Nashville Birth Photographer | Monroe
In March of this year, I surprised my husband with the news that we were expecting our first child. We were overwhelmed at the thought of becoming a family of 3 and we were optimistic about the pregnancy journey that lay ahead of us. We decided to wait to find out the gender of our little one until he or she was born and looked forward to the moment of meeting our son or daughter.
Our pregnancy was seamless through the first 7 months. All our prayers were answered with each doctor’s appointment and ultrasound when we heard baby’s healthy heartbeat or saw baby’s growing self. When we were just 2 months away from our due date, we had a scare that had resulted in an overnight stay in the hospital for monitoring. I had some bleeding and was already dialated to 1 cm at just 31 weeks. Again, all our prayers were answered when we received nothing but positive reports from the hospital regarding both baby and me; however, once I was discharged from the hospital I was put on strict bedrest for 2 weeks followed by modified bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy to hopefully keep baby nice and cozy in my belly just a bit longer. At this time, I started my maternity leave from work early. Tyler and I prayed for safety for our sweet baby and for peace as our plans were no longer our own.
Our prayers were answered again. I was able to remain pregnant until 39.5 weeks! This was such a huge victory. We had waited with anticipation for the day I went into labor and it was surreal that day had arrived. On Tuesday night November 14, I began experiencing contractions. I was able to sleep through them, but I just knew my body gearing up for labor so Tyler and I made sure we had our hospital bags packed and ready to go. The next morning we went to our 39 week doctor’s appointment. I was secretly hoping I’d be more dilated and that we’d be told that things were progressing! But we left that doctor’s appointment without any signs pointing to our baby making his or her arrival.
Tyler headed to work after our appointment and less than 2 hours after he dropped me off at home, contractions started that I couldn’t deny. I labored at home for approximately 2 hours. I didn’t want to worry Tyler at work, and being a first time mom, I was afraid it may be a false alarm. Tyler texted me as he was getting ready to leave work to see how I was feeling and at that time I told him that I thought this was the real deal and to hurry home.
I labored at home for approximately 5 hours. Tyler called my parents in Sarasota, Florida and told them now was the time and jump in the car! Mom was a little hesitant after we had just been told at our doctor’s appointment that things hadn’t progressed. She told Tyler to call them back once the hospital accepted me or if my water broke. After 5 hours of tolerable labor at home, my contractions intensified and my water broke on our living room floor. At that point, I told Tyler I was ready to go to the hospital as the pain significantly increased after my water broke. My parents were en route from Florida to meet their first grandbaby! This was happening. Baby Samuels was on his or her way!
We arrived at St. Thomas Hospital. The contractions were getting closer together and I felt like I didn’t have a break between each one. By the time I had been checked in, triaged, and admitted, I had made the decision to get an epidural. My labor was progressing and with each check we were getting closer and closer to meeting our baby. I was feeling optimistic about the delivery and knew we were just hours away from our lives forever changing. Around 4:30 am I was told that things had slowed down a bit. I had been dialated to 9.5 cm in my previous check, but at this time my cervix had regressed and I was 8 cm. My doctor also told me that my baby hadn’t moved down and was still positioned at 0 station. I was so disappointed with this update as things had been going smoothly prior to this. I had also spiked a fever and I was anxious about passing it onto baby.
My doctor knew that a cesarean section was not what I wanted. Throughout my whole pregnancy we talked about how I desired to birth my baby vaginally. She presented Tyler and I our options. She stated we can keep laboring and see if baby moves down a bit, but with me having labored for over 12 hours she was unsure if he or she would. Our other option was to move forward with a c-section while both baby and I were healthy. Tyler and I took time to pray for guidance and peace with our decision. We prayed for our doctor’s knowledge and care, our baby’s safe arrival into our arms, and my peace with a decision that was different that what I had originally desired for my labor and delivery.
Monroe’s delivery was the best experience of our lives. Our doctor and her team were so supportive and present during the entire process. The warmth I felt from everyone present in the room as we prepared to welcome our son was overwhelming. I was so overcome with emotion that I started crying from the minute Tyler entered the room and grabbed my hand. Tyler asked the anesthesiologist how long it would be before we met our baby. When she responded “5 minutes”, Tyler and I looked at each other as if to say “here we go!”. My doctor had warned us that sometimes c-section babies do not cry right away so I was not expecting to hear a cry immediately, but our baby came out with a strong set of lungs. Our doctor then told Tyler to take a look and tell me if we had a son or daughter. Tyler looked and then he started crying. He looked at me and said “It’s a boy. We have a son.” Although it was not how I envisioned our sweet baby to enter into the world, it’s a day and experience I will never forget. I thank God for his provisions during the entire pregnancy, labor, and delivery. What an amazing gift we have in our son, Monroe!!!