He’s here! I can’t believe how quickly life can be changed in the biggest way. That’s exactly what happened the moment we laid eyes on our baby boy. Leading up to his birth, the house was cleaned, the drawers organized, every sweet baby outfit was washed and hung neatly on the tiniest of hangers—we were ready for our baby. But the truth is, I don’t think any mom could possibly be completely prepared for having a baby. Especially a new mom who is in this for the first time and doesn’t understand how your heart is completely ripped out of your body and wrapped around that bundle of joy the second he or she is born. I thought I was, but I surely wasn’t!
His name is Watson Stafford Stokes. He was born at 9:24am on Thursday, March 31st, weighing 8 pounds 7 ounces, 21 inches long. Watson is my mom’s maiden name and Stafford is Brandon’s mom’s maiden name. Whenever I say his name to myself, I think of my grandmother, Pat Watson, who passed away about four years ago. I miss her dearly.
Watson was born four days early—and I was so ready for him to arrive, so I’m thankful he came when he did! Here’s the story of how he got here.
It was Wednesday, March 30th when I went into labor. I felt pretty great that day and got the urge to get some last minute things off of my to do list, like dropping off packages at the UPS store, doing a Target run, and making a return at Marshall’s and one at Best Buy. I got home around 4, rested a little, and then went for a walk, just trying to get things moving. I even had a series of exercises I would do about twice per day in that 39th week—5 low impact jumping jacks, 5 lunges, 5 hula hoop motions to the right, 5 squats, and then 5 hula hoop motions to the left! So I came in and did that, too! Brandon was working late (trying to get ahead a little in preparation for baby’s arrival), so he didn’t get home until about 9pm. We sat at the table eating a late dinner (Taco Bell of all things. Remember we still don’t have a kitchen.) and as I was loading the hot sauce on my tacos, we were talking about when we thought Watson would arrive. I hadn’t felt any contractions that evening and was feeling a little discouraged that he was waiting another day to meet us.
Then I got up to put something in the refrigerator and as I did, I felt a contraction! It felt a little different than the others… I felt it much lower in my belly than the braxton hicks I had been having, which were all at the top of my belly. We immediately laid down on the bed and started timing them. They were very mild and not painful at all, but they were coming three and a half minutes apart from one another and lasting between 45 seconds and 1.5 minutes each time. There were no contractions 15 minutes apart or even 10 minutes apart, which I had read would happen as they got started! We let the contractions play out for half an hour and when I saw the consistent pattern, Brandon called the answering service at my doctor’s office, who then notified the doctor on call to get in touch with us asap.
I pretty much knew I was in labor, so I did the only thing I knew to do… jump in the shower! I told Brandon, “I’m not having a baby with dirty hair!” The contractions kept getting stronger, but still tolerable. As I was getting out of the shower, the doctor on call called Brandon back and told us to hurry in since my contractions were so close to one another. Of course, Brandon said “Megan says she has to dry her hair first,” and the doctor said, “No, you tell her to come in now—she can bring a hair drier and dry her hair when she gets in her room if you end up staying.” As they got off the phone, I told Brandon “I’m sorry, but I’m drying my hair!” And you know I did. 🙂
We got to the hospital around 11:30pm and I was 3cm dilated. The doctor on call wasn’t my doctor, but was my other favorite at my OBGYN practice, so I was really happy about that. She let me know we were staying and going to have a baby, then offered an epidural. I went ahead and accepted since they said it would probably be about an hour before that doctor could get to me. I’m thankful I accepted when I did because my contractions were definitely strong at that point! Then, while waiting for the epidural, my water broke, which made me so happy that it happened on it’s own.
I’ve got to say, epidurals are amazing. I give major props to all of you mommas who go through labor without any drugs. I was maybe at 4cm when I got mine and the pain was already really strong, so I could have hugged the anesthesiologist’s neck when he walked in the room! I was terribly afraid of the pain of the needle, but all I felt was a little pressure and that was it. (I’m saying this to ease the minds of any first time pregnant mommies!)
It was then about 1:30am at this point and our families started arriving. We all hung out in the delivery room until close to 4am, when we decided to try and get a little sleep (I didn’t!). But throughout all that time, I was just as smiley as I could be. The epidural kept me from feeling any pain, so I felt absolutely great all during this time and was having the best time knowing we were so close to meeting our baby boy.
Skip forward to about 7:30am and I was 9cm dilated. The shifts changed at this point and I was greeted by my own doctor. She had been on vacation and this was her first day back at work— guess Watson was waiting for her! We had our families come back in and hang out during that last hour of waiting to get to 10cm. Once I was completely dilated, the nurses got me all ready to push and a quick 24 minutes later, Watson was in my arms!
My entire labor experience was amazing. I honestly wish I could go back and do it again because I know I will never have a moment in my life quite like it. Even though I know having our next child will be special in it’s own incredible ways, it won’t be quite the same as becoming a parent for the first time. Experiencing such a special blessing from God… finally seeing our own flesh and blood in real life and holding him in my arms in those first moments. It was so raw and beautiful—and like I mentioned before, something I just couldn’t have ever prepared myself for. I just wish I could bottle up that feeling and feel it whenever I want. It’s indescribable.
Thank you so much for your sweet comments on instagram since having Watson! And thanks for waiting around for me to finally post on this blog again! I don’t know if I’ve ever taken 2 weeks away from posting before, but it was so nice to have a little time away to spend with our little one. Coming up soon… a kitchen renovation update, Watson’s nursery reveal, new mommy favorites, and some spring fashion finds!
previous BABY updates