I typed out this birth story years ago (if I’m being honest, it’s the only birth story of mine that I actually wrote out – first kid, ya know? lol). I considered rewriting it. But I think first time mom of one Britney was sure headed in the right direction. Reading back through this story, I see so much beauty and I see how intricately God was already weaving the story of how I would end up here as “Known Photo.” So, with all that said – Here’s the story of my precious boy, Everett Daniel Looney. The one who started it all. The birth that lit the flame. Written by a very different, very young, Britney.
p.s. There’s a lot in this story I would change if I were to rewrite it. But I think it’s important to leave. I said a lot of words like “they wouldn’t let me…” Just a little note, you’re in charge of your birth. 😉
“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” John 16:21
On Monday, November 27th, I waddled into my doctor’s office at 41+5 for what would FINALLY be the last time with little Everett in my belly. The front office ladies couldn’t believe I was there and believe me I couldn’t either.
Joe went with me because we knew that we would be scheduling our induction (for more on that, and how we ended up there read this), and on the drive over we decided we would schedule it for as soon as she would let us because we were READY to meet our boy.
Doctor Loveless walked in and with a chuckle asked me how I was doing even though she knew the answer. Then she asked the question I’d been dreading for so long but finally had so much peace about… “So, when are we doing this?” My response was “UH CAN WE DO IT RIGHT NOW?!” She told me I’d have to wait but that she’d bring me in at midnight and we could get it going!
Joe and I left filled with so much peace and joy! We would FINALLY be meeting our son. We went home wrapped a few things up at the house, and made sure we had everything we needed, called our families, doula (Thara), and our amazing photographer Emily, and then tried to rest.
I say tried… because we literally laid in bed for three hours two separate times and COULD NOT SLEEP. We were just too excited to finally see Everett’s face and hold him in our arms.
We started to gather our things and head out around 10:30 pm because we were just so excited and anxious to get going. We went to Market Street to get something to eat, grabbed coffee at Starbucks for Joe, and then HEADED TO THE HOSPITAL!!!!
We got to the hospital and got amazing parking! That’s when we learned if you want to find a parking spot at UMC midnight is prime time for great parking. As we walked into the hospital Joe spilled his coffee down the front of his sweatshirt (this is important to the story… I promise).
We got into a room pretty quickly and started signing paperwork and all the really exciting stuff.
Then it was time for the IV… keep in mind that I was planning on doing this whole thing unmedicated. They came in to do my IV. I really don’t like needles (one of my main motivators, in the beginning, to not have an epidural) but normally it isn’t a big deal because I have really good veins and it always only takes one stick.
LOL. NOT THIS TIME. The nurse tried to put my IV in my left arm because I’m right-handed and they wanted me to have my right arm free… well, my super good veins, which are never missed or stuck twice are in my right arm.
She stuck me and GOOD GRIEF it hurt and the IV wouldn’t thread. I then began to freak myself because this dang needle really hurt and I was about to try to push a WHOLE DANG HUMAN out of me without any medication… had I lost my mind? ABORT MISSION I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE.
The charge nurse came in and put my IV in my right arm and I swear she did the whole thing in like 30 seconds. Thank goodness because I was about 10 seconds away from getting out of that bed and telling them I decided it was okay if I was pregnant forever.
They checked me for dilation and I was 5cm and about 70% effaced… SERIOUSLY how was I still pregnant and not in active labor?!
Around 1:30 am they came in and started me on Pitocin. My doctor would be coming in for her shift at 7 am and so they told me they were going to start the Pitocin really slow to hopefully keep me pregnant until my doctor got there (because I REALLY wanted her to be there… I REALLY REALLY love her… she’s the best).
My parents had come up there shortly after we got there and we were all struggling to stay awake. I told them to go home and sleep and that we would give them a call when things actually got going. It took some prodding but they agreed and before leaving they prayed with us. All nerves that built up during the IV debacle faded away and I was yet again overcome with peace and excitement to meet our boy.
Our doula arrived and we all tried to rest while we could to prepare for all the work we knew that was to come.
I actually was able to get some rest (which really surprised me) and I slept in about hour increments because I kept having to pee (those fluids definitely do their job of keeping you hydrated). I think they were coming in about every 30 minutes to turn up the Pit dosage and would ask if I was feeling contractions. I was feeling them some but they weren’t any worse or any stronger than the contractions that I had been feeling for the past 6 weeks.
Every time I had to go to the bathroom it was a 10-minute ordeal. Because of the Pitocin, I was not able to have intermittent monitoring as we had planned. I had to wear those dang monitors the WHOLE time and man were they obnoxious. Joe was so sweet and patient and became quite the pro at unhooking and maneuvering everything I was hooked up to.
Around 6 am I woke up, to pee, AGAIN. I felt surprisingly rested and my doula asked if I was ready to get things going. I definitely was.
Everett was head down pretty much my whole pregnancy but he REALLY liked to flip between being OP (sunny-side up) and face-down. My doula was pretty sure that he had flipped OP again and that was why even after being on the Pitocin for five hours, I still wasn’t in active labor.
She had me do some abdominal lifts… if you’ve had to do these you know they aren’t fun OR comfortable. But, I was SO ready to meet our boy.
I did those for three contractions and then the fourth contraction everything changed. THIS WAS LABOR.
All of a sudden the contractions were strong, hard and FAST and Joe called Emily and told her she should probably get up to the hospital.
I made my way to the toilet (quickly because I was barely getting a break between contractions) because I had to pee again and the birth ball that I thought I would LOVE during pregnancy was not comfortable at all.
We were told in Bradley class that the toilet was one of the most comfortable places to labor for some people and MAN this was true for me.
I was laboring there for a while (I honestly have no frame of reference on time from this point forward…) and that is where we figured out that the low humming that is supposed to help you keep it together during contractions was NOT going to work for me. But “horse lips” or blowing raspberries did work really well and really helped me work through the contractions.
So there we were… Joe, Thara and I all doing horse lips and running this marathon together.
At some point during this Emily got there… I vaguely remember her getting there because it was around the same time that Joe spilling coffee on himself as we walked into the hospital became an issue.
You see, as I was laboring on the toilet, I was leaning my head on Joe meaning my face was buried in his sweatshirt… that he spilled coffee on.
Now listen, I LOVE coffee. I love the taste of it, I love holding a warm cup in my hands, and I normally love the smell of it. BUT, as I sat there laboring I HATED the smell of coffee and the smell of it on Joe’s sweatshirt made me want to throw up.
I very kindly told him he needed to go take his sweatshirt off… and as he turned around to do so I very kindly also told him he needed to change the shirt under it too because I just KNEW that it was going smell like coffee as well.
After Joe returned from changing his shirt (he’s such a sweet sweet man), I started to experience some pretty intense back labor, so my doula went to get a heat pack for me… that was when I experienced one of the hardest contractions. I absolutely LOST it. I screamed, said I couldn’t do it anymore, and lost all focus which is what made it so hard. (Joe told me later that he told Thara that she wasn’t allowed to leave us again, and he says it is the moment that made him decide we’d never have a baby without her by our side).
The really cool thing about labor to me was even when I had a hard contraction where I lost control and didn’t stay focused, I had another chance to hold it together and be strong like a minute later.
It was just a really sweet thing to me. I know it sounds weird but that is just something I remember really clearly and remember being thankful for a new opportunity to rely on strength from Christ because I COULDN’T do it and I COULDN’T hold it together without Him.
After that contraction, I decided to move to the bed for a little bit which I don’t think lasted long until I moved back to the bathroom on the toilet. (This part is a little blurry and I can’t remember how much I moved back and forth or when).
At one point I was back in the bathroom and started to feel like I HAD to go to the bathroom and apparently, I started to bear down. Thara caught what I was doing and he and Joe got me moved back to the bed pretty quickly.
This was the most intense part of labor and I’m pretty sure the words “I can’t” came out of my mouth several times. That’s when I heard “No Longer Slaves” start to play over our speaker and it couldn’t have played at a more perfect time. It was a sweet reminder from my loving Father.
I sat on all fours for a little bit because it felt comfortable and started to tell Joe and Thara that I REALLY had to go to the bathroom and/or that I WAS going to the bathroom. Thara told me that if I felt like I needed to push that I should let them check me but I was SO scared that they would check me and I wouldn’t be ready or that I just hadn’t progressed much at all so I just laid their say that I didn’t know if I wanted to be checked.
Our AMAZING nurse Leah came in and they told her that I kept bearing down and she said I probably should get checked but that another doctor was going to have to check me because my doctor was stuck in the OR.
My body had taken over and I SERIOUSLY felt like I had to go to the bathroom. Everyone told me that is what it felt like and it was so so true. Doctor Darhi came in, introduced himself, and checked me and I was fully dilated but little Everett decided to turn his head so that he was looking sideways and I was told that I couldn’t push and I needed to wait.
That is the hardest thing I have EVER had to do. I was working against my body and it was so painful and so so difficult. Joe had to literally pull my chin up every time a contraction started to help me go against everything my body was trying to do.
After what felt like an eternity I told Joe and Thara that I could NOT blow off my pushes any longer and Dr. Darhi came in to check me again (Dr. Loveless still hadn’t made it).
And he said words that were music to my ears! “COMPLETE” and “she can start pushing if she would like.”
I never knew I could be so excited to do such hard work! So at about 10 am, I began to push!
I pushed once or twice on all fours and decided that it wasn’t comfortable and I didn’t feel like there was really any power behind them, so I flipped over and Thara said we could play tug-of-war.
We started doing that and it felt INCREDIBLE.
I pushed for a little bit and started to get a little tired, and that is when someone said “Britney, look who’s here!” It was Dr. Loveless! I was SO excited to see her and so relieved that she was there, that it gave me just the boost I needed.
I forgot to mention that at this point my water still had not broken! I am so thankful because I was told that things were even more intense once your water has broken (My doctor did eventually break it at some point).
I pushed and pushed and pushed and then Everett started crowning and that is when I learned that the ring of fire is REAL. I knew I was close because I could see the look on Joe’s face and the tears in his eyes.
I was exhausted but that look on his face, the look of joy and anticipation was just enough to keep me pushing. And FINALLY, it was just enough, and at 10:40 am we met our son.
Everett Daniel Looney was finally in my arms and I no longer remembered the anguish for the JOY that my SON was born!!!!