A mom of two. That’s what I am now. Reality still hasn’t set in, even though I gave birth to my second baby boy a few weeks ago now.
I never imagined I would have two little boys at this point in my life, but I honestly couldn’t be happier.
My husband, Taylor, and I met in our high school sophomore English class. You can read our story in my blog post, High School Sweethearts.
We were together all of high school. After graduation and over the course of three years, we attended Utah State University, moved back to Salt Lake City, got our first apartment together, adopted our two dogs: Frank and Kuma, and purchased and almost completely renovated our first home. We were married on August 9, 2013, after being together almost 6 years.
Christmastime 2014, we found out we were pregnant. I knew from the time I was a little girl that I always wanted to be a mom and now that was becoming a reality. You can read my first birth story and see my birth video in my blog post, The day I became a mother.
Tuesday, September 1, 2015: Ian Logan Heckenliable was born. Our first baby boy.
Today, Ian is just over two years old and we have now introduced a new little one to our family.
This is his birth story.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017:
I was in my doctor’s office for my 38 week check-up. I was at 3+ centimeters dilated and 80% effaced.
And I was done with being pregnant.
I was uncomfortable, felt as fat as a whale and wanted my body back to just myself. This pregnancy had been a rough one for me, much more difficult than my first.
My original plan was to labor and deliver using the HypnoBirthing technique. For those of you who don’t know what HypnoBirthing is, it’s pretty much using self-hypnosis to achieve deep relaxation thus significantly reducing pain and helping your baby come into the world with little to no medication or assistance.
Well, long story short, my husband and I decided that HypnoBirthing just wasn’t in the cards for this birth. So back to my doctor’s appointment…
I was done being pregnant. It had crossed my mind multiple times and I finally asked my doc about how inductions worked and she told me that once I hit 39 weeks (which I was two days from), the ball was pretty much in my court. After my appointment, I was on the phone with my husband and I threw him the idea of me being induced. He knew I was done and he was also done with me being pregnant. We figured he would be coming within the next week anyways, so why the hell not?! We were going to do it! I was going to be induced! I called my doctor’s office, and after some back and forth with them, and the hospital’s Labor and Delivery, it was finalized:
That coming Monday at 7 AM.
I was excited and nervous at the same time. It was a great feeling to know what day to expect our new addition, but I was scared because it was finally here! I started to have flashbacks of my first birth. I started to remember the pain and pressure. And I was so scared to go through that again. When we had first found out that I was pregnant again, we kept telling ourselves, “Ah, we’ve got time.” Time to do this, time to do that and now we were officially out of time.
That Monday also held such a significant meaning to our family; so much, it seemed to be fate.
7 years prior to the date, Taylor’s late younger brother had received an amazing blessing: a new heart. The date was his “Happy Heart Day”, the day of his heart transplant and would be our son’s special connection to his uncle.
Monday, September 18, 2017:
5:30 AM: I was wide awake before my alarm had ever gone off. Luckily, Ian had stayed the night at his grandma’s house so that Taylor and I didn’t have to worry about him as we got ready for the hospital. Excitement filled my veins after a night of the type of sleep a child gets on Christmas Eve. After a small breakfast of toast with peanut butter and bananas (my doc gave me the OK), our bags and baby seat were packed in the car and we were on our way to the hospital!
7:00 AM: Taylor and I arrived at the hospital, and followed in a couple that was obviously there for the exact same reason we were. Waddling mom, hospital bag in check. I sent positive thoughts and vibes to my fellow mom-to-be. We then checked in with registration, were escorted to our birthing room and we got settled in.
I had been having contractions for days at that point, but nothing consistent enough to warrant a trip to L&D. I could tell each day that they were getting stronger, but I knew they were nothing to what true active labor contractions were like.
8:19 AM: I was still at 3+ centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. My nurse and the student nurse accompanying her got me hooked up to the monitor, set up my IV, went over my birthing plan (epidural as soon as I could, skin-on-skin, breastfeeding, and Taylor to cut the cord…) and got me all prepared for the coming hours of labor I was about to endure. My mom also joined our growing party to wait the arrival of her fourth grandbaby.
The nurses started me on Pitocin to get the contractions started. Only a little bit after the Pitocin was a flowin’, my doctor showed up to break my water. I was a little bit nervous for that part, I had the idea in my head that it would hurt. She showed me her “crochet hook” that would do the job and it was so quick and painless that I didn’t even know she had broke it until I felt the leak. Some of you moms out there know what I’m talking about. That continuous feeling that you are peeing yourself.
Nothing makes a lady feel more glamorous than a hospital gown and an endless leak.
I was horrified when I realized that I should probably have used the restroom a last time before my water was broken. Well, that ship had sailed and the bathroom was still calling my name. I honestly have never been so embarrassed to have my husband follow me to the bathroom, hospital gown flowing behind me as me and Taylor were dragging a tangle of cords and my portable IV stand and I’m trailing amniotic fluid all over the hospital and bathroom floor. Pretty picture, I know. And my darling, darling husband cleaned up the hospital floor for me as I profusely apologized from the bathroom and brought me a towel so I could waddle my way back to my hospital bed without leaving a mess all over the floor again.
The contractions had changed from what I had been having. These are the contractions that I remembered from my first birth. They started out slow, maybe a 2 on a pain scale. They were uncomfortable, but I could still talk through them. As the hour progressed, the combination of the Pitocin and my water being broken, escalated the contractions and they furiously jumped from a 2 to a strong 8. I was having to close my eyes and had to keep reminding myself to breathe through each contraction. As the picture below demonstrates (once again, my darling, darling husband…):
I was gonna need that epidural. And soon. My eyes were starting to tear up with each contraction and I was having to grip the side of the bed to keep my cool.
Luckily, the anesthesiologist was just finishing up with another mom-to-be and was headed my direction next. (My nurses were on top of it!)
10:15 AM: The anesthesiologist was in my room and prepping to give me my epidural. The insertion of my epidural with my first birth wasn’t bad at all and this one was the same. My anesthesiologist explained everything as he went along; the cold swipes as he cleaned my back, the small poke and pressure as he inserted the needle and catheter into my spinal column, and the coolness in my veins as he tested the epidural. As scary as that all sounds, I promise, it wasn’t bad at all! My student nurse was holding her breathe the entire time and told me I took it like a champ. I was way more calm and collected than the previous mother who had received an epidural. Sadly, I never followed up with what happened to that mom. I got taped up, was told how to keep up on the medication dosages and the anesthesiologist was on his merry way out of my room and I was on my way to a numbed lower half!
The contraction pain slowly diminished and all I was left with was slight pressure, if even that. My legs slowly started to get that tingling sensation you get when your foot falls asleep and eventually I couldn’t move them at all. It was euphoric. If you haven’t read my first birth story, with my first birth I had also had an epidural. It worked at first and by the time I was ready to push, it had worn off completely. I was terrified that was going to happen again and I was going to have to go through the pain of a natural birth all over again. Lucky me…
The epidural worked just like it was supposed to!
11:50 AM: 5 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced. Our party had grown even more, my best friend, Tran, my grandma, and my mother-in-law, along with Ian had shown up at this point to wait along with the rest of us. Ian was so nervous when he first saw our hospital room he wouldn’t leave my mother-in-law’s side. I think with all the machines and tubes, it was a bit overwhelming and scary for him. But with the help of a couple trips to the gift shop, a few well-spent dollars, and a crazy, kind of creepy laughing duck, he quickly adjusted.
To pass the time, we started our traditional “guess the baby’s weight and length” bet among the family; a dollar buy-in per guess. Closest without going over won the pot. I had actually talked to my doctor about how big she thought the baby would be when he was born at my previous appointment. Based off Ian’s weight (7 lbs., 12 oz., 19 inches), she guesstimated high 7’s, low 8’s, but you can never truly know until he was born! With the way I was carrying and the fact he was so low in my pelvis, yet was still able to kick me so ferociously in the ribs, I guessed 7 lbs. 14 oz. and 19 3/4 inches long. There was no way that he was smaller than Ian was. No way. (Spoiler alert, I lost the bet.)
When Taylor and I had arrived earlier that morning, our nurses were were making their guesses on the time they thought the little guy would make his appearance. Apparently, one of our nurses had an amazing track record of delivering babies just around noon, give or take 15 minutes. Noon sounded like a great time to me. But being only 5 centimeters at 11:50, we weren’t going to make it in the next ten minutes and bring a halt to our nurse’s noon-time streak.
12:15(ish…) PM: The contraction pressure had suddenly changed. I was no longer feeling the slight pressure from before in my abdomen area, but more up by my ribs. It was the same feeling as when the baby would be kicking my ribs. A bit uncomfortable, but nothing that I couldn’t handle. I just put it off as the baby shifted positions slightly. I mentioned the change to my grandma and mom, but we just figured it was nothing serious.
1:00 PM: My doctor came in to check on how I was doing and check my cervix again. After ushering everyone out, she laid me back and did her thing. She looked at me with a slight expression of surprise on her face and said, “Oh, you’re ready!”
Me, not exactly reading the situation correctly, asked her how much I was dilated.
It was time.
She ran out to grab Taylor and told everyone else that they were to head to the waiting area.
My family and friends gathered their things and were replaced with medical staff. My nurses, my doctor, and nurses from the nursery all were there ready to welcome this little boy. With Taylor on my left side, we got me ready. My nurses lifted my completely numb and useless legs, shifted me forward and set me in position at the foot of the bed. With the help of Taylor holding one leg and the student nurse holding the other, I was ready to push.
Wait. How the hell was I supposed to push?! I couldn’t feel anything at all! I voiced this concern and they told me I would just know how to do it. To just take a big breathe in and bear down for 10 seconds, three times.
Here came a contraction. (They had to tell me at this point when one was coming.)
Breathe in. And push!
Breathe out. And again.
Breathe out. One more time.
Breathe out and relax.
Wow. It was nothing like my first birth. I couldn’t feel what I was doing. If I was pushing enough, if the baby was progressing, anything!
Oh, another contraction.
Again with the breathing and the pushing.
And his head was out.
“Just give me a little grunt.”
What I assumed was a “little grunt” and…
the shoulders and the rest of him was out.
He was here.
1:08 PM: Owen Wayne Heckenliable was born.
They placed him on my chest and he began to cry. It’s hard to imagine a grayish, blood and whatever else covered newborn as beautiful, but that’s exactly what he was. He had dark hair on his head and he was crying out for his mom. Once we were skin-on-skin, he stopped crying and just stared with his dark eyes. We stared at each other. My second little boy was finally here. I just basked in his newborn aura, trying to take it all in. He was perfect.
Welcome to the world, Owen Wayne Heckenliable!
Born September 18, 2017
7 lbs, 6 oz. 19 inches long
Fun addition: When my contractions had changed around 12:15 PM, it was my body’s way of telling me I was ready to go! Technically, I guess my nurse can keep her noon-time streak going…