carson eugene gadd, a surprise birth story.

Carson-1

The last time I blogged, I wrote all about my plans for a scheduled c-section. Eight days later, I went into labor on my own and delivered Carson Eugene Gadd via unmedicated VBAC.

The irony of that is not lost on me.

This is Carson’s birth story.

***

Everett woke up from his nap around 3:30 and just like every other day, my friend Christina texted to see if I wanted to meet up at the gym. I was feeling lazy that day and suggested we take a break from exercising since it was Friday. We quickly decided to have a backyard play date at Christina’s house instead. She promised me a bowl full of pumpkin spice m&ms.

I never turn down pumpkin spice m&ms.

We spent the afternoon chit chatting while our boys ran around her backyard. I casually mentioned that I had been having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions that day. I was used to them and didn’t really think anything of it. Christina was scheduled to be induced on October 20th; I was scheduled for a c-section on October 27th. We talked about all the things we needed to do before our babies came: have our houses cleaned, get our hair done, pick out Halloween costumes for Everett and Benjamin.

A couple hours later, Brett called and offered to pick up Chipotle for us. Christina’s husband was on his way home from work and we made a spontaneous plan to eat dinner together and watch the baseball game. Pretty soon our husbands and toddlers were wrestling on the floor while Christina and I polished off the rest of the pumpkin spice m&ms.

We got home a little after 8:00pm and immediately put Everett to bed. I made another comment about my Braxton Hicks contractions to Brett, who seemed concerned but I assured him it was nothing. In fact, I was so convinced it was nothing, I promptly got ready for bed and popped half a sleeping pill.

(That’s right, friends. I took half a sleeping pill. While I was in labor.)

Brett sat in the living room watching the rest of the game while I settled into bed to continue binge watching The Good Wife. I couldn’t get comfortable and for the first time that day, I realized my contractions were happening pretty close together. And even more alarming: they were starting to hurt.

I, of course, having never been in labor before, was in a state of complete denial. I was not even 36 weeks pregnant. Surely it was too soon for the baby to come. After a couple hours, I still hadn’t fallen asleep and decided to tell Brett how I was feeling. I walked into the living room slowly.

“This is probably nothing to worry about, but….I am having a LOT of Braxton Hicks contractions. Like, every few minutes. And….they are starting to hurt.”

Brett, being the responsible worrier that he is, immediately suggested we call the birthing center.

“No no no. I’m sure it’s nothing. It’s false labor. I’m just going to walk a couple laps and see if they stop.”

I walked a few laps around our house, through the kitchen to the dining room and back into the living room. Brett stared at me. He turned off the TV. I melted into a chair.

“Okay. They are really starting to hurt. Maybe we should call.”

Brett called the birthing center and I climbed back into bed. A nurse called us back and confirmed that yes, at 35 weeks pregnant, I should come on in.

I texted Christina around midnight to see if she could stay over with Everett. I hopped in the shower (much to Brett’s protest), not willing to show up at the hospital with three day-old dirty hair. My hospital bag was not packed. I haphazardly threw a few things in my weekender bag—two Annie & Isabel hospital gowns, dry shampoo, my toothbrush, makeup, and a black nightgown. I forgot really important things like gum and bobby pins. Brett did not pack a single thing.

Christina came over shortly after midnight and I apologized profusely for interrupting her sleep, reassuring her over and over again that it was probably nothing and we’d probably be home in a few hours. (She later told me that she was positive I was in labor, but didn’t have the heart to tell me.)

On our way to the hospital, I was playing out two scenarios in my head.

Scenario #1: These were horrible Braxton Hicks contractions, the doctor would tell me I was being paranoid, and I would be sent home immediately feeling like an idiot.

Scenario #2: These were real contractions, but because I was 35 weeks pregnant, they would simply give me some kind of medication to make them stop.

I guess in the back of mind was Scenario #3: I was having a baby. I tried not to think about that one.

On the way to the hospital I began to think about everything that was undone. My house was a mess. We had no food in the fridge. There were two rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom. We had left in such a rush we didn’t even check on Everett before we left. That thought made me want to cry.

We got to the birthing center at 1:00am and checked in. We had literally pre-registered online the night before, which was all of a sudden very eerie and comical. A nurse named Antoinette hooked me up to be monitored and checked my blood pressure. Brett started timing my contractions on his phone, morphing into the expecting dad you see in movies.

I think I asked Antoinette four times, “So, what exactly is going to happen here?”

She told us that she was going to check me, and that if I wasn’t dilated, they would try to give me something to stop the contractions. She said if I was dilated, the baby might be coming, and that there was nothing they could do to stop it.

I suddenly became hyper aware of the fact that I was only 35 weeks pregnant, and started to panic.

“Don’t worry,” she reassured me. “You’re almost 36 weeks along and his lungs are fully developed. You’ll be fine!”

I trusted her, but I didn’t.

She checked me. It hurt.

“Well, I’d say you’re about a 3 or a 4. The baby is coming today.”

I think Brett and I both said, “Huh?” at the exact same time. Is she joking?

She continued, “I see here that you’ve signed the VBAC consent form. Looking at your history, I really think you should do a VBAC. It will be safer for you and safer for the baby, since he will be so small. Your recovery will be much better. You can do this.”

She rattled off something about c-sections and the amniotic sac but I could hardly hear anything after “it will be safer for the baby.”

I trusted her, but I didn’t.

It was a 30 second conversation. I don’t even remember saying “yes”, but somehow I had agreed to a VBAC and I had no clue how we got there. Despite the fact that I was terrified and generally panicked, I felt oddly at peace with it. I kept reminding myself that an early baby surely wouldn’t have a giant head.

“Can I get drugs?!” I asked quickly in between contractions.

“Honey, of course!” she responded.

“No, I really need you to hear me: I want the drugs. A VBAC was not my birth plan. I want the drugs.”

She smiled and reassured me that I would be able to get an epidural. I wanted to believe her, but I also wanted to tell her ten more times about my desire for drugs. We were at a birthing center notorious for their all-natural births. Midwives, doulas, birthing tubs—you name it, they offer it. I wondered if they would accept bribes.

We were then moved into an official birthing room, the same room I had wanted to use to give birth to Everett before learning he was breech. The room felt foreign to me. My contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes, and I didn’t know how to manage the pain. I didn’t know how to breathe, or how Brett should help me. I just leaned over the bed and did my best to get through them.

“Do you want music?” Brett asked.

“No.”

“Do you want to sit on the birthing ball?”

“No.”

I didn’t know what I wanted. Scratch that: I wanted to not be in labor. I tried to move around, but the only thing that felt good was to stand next to the bed and lean on it. A few minutes later I threw up in the bathroom, and promptly instructed Brett to FIND ME SOME GUM. Antoinette checked on us again and asked where the contractions hurt the most.

“My back.”

She stood behind me and used both her hands to press down on my hips during the next contraction. It felt 20% better.

“Can you show Brett how to do that?”

She showed Brett, and I was grateful for her instruction. I’m sure we would have learned all kinds of tricks like that in a birthing class, but then again—we never attended a single birthing class. I was suddenly very aware of how ill-equipped we were for this birth. Had I not been in so much pain, it was almost hilarious. We were totally and utterly clueless. I had no idea what I was doing; Brett had no idea what he was doing. We were just there—at the birthing center, in a birthing room, getting ready to have a baby.

A nurse checked me again. I was still at a 4.

My hands and face started feeling very tingly. I told Antoinette in between contractions and she kindly pointed out that I was hyperventilating.

“You need to take one breath in and then three short breaths out. You keep breathing out all of your air but you’re not breathing any in, which is making you hyperventilate. That’s why you feel tingly.”

Good to know.

I vaguely remembered that style of breathing in every comedy movie with a birth scene. I channeled my inner Katherine Heigl and followed Antoinette’s instructions.

One deep breath in, three shallow breaths out.

The tingles disappeared. This was probably the first time that night that I realized how dependent I was on the doctors and nurses. I needed help. I needed guidance. I needed an entire team of professionals to walk me through every step because I had no clue what I was doing.

It was the middle of the night and I was getting tired. I kept my eyes closed in between contractions, attempting to take 60 second naps in between each sharp pain running up and down my body. I started counting in my head during each contraction, always starting with the number 15, and ending around 34 or 35. Random numbers aside, somehow it helped. It was the only distraction I had, counting silently in my head.

I tried to move around the room, but the only thing that felt good was to stand next to the bed and lean on it for support. Brett pushed down on my hips through each contraction, saying the same things over and over again.

“You are doing so good. You are amazing.”

After what seemed like an eternity of contractions, I got serious about asking for the epidural. It was close to 5am and I had been laboring all night on my own. I just wanted a break from the pain. My whole body hurt.

I told Antoinette I wanted the epidural, not even trying to hide the desperation in my voice. She called the anesthesiologist and told me he would be there in ten minutes.

Ten minutes. Ten more minutes of this. I can definitely do ten more minutes of this. I am strong.

I gave myself a pep talk. Brett gave me a pep talk. I could finally see light at the end of the tunnel.

The doctor arrived. Dr. Tilton was on call that night, the same doctor who had delivered Everett via c-section. It felt like a sign. Even though I had not seen her in two and a half years and she was basically a stranger, I was oddly comforted by her presence. I was in the bathroom and heard Brett re-introduce himself to her, reminding her that she had delivered Everett.

“Oh yeah,” she said, “Breech baby, right?”

I hobbled out of the bathroom and said hello, then climbed into the bed to be checked again. My contractions were only a minute apart at this point and being checked hurt like hell. I screamed a little.

“Well, you are complete,” Antoinette said.

I looked at her as if she were speaking a foreign language.

“What?”

“I said, you are complete.”

Brett and I both looked at each other, dumbfounded.

“What does that mean?”

She smiled at us. “It means your cervix is fully dilated and you are ready to push.”

WHAT.

“But….where is the anesthesiologist?! Can I still get the epidural?” I asked, panicked.

Antoinette looked hesitant.

“Well, yes…..as long as you can stay very very still.”

Dr. Tilton had taken a seat near the end of the bed. She sat very calmly with her legs crossed.

“You want the epidural now? What are you scared of?” she asked me.

Is that a trick question?

“Um….I am scared it is going to hurt VERY BADLY when the baby comes out….?”

She smiled. I was starting to get annoyed at everyone smiling. I couldn’t remember how to smile, everything hurt too much.

“Well, the hardest part of labor is going from a 6 to a 10 and you already did that without the epidural. Pushing is easier than transitioning from a 6 to a 10.”

(Worth mentioning here: LIES. ALL LIES.)

She continued, “If you get the epidural now, it will take a lot longer to push the baby out because you won’t feel the urge to push. If you skip the epidural, the baby will come out much faster.”

I quickly weighed the pros and cons in my head. I wanted the drugs. I wanted the drugs badly. But I also wanted the baby out quick, and I had been feeling the urge to push for the past thirty minutes. I couldn’t imagine regressing at that point; we had come too far.

(Also worth mentioning: it had been more than ten minutes and that anesthesiologist was nowhere to be found. Conspiracy theory, much?)

The urge to push was getting stronger with each contraction. I continued my normal breathing, until the doctor instructed me to do otherwise.

“Stop blowing air out. You need to hold your breath during the contractions and push. If you can focus, you will start to feel the baby moving down.”

And just like that, the decision was made. I was going to do this thing without drugs. Brett was on my left side, Antoinette on my right. They each held one of my legs in the air. I could not care less who saw what at that point. I squeezed Brett’s hand through each contraction and tried to follow the doctor’s instructions. During each contraction, I pushed three times.

The next hour became a cycle. Contraction. Hold breath. Push as hard as I could. Scream like a dinosaur. Contraction. Hold breath. Push as hard as I could. Scream like a dinosaur. Repeat.

Over and over again. I was sweating from head to toe. The sounds that were coming out of my mouth were not human. I sounded like a monster. I was incapable of exhaling without roaring. Surely everyone in the birthing center could hear me. Surely everyone in the city of Davis could hear me. I didn’t care.

Dr. Tilton checked me again and said she could feel the head.

“How much longer??” I asked. I felt like I was on the verge of tears.

“If you keep doing this, and keep pushing this well, the baby will be out soon. Try to push four times instead of three. Hold each push a little longer.”

I felt like my body was on fire. Everything was burning. Everything hurt. Brett was right there next to me, squeezing my hand and saying the same thing with each push, “You’re amazing. You’re doing it. You’re doing so good. I’m so proud of you.”

I couldn’t look at him. I couldn’t look at anyone. I just kept pushing and screaming my head off.

After a few more minutes, I threw my body back on the bed and felt tears in my eyes.

“I can’t do this anymore!” I yelled.

A collective “yes you can” echoed right back.

“Ashlee,” Dr. Tilton said, “the baby’s heartbeat is starting to drop. If you can’t get him out in the next few pushes, I am going to have to cut a small incision to help his head come out.”

I saw a sharp tool emerge out of the corner of my eye. Oh hell no.

For the first time I noticed there were more people in the room. Two more nurses and a respiratory therapist. They were setting up a special table “just in case” something was wrong with the baby. I realized everyone was ready and waiting for Carson; the rest was up to me.

The energy in the room skyrocketed. Everyone was cheering me on, telling me I could do it. I didn’t believe them.

“Just a few more pushes, Ashlee. You’re almost there.”

Another nurse came to the top of my right side near my head. I don’t remember what she said to me but she seemed 100% confident that I was close.

On the next push, Brett lifted my left leg and Antoinette lifted my right. The other nurse pushed the bed behind me, forcing the top part of my body to bend forward.

I felt my body breaking. Splitting in two. I pushed as hard as I could and screamed as loud as I could and in a matter of a few burning seconds, I felt the release of his tiny body leaving mine.

And then I heard the most wonderful sound in the entire world: Carson’s first cry.

He was placed on my chest, screaming his little lungs off. His sweet, fully-developed lungs were in perfect working order. We didn’t need that special table or that respiratory therapist or any of those “just in case” people.

We just needed each other.

Brett was crying. “I can’t believe you did that. I cannot believe you just did that.”

He said those words to me 100 times over the next 48 hours, and I will never forget how proud he was of me in that moment.

I couldn’t believe I had done it either.

Carson stayed on my chest for the next hour while Dr. Tilton stitched up my tears. Yes, I tore. Yes, it was awful. No, there is no amount of local anesthesia to relieve the pain of being poked and prodded down there after pushing a baby out.

We checked into the hospital at 1am and I delivered Carson at 6:51am. I labored for almost five hours and pushed for one hour. He was born a whole month early, weighing in at 5 pounds, 4.5 ounces and 18.5 inches tall.

He is perfect.

Carson-3

Two weeks later, I am shocked at how smooth my recovery has been. The VBAC was 100x more painful than the c-section, but 100x more easier to recover from. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Driving to the birthing center that night, I honestly had no idea I was going to come home with a baby. I was not prepared physically, mentally, or emotionally for what was about to happen. I didn’t get to have a “last night” to be emotional over the fact that our family was growing from three to four. I didn’t get to clean my house or stock my fridge or paint my nails or pack my bag.

I never attended a birth class or watched a birthing video (unless Knocked Up counts?).

And as it turns out, my body knew exactly what to do.

It’s a miracle, really.

I’m in awe that God gave me a body capable of making and sustaining and birthing a baby. This body that I often take for granted is so much stronger than I’ve ever given it credit for.

I find it both amusing and ironic that my planned vaginal birth ended in a scheduled c-section and my scheduled c-section ended in a VBAC. If God is teaching me one lesson, over and over again, it is this: I can plan my life and my births and my dreams as much as I want to, but ultimately, He is in control and my plans are always better off in His hands.

Next on my birthing bucket list: VBAC with an epidural. Until next time….

Carson-2

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66 Responses to carson eugene gadd, a surprise birth story.

  1. Rhianna Wells says:

    What a wonderful story, Ashlee! I’m so glad everything was amazing. You are a rock star!

  2. Jo says:

    I read this in one breath. Beautiful! Congrats to you and your husband.

  3. I love this, Ashlee. It is beautiful. Congratulations on his birth!

  4. kate says:

    i feel like a big dork, but ever since you posted about carson’s early arrival i have been waiting to see this crazy birth story! (i think we were due around the same time, i’m due 11/6!)… what an amazing story! congrats to you and brett, carson is adorable – and i love his name!
    kate´s last blog post ..maternity session

  5. Cristina says:

    I’ve been checking your blog every day anticipating this post. Stalkerish? Perhaps. But now my week is complete lol. Congratulations on your amazing blessing(s)!

  6. This has me all excited for giving birth again (I have until March, though) to my second boy as well! He is beautiful and the story makes it so fun!
    Emily Burgess´s last blog post ..Scenes from the patch

  7. Oh this just brought my to tears it’s so lovely. It brought me right back to Ethan’s birth. I got the epidural but it wore off when it came time to push and man that was the HARDEST thing I had ever done. It’s true what they say though…you totally forget. This reminded me and makes me all the more excited for the next one. Congrats mama…he’s beautiful!! xo
    natasha {schue love}´s last blog post ..Midweek Musings

  8. Whitney says:

    This is just incredible, Ashlee! Love, love, love this miraculous story (and Carson could not be more beautiful).
    Whitney´s last blog post ..A thousand reasons to love October.

  9. Nina says:

    The best story ever!!!! You made me laugh and cry. Thanks for sharing, Ashlee.

  10. Stephanie says:

    Great birth story and congratulations on sweet Carson!
    I thought it was funny that you said the dr. was smiling (I was totally annoyed at my last dr. for smiling too much) and going from a 6-10 is way less painful than pushing a baby out. “Lies” (hahaha!)
    Congrats again, well done!
    Stephanie´s last blog post ..Rome, Italy: Day 2

  11. A beautiful story, beautiful baby, beautiful mama. Glad it all went well! (Even as I continue to hope that my babe hangs in there for our scheduled c/s on the 27th!)
    Michele @ A Storybook Life´s last blog post ..Attitude Adjustment

  12. Paula says:

    I am so proud of you! Congratulations on your new little one. I admire the fact that you have embraced your birth story despite it not turning out the way you expected it to.

  13. Kelly says:

    I’m so glad everything went so well! I also had a month early baby who came fast so I can totally relate to the feeling of what is happening?! Unfortunately my recovery was not easy at all so I’m so glad yours was! With two kids at home now, that’s definitely a good thing!!
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Monday Thoughts

  14. caprice says:

    Congratulations and welcome little baby Carson! Beautiful story!!!

  15. Jamie says:

    You go girl. You’re amazing. Now I have to wipe my tears and get back to work – birth stories always get me right in the heart.
    Jamie´s last blog post ..Tiny Treasures Tuesday

  16. Tori says:

    Beautiful story! I laughed (oh hell no.) and cried (we just needed each other). Congratulations!

  17. Allie says:

    Tears of joy! Congrats on welcoming sweet baby Carson. xoxo
    Allie´s last blog post ..My Go-To Party Supplies

  18. Allie says:

    Oh my goodness he is perfect! What a beautiful story and a beautiful baby. 🙂

  19. Kelly says:

    This is an awesome story! Thank you for sharing so candidly and with such humor. My favorite part was your, “oh hell no” to the episiotomy. Hilarious
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Charlotte’s days: 8.5 months

  20. Briel K. says:

    I’ve been waiting for this post! Congratulations and I’m glad everyone is well and healthy!

  21. Kelli Lynn says:

    Ashlee!!!! Oh my gosh. I feel exhausted just reading this! I laughed and cried reading this and I am not a crier!!! YOU ARE AMAZING!!! Wow. I am sooo proud of you! So glad you wrote about this and shared it! You are my hero. Not kidding. “Scream like a dinosaur”. So funny. You are hilarious.
    Side note: are pumpkin spice m&ms really that good? I have been hesitant to buy them, but now I’m going to! I have been wondering about the birthday cake ones, too. 😉
    Anyway, Congratulations!!!! He is absolutely perfect!!!!!!!!!

  22. Suzanne says:

    I’ve checked your blog a handful times in the past week anticipating this story! The way you write leaves me wanting more and this one made me cry! Congrats, Ashlee and Brett!

  23. jen says:

    big congratulations to the family of 4! 🙂

    what a great birth day story to tell baby C!
    jen´s last blog post ..It’s almost Halloween

  24. Natalie says:

    You are amazing! This story is amazing. I loved reading it. Thanks for sharing! Congratulations on your healthy baby boy, and your new life as a family of 4. *hugs*
    Natalie´s last blog post ..Five Things for Friday

  25. Amanda says:

    You have an amazing writing gift! As someone who’s 29 weeks pregnant with my first miracle baby, excitement is at an all-time high, as are labor & delivery fears! Your story had me literally laughing out loud and then tears. What a sweet, sweet birth story. God definitely has a sense of humor with his plans. Congratulations on your beautiful family!!

  26. Sarah Marie says:

    Congrats, Ashley! Carson is so darling. Thanks for sharing your story! I loved reading along. You’re such a great storyteller! And such a brave, strong mama!

  27. Anna says:

    What a beautiful birth story Ashlee!! So happy for you. You will continue to find in life that no matter how much you plan, God is truly the one in control and things don’t always turn out how you imagined. The beauty in all that, I feel, is that those unexpected turns in life make us stronger, more wise people:) Much love to you!! xoxo ~ Anna
    Anna´s last blog post ..Welcome to Annie & Isabel’s New Web Site and Store!

  28. Ruth says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your birth story, friend! I love learning about how other little miracles come into the world 🙂
    Ruth´s last blog post ..our birth story.

  29. Jay says:

    Congratulations! Happy to hear that Carson is here safe & sound and that you’re doing well!

    My little guy came a couple of weeks early. I had hoped to have a natural birth (after studying and learning about the drugs they totally freaked me out) but being my first, I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. Turns out, when I got to the hospital I was already 8-9 cm! Three hours later and 16 minutes of pushing, Jasper was here! (Your doctor is nuts when he says transition is worse than pushing. I have never felt pain like that before and I’m sure that’s why I got it done in 16 minutes!)
    Jay´s last blog post ..Jasper Magnus

  30. Kara says:

    Completely in tears at the end of that story… willing you to push and that sweet baby boy to come out… Congratulations! You did it.

    And yes, epidural next time. Whew! Go momma!

  31. Jess J says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! I laughed and I cried! I’m 30 weeks pregnant with my first and it’s finally feeling real! This baby is going to be here soon! I found your birth story comforting with the honesty of the pain you endured and your roaring like a dinosaur haha I plan on having a natural birth and am so encouraged to hear that you got through it without the medication. Not going to lie…I’m giving myself the space to welcome the drugs. I’ve never done this before, so what do I know? Anyway, thank you for sharing!! I feel encouraged and excited for what is to come!

  32. Julie S. says:

    What an amazing and inspiring story! Here I sit, 36 weeks pregnant, and terrified of what comes next. Reading this I’m so amazed at what the body can do. HUGE congratulations on your newest addition and on the unplanned VBAC.
    Julie S.´s last blog post ..The birth plan I wanted, and the discussion with my doctor

  33. Jenna says:

    You are awesome Ashlee! A similar scenario happened to me with our son. I remember grabbing the nurse by her shoulders as I was leaning over the bed and BEGGING her for drugs. She did the exact same thing, just smiled and said, “you can do this.” I wanted to slap her across the face, but I did it!

    This was a beautiful story, thank you for sharing. <3
    Jenna´s last blog post ..A Birth

  34. Christine says:

    Congratulations to you and your beautiful family! Your storytelling is just amazing, I couldn’t stop reading until I got until the end!
    Christine´s last blog post ..Logroño: The Heart of La Rioja

  35. Ashley says:

    A lesson God tends to show us ALL over and over again! This was amazing Ash. Congratulations to you and the family. He is beautiful!

  36. kat says:

    Even after hearing your birth story, these words bring me to tears. You DID IT!!!! *cue Rocky music I mean…IS there anything else in the world that could make a woman feel so strong as pushing out a baby with NO drugs?! You go mama… you and your badass self

  37. michelle says:

    You did it!! Surprise birth story indeed, but a happy one at that. Excited for your family.
    michelle´s last blog post ..Cookbook Crush: Homemade Decadence

  38. Got to the end of this & realized I’d been holding my breath the entire time. So proud of you, & welcome, beautiful baby Carson!
    Kate @ GreatestEscapist.com´s last blog post ..Phenomenal Me, an Interview with @YettiSays

  39. Michelle says:

    Awww, Ashlee. I loved this! Congratulations! Thanks for sharing– birth is amazing and hard and horribly painful! I think a birth + epidual sounds lovely for my next one too 🙂 If only to be numb for the after stitches to gound zero— girlfriend, those were maybe my least favorite part!
    Michelle´s last blog post ..Why I Love My Birthday

  40. Katie says:

    What an incredible birth story! I was rooting for you the whole way through. Between this story and watching my sister give birth a few weeks ago, I’m wondering if I might try a v-bac some day after all!
    Katie´s last blog post ..on sleep(lessness): 6 tips for insomnia

  41. Jessica h says:

    Congratulations! What a beautiful story.

  42. Lindsay says:

    Made me laugh and cry 🙂 Amazing!!! I’m still trying to decide if I want to do a VBAC or scheduled C-Section for my next but like you said, it may not be in my hands 🙂 SO great to hear different birthing stories. I just wish we had a birth center where I live. Congrats!!! He’s precious.
    Lindsay´s last blog post ..Everett’s Fox First Birthday

  43. Wow! Congrats! It’s so amazing (and crazy!) to hear about your experience.

    Were they just waiting for you to progress more to do the epidural, or were they really trying to keep it from you?! Do you remember ever signing the VBAC consent form?

    If you get an epidural next time, you will have yet another very different birth experience to share with us! 🙂
    kelsey williams´s last blog post ..how to get a Rooney to eat peas

  44. Kathleen says:

    This is amazing! I laughed and I cried. My son was born early too, and although I was pushing during what I hoped would be a successful VBAC, it ended with an emergency C-section. So I know that feeling of being completely unprepared. It’s crazy and takes awhile to recover from, emotionally. But this is such a cool story and I’m just so happy for you. <3

  45. Oh my word! This was such a tense, emotional and beautiful read. Thank you for sharing so much of your life and your story with us Ashlee, I’m truly grateful. And congratulations again XO
    Sarah-Louise B.´s last blog post ..Are you Guilty of Follow for Follow in the Blogging Community?

  46. Kaylan says:

    This is so good, friend! Beautifully written. I felt the same exact way about the moments where my husband was so proud of me, and also about how painful birth is AFTER you have a VBAC- no one told me that. Part of my placenta tore with Finley and it was EXTREMELY painful when they ‘retrieved it’. Shudder. Anyways, thanks for sharing and congrats again on two beautiful, healthy boys!

  47. Callie says:

    Awwww! Congratulations Gadd’s!! This story is just gorgeous. I smiled, teared up and giggled my way through it! It made me reflect on my own birth story as I read along, thinking about those loooooong pushes at the end when it all feels endless!! The human body is an amazing thing.. Congrats on birthing Carson naturally!!!! And bringing another sweet little human into the world! Xx

  48. He’s here! And BEAUTIFUL. Congratulations!
    Carla (@charliesue)´s last blog post ..Mandarin Oranges with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt

  49. SK Bell says:

    Congrats again… and thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful, special part of your life with us!
    SK Bell´s last blog post ..Mom Friends

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  51. Gina says:

    Such a beautiful story! It made me tear up just like Everett’s did. Congrats to you and your family of four!

  52. Nicky says:

    I have been checking your website for the last month to see if you would post…I had a feeling something was up! Congratulations on your newest addition. I LOVE reading your blog. It makes me laugh and cry at the same time. Thanks for sharing your stories!

  53. Kara says:

    Amazing story, Ashlee! I have been dying to hear how it all happened. All my love!

  54. Emily says:

    What a beautiful story! Congratulations!!!

  55. Amanda says:

    Such a beautiful story! I was almost in tears! Congratulations!
    Amanda´s last blog post ..bookmarked.

  56. Elizabeth says:

    Wow! That is an amazing birth story. I have delivered once with and epidural and hope to do it the same way again in a few short weeks. My hat is off to you. What an experience! You must feel like an empowered woman!

  57. Debbie says:

    As I wipe away my tears, I want to say to you, this is an absolutely beautiful birth story. All our plans and intentions are fine. Yet, we are always better off in His hands. Much blessing to you and yours as you continue to recover.

  58. Missi says:

    So many tears! I’m totally with you on the misinformation regarding the pain of transition vs. pushing. I had been told similar things in my birthing class. I had planned for an unmedicated birth, and all of the contractions were bearable. The pushing, though… I, too, screamed like a dinosaur. I was so embarrassed and worried about the other laboring women who could hear me. It hurt like hell. But I have my baby, and she is amazing and totally worth it.

  59. Christina says:

    oh my goodness congrat’s to you! Love your honestly, birth is real and hard. AND to have a natural VBAC! You’re amazing
    Christina´s last blog post ..Pecan Oatmeal Pancakes

  60. Ruthie Dean says:

    Oh my goodness. What an incredible story, Ashlee! You are my hero for doing it without an epidural. But I CANNOT BELIEVE they talked you out of it. AHHH. I cannot imagine the pain.

    So thrilled for your growing family!

  61. Brikena says:

    haa!! this was such an amazing, funny and great story! i kept smiling the whole way through. what a surprising night that turned out to be huh?!

    he looks adorable!

    xo, Brikena
    http://www.jarofjoy.blogspot.com

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  63. Michelle says:

    Aww YEAH! Healthy baby. Healthy Mommy. GREAT story. (P.S. They’re all great.)

  64. Rebecca says:

    I love this story not only because it echoes both of my birth stories but because of how beautifully you wrote this. What a fantastic way to meet your son. Also I too so wanted that epidural and am still a bit upset that I never got it.
    Rebecca´s last blog post ..Forty Five Weeks with Chicken Nugget

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