Hunter Ray was born on April 14 at 6:27 p.m. He weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 21 inches. My husband, Josh, and I are super proud parents, and we think he looks like me.
I got Braxton Hicks a lot towards the end of my pregnancy. One night it was pretty bad, and I almost thought it was labor pains—but I guess it was just false labor because at the doctor’s office the next day, I wasn’t dilated at all. This was four days before I gave birth.
I started getting sharp pains on a Saturday night around 11 p.m. I was cleaning the house and getting the spare bedrooms ready for our anticipated guests, my parents and brother, as they planned to travel in after I gave birth.
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The pains didn’t subside and really began increasing, so after trying to lie down in bed, I called to my husband from upstairs and said, “I think we have to figure something out here … ”
I called the doctor and explained that sharp pains came on very quickly and were only about two to three minutes apart. They weren’t full on contractions, but the pains were increasing more and more. My doctor advised that we go to the hospital to get checked out.
We arrived on the maternity floor at 2:08 a.m. after the ER nurse pushed me in a wheel chair from the Emergency Room where we entered the hospital. The nurses got me in the room, checked me out and confirmed that they were contractions. I had to wait until I was more than a centimeter dilated before they could give me an epidural.
Luckily my doctor was in to deliver another baby, so he checked on me. I was 2-3 cm dilated by 9 a.m., so he broke my water. I got the epidural by 10 a.m. It was almost 11 hours of feeling contractions before I had any medication, but it’s just a small memory in my mind.
The epidural slowed down my dilating, so they eventually gave me pitocin, too. It was strange to not have much feeling below my waist, but I was grateful to not sit through the contractions any longer.
The hospital provided a birthing suite, and it had a nice shower and jacuzzi. The jacuzzi and hot water felt really good while I was having contractions. I actually would fall asleep in there and wake up as the contractions came on. Once I had the epidural, though, I was obviously confined to my bed.
So the rest of the day I couldn’t eat, of course, but I really enjoyed gummy bears and jello and water. I felt really thirsty all day, which wasn’t unusual with my pregnancy (not related to gestational diabetes because I didn’t develop that).
The nurses were so great caring for Josh and me. We had a few visitors throughout the day. I was a little groggy (and itchy!) from the epidural.
Finally, in the late afternoon I felt a little pressure and let the nurse know. She checked me out and saw he was crowning! She said, “Well, don’t cough! Dr. Stowell doesn’t like missing his deliveries!”
They called the doctor and he rushed over. He examined me and said, “Well, he has a lot of hair!”. I began pushing at around 6 p.m. and had Hunter at 6:27 p.m. Luckily it didn’t take long at all. I can’t believe I waited so long to let the nurses know I felt pressure! I didn’t realize I was so close to delivering!
It was the most magical and surreal feeling in the world to see him delivered and placed immediately on my stomach. Josh cut the cord, and the nurses wiped him down while I cried and smiled at the same time. Josh was able to watch it all. Hunter didn’t cry until stimulated and then didn’t even cry when he got his Vitamin K shot in his leg. What a tough little guy, Josh thought.
It was all such a wonderful experience. It is hard to explain. I know everyone’s birth story is different, and as much as we try, we just can’t plan for it. I was fully expecting a C-section was going to be an option because both of our moms had two C-sections.
After delivery, the doctor gave me a few stitches that are healing nicely. I didn’t watch to see the placenta or any of the after birth. I was too busy admiring my newborn baby boy.
Now, almost two weeks later, I am mostly healed, still a little more recovering to do—but it was not bad at all. Our baby is perfect—happy and healthy.
Motherhood is absolutely a blessing, and I am so thankful for all that God has given us. Our son is perfectly healthy, and I couldn’t ask for anything more in the entire world. I feel myself getting protective already and emotional about his safety and well-being. I drive slower, talk to him all the time and only want the very best for our little dude. We are even enjoying our first book together.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll share it on our Birth Day blog and may even print it in an upcoming issue!