Easton's Birth Story
Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 8:44 am our worlds were wrecked and our beautiful son,
Easton John Nelson
9 lb 0 oz 22 inches long
For those of you who followed along on #NelsonBabyWatch... you know how desperately we were waiting for our son's birth! I was 40 weeks and this new life that we were about to bring into the world had consumed our every thought and breath. We prayed every night hoping that he would come... My parents rushed, bought a day-of ticket and flew in from North Carolina a week before his birth (our doctor told us he could be here any minute! False alarm...) and my brother flew in from California shortly after they did. We had a full house for an entire week before Easton was born... atleast one person asked me every minute of every day if I "felt any different"... "is today the day?"...
Monday, April 16, was my due date. Well, Monday came and went and no baby! Everyone was getting antsy, myself included. I had eaten about 10 whole pineapples, bounced on my pregnancy ball for hours, walked 108912847198273 miles on #BabyWatch... every induction myth, you name it- WE TRIED IT. When I woke up on Tuesday, I felt super discouraged and honestly thought this baby was going to be a no-show. It's crazy now to think about how long those days felt, but how awesome it is to see God's hand in all of it. It was my last week as JUST a wife, a daughter, a sister. I had all of my 4 favorite people (and Winnie), together, under one roof for one whole week before I became a mom. And now that I look back, I wouldn't trade one of those days for anything. Watching my dad and husband work in the yard together, laughing with my brother, sitting in the nursery with my mom dreaming about this new baby... these are memories that I will treasure forever.
On Tuesday, April 17, my brother had a 10:30 PM flight and promised me that if I went into labor before he left, he would cancel his flight back to LA and stay. Well... Tuesday, at 9:30 PM I hugged my brother goodbye, took a long bath, cried wondering if this baby would ever come, prayed with David because our hearts were just aching to meet our baby. We finally gave it to God that night. We realized I was past my due date, there was nothing else I could do, no wives tail that could make this baby come any faster, it was time to let go of our control. So we went to bed and...
Around 11:30 PM I started feeling some light contractions, but figured it was just another silly joke being played on me. I didn't want to wake David up to tell him because I had woken him up at every hour of the night every time I felt a cramp for the past 2 weeks... hellooooo, girl who cried wolf!! There was no way this baby was coming tonight! By midnight my contractions were so intense I couldn't lay down anymore and was pacing our room/on all fours. I didn't even have to wake David up, he JUMPED out of bed- IT WAS GO TIME!!!!!!!! I waddled down to the guest room where my mom was, and fell onto the bed crying... I couldn't believe it. David followed, gave my dad a thumbs up in the kitchen- the time had come, we're having a baby today!!!!
I was in total shock, overwhelmed, terrified, so incredibly excited to meet our son... mostly shock. By 12:30am I was attempting to put makeup on (why?????????) and we were timing my contractions, they were about two minutes apart. I would put a little bronzer on, lean on the bed and fight through a contraction, then go back and add some mascara... until I realized that these contractions weren't slowing down and we needed to get to the hospital ASAP! David was jumping up and down in the bathroom blasting worship music like he was about to play in the Super Bowl... you can hear him, "LET'S GOOO!!!!!!!" and I was just in total disbelief that THIS WAS REALLY ABOUT TO HAPPEN!!!?!?!!?! I hugged my parents goodbye even though a small part of me thought it was another false alarm and we'd be turned away from the hospital!
I barely even remember the drive to the hospital... we were blasting our favorite music, a lot of songs that had gotten us through hard times and to right where we were at that exact moment.... David was flying, I was squeezing his hand as tightly as I possibly could, there was not a soul on the road. I just remember David reassuring me the whole way, I was going to be okay.
By 1:00/1:15am we were pulling up to the hospital and I was on my hands and knees crawling into the labor and delivery ward because of the contractions. It was not a pretty sight, ha!! The lady actually laughed when we got to the front desk because she saw me crawling on the cameras... best first impression ever. They checked us into the exact room that we saw on our hospital tour. I prayed into that room everyday towards the end of my pregnancy, that angels would surround us and peace would overflow in that room. I was absolutely terrified of giving birth, my fears ran wild in my head up until that moment when I walked into our delivery room.
By 1:30am I was in so much pain and was ready for the epidural. They couldn't admit me because my water hadn't broken and I was still only 3.5 cm dilated... which I had been for more than a week. They even said that there was a chance I could be sent home. Unfortunately I puked all over the room because of the pain... I'll never be eating pineapple or chicken spaghetti again. TMI? David stood by my side, fed me ice, held my hand, and talked me through every contraction. Around 2:00, the nurse came back in, checked my dilation again and said, "Well, it looks like you're not leaving here without a baby!". That was one of the best moments of my life. By 2:10am I was 4cm dilated, the doctor gave me the epidural and by 2:30 I was feelin' fiiiiiiine! David's mom, two little sisters, and my parents came into the room to see us for a bit but the nurse recommended I take a nap before the long hours ahead of us.
So I slept until about 4:30am, and I was 6 cm dilated. And then fell back asleep until the nurse woke me up around 6:30am and asked me if I was ready to push because my water broke in my sleep, I was 10 cm dilated and it was officially GO TIME. WHAT?! How long was I asleep!?!? Also, who knew one could nap during contractions?!?? Thank you, Jesus for the creation of epidurals. Praise Hands. I went from 6 to 10 cm in just two short hours. Our nurse told us earlier in the night that there was no chance we would deliver this baby before Wednesday evening, but here we were... 7:00 AM on Wednesday ready to PUSH!
David put back on our favorite worship playlist. The room was filled with love and peace. My husband was the greatest partner and teammate ever. I could cry just thinking about the way he loved, encouraged and supported me. The ways he served me for the 9 months leading up to this very moment. Whispering gently over my nerves and anxiety when he saw the fear rushing in. Our nurses were absolutely amazing. We were in great + perfect hands. A miracle was about to happen and our hearts were so expectant to see our miracle unfold. Our son! We were about to see his beautiful face! I felt this crazy empowerment and excitement when it was time to push.
It was just David, the nurse, and myself. I never expected in my wildest dreams to let David hold my legs during labor, there was no way I was going to let him see that. But, in that moment we were in this together and there was nothing to hide. After each push, I would fall back asleep... it was incredible. I couldn't imagine a more beautiful birth experience... I spent all of that time worrying for 9 months about nothing, I literally napped through my labor. God was in the midst of every detail. I pushed for an hour and forty minutes with David and the nurse by my side. It all happened so fast.
By 8:35 am our incredible doctor came into the room, by this point I was on oxygen and was beginning to feel weary. My next contraction came on, the doctor mentioned an emergency c-section because the baby was now under pressure, David and the doctor both began to cheer me on and spoke life back into me, Elevation's Do It Again was playing and I pushed with every single thing I had left inside of my bones. And at 8:44am, our perfect son was born and he was in my arms. It was the most beautiful, indescribable moment I have ever experienced. I wept over this tiny human that David and I made. Bawled my eyes out. I kissed him and hugged him and cried tears of joy with David by my side... how on earth do we deserve this incredible honor of raising this perfect, innocent being. He was here and he was ours. We weren't leaving without our boy. It was real. I have never been more proud of anything in my life. And I have never felt so close to Heaven... our angel was really here.
As soon as Easton was born, the doctor laid him on my chest and we had skin-to-skin for a full hour before anyone touched or held him. Just my baby and me. While he was laying on me, he looked up when he heard David's voice and grabbed on so tightly to his finger. David and I both cried- he knew David's voice from all of those nights of listening to him read Lion Witch & Wardrobe in the womb. It was one of the sweetest moments of our lives. After the hour passed, our parents came in and met Easton while the nurses weighed him, etc. I was a little in shock that this had REALLY just happened and I just remember watching all of these pieces in the room moving while I just thanked God for this crazy miracle He blessed us with.
My sweet friend Matti (@mattigresham... if you don't follow her already, you need to) drove over to the hospital as soon as she woke up to snap some photos for us. I am so grateful she was able to capture some of these first moments that I'll cherish FOREVER. We did have a birth photographer lined up but it ended up falling through last minute, but I wouldn't have it any other way... having just David in there with me during labor was so special and something that made our marriage even greater + stronger.
I promise I'm almost finished telling this very long story!! Once we made it up to the postpartum room and all of our visitors left, David and I were sitting in the room with my parents just in awe of our new baby. For those who don't know, my dad battled stage four cancer twice and most recently when David and I were first dating. The two heaviest things that hovered over my head and stole my joy during that time were 1. Will my dad be there to walk me down the aisle. and 2. Will my dad be there to meet his grandchildren. They were the two questions that I really fought God about and had a really difficult time trusting him with, even though I KNEW He was a good God worth trusting. Well, last year- one year after my dad's last cancer surgery- I walked down the aisle in my dad's arm to the man of my dreams and this year- two years in remission- I watched my dad hold my son, his very first grandson. And in that moment when we were all in the room together and I heard my dad whisper to Easton, "Well, baby, you were worth staying alive for", I saw God's faithfulness and goodness shining like never before. You are a Good GOOD Father. And we are in awe of You all over again through our son.
Thank you all SO much for joining us on this journey and for all of the love you've shown us these past few months... your love, prayers and support has meant so much to us. Easton is so lucky to have people who love him all around the world!
Photos by Matti Gresham