Wednesday, October 15

My Birth Story

Every birth is different, yet beautiful. I say this because you do not always get what you want from your "birth plan". But you still bring life into the world one way or another, and what is more miraculous than that?
I struggled with my birth story for a whole week after I gave birth, I blame it on the hormones, because I did not get what I had planned. But then again, from the way we got pregnant to the way we gave birth was unconventional, so I guess I stuck with a theme.

I am just now getting around to writing my birth story because I wanted time to reflect and then to put out a positive story for others to read and relate to.
*My favorite Friends episode--Ross wears leather pants*
(I mostly took this picture for the board though--the Friends capture was just a bonus)

Last preggo picture. 2:45am and 37.4 weeks pregnant, heading to the hospital

My due date was October 7th and I was so happy to be having a baby in October, I love fall and I felt like that's the official beginning of the crisp air and that wonderful fall smell that fills the air. So when September 19th came and I was watching a movie on the couch at 2:45am I sincerely believed I was peeing my pants, not my water breaking, until I realized I had no control.
I sprang (as fast as a 37.5 week pregnant woman can) off the couch and darted to the bathroom and sat there for a minute bewildered until I could yell for Kasey. I was shocked and confused and shaking a little bit. Just moments before I was relaxed as could be enjoying She's All That, waiting for the sleeps to hit me.

The day before (Thursday) I had felt a little off and just blamed it on being so very pregnant. I was more tired than usual, grumpier than usual, and of course uncomfortable. As a matter of fact that morning I had told Kasey I was done, my body was done and I didn't want to be pregnant any longer. I thought I was being such a wimp and texted a few friends asking when they felt "done" because I was sure feeling done a lot earlier than I should. I still had 2.5 weeks to go (and in large preggo life, that seems like an eternity). Despite my discomfort, we went to the gym that night and I swam, to help my swollen feet/ankles and to help my body keep progressing towards dilating and effacing, never knew it would be my last workout pregnant.
As Kasey came in to the bathroom still dazed from sleep but trying to grasp that I just said, "I think my water just broke" we decided to call the on-call doctor. I explained what I was experiencing and she said why don't you go to the hospital so we can check things out.

I have heard lots of my sisters talk about being sent home from the hospital and what a bummer it is, so I was just preparing myself to be sent home. I called my mom and told her that my water broke but that I was thinking I would get sent home. She laughed, then told me, "Oh sweetie, if your water broke, you are having a baby today". That shocked me even more. I was in no pain and I had not slept since Wednesday night and so it just didn't hit me. I did not believe that what I was going through was the beginning of labor and that our little guy was on his way.

We go to the hospital and they checked me and asked if I wanted a room where I could see the sunset or the sunrise. There was my sign that I was not being sent home. We chose sunrise since it was 3am and I did not plan to be there for a sunset...

*Its blurry of me but here was our view for 3 days in the sunrise room*

We got to our room and I still was in zero pain so while I walked the halls Kasey went home and packed my bag and the baby bag since we hadn't done that yet.
*Walking the halls with my ice chips*

As time went on I got real hungry and convinced them to give me a piece of toast and some apple juice with some delicious ice chips (I couldn't get enough ice in my last trimester of pregnancy). They wouldn't check me because they still did not have my information from my previous doctors office and since we just moved, I had only seen them twice. When they finally checked me my body wasn't progressing on its own very well so at 9am they started me on pitocin. They said if I got my epidural right away it could slow down progression so I waited and those devilish contractions came. I finally could not take it any longer and asked for the epidural and had to wait an hour for the anesthesiologist and finally got it a little after 11am and by that point I was dilated to a 4. Ouch. After that blessed epidural I tried to sleep a little but that didn't work so great so I was glad Kasey had brought 4 seasons of Friends.
*The episode where Phoebe has the triplets*

Around 2pm my nurse came in and said it looked like I was progressing well (via the contraction monitor) and she made the mistake of telling me I would probably have him within the next hour or two.
*Watching some baseball while in labor. Kasey had the remote*
*Epidural must be working here*
*And not working here*

I do not remember much of what happened from 2pm-9pm besides my epidural working and not working. Rolling from side to side and trying to rock him down into place so that I would get the sensation to push. I may have dozed off once or twice but never for very long, surely not long enough to call it rest.  
As I said earlier, they were very weary about checking me but just before 9pm they checked me and I was dilated to a 10 with a small lip on my cervix still. The doctor said it was time to start pushing. It had been 18 hours since my water broke and they do not like the baby in much longer than that because it can cause fevers and infections for both of us. So, I started pushing. I had not slept in 36 hours and I had not eaten in over 24 (besides my ever so filling piece of toast) and then I had to try and get a human out of me. It was an exhausting experience. It was not pretty, I am not a pretty person in labor. I think I even said that at one point after I got done throwing up, and then I laughed. 
I threw up multiple times and after over an hour of pushing the doctor came back in and checked me again and did not have the news I was hoping for. He did not tell me "I see his head, only a couple more pushes and your baby is here". That is what I had hoped for, but instead he said, "You are going to have a big baby--8 1/2 or 9 pounder, with a huge head. Too big to make it out. Plus you have a bigger lip on your cervix than I had previously thought." Boy was that a lot to take in. I sat there, feeling defeated. Knowing that the dreaded words of "cesarean section" were about to be said. But when he said it and Kasey supported it, almost immediately, I knew that it was the right thing to do. I had a fever and was falling asleep in between those devilish contractions. 

The doctor and nurse stepped out of the room so we could process that I was going to be cut open and the fact that we were about to have a baby. Then Kasey's parents came in the room and I received a much needed blessing. It was such a comfort and I absolutely knew that everything was going to be okay. 
The doctor came back in and we were prepped for the procedure and then I was wheeled away. When we got into the room where my baby boy would be born they had to give me another epidural so I couldn't feel anything and then they got started. I could not keep my eyes open but could hear what was going on. I even missed out on seeing Kasey cry for the first time ever!! I was so excited to see him cry and then my eyes wouldn't open! He was such a wonderful support for both me and Ezra. 
Finally he came.
September 19th 
Ezra Jay Hendricks
7 pounds 13 ounces
21 inches long
He had quite the cone head and a big bruise/scratch on his head from the pushing and the pushing not working. After the c-section they found out he was actually posterior (face up). He was born with a fever, something they had hoped to avoid, so he had an IV in his arm his first three days of life to help fight off any infections. Every time they checked him for something his results were always perfect, but they kept the IV for precautionary reasons. We are so blessed to have had such a happy, healthy, nice guy come into our lives. He did not have any jaundice and every nurse or doctor that saw him his first week of life commented on his skin and how perfect it was, and that they had never seen a baby with such pink (not yellowed) skin. Where I felt bad in one area (c-section) Ezra made up for it with just how amazingly healthy he was. Tender mercies, or miracles, whatever you would like to call them. 

 Showing off both of our IV arms. It was the best day when they took his cast/IV
off. I felt so bad for him that he had to have it. He got it off the morning we left. 

Overload of pictures of Ezra and me
Like I said, I had a hard time accepting the fact that I did not birth the way I had planned and wanted to. I even expressed some thoughts of failure to some sisters and Kasey. They made me see that my thinking was completely off. Who cares how he came, he was here and perfect and healthy and nothing matters more than that. 

When I went to my two week check up I asked my doctor if he thought I would always need a c-section and he said no. Matter of fact, he said I am the perfect candidate for a vbac. He told me your baby just wanted to come so bad that your body wasn't ready and he wasn't in place.

I have healed so fast and I feel great. Ezra is healthy and the perfect baby for us. We are lucky. I did not get any stretch marks in pregnancy, so my little c-section scar is my proof mark that I brought life into the world. Life is good. If you had a c-section and feel like a failure--stop it. Pray and know that you brought life into the world and who cares how it happened. 

 First morning together, with our beautiful sunrise room.

 First family photo!! I'm a swollen mess but I've got to cute boys at my side. 

 After birth shower. It felt so wonderful. It gave me so much energy...even though I look like the definition of exhaustion right here. 

Such an amazing dad. We are lucky to have him. 

So lucky to have Grandma and Grammy and Papa visit us. 

Time to head home! Finally after 3 days. We got to go home on 
Monday morning September 22nd. Couldn't believe I was taking home my 
very own baby. They offered me a wheel chair but I declined. I came into the hospital in
a wheelchair and I wanted to leave without using one. 

P.S. Got this email from one of my baby apps the day my water broke/had Ezra. Made me chuckle

This one was a couple days after I had him but still it hit home. For I was on the couch watching a show when a felt a sudden gush and it was not on my due date. Both of these made for a good laugh because they hit home, so I had to show everyone.  


  1. You will be so glad you recorded this. I read mine more often than not. We can't wait to see you THREE! Xoxo.

  2. Dude. Your a mom! Aaahhhhh!!! I love it. I cried. Thanks for that haha

  3. Congratulations Amber and Kasey! We are so happy you are parents and yes, first week is hard as are so many of the rest, but they don't call them a bundle of joy for nothing:)

  4. I had an unplanned C-section with my first too. Actually my second was an unplanned C-section as well. I'm just so grateful my babies were healthy! Congrats! Nothing beats being a mother.

  5. Loved reading this! And I beg to differ, you are the prettiest!

  6. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing Amber!

  7. What a beautiful family and story. It brought me to tears. Switch the fever for jaundice and it is very similar to mine. You are so strong and I am so happy for you!

  8. Amazing story and you are amazing to go through labor that long!!!! I always feel quilt my first time experiencing labor was 7 hours start to finish. I heard for everyone it takes up to 20 hours plus so I admire woman like you who make it through that long time.

  9. Such a beautiful story and your perspective is amazing. You went through a great ordeal to conceive that baby boy and it continued through the end to his delivery. What a lucky boy he is to have a momma that will work so hard and suffer through so much to get him here. He is precious and beautiful. Good job!