The photos in this post were taken by our favorite photographer, Alice from Alice Shoots People.
On December 30, 2019, I was doing exactly what I had been doing for the prior 10 weeks-- resting and taking it easy. I had my 36 week check-up the next day and so I spent most of the day watching TV and scrolling through Instagram. My phone rang and it was my Doctor’s office. They asked me if I would be willing to come in that day rather than the next day. I didn’t have anything else to do, so I said I could make it work. The car at home isn’t my favorite to drive in colder weather, so I called Parker and let him know I would be coming to trade him cars so I could go to my new appointment.
I drove over to Parker’s work, parked the car and started walking over to Parker’s car. I got to the door of the car, went to open it and suddenly felt a gush of fluid. I paused to think about whether or not it was my water or if I had just simply peed my pants. (you laugh, but i honestly couldn’t tell. hahah) I called Parker and said, “I’m not joking, but I think my water just broke.” and he responded with, “Are you sure you didn’t just pee your pants?” after I told him that I didn’t think I peed myself, he came downstairs and met me outside. He asked me what I wanted to do and I told him that I really thought my water broke. He wanted to be 100% sure (well, as 100% sure you can be when you’ve never been in that situation before) so he walked me inside his building and made me go check in the bathroom. It definitely was not pee. Hahahaha. So we just left. He called his boss and said, “Hey, we’re pretty positive Sadie’s water just broke, so I just left.”
We pulled into the hospital around 3:10pm. I walked over to my OBGYN’s front desk and said, “I have an appointment in 5 minutes, but I think my water just broke. Do I stay here or go straight to Labor and Delivery?” The lady at the front desk (who was new) gasped and said, “Oh my gosh! I don’t know!! Let me go ask!!” She left and came back a few minutes later and told us to go straight to Labor and Delivery.
We went over to Labor and Delivery and they got us checked in and put us in a triage room. The nurse came in and did a pH test strip to make sure it was actually my water that broke before they checked my cervix. She dipped the pH strip and it immediately turned the dark purple color that it needed to be if my water had broken. She then checked my cervix and I was dilated to 3cm and 100% thinned. At that point, we decided to call both of our parents because we wanted to be SURE before we called them.
Both of those phone calls went like this:
Me/Parker: “Hey Mom, my/Sadie’s water broke….”
Moms: “WHAT?! ARE YOU SURE?!”
And then we told them what I was progressed to.
The nurse also told us that it’s normal for first time moms to progress 1cm per hour and then to push for 1-3 hours before baby comes. So we were planning on about 7-10 more hours of waiting until we met our baby. We told our moms that and Parker’s parents started their way to the hospital and my parents started their way up north (missing the Christmas party that they were supposed to be hosting). We also texted our photographer, Alice and decided that she would come when I got to 5cm.
Soon after we called everyone, they moved us out of triage to our L&D room. They told me that once my IV was in, I could get an epidural at any time. I wanted to feel a “real” contraction, so I held off for a minute. I felt about three contractions-- one that was 2 minutes long and so, so painful-- and I was good. Once the nurses came back into my room I immediately asked if I could get my epidural. They called in the anesthesiologist and he got me set up. The numbing for the epidural was honestly the worst part of that. Once I got it, I was pretty shocked at what I could still feel, but also what I couldn’t feel (aka any contractions. That was awesome.) They checked me again and I had progressed to 5cm. So we called Alice and told her to start coming.
Parker’s parents came and sat with us for about an hour and chatted with us because we were going to be there for a while. While we were chatting, Alice showed up and we all just talked and laughed and had a good time. Parker’s parents were getting ready to go get some dinner when our nurse came in and said she wanted to check my progression. Parker’s mom wanted to know where I was at so they stepped out and Parker told them he would let them know once she was done.
The nurse started checking me and she didn’t say anything for a while. I made a joke about how I probably had digressed back to 1cm. And then she said, “Uhh. Nope. You’re complete. You’re dilated to 10cm.” I was 10000000000000% shocked. Like I could NOT believe it. They told me that I had like 7-10 more hours of waiting before I would even START pushing. It was around 7:00pm. It had been FOUR HOURS since my water broke and it was already time?! Parker went out of the room and told his mom that I was dilated to 10cm and she said, “No, she’s not!” But Parker assured her that I really was at 10cm and they changed their dinner plans to something a little quicker than they had originally planned and they went out and waited in the waiting room. We also texted my family to update them and let them know that I had progressed rather quickly. My parents were on their way and about an hour and a half away.
The nurses started getting everything prepped and we began “practice pushes” to help bring baby girl down more until my doctor arrived. After 4 or 5 rounds of pushing, they told me to stop to wait for the doctor. About 10-15 minutes later, my doctor came in and checked me out and we began pushing again.
I started to feel really sick and told the nurses that I felt like I was going to throw up. They grabbed me some of those throw up bags and pretty soon I threw up… all over myself… nice… but apparently throwing up is really great for pushing because that helped quite a bit. But baby girl was a little stuck so they pulled out the vacuum and three pushes with the vacuum and she was out. They put her on my chest and I said, “Wait, what? I’m done?” I couldn’t believe it! She was born at 8:37pm. It was so surreal and I seriously could not believe it. She came into the world at 8:37pm on December 30, 2019 weighing in at 5lbs 13oz and 18.5in long. She had dark hair with a bit of curl to it-- pre-bath (we'll see what color it is after her bath and whether or not it has any curl!).
She was a noisy little girl and grunted and grunted. She didn't really cry at birth, just mostly grunted. Her vitals looked great and she passed her apgars. We were just soaking in our Berkeley girl and holding her and loving her. I held her for about an hour and one of our nurses kept saying how we needed to double check her breathing because of the grunting. But they let Parker hold her for the first time and that was one of my favorite moments of all time.
They moved us to Mother & Baby (basically recovery rooms after delivery) and then they took her back to the nursery to run some more tests because her grunting was persistent. This worried the nurses because grunting is often a sign of distressed breathing. Soon after they took her, our nurse came in to let us know that she would need to go up to special care to be monitored closer for her breathing. Both of our parents were there at that point so they brought her into my room before they took her up so she could meet her grandparents. They weren’t able to hold her because she needed to be moved up to Special Care pretty quickly. They took her and Parker to Special Care and hooked her up to oxygen with a CPAP machine. Things began looking up and they continued to monitor her through the night.