February 6, 2012

Crosbi's Birth Story

I've thought about writing the story of Crosbi's birth many times since the day she was born, not wanting to forget a single detail. The day was so intimate and personal that it seems strange to put it all online, but it was the birth stories of friends and strangers that gave me so much encouragement during my pregnancy, so if I can do the same for someone else, I'll gladly tell our story.

Before getting to the big day, I have to go back to the week before. On November 19th, three days after my due date, I wrote a post explaining how nervous I was about being induced. I was scheduled to go in for my induction at midnight on the 21st and as the day got closer, the more anxious I became. I was convinced that induction would lead to a c-section and the idea was more than my frightened mind could take. I asked friends and family to pray that Crosbi would come on her own because I was so unsure of what to do.

The night before my scheduled induction was restless. I eventually cried myself to sleep praying that God would relieve my fears. Imagine my surprise when my water broke at 3:15am! I woke up to use the restroom and as I made my way back to bed I noticed I was leaking. I waited a few minutes before waking Todd because the leaking seemed to come and go. I finally woke Todd and told him that I thought my water had broken. Since I wasn't fully convinced that was the case, we tried to go back to bed. Neither of us could sleep. We were too anxious and excited. Around 6am I decided to take a shower just in case it was the real thing. As I got undressed and turned on the water, I experienced the "gush" you see in the movies. All I could do was laugh. This was really happening. I took a quick shower, Todd called my mom and texted the rest of our family while we quickly got our things together to head to the hospital. Our timing wasn't great. By the time we were ready to leave, we realized it was rush hour on a Monday morning. And it was storming.

We tried to take our time to miss traffic, but my contractions were starting and we knew we had to get to the hospital. It had finally sunk in. This was the day we would meet our daughter. I was overwhelmed with emotion. I held on to Todd, knowing it was our last day as a family of two. For twelve years it had been just us. He was all I knew. We had grown up together and this life we had built was forever changing. We just held each other crying. We were saying goodbye and preparing for a brand new life all at once. My contractions were getting stronger. We wiped our tears and left the house, taking one last glance. It would be a different place when we returned.

To avoid traffic we took back roads, which was nice. My contractions were about 15 minutes apart, but the route we took is one of my favorites in middle Tennessee. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts because I was craving chocolate glazed doughnuts. I savored each bite. It was going to be hours before I would eat again.

We arrived at the hospital and I was soaking wet. I knew beyond a doubt my water had broken. We checked in and filled out paperwork. The contractions were getting stronger. We finally got a room, I changed and tried to relax. My contractions weren't too painful yet. Todd put on my favorite show, Golden Girls, and Leeland played quietly in the background. My doctor came to check me. I still hadn't dilated. It was going to be a long day.

My mom arrived around noon and I had never been so happy to see her. Not long after she arrived, the nurse came in to give me my IV. I had been dreading this. I'm sure I begged the nurse not to prick me, but she was quick. One hurdle crossed. A few minutes later another nurse came in to administer my pitocin. That was not the word I wanted to hear. Pitocin. The contractions became much more intense. Every 30 minutes my dosage was increased. I was in terrible pain. Todd rubbed my back while my mom tried to keep me calm. I felt like a child. I held on to my mom, staring into her eyes, as if she could take away the pain like she had so many times before when I was little. She would tell me to relax, but I couldn't. It was too much.

The nurses came in and asked if I wanted my epidural. I began to cry. I was only dilated a little over 2 centimeters. Getting an epidural would surely stall my labor. The nurses reassured me that I was already in active labor, and that the epidural would not cause me to stall. Around 3pm I agreed to have my epidural. My anesthesiologist was incredible. I leaned over, pressed my forehead against Todd's and tried my hardest not to move. I had never been so focused in my life. I sat completely still as I endured two more contractions. Another hurdle behind me. In just a few minutes I was completely numb. The pain was gone.

Over the next few hours, we all tried to rest.  I never fell asleep. I was too nervous and excited. At one point my epidural began to wear off on my right side. I was given another dose and was good to go. By 8pm I was fully dilated and it was almost time to push. My nurse asked me to do a few trial pushes, and by the second one she could tell Crosbi was on her way. My doctor arrived and said it could take an hour of pushing before Crosbi was out.

After several pushes, Dr. Thomas said the words I had been waiting to hear. "Where did all this hair come from?" I managed to get out, "What color is it?" He told me it was dark and that was all the motivation I needed. My entire pregnancy I pictured Crosbi with a full head of dark hair. I couldn't stand the wait any longer. I had to see her. I pushed two or three more times, for a total of 40 minutes and with one final push at 9:18pm Crosbi Adelle was out. I felt such relief. The following minutes were a bit of a blur. I was trying to get a good look at her, watching the doctors wipe her off. They handed her to me and I kissed her gooey hand. She was absolutely perfect.

Once she had been cleaned and weighed, the nurses handed her to us. Everyone left the room to give us time together as a family. Todd and I held each other tight, staring at our new little girl and began praying over her. It was such an incredible moment. One I will never forget. I immediately felt the need to protect her and care for her, but I was afraid of her at the same time. Such great responsibility that I had never known. No longer was she just bumping around in my belly. She was in my arms, looking into my eyes. I knew I would never be the same.

My entire life I feared childbirth. It became a joke that I wouldn't have kids until scientists discovered how to make labor completely pain free. I have to admit that I was pretty proud of myself the day Crosbi was born. I accomplished something that I thought was impossible. God gave me strength I never knew I could posses. The female body really is incredible.

Todd and I spent the next couple of days in a euphoric fog, soaking in our little girl. We made it home two days later. Our house was very different, but it felt so right. We had our sweet Crosbi. We were complete.

To read Crosbi's birth story from Todd's perspective, check out his version here.


  1. ok, so reading both you and todd's blogs at the same time needs to come with a warning! :) wow. thank you for writing - you are the inspiration i am needing. i, too, have ALWAYS been terrified of the labor. now that i'm pregnant, i just keep telling myself "it's only 1 day of your life." at some point, i hope that'll bring me comfort :)

    but girl, yes you should be proud! what strength! and to read how proud your husband was of you that day - amazing.

    i can't believe your water actually broke at home - i've heard that never really happens!! i love that you laughed - i can only imagine how strange that part must be. so proud of you friend!

  2. Love this and I love that we both randomly wrote our birth stories on the same day! We must think alike! :) Such a special day...thanks for letting us re-live it with you. Can you believe we did it? I am thankful I had/have you to walk through pregnancy, childbirth and raising a child. Love you, friend.

  3. Tara, such a sweet story! It does my heart good to read and try to relieve some of the fears of the unknown for me. 5 1/2 weeks and I'm there! Thanks for sharing your intimate moments. :)

  4. I have two weeks until my due date and I have been obsessed with reading birth stories lately. Your story made me laugh and made me cry. You three are such an adorable family. <3

  5. As I sit here at work reading this, I'm crying! Such a beautiful story, and do was Todd's. You two are amazing. I think the thing that scares me most about having kids is the epidural. How did you manage to stay still during the contractions???

  6. SO sweet! It brought tears to my eyes to picture you and Todd saying 'goodbye' before leaving for the hospital. I SO identify with that moment. Labor was one of the hardest but sweetest times in my life and such a bonding time with Steven. You should be proud!