On a birth day (or baby chronicles: Part Four)

The following comes from a text message group, utilized to keep loved ones updated on the Labor & Delivery of our first child. Commentary is found in italics.

November 25, 2018
0827a – 7th hr of labor

Hello! I made this group text to keep those close to us informed about baby and the labor. We believe that she has begun labor as of about 1a this morning. Please be kind to the others in this group and keep your responses to a minimum! I will keep you abreast of updates as we experience them!! Love you all, keep our growing family in your thoughts please.

November 25, 2018
0845a – 7th hr of labor

Oh! And of course, if you have any questions or just want to squeal with glee, send me those texts directly 😊 I may not get around to them for a while once we really get moving! We would appreciate that expression of love and affection

November 25, 2018
1230p – 11th hr of labor

About ten hours in and we are through two Harry Potter movies with irregular contractions! The change is slow but definitely happening! For a recap of the third trimester, check this just published reflection. Much love, keep wishing our son safe passage 🙂

I will never forget coming down the stairs to watch the love of my life bouncing on a yoga ball with Sorcerer’s Stone on the television and her attention fixed entirely on a laptop while working on Medical Spanish, during a contraction. 

November 25, 2018
0556p – 17th hr of labor

The sun has risen and set on this labor. Mackenzi is tiring out and so we are trying to get her some rest before the contractions pick up intensity and we head into the hospital. For now, we are chugging along at home

November 25, 2018
0801p – 18th hr of labor

Contractions are picking up in strength. We believe her water just broke. Heading into the hospital. Thank you for the love, keep it coming!!

The car ride will live on in my memory forever. Breaking glass water containers left and right. Trying to stay connected with Mackenzi as she endured full-body contractions. The quick planning between myself and my mother-in-law to divide and conquer the process of parking and getting Mackenzi and baby up to the L&D triage.

November 25, 2018
0837p – 19th hr of labor

We have arrived safely at the hospital

November 25, 2018
1001p – 20th hr of labor

Confirmed ruptured membranes. 2cm dilated, -3 station, 90% effaced when we got here. Already to 4cm in triage. Just got to the room where our son will be born

Intake was painful. I feel more for patients now, understanding a small slice of what it takes to formally enter a hospital bed.

The L&D room became our little nook. Our nurse was kind to us as we began to labor naturally. I kept my hands on my soon-to-be-mother’s back and swayed with her as she breathed through contractions.

November 25, 2018
1111p – 21st hr of labor

We are deep in labor! Mackenzi is a true warrior. If you are heading to bed, sleep well. I hope to have good news for you upon waking

Part of me loved this stage of labor. The challenge of pain and contractions forced Mackenzi and I to remain entirely present. I breathed with her. I moved with her. I brought water to her lips between contractions. I had a role and it was support. The other part of me saw how much pain and struggle she endured on our family’s behalf.

November 26, 2018
1231a – 23rd hr of labor

Pressure is strong. Mackenzi is stronger. Baby will have a November 26 birthday

November 26, 2018
0323a – 27th hr of labor

Mackenzi is running out of steam, the cervix isn’t changing. we decided on an epidural to give her some slack to allow for that change. She is now able to rest a bit after 24hrs of labor. We hope that will give her some reserve for when she has to push. Love you all.

I have mixed feelings about the epidural. We absolutely needed it. Mackenzi had no emotional or energetic reserve while only 4cm dilated. The ability to rest and recuperate mid-labor was a literal miracle of modern medicine. 

However, once the pain faded and the wait for full dilation began, I found my attention wandering. I played games on my phone, took a nap, and walked a lap outside, all during the labor of my first child. Shouldn’t I be more present? Watching the pain of Mackenzi’s contractions forced presence within me, but without that lightning rod for my attention, I lost focus and began to play the waiting game.

Leading into Labor, we determined that success would be marked by no funerals. How we delivered baby into this world with a healthy mother didn’t matter: epidural, c-section, forceps, whatever it took. The path to there didn’t matter.

November 26, 2018
0604a – 29th hr of labor

6cm dilated and Mackenzi has been able to rest and sleep a bit. She’s even able to pick up her legs to help the nurse out! I think we are all past adrenaline and now appreciate the wonder of anesthesia.

November 26, 2018
1021a – 33rd hr of labor

She’s been started on pitocin to induce more frequent contractions, we’re hoping that this will get her cervix to open more and more. Now Mackenzi is resting as best she can.

Pharmacological assistance to induce cervical ripening. We suspected that while the epidural allowed her body to change, being bed-bound and no appreciable movement slowed her progress. The cost of dissociating the mind from the body during labor.

November 26, 2018
1148a – 35th hr of labor

8cm! We are moving right along

November 26, 2018
0125p – 37th hr of labor

Battling a small fever with Tylenol, no signs of distress in either Mackenzi or baby so no one is terribly worried. Twelve hours into my stay here at the hospital and I realized that my seat reclines into a sort of bed, versus nesting a bunch of blankets on the hospital floor. Baby is making his way down and next cervical check is in an hour or so.

I don’t remember exactly when this occurred, but I think around this time. Baby’s heart rate cut in half and our normally relaxed and jovial nurse strode into the room with a vengeance. She quickly applied an oxygen mask to Mackenzi while turning her on her side. Mackenzi looked up at me with desperation and asked me, “Is he okay?”

I will never forget that look on her face, the fear and the concern, not about herself, but of the little one she has carried with her for so long. 

Luckily, his heart rate bounced back and there was no further concern. But for a moment, I wondered if everything would come crashing down.

November 26, 2018
0238p – 38th hr of labor

9cm! 100% effaced! 0 station! Meaning that we will likely begin to push him out after nightfall

The first call attending OB for the floor was actually our clerkship director for the OB/GYN rotation in third year. A few weeks ago, we obtained an attending call schedule, to know who might be delivering our child. When we saw her as a possibility, both Mackenzi and I agreed she would be an excellent person to help us become a family. 

It felt like a full circle moment. We went from medical students to future residents and from partners to parents. 

November 26, 2018
0451p – 40th hr of labor

Fully dilated! We are going to begin the push. The end is in sight.

Less than an hour of pushing. Quite a speed record for a first-time mother.

November 26, 2018
0602p – 41st hr of labor


Our son is born.


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