I was told that the last few weeks of pregnancy were going to go painstakingly slow. Only 5% of babies actually arrive on their due date. So when will they come? It’s a huge, long, waiting game. And it’s true- it goes painstakingly slow. The few days before Asher’s due date, I was on cloud 9. I thought for sure I would have my baby in my arms within a week. Not to mention that my grandmother and sister were coming down for his arrival.
When Asher didn’t show up on his due date and even the next few days after, the excitement wore off and I felt like I wasn’t even going to have a baby. My iPhone app said Asher was now the size of a pumpkin, and I began really wondering if it truly was just a pumpkin inside of me and not a human! Asher quickly kicked (literally) some sense into me and I knew that he was there. But when would he come?! I had enjoyed my basketball bump for the past 9 months, but now I wanted to see the little tiny human that had so perfectly and miraculously grown in there!
The night before I gave birth, Adam came home from work and said “It’s time babe, it’s happening in the next 48 hours”. Really?! I doubted him because I was slightly discouraged with the fact that there was absolutely no sign of Asher the previous week, plus I felt bad that my family had flown into town to meet him! However, Adam was finishing up a strong work week and was eager to meet his baby boy.
The following morning I had to take my sister to the airport. She had been here for a whole week and no Baby Asher! We had a blast though and I am actually really glad that we had that time to catch up with each other’s lives just me and her. My grandmother had left as well. Same story with her. I was sad that she didn’t get to meet Asher, but happy that we got some really nice quality time in.
As we were getting up and getting ready to head to the airport, I took my daily bump picture. Little did I know, it would be my last!
After I dropped Krista off, I came home and began nesting 7.0. Incase Adam was right, I wanted the apartment to be clean and ready for our little man. As I cleaned, organized, refolded, repacked, cooked brownies, went on a walk, went to the pool, and painted my nails (yes- even my toes!) I felt some cramping. I thought I just had to go to the restroom. As the day went on I started to feel a bit more pain in my legs, but still didn’t think anything of it. I think I was really convinced that there was an actual pumpkin inside of me, not a baby! I also thought I was in more pain because I was more active and doing more than I had the past week. I was literally moving a mile a minute just getting things done.
When Adam returned from work I told him that I had been cramping and he of course said, “tonights the night!” I was trying not to get my hopes up. We headed down to the pool that evening to hang out with some friends. As we were in the pool, people would comment- “I can see your stomach contracting”. I replied, “Hm… interesting- I’m feeling more pain in my legs”. And that was that- there really wasn’t a strong thought in my mind that I may be in early labor.
When we headed back upstairs, I got in a hot shower before making dinner. Wow. The pain suddenly changed. Maybe I am in labor?! I got out of the shower and started to make dinner, but used the restroom first. Woah- my mucus plug came out! What?! Was I really in labor?! The pain was getting a bit worse, so I downloaded a contraction timer to track what I was assuming were contractions.
I shared the news with Adam and we were so excited with the possibility that I was in early labor! Our plan was to watch TV while we eat dinner, and head to bed. After scarfing down food, I laid on Adam’s lap and tried to focus on the tv show, but the pain was getting worse. I got in a hot bath which helped ease the pain and relax me. I was watching my contraction timer and realized that they were coming every 2.5 minutes, not 4 minutes. After my bath, Adam asked if I was ready for bed. BED?! Sleep?! I already knew that was impossible to try to sleep, let alone lay still with the pain I was in. We called the hospital and the midwife suggested to call back when I could not speak during contractions.
So, we decided to lay down for a bit. Which turned into me squirming during contractions and Adam rubbing my back. To be honest, the break (for however long it was) between contractions was a lifesaver. During the contraction I kept thinking, “I have to go to the hospital after this one”, but then the break came and my confidence of making it through another one was renewed. Before I knew it, it had been another hour and I could no longer speak during contractions. I was on my hands and knees trying to find some sort of relief, and my teeth were chattering pretty violently. We called the midwife and it was time to go in!
On the way to the hospital I was praying to be 3 cm dilated. Please, give me 3 cm!! If so, I would feel pretty encouraged and motivated.
By the time I had gotten up to the birthing room and the midwife checked me, I was 7 cm dilated! YES! I can do this. Back to the tub for me. As the contractions picked up, I got out of the tub and got into the bed. By that time I was making some pretty interesting grunting noises during each contraction. BOOM. My water broke. I began to get worried because I knew contractions typically increase after your water breaks. I really didn’t know how much longer I could go.
The midwife checked dilation again and I was fully dilated! However, Asher’s head was still above the pubic bone so we had to get him further down. No matter how exciting it was to be fully dilated, I was so tired and wondering how much longer we had to go. “How much longer?!” I kept asking the midwife after each excruciating contraction.
Although it was time to push, I didn’t really feel the need to as much as I had thought I would.
We moved to the birthing ball and toilet to try to get Asher lower with each contraction. Opening my hips in that way sent a sharp, shooting pain down my right leg. I could barely handle it. “How much longer?!” I would ask. I’m sure this got annoying after a while. “Try 5 more contractions here” answered the midwife. FIVE?! It seemed like so much, but I knew I could do it. I was again thankful for the break between contractions and at times was even able to doze off for 2 minutes before they came again.
By this point, when I was so close, but in so much pain, and oh so tired. I began thinking, “What the heck did people do before there were hospitals?! Or even sanitation?!” I guess those thoughts helped me push through 5 more contractions.
I returned to the bed but began to feel guilty that I didn’t stay on the ball longer. I felt like that position would help Asher move down more quickly. But I was SO tired. I decided to ask what position would help him move down the best and was put to the birthing bar. This also sent the almost unbearable pain down my right leg with every push. “Something feels wrong” I said. I still didn’t really feel a strong need to push, and while I was pushing as hard as I could, I hadn’t felt any progress. The whole labor I had been able to feel progress and that helped me to keep going. But something seemed off now.
I was lucky enough to have 2 midwives in the room with me, and had not realized that one left the room. She came back and told me that I had been pushing very hard for over 2 hours, and that Asher still hadn’t moved. We had to make a change. She said there were two options:
- Get an epidural, rest, and try again with some more energy
By that point, I was ready for anything. Both of the midwives suggested to try the epidural first. Alright, lets do it.
This was not my birth plan. I was in so much pain, and felt like the baby wasn’t going to come out. However, the thought of rest, and a nap brought me relief. I received the epidural and the contractions became lighter. I was able to sleep. However, the midwives came in every 10 minutes to turn me over because Asher’s heart rate kept dropping. I barely knew what was going on, but I wasn’t necessarily worried.
All of the sudden, after not much rest at all, the midwives came in with a doctor. By this time the epidural had made me so numb that I couldn’t feel anything and I was shaking violently. They realized I probably should not have had that much of a dosage being as small as I was. I was barely coherent at this time (it took all I had just to keep my eyes open). However, I tuned in to the doctor saying that Asher is stuck sideways and they could use some tools to turn him, but it would be too dangerous with his dropping heart rate. They had to act, and they had to act quickly. He began discussing a C-section and reviewed the possible risk factors for future pregnancies that it could cause (or at least that is what I remember). With as much pain and sleep deprivation that I was in, I was okay with the C-Section, but worried about future births. We want more than one child, but would this prevent healthy pregnancies in the future?
This wasn’t part of the plan, what went wrong? It was so hard to think straight at this moment. The only thing my mind was focused on was getting this baby out of me. But was everything going to be okay? Had I given up and given into the pain? Could I have pushed him out? I was so numb and could not stop shaking. “Will they have to give me more medicine that will make me shake more?” I wondered. “I can’t handle that”. I suddenly wanted the pain back over the craziness of the epidural. “When will this all go away”?
“Let’s have this baby!” said the doctor after we consented to the C-section. Again, I doubted. I had waited so long for my baby and it just did not feel like it was actually going to happen. Plus, thoughts that I had given up were swirling in my mind. Was this is really happening?
They wheeled me into the operating room and after they had everything set up, Adam joined. The epidural had been so strong that I was numb enough to not need any more medication, besides standard antibiotics for the procedure.
As the C-Section went on, the doctors realized just how stuck Asher was. Even though my stomach was cut wide open, they could not get him that way. His head was stuck sideways in the pubic bone. They had to push him out vaginally and up through the stomach. I could hear the doctors discuss what was happening, and could feel the pressure of them pushing. I kept thinking “Oh my gosh is he going to be okay?”
From my understanding, Asher was out of my belly, but there were no noises except for a lot of doctor chatter. Many more doctors came into the room as well. “What is going on?! Is he okay?” I asked the nurse. “Um, I think they are…. um…. helping him.” She replied. Helping him what?! Was this really happening? This was getting worse and worse and just confirming my worry of never being able to hold my baby.
I saw Adam looking at the doctors and wiping a tear away. I couldn’t bring myself to ask him what was going on because I didn’t know if I could handle the truth (the truth was that Asher came out with no heartbeat or breath). I put up a wall between me and my worry and refused to think about what may be happening. I began to pray. I had been praying the whole time, but this is the only thing I was focusing on now.
I finally heard Asher cry.
Asher James Yeatts
Such a relieving sound. His crying was going in and out though, which I had no idea if that was normal or not. I was able to catch a glimpse of my newborn baby, crying, wrapped up in a towel, with his cute hat on. “Wow! Thats not was I was expecting him to look like!” Were the first thoughts that came to my mind. Really? Why did I think that? I guess I was delirious by this point.
The doctors had to take Asher away for some continued observations and tests. Luckily, Adam got to go with them, and I was being sewed up. This was the first time throughout the whole labor that I cried. I had wondered why I was so numb emotionally, and figured that it was just because of the medicine, pure exhaustion, and focused determination to get him out. However, knowing my baby was out, that he almost did not make it, and now had to be taken away really tore me up in that moment.
I just wanted to hold him.
All of the sudden, the nurse noticed that I was covered in hives. She seemed pretty concerned. I remember my arms itching but not thinking anything of it. Apparently the hives were everywhere. “Was I not going to make it now?! Is this something to really be concerned about?” I wondered. The worry had immediately returned. It seemed like so much was standing in the way of me holding my baby. No one was sure what was causing the hives, but they immediately stopped the antibiotics and gave me Benadryl to help with the rash. Great. Bedadryl makes me so sleepy. I already could barely hold my eyes open. I was frustrated.
I kept asking the nurse if Asher was okay, but she didn’t know. And by now I could barely talk because of the strength of the epidural and Benadryl.
After they sewed me back up, they rolled me to our hospital room and I waited for Asher. My husband and my baby were gone, I couldn’t move, and was just left with my worrying thoughts.
Adam finally came in with the biggest smile. “He’s perfect, babe”. He proceeded to tell me that the tests were going well and that Asher would be back soon. He also showed me pictures of our beautiful baby boy.
Wow. I didn’t know what to think. I actually did not let myself think anything until I could see him with my own eyes.
Speaking of eyes– I was using 100% of whatever energy I had left in my torn up, sewn up, exhausted body to hold my eyes open. Things were blurry and I would literally nod off in the middle a sentence. I was trying my hardest to just. act. normal. so they would let me hold my baby.
The time finally came in which they wheeled Asher in on a bassinet and said, “Lets get this boy to his momma”. All of the tests came back normal and Asher had made great progress in just a short amount of time. Praise God!
I was numb.
Somebody pinch me.
I have a little, adorable human in my arms.
One that I had grown and bonded with for the past 9 months.
He was finally here. In my arms! When the nurse handed me Asher, it was like we had an instant connection. We had spent 9 months together, and had just spent the past 9 hours trying to get to each other on the outside. Asher wanted to meet his mom, and I wanted to meet my baby boy.
Trying to get to each other had been such a traumatic experience. When I held him, I knew we were both scared and confused on what had just happened. But I also knew that we had finally arrived to the point that we were trying so hard to get to.
Regardless of the pain, fear, numbness, etc. everything was perfect because we were together, skin to skin, just like we had planned. Maybe a little later than we had planned, maybe some bumps in the road along the way, but we made it.
Asher immediately began nursing and the rest is history. I was his mommy and he was my baby. Us and Daddy stayed skin to skin for the rest of the evening and the whole night. Nothing else mattered.
The First Days of Life
As the nurses came in every 2 hours to check our vitals, I was reminded of the difficulties we had just experienced, and my heart would stop. “Is he going to be okay? Is his heart rate low again?” I would ask. This fear lasted for about 3 days, but I finally started to believe that Asher was a healthy baby boy, and that he had just came out stunned because he was so stuck.
The rest of the hospital stay was magical. I mean sure, the food wasn’t that great, Adam’s chair he had to sleep on was uncomfortable, and I could barely stand up, but it was our first moments together as a family. We got to watch the solar eclipse, take walks around the hospital, watch Netflix, and most of all, cuddle with Baby Asher! There was nothing else we focused on except for our new family. This was a very special time for me and I look back at it with so much joy.
Side Note: the worst part about recovering from a c-section is having a funny husband. Anyone who has ever had a c-section knows that laughing, coughing, or sneezing is almost equivalent to your insides bursting open!
2 Weeks Later
At the time that I am writing this, It has been 2 weeks since Asher came into our lives. He is the best thing that has ever happened to us. As I look at him sleeping in front of me while I finish writing this oh-so-long post, I already think about how big he has gotten in just 2 weeks! Although it is sad to me, I am also happy that he is feeding, pooping, peeing, and growing.
Asher James, this life is yours. Grow, explore, and dive into your passions. Become the person that God created you to be. I promise to teach you, learn from you, and love you with my whole heart along the way. You will always be our little miracle baby.
Below is a song that my husband wrote throughout my pregnancy. I feel like it is perfect for this post. We are so grateful to welcome our new little baby boy to the world, and we know there is such an adventure ahead.