14 days ago my life changed in the most magnificent way as we welcomed our little boy, Carter David Dorsey into this world. 7 days ago we celebrated his birth by blowing out a candle on a Bundt cake – yum! And I officially became “that mom” who takes photos everyday of her children and obsesses over them and quite frankly I don’t care because I LOVE him!!
I wanted to share our birth story online for my own selfish documentation and also in hopes that it encourages other mamas to be. No matter how your baby entered this world (naturally, vaginally, or c-section) you are strong, you are a warrior and most importantly you are a mother. Your choice of delivery has no bearing on your worth or lack thereof. So embrace it!
On to our special birth story…
After attending the Miss California USA pageant in Long Beach, Andrew and I walked to our car that was conveniently located right next to the elevator thanks to the good man who directed all the cars where to park and gave us prime parking – perks of being so close to our due date! I was so exhausted I couldn’t bend down to take my 4 1/2 inch heels off, so Andrew did it for me and swung my legs into the car where a pair of flats awaited my tired feet. Then my first contraction hit… By the time we exited the parking structure another one came and went…
Andrew had made us reservations at Chinina, a fancy steakhouse, right up the street from the pageant venue and by that time I had started timing my contractions that were now 3-5 mins a a part. Not wanting to go to the hospital and be turned away for not being dilated enough, I winced through the contractions at dinner and enjoyed my handsome husband all to myself. We debated at dinner whether to head home or head to the hospital and opted for home.
When we got home, Andrew ran me a bath, lit some candles and sat with me as I labored in the tub for a good two hours, before transitioning to our bed, where I eventually fell asleep to the pain of contractions. Andrew said I was sweating and wincing throughout the night, but I felt well rested when I woke.
To our surprise, my real dad showed up, unannounced to just say hi the following morning, followed by an unexpected visit from my brother, his wife and two children! All the while being in full on labor mode. Soon thereafter, my mama and step dad were at our door, because I had asked my mama to be in the labor room at the hospital with us and had sent her a text explaining that it may be go time.
All of our company left and I continued to have steady contractions that were anywhere from being 1 minute a part to 7 minutes.
As some of you may know, my husband is a BIG sports fan and was so excited to watch the first ever college championship game, Ohio vs Oregon! And it sounds absolutely crazy of me, but I wanted to wait till half time to head to the hospital!
After two strong and debilitating contractions I knew it was time to go and yes – it was half time!
Our bags were already packed and in the car and my mama, Andrew and I arrived to the hospital at 8pm. At this point I had been in active labor for 24 hours.
Thank goodness for pre registration at Hoag in Newport Beach, all they needed was my name and we were sent to a room to check my dilation. I was dilated at 4cm and admitted! Yay!
After much consideration and thought I opted for an epidural. I originally planned to have an all natural birth but the pain was more intense than I imagined. The epidural allowed me to enjoy the progression leading up to the pushing and get some much needed rest.
Come 10am – now 38 hours into labor – I was fully dilated, my water had not yet broke and I chose for it to be so we could progress. They tried to give me Pitocin, but my body and Carter completely refused it, as one drip had his heart rate drop abruptly – the scariest thing to happen. Thank you, God that his heart rate regulated and it was time for me to begin pushing.
Andrew grabbed my left leg and the nurse grabbed my right and as each contraction came, I pushed or what I like to say I breathed down my baby boy. Thanks to my reading on Hypno birthing and prenatal yoga classes, I was able to focus my breath and keep persevering. A mirror was brought so I could see where/how and if I was pushing correctly, which helped so much.
After 3 hours of pushing/breathing down baby we had made progress but my options were now limited. Carter couldn’t get past my pelvic bone and two medical intervention options were presented to me. 1) the vacuum (which I had done no research on because I wanted to deliver naturally) and 2), a c-section (which was absolutely not in my birth plan) and quite frankly after pushing for 3 hours there was no way I was going with option two.
A team of nurses surrounded me, my doctor in front, Andrew now at my head and my mama helping to count and encourage, the vacuum was attached and by the grace of God – Carter emerged! Fully coherent, calm and his peace totally uninterrupted has he didn’t even cry when laid on my chest. I believe my crying caused him to cry! Andrew cut the cord and we all cried as a family.
I then delivered my placenta. The amazing team of women (including my doctor) cleaned up everything and gave us our “Golden Hour”. Which is (because Hoag is a baby friendly facility) a time where mama and baby have skin on skin bonding and daddy is in the room for the bonding as well. They didn’t even weigh or measure Carter until 2 hours later because they believe the first couple hours of his life are vital to helping him transition from womb to world. I love that policy so much. It was such a special time.
I can’t remember how I loved Andrew before the moment I saw him holding our son because the love I have for him now is so magical, deep and all consuming. And my love for God is even more deeply rooted. I’m so thankful He chose me to be Carter’s mama and I’m also so thankful to be His chosen daughter.
Motherhood is a beautiful thing and I feel like I am a part of an elite club of warriors and superwomen. And that’s pretty dang cool!