Saturday, April 22, 2017

MEET MERRICK | a birth story pt.1

As I'm sure y'all already know but HE'S HEEERE!

Merrick Wade Pilkington -
and proudly sharing a middle name with his dad💛
April 5th 2017
8lbs 3oz

Here's his birth story💛

How it started:
So the whole process (really) started on April 3rd at my 39 week appointment. I went in for my regular weekly checkup with my mom to get my belly measured and my cervix checked to see if there was any dilation or effacement happening. 
We got into my appointment and the nurse asked if there was anything that I wanted to talk to my doctor about and I mentioned that at my previous appointment, they told me they would talk about induction since they generally don't like moms going too far over 40 weeks and because I was just one week shy of hitting that point, I wanted to know my options.
At that time, an elective induction wasn't something I was considering but I knew it wouldn't hurt to know more.
After my exam, where I was still about 80% effaced and only 1.5cm dilated, my doctor said that since I had a previously normal pregnancy and ideal delivery with Penelope, that I was a good candidate to be electively induced this time around.
At that point, I sorta freaked out because I knew meeting our little guy could definitely be right around the corner. All of the morning sickness, braxton hicks, kicks and everything else his pregnancy brought on were all about to pay off - and soon
I think my doctor saw the look of "it's really happening" on my face because she made sure that I knew that I could schedule my induction and cancel at any time, if that's what I wanted to do. There was absolutely no pressure to follow through with it and honestly, that made the decision to head to scheduling for the induction a little bit easier - because it was elective and because I was in full control and had time to decide.

I figured that an induction date would be at least a week out and that I would have plenty of time to think about it, talk the date over with Devon and make a final decision. Well, the day of my appointment was April 3rd and lo-and-behold, the date she gave me to be induced was April 5th - just TWO DAYS from the point of scheduling. I was in a daze. I never thought I'd have full control of the day I'd go into labor. It's the weirdest feeling to actually know the day you'll meet the little babe that has been growing inside of you for 9+ months. It's an insane feeling. Totally exhilarating.

After my appointment, it still felt surreal. I called Devon right away and told him what just happened (by the way, he fully knew I would be talking about indiction at this particular appointment - we had talked extensively about making that decision if it was ever an option) and when I finally told him the date that we'd be meeting our son, the excitement in his voice confirmed that I had made the right decision.
On top of that, my mom, step-dad and grandma were all in town from Florida just waiting for me to go into labor and well, we all know how that could go. I was happy that everyone would have the opportunity to actually be there when he was born and not play the waiting game any longer. An induction was the absolute perfect decision for this pregnancy - and me. I was ready to meet our little dude!

So the day of induction came and needless to say, it started off pretty hectic. I was told to call right at 6:30AM to check-in and make sure they had a bed available for me. Unfortunately, at that time, the nurse for the shift told me that it was extremely busy and that she wanted to wait for the nurse that was on for the following shift to make the final call if they could take me or not (since I wasn't a priority delivery that day) so at 7:15AM, I called back... we live about 45 minutes away from the hospital so we were already on the road because my induction was set to start right at 8:30AM and I didn't want to miss my opportunity if they did in fact have room for us.
So after a few more back-and-forth calls from the nurses, it was FINALLY confirmed that my bed was ready and waiting for us to arrive at 8AM.

After we officially checked in, we got into the birthing room, got settled in and that's when things started moving pretty quickly.
I changed into my birthing gown, and the nurse (who was sooo awesome) started hooking up my IV so I could get some fluids in me and then we started the pictocin almost instantly. Ironically, that morning (and even the night before) I was already having mild contractions on and off. It could have been due to the cervical exam the day before or the possibility of true labor getting ready to start - of course, we'll never know but I was definitely having contractions when I got hooked up to the monitors that morning. I look at it like it was just meant to be!

(I have this same picture taken when I went into labor with Penelope💛)

Of course, because we hit all kinds of traffic and ended up being a little late to the induction anyway, I wasn't able to even grab breakfast - which was something I had ALWAYS said I would make time for after my 18hrs of labor with Penelope... lol but because of the obvious nerves and rushing around, we totally showed up to the hospital with empty stomachs anyway. At least I did... Devon was able to enjoy some chick-fil-a that his mom brought us.... I couldn't eat anything because we ended up checking in so fast and I was paranoid to eat since I have a history of throwing up from the epidural, plus, our hospital doesn't allow food after you'v been checked in anyway soooo for me, food was a no-go at that point. Although they did give me an incredible cherry popsicle that tasted like heaven after not eating anything for almost 12+ hours at that point.. my last meal was freakin dinner, so you know that popsicle was delicious.

Every 30 minutes the pictocin was was upped and after about two hours, the contractions really started to get intense but because I wasn't really ready as far as dilation goes, and because my water hadn't been broken yet, they scaled back the pictocin because it was actually working a little too good.
Once the pic was scaled back, we had our families come in and sit with us for awhile until the nurse wanted to check my dilation again. At that point, I was finally at 5cm, which meant the doctor could break my water and that meant that my labor would probably speed up.

It took about 15 minutes to get the epidural placed and ready and then Dr. Ward came in and broke my water (totally painless, by the way) and that's when things really started to speed up and about the time we found out for sure that Merrick would most-likely be born sunny-side up.
This was something I had always suspected due to crazy back pain and back spasms that I was having the last month of my pregnancy and those symptoms are a pretty good indication of a baby that's sunny-side up. Turns out, I was right!
At that time, my doctor wasn't concerned about delivering a baby this way.. it's just harder to push and the recovery can be a bit longer due to the excessive pushing that happens but it's nothing that's typically concerning.... most of the time.

We can't remember whose idea this was but super bowl commercial vibes
were in full-effect. Frito Lay even sent us some stuff for this pic!😂

Long story short from here, after I got the epidural and had my water broke, labor really sped up. I went from a 5 to a 9 in about an hour and then after I was checked at a 9, I swear I started feeling pressure almost instantly - you know, that crazy instinctive feeling to push? It's the weirdest thing! I had my mom grab the nurse because the pressure was so intense and I knew I HAD to get. him. OUT.
The nurse confirmed I was ready to go and that's when things got crazy and hectic.

Remember how I said "most of the time", well since Merrick was sunny-side up, his poor little head was being pulled back every time I went to push... this caused a lot of concern with the doctor and nurses because they didn't want to risk a neck injury.
So after talking my options over with the doctor and nurses to try and avoid neck damage to Merrick and a possible c-section, they decided to have me lay on my side with a peanut ball between my legs for 30 minutes on each side. The first round didn't work at all. Merrick was still coming down the birth canal and his poor little neck was still being pushed backwards and because of the intensity of the contractions, it wasn't looking too promising for a vaginal birth if he didn't re-adjust. That's when Dr.Ward made the call to push him all the way back up the canal and pretty much start from square one... and that's exactly what she did.
Merrick was pushed back up completely and I had to lay with the peanut ball between my legs on each side for an hour each this time.
Thankfully, that little trick ended up working because his head, although still sunny-side up, was fully engaged in the correct position and we could continue pushing!
And after only 35 minutes of pushing + a little oxygen, Merrick Wade was born! 10 hours of total labor and our son was HERE!
 Because of his birthing position and how he came out, he had the biggest knot on his little forehead since he pretty much came out face-first haha - and THIS is why I am EXTREMELY grateful for epidurals and the fact that I skipped out on a home-birth that I was so dedicated to before becoming pregnant. God knew his delivery wouldn't be the easiest and I pretty much dropped the thought of having a natural home-birth shortly after I found out I was expecting again. It all worked out for the best. I don't know how I would have handled the literal man-handling of my kid while he was still inside of me if I was at home laboring in a tub. Just super thankful I can still say that this birthing experience was still so ideal and perfect, regardless if I had to take extra time to get things really going - it was all worth it!

Surprisingly, my recovery this time has been soooo much easier than P's, despite the differences in birth. I wasn't as sore and I could easily move around and even shower just hours after giving birth. It was amazing! My next blog post, I'll share my story with placenta encapsulation, who I used etc. but I wanted to share the intimate details of Merrick's birth while they're still fresh in my mind because TRUST ME - you. will. forget. The pain, the hectic-ness - everything. You forget and next thing you know you have four kids (not yet, obviously but ya know what I mean!) haha Are we crazy to be talking about having a third one already?! Maybe it's because Merrick is SUCH a great baby. He's BEYOND easy and a total dream! Plus, Penelope has been amazing with this huge transition - everything has been so much easier than I could have ever hoped or dreamed.

Having a little boy is definitely different and we have been peed on about 15x's but the fact that he's almost 3 weeks old already is INSANE to me. We're absorbing every last minute of his sweet newborn-ness and absolutely loving being a family of four💛

She was so excited to meet him.

And last but definitely not least, here are a few newborn pictures we had taken at 9 days old -
If you're in Virginia, mainly Virginia Beach area, you have to check out Heidi Calma Photography! Heidi was soooooo patient, kind and more than willing to take the extra time to get the good shots. I was referred by a friend and felt the need to share with y'all too! If you're looking for newborn photography, family portraits or special occasion pics, you have to check her out - she's totally amazing :)

Thanks for reading!




  1. Love a great birth story!! So glad everything was wonderful and that Merrick is such a good baby! He is perfect! And you looked amazing!!

  2. Well done mama!! I love reading birth stories and it's amazing how different they all are. My first was a traumatic experience but my second was just so beautiful. Your little family is gorgeous and those newborn pics are just precious

    Love, Shan xxx



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