Everett Stone: A birth story

Thursday, December 1

*photos in this post {except the ones above} were taken by our amazing Midwife/nurses. We didn't ask them to. But we'll never be able to thank them enough for just picking up our camera and documenting these first moments for us. Such an unexpected gift.

I went into early labor 9 days before Everett was born. The night the contractions started, we were at home with pizza and a funny movie. By the time the movie was over, my contractions had been painful and 5 minutes apart for over an hour. Because of the movie, I ended up laughing my way through them. Sounds nice. Not actually recommended. Ouch. I was only at the end of 35 weeks, so the sudden contractions came as a complete surprise. I had a feeling that he would come early, but I didn't think it was going to be THIS early. Regardless, we decided to head in to the birthing center to see what was going on just in case this was IT. I've never seen Tyson move so quickly. The ultimate cliche daddy-to-be ... running all over the house, stumbling into his clothes, grabbing items for our hospital stay and stuffing them into a duffel bag while I tried to relax in the bathtub. Every few minutes he would run downstairs to check on me and kiss me and tell me how excited he was. Though we were both telling ourselves, "there is no WAY." Finally I got dressed and off we went to the Birthing Center.

We stayed there until 4am on the monitors. My contractions were indeed regular and intense, but I was only dilated 1 cm, so they sent us home. And thus the 9 days of labor began. Painful contractions, 5-7 minutes apart for that period of time can do a number on ya. There was not much sleeping, a lot of breathing, a lot of trying to relax and a lot of walking. Sometimes I would lay down, but when your body's working and shifting and contracting that hard, laying still seems like the worst kind of torture. It felt good to move my hips, so I spent my days on the birthing ball and {with the approval of my midwife} finding excuses to walk. Anywhere. Pacing my living room floor, at the grocery store where I would bend over my cart /my mom to breath during contractions or bundling up in sweats and walking the neighborhood at night. More than a few times, this is where I would cry under the street lamps and emphatically inform Tyson that I could not do it anymore. That I was so tired. That I would give anything just to get this baby the heck out of me. That I was sure I was going to die by contractions. He held me and simply told me that he loved me and that I could do it. I told him he could have the next one.

My mom came up that week. She got me through. While Tyson was at work, she made me tea and gave me back rubs and cooked me two steaks a day with lots of vegetables to help keep my iron levels up. Could not have done it without her emotional and physical support that week. Thank you mama. I love you.

Finally, it was time for my next midwife appointment. I was 36 weeks. By that time, I'd been laboring for a week and was about ready to punch someone if they told me I hadn't made any progress. Luckily, I had. 4 cm dilated and 90% effaced. I actually could have kissed the woman. That meant that as soon as my contractions got closer together, it was going to be baby time! It didn't seem real. 3 more days went by. I was 36 weeks and 5 days. It was the worst kind of waiting game. With no changes in sight, I pretty much resigned myself to be in that laboring state for the next 3 weeks. Until Saturday night, October 29th at 8pm when I went to the bathroom and discovered that birth was imminent. Not two minutes later, the contractions hit hard. 1-2 minutes apart and 4 minutes long. This was it! Hallelujah!

While Tyson rushed around the house {again} gathering our last minute hospital items, I sat on my birthing ball, put my headphones in, listened to my hypnobirthing relaxation scripts and tried to get a handle on the pain. I had trained for this for months. I had real-life practice for 9 long days. I was desperate to meet my little boy. I was ready.

When we got to the Birthing Center, I was checked at 5 cm, 100% effaced and immediately admitted. Because Everett was coming 2 days prior to 37 weeks, as we got to our room they hooked me up to a wireless monitor to measure my contractions and a heart monitor for baby. I changed into my robe, turned on my music and tried to relax. I breathed. And sometimes made strange, loud noises that not even I recognized. Tyson didn't leave my side. He whispered constant encouraging affirmations, let me squeeze his hand until I'm sure his fingers nearly fell off and filled my constant request for more Popsicles, more juice and more water.
It wasn't too long before I requested to get in the tub. That magical, blissful, gift-straight-from-heaven tub. I stayed there for most of my 13 hour labor. It was soothing. But the kind of soothing that's an ice pack for someone who's just had their arm chopped off. I can't really describe the pain I felt. It's one of those things you just have to experience. It was deep and powerful and consuming. It was this giant mountain in front of me - a mountain I was required to scale every 45 seconds. I had practiced my relaxation breath for months. And I had used it successfully for days during early labor. But I think that if Tyson hadn't been there to remind me of that, I could have altogether forgotten. He kept me on track. He did my breathing with me. He spoke positive affirmations. And told me that he loved me more than anything for bringing this life into the world. That was really sweet. I told him to be quiet. And then to go away so I could be alone with the pain in the bathroom.

It had been 9 hours.

At that point it was 5am and I wanted to know how far along I'd progressed. I was so tired. And from the intensity of my labor, I knew for sure I was at a 9 or a 10. Our midwife checked me. "You're doing so good" she said, "but you're still at at 7"

I cried. Sobbed actually. And got back in the tub as I met another contraction. And then even more. Suddenly it felt like something broke. The weight of the last 9 days came crashing down on me. The pain, the physical and emotional exhaustion. I was suddenly outside myself. So overcome by the pain, it felt as if I wasn't part of the experience anymore. The contractions were coming so quickly now and so intensely, I no longer had time to catch my breath and delve into relaxation anymore. And the thought that I still had 3 cm to go completely consumed me.

I remember yelling out, "I don't want to do this anymore! I can't focus! I can't breath! I'm DONE" I felt like I wasn't present in the experience. And I wanted so desperately to be. I sobbed harder. And then I literally begged on my knees for an epidural.
No one ever tells you that actually getting the epidural might be worse than just enduring the rest of labor. The anesthesiologist came in and essentially said to me "Here, now bend your hugely pregnant body waaaaay over, touch your nose to your knees and hold completely still through five horrible contractions while I shoot a 6 inch needle up your back." But oh you know? It actually was worth it. Half hour later, I could feel the contractions, but I wasn't consumed with the pain. And I got to sleep. SLEEEEP!! For a whole hour. And it was completely blissful. My body became calm and rejuvenated. Another hour later I was at a 10 and ready to push. Pushing was incredible. I could feel it. I could feel my sweet baby moving down. And I had the energy and state of mind to do it with him. I pushed for two hours. It was exhausting. But he started to crown. Between two contractions, I reached down and rubbed his soft little head. And immediately we heard his heart speed up on the monitor. It was the most rejuvinating moment. Suddenly I had all the energy in the world. He was so close and I wanted to meet him. NOW.

Finally, in the strangest combination of burning fire and rushing warmth, he was here. Tyson received him and all I heard was "oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my gosh"
Tyson handed him to me and I was overwhelmed by the love I felt in that moment. I cried in pure bliss. This was him. This was the little person I had felt move and grow inside of me for the last 9 months. Who I had labored so long for. He was worth every second of the pain. He was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen. And he was finally here. In my arms. Mine forever.
For the next two hours, I was not aware of much besides my little baby boy. I know that I finished the delivery and that the room bustled around us as the nurses cleaned up, but I really don't remember any of that. We were riveted by him. He didn't cry - just opened his eyes with this sweet little scrunchy face I'll never forget. Not 15 minutes after his birth, we were alone. The warm morning light leaked through the windows and I felt this peace settle around us. The three of us. Our little family. That moment shared together is too precious for words. But I don't think I've ever felt so much love in my life. I was sure my heart would burst.
My birth was everything I didn't know I wanted. I got to experience every side of labor. The side of "using relaxation and my birth breath" to get through 9 days and 9 hours, the side of "nevermind, my body's trying to kill me. I would rather yell really loudly right now, thank you", and the side of "ah. I'm back! I'm ME!! Bless you epi. I'm ready to meet my baby." It wasn't what I expected. It wasn't part of the plan. Pretty sure I should stop making those actually. But it turns out, it was exactly what I wanted. What we wanted. {Lemme tell you, I think Tyson might have actually been happier than I was when I decided to get the epidural.}
And of course, we had our happy ending - the little boy of my dreams. But then, I guess it's not the end at all.

442 Response to Everett Stone: A birth story

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December 05, 2011 6:53 AM

beautiful story...very real, but not scary either (I'm at 27 weeks and a bit on the nervous side to say the least!) I'm also using hypnobirthing, and it's helping me so much now (Now is what's important to me. being calm and happy!). If on the day I want the epidural, so what? It's actually helped me with the panic attacks I've suffered from for the past few years. The birth is all about that moment when they first put him/her on your chest... :)

December 05, 2011 7:28 AM

Beautiful story & pictures, what gift from the nurses.

December 05, 2011 9:02 AM

i'm sure its probably already been pointed out but Everett Stone is the lead character in The Family Stone! I sure your little one will be equally handsome!

December 05, 2011 12:54 PM

OMG Sydney, I'm like crying all the way reading through this touching post. Thank you for sharing such an intimate moment and experience in your life. And can I say, girl - you are way too fierce to have hung in there for 9 days and 9 hrs before getting an epi. Yikes!
And your midwife/nurses? INCREDIBLE and so sweet for documenting these precious pics. really - that's amazing. gotta run and find some tissues now...

xx Vivian @ http://diamondsandtulle.blgospot.com

December 05, 2011 1:02 PM

What a beautiful story :)

December 05, 2011 1:52 PM

those first photos of you holding everett are beyond-words-amazing. i am so happy for you and your baby boy, and your whole family. it's an amazing experience to become a mom.

December 05, 2011 2:34 PM

That is so perfect! Our birth story was exactly like yours: http://blog.doublejones.com/2010/11/jacks-birth-story/

congrats on an adorable baby!

December 05, 2011 3:46 PM

Lovely story of submitting your plan. Thanks for sharing.

December 05, 2011 5:30 PM

I'm really not even sure where to start, but thank you for sharing this with the world. Your story is a beautiful one and so very heart-warming. I couldn't help but read along as my eyes teared up. Congratulations on your new addition :)

December 05, 2011 6:05 PM

I appreciate you not making it seem fake! Love the details and the pictures are precious!


December 05, 2011 7:04 PM

you are glowing!

December 05, 2011 8:39 PM

Wow, that was incredibly candid and powerful. Thank you for sharing. Beautiful photos.

December 06, 2011 8:36 AM

tears. wasn't ready to cry this morning. ;) beautiful birth story sydney and your pictures are beautiful. Congratulations on sweet everett.

December 06, 2011 8:59 AM

That was amazing, tough mama! Your little guy is so precious, and I'm so happy for you and Tys!

December 06, 2011 12:18 PM

Beautiful. Just Beautiful. I am still in tears. The Love IS incredible, it's amazing to me how deeply we can feel for another. You have blessed me with your story, thank you! Merry Christmas!

December 06, 2011 8:03 PM

I totally balled my eyes out when my daughter was born too.

December 07, 2011 12:21 PM

Love this post! I can't wait for my little man to get here! I keep wondering what his birth story will be-only a few more days and he will be here! http://babybakerlove.blogspot.com/

December 07, 2011 6:17 PM

This totally made me cry. How beautiful (even though it was so painful). I'm 31 weeks along with my own little boy (my first child) and I cannot wait to meet him, I'm already so in love. Congratulations to you & your husband on your beautiful family :)

December 08, 2011 11:27 AM

Absolutely the most beautiful story of life I have ever read. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your new addition. He is a handsome tyke!

December 08, 2011 6:30 PM

Thank you for sharing your photos and Everett's birth story. :) Could you please comment on what kind of robe you have?

December 10, 2011 3:55 PM

Thank you so much for sharing this moment with us!! This is such a beautiful and striking text! My stomach was squeezed with yours and then i felt the relief as well... (but i can't say, i think i can't really know what it is until i've actually experienced it) and it's a bit scary but so beautiful as well... I can't wait!

December 10, 2011 10:02 PM

Im blubbering with my chin on my palms ready your beautiful words. If you ever wrote a book, I would reed it! Your story is so beautiful and inspiring! Thank you for writing it. I recently became overwhelmed with wanting a baby, I feel like my heart vibrates when I think of it. Congratulations to you and your little family, i don't even know you and i'm so happy for you! ha. Im looking forward to all your photographs to come! You are truly an inspiration!

December 11, 2011 2:54 PM

Beautiful Beautiful birth story! Your blog is so cute! I hope you don't mind me following along now. We seem to have so much in common, from meeting our husbands at BYU-I to our first born boys. Best wishes this holiday season!

December 15, 2011 3:34 AM

This was the most beautiful story I've ever read! I cried! What a lovely journey to read. All the best.


December 18, 2011 5:58 PM

Such a beautiful story. Congratulations! :)

December 21, 2011 10:45 PM

What a beautiful birth story! I can totally relate to the never ending contractions. I contracted from 28 weeks with my first and from 20 weeks with my second. Had to be put on weekly progesterone shots and procardia to try to stop the contractions. With my second, everything just stopped working at 35 weeks and I went into full blown labor having my son so fast that we barely made it to the hospital....no epidural for me! haha! Feeling like your body is trying to kill you is a very good way to describe it, but totally worth every agonizing second!
You have a beautiful family! Congrats!

December 28, 2011 11:50 AM

Reading your story actually gets me excited and anxious about my babys birth. I have about 2 weeks Til his due date. I know it's a hard experience for all moms but it they all say it's worth it when you see your baby for the first time. That's the moment I just can't wait for..

January 03, 2012 5:48 PM

Because I'm 22 weeks pregnant, this hit home with me. My fiance & I are so looking forward to meeting out little girl...this has been a blessing & amazing experience. While reading your blog & seeing the pics, I'm sobbing & happiness & the anticipation for what's to come for us too. I wish you all the best for 2012 & your little family.

With love,


January 07, 2012 1:21 AM

I have two daughters but neither one of births was remotely as intense as yours. Girl, you're a trooper! You deserve a medal and your son is too sweet for words. Congratulations and welcome to the world of motherhood. It's the most amazing journey in this life.

January 09, 2012 3:45 AM

wow...loved reading your birth story!!
I too laboured all hours of the morning until I just didnt have the energy anymore - i was too exhausted! i decided for an epidural too and even managed to sleep afterward...was wonderful!
Congrats you guys - he's gorgeous!

January 09, 2012 2:16 PM

Thankyou so much for sharing the beyond beautiful story! Having a baby is the hardest, most amazing thing and it is truly and miracle in itself! Your baby is precious, congragts!

January 10, 2012 7:38 PM

This was beautiful and I cried. So beautiful. Your midwife took amazing pictures and your story was incredible. I can't even believe what you went through. At least this trial in your life brought you the most prized possession in your life and he is so beautiful. I can't wait to have kids and seriously your story made me so excited. I am so happy I found your blog. You and your family are to cute.

Cheers and congrats.

January 17, 2012 2:07 PM

Amazing! You're writing draws me in like no other blogger.

After 2.5 years I haven't got pregnant but hope and faith helps through. I just hope that one day I can write about a family.

Thank you.


January 20, 2012 12:21 PM

Thank you for sharing! You are such a beauitful writer and expressed so many of the feelings that I also just experienced. Incredible and wonderful.

January 23, 2012 8:30 PM


January 27, 2012 3:42 PM

this is the most touching birth story i've read ... really beautiful

after reading this i cannot wait to have a child of my own someday

February 07, 2012 8:55 PM

I just came across your beautiful blog and your beautiful birthing story. It brought tears to my eyes it was so touching. I'm currently preggors with my first child as well and we just discovered its a boy. Really enjoyed reading everything, can't wait to follow your posts!

February 15, 2012 6:29 AM

glorious. just glorious.

i am just creeping up to 31 weeks pregnant now and i'm beginning to think very much about how and when we'll meet our little one. this story made my heart smile and my eyes water. i can feel the joy building up in me and hopefully it will carry me through our birth-story-to-be.

thanks for sharing. it was truly heartwarming.

ps - those pics are beautiful. you're midwives have some mad photography skills! :)


March 09, 2012 3:49 AM

your birthing story is SUCH an inspiration to me... being from Sydney, you have a great name and I absolutely LOVED how real you are with your raw emotions and truth. Thank you for sharing that.
Caley Ashpole

April 23, 2012 8:40 AM

Beautiful! I'm crying because it is exactly how I felt at the birth of my baby Milo last October.
Greetings from Argentina!

May 12, 2012 12:45 PM

This is such a beautiful story.. Thank you so much for sharing this!!

May 15, 2012 3:13 PM

Lovely! I was tearing up. Thank you for sharing. I wish all the best to your family and cute little boy.

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