Baker Bea’s Birth Story

I intended to have Baker’s birth story up much sooner than now but life with a newborn is hard ya’ll! Baker likes to be held and Mama likes holding her so our days go by so quickly that I often realize that I haven’t even brushed my teeth or had lunch before Cory gets home in the afternoons. Can this phase just stay forever??? It’s such a sweet, sweet time. But I’ve slowly been working on Baker’s birth story because I don’t ever want to forget the day our baby girl was born.

If you aren’t into birth stories, you probably wanna skip this one. It’s long and detailed (don’t worry, it’s not that detailed) but it won’t hurt my feelings because this is really written down for me to always have, while it’s fresh in my mind.

Baker’s birth story actually started on Thursday evening, July 7th. If you recall from my last bumpdate, I was in the hospital for over a week before being induced at 37 weeks. The staff at the hospital were worried that I would have a long delivery since I had been contracting all week and hadn’t dilated past 1 cm during that time so they decided to start me on a medicine called Cervidil to help soften my cervix.

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Around 4:00pm they put in my first ever IV (and I was by myself!), then started me on Cervidil at 5:00 pm. I had read that the Cervidil could cause some contractions, but didn’t realize just how severe they would be. (Not to mention it hurt like crazy when they placed it.) About 7:30pm, I started having some irregular cramps and they moved me out of the high risk room, that I had called home for the last week and into Labor and Delivery, where they hooked baby girl and I up to the monitor. Cory left to grab Olive Garden–since I couldn’t eat anything after midnight, I wanted one last good meal, thinking it could be up to 24 hours or longer before I ate again. While he was gone, our friend/worship pastor Thad and his wife Kisha stopped by for a visit. We had no idea then what a whirlwind the next 24 hours were going to be…

Around 9:30pm, my contractions started getting more regular and by midnight, they were coming every 4 minutes but still no change in my cervix. The nurse was very encouraging and kept telling me the Cervidil was doing its job and the contractions were a good thing. We decided it would be best for me to take some pain medicine so I could try and get some rest and she warned me it would make me sleepy. Pretty much the second it hit my bloodstream, I was asleep. About 3:00am, the medicine had started to wear off but they didn’t want to give me another dose because they wanted me to shower about 5:30am and I couldn’t get out of bed for 3 hours after a dose of the medicine. By this point, with the pain of the contractions, having to get up to pee, being hooked up to the monitors, and Cory snoring, I didn’t get much rest for the remainder of the night.

There is no documented evidence that I snore. –Cory

At 5:30am, I decided to take a hot shower to see if it helped ease the pain–it did, but as soon as I returned to bed, I was in pain again. I got ready, put on some makeup and ran a brush through my hair so I would look halfway decent for all of the pictures that would be taken that day.

She looked beautiful. –Cory

After monitoring the baby for 30 minutes, they came in at 7:15am and broke my water and started the Pitocin. You guys, Cory was great the whole time I was in labor but I wish I had a picture of his face when they broke my water. For some reason, he stepped back and saw the whole thing and it was sheer panic all over his face. Bless his heart!

I have never panicked in my life. I am the picture of stability in the face of chaos. –Cory

By 8:30am, my contractions were very strong, coming 1-2 minutes apart and I had dilated to 2cm. I was in so much pain, I asked for our visitors to wait in the waiting room until I could get an epidural, which they said couldn’t be given until I was at 3 cm. After contracting all night, I was desperate for some relief in the form of the epidural. I’m pretty sure I asked for it at least a dozen times. Since I had no idea how much longer it would be before I was 3 cm, I asked for more pain medicine until I got to that point. I didn’t know it would be the same thing they gave me the night before and the nurse didn’t say it was going to make me drowsy until it was already in my drip. Well, it did make me really sleepy and groggy but didn’t touch my pain. In hindsight, this is the only thing I regret because since I never got to sleep it off, I felt so out of it and foggy for the rest of the day.

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Wowza…that blood pressure!

The doctor checked me again at 9:50am and I was 4cm and 100% effaced and the epidural was ordered! Call me a wimp because I was so desperate at 4 cm but I have no idea how women labor naturally. Had I known that it would only have been another hour or so before I could have gotten the epidural, I definitely would have just toughed it out and not gotten the medicine that made me drowsy. However, I have never been more thankful in my life than I was when the anesthesiologist walked through the door about 10:00am. I was so fortunate that he was just finishing one epidural when mine was ordered and I didn’t have to wait long. At this point, I wasn’t even concerned about actually getting the epidural because I was so ready to not be in pain. Plus, I had some awesome mamas tell me ahead of time that the IV was worse than the epidural anyway. (They were right!) I don’t even really remember getting the epidural because of the first pain medicine but Cory said the whole thing was not such a big deal. I remember the anesthesiologist answering his cell phone in the middle of it–Cory said it was obviously his kid or wife talking about picking something up from Petsmart and the anesthesiologist was clearly embarrassed and attempting to get the phone call over with without actually saying anything that would give it away. Ha! I do remember him using what seemed like a whole roll of tape on my back. I don’t even know where or when he put the catheter in, but he taped so much of my back that my hair got caught in the tape.

And I was helping her scrub Dr. Petsmart’s glue off of her for days. –Cory

The next hour was where things got crazy! After the epidural, I immediately fell asleep and was woken up around 10:30am (feeling 100% better-seriously my pain was gone!) when the doctor came in and said the baby’s heart rate was a little low. She assured me there was no cause for concern because it was probably just the pain medicine, and she was going to “scratch her head” to see if she could wake her up a little bit. This blew Cory’s mind, y’all.

Okay, for real. How was I supposed to know that you could just reach up in there and scratch the kid’s head?? –Cory

As she was scratching her head, the doctor checked me again and said I was dilated to 7 cm. They had just checked me about 40 minutes earlier and I was only 4 cm. The decision was made to place a heart rate monitor on the baby’s head for continuous monitoring–while they were placing it, the doctor laughed out loud and said I had just dilated to 10 cm. She told me that when I started to feel some pressure, we would start pushing. She advised us that if we had family that wanted to see me before delivery, they had 5 minutes before they would start setting up the room and they would have to be out. At this point, I think the true panic started to set in for both Cory and me, with the realization that in a matter of hours, possibly minutes, we would be parents forever.

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I hadn’t seen any family except for Cory’s mom, sister and Granny at 7:00am since I had asked them to wait in the waiting room until after the epidural, having no idea that I would dilate so quickly and be ready to push immediately after it was administered. Cory went to the waiting room and gathered all 20 or so that were there and herded them back to me. I was in shock at how quickly I had progressed and that I would be pushing so soon so I had a pretty bad case of the shakes. Everyone kept asking if I was cold but it was just adrenaline and the medicine. I told Cory that I hadn’t even had time to enjoy my epidural!

Some call it shock, some call it abject terror. –Cory

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At 11:25am, the room was set up and the nurse told me it was time to start pushing. All I could think about was how I could still feel my legs and was terrified the epidural hadn’t had time to take affect. Thankfully, it had, I just still had feeling in my legs. I’m not sure why but I did absolutely no research on the actual pushing part of delivery. I guess I had just hoped it would come naturally and thankfully, it did.

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With Cory on one side, my mom on the other, and Jessica taking pictures, I pushed for 35 minutes. It felt much longer than that because since I opted out of a mirror, I had no idea what kind of progress I was making. Cory, my mom, and Jessica, not to mention the nurse, Mary, were all so encouraging and really had to be my eyes. I remember asking at one point “AM I MAKING ANY PROGRESS?” I had no idea! (She was almost out.) All I knew was that her head must be visible, because everyone kept making comments about Baker’s hair before she had even gotten her head out! After several rounds of pushing, the doctor came rushing in, nurses all around her tying strings and handing her gloves and a face shield (!) just in time for the last few pushes.

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It felt like forever, but it was no time before our sweet girl made headway (see what I did there?), and the doctor triumphantly pulled her free and held her aloft like a scene from The Lion King as everyone gasped and cheered. It was 12:02pm and Miss Baker Bea was here!

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Daddy’s face, y’all. And the moment I finally met my sweet, sweet girl. I was so overwhelmed, I was speechless. I just kept saying “oh my goodness!”

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If you look closely, you’ll see a tear in his eye.

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I was expecting what I had seen in movies: a lot of sweating and screaming and crying and threatening me, but there was none of that. Paige just pursed her lips into a hard thin line while I counted to ten again and again and all of a sudden there was a baby. The only tears in sight were mine. –Cory

I was in such a fog from the combination of physical exertion and pain medication that the next hour was pretty much just a blur as Cory cut the cord and helped the nurses clean Baker, weigh and measure her, and check her over, while the other nurses and the doctor worked on getting me ready to move to the Mother/Baby room.

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While all that was going on, I had barely even had a chance to get a good look at her! I was craning my head around, trying to see what was going on at the table to my side, when the doctor shouted “Guys, she’s trying to see!” and everyone scooted around so I could see Cory and the nurses working on her little footprints before they gave her back to me.

The nurse kept saying “talk to her, Dad”–what was I supposed to say to my daughter in the first minutes of her life in this world, as she was being tossed and flipped and measured and scrubbed, all slimy, freezing, blue wrinkles, surely confused and afraid? I said, “hey”. The words wouldn’t come until later.–Cory

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We had to FaceTime Uncle Caleb first!

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I finally got to hold her for our skin-to-skin time and a few extra minutes as they wheeled me to the room and Cory went out to the waiting room to tell everyone the big news.

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Mimi (my mom) was the first to hold Miss Baker besides Cory and me.

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Once we got settled into the mother/baby room, we welcomed our family in to see Baker and finally share her name with the world! The secret had been killing us all this time, and although there were a couple near-misses, like when Gracie almost read Baker’s name through the back of a monogrammed burp cloth that I was folding (thank goodness she can’t read cursive!), or when Cory was telling his friend Daniel that the nursery was “pretty much ready for Ba–, I mean Hot Pie”, we had been successful in keeping her name a secret until everyone got to see her face and hear her name at the same time.

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After a short break to attempt to nurse and pump, all of our family was welcomed back in to hold Miss Baker for the first time!Meeting Baker Meeting Baker 2 Meeting Baker 3 Meeting Baker 4

Baker had a wonderful entry into the world, with so many people that love her gathered around to greet her into our crazy life, so many loving hands and warm embraces to hold her and let her know that she is loved, cherished, and treasured.

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She doesn’t know just how special she is yet, or how much all of these people that came to see her over the following days truly adore her, (you can tell, because she spent the first six hours of her life screaming at the top of her little lungs), but our hope is that in time she will come to understand what an incredible blessing she is to these families, and how much she will always be loved and adored.

Baker's Hospital Sign

Check out the rest of our hospital stay including pictures from her first bath, the crazy second night we had and going home here!

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  • Paige Gunter

    I love birth stories- especially when it is from people I know. It is amazing how even in all the craziness that proceeds delivery, our sweet babies walk out oblivious to it all. The only complaint I saw on Reagan’s face was the same as any time you wake him from his naps. Miss Baker’s hair is absolutely beautiful!
    I don’t blame y’all one bit for not knowing what to say at first. The nurse told me to talk to Reagan too the first time she held him over me to see. I couldn’t think of anything. I finally stammered out a hi and just kept saying Hi, Baby. Thankfully, she said I could kiss him, so I just kept kissing his sweet forehead. It is amazing how in shock you can be of these amazing little people that your mind actually goes blank.
    I love all the pictures, and Cory’s remarks added. I am so happy for y’all. You have a beautiful family, Paige. I am glad you are enjoying it. (Oh, & I remember the days of skipping lunch and forgetting to brush teeth or even shower. Miss him just wanting to cuddle all day, but he still has me on my toes.) I can’t wait to hear more about your time as a mommy!

  • Kristin Long

    Baker is adorable, and I am so happy for you guys! I wanted to tell you that I had Amber naturally and it did not hurt anywhere near as bad as the ones I birthed with the aid of pitocin. They used the cervedil/pitocin combo with Zeke and it was the absolute worst! (Primarily because the cervedil caused severe cramping on my cervix but did not register in my uterine muscles and they would not give me pain medicine.) With Amy, they started me on pitocin, but I had learned by then that pitocin is what causes the extreme pain of labor, and I demanded it be turned off. She was the easiest birth after that. I’m certainly not saying don’t use pitocin if you have another baby, as it prevents labors from getting out of control, but I did want you to know that natural labor is usually not pain free, but much less than pitocin delivery. Y’all will make the BEST parents!!

  • Oh gosh – I went through all the emotions reading this.
    I so laughed at Cory’s comments (the “Reach right up there & scratch her head” comment totally did me in – haha!!!) & then his face when the birth happened totally ripped at my heart. I get so emotional over parent’s faces when they see their baby for the first time. It’s amazing, isn’t it?
    Look at you going from 7cm to 10 in just a blink. GO MOMMA!!!!
    Glad you got that epidural & you were able to get some rest & sleep off that pain medicine a bit.
    That picture of you &your momma praying with heads touched… oh gosh – teary eyed again.
    YOU DID GOOD LADY!!!! You did it – you made it through!
    Thanks for sharing your birth story with us… I can’t wait to read more & more about life with Baker now (I am so obsessed with her name)
    HUGS TO YOU ALL!!!

  • Tess Nicolle

    Absolutely beautiful story Paige and Cory! So happy for you guys! Love yall!

  • Awww! Congrats on your precious little one! Glad she’s here safe and sound!

  • This made me cry! So so sweet – congrats, mama! I remember not being able to say anything but “I can’t believe she’s real!” in the minutes after Haddie was born, ha! It’s just such a surreal experience. So glad you’re both happy + healthy!

  • awwww <3 this is so so precious, oh my gosh Cory's face when they first put her on you made me tear up for sure. congrats girl!