This post has been a long one in the making, because man, there’s so many things to remember, and I had to ask Tyler to help fill in some holes in my memory. Not to mention, I’m learning how to juggle life with a little one, which makes it a bit more unpredictable. I feel like I should start this post with some backstory about my hopes for his birth though. We briefly mentioned using a birth center in one of our first pregnancy post, but I seriously cannot rave enough about All About Babies! After watching a lot of friends have high intervention births in hospitals, I knew that I wanted a natural unmedicated birth. I was so nervous at first, but deep down I knew that I would be happy with my decision. The second we toured the birthing center we knew it was perfect for us. It’s homey yet professional, and the team there immediately put me at ease. Throughout my pregnancy, I was blown away with how much they taught me and how confident I began to feel in trusting the process. I learned so much about my body and how amazing God’s design for pregnancy and birth are. We highly highly recommend anyone who is having a baby to go at least do a free tour and consult at All About Babies! Y’all, Tyler’s from Plano, and I’ve never been the slightest granola in my life, so if we can do a natural birth, you can too!
William was due August 18th but decided to make his debut a whole ten days early! On Monday night, the 7th, I started feeling crampy with some sharp pains and wondered if it was possibly Braxton Hicks, so I texted my doula. She told me to take it easy, drink a bunch of water and get a good night’s sleep. Immediately I thought, “Oh my gosh, that’s what they said about early labor in childbirth class! Is this happening?” I quickly dismissed that thought and told myself it wasn’t and went on with two consultations we had that night and later watching The Bachelorette finale which was the perfect distraction. Haha! I woke up that night at 3:45 to use the bathroom though and started experiencing stronger contractions, which made it harder to go back to sleep. I didn’t want to wake up Tyler, so I tried resting on the couch, but it was just too uncomfortable. We were planning on going to the gym that morning, so I knew his alarm would go off in an hour. So I had to wait. Finally he woke up, and I broke the news to him that I thought I was having contractions. He also knew we were supposed to ignore them for as long as possible, so he suggested we go to the gym just like our usual routine, haha! My first thought was, “I don’t want to be that pregnant lady in labor…at the gym! Being the only pregnant person there already draws a lot of attention to myself!” Haha. So we stayed at home and I tried to go back to sleep with little success. It was starting to feel a little more real, but even at that point I still had some doubts and a bit of denial that baby was already coming! Y’all have to understand, the nursery was not finished and the house was still a mess. I had planned on finishing and delivering my second to last wedding that day and thought I had a few more days to deep clean the house. Boy was I wrong!
After talking to our doula, Stacey, she suggested we go see the chiropractor, which incidentally I had an appointment for later that day anyways. We were hoping that getting adjusted in labor would help things progress. The car ride to Flower Mound was definitely less than pleasant and felt waaaay more than just 20 minutes away though! After getting adjusted, we headed back home and continued to labor there for a bit. By 12:00 though, things were starting to get a little more difficult, so we texted our doula to come over and she arrived around 1:00. By then, I was so restless. Nothing felt like relief, and I couldn’t find a comfortable position. She put me in the shower though on a birth ball and the hot water hitting my back was exactly what I needed. She called it the “midwife’s epidural.” It totally helped with my back pain, and it was perfect being able to move on the ball during contractions. We made a complete mess of the bathroom haha, but I didn’t care! I stayed there for a while until things started to slow and Stacey encouraged me to switch positions. It’s crazy, but I don’t really remember a lot of this part. My perception of time was sooo off! I do however remember my playlist playing loudly from the other room and singing worship songs amidst tears in the bath tub though. That will always be a sweet memory to me. The Lord felt so near to me, and I felt so safe in His arms knowing He would bring this baby into the world.
I continued to labor at home until about 5:00pm when Stacey said it was probably a good time to head to the birth center. Tyler and Stacey helped get me to the car, which apparently took 30 minutes, because I was double peaking aka my contractions were super strong! I was propped up in the backseat on all fours with a pillow, trying to hold on to the headrest in front of me. I know, it doesn’t sound graceful, and let me assure you, it wasn’t. That car ride was miserable. I remember thinking, “GOSH! Drive faster!! Ok…wait..that bump hurts. Drive slower!!” When we got to the birth center about 20 minutes later, getting inside felt like climbing Mount Everest!! I thought I was never going to be make it to the birth suite! Right as I walked in the door I had a SEVEN minute contraction, y’all. Poor Tyler was standing there holding all our bags as I focused and tried to relax through one of the worst contractions yet. When I finally made it inside, they wanted me to pee before checking me. I was so grumpy and thought, “I will pee on the floor for all I care! Get me to that tub!” I guess I couldn’t pee on demand and my bladder felt numb, so I couldn’t. I prepared myself mentally to be told that I was a 6 or 7, because that’s when they said most people arrive at. But I was a NINE! I almost started crying I was so happy! Then I started to panic and realized, oh my gosh, is Jillian (our birth photographer) here?!! This baby is coming! But Tyler’s amazing and had already texted her, so she was on her way!
I immediately wanted to get into the tub, when we got to our birth suite. I thought for sure he was coming soon, and I think everyone else did too! Things started to slow down significantly though, and I had to continue changing positions. At one point they offered to call the chiropractor again, but I finally started to continue progressing. I started feeling the urge to push when I was on the bed and pushed there for a while, not sure exactly how long. The exhaustion was definitely starting to kick in, and I felt so drained and discouraged. WHY was this taking so long? I had my eyes closed pretty much the entire time, so when I happened to open them, I noticed the sun had set. So I thought maybe it was 8:00 or 9:00. I’d later learn it was actually 11:00!
I asked someone to pray over me and Stacey’s words brought so much strength to me. I’ll never forget what Kathleen, one of the midwives said. She told me that every mom comes to this place where she thinks she can’t do it anymore, but somehow they find the strength to push through. I just kept thinking on that and felt emotional realizing how ready I was to meet this little boy! Tyler gently suggested I move to the tub, since we both knew I wanted a water birth. I was getting uncomfortable anyways on the bed, so I was eager to feel the relief of the water. I don’t know what time I got in the tub, but I do know in total I pushed for about 1 1/2 hours. I was so exhausted and remembering falling asleep on multiple occasions during contractions. I’d learn later, the reason he took so long to descend down the birth canal was because he had one of his hands up on his cheek. We’re affectionately calling it his “blue steel” look!
Finally though, and just before midnight, William was born at 11:56pm. Tyler picked him up out of the water and laid him on my chest, and the first words out of my mouth were, “Oh my gosh, he’s so amazing!!” Y’all, he was! Everyone tells you that you’re going to feel this rush of happy emotions, but you don’t really understand it until you’ve experienced it. I literally felt like I was on cloud nine! Our sweet boy was finally here, and I couldn’t believe how perfect he was. His toes, his little nose, his head of hair – everything about him had me in awe of the Creator! We quickly got out of the tub, and back onto the bed for some emotional newborn snuggles! And after William and I had some time in an herbal bath, it was time to invite our family in!
I didn’t have a clue, but they had been waiting for 6 hours outside in the waiting lobby! Tyler got to go out and announce that William Archer Burns had arrived and invited them in to meet him and watch the newborn exam! They were so excited and we found out had been praying for his delivery right when he was born! After much celebration, we were sent home around 3:00am as a very tired, but very blissfully happy family of three! :)
I have to take a second to brag on our doula, Stacey! She has been so much more than just a doula to me. She has very quickly become a friend, and I am so grateful that the Lord placed her in my life during this season! When we were interviewing doulas, I felt at ease with her right away. I confided in her about losing my mom, because I felt the Lord telling me to share that with her, and was so blessed when she told me she had lost her mom before her son was born too. Man, talk about the waterworks. I was overwhelmed by the Lord’s kindness is sending her to me. During labor, she was such a steady source of encouragement and strength, and not to mention comfort. Her back massages were awesome, haha! She encouraged Tyler and gave him direction which made him such a rock star birth partner. We are so grateful for her! Her company is called Little Lilacs, and we cannot recommend her enough! And just so you know, doulas provide support for any kind of birth – medicated or unmedicated. So if you’re even considering one, you have to meet Stacey!
And y’all, the team at All About Babies exceeded our expectations in every way. My midwife Donnellyn was scheduled to be out for knee surgery but felt confident that William would be late and so she would be back in time. Well since sweet William decided to come early, Kathleen and Kassidy stepped in and were amazing! They took such good care of us, and not for a moment did I feel panicked that Donnellyn wasn’t there! We are so grateful for All About Babies!
And of course this post of course wouldn’t be complete without sharing some of our birth photos from Jillian Zamora! She seriously did an incredible job, and as I look back on these photos, I am most overwhelmed with emotion when I see how supported I was! One moment in particular Tyler was literally holding me up during a really long contraction and the midwives were holding HIM up. Such a beautiful picture that brings me to tears! Thank you again, Jillian for capturing these moments so so beautifully!
These two photos crack me up! Proof that Stacey was THE BOMB. Tyler’s back was killing him from holding me up so many times, and so a massage train it was! And I had no idea that he was eating Chick-fil-a in between contractions! Haha!
I love these shots of Tyler’s mom cooking us our favorite dinner of her’s! It was so delicious!
We seriously could not have imagined welcoming William into this world without this amazing team of midwives and our incredible doula Stacey! We love y’all!
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