, centimeters. I’m pretty sure Bryant felt like Ross from “Friends:” “I’M DILATED 3!” At about 10 a.m. they started my IV (boo IVs!), and my mom arrived at the hospital. At 11 a.m. they started my Pitocin drip to get the contraction party started.

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At around noon, the doc broke my water. Interesting feeling—like you’re peeing without trying and can’t quit. Anyway, after that I started feeling stuff going on. Manageable pain. No big deal. By the way, I was starting to get hot—like sweaty, miserable, hot. Not like, ooh look at that lady, she’s hot.

And then at 2 p.m., I felt like I needed to poop my pants. Sorry that’s not a pretty picture. But I doubt you’re surprised that I said I needed to poop, being that I’m such a delicate flower. So off to the toilet with my IV pole we went. And there stood my dear husband holding all my cords, tubes, etc., so I could sit on the toilet for what I thought was 15 minutes … but was later informed it was about 45 minutes. And I was sweating profusely, so I stripped down to butt naked. No gown for me, thanks.

Then the nurse came in to help me get back to bed (like I was going to have a baby soon or something) and asked me if I wanted to put my gown back on. I said no, to which she responded, “Alright. I’m good if you’re good.” Naked Lindsey Jo = good.

And it was on the throne where I started to experience some real pain. Turns out that it wasn’t poop that needed to come out. It was my son. My contractions were coming on strong, but I was having conversations between them. I asked my mom for a hair tie during a valley, and she returned during a peak causing me to yell, “Get that hair tie out of my face!” Laboring women are so kind. I finally got to the point of no return, and I asked for my lover, Mr. Epidural. I’m no hero—give me the drugs.

So, they came in to place my epidural, and sitting on the toilet had helped me to progress to 7 whole centimeters. By the time they had it placed, I was dilated to 9 centimeters.

Within 30 minutes, I was 10. They let me hang out and contract for a while to “naturally” force Isaac Henry down and out. I didn’t mind because I couldn’t feel a thing. It was glorious. Also important to note, after the epidural I went from burning up to freezing. That’s when The Labor Socks entered the picture. The Labor Socks are just some tie dyed socks that my BFFs and I share for the birthing of our children. Kind of like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants but not as gross because laboring and pants don’t mix with the fluids and all …

So I just sat around for a while talking to my baby-daddy and having contractions that were off the charts. At some point during all this, my posse arrived: our parents, some of our close friends and my grandparents. I think this must have occurred during my pain/sitting on the toilet.

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My dear friend Shannon showed up right in the nick of time. She got to see all the action because I’m all about sharing the experience. Bless her heart. But seriously, if you haven’t watched someone you love give birth, make a point to. It’s amazing!

Anyway, I started pushing at about 4:45 p.m. I watched the whole thing in a mirror, which I highly suggest because it was super cool. Then he just came on out at 5:23 p.m.

Issac Henry Coker was 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 20.5 inches long. Gorgeous. He cried real good. And he looked like his daddy. It was love at first sight.

Then we ate Steak ‘n Shake.

I looked like Shrek from all the water I was retaining, but who cares? I’m a mama! I am so thankful that I get to be a parent to Isaac Henry. What a gift! I never thought I’d whisper so many prayers of thanksgiving for good poops or moments of silence or him actually latching on. It’s amazing how motherhood changes you immediately. I am loving this whole being a mom thing. I love this kid so much. I just want to sniff him and stare at him and jiggle his chubby cheeks. He’s awesome, and he’s mine.

For more tales about what it’s like being a first-time mama, visit Lindsey Jo’s blog, A Cup of Lindsey Jo.

Send us your birth story! Whether you had a home birth, hospital birth, 37-hour labor or emergency C-section, we’d love to read the tale of your little one’s grand entrance. Write up your birth story (click here for tips on getting started) and email it, along with a few photos, to birthstory@pnmag.com. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!