life unexpected

Max’s Birth Story

Baby Max is nearly 7 months old, so naturally in true Melinda fashion, I have procrastinated writing his birth story until now! It’s so fun to go back and remember that beautiful day.

His pregnancy had been high risk, like all of my other pregnancies. I went in each week starting in my second trimester to get progesterone shots in hopes of preventing pre-term labor. If all went well, we’d induce at 39 weeks. At 38 weeks I was grateful to have made it so far, but I was DONE. It was early September, it was hot and I was swollen all the time. I had been dilated to a 4 for 2 weeks, I wasn’t sleeping well, heartburn was brutal, and baby was pretty much out of room. I started dragging my 2 year old on long walks every day just to try and get him out. I would hope each night that I would wake up in labor haha. At 38 weeks and 4 days we went to the park and according to my iPhone, we walked 6 miles together. Nothing. The next day I went to target with my sisters and I walked up and down the aisles hoping my water would break. I had been having contractions every 10-20 minutes consistently for 2 weeks, but they were getting much stronger and seemed to be more consistent. We went to McDonalds while our kids played and I continued to sit and hope my water would break. I went over to my sisters house and walked on her treadmill for about an hour before I finally gave up and decided to just let nature take its course. There were a couple of hours where I thought, “maybe this is it!” and then the contractions would slow down. Then, around 10pm I noticed that the contractions were getting more consistent again. I didn’t want to get my hopes up so I just went to bed. I couldn’t sleep too well and at 11:30 I had a really strong contraction. 10 minutes later another one came, then another. By midnight they were 7 minutes apart and I knew that we needed to head to the hospital. My labors have always gone really quickly, so I make sure to get to the hospital as soon as I know it’s time. We called my mom to meet us there, got our poor Ellie out of bed and headed to L&D.

I had talked to my cute friend Jacki about doing my birth story if it worked out. Her being in her third trimester herself, I wasn’t going to be worried if it didn’t work out. I sent her a quick text after midnight letting her know I was headed to the hospital and luckily she was awake! She headed over to the hospital shortly after us so she could be there to capture everything!

When I got checked in, it was about 1 am. I was only dilated to a 6 (In the past i’ve been at an 8 or 9 so I was surprised) and my contractions actually started slowing down. I was freaking out that I would be sent home, but my nurse assured me that they’d push some pitocin if they didn’t pick back up again. Tired Ellie was confused and curious but very excited because she was finally getting “her” baby. My sweet mom arrived within 20 minutes and took her back to our apartment so she could go back to sleep. Luckily my contractions picked up and by 2 am I was dilated to a 7, and getting my happy juice :). I’ve had epidurals, and natural birth, but I must say that I prefer getting that shot. The contractions I’d been having weren’t horrible and by the time my epi was in, I had only had a couple of bad ones. I was able to relax, and Eric and I got about 3 extra hours of sleep. We were seriously so lucky! It was the most relaxing labor in the world. They came in to check me at about 5:30am and I was dilated to a 9. I’d sent Jacki home to get some sleep once I got my epidural, so I called her to come back and the room was suddenly filled with nurses prepping for our baby boy.

I’m going to rewind for a second. A few days earlier at my 38 week appointment, my blood pressure was high so I went over to L&D to be monitored. I had the sweetest nurses (they were kind of a teacher-student duo) who took the best care of me. My blood pressure went back to normal and when they sent me home one of nurses said, “we work again on Friday, so you should have your baby that day!” Fast forward again to my nurse who had brought me in that early Friday morning. She was off at 6am and asked if she could stay to see the baby born. Of course I agreed! At 6 when I was getting ready to push, those two cute nurses that I’d had earlier in the week walked into my room and we all were so excited! They were so happy that they got to see my baby and I was excited to have such great nurses with me! My OB had planned on inducing me the following Monday and made me swear that I would not go into labor over the weekend because she was going out of town. Since baby and my body had other plans, the on-call doc took care of me. We instantly felt so comfortable with him! I’m so grateful for how chill he was and how easy he made everything. I couldn’t have asked for a better team to deliver our perfect baby.

My water has never broken on it’s own. I bet I’d have bubble babies if they didn’t break my water for me! When they realized I was at a 9, they broke my water and within 10 minutes I was ready to push. With the help of my amazingly supportive husband, and my army of nurses, I was able to get my sweet baby out in 20 minutes. On September 9, 2016 at 6:23am, Baby Max David Payne made his appearance into the world weighing in at 7lbs even and 20.5 inches long. We named him after his grandpas- My dad Max and Eric’s dad David. He cried immediately and calmed down as soon as they set him on me. I fell in love right away. He had some hair, which was more than his sis, and instantly I could see that he looked more like me. I saw something on his neck, tried to wipe it off thinking it was blood or something, and then realized it was a cute freckle/birth mark. That little neck freckle is one of my favorite features of Max.

He was so sweet and calm for the nurses cleaning him up, and once he was all wrapped up they gave him back to me. The spirit in that room was overwhelming and I couldn’t help but cry tears of joy for having a healthy, happy, beautiful boy. My husband was so excited and so sweet to me. He called his parents in California on FaceTime to introduce the new baby. It was such a peaceful, joyful morning. I loved every second of that labor experience!

Once Ellie woke up for the day, my mom got her ready and brought her over to meet her baby. I have never seen that girl more excited! I had been very worried about her feisty, demanding 2.5 year old self and how she’d adjust to having a tiny human in her world. But she fell in love just as quickly as we did. Something about that baby Max and his ability to make everyone fall in love with him ;). Earlier that year we’d gotten a little lion stuffed animal for Max and Ellie was SO excited to give it to him. She wanted to kiss him, hold him and told him all about her toys. My heart has never been more full than it was when my babies met each other. We got Ellie a toy baby so that she could have one too. I’d heard that would help the transition but she didn’t want anything to do with that baby doll. All she wanted was to help out with her real baby. It was precious (but a waste of 10 bucks for the doll haha).

Later that night my entire family came to visit the new baby. The hospital was really chill so all 5 of my siblings and their spouses came to see our perfect baby. It was a party! We were so excited to share our joy with everyone. Max was just calm and happy from the get go. He ate well, slept well, and snuggled well. Bringing him home was easy, and he has been an absolute joy to have in our family. I swear to all of you that he was smiling at 6. days. old. I thought it was a fluke thing, but the kid has just been happy to be alive and will smile at anyone who looks at him. I call him my Prozac baby hahaha. The world is a much better place with this boy around!

I cannot thank Jacki enough for coming to take these pictures. She was there in the middle of the night as well as bright and early in the morning. I am forever grateful that this perfect day was captured so beautifully.