Sunday, December 9, 2012

Nolan’s birth story

Today Nolan turns 15 months-old!

12 2012

I never blogged about the day that Nolan first graced us with his presence. I have many friends who are pregnant now or who have yet to have their first baby, so I wanted to write this for them. When I was pregnant, it helped me to read other people’s baby stories to prepare for my own big event.

My due date happened to be my birthday. A few days before, at my doctor’s appointment on August 26th, my doctor said that the baby’s head had dropped, and I was 2 centimeters dilated. He told us that he would be surprised if I made it to our September 1st appointment. I had a really good pregnancy, and I was fine waiting 40 weeks, but once that due date passed, some impatience set in. September 1st came and went, with no changes in my dilation. I didn’t have anything to do besides hang out at our home (in our new town that we had only lived in for two weeks) waiting for the baby to make his appearance. I had two nights where I felt irregular contractions, and by the time I woke up those next mornings, the contractions were gone. So finally, at my September 8th appointment, the doctor told me I would come into the hospital the next morning to be induced.

The hospital was a five-minute drive away on that warm, rainy morning, and we arrived at 7 a.m. to Labor & Delivery. I was able to go straight to the delivery room, but it took about two hours to answer questions and be officially admitted. At 9 a.m. the fun began. Someone came to draw blood. Then the nurses had to try 3 times to get the IV started. Next, my doctor broke my water. And, I was started on Pitocin—all within a half hour. The nurse continued to increase the Pitocin every time she came in the room. I was hungry, and I tried filling up on ice chips and Jello. I began to feel intense contractions at 10 a.m. At 11, I started to get nervous about how much more I could take. (Steve was watching the tocometer (contraction monitor), and the contractions were just as big then as they were at the end, just further apart). Anyway, I sat on the balance ball, trying to breathe and relax. The nurses didn’t check to see if I was dilated any further, and they said my doctor wouldn’t come until lunchtime to check. Luckily for me, the anesthesiologist was about to leave the hospital, and he was wondering if I was ready for an epidural. The nurse didn’t think I was, but I thought otherwise. (I’m not sure if I would have gotten one had he have left. Small hospital.) They checked me at 4 cm, and the anesthesiologist started the epidural. I thought it was quick and painless. He said it would feel like three bee stings, and that was true. He complimented me at how well I was handling the contractions (he said most women were shouting obscenities at that point).

Once I had the epidural, I was completely numb on my left side, and had little feeling on my right side. I felt great. The baby’s heartbeat dropped significantly every time I laid on my right side, so they gave me oxygen for a little while. I stayed in the bed from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., feeling easy contractions. Something that bothered me almost worse than the contractions—I was attached to a blood pressure machine which would squeeze my arm every ten minutes or so. The places that the nurse had failed at getting the IV in would throb painfully when the arm band would squeeze me—awful. At 3, my doctor was pleasantly surprised that I had dilated from 4 to 10 cm in that short amount of time. He told me that I would get a hug and a kiss afterwards for being such a good girl (this was out of character for him to say!) They turned off my epidural so I could feel more, to help with the pushing. The nurse started some practice pushing with me, which soon turned into real pushing as she called the doctor back in.

The nurse and Steve were very encouraging, and soon they were telling me to open my eyes because the baby was about to be born. The doctor used forceps to straighten his head (he was coming down slightly crooked which had caused the heartbeat to drop when I was on my right side before). I took my first glimpse at the most perfect, beautiful baby.

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He had a lot of dark hair, a sweet squishy face, and his hands were so big and purple! He started crying right away (a huge relief, and an incredible blessing to hear his little voice for the first time!) Instead of whisking him away and cleaning him, they laid him on my chest. I couldn’t believe how amazing it was to hold the baby who had been inside of me for nine months! He was healthy and perfect. His eyes were wide open and they were a dark gray. Steve and my mom (who was also in the room) were in awe. He was weighed at 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and he measured 20.5 inches long. After a while, they left Steve and me alone with him. It was at this point that we told him his name: Nolan Bruce. We called family to tell them the exciting news, and we continuously thanked God for giving us a brand new life.


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I have more to say about the rest of our time in the hospital—the breastfeeding, the circumcision, the sleeping, the recovery from stitches, life with a newborn, my surgery 6 months later, etc. but we’ll save that for later (if there is any interest in that).

Here are two articles I read about having babies that I wished someone had told me ahead of time:

list of things to do in the last weeks of pregnancy via “dear baby blog”

postpartum rest and recovery tips via “keeper of the home”


  1. ... and of course you look amazing after giving birth !! The rest of the story would be good with me !!

  2. Rach!! This is so cool to read. I never heard a lot of these details and I know they will be a great reference when I am pregnant someday.

    <3 you.


    p.s. I can't believe how long his fingernails were when he was seems like that would hurt you!

  3. awww what a gorgeous little boy. so hard giving birth, isn't it? they don't call it "labor" for nothing. although i had a scheduled c-section, my recovery was TERRIBLE! but it's all worth it.

  4. He was a big baby and so cute! They're so precious and worth every single painful contraction. Also, you looked fantastic for just having a baby!

  5. What a precious baby! I love the name Nolan. Thanks for sharing your story with us! I had to be induced as well but my delivery didn't go quite as smooth (we ended up having a c-section). But everything worked out perfect and we have a wonderful healthy little boy...the experience just wasn't anything that I was expecting!

  6. What a great way to remember this precious moment. He is absolutely adorable! And I LOVE his name ;)
    xo TJ

  7. ohh, Rachel.
    there is nothing better than welcoming a baby into the world...what a sweet boy!
    doesn't time go by too fast? I need it to slow down just a bit. sheesh!

  8. Awwww what a precious little blessing!!! Thanks for sharing! He is a doll! :)

  9. Aw! Birth stories always make me tear up! Makes me want another baby!!!!

  10. So so sweet! Love hearing birth stories! You look gorgeous in all these pictures! xoxo


Thank you so much for your comments! I enjoy reading each one!


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