So when you find out that you are pregnant and find out the due date, that date is then etched in the back of your mind that this is when your precious baby will enter the world: February 22, 2012. Turner was due on a Wednesday, so I decided I would officially work through the Friday before, then play the next week by ear. Well, Friday came and went, as did the weekend, and no signs of Turner, so I continued working. Which brings us to his due date... I even worked on that day because I felt totally fine! That entire day there were no signs that Turner would be entering the world. I was a little disappointed because I had thought for sure we would have been at the hospital by now. (If he didn’t come by his due date, I had an appointment scheduled with my doctor the next morning to talk about our options.)
When I got home from work that afternoon, Kelley and Trae were at the house because Kelley was taking her comps for grad school the next day and Trae had class. Jesse was at the grocery store making one last run for the week. For the past 2 weeks or so, Jesse and I had been walking every afternoon so since he was gone, Kelley, Trae, Maggie, and I went for a stroll. When we got back home, Jesse was there starting on dinner. I was beginning to have some contractions during dinner, but they weren’t very regular, so we weren’t really counting them as real contractions. Around 9:45 pm, I sent my mom a text letting her know that it didn’t seem like he was coming today and that we would see how my appointment went in the morning. Jesse encouraged me to go ahead and go to bed, get some rest, and we would see what happened tomorrow. To be honest, I was disappointed.
On my way to bed, Kelley and I cleaned up some things in the baby room/guest room. She said, “Do you really think he will be here tomorrow?!” Instantly, I had this feeling that my water might have broken, but I wasn’t very sure. I called my sister to ask her about it and while we were talking, there was no wondering anymore... my water had officially broken!!! Let’s just say that i am SO GLAD that I was at home when this happened! We quickly packed up our last minute things and headed to the hospital - which took a whopping 2 minutes... perks of living in a small town!
Since it was after 9 pm, we had to enter the hospital through the Emergency Room. Right when we walked in the door, we saw Hugh Griffith, campus minister of the Wesley Foundation - where Jesse and I were active in college. It was SUCH a blessing to run into him. In the middle of the crazy, excited, anxiousness we were feeling, Hugh pulled us aside and prayed for us. It was just what we needed. He also asked if I could hold off until tomorrow it would be great because the 23rd was his birthday... it was also my sister, Jennifer’s birthday as well.
We go to the counter at the ER and the guy calls to have a wheelchair brought down. Just a few minutes later, a young nurse came down wheeling a HUGE wheelchair. I think Jesse and I both could have fit in it! She took us up to the 4th floor to labor and delivery. Now, this was a strange moment. I have been pregnant for 9 months...we attended the childbirthing classes...we took a tour of the hospital...everything... leading up to THIS moment. Here we were, getting admitted into the hospital and I was about to have a BABY! It was a very exciting, but surreal moment.
Once we got admitted, we called our parents to let them know that Turner had in fact decided to make his move and that he would be here the next day! Since it was after 10:30 pm, Jesse’s parents decided to get some sleep, get up in the morning, then make the 6 hour drive to Starkville. Since my parents are only 2 hours away, they came on to Starkville right then. I tried to get them to stay at home, get some sleep, and come the next day but Mom wouldn’t have anything to do with that idea.
The nurses hooked me up to a monitor that showed my contractions as well as the baby’s heartbeat. I was only 1 centimeter dilated and was 70% effaced, so we knew that Turner wouldn’t be here anytime soon. I had a blood pressure cuff that took my blood pressure every 15 minutes... which normally wouldn’t be a big deal. However, the nurse that gave me my IV messed it up on my right hand, so she had to do it again on my left. The blood pressure cuff was on my right arm, so every 15 minutes as it tightened, it caused the place where she messed up the IV to THROB the entire time it was taking the reading. Keep in mind, this happened every 15 minutes from 10:30 pm to 11:15 am the next day. UGH.
My parents made it to the hospital around 1:00 am and our friend JP showed up then as well! (Side note: JP was leaving for Japan the next afternoon, so he came to visit us at the hospital that night.) We all visited for about an hour or so, then we decided it would be best to try to get some rest. JP went home and my parents went to our house to catch some zZzZz’s. Jesse made the most of the couch in the hospital room and I tried my best to get comfortable. Right around that time, my contractions started getting stronger and I could NOT get comfortable. Unfortunately, as the pain got worse, I got sick. Wasn’t expecting that. This was the first time I had gotten sick during my pregnancy. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep a wink.
The nurse came in at 6:00 am to start pitocin because my labor was not progressing very fast. Once your water breaks, most doctors want to deliver the baby within 24 hours, so they wanted to get things moving. I didn’t want to be given pitocin, but didn’t have much of a choice at this point. The contractions started coming very regularly and were really, really intense. Up until this point I hadn’t decided for sure if I wanted to get an epidural or not, but once I felt these contractions... there was no doubt - I was getting the epidural. They said Dr. Cobb would be there at 7:00 and that I could get the epidural then since I was 4 centimeters dilated at this point. We kept the lights off and sent my parents away to the waiting room (they came back to the hospital around 6:00). I just needed it to be quiet and dark as I worked through the contractions. As each one came, I grabbed the side of the hospital bed with one hand and grabbed Jesse’s hand with the other. He was so sweet to stay by my side and encourage me throughout each contraction. I watched the clock continually waiting for my relief that would be here at 7:00... which turned into 7:30 because Dr. Cobb was running a little late.
About 15 minutes after I got the epidural, I felt great! It was crazy (but awesome) to watch the contractions on the monitor, but not feel any pain! My parents came back into the room and we were set to wait out baby Turner. Around 10:00 I started to feel a lot of pressure and really felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. I wasn’t sure why I was feeling pain and pressure since I had gotten the epidural. I called the nurse in to ask her if this was normal and she said yes and left the room. About 15 minutes later, I called her back in the room because things just didn’t feel right. I was feeling incredible pressure and some pain with the contractions. I asked her to check me and I was already 9 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced! I must have progressed a lot faster than she expected since she didn’t check me earlier. It was time to deliver! My parents went to the waiting room and Jesse suited up!
As they were preparing the room for delivery, a million things were running through my head.... from “our lives were about to change forever” to “holy crap, I’m about to have this baby.” The main nurse asked if I would mind if some nursing students watched the delivery. I told them I didn’t mind at all because of my friend, Kaylan. She had just finished her labor and delivery rotation in nursing school and absolutely loved it. I know how much it meant to her to be a part of such an incredible experience, so I wanted that for these students. Also, this is what they were in school for, so of course I didnt mind for them to be in the room. At this point, there were 5 nurses, 3 nursing students, and Jesse in the room. Talk about a lot of people!
Once everything was set and ready to go, it was time to start pushing. I didn’t realize until this moment that you push along with contractions. While I was pushing, everyone in the room was cheering me on and encouraging me. Funny story- Jesse must have felt a little awkward because he didn’t really know what to say to me while pushing. On the second push he started saying “Good Girl! Good Girl!” like I was Maggie or something. I looked up at him after that push and asked him to think of something else to say since I wasn’t a dog. Finally, he stuck with something along the lines of “good job, keep going, you’re doing great!” Much better. Another story- during my pushing, one of the nurses threw me a towel and said, “Let’s play tug-o-war”. She held on to one end of the towel and as the contractions came, that is exactly what we did! My arms were sore for the next WEEK from that little game, but it helped me to push while focusing on something else.
I pushed for 45 minutes before they called for Dr. Cobb to come. (Even though it was 45 minutes, I wasn’t pushing the entire time.. just when the contractions came.) They always wait until the baby is crowning before they call in the doctor. Time was ticking by and Dr. Cobb hadn’t made it yet. The main nurse told me if he didn’t make it, it would be ok and that she would deliver the baby. I continued to push, until finally Dr. Cobb arrived. He had been at the women’s clinic just down the road and has a scooter to quickly go back and forth to the hospital. Well, he couldn’t get his scooter to start! He had to borrow another doctor’s truck to make it to the hospital in time. (Sidenote: imagining Dr. Cobb riding a scooter with his long greasy hair flowing was pretty funny at the time.) Once he arrived, I pushed for about another 15 minutes. In between pushes we told Dr. Cobb that Jesse had gotten the job in D.C.! It was kind of funny to go back and forth from intense pain to normal conversation. Towards the end of pushing, though, there was no normal conversation. It took all that I had to stay focused and “push through”. ha. One final push and TURNER WAS HERE!
Jesse got to watch the actual birth and says it was one of the most amazing things he has ever seen. Apparently, the umbilical cord was twisted around Turner’s body, so Dr. Cobb had to twist and turn him to unwrap the cord, but all was well! It was incredible to hear that little cry. It wasn’t as loud as we had imagined, but it was the most precious little cry. As I looked down, all I could see were two little feet kicking in the air. It was all I needed to see. Cue my tears... which happened, of course, but Jesse was extremely overwhelmed. I guess it hit him at that moment, where as I had been bonding with and carrying this little baby for 9 whole months. It was the sweetest thing ever to
see him so overcome with love.
As soon as the nurses were through with Turner, they brought him over to us and I got to hold my baby for the first time.
It was such a sweet, special time. We cried some more and composed ourselves for our first family photo.
Once the doctor and nurses left, Turner and I got a chance for our first go at breastfeeding, and then they called for our family to come. As you know, my parents were in the waiting room, but at this point, we weren’t sure if Jesse’s parents had made it to the hospital yet. We were so surprised when my parents, Jesse’s parents, Kelley, Trae, and Ross Hood all walked into the room! Apparently Jesse’s parents had gotten off the elevator on the 4th floor just 60 seconds before Dr. Cobb walked out to let everyone know that Turner had arrived! Perfect timing! Kelley was able to come because she was on lunch break from her comps (remember?). Trae was there because he has been there for every big moment of the pregnancy... and because he is dating Kelley... and Ross came with Trae. Nanny and PawPaw joined us on Skype - high tech great grandparents! We were so happy to show off our son to everyone - Turner Marion English - born February 23 at 11:17 am. - 7 lbs. 2.3 oz. 20 in. of perfection. Praise be the God!
We've been home for 2 weeks now and are doing great! We've definitely had our hard moments, but we are adjusting to life with a newborn and are loving being parents. For those of you who are wondering, Maggie and Turner are getting along very well! Our moms both came for a week each and the time spent with them was so special. We are officially on our own now! We go to the pediatrician on Monday for Turner's first check up. Excited to see how that goes... and to ask the doctor my list of questions. :) Thank you SO much to everyone who has called, sent texts, visited, and brought food! We are so thankful for our support system of friends and family. Love you guys!