Tuesday, May 1, 2018

ezra's birth story

ezra monroe white // 4.23.18

I woke up around 4 am on Sunday the 22nd to some moderate contractions. In fact, they startled me a little since I was still a bit hazy in sleep. I got up and decided to eat a pack of pop-tarts that we had stuffed into my hospital bag (s'mores, if you're curious) because if this was going to be the start of labor, I would need some energy (excellent source of empty calories, those pop-tarts...). The contractions came infrequently over the next three hours, and I tried to rest, but they made me wonder if the day of this boy’s birth was nearing. I was glad the contractions subsided around 7 am because I needed/wanted to attend one last Sunday at church before our lives changed. After our church services, we came home and the boys went down for naps. Before we took naps as well, Phil and I made lunch, watched an episode of "The Office" (great Sunday afternoon activity), and I prepared a lasagna for dinner. I talked to my mom later that afternoon and immediately upon hanging up the phone, I noticed some signs of impending labor. I texted her to let her know and she said that she would get ready to fly out. I said to wait, since I wasn’t really sure it meant anything at that point. She possibly had a bit more insight about it than I did since she ended up preparing to take a flight that night out of LAX.  

After naps and starting to get dinner ready, Zach, Kenzie, and Emerson came over to eat with us. We had a good dinner together, but during our dinner I began to have mild contractions again that came more frequently and consistently--about 10 minutes apart. They were easy to talk through and generally not painful (more uncomfortable than anything), however, that had been the case leading up to Asher’s fast birth, so I stayed more alert this time. Zach and Kenzie left around 7:30pm and Phil and I began to get the boys ready for bed. Around 8pm, it was clear that the contractions, though still pretty mild, were coming frequently enough that we felt we should probably head to the hospital. In a last ditch nesting effort, I folded a bit of laundry, tidied up, put some final things in our hospital bag, and took one more set of photos of our family on our big red couch. I put Asher down and Phil put Simon down.  Before we left, we both gave Simon a big kiss and told him we were going to the hospital and that the baby was coming. I called Zach to ask him to come back over to watch the boys (grateful to have family less than 5 minutes down the road!), and we loaded up the car. Once Zach arrived, we drove to the hospital and I called the OBGYN office en route to let them know what was up. For some reason, the call lasted the entire drive to the hospital (about 10-15 minutes) as they asked me a lot of questions. Finally, the nurse on the other end told me she would consult with the on-call doctor to see if I should be admitted. I didn’t tell her that we were currently parking in the hospital lot and on our way in. Oops! They called back a few minutes later to tell me to go to the hospital. We were like, "Great! We're actually already here." We checked in at the front of the emergency department since we remembered this time not to try and park in the normal parking lot after hours (a lesson we learned when we had Asher). After the initial check-in, we sat in the emergency room lounge ("lounge" seems like a very non-apropos word for that area), and we were soon whisked away by a hospital aid (wheeled up! such luxury!) to the 4th floor to L&D. We came in, greeted the L&D nurses, and I was taken to room 6 and made comfortable. The room was large and felt calm. They strapped the monitors to me to watch baby’s heart rate and the contractions. This was around 9:30 pm.

The contractions were coming every 6-7 minutes and were still moderate at that point (mostly, I’m sure, because my water had not yet broken) and easy enough to breathe through. The nurses came in and began to ready me to have an IV placed and start the penicillin rounds I would need for the group b strep. The placement of the IV was probably the least nice part of the entire birth experience. It hurt quite a bit as the nurse was placing it and my arm puffed up (and I almost passed out??? I'm a lightweight when it comes to needles!), however, the IV was thankfully done well enough that it did not need to be re-administered. After the IV, the nurses came in again and checked to see how I was progressing (6 cm dilated, at that point) and consulted me on what I would like to do, if anything, about pain management. I requested an epidural, and the anesthesiologist came around 11:30 pm to administer it.

  I was able to move pretty freely with the pain medication and was grateful for an experience where I could enable the control of my suffering as well as my presence of mind. Nurse Emily came in and suggested that we rest and that she would monitor my contractions from the nurses’ station. She placed the last round of penicillin into my IV, and then at 2:30 am, once that had dripped through, the OB, Dr. MacLaurin, came in to break my water so labor could progress faster. After they broke it, they left us to rest until the contractions were coming close. Around 3:50 am, after Phil and I had actually fallen asleep (on my side with a big peanut-shaped birthing ball between my legs--surprisingly comfortable!), Emily came in to check on me since the contractions were coming frequently. She checked and in a calm voice said that I was at 10 cm dilated, and she wanted to do a sample push since it looked like baby was ready to come. She had Phil come on the other side of me and they each held up a leg and I brought my knees back. I gave a push and immediately Emily's eyes widened and she said to stop and that she’d go and bring the doctor in. A few nurses came in within minutes and began to set up the OB’s station along with a portable spotlight. Then Dr. MacLaurin came in, all decked out in hospital garb, and sat at my feet. The lights in the room were still dim and low, and everyone stayed quiet. It was peaceful, surrounded by these women and Phil at my side. I had my feet in the stirrups and a nurse at each knee. Emily watched and felt for the contractions, and I did two deep pushes with two contractions. As a third contraction commenced, I began to push and the OB brought out Ezra’s head and then his sweet body. As she delivered him, his little face and body were facing towards me, and with his body eased out and up, I saw his face pause for a moment. Then he took a fast first breath in and let out a sweet cry. It was tender to witness his first breath. They directly placed him on me. At this point, Phil and I looked at each other, baffled by the ease of it all, smiled, and I said, “That was the best birth!”  We laughed and cried. It was the smoothest, most peaceful birth that we had experienced; Ezra had come quickly and calmly, and we are grateful for him.

^^ grandma & baby ezra

^^ we had the neat experience of being in the hospital (and two rooms down) from some close church friends of ours who had their baby girl almost exactly a day before we had ezra.

we also had some fun visitors, zach/kenzie/emerson, come visit a few hours after ezra was born. ^^

^^ we are grateful for these photographs of our fresh family of 5. thank you to sister friend, kenzie, for grabbing up our camera and getting these tender shots for us when the boys came to visit.

^^ love this new ezra boy


  1. No big deal, just crying over this post. UGH I JUST LOVE BABY EZRA AND YOUR SWEET FAMILY! I am so happy y'all are my family. Love this and love you!!

  2. What a beautiful and calm birth! Such a tender moment reading about baby Ezra 😍

  3. This was so great!! And such fabulous preparation to read! I am seriously thinking about trying an epidural for the first time...(and for the 6th time) but am a bit scared about it. This painted a very peaceful picture of the whole process. Im so happy it all turned out so well for you! He's perfect!!

    1. I think I'm a touch of a lightweight when it comes to birth and I think Asher's unmedicated, fast birth left me, on one end, glad that I could experience the whole spectrum of birth but, at the same time, wanting a little more control of my suffering and presence of mind. ezra's was the most peaceful and calm for me and I really enjoyed/savoured the experience (having requested pain help at an early stage). of course, this was just my experience. you'll do incredibly with this baby (as you have with your past 5) no matter how you approach it. love you, annie!