LifeChelcey Tate

Emerson Grey's Birth Story

LifeChelcey Tate
Emerson Grey's Birth Story

August 31, 2017

I've been working on my sweet Emerson's birth story since September 20th, and it's finally finished. I wanted to be sure to walk through the entire day, regardless how insignificant some details may be, so that I never forget a single moment! I broke it down by all of the important hours during the day, and I can't wait for Emmy to read this herself someday ... You are so loved, baby girl! 

*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ 10:00am *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

I woke up with the same killer headache I had been dealing with for days ... totally dreading heading to my doctor's appointment because, let's be real here, those last few appointments are a little more than uncomfortable! On top of the headache, I was totally shocked that I was even more swollen than I was when I went to sleep. The idea that I could get more swollen was a little unbelievable at that point! As in, my Birkenstocks that I had been wearing for months didn't even fit comfortably!

I got a text from my father-in-law asking how I was feeling, and the headaches mixed with the intense swelling had him a little concerned. What I had written off as a sinus headache was pointing him right in the direction of my blood pressure being higher than it should have been. Perks of in-laws in the medical field! After chatting with my momma (as I do every morning), she insisted on coming to my appointment with me, and we made plans to grab lunch and go shopping for ALL of the fall decor right after. 

*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ 11:00am *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

Running a few minutes late to my doctor's appointment (per usual), I got checked in and was mentally preparing myself to have my membranes stripped for a second time. There are very few things more uncomfortable than having your membranes stripped, but at that point I was so ready to meet my girl so I was willing to try anything! A couple of appointments beforehand I even went as far as joking-but-not-really-joking with my doctor to induce me ...

Anyways ... I went back to get everything checked out, and found out that I had gained TWELVE pounds in a single week! Yeah, the swelling was definitely out of control! They checked my blood pressure which was a bit high, but the nurse didn't seem too concerned. My doctor came in, and we talked about scheduling me to be induced over the weekend if this appointment didn't send me into labor before that. She didn't mention anything out of the ordinary in terms of my weight gain or swelling, and proceeded to check my status and strip my membranes again ... and this is where things get exciting! She looked up at me, and I will never forget what she said ... "Oh, sweetheart I am so sorry ... I just broke your water." SAY WHAT!? My first thought was why the heck are you apologizing!? And from there, she told me to head straight to the hospital where I would get to finally meet my baby girl! We all secretly think she did it on purpose because I had all of all the early warning signs for preeclampsia, but she swears that it was an accident. Either way, she was the real MVP that day. 😂

I walked out to the waiting room where my mom was waiting for me, and in total shock I got to tell her that my water had just broken! We were both cracking up out of sheer disbelief that it was actually happening, and I quickly called Sean on our way out to the car ... As always, he was calm, cool, and collected whereas I was still in total denial of what was even happening. He rushed home to grab my hospital bag (which he had definitely told me to make sure it was packed and to take it to my appointment that morning which I didn't ... whoops!), and collected all the random things that I had forgotten to pack.  

My mom and I headed to Panera before we got to the hospital because I was not about to sit in a hospital bed for any longer than I had to! Especially without food or anything to drink but water ... Y'all, the word hangry was coined in my honor. We hung out in the hospital parking lot and ate our lunch (a turkey sandwich + a ceasar salad ... what the heck was I thinking with something so light!?) while reiterating how crazy it was that I was about to have a baby! And would you believe me if I told you that Sean actually beat us there? He went from work, to the house, took care of Kodah, finished up packing the hospital bag, and still made it there before we did. I'd say someone was more than a little excited. 🙈

*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ 12:30pm *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

It had been a couple of hours since my water had broken, and we finally made our way to get checked in. Thankfully I wasn't feeling any contractions at this point, but I definitely did have a bunch of water constantly leaking out of me. 😂 Let this serve as a teaching moment ... When your water breaks, it doesn't all come out at once like you see on TV. It slowly drips out for hours. I got all checked in and into our room, and Sean came into the bathroom with me to help me put on the hospital gown. 

Funny story here ... the sink in the bathroom was one of the motion sensor ones, and in the process of me trying to balance, while avoiding leaking stuff everywhere, while he also tried to tie the back of my gown, all of my clothes that I had stuck on top of the sink got SOAKED! We were seriously cracking up, and I'm sure everyone was wondering what the heck we were doing that was so funny. Never a dull moment. 😂

*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ 2:00pm *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

At this point, my contractions were coming on pretty strong and I was so ready for my epidural. I'm not gonna lie ... I was super anxious about it. I was adamant that my mom had to stay with me while they were doing (Sean most definitely would have passed out due to the whole needle thing ...), but they wouldn't allow anyone else in the room with me since it requires so much focus on the anesthesiologist's part. Let's just say that didn't do much to help my anxiety! 

Honestly, getting my epidural was the absolute worst / most painful part of my entire labor experience! First off, the whole "here's a verbal list of everything bad that could possibly happen to you from getting an epidural ... do you still want it?" thing which I obviously (and somewhat hesitantly) agreed to. 😅 For some reason they kept missing the point of the center of my back so they had the redo it FOUR different times! I kept feeling numbness on the left, then the right, then the left again, then finally they hit the point where it was in the center of my back. All the while my contractions were INTENSE at this point, and I was having to sit as still as possible while rolled over chin-to-chest ... Once they were done, I was super happy to learn that I could control my dosage with just a push of a button! From everything I had heard / read, your epidural had the potential to wear off, but luckily times have changed! I kept regaining feeling on my right side throughout the rest of the afternoon and into the evening so I was constantly rolling over (which based on Em's heart rate each time I would change positions, she was not a fan of!), and clicking that little button to make sure I was numb as possible! I'm definitely not a person who handles pain well, so I was doing everything in my power (including annoying my nurses to death I'm sure) to make sure that I didn't feel a single thing. 

*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ 5:00pm *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

This is where things slowed down for a while ... we spent a lot of hanging with our entire family who were taking turns from the waiting room into the delivery room, I ate like 6 popsicles (and kept dropping them all over myself 😂), and I was encouraged to get some rest. I mean, come on. Can anyone really sleep when they're just moments away from meeting their baby!? I know I couldn't. 


*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ 7:00pm *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

We continued playing the waiting game, and my two nurses came in to inform me that there was a shift change ... If there's one thing I took for granted for the earlier half of the day, it was the two awesome nurses that I had! Seriously, they were the best. The nurse that took their place was really great too, she just had a totally different vibe. As in, she was an Army nurse in Germany and I definitely wouldn't call her a warm or comforting person. 😅 She legitimately told me that I'd be lucky if I had Emmy before she left at 7am the next morning! Yeah, challenge accepted, lady! 

Around this time is when I really started to feel the fact that I hadn't eaten in hours, and even though I couldn't feel anything, my body was working in overdrive and needed fuel. I got a killer tension headache probably from lack of food / caffeine / clenching my jaw from anxiety, and the only thing that ever kicks them is a couple of Excedrins and a Coke or Dr. Pepper. Well, since I was on a strict ice chips and popsicles diet (I could have cried when I saw the nurse write this on my patient info board), my caffeine fix was definitely not going to happen. 

Luckily, I have in-laws in the medical field who know their stuff ... Sean pulled out my peppermint oil rollerball and held the pressure point between my thumb and pointer finger while his dad rubbed the tension out of my neck and shoulders. It took a little convincing, but my nurse brought me some prescription strength ibuprofen to help get rid of it too which I think helped a ton. 

Oh, and speaking of the whole no Dr. Pepper thing ... I may have attempted to be slick and it definitely backfired on me. Note to self: listen to your nurses / doctors! They kind of know a thing or two. So, I was seriously craving just ONE sip of Dr. Pepper. That's it. The fact that none of the vending machines in the hospital seemed to have one was a huge blessing in disguise, and I somehow resisted when my momma offered to go get me one. Seriously, y'all ... that woman is saint. 😂 Well, despite my best efforts to stay strong, Sean somehow found a Dr. Pepper. I took one sip, and no joke, ten seconds later I was telling him to bring me a trash can because I was going to be sick. Well, the trash can was all the way across the room, so he grabbed the closest thing he could find (aka the plastic container that they use to put all of the afterbirth in that was under the bed), and it was all downhill from there. Since I was totally numb from the waist down, sitting up to get sick into that bucket wasn't really an option so I just kind of laid there with Dr. Pepper spilling out of my mouth. Awesome mental image, huh? 

We totally had to scramble to avoid telling our (already grumpy) nurse that I broke the rules! She came in shortly after I got sick, and I was shaking really badly. Come to find out, I was transitioning! What a terrible time for me to be drinking something full of sugar, caffeine, and bubbles. 😂 No wonder I got sick ... Anyways, she chocked me getting sick up to the fact that I was progressing along, and I was! I think her telling me that I was still going to be in labor for another 12+ hours motivated me more than I thought aka I'm super stubborn and HAD to prove her wrong because there was no possible way I was going to let that happen. 

*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ 11:25pm *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

Sean and I had decided a few months prior that we definitely wanted both of our moms in the delivery room. My mom is legitimately my best friend aside from Sean, and we're both super close with his mom as well. I am so thankful that they were there to experience such an amazing moment with us! 

And this is where it gets good. 😍 The nurse came in to check my progress after a couple of hours, and much to everyone's surprise, she asked me if I was ready to push! We did a single practice push, and I could feel the pressure of Emmy starting to move further down, and she immediately told me to stop. She ran out to go find my doctor, and a few minutes later I was pushing for real. Y'all, I didn't feel a THING! Well, I didn't feel any pain, that is. I could totally feel pressure, when I was supposed to push, and I could feel her coming out, but there was absolutely no pain involved whatsoever. I had Sean up by my head holding my hand encouraging me every step of the way, my mom was holding my right leg, and my MIL was holding my left, both encouraging me and counting down as I pushed, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. 

Never in my life did I imagine that the actually birthing a baby could be a laid back experience, but it truly was. We had the playlist that Sean put together playing in the background, the lights were dimmed, we were cracking jokes based on texts from our friends and family in the waiting room, and I was seriously laughing in-between pushes. Shoutout to one of mine and Sean's closest friends Micah for insisting that we start playing "Push It" by Salt-N-Pepa, and making all of us, including my doctor, crack up. 😂 Our sweet Emerson Grey Rayome was born after just 3 pushes in 10 minutes at 11:40pm to the song "Shout Out Loud" by Amos Lee which we found very fitting. 😉

The moment she placed Emmy on my chest is one that I will never forget as long as I live. She immediately grabbed my finger, and started nursing without any help or direction from me or anyone else. It's absolutely incredible how God designed our bodies to be the perfect home and safe place for our babies! She came out with the chubbiest cheeks and looking just like her daddy, and I had skin-to-skin with her for an hour, and then Sean did the same for another 30 minutes before anyone else came in to meet her ... That extra time to digest what had just happened, and to bond with our new baby girl as a family of three, was one of the best decisions we had made all day. 

So, that's our story! The most amazing 12 hours of my life, and I could not be more thankful for our family. Emmy girl, you are the best thing that has ever happened to your daddy and me! To all the moms, soon-to-be-moms, and hope-to-be-moms ... you are strong, you are capable, and every single moment leading up to the most beautiful moment of your entire life, when you have your baby in your arms, is worth more than anything in the world!  

Chelcey Tate is a photographer, blogger and graphic designer based in Louisville, KY.