I asked Caleb to write out Cody’s birth story, one, because I thought it would be fun for me and everyone to hear from the dad’s perspective, and two, I figured he wouldn’t ramble on as I can tend to do. So here is Cody’s birth story, by Caleb, with just a few side notes from me, in italics in parentheses. And don’t miss the few new pictures in the gallery at the bottom. 🙂
It all started for me when I woke up at 12:30 AM on Tuesday morning and Tara was having contractions. At this point we were six days past the due date, so even though we knew it had to start sooner or later we had been lulled into a little bit of complacency. Either way, I’d only had 2 hours of sleep that night and all I could think was that this was the first of many.
We spent all day Tuesday at home. We had been told that we would be able to be active throughout early labor, taking walks, playing games or baking to help pass the time. Unfortunately, the combination of the contractions, which were more intense than expected, and Tara’s limited sleep (she got less than an hour), she wasn’t up for it. Instead she lay down most of the day and I did what I could to help her relax. (Yeah I was already exhausted by the time morning came, but I did try to get up in some standing positions for contractions, and we went for a walk around 5, which felt like a death march in the heat of a 97 degree day). Our doula (think birth coach) came by for a few hours as well to help out, which was great to have. With her help we made it until 6pm (18 hours of labor) before we decided to head to the hospital. When we got there we did all of the normal (I assume) check-in stuff and found out that Tara was only at 1 cm. (I thought: what has my body been doing all day?!) They had us walk around and she was a 3 cm about 45 min later. They said it was still early but we could check in since it was moving along, but we decided to go home for some more rest and food. The trip was somewhat successful but the contractions really started picking up and at midnight we decided to head back.
Day two: by the time we were checked into our room, Tara was at 5-6 cm and had been laboring for 25 hours. The biggest challenge she (and to some extent I) faced at that point was fatigue. So that Tara could get some sleep(and some pain relief–I was so done dealing with the intense contractions at that point and couldn’t stand the thought of continuing getting through them through the night), we decided it was best to get an epidural. That turned out to be a great choice and we both got to sleep for almost 5 hours which was a life saver. We woke up for good around 7 am. (Around 5 or 6 the nurse told me that my contractions had spaced out considerably and that the doctor might want to break my water or start me on Pitocin, but for one thing I knew that didn’t sound like my doctor and for another I wanted more sleep so I asked if that was really necessary and indicated that I’d prefer to wait and see if things picked back up when I woke up, which they did). Our doula got some bagels for breakfast, which was nice (Tara unfortunately couldn’t eat due to the epidural). Our OBGYN visited briefly and said he was happy with how things were progressing and there was no need for further intervention, which was great to hear. (Our OB was the best, we really enjoyed working with him all through pregnancy and L&D) Then it was really just a waiting game. Unfortunately Tara’s epidural wore off a couple of times (something I didn’t know could happen). Those episodes were tough since obviously her contractions were pretty intense at that point. (So ended up getting two boluses)
At 3 PM the nurse determined that things had progressed enough to start pushing and Tara was ready and motivated. (You betcha! We also created a great soundtrack for pushing, including Eye of the Tiger, the Rocky theme song, We Are the Champions, etc. It amused me and I kept laughing suggesting songs and I think the nurse thought we were weird) 1 hour and 6 minutes later, Cody Frederick Becker was born at a full 10 lbs and 22 inches! That was without a doubt the most amazing moment of my life. While I knew he was coming for 9 months, this moment when it became a reality was incredible. The whole staff was shocked and impressed with the speed and relative ease with which Tara was able to push him out, I was just in awe.
In all it took 40 hours, 2 nights of minimal sleep, lots of work and pain for Tara, and me hanging out, trying to do whatever I could. We’re both thankful with how things went and obviously the ultimate result! Now we just have to figure out this parenting thing!