A week ago today at 4:55 a.m. our world was changed forever. We are so grateful for an awesome and FUN birth experience that I just had to share with all of you!
When you first find out you are pregnant it’s almost as if the horror stories come from out of the woodworks, so if you have a pregnant friend, send her this one instead.
This may sound crazy, but I wasn’t ever afraid of giving birth. My biggest fear anytime someone asked me was that Chris wouldn’t be home when I went into labor and I would be alone. He works third shift from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. and I was 100% terrified that everything would happen and I would panic while I was here alone OR he would be so sleep deprived from working all night that he would not be awake to help. I had an early labor scare at 31 weeks, went to the hospital alone, and I just couldn't shake the fear that it would happen again. I prayed about this almost my entire pregnancy. “God, could you maybe let it happen on a weekend, or on a week day afternoon before he goes in?” As it got closer and closer to our due date, I prayed even harder and became more specific with my requests. “Okay God, I was thinking 4-6 p.m. would be great, or any time Friday afternoon through -Sunday. We are flexible, surprise us!” I had a lot of other people praying for us too. But God had better plans. Chris’s work had been discussing installing a new paint booth since October. Whenever they did, the night shift would have the week off since they wouldn’t be able to work without this equipment. They postponed until November and then December and then much to our surprise and delight, the last week of January. Chris would be home all week!
On Wednesday night around 10:30 p.m. we were watching The OC on Hulu and enjoying a rare week night together like a normal couple since Chris was off! I felt a trickle of fluid when I changed positions on the couch. I didn’t want to say anything right away and I sat there in suspense for a few minutes before I felt another one. Very calmly I looked at Chris and said “Hey I am not 100% sure, but I think my water may have broken.” This is laughable now, you’ll see why later, but he immediately told me to call the doctor. I got on the phone with Dr. Cohen (which is hilarious because we were watching the OC) around 11 and he said I could decide whether or not to go ahead and come in and they could check and make sure, or I could wait at home on labor to begin, but regardless, I would need to head that way within 6 hours. I wanted to wait it out, but Chris was ready to rock and roll. Those are the only few moments I felt panicked. I remember telling him… I am not quite ready to go yet and he said, “Well, we are as ready as we are ever gonna be, let’s go!”
By 11:11 (yes I made a wish) we were downstairs and almost finished packing. Since we had a few days off together we took advantage of the time and got the car seat installed and finished packing our bags. We took this family selfie, hugged Teddy bye and headed to Chapel Hill. Right after we locked the door, Chris kissed me and said “Next time we are back here, we could be a family of four!” We didn’t talk the whole way there which is so strange for us. He held my hand and I felt incredibly calm. We were still unsure that it was my water, so I think I may have been in a tiny bit of denial that this was really happening.
Once we arrived, we made our way inside, and he said a prayer for us and baby Vance before checking in. We were placed in a side room to monitor babe and let us know that yes, that was in fact my water leaking. The hospital was crazy busy that night, so they actually decided to put us in a L&D room to rest and wait until my contractions started.
We called our parents and it finally sank in that “OMG we are having a baby!”
We fell asleep and slept for 3-4 hours which is surprising since “OMG we are having a baby!” and labor didn’t progress for me all night. The next morning we were woken by the hospital staff and THE most amazing nurse Katie (who just so happened to be an ASWN Customer!!!). Side Note: Katie I really do want to be friends in real life!! They decided to place a foley bulb since I wasn’t dilated. They also started me on pitocin. Within 10 minutes, I was throwing up (again! welcome back voms!) and had progressed to a 3. That was the worst part of the day. Our families started to arrive, contractions began and we hunkered down ready to have this little babe! The only problem, the contractions didn’t hurt. WHAT?! All day, I could see them on the monitor, I could feel them happening, but they weren't even as bad as the BH ones I had experienced earlier.
I was in labor and I couldn’t tell. I hadn’t had an ounce of pain medicine, but I felt great! I bounced on the ball, walked the halls, my sister curled my hair, we visited with family, Chris played DJ, we DANCED around the delivery room, and we took a nap!
Topped out at the max dosage of Pitocin and still no pain or major progression, they decided that later that evening they would likely clear out my system and start it all over again.
My sweet Chris had purchased tickets to see Carolina play Virginia Tech for his Dad for Christmas. Even though he and I go all the time, he hadn’t been to a game with his Dad in the Dean Dome since he was 10 years old and was SO excited about these seats and this experience for months. I knew the game was that night but he hadn’t really mentioned it. Around 5:30 I told him I thought he should still go. Y’all, the basketball stadium can be SEEN from our hospital window and is literally right across the street.
We couldn’t have been any closer, he was walking there, so if anything DID happen, I knew he could run right back. (And I fully expected a knees to chest sprint.) I wasn’t in pain, nothing was happening and this man was about to become a Dad. I wanted this experience for him so bad, and after a little convincing, he went! Everybody thought I was crazy, but I knew he would make it back before anything started to happen. My friend Jenn could see him in his seats and I knew he would check his phone constantly.
I also knew that I would be the coolest wife ever for the rest of his (and Vance’s life) so this was 100% worth that status.
About 15 minutes later as he was walking into the Dean Dome, I was getting ready to turn on the game and I had a cervical check that had become routine throughout the day. Much to everyone’s surprise, they found (and broke) a bonus bag of water, (it was just leaking before) and that’s when things REALLY got started! PS this time it really did gush like the movies, y’all! If your water breaks, you will know, I promise. Carolina was tipping off on TV and I was about to go into labor (for reals this time). My mom came back to hang out with me and she was surprised to find a girl in a little bit more pain than she had seen earlier! I still felt great but I could actually FEEL the contractions now. They bumped down the pitocin, I watched the game on TV and started focusing on breathing through them and bouncing on the ball. Just after half time things started hurting a little more, but still not unbearable. I knew it could take 30-40 mins from the time I requested an epidural for it to take effect and I didn’t want to let the pain get away from me. Just before the end of the game I sent Chris this photo of me getting the epidural! He was back in 10 minutes and by then I was laid up in the bed with the happiest smile.
It felt like I was wearing a pair of warm fleece leggings.
My babe was back and we were winding down the night, filling him in on the only two hours of pain I experienced all day (and it still wasn’t even that bad). The doctors came in for a final check around midnight and I was dilated to a 5. They said to get some rest and they would be back to check in 4-5 hours. We updated our parents who were camping out in the waiting room, gave each other a kiss and went right to sleep (which is again surprising — see above).
At 4:00 a.m. Dr Cohen (still funny because he looked like Seth Cohen AND he told us his dad’s name is Sandy!!) woke me up and said “are you ready to do this thing?” I thought I still had hours ahead of me but he did my check and said “I can feel the head. This is going to be fast and it’s going to be fun!” We are literally waking up, yawning, and get this crazy and exciting news. I remember telling Chris to brush his teeth (lol) and texting my Mom that we are ready to rock and roll. They set up some delivery tables, I started shaking and they said it was game time. They talked me through how to push and they would tell me when I was having a contractions because I couldn’t feel ANYTHING! It was like I was still wearing a pair of warm fleece leggings!
Don’t think I am crazy, but pushing was FUN. Everyone was cheering for me! Chris was counting down 10, 9, 8, 7…. The nurse and doctor were saying “Go! Go! Go! You got this!” I felt amazing! Like an athlete! Like an Olympian! They called me an excellent pusher. It was incredible. Chris made a joke about the scene in the movie “knocked up” and I burst out laughing. I couldn’t stop. Then the doctors said “we can see him move down every time you laugh! Chris keep her laughing!” Y’all I have no idea what all we laughed about but all of us were in stitches (yes, pun intended). In between contractions we were having FUN! I only pushed for 20 minutes and Vance was here. My dad always told me to laugh at something every single day, and I find it oh SO fitting that our son was born into a room full of laughter and smiles. They laid him on my chest and he was perfect! We didn’t cry, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger smile on mine or Chris’s face! We were just in awe. We took a family selfie (I know) and we shared the news and thanked God for such a perfect little baby and such an amazing birth experience.
Vance Christopher Taylor was born at 4:55 a.m. on Friday, January 27, weighing 7 lbs and 12 oz. He was 21.25 inches long and seriously the cutest baby I’ve ever seen in all my life. He looks JUST like his dad (we have pics to prove it) and I think my heart exploded falling in love with him. And even more watching Chris love on him in the days to follow.
Pregnancy was terrible for me. You’ve read that here and if you know me in person, you know it was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. I had zero expectations for Labor, Delivery or the whole birth experience. I never worried past Chris being here.
God held me in the palm of his hand. He had control and he took care of me. Not only did he give me Vance, but he gave me such an amazing day that I will always remember as one of my favorites. He let me LAUGH without fear of the future. God DOES hear your prayers. He knows what’s on your heart.
Every fear, every worry, even the things you didn’t even know you wanted. If I danced during delivery and laughed through labor, you can do anything. To God Be the Glory.
Happy Birthday Vance.
Color Newborn Photos - Julie Mock of Bella Baby
B&W Photos - From our phones
Maghon's Robe and Gown - Comfy Mommy
Vance's Swaddle Blankets - Modern Burlap and The Land of Nod
Gold Vance Ring - Gift from Maghon's sister Kasey
Gold V Ring - Moon and Lola