Cove turns one: Remembering the day our boy joined us earth side

Tomorrow is Coven’s 1st Birthday. I’ve been in denial and really emotional about it. With the idea that Coven might be our last, my heart has been heavy thinking about all of the “firsts” and that they might also be the “lasts”.

I’ve been busy prepping for his party tomorrow. The combination of having no kids all morning thanks to preschool and my MIL, crazy good 70 degree weather, and the wonderful therapy that baking brings me, I’ve been reminiscing all morning about Coven’s birth story. I wish I could relive it (to a certain degree). I love hearing birth stories, so I thought it would be fun to take you through the journey of how our little Cove finally joined us earth-side.

Two days before Coven was born, I went in for a routine check (I was nearing a week late). When my midwife checked his heart rate, she was actually concerned by how low it was. I was hooked up to the EFM at the office and after a half hour or so, my midwife concluded that his BPM just wasn’t where it should be. She told me I could go home and eat some dinner with my family, but that she wanted me back that night to be induced.

Not that being induced would have been the end of the world by any means, but I was so thrown off guard. It’s one thing to have a planned induction, but this somewhat of an emergency induction. The idea that his heart rate was low and him not being very active was scary enough. I went home, filled my husband in, made arrangements for our oldest, called our family, and we ate waffles as (perhaps the last time as) a family of 3.

My husband and I left that night with our hospital bag. He was ecstatic that we were probably going to meet our son soon. I can’t say that I felt the same. I was nervous and scared, and a little let down that my body wouldn’t get the chance to go into labor on its own (I was also induced with Holden). But at the same time, I was also just trying to be excited that we would meet him soon.

When we arrived, we went to our room, and the nurses hooked me up to the EFM. Coven was super active, and his heart rate was perfectly normal. The nurse was a little confused, but was going to proceed with prepping for the induction anyway. Something in me just didn’t feel right, so I called my doula. I said “I’m here getting ready to be induced, but he seems totally OK. Even the nurse said that he must have just needed some food.” She ended up coming to our room and talking it through with me, and we decided to call my midwife. When I got on the phone with her, she said “well I guess there’s no reason for you to be there if you don’t want to be induced!”

Tyson was a little disappointed that it wasn’t time. But I have to say…I was a little relieved. We went home and I just knew that it wouldn’t be long before he actually came. I believed that my body would progress naturally and he would be here soon.

The next day, we had a pretty normal day. Tyson went to work, we went to bible study that night, and we filled everyone in on what we had been through in the last 24 hours. Our friends that night prayed over me and my body and I felt so much peace. Again, I just felt like it would all align to how it should be.

I basically never went to sleep that night. My body was contracting more than it had been and I laid there in bed just sort of in denial. I knew he was coming soon (I was a week late at this point), but could this actually be it?! I started timing my contractions at midnight and could tell that my body was most likely in pre-labor. After a few hours timing contractions, dozing off, and lots of trips to the bathroom, I finally woke Tyson up. “Tys, I need your help. I’m having a lot of contractions and they’re getting more and more painful,” I said to him. He stayed up with me and started doing counter pressure on my back. I called my doula to let her know. I called the midwife and she told me to come in and get checked out. We went in at about 5AM, they hooked me up to monitor baby again, and after about an hour of painful contractions, my early labor was actually slowing down. I walked around the hospital for a while and we tried to go get some breakfast, but I was still actually so uncomfortable and nauseous that I couldn’t even eat. But by the time we got back to our room, my contractions had pretty much stopped. My midwife came in and we chatted about what would be the best thing for me, and we both decided that I should go home and rest. I was only dilated to a 2 and wasn’t progressing. She was very hopeful that a little bit of rest in our own home would be the thing that my body needed to send me into active labor.

Side note…It had been a super nice day, so when we got home and I said I was just going to sleep, Tyson decided to make the most of his time and go work outside for a bit. I was just about asleep when all of a sudden – BOOM! I heard this super loud explosion that made the whole house shake. I thought, “Great! I’m about to go into labor and Tyson just blew himself up. Awesome.” Turns out he got a little happy with the gasoline when trying to start a burn pile.

Anyways, I napped for a couple of hours, and when I woke up, something definitely had changed. I immediately had the most intense contractions that I had experienced thus far. I got in the tub to relax and that didn’t work out so well. I basically couldn’t sit down or find any way to be without being totally uncomfortable. We hung out at the house for a couple of hours while I just kept trying to move to find relief. I was so nervous to go back in after already been sent home. I wanted to make sure that this was absolutely it.

Tyson’s mom was going to come over to bring us dinner around 5:30 that night, and he ended up calling her to tell her to skip it because we were probably going back in soon. I called my doula again, and she told me based on my voice that it was time and I needed to get back quick.

I think I was mostly stalling because I was so terrified to get in the car. What if I didn’t make it? We also had a rental car at the time (that’s what you get Toyota for not getting my car fixed the first time…I’m just going to have a baby in your rental now! muahahah) On another side note…We live out in the country so EVERYTHING is at least 15 minutes away. Luckily the hospital wasn’t too far but STILL. Being in the car for 15-20 min in active labor…barf. But seriously, I couldn’t catch a breath. I was going to the bathroom every 5 minutes just thinking…oh my word this baby is going to come out here. And then I remembered that I hadn’t eaten anything all day so I told Tyson to make me a PB&J. I tried taking a few bites and just thought I was going to puke. Another HARD contraction came and Tyson said: “Ok, after this one you need to get in the car.”

As he was helping me in the car, we see cops going up past our house. Which was pretty bizarre considering there was never any action during the day out there. I said, “hey, you think they’d give us an escort?” The bright side of this labor was that I still had my humor. 😏 Well, when I had joked about an escort, I didn’t actually think we’d get one. But we did, but not the kind you’re thinking. There had been a cop at the end of our driveway and of course, right as we’re coming down he decides “OK I’ll leave now too.” So there is a cop in front of us, definitely going the exact speed limit, if not less, definitely not in any hurry of any kind. After the second contraction in the car I said “GET HIS ATTENTION!!! WE HAVE TO GO FASTER THAN THIS.” But instead we did a breezy 35 on county roads all the way into town following a cop that was really just enjoying the drive. I was so happy for him.

Everyone knew we were coming. My doula and midwife knew I wasn’t kidding around this time. They pretty much knew it was go-time. Right when we pulled in, my midwife was just happening to make her way across the parking lot to L&D and met us there. She took one look at me and said “OK well cool I guess you weren’t kidding around! Let’s go have a baby!”

I got wheeled in just over 6:00 PM and when they checked me, I was at an 8.5. OK and one more side note. I was really hoping for a water birth this time around. Typically they get the tubs ready a little sooner than transition time. BUT my midwife and nurses were rock stars and did their best to get the tub ready in time. It was amazing seeing so many bodies hustling to get water back and forth from the sink to the tub. Seriously so cool. I had the best birthing team.

I started to have to push right when the tub was full enough for me to get in. I’d like to say that I was able to enjoy the tub for a while and was able to relax. When I first got into the tub, my body did this weird 1 minute relaxing shut off thing where I just felt nothing. My midwife even asked, “everything OK over there?” I just had this crazy sense of comfort and just kinda went numb. And then, BAM. I said, “I think he’s crowning” and two pushes later, at 6:58 PM, I had my sweet boy on my chest.

Being in the water was the most amazing thing. Even though I didn’t get to labor in it, bringing a baby into the world, up through the water, sitting there in all my glory, was seriously so beautiful. I understand now why people pay the big bucks for those epic birthing videos.

Coven was a healthy 8 pounds, 13 ounces and 21 inches long. I’m so thankful for this birth story and I will cherish it forever.

Perhaps one of my favorite moments was when my oldest son had come in later that night to meet him for the first time. He was in awe and was already so loving and caring of his baby brother. (And of course, he had to show him his monster trucks right away).

Coven's 1st Birthday

It’s crazy to think as I write this, it has already been a whole year getting to know this precious boy of ours. As sad as I am that he’s already one, I’m so excited to see his personality bloom and to see the brotherhood between him and Holden grow. So so thankful for this little family of mine.