Our Labor and Delivery Story

In typical new mom fashion, I am SO behind! Hendrix is officially 9 weeks old and I’m just now getting around to sharing his labor and delivery story. But I’m finally making the time to write it all down, so I hope you all enjoy!

Hendrix was born at 39 weeks, 5 days, on Monday, September 9th (9/9/19 – a pretty awesome birthday if you ask me!) at 12:08 p.m. I was in labor for a total of 35 hours, which at the time felt like forever, but we were both safe and healthy for his entrance into the world, which was the most important thing to me!

Let’s rewind a couple of days to Saturday, the 7th. That day I just felt a little off all day. My lower back was killing me, I was feeling pretty crampy, and overall, I just didn’t feel quite like myself. I was sure that I was going to go past my due date, so I didn’t really think anything of it, and just figured it was due to being almost 40 weeks pregnant. That day I did eat some pineapple, drank some red raspberry leaf tea (which I had been drinking daily since around 37 weeks,) and bounced on my exercise ball a little, but I wasn’t really expecting anything to come of it.

That night I went to bed around 10:30 p.m. I woke up a little before 1:30 a.m. on the 8th to go to the bathroom, and as I was getting settled back into bed, I felt my first contraction. They really weren’t painful at that point, so at first I wasn’t sure if they were actually contractions, or if it was just gas/cramps. I laid there for about an hour, and I wasn’t really timing them, but they continued to come about 10 minutes apart, lasting around 35 seconds each. I started officially timing them around 2:30 a.m., and around 3:15 a.m. I decided to move to the living room to see if moving around, laying in a different position, drinking some water, etc. would make them go away.

Around 5:00 a.m. I decided to take a shower, just in case this was the real deal. My husband had checked on me a few times, but I told him to keep sleeping so that he would be well rested when things really got going. My contractions were getting a little longer, lasting around 45 seconds each, but were very inconsistent at anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes apart. They were bad enough that I couldn’t sleep though, so I just spent the next few hours trying to keep myself entertained to keep my mind off the contractions.

7

Around 8:30 a.m. I decided to call my midwife. She is very big on laboring at home for as long as possible, so I figured she was going to tell me not to go into the hospital yet, but my contractions were getting more painful, and since this was my first time going through this, I just wasn’t sure what I should do. Like I thought, she told me I wasn’t ready. She told me to wait until my contractions were between 2 and 5 minutes apart, lasting at least a minute, and it had been that way for an hour. She also said that by the time I was ready to go in, I absolutely should not be able to talk through the contractions. So I just continued to labor at home for the next several hours.

At 1:30 p.m., (contracting for 12 hours at this point) my contractions were lasting about a minute each, but they were still very inconsistent with how far apart they were. Most of them were between 3 to 5 minutes apart, but then I kept having random ones that were more like 8 to 10 minutes apart, so I was so confused on what to do! They continued that way for the next few hours, and finally around 4:00 p.m. we decided to head to the hospital. We knew there was a good chance they were going to send us home, but I was getting more and more exhausted and more and more uncomfortable, so I just wanted to find out if I was making any progress at all.

We got to the hospital around 4:45 p.m., and after getting checked in and changed, they hooked me up to the monitors to check my contractions and the baby’s heart rate. He looked good, but like I already knew, my contractions were super inconsistent. I was dilated to a 3 and almost fully effaced. The only time I had been checked during my pregnancy was at 37 weeks, and I was at a 1 then, so I had at least made some progress since then. They had me walk around for about an hour to see if I would make any more progress, but unfortunately, not much was happening, so they decided to send me home.

They knew that I had been in labor for quite a while (almost 18 hours) and that I was already exhausted, so before I left they gave me a shot and an oral medication to help me manage the pain and to help me get some rest. They said that it should pretty much just knock me out for a few hours and that when I woke up my labor would have either stalled out and I would know that it wasn’t the real thing, or it would have picked up and I would be able to go back in.

The only thing I had eaten all day was a bagel with peanut butter, so we stopped on the way home to get some food. By the time we got home the medicine they had given me was really starting to kick in, so I was only able to eat a few bites of my food before I had to go lay down. I was expecting to sleep for a while like they had told me, but I woke up about an hour later (around 9:00 p.m.) to contractions that were WAY more painful than the ones I had been experiencing earlier. However, they were back to being around 10 minutes apart, so because I was so tired from the medicine, I was still able to doze off in between them. Around 11:00 p.m. I got up and moved to the living room where I was bouncing on my exercise ball and just trying to find any position to help me get comfortable. I was in a LOT of pain at this point, but my contractions were still averaging around 7 minutes apart, so I just kept moving around to try to find some relief.

Around 2:00 a.m. on the 9th I started to have a little bit of bleeding. This freaked me out, so I decided to call my midwife again. She said that it was normal, and it was probably just my bloody show, but she said if I felt like I needed to go back into the hospital, I could. I could tell by the sound of her voice that she didn’t think I was ready to go back in yet, but I was so exhausted at this point and I just wanted to get admitted and get my epidural so that I could get some rest.

We left around 2:40 a.m. and got back to the hospital around 3:20 a.m. They checked me again and I was 5 cm dilated and fully effaced. Since I had made some progress, they decided to go ahead and admit me so that I could go ahead and get my epidural and rest a little before I was ready to start pushing. I was officially admitted around 5:00 a.m., and I had my epidural by 5:30. I was able to sleep from about 6:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m., which felt amazing. The midwife, which was not my midwife, just the one on call (but she was great) came in right after I woke up to check me. Travis and I were both shocked when she told me I was 8 cm dilated! My water hadn’t broken yet though, so she went ahead and broke it to help baby boy move down some more.

8

After she broke my water I just rested for a little over an hour, and around 10:30 a.m., things really started to get going. Around that time I started having a small spot of my right hip where my epidural didn’t seem to be working, and I was feeling my contractions just in that spot. My nurse (who was amazing, by the way!) had me go ahead and press my button to get another dose of the epidural to see if that would help, but unfortunately it didn’t. She checked me again, and could feel that baby’s head was right there, basically ready to go. She was able to turn his head just a tiny bit, which almost immediately took the pain away in that spot, but I also immediately started to feel a TON of pressure. Along with the pressure, I also started to feel a lot more pain. My nurse told me that they don’t usually have people push their button for another dose of epidural that close to pushing because they don’t want them to be too numb to push, but she said that I really shouldn’t be feeling that much pain with the epidural, so she had me go ahead and push it again. It really didn’t help, and it seemed like my epidural had stopped working. I was still somewhat numb from when it had been working, but I just wasn’t continuing to stay numb, and it just seemed to be wearing off.

At this point I was feeling so much pressure and quite a bit of pain, and my nurse could tell that it was time to push, so she called the midwife. They were really busy that day, so it took her a few minutes to actually find the midwife, and I was really struggling to NOT push with each contraction. What seemed like hours later (but was really only a few minutes) the midwife came in and started getting all of her gear on. I don’t really remember much from that point on, but one thing I do remember, is that while she was getting ready she stepped back out into the hall to grab something, and I freaked out and started begging them not to let her leave. I was just in so much pain, and I wanted my baby out NOW, and I didn’t want to wait for anything!

I started pushing around 11:15 a.m. with an epidural that was only partially working. I knew that I needed to try to relax and keep my breathing calm, but I just couldn’t do it. I really wasn’t scared or nervous or anything, but I just could not control my breathing. I felt like I was hyperventilating, and everyone had to keep reminding me to try to relax.

I don’t remember a ton about the time while I was pushing, but I do remember that I was SO thirsty and my lips felt so chapped, so in between contractions I kept asking for water and chapstick! The only other thing I really remember was seeing his hair. Most of the time when I was pushing I had my eyes closed, but at one point I just happened to open my eyes mid push and I saw his hair! That was during one of my last few pushes and I was getting really tired, but seeing that really helped give the the motivation to give it everything I had to get him out into the world!

After 35 hours of labor, and just under an hour of pushing, Hendrix Elliott Withrow finally made his way into the world at 12:08 p.m. on September 9th. He was 7 pounds even, and 19.5 inches. They immediately put him up on my chest and my husband cut the cord. We got to do skin to skin for the first hour before they took him to clean him up and take his measurements, and it was absolutely the most amazing experience of my life. I surprisingly didn’t cry, which I don’t know how is even possible because I cry about everything, but I think I just had so much adrenaline and excitement about him finally being here, that there was just no room for tears!

I was never really scared or nervous about labor and delivery, but it was absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m currently still in the stage where if you asked me if I ever want to do it again, I would tell you no, but that may eventually change. I did have a second degree tear and had to have stitches, (I don’t know how many, she didn’t tell me and I didn’t ask) but my recovery really wasn’t too bad. I was able to get up and walk just a little as soon as the rest of my epidural wore off, and other than some soreness, I felt pretty normal after just a few days.

The past nine weeks with our little guy have been the most exhausting, but also the most rewarding nine weeks of my life. I already tear up looking back at pictures from those first few days, and it makes me so happy but also breaks my heart at the same time to see how much he’s grown and changed in such a short amount of time. There are definitely days where I get frustrated and overwhelmed, but then I remember how amazing it is that I brought this tiny human into the world, and I know that all of the struggles are 100% worth it!

What’s In My Hospital Bag

You guys. I seriously can’t believe that I’m already at this point in my pregnancy! I’m officially 38 weeks today, so he literally could come at any time within the next three-ish weeks! I started packing my hospital bag around 34 weeks, and I have now officially added all of my last minute items, so I’m ready to go!

I will be linking everything that I can in this post, so just follow the link if you see an item that you’re interested in! I also have an IGTV video to go along with this blog, so if you want to see a closer look at any of these items, make sure you head over to my Instagram to check that out!

For Mama

Robe – I purchased this robe from Target and I love it! It’s so soft and I just think the lace adds a pretty detail. It comes in black as well, but I chose the gray because it will match better with the items I plan to put my son in for pictures. I plan to to wear the robe just around the hospital after I give birth so that I can be comfortable and have easy access for breastfeeding.

Nursing dress / night gown – I ordered this night gown in dark gray from Amazon to wear at the hospital after I give birth. The material is so soft, and the buttons at the top make it super convenient for breastfeeding. I feel like this will be really easy and comfortable right after giving birth, but will also make me feel a little bit cute and put together as well. I only ordered one, but I have a feeling that I may be ordering a couple more and living in these for the first few weeks after he arrives!

Nursing bras – I’m bringing two different kinds of nursing bras, just because I’m not sure which I’ll be most comfortable in. I bought two of these bralette style ones from Target, and I’m bringing two of these sleep bras that I ordered from Amazon. Both are really comfortable, so I’ll just have to see which I prefer while I’m in the hospital.

Nursing tank – I am bringing one of these nursing tanks that I got from Target. I’m planning on wearing the night gown the majority of the time that I’m in the hospital, but I’m bringing this too just in case we have to be there an extra day or even if I decide I’d rather wear the tank and pants.

Sweat pants – I’m just bringing a pair of old sweat pants that I already have and won’t mind if they get ruined. Just like the nursing tank, I doubt that I will wear these while I’m at the hospital, but I just want to have some options. I feel like I will be most comfortable in the night gown, but the last thing I want is to be stuck there with no other options, so I’m bringing these just in case.

Maternity leggings – I am bringing this pair that I got at Motherhood Maternity. Again, I really don’t know if I will wear these, but they’re so comfortable, so I wanted to have them as an option. They keep everything sucked in really well, which I feel like I will really want right after giving birth.

Underwear – If you’ve had a baby before, you know that granny panties are an essential right after giving birth. I purchased this pack from Target and they are so stretchy and comfortable! I know people say that black is the best color option, but they didn’t have a pack of all black, so I will just make do with the colored ones.

Socks – I am just bringing a couple pairs of my regular socks. I know that people say the fuzzy ones with the no-slip grips on the bottom are the best for the hospital, but I live in Florida and I will never wear those socks again because it’s so hot, so I just don’t really see the point in spending the money. Plus, I’m pretty sure the hospital will give me a pair with my gown, so if I really want to wear them, I’ll just wear the ones from the hospital.

Cardigan – I’m just bringing a big cozy cardigan that I already have. This is another thing that I’m not sure if I will actually wear (because again, Florida) but I know that it can be cold in the hospital so I want to have it just in case.

Coming home outfit – I purchased this black maxi dress on Amazon to wear home from the hospital. This dress is super stretchy, loose, and comfortable, which I’m pretty sure is going to be exactly what I want at that time. Plus, I’ll definitely be able to wear this postpartum as well!

Slippers – I will be bringing a pair of slippers that I already own. Since I’m not bringing no-slip socks, I figure I will be wearing my slippers quite a bit. They’re easy to put on, they’re cute, and they’re comfortable, all of which I feel will be important to me while at the hospital!

Flip flops – The only other footwear I plan on bringing besides my slippers are a pair of basic flip flops. I plan to wear them to the hospital, as well as home, and I can wear them in the shower and around the hospital too if I need to.

Toiletries – I am bringing travel sizes of all of my basic toiletries that I use on a daily basis. Shampoo & conditioner, body wash, face wash, small loofa, a razor (just for my arm pits, I don’t plan on shaving anything else while in the hospital,) dry shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush & toothpaste, contact solution, lotion, hairspray, etc. I will also be bringing several hair ties, my hairbrush and comb, a headband, chapstick, my glasses, extra contacts, tissues, and just a few other basic items to make myself comfortable during and after labor.

Hair dryer – This one is obviously not necessary, and I went back and forth on whether or not to bring it for a long time, but in the end, I decided to. We’re not having any professional photos taken in the hospital, but we do plan on taking lots of our own, so I want to be able to at least semi put myself together afterward so that I’m comfortable being photographed. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to bring my straightener, but if I have room, I may throw it in my bag with the rest of my last minute items.

Makeup – Just like the hairdryer, makeup is definitely not necessary, but I just want to bring the basics to make myself feel a little more put together. The only things I plan to bring are my face moisturizer, foundation, concealer, powder, a brow pencil, and mascara.

Postpartum necessities – I know that the hospital will provide me with pretty much everything I need to care for myself postpartum, but I wanted to bring some of my own items as well, just to make myself feel a little more comfortable. I am bringing two different kinds of pads, some of the Depends style underwear, a few nursing pads, and the Earth Mama nipple butter and perineal spray. I also bought myself some Tucks pads, but I plan to just use those once I’m home and won’t be taking them to the hospital.

Vitamins and medications – I definitely plan to keep taking my prenatal and fish oil after I give birth, so I’m bringing 3-4 days worth of these pills to the hospital. I also heard that stool softener and gas relief pills can be helpful postpartum (especially if I end up with a c-section for some reason) so I’m bringing both of those as well. I know the hospital will probably provide me with both of those if I need them, so I may not use my own, but I feel like it doesn’t hurt to have them just in case!

For Baby

I’m honestly not bringing much for our little guy because the hospital will provide almost everything we need, so this list is quite a bit shorter than mine!

Swaddle, hat, and mittens set – I am bringing this set from Lou Lou & Company. This is what I plan to have him in for his very first photos announcing his birth, and will probably be what we use for most our other photos as well because it matches the robe I’m bringing for myself.

Footed sleepers – I am bringing these two footed sleepers from Target for him to wear while we are in the hospital. I know there’s a chance we won’t use these while we’re there because I know a lot of times babies are just swaddled while in the hospital, but I just want to have the option to put him in something else if I want to.

Coming home outfit – I purchased this coming home outfit from Gigi and Max, and I’m so excited to put him in it! I’m not a big fan of baby clothes that have quotes or sayings on them, but I found a lot of that when searching for a coming home outfit. I love this one because it’s so cute and simple, and doesn’t have any words on it!

Socks – I honestly don’t know if I will need any socks for him while we’re at the hospital because all of the outfits I’m bringing already cover his feet, but I figured I should bring a couple pairs just in case!

Hat and mittens – I will be bringing the hat and mittens that match the swaddle I’m bringing, and I will also be bringing an extra hat and mittens that match the two footed sleepers. He may only wear them for photos, but I just want to have options!

Pacifiers – The last thing I will be bringing for baby are two different kinds of pacifiers. Again, I don’t know for sure if we will use these at the hospital, but I want to have them just in case. I’m bringing one of these Avent pacifiers and one of these Bibs pacifiers and we’ll just see which he prefers!

Extras

A few other general items that I plan to bring include:

Car seat – This one is a no-brainer. Can’t go home without it!

Empty folder – I’ve heard that they send you home from the hospital with a ton of paperwork, so I’m bringing an empty folder to put it all in. This way, it’s all in one place together, and I don’t have to worry about keeping track of it all.

Baby book – I’m bringing this so that I can have the nurses do his footprints in it when they do their set after he’s born. If I have any time I may fill out some of the detail of his birth as well, so that it’s still fresh in my mind and I don’t forget anything.

Snacks – These will be mainly for my husband while I’m in labor, but I may eat a few of them afterwards as well.

Boppy – I’ve heard that having your breastfeeding pillow in the hospital while learning to breastfeed can be super helpful, and the nurse that did our hospital tour recommended it as well, so I definitely plan on bringing mine.

Throw blanket – This obviously isn’t necessary, but I’m all about having things that will make me feel more comfortable and like I’m at home, so I plan to bring one of our super soft throw blankets. Even if I don’t end up using it, I’m sure my husband will!

Water bottle with straw – I know that most hospitals will give you a water cup while you’re there, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to have my own with me! I’m bringing one with a straw to make it easier to drink while I’m lying in the bed.

Car seat cover – I’m bringing this to put over the car seat for our trip home!

Letter board – I plan to use the letter board to share all of his birth details for photos. I already picked out all of the letters I will need as well as a bunch of numbers and punctuation marks, so I plan to bring those in a small bag rather than bringing the entire box of letters.

Electronics – The electronics we plan on bringing are phone chargers, a portable charger so that we can charge our phones even if the outlets are on the other side of the room, our camera with extra batteries and charger, and a speaker with charger.