Monday, May 19, 2014

Walker's Birth Story

Nearly four months later, I've finally gained the courage to write out Walker's birth story. 

I've been hesitant to write this out because I never know what some people want to read and what some people don't; and I've teetered on the line between sharing too much and sharing too little {and using gross words no one wants to read…like, ever}. But, thanks to my friend Liz, I've decided that now's as good of a time as ever…and I feel like writing it out will ensure I don't forget the little details. 

I promise you I won't get too graphic or share too many personal details. But, if you're interested, here's Walker's birth story. 


My due date wavered between Thursday, Jan. 30 and Saturday, Feb. 1. I had my regular OB appointment on Tuesday, Jan. 21. While at my appointment, my doctor told me I was ready to be induced, and asked how Monday, Jan. 27 sounded to me. {She thought Walker was going to be bigger than he was, and I was just so done with being pregnant at this point that I was absolutely elated.} I got in the car, called Brandon and said, "Well, looks like we're having a baby on Monday!" He nervously laughed and kept repeating that he couldn't believe it. 

The next few days, I wrapped things up at work and even worked from home on Monday. I took my time getting ready Monday afternoon; straightened up the house; and made sure our hospital bags were packed and re-packed. Brandon came home, we had dinner at Zoë's Kitchen, and then drove to the hospital. 

When we got into the hospital's parking lot, I was a mess. I was a mixed bag of nervous, anxious, excited and flat-out scared. Before we got out of the car, I asked Brandon to say a prayer over us, the doctors and the baby…and he did, grabbing my hand in the process. Then, we got out of the car, hauled our loads of stuff into the hospital, and began our waiting game. 

Liz had had her daughter, Peyton, early that morning, so we visited them while we were waiting for our room to get ready. Seeing her and knowing she had gone through the process made me feel much more at ease, and I loved getting to hold her sweet daughter while dreaming that our son would be here so soon. 

After we said goodbye to them, we took our last picture as a family of two and began the paperwork and induction process. Truly, the worst part of it all was the IV and blood pressure cuff. I was given Cervidil around 9 p.m. and then tried to get some rest, which of course was nearly impossible. 

At 7 a.m. on Jan. 28, Brandon and I both woke up {if we were truly ever asleep!}, got showered, and then it was go-time. They began my Pitocin drip around 8 a.m. Brandon went down to grab a quick breakfast in the hospital cafeteria once everything was settled, and I just played on my phone and watched TV. 

I was totally fine until about 11 a.m. The contractions were bad, but nothing I couldn't breathe through until then. I went into this pregnancy and birth process knowing I was going to have an epidural, so it came to no one's surprise when I wanted one a few hours after the Pitocin started. The nurse told me the anesthesiologist was finishing up a C-section and would start another one soon, so if I wanted one, now would be the time. {Apparently it was a very popular day to have a baby, according to the nurses and my doctor!} I was a 3 when I got the epidural and didn't even care. 

The anesthesiologist wheeled his cart in, and it was at that point that I was very shaky and cold from the Pitocin. Even my nose was cold to the touch! When I get nervous, I shake uncontrollably, so when they raised the bed to give me the epidural, I was a blubbering mess. I was crying because of the pain, shaky because of my nerves and the medicine, and scared of the unknown. {I had never even had a hospital stay at this point in my life!} I was very thankful, however, that Brandon was allowed to stay in the room and that the head nurse of the maternity wing was on-call and was my "nurse" during the epidural. The nurse held my upper body into hers, and Brandon was able to hold my foot and stroke my leg. 

It's true what they say: once you're numb from the initial shot, you feel nothing. And it's also true what they say: at that point of so much pain, you don't even care about the initial pain because you know it's going to feel so much better soon. And it did! 

After I got the epidural, life was grand. I was much happier, conversational and friendly. My parents, brothers, sister and aunt were even able to come in and talk to us, which made the time go by much quicker. I was progressing, but very slowly. 

My doctor came in and broke my water, and I continued to progress, but again, very slowly.  {I'm so thankful my doctor was on call during Walker's delivery!} S-L-O-W was the name of the game for me. All afternoon and evening, I was making progress, but not much. I stayed at a 7.5 for about three hours, which was very frustrating. My doctor and nurses moved me to different positions to help move things along. They helped, but again, it was just a slow process. 

I was very saddened when the day shift nurse said to me {quite rudely}: "Well, if you don't progress, you're gonna have to have a C-section." I was devastated. I knew I didn't want to have a C-section, but also knew that if it was in the best interest of both my baby and me, that I would do it. I cried so hard in that hospital bed. Brandon prayed over us, and we knew that we would do what we needed to do for our family. 

Enter shift change. AKA: the best thing I could have ever asked for. My night nurse was a gift from God. She was an older African-American woman, and she sauntered into my room, looked me dead in the eye and said: "I'm taking the C-section hat off. I'm old school, and we're having this baby tonight!" She worked with my doctor, continued to put me in different positions, and finally, at 10:30 p.m., it was time to push. 

It was during this time that I got nauseous. I never got sick, but I do remember asking for something in my IV to take my nausea away. I also had to have an oxygen mask on because I was in labor for so long, was so tired and they wanted to ensure that both Walker and I were getting enough oxygen. And then, the throngs of nurses poured into the room, the big lights were turned on and it was time. 

I pushed for a little under an hour, which was seriously exhausting. I was so ready to meet our sweet boy! The nurses and my doctor kept making bets as to the time he'd grace us with his presence; ha! I later heard that my family was doing this in the waiting room, too!

And finally, at 12:03 a.m., Walker McKay Whitacre was born! He weighed 7 pounds even and was 20.5 inches long. 

They placed him on my chest immediately while they cleaned him off and Brandon cut the cord. I couldn't quit crying and just kept repeating to him over and over, "Happy Birthday!" Then I looked up at Brandon and noticed he was crying, too, which just made me cry even harder. Seeing my precious son on my chest was the best moment of my life. 

They noticed he was crying, but not very loudly, and it was determined that he had swallowed some fluid and was grunting really hard to get it all out. They quickly weighed him and then whisked him off to the NICU to clear out his lungs. I was so scared and nervous, but Brandon followed them with Walker and took our families to look at him through the glass once he was in the regular nursery. It was so strange to not be able to immediately hold my baby for a good, long time at first, but I knew they needed to clear his lungs…and fast. 

After I was cleaned up, my sweet nurse brought me the biggest turkey sandwich I have ever seen, and I threw that - along with a ton of water - down like there was no tomorrow! It was about 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday at that point, and I hadn't eaten since about 6 p.m. Monday night! I was hungry!

Finally, they brought Walker back to me and I just kept staring at him. Every time I would look at him, I would just cry. I never knew what it felt like to love someone this much, in such a different capacity than the love I feel for my husband. It makes my eyes well up with tears just typing this out. 

They then wheeled us down the hall to our postpartum room, where I got to nurse Walker for the first time. He latched on immediately, though it hurt like all get-out, and quickly became a champ in that department…and for that, I am thankful. I know that's not always the case.

We didn't get to sleep until about 3 a.m., and even then it was a pretty rough night. Walker was not a huge fan of that little box bed they have them in, and he slept on my chest with a Boppy around us all night. 

We had a good amount of visitors in the hospital, and it was so amazing seeing my family loving on my baby. Brandon changed his first diaper, and he continued to nurse well in the hospital, although the pain didn't subside for me in that department until he was about two weeks old. 

We were able to go home on Thursday afternoon, after much begging from me. We weren't supposed to go home until Friday {since he was born after midnight}, but I begged and pleaded since we had been in the hospital since Monday night. After being discharged, we took this adorable, sweet, tiny little boy home to begin our lives together. 

I am so thankful each day for Walker, the boy who made me a Mommy. While the past four months have been full of challenges, exhaustion and yes, even tears, they've also been filled with the most joy I've ever felt in my life. Being Walker's Mommy is a privilege and I'm so thankful that God blessed us and entrusted us with his life. 

"For this child I prayed, and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of Him." 
-1 Samuel 1:27



  1. Ok so if you know me you know I cry over everything but this did me in! First of all I adore Birth Stories and this one is right on up there! What a beautiful moment and I'm glad everything seemed to go pretty smoothly with Baby W! I'm so glad you shared this and it makes me so so excited to do the same in the future!! xoxo love it!!

  2. I'm so happy you shared your story! We love you guys!


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