Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our birth story

I can hardly believe it's been a little over two weeks since Burke was born. It's been one of the biggest, and best events of my life. The pregnancy, while enjoyable, was definitely not stress free, and the birth... or should I say after the birth ...has it's lows (after pains, healing, and breast feeding anyone?) but none of that really matters since we have a healthy baby boy! Here are the details to fill you in on our adventure, and for us to document the AMAZING miracle we named Burke Thomas Coleman.

It's funny... people say  they argue and go between so many names when deciding on the name for their child, but the day we found out we were having a boy we discussed it for less than five minutes over dinner and the decision had been made. Burke comes from Ryan's grandfather's dad (Burke) whom he never really knew, because he died when PapPap (Ryan's grandfather) was only two years old, and Thomas,  is PapPap's real name. And come to find out Thomas is a family name on my side as well!

Here are the details of our adventure:

Thursday, March 1st
I had a doctor's appointment at 2:40, right after school. The nurses had told me to be prepared for an induction because they were noting that Burke's abdomen wasn't growing like they would like to see. So at this visit they would do a sonogram to look at his arms, legs, head, and abdomen measurements to make sure everything was increasing in size. I have had so many sonograms due to other complications during pregnancy, that this almost seemed routine. But sonograms, while fun because I got to see my baby almost every other week, were not my friend. Well... this was no exception. The sonographer noted that everything grew except for his abdomen, so she brought me to a room to wait on Janice (my favorite midwife :) to discuss what we would do next.

So, I waited... and waited, and waited, until I couldn't contain myself anymore. I had intended to call Ryan once I heard from Janice, but I had not ever heard anyone walk past my door...  so I called and told him what the sonographer saw. I also informed him that we might be having a baby really soon, but to hold tight at work until I had talked to a reliable source besides my intuition. :) We hung up, and I waited, and waited, and waited some more. It was beginning to get ridiculous, so ridiculous that Ryan called back and asked what the hold up was. :) About five minutes later, Janice came into the room to ask me if I was ready to have a baby the next day! My heart stopped.  She basically told me that my placenta was probably not working appropriately, and he wasn't getting all the nutrients he needs to grow. At this point, he would be better outside of me than inside. We were going to have a baby!

Janice told me I was only 1 cm. dilated and 50% effaced, so she would like me to spend the night at the hospital, get a Cytotec,  and a good nights rest, in order to be ready to start laboring the next morning. She would call the hospital and have them to be expecting us between 6:00 and 7:00 that night! As soon as she left the room, I called Ryan to tell him to head home because we were in fact soon going to be parents! He then informed me that he couldn't take sitting at the office anymore, and that he was already walking home. :) In addition, all family and friends had been notified. Yep... can we say anxious. :)

Once home, we added the last minute little things for the hospital, set-up our dog, Bailey, with food, water, and a pee-pee pad (which would end up not pleasing him... I'll get to that later), and I had to clean the bathroom... yep, crazy, I know. I just wanted everything just perfect when we got to bring nugget home! Ryan then packed the car, and we headed to our last dinner out before we would become parents! I requested Fellini's Pizza. That was the place we celebrated when we found out we were pregnant in June, so I thought it would be fitting to end the journey at the same place, same table, same food. :) It was wonderful. We sat there reminiscing about this journey, and getting giddy with excitement with what was going to occur in less than 24 hours.  We then headed to the hospital. 

We arrived at 7:00pm at Northside Hospital. Even though Janice had called ahead to let the hospital know we would be arriving, we had to wait for about an hour before we were checked in.... it's not nicknamed "the baby factory" for nothing! :) Once we were checked in, we made ourselves at home, I received my meds, and it was lights out! We needed a good nights rest before tomorrow's big event!

Friday, March 2nd
The next morning, Ryan and I awoke around 7:00am and our families arrived soon after. Ryan and his dad quickly left to check on Bailey because soon the induction process would begin! About 30 minutes after Ryan had left, I get a text message... with the attached picture:

yeah, Bailey devil-dog must have gotten a little upset he did not get to sleep in our nice cozy bed last night because he pawed through the drywall into the dining room! I still wish Ryan hadn't sent me that text.... actually it may have made me push a little harder than normal, seeing as how I wanted to get home to ring that dog's neck. Anyway, after they cleaned up some of the mess, they were back at the hospital waiting with me to get this induction going!

To avoid TMI, I'll just say that nurse T, I will use this for her name, was really sweet. BUT... and that's a big BUT, I definitely did not enjoy her services early that morning, because as a result of her "services" I began having contractions every 2-3 minutes on my own. And sometime after lunch, my water broke! As my friend Julie said, it felt like a rubber band popping inside of you... I think that describes it perfectly. Technically, I guess I should thank nurse T for allowing me to have that experience, since I wanted this all to unfold naturally in the first place, but I simply can not over look the pain she caused... nope. 

Soon after my water breaking,  my contractions definitely became more uncomfortable. This happened even before the Pictocin was given to me! However once they got that stuff moving through me I was squeezing Ryan's hands off every two minutes. :) He was great at telling me when the contractions were at there peak. That was really helpful, because it gave me comfort knowing I was going to feel the pain ease up. However, it only took about an hour or two of that for me to ask for the epidural... and boy was that A.W.E.S.O.M.E. I give it up to those women who give birth naturally, but I choose to take what medicine has to offer... and that was a pain free labor and delivery! Whoo-hoo!!!

By this time it was around 5:00, and my midwife that was checking on me said that I was only around 4 cm. dilated. This was a bummer. But within the next hour she checked again, and I moved from 4 cm. to 8cm! She said it was time.

That's when I got nervous.

We hadn't taken ANY classes! I kept thinking... I don't know HOW to have a baby. I don't WANT to push a mini-watermelon out of me, and then ...then... it made sense. No one can explain a miracle. No one can prepare you for what is about to happen to your body, your life, your heart.

The nurses came in to get the incubator ready for baby. Staci, another midwife whom I adored, came to help deliver and instruct me through this process along with Janice, and nurse T, the one that was in my ear counting to ten and encouraging me the whole way...(She better after what she had put me through earlier that morning!), and Ryan shot behind my head as fast as you can say BABY! :) I don't blame him... I wouldn't want to see it either. :) But really.... he was super encouraging through the whole process.

So what you see in the movies... the whole counting and pushing for 10 seconds- True. The yelling and screaming... could most definitely be true, but only if you are watching a woman WITHOUT an epidural have a baby. The husband passing out... could have been true too... but mine stayed back. And for that I'm thankful. I needed him to be conscious. :) In fact, while pushing, the nurses asked me if I wanted a mirror to see. Before I could utter a word, Ryan Coleman said "No, no... we don't want a mirror!" They looked at me, and we all died laughing. No, I didn't want a mirror, but we could all tell that Ryan didn't want a glimpse of what was occurring where those nurses were standing. :)

All in all I pushed for about 40 minutes when baby's heartbeat started dropping. They gave me oxygen and had me stop pushing for a bit... which helped, but as soon as I started pushing again his heart beat would drop dramatically. So they called in a doctor, Dr. S. This was not what I had planned... I had wanted these sweet mid wifes to deliver my baby boy, but now it seemed like 10 extra people came running in the room with Dr. S, and all I kept thinking was "What are they going to do?" I mean, I was the one doing the pushing, and now we have eight hands to catch the baby if you count the two midwifes, the nurse, and now Dr. S. Did this mean I might have to have a C-section? After all that pushing? Was my baby going to be okay? WHAT IS WRONG???

Nobody told me. Dr. S just took over, and talked me through the rest of the delivery. He was great. He applied a vacuum; it’s not at all what I thought it would be. First off, it’s not a machine as the name implies. Instead, it’s a manual suction cup that the doctor engages with his hand and sucks on the top of the baby’s head. It allows him to gently pull on the back of the skull to get the baby out. Unfortunately, Dr. S said had to do an episiotomy. As much as I didn’t want that to happen, I’m glad he did it because Burke came out in one push and a "Pop!" sound that the vacuum made once it did it's job.

Burke Thomas Coleman was born at 6:57pm, screaming at the top of his lungs.

He weighed 5 lbs 6 oz. and was 19 inches long.

Talk about two proud parents.

And midwifes.

And families.

We were blessed... with a healthy baby boy.

We witnessed a miracle.

I really enjoy the next picture.
I remember at this moment, as the attention was shifted from what everyone knew was in  my belly, and was now in the arms of all the people that loved him, I said a prayer.

I pray every day that we raise Burke to love life, to love others, and to love his God. God, I know that we have a big responsibility, but if we rely on YOU and the friends and family to help and support us, we will be in good hands. Thank you for this child. Thank you for a healthy baby. Please guide us as we begin this journey.

 Burke Thomas... I can't wait to see who God intends you to be in this world.


  1. Totally just granted myself a 10 min break at work to read this. Wonderful story Jessica! I'm beyond happy for y'all and I can't wait to see Burke again!

  2. OMG! I just cried because that was so sweet! Congrats again Jess and Ryan! :)

  3. I am so proud to call you, Ryan and Burke our children. How could anyone be more blessed. My heart is full and my cup overflows. Thanks for sharing that beautiful story. You will never know how much that name means to Pap Pap and me. Love to all!! Cant wait to see everyone. Shireen

  4. Thanks y'all. I don't ever want to forget the details. Hopefully by writing it here, I will always have it at my fingertips.

  5. Jess-I'm so glad you wrote all of the memories down while still fresh on your mind. Being a mother is one of God's greatest blessings! So glad Burke is here happy and healthy. Love you sweet friend!

  6. Love you too Whit! I've been keeping up with your little man via facebook. My he is a cutie!

  7. Jessica & Ryan,
    Thanks for sharing this journey with us!! Your family is so very special to Don and I. Burke will be a special young man. His family legacy will live on through him.

  8. Thank you Lorna. :) You guys are special to us as well! Love you both!