The most requested topic for one of these things has been Niles’ birth story. So we thought we would do that today.
Niles is sitting right here in my arms as we do this, so if you hear some weird noises..
Or contributions to the story…
Yes, I’m sure he will contribute… that is him. He’s being really cute, I kind of wish this was a video, you could see. We’ll included a ton of pictures, but anyways, this is Niles’ birth story.
Hey friends! We are Michael and Laura! A husband and wife wedding and portrait photography team based in Richmond Virginia.
Welcome to our audio blog! Please comment and let us know what you think, and follow us on Instagram @michaelandlauraphotography!
So the crazy thing is I read a ton of birth story before Niles was born. I read every blog I could put my hand on…
Did you hear that one, he’s gurgling.
Anyways I just was craving to know and understand what the process was gonna be in delivery and being at the hospital. So I just read everything that I could, and I bought everything I could. Michael and our credit card bill, and our Amazon account could do testify to that.
I so desperately wanted to have everything I needed and just be super prepared, and that was not what happened at all.
So, I’m just prefacing this by my story is very different, but I guess pretty much everybody is..
So on the day that we go to the hospital, we decide and by we I mean Laura, decide that it’s a good idea to plan a whole bunch of meals out.
Before that, we had a doctor’s appointment that morning.
Oh, yeah, we did, you’re right. And it was just a check-up because it was the week of the delivery. She was barely along, and the doctor talked about us about trying to set a date to induce because she did not think that Niles would show up any time soon.
So his schedule delivery date was November 29, and my appointment was on the 27, so we went in that morning and she had just said like, Hey, I think we should say at an induction date, ’cause it doesn’t look like you progressing at all. I would have expected to be somewhere by now, based on everything… So we set an induction date for 10 days from that, I think it was December 10th, so we though we had plenty of time.
Yeah, so we took out literally everything that we bought to make these meals and put it out on the counter top, and if you’ve seen pictures of our kitchen if not, we’ll include one, but we have a really big peninsula. Now let me tell you, there was no space on that is you couldn’t even put down like a cup.
I really wanted to be prepared right and so I read all these blogs about what should you do to get yourself ready for a baby and everything said make meals. So we we’re in the middle, literally in the middle of making meals. Things were in the oven, stuff was on the stove top, and all the food was out on the counter, and I just started feeling really gross. I had pretty bad cramps but I had had an exam that morning so I was like, “Well this is pretty normal”.
So I called the nurse because as we were leaving the doctor that day, she said, If you don’t call and you were worried about something and I hear that you didn’t call, I’m gonna be so upset. So, I was like, Alright, I guess I’ll just call even though I know that this is very normal.
And they did say that there’s a 24-hour line and that they were going to answer no matter what if you call this number.
And they didn’t… So Michael is livid. I was calming him down. I had an exam. It’s normal to be cramping.
It was less the fact that she was uncomfortable, but more the fact that they said that there’s a 24-hour line and nobody answered.
So I hang up and I’m still feeling kind of gross, so I call again.
And they don’t answer. So I left a voicemail so I was Like, “you know what, I’m just gonna go upstairs and lay down. I really just don’t feel good.” And so he stayed downstairs for a minute because again, so much food was on the counter.
I then screamed for him to come up or something and so he came upstairs and we were just laying in bed, just resting, and the nurse called me back. She said “Yeah absolutely, cramping is totally normal after you have an exam. I wouldn’t worry about it. If you feel like it’s happening in intervals, like contractions, us a call back.
And so after that… Michael tried to time to see when I felt worse.
They weren’t consistent, it was like at least 10 minutes, it seemed like it wasn’t consistent, so I would time it for a few sets, and then she seemed she wasn’t super uncomfortable yet, so I waited another 20 minutes, and I did it again because it seemed like she was becoming more uncomfortable.
It’s like 3 o’clock in the afternoon at this point. So I’m in between checking in on Laura and then on food and basically just pulling things out.
And of course we haven’t packed anything yet because this morning, the doctor said… Yeah, it looks like nothing’s happening, so I just decide that, “Hey, we should just start throwing stuff in a bag, just in case.”
And I had said a million times. Okay, we need to pack for the hospital.
I had, again, read every blog with every packing list. I had it written on my phone a little checklist created, I just hadn’t actually put everything in the bag. So I had so many things that I had bought from Amazon that they said like, “Oh you have to have this for postpartum… Oh, you’re gonna need this for the baby. And I think none of it made it into the bag.
So at this point, Laura is further along. She seems like she’s in more and more discomfort. So I start timing them again, and it’s seven minutes, and then the next one’s five minutes, and the next one’s like three and a half minutes, and from not really any pain to .”Hey, I can’t stand this” in the space of half an hour.
Yeah, if that… So I was totally fine, I was just a little uncomfortable to… I can’t even breath in a half an hour. And Michael was like… We need to go to the hospital, let’s go to the hospital. But everyone I know has gone to the hospital and then has been sent back. Like, those aren’t real contractions or you’re not even close to being dilated enough or whatever. I was super paranoid about getting to the doctor way too early and having to come home.
So I finally got myself through the pain downstairs which took another half hour because it was pretty painful, but I looked in the kitchen and I was like, “Michael, we can’t leave.” Our house was a disaster and I was just like, “I’m not starting motherhood with my kitchen looking like this.” So when we say our kitchen was crazy, it was a massive disaster.
So, anyways, we got into the car. And I was like, “Okay yeah, I’m in a ton of pain”.
In between these contractions, I’m throwing stuff in the bag because I don’t know what we need, or I haven’t seen the Amazon list.
I think he keeps asking me questions. But yeah, my brain is just not working.
So we finally get into the car. And I don’t know if it’s just because I’m sitting up now, or I’m like, all of a sudden I get more conscious about what’s happening and I’m able to calm down a little bit, and I sit just I could breathe again. And so I looked Michael and I was like, “I think maybe that wasn’t anything and I was just, it was all in my head.
We’re three quarters of the way to the hospital, this point.
And so I tell him, I was like, “This isn’t it. We can turn around and go home.”
And I said No.I said we’re almost there, we’re just going anyway, at this point.
And so literally, as we’re finishing this conversation and we pull up to the hospital and I opened my door, and I’m dead again, just completely dead. So I can’t breathe. I can barely get out of the car. He helps me in thank God, Henrico Doctors office (and probably everybody) has valet where you can just leave your car.
And so we walk to the nurses’ counter in the mother’s wing, and I literally lay my head on the counter because I just can’t even stand up. So the nurse looks at me and says “So do you think you’re in labor?”
So she asks for information, we obviously give it to her. The she asks, “How far long you think you are? Do you think you’re in labor?” And at that point, Laura gets another contraction and her body just collapses down on the floor. And the women across the counter says, “See, this girls in labor. That girl over there, she’s not in labor.”
Which really validated us going to the hospital. Because I was so worried that they were gonna send us away and I literally, in the car, wanted to turn around, go home, so I was really relieved in the midst of pain. Like, Okay, it’s good that we’re here.
So we bumped her and we went back. In two minutes we were back there.
The nurse, like she was like… “Can you walk back, do you need a wheelchair?”
I was like, “I think I got it” and then I collapsed on her and she helped me back into the room. We got into the room, I got on to the hospital bed and my water broke immediately. Like the second I laid down in the bed. So the nurse comes around and checks me and she goes… “Oh yeah, you’re eight centimeters dilated”.
And I don’t think the nurse was ready for it, ’cause she seemed like the initial nurse that like checks you in and sees how is it going?
He was started panicking immediately.
All the nurses have a little headset, walkie talkie things. So anyway, she gets on her a little walkie-talkie ’cause she was the only one in the room with us at that time, and she goes, “Okay, I need a lot of people in here.”
Yeah, I think she said “a bunch of bodies”.
And so within a minute, just our room floods with people. We probably at one point had somewhere between 5 and 10 people just all of the sudden in the room, so it all started happening super fast.
And then, so, first things first, obviously, is one of the big things Laura did wanna do is have an epidural.
For obvious reasons!
She’s felt the pain. So when we first said that the nurse said “Yeah we’re not sure if we’re going to be able to get it to you… “
Oh yeah, well I didn’t even ask for it. She came up after she examined me and I was eight centimeters, and she said she was like… “Were you hoping for an epidural?” And Michael looks at her and he goes… “Oh no, she’s getting an epidural!”
I don’t think I’ve ever loved him more in my life.
And the nurse was like, “Yeah okay, we’ll try but I can’t promise anything”. And so the anesthesiologist got there and the nurse said that it was the fastest the anesthesiologist had ever gotten into a room.
The anesthesiologist put in the epidural without the medication, because he was faster than the pharmacy, so that was crazy.
Yeah, so then I finally can breathe a little bit after that kicks in. Still in a lot of pain, but it’s getting a lot better. And so they come and they ask if we want to wait for our doctor.
And so we said, “Yeah, call her”, and they came in a little later and they said, “Well, you’re ready to push. So you can either have the baby in the next 15 minutes or you can wait for your doctor to get here”.
Which I didn’t even know was a thing…like you’re ready to push but you can just wait? Yeah, if you’re a medical professional, please let me know how that’s a thing.
But anyway, so Michael says, “Yeah we wanna wait for the doctor.”I look at him like “WE DO?” but he’s like… “Yes, we want our doctor here. The epidural is gonna start kicking in more, you can do this”. And so, that entire process we had probably only been in the hospital room, for an hour.
It was all very quick. Between arriving there and her saying you could push right now; we could have the baby in 15 minutes. So anyways, we decided to wait. It was probably a good idea because we could have our doctor there, we love our doctor. She arrived and they told me to start pushing and within 15 minutes…
Yeah, it was four cycles. He popped out.
It was not at all what I expected, the whole entire process,
Even with waiting for the doctor, it was just all so fast. All these birth story that I had read about first babies, it was like you have time. Buy a cute gown to put on for delivery and have somebody braid your hair. And I just like when does that happen?
It was just all so fast and so he was delivered and they put him straight on me, so we had skin the skin immediately, for almost two hours.
Kudos Henrico Doctors, you guys are awesome.
So we got to have that skin to skin for a long time.
We didn’t know, we didn’t find out Niles’ gender until right then, so they got to shout out. “It’s a boy”. Which was awesome and so exciting.
And then the nurse asked immediately “What’s his name?” And I was like, I just found out it was a boy, hold on. So we didn’t have a final… If it’s a girl, we’re gonna name her this, or if it’s a boy, we’re gonna name him that.
And so the nurse, they were just giving us time, which we really appreciated, of just soaking in our sweet little baby, and Michael came over and put his hand on his back and said, “Well what do you think, Niles?” And I looked at him and said, “Oh okay, Niles. When did that happen?
Good tip for any dads, if you have a name you like and you guys didn’t find the gender just go for it.
It worked, and we’re just so happy that that’s the perfect name. It didn’t really matter, but… So, anyways, we got to have that skin to skin for a really long time. And then after a while, Michael got to him too and then he got all of his weight and measurements and all of that.
He was born at 10:20 PM, so the total process from when we think Laura started having contractions, I think it was less than six hours from start time to delivery of Niles…
Very quick, a huge blessing.
Yes, so at this point it’s like 1:30 or 2:00 in the morning and they obviously need to get us to the next room because of all the babies being born, but so they moved us to the recovery room. And it’s 2:00/2:30 in the morning, after Laura’s had a baby, and I felt like I’d just been running for the past 12 hours. They ask you all the questions. As soon as you get to the recovery room, they ask you a long checklist of things.
The nurse. Oh, she was so sweet, she just want to give us all the information possible, and I’m like, “I just had a baby, Michael’s exhausted.“ I’m holding my kid. I was not listening to a word this poor lady was telling us, and she was just rattling off this information. She had a binder stuff she was reading to us, and so she leaves the room and I look at Michael… He was like, “Did you get any of that? I was like, “No”.
So thankfully, she came and brought this big packet to us later that had all that information.
But again, she was an amazing nurse. When things needed to happen for Niles she made sure they were on a schedule. She kept them in line, they were great, but she meant business.
Except for the fact that they told me that I couldn’t pee… Is this too much information? It doesn’t matter, they told me, they were like, when you have to pee… You have to call a nurse in because we need to escort you to the bathroom and watch. So I went to sleep, and then I woke up and I was like, “Okay I have to pee. I paged a nurse and they didn’t come in, and so I was just sitting in bed and I was like, “I really have to pee. Eventually I was like, Okay, nobody’s coming. Michael went out and tried to find somebody, and so he just walked me to the bathroom. So Lucy dropped the ball that time, but no other time.
We woke up that next morning. Well, a lot throughout the night. The crazy thing about being in the hospital was that you were woken up so frequently because people were coming in to check on the baby and then people were coming in to check on me.
Yeah, every two hours for the baby and every four hours for Laura, and then there’s a shift change in there as well, that doesn’t match up with any of those times. And so they have to brief the new nurse on the baby and on me, and so it was just, it was crazy. There were so many people in and out of our room so it was just a lot.
Obviously, Niles is a newborn… So he’s up and crying and it was just crazy. The first night, it was three in the morning when we moved over, so I was already halfway through so he stayed with us then, and then the following day, we had family come in and it was Thanksgiving… We were supposed to eat Thanksgiving with them, both my side and Laura’s side, that afternoon. Obviously we were in the hospital, so they postponed Thanksgiving. The hospital gave us a little Thanksgiving dinner.
Then, family came over and got to meet Niles the first time, which was really cute. Some of those photos are on Instagram. And then we decided to keep Niles in our room the following night..
He’s talking about not using the hospital nursery which we had decided we were definitely going to do. We were like, “Okay, obviously we should put in the nursery and enjoy sleep before we bring him home and we can’t sleep at all.”, but we didn’t.
He’s so cute, and we didn’t wanna leave him, and then when we got so tired that it was like “Okay we’re just gonna drop off“ then a nurse will come to check on us.
So we stayed that first night where we really got into the room at 3 AM and then we stayed one more night, Thanksgiving night, and then we were able to leave the next morning. so it was really a short stay. 40 hours total.
Short delivery, short stay at the hospital ’cause it was… I think you usually get two nights, but we really have a night and half just based on when he was born. And then we got to go home, which was just crazy thinking, “You guys are gunna let us leave?” We don’t know what we’re doing. We didn’t bring any of the things we bought!
We had the car seat though. And so, we got home and it was honestly just oh my gosh, so nice. If you have the opportunity to leave the hospital early and you’re like, “Oh I don’t wanna leave the hospital.” I don’t even understand that feeling. I was so grateful to be home, and in our own bed and just be settling into our new life. Yes, I loved leaving the hospital, it was good.
But I was also the exact same way. I don’t know if it’s just getting home and you can… I was on the little pull-out couch which is not a real bed to sleep on, but it was actually pretty good, it was pretty comfortable. We had a window which was really nice, but just getting home… I don’t know, we stayed in our pajamas for a week. We had a lot of doctors’ visits, ’cause eventually, we’ll talk more about it, but he took a while to get to his birth weight, he got sick for a little bit as well, but just being able to just chill at home. As soon as possible is great, and our kitchen was clean when we got back. Thank you Mom and Kelly!
I think that we answered everyone’s question. People will ask us some questions before and I wanna say that we answered them all, but if we didn’t just ask and we will.
And the room service called us every time for a meal, so we didn’t have to call ourselves, which was really nice. So take advantage of the food ’cause it’s pretty good. Oh, and they have these freezers that are just full of random things like popsicles and ice cream, and so… Yeah. Know where your closest fridges are really.
Oh, and then the packing list. I didn’t think that the packing lists were helpful at all because I didn’t use any of it.
We even asked our doctor about it the morning of, “What do we need to bring?” She’s like Really… You don’t need to bring anything, and that’s so true. So save your money.
Yeah, I do wish that I had had a nicer robe, but I just put the one they had in our room, and I wore that and that was fine.
I literally didn’t change, except for that last day. The first day I wore a hospital gown the whole day because honestly, I just didn’t even wanna get up. Then I showered and everything, which was great, but I didn’t need anything.
Okay, I think those are all the questions. I don’t know if there’s something else. But that’s it. Niles’ birth story!