Today, I’m excited to share some of Dylan’s newborn photos with you, along with his birth story. I went back and forth about whether to share the story because there really isn’t much to it and it’s probably actually quite boring. When it comes to medical stuff, we actually hope to be the boring, healthy ones with no issues. So, without further ado, here’s how it went:
The day that Dylan was born didn’t start out very well. I was well into my 39th week and at that point, because the baby was growth restricted and I had high blood pressure, I had been doing weekly non-stress tests for three weeks and I went into my fourth one that morning. I was already not feeling all that great and although the baby had been moving well earlier, he barely moved at all during the first 20 minutes of the test. For the previous tests, I had been in and out in a half an hour but no matter what they did, they couldn’t get him to move enough to give me the okay to leave. After over an hour, they finally got enough (and because I was seeing my OB later that day) to say he was okay and I was okay to leave.
So, like any sane 39 week pregnant woman does, I went home and cried on the phone to Clint and then to my mom about how uncomfortable I was and was all “why won’t he just come out?!” I had Jackson at 36 weeks, so I didn’t know what it was like to be this pregnant, everything was done and ready for the baby, and I was just completely over it. I planned on staying on the couch and feeling sorry for myself until my 2:30 OB appointment but my mom convinced me that I’d feel better if I did my hair and got dressed, which I did and I felt a little bit better. Except for those dull cramps that had started to kick in.
Clint hadn’t been to my last couple appointments with me but I asked him to come to this one because I was particularly emotional and I really wanted him to be there so that we could talk with the doctor about at least scheduling an induction date, just in case. My due date was 4 days away and I was MISERABLE. So he came home and we headed to the appointment where she checked me and I was at 4 cm (which was a huge change because I had been sitting pretty at 1.5-2 for more than 2 weeks). I was in tears and we talked about scheduling an induction at my next appointment at 40 weeks, but that my doctor really didn’t expect to get to that point (or that I would even make it to the weekend for that matter). When she walked out, I went to get dressed and I was so uncomfortable that I had to stop and rest between putting each shoe on.
Side note: Since it had been four years since I had a baby and I truly didn’t remember what I felt like when I had Jackson. Plus, when I had Jackson, we doubted I was in labor for so long and left so late that we barely made it to the hospital!
We got home at about 3:30 and I changed into stretchy pants and threw myself on the couch. Right then, I started having contractions, or at least I thought they were contractions. I downloaded an app on my phone to time what I was feeling and that lasted about 30 minutes before my contractions were consistently two minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds – and wow were they strong! In between each contraction I finished packing up the last few things and getting ready to leave. We called my mom and quickly got everything lined out for Jackson (who was at school) and the dog (who was confused), then we got into the car and headed to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at about 4:30 and I got into a room while Clint parked the car. By this point, my contractions were even stronger and I was doing my best to breathe through them and act sort of tough (fail.). The nurse asked me what I had planned for pain medication and I told her that I really, really, really wanted an epidural because I didn’t have one with Jackson and I really didn’t want to do it that way again (although I will still tell you that it wasn’t actually that bad but I just didn’t want to do it again if I had the option). I was quickly moved into my room where Clint was waiting for me, and I’ve never been so happy to see him.
Before long, the team was there to give me my epidural and the process was incredibly easy and painless and it started working very quickly. With my history of rapid labor, the on call OB and OB resident were in our room pretty often to check on me and my wonderful nurse never left my side. The only issue we had was that the baby’s heart rate would drop significantly after every contraction, so I kept having to move from side to side and ended up on my hands and knees (such a flattering position!), with an oxygen mask, to try and keep that from happening, and ultimately avoid having to be rushed into an emergency C-section. I just remember saying that I’d keep moving and do anything I could to avoid the C-section. The exact quote was “It’s fine, I can do anything for an hour,” as I assumed that he’d be here by then. The doctor laughed a little and said that no one ever says that, but it was more me talking myself into it and, let’s be clear, I’m really not that tough.
Finally, my water broke and I started feeling the pressure (but absolutely zero pain) of the baby making his way out. I kept asking my nurse “Is this really all I’m going to feel?” because I couldn’t believe that I wasn’t in any pain. The doctor and OB resident came back and, after checking me, much to my surprise they said I was complete and it was time to meet our baby boy. I remember looking at Clint in disbelief that this was actually happening.
The doctor told me that this wasn’t going to take very long and pushed for maybe three minutes and then Dylan Anthony came into the world at 6:54 PM, about 2.5 hours after we arrived at the hospital (Jackson was born 50 minutes after we arrived at the hospital with him, so this sort of felt like a long time). Clint and I immediately started crying. After the year we had with the miscarriage, getting pregnant again so quickly afterward and the anxiety that followed, we felt as if we had been waiting for this perfect little boy forever and wanting him SO badly. We were just unbelievably thankful that he was here and he was ours.
Dylan didn’t cry at all. His eyes were open and he was looking around and up at us as soon as he was born. Because they expected a tiny baby, a NICU team was there to meet him and check him out in our room. I kept saying to Clint “Why isn’t he crying? Is he okay?” He told me that Dylan’s eyes were still open and he was grunting a little and moving around, and no one seemed concerned so we tried not to worry either. Minutes later they brought him over to me and we had an hour or so of skin to skin cuddling before they weighed him, got him dressed and moved us to our room. We were just in the hospital for two days and Dylan continued to show us what an easy, laid back baby he was going to be (obviously he’s very much like his daddy) and even now, he still barely cries.
We had a great experience with Dylan’s birth and everyone we interacted with at the hospital. I felt surprisingly good the next day and, with the exception of a bout with mastitis, have felt fantastic for the past month since. We really just feel so fortunate to have two healthy boys who we just could not love any more. I feel so lucky to have so much support from my amazing husband, who has been a true partner through everything (he makes life so easy for me) and both of our families. We’re really, really lucky people and we are just thankful for everything.
These photos are from our newborn shoot when Dylan was just over two weeks old and we’re just thrilled with how they turned out, so we are happy to share them with all of you!
All photos thanks to Erica Nicole Photography.