Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Owen's Birth Story

Hi again, everyone! It's been awhile hasn't it? Of course it has, because while I have a million ideas of things to blog about, I just never seem to sit down and do it. You guys should try to get me motivated. See what I did there? I'm already putting the work on you. Ha!

Well anyways, I have been wanting to post on here for a while. I always want to post and since an amazing thing happened, I figured that is reason enough for me to get on here.

So last time I was on here, you guys found out we were expecting a boy and guess what?! We just had him over a month ago. A month! Seriously where does time go? I mean, I've been a walking zombie this past month and yet, it was the quickest month that has ever passed. Oh, the joys of parenthood.

Anyhow, back to the point.. so we had our son, the cutest, chunkiest, little boy. I have always enjoyed reading birth stories. I spent countless hours perusing countless birth stories while I was pregnant and knew that I would have to share mine once I had the chance. This may seem weird to some of you and you're probably wondering why the heck I would be sharing such an awkward thing, but honestly, even though it was such a crazy experience, it was one of the best times of my life (I mean, I must really be insane..) and I actually miss anticipating the arrival of my little guy.

So please bear with me, this is going to be a REALLY LONG POST. Oh, and any grammatical errors, as intelligent as I am, I don't have a lot of time to edit with a newborn. You have been warned.

On Monday, December 23rd I had an ultrasound to see how Owen was measuring to determine whether or not I would have to be induced within the week, since he was turning out to be a pretty big baby. When I went in for my ultrasound he was measuring 9lbs 1oz and the cut off for the induction was 9lbs 4oz, so it was looking like he was just going to come in on his own time.
After my ultrasound, Tyler and I went to lunch with my parents and while we were all sitting there I started to notice I was getting cramps that would come and go. My mother insisted that these were contractions and I should head on over to labor and delivery. I was hesitant because I didn’t want to get my hopes up! Could he really be here before Christmas? Ah, the excitement was unbelievable, as we had been beyond ready for our little man’s arrival.
As we headed home from lunch that day, I went home and packed up our belongings that we would need and then we ventured off to the hospital. When I got there they had me hooked up to all these machines, like some science experiment and guess what, I WAS HAVING CONTRACTIONS. Tyler and I sat there anxiously as the monitor picked up more and more contractions. We were so hopeful that this little man was going to be here soon. So what was the hold up?!
Well if any of you have been pregnant, you know that it is NOTHING like Hollywood plays it out to be. My water didn’t break abruptly and I didn’t have to panic on the way to the hospital worrying about having my baby on the way there. Nope, instead, when we got to the hospital we were sent to the labor and delivery triage, where they play God and decide if you deserve to be admitted (at least it felt this way… I’ll explain more). Anyways, I was not progressing enough to be admitted, even though I was in ACTIVE LABOR. UGH. So, they had me walk around the hospital for an hour to see if this would help speed things up…

It didn't and we were sent home.

I continued to have contractions through the night and as the morning approached, (Christmas Eve!) I was dancing about the apartment to Christmas tunes (this was the only way I could tolerate my contractions, I had to move around) and wrapped a couple last minute gifts for Tyler. As the morning progressed, I got ready for my prenatal appointment, where I was hoping they would give me some good news and they did! My OB told me it looked like it was time and for me to get some lunch, walk around, and then head in to the hospital! Ah, I couldn’t even begin to tell you guys how excited I was. Finally. My little one was going to be here possibly on Christmas Eve. What a day. So, I did exactly what my OB told me to do. Once Tyler got off work we headed into L&D again and started the process again.

Low and behold, I STILL was not progressing enough to be admitted. Yay, just what I wanted to hear. Couldn’t they just call my doctor and listen to what she told me!? Apparently not. So back to the hospital halls we went, to walk for another hour. Nothing changed, so we were sent home again and unfortunately, I was in an abundance of pain. My contractions were unbelievably strong and I was trying my hardest to breathe through them, like me and Tyler so diligently practiced. I was trying to picture myself on the beach in Hawaii. In the mountains. In the snow. I tried everything, but nothing worked.
After I was discharged for the second time, we stopped at my mother-in-law’s house to celebrate her birthday. I thought that I could handle an hour of visiting everyone, but by the time we arrived at their house my contractions were hitting me like bricks. I felt bad for making everyone watch me in agony while they were all celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday.  My mother-in-law suggested that I hop in the shower to alleviate some of the pain. I was probably in the shower for about 45 minutes and while I was still in a tremendous amount of pain, it felt better than being out of the shower. Well, I eventually had to get out and there my contractions were getting closer and closer together. Tyler started timing them to try to get an idea of where I was in terms of labor. They were averaging 3-4 minutes apart and lasting over a minute and a half. At this point I was in pure agony. We were going on nearly 30 hours of constant contractions.  
Back to the hospital we went. They wanted me to walk another hour. Yeah, right. We started walking and my body was not letting me. I stood for most of that time. And again, I was sent home. They gave me something to try to help me go to sleep that night since I had not gotten any sleep since Sunday night. Again, if you’ve ever had contractions that were 2-3 minutes apart, you know that it’s impossible to sleep through them, so that definitely was not going to happen. We got home around 1AM on Christmas morning and the rest of the night was a blur of me pacing the apartment through each contraction.

The next morning was Christmas (yay!) and Tyler excitedly woke up and arranged our gifts and stockings perfectly so we could begin to open them. I felt so bad. It was Christmas and I knew that I was not going to be able to enjoy the festivities, regardless if I was in the hospital or not. I told Tyler, Christmas is going to have to be postponed for me and that I wasn’t going anywhere unless it was back to the hospital.

An hour or so later, I told him we needed to go back to labor and delivery… so off we went. I don’t even remember the drive there, but I remember the exhaustion and hopelessness we were feeling. Off to the triage again, off to wander the hospital halls again… ready to be sent home again… we just were not feeling it any more. This time I did not walk at all, my feet might as well have had bricks attached to them because they were just not going to move for another hour. Tyler and I went outside of the hospital and just sat there in silence, enjoying the fresh and cool Christmas air. When our hour was up, we slowly walked back to the triage, knowing we were probably going to get sent home for the fourth time. At this point I asked my nurse if there was anything she could do to STOP this labor. She asked me why I would want to stop my labor. Uh, lets see. We’re coming on 48 hours of nonstop contractions, 48 hours without anything to eat, and over 48 hours without sleep and clearly this baby is not coming! I was so annoyed and as she checked me I prepared myself to hear that I had not progressed any, that was until she told me I was at 6cm (I had been at 5cm since the very beginning) and I was going to be admitted.

Thank freaking goodness.

Tyler and I finally got settled into our room. The room that we would be having our son in. We were in utter disbelief. This would be the day and Christmas, at that!

As many of you might have known, I was going to try to have an all natural birth, meaning no epidural or pain relief, but the second that they came in asking if I would be having one, I said yes. I had made it this far without any pain management and not knowing how much longer I was going to be in pain was my main influence for getting the epidural and let me tell you, I am so happy that I did. The second that the epidural kicked in, “Michelle” was back. For the past couple days I had been walking around like a zombie and I felt so terrible for Tyler having to see me this way, when we are so used to always laughing and being dumb together, so when I finally got the epi, I was finally making jokes and felt as “normal” as I could under the circumstances.

I was admitted around 12PM and they broke my water around 3PM to speed the process along since I was still at 6cm. When that didn’t work they had to give me more medicine to help things progress. Hours later and the threat of a c-section, I was finally fully dilated and ready to push. At 10PM I started pushing and at 1032PM, Owen Charles Johnson was officially here, all 9lbs 14oz of him. My doctor and nurses all raved about how well I handled giving birth to him and told me that I was made to have babies. I didn't scream and I never yelled out any profanities or blamed Tyler for causing me all this pain. I was a champ and I felt good about it, I still do! Owen was 21 inches long, brownish-red hair, and big blue eyes (he also had a major case of conehead). I’ve never felt so much love in my life.  
We were able to spend a few hours with him before they took him away due to his heavy breathing. Unfortunately, the first moments of us being a family were experienced in the NICU while Owen received antibiotics.  It was so hard watching him be attached to so many machines. I’ll be happy if I never have to hear those annoying monitors again. 

 Owen was finally able to leave the hospital on New Year’s Day and begin his life with his mom and dad at home. I can’t believe it’s already been a month since he was born… while he has brought me many sleepless nights and many more to come, he has also brought me incredible joy and fullness. I have loved every moment of mommyhood, even though it hasn’t always been perfect and watching Tyler become a daddy has been a heart-melting experience. He is so sweet with Owen and I love watching them together.

Starting a family is something that I’ve wanted for a very long time and now that I finally have it, my heart feels full and my life feels complete. It’s been such a short month with Owen, but I can’t imagine what life would be without him anymore. This story is something that I want to remember vividly, and this helps me do so. Thanks for letting me share with you guys & if you got to the end, you deserve a cookie.

ps: to see more pictures of Owen, you can click here!


  1. A perfect tribute to Owen and a wonderful way to remember the day be entered this world! This blog was a labor of love :)

  2. Little Owen, Your mama is gonna remind you of this, for years to come!

  3. What an amazing read! I feel like I shared your pain of being sent home so many times! You and Tyler are both amazing people and I can't imagine more perfect parents. Make sure to play little Owen some "Good Cagarolette" and tell him a story about 7th grade AB. (: