Labor and Delivery | Whitney Walton

Whitney Mary Walton was born on February 2nd 2017, her exact due date. The week leading up to this day I felt like I could go into labor at any moment because I could feel body getting ready. My belly was super tight and heavy, and I had random pains and light contractions. Each night we would go to bed wondering if tonight was the night she would come. There was a lot of anticipation waiting for our baby girl to get here! 

Around 12:00 midnight on the 2nd I started feeling sharp pains in my lower back, which lasted throughout the night. The pains were very consistent without much relief but I wasn't sure if they were contractions or not. I slept restlessly, trying not to think too much about it. Around 9:00 AM I went into our living room to sit, focus, and listen to my body. Around 9:30 AM they turned into a pain that wrapped around my back and abdomen. I told Mike I thought it was real this time... we still didn't want to get too excited because we didn't know if they would last or not! But I was really really hoping this was it. It was so exciting!!! We got our things together while I timed my contractions. By 11:00 AM they were an average of 4 minutes apart and extremely strong. We were working on a puzzle as a distraction but I knew it was time we should head to the hospital. 

We arrived at Banner Gateway at 11:30 AM. The nurses in triage were wonderful with getting me right in and set up quickly. Contractions were still consistent (thank goodness), which was a relief because I had this inner fear that the contractions would suddenly stop and I would get sent home without our baby girl! I was dilated to a 3 and completely effaced. 

By 1:00 PM we were moved to the delivery room and I was given the epidural. I was so impressed with the anesthesiologist. She told me exactly how the epidural would feel through all the different stages. After she gave it to me she told me that it could take up to 20 minutes to have any effect. About 2 minutes later she asked if I felt the strong contraction I was having. Excitedly I said, "No I don't feel a thing!!" Amazing!! My legs were so numb, especially my right leg which kept falling off the bed! Thank you nurse for lifting them back on the bed! I was totally okay with the strange sensation of losing all feeling in my legs, given the circumstance. 

Next, we had to play the waiting game, because I was still only dilated to a 3. Around 4:00 PM, our wonderful doctor, Dr. Beck, broke my water to get things moving along. When he broke my water, I was dilated to a 4. We still had some waiting so Mike went and grabbed some food while I took a nap. I had no idea that I would be able to relax during labor enough to take a nap! Thank you epidural and thank you modern medicine! 

Things progressed quickly after Dr. Beck broke my water, and 2.5 hours later I was dilated to a 10 and ready to push. Our nurse Tammy was so good. We really loved how informative and nice she was! I knew this was routine for her but she really made me feel special. 

I pushed for an hour. I know that's longer than some people and way shorter than others, but for us this time went by really quickly. I feel like the nurses did a great job with telling me exactly what I needed to do and with telling me I was doing a good job. The baby was descending down the birth canal but would retract a little each time I stopped pushing, so it took a long time to get her in position for them to call the doctor. By the time Doctor Beck arrived it was a little after 7:00 PM. I pushed with him for 4 contractions and out came our baby!

I also want to add how amazing Mike was with taking these photos while also being present. You might be looking at them thinking how in the world could he balance being there with me with taking photos, but he did an excellent job. In fact, I honestly have very little memory of him with the camera at all. The first time I saw these I kept thinking, "what?! I had no idea you were taking these!" He was right there with me, comforting me and holding my hand, as well as capturing these amazing moments! He's amazing. 

Reliving this experience through these images makes me emotional. Our baby girl arrived at 7:25 PM. She cried briefly as the nurses wiped her down and laid her on me. She was so calm resting on my skin as I rubbed her back. I thought, "Welcome to the world baby!" We were instantly in love with her. A few things that we noticed right away... Her hair! For some reason we both thought that she would be bald (since I was a baldy my whole first year). She was also quite chunky which was unexpected, but so adorable! I thought instantly how much she looked like Mike's side of the family... because of her eyes and hair, not because of being chunky! Haha! It was just the sweetest, most wonderful time with our new baby. Mike perfectly captured my feelings of amazement, serenity, and pure joy. I'm still smiling right now.  

Our baby girl weighed 8 lbs 1oz and she measured at 20.75 inches long. I love this shot of her cute naked body with extra rolls! What a healthy baby! 

Mike's first time holding Whitney. I was emotional sitting in the hospital bed watching him with our new daughter. Who wouldn't be? I had dreamt of being a parent with him since we were engaged (and perhaps before) and here she was with us in our arms. I think many mothers can relate to that feeling. So much anticipation waiting for our baby, and so much joy. 

My parents Liz and Steve were the first to meet baby Whitney. Those who know my mom know how much she adores babies, especially newborns. She is so good with them! I already know she will most likely make her laugh before I do. She was very, very excited to come and meet her newest granddaughter. My parents commented several times on her hair and how chunky she was, they were also instantly in love! 

I will cherish these first moments with her forever. I'm so grateful that everything went smoothly and that she came to us healthy and strong. We love you Whitney Mary Walton!