I mentioned previously that the last few weeks of my pregnancy were hard. I was so tired and swollen and impatient!! I couldn’t wait for him to be here. So much of my anxiety came from not knowing what to expect and how exactly his birth would happen. If I could have known how perfect that day would play out, I may have been way more patient in the weeks leading up to the end.
Several weeks before his birth at 31 weeks, we had a scare that landed us in the hospital over night for monitoring. I had steroid shots to develop his lungs just in case and I was placed on bed rest for a week and then modified bed rest. At that point I was sure he would be early. At 34 weeks I had more spotting and after another scary trip to the doctor, I found out I was already 1 cm dilated. I knew he would be here SO soon, so I tried to make sure we were ready. At 36 weeks I had our bags in the car and his car seat installed. We were VERY impatiently waiting. By 38 weeks I had only progressed to 2cm. For this to have been my first pregnancy I was so excited to have made so much progress so early on! Little did I know that he was just keeping us on our toes.
A week or so before his birthday I was having a lot Braxton hicks contractions and I was sure every day was going to be “The day.” I had my 39 week appointment on Thursday February 7th and I was sure that there would have been progress. I had been choking down 6 dates and bouncing on that stupid yoga ball every single day. When she checked me and I was still 2 cm I felt like I had been punched in the gut. It took everything I had not to cry and I was sure I was going to be pregnant forever. Andy said “well maybe he’ll come on his due date” and I was so angry at him for saying I’d have to be pregnant for 6 more days. Our 40 week and final appointment was the following Monday which was when we would discuss an induction for 41 weeks. I did not want to be pregnant anymore but I really wanted to avoid an induction also. I wanted my body to do it all on its own but I was reaching the end of my rope.
In an effort to make me feel better, Andy came home that night with face masks, twizzlers and flowers. Have I mentioned how much I love him? Husband of the year for sure! He knew how tired I was and I’m so thankful for him.
The next day, I began feeling even more uncomfortable. I had a hair appointment and I was so worried I was going to go into labor in the chair. Fortunately I didn’t but I still had to go back up to the salon for a touch up on my hair the next day and I was so worried I wasn’t going to make it. I woke up that morning feeling a lot worse. I posted in a baby group I was in on facebook asking if anyone ever had a “feeling” they were going into labor before hand. I called my mom and I told her the same thing. I just felt different. Andy and I had to run a few errands and I was too tired to even get out of the car by our third stop. That afternoon when I had to head back to the salon, I was miserable. It hurt to walk and I had to pee every 15 minutes or so. I got home that night and ate pizza with Andy and bounced on my yoga ball until I finally went to sleep.
On February 10th, I woke up around 4:30 in the morning and asked Andy to get me some water. I felt like something was wrong but I didn’t say anything to him about that yet. I knew he would be excited and I didn’t want to get his hopes up for no reason. Around 5:50 I began timing what I thought were contractions and after about an hour of them around 3.5-5 minutes apart and a few texts to my sister Madison, I decided to call the doctor and see if they thought I should come in.
I wasn’t in extreme pain or anything yet but I was definitely uncomfortable. I ate a bowl of cereal really quick in between contractions and then went upstairs to wake Andy up and let him know I was calling the doctor. He jumped out of the bed very disoriented and got in the shower. My doctor told me to come on in so, I got what I needed together and changed clothes and called my mom. She answered quickly and was so excited! When we got in the car Andy said “fill me in, I feel like I’m just joining the party.” I had waited to wake him up because I thought it would be better if he were well rested in case we had a long day. Plus I didn’t want to be “crying wolf.” Since Finley is my first, I wasn’t 100% sure I was in labor but I knew what I was feeling was different from anything I had felt previously.
On the drive to the hospital, my contractions stayed consistent and began getting a little more intense. When we got to the labor and delivery floor Andy went over to the nurses desk and said “uhh she needs help” lol!! He was nervous and I couldn’t help but laugh! I let them know we’d called previously and they said they’d been waiting on us and sent us to get monitored. We got into a room and a nurse checked me and I was still only 2 cm but my cervix had thinned out a bit more. My heart sank and I prayed that this was the real deal and I wouldn’t be sent home. They kept me on the monitors for around 30 minutes to see that my contractions stayed consistent and then sent me to walk the floor. The nurse explained that sometimes walking would help to progress things along or maybe the contractions would stop all together. Let me just say, I was SO worried they were going to stop. I wanted to be done. I was over it.
We walked 30 minutes and stopped back at our room where our nurse hooked me up to the monitors again to make sure that my contractions were still consistent and then sent us back out to continue walking for another 30 minutes. Andy and I walked almost 3 miles that morning and the floor we were on was not very large!! We probably passed the nurses station 25 times. My contractions began getting worse and after a while I was no longer able to walk through them. I began having to stop and hold the hand railing on the wall. I remember telling Andy through gritted teeth “If this isn’t labor, I am NOT having another baby” LOL! We got back to our room around 10 am about an hour after we’d began walking. The Nurse was getting gloves out to check me again when my water broke in the bed. It was the oddest sensation! She asked where our families were and if they were able to get there today because we were officially having a baby! From there, things got way more intense.
After my water broke, each contraction was so incredibly painful I had tears streaming down my face. I had to sign several documents in between contractions and wait for my lab work to come back so that I could get the epidural. That was the longest wait!
Side note- I have no idea how anyone gives birth without an epidural!!! Cervical checks were even more painful than contractions!
I was put in a wheel chair and wheeled over to the room I’d be giving birth in and what felt like hours later, I finally got the okay that I could get an epidural. It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be. It did cause me to jolt a little bit initially though and I still felt contractions for 20 minutes or so after. My mom got there right after I got the Epidural and I finally felt like I could relax and this was happening.
When the epidural finally kicked in, I didn’t feel anything besides pressure. It was GLORIOUS. They started pitocin to keep my contractions consistent and decided that I would need to rotate to laying on each side every hour to help move his head down into position. They gave me a giant “peanut” shaped ball to keep in between my legs and they came in to help me roll to the opposite side every hour. This was no small feat when you’re numb from the waist down. The rest of the day was mostly just waiting for everything to progress. I ate a couple popsicles and ice chips, talked with various family members who came back to ask how everything was going and watched the monitors. I honestly didn’t feel anything but pressure and the most uncomfortable part was having to lay on my side with my belly button touching the bed when I really wanted to be able to sit up more.
I had been so nervous about labor but that day I was surprisingly calm.
The nurses kept telling me I would have hours since this was my first baby however things seemed to start moving more quickly than they anticipated. When they checked me around 3:30 PM I was fully dilated we just needed his head to move down a bit more but since my body seemed to be doing well on its own, they had me wait to start pushing until I felt any pressure. My water broke around 10AM that morning and I was 4cm. I had progressed to 10cm in only five-ish hours.
My epidural was so good that I could barely feel my legs. I had no idea when I was even having contractions! Around 4:00 pm my doctor came in and checked me again and said we were going to practice pushing. My mom and Andy each held one of my legs and we got ready.
Three pushes and 10 minutes later, he was here. It felt like time stood still. I watched my doctor hold him up so I could see his face and then pat his back until he cried. It almost felt like an out-of-body experience. He began to cry and so did I. My mom gasped and said “oh Brittany he’s so beautiful!!” It was the most perfect few moments of my life.
Seconds later he was on my chest and my heart grew infinite sizes larger.
I looked over and Andy had tears in his eyes. I knew how proud he was to finally be laying eyes on his son. We were on cloud 9.
Finley William Fogle was born at 4:10 PM on February 10th, 2019. He weighed 7 lbs even and was 20 inches long.
His birth happened so quickly they didn’t even have warm blankets ready in the room yet and they had to scramble to get them! After about an hour of skin to skin we were able to try to nurse and then he was weighed and Andy was finally able to hold him.
So many people have asked where his name came from. We picked it several years ago. I heard the name Finley and immediately fell in love with it and when I mentioned it to Andy he agreed. We also loved the nickname Finn and felt like it just fit us. Andy’s first name is William so we carried that on as Finley’s middle name.
The waiting room was full of our immediate families waiting to meet him. It was so incredibly special to watch all the people we love meet our sweet boy.
While my recovery wasn’t easy, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect birth. Finley completed our family and has filled a space in my heart I didn’t know was empty. The past 6 weeks have been the most exhausting and rewarding of my life. I’m so lucky to be this boy’s mama.
Andy took a few little video clips throughout the day and made me the sweetest video. You may view it here. I can’t watch it without crying!!!