Ivy's Birth Story

I had been 'laying low' at 3cm dilated for days on my doctor's orders. After finding out that he would be out of town the week of my due date, we scheduled an induction. 

SO. The day came. Worried we wouldn't make our 5am appointment due to construction traffic, Trevor drove like James Bond all the way to the hospital. After filling out paperwork (what's the point in pre-registration?!) we found ourselves livening up the delivery room with music, essential oils and open windows. I was started on a wireless monitor and checked to find out that I was already 5cm, to my nurse's surprise and playful envy. 


At 6am, my mom and sister showed up for the party and I began a 2mL drip of Pitocin. The contractions that had been irregular for days transitioned into a pattern as I sat on my ball, walked with Trevor and talked with everyone between contractions. An hour later, I was 7cm dilated and opted for my doctor to break my water (weirdest thing ever) and stop the Pitocin, allowing my body to labor on it's own. That's when it got real. 


I moved into different positions, leaned on Trevor, took deep breaths and kneeled on my yoga mat but things intensified in the squatting positions because her head was at -1 station (-4 is crowning). After two hours of no progress and more pain, I told Trevor I wanted an epidural (although it wasn't in our birth plan). The nurse informed me that before calling the anesthesiologist, I would have to get in bed and go through a bag of IV fluids.


The next hour was excoriating. My mind became blurry and I couldn't think straight enough to practice the calming techniques I'd practiced. My contractions were coming with 20 second breaks as I finished the fluids and asked where the epidural was. I started to panic with lack of relief, turning back in forth in bed. Trevor and my mom spoke every encouraging word they could find to counter my fear that I couldn't do it.


Another 30 minutes passed. No epidural. I was in what felt like a constant contraction when all of a sudden, I had to push. The nurse rushed over to check me and found that I had gone from 7 to 10cm. I was in shock. 


"Where is my &*!@# epidural?!"

"Honey, you're not having an epidural. You're having a baby."

I came to the realization that this was happening. Right now. I was really going to do this. I was going to meet my daughter. 

The nurse called my doctor, letting him know she would update him after I pushed for awhile. One push later - she called back. Within two minutes, he and the labor & delivery team were in the room. Everything was moving in fast forward.

This looks posed because its such a great capture. The nurse is calling my doctor back and my mom could see Ivy's head.

This looks posed because its such a great capture. The nurse is calling my doctor back and my mom could see Ivy's head.

The contractions seemed to slow but when they came, I couldn't help but push with all my might. My doctor (whom I love) gave me encouragement and direction in a calm voice. I was pushing too hard and yelling loudly (seriously, I was yelling like a crazy person) so he had me to be quiet to save energy.

Three pushes later, I felt that infamous burning feeling. My mom and sister excitedly talked about seeing her head which motivated me to keep going. I continued pushing but tried to let my body do its thing (to prevent tearing). Six pushes later, a sweet cry pierced the silence and Ivy was on my chest. It was an out-of-body experience to think about what had just happened and the fact that my baby was now in my arms. Trevor and I cried and laughed and cried some more. Ivy nuzzled into my chest as we marveled and every little feature. 


After skin-to-skin, she met some of her biggest fans before Trevor (in full-on protective daddy mode) watched over her medical test. She was 8lbs 2oz, 20 3/4in and perfectly healthy. I thanked Jesus over and over as I watched the scene around me unfold.


The staff cleared out and my dad brought in Chick-Fil-A (obviously). Then we sat there. Eating and talking and being in awe. It was the most emotional, intense, painful, blissful, demanding, surreal, miraculous morning of my life. God is so faithful. Prayer works and Ivy is proof.

Photos by the incredible Amy Melsa