Brody Isaac Carpenter’s Birth Story!
On March 7, 2021 at 1:59am, Brody Isaac Carpenter made is big debut into the world. And let me tell you – it was a wild debut if you ask me.
First things first – it still shocks most people including myself and my doctors that after my water broke with Ezra just at 36 weeks (his birth story is here), that I carried Brody full term. He came at 40 weeks and 1 day and if you had asked me to bet $10,000 he’d come earlier, I would have. And pretty much my entire family guessed he’d come sometime around 38 weeks.
I am so incredibly grateful to have delivered him full term and truly thankful to my body for what it did for Brody and I during this delivery. I get chills just thinking about it and typing his story.
Over all my pregnancy with Brody was a lot more low key with than with Ezra (more on first trimester here). I worked out just a handful of times (just walks around Hoboken and such) and I rested as much as I could. When I was pregnant with Ezra – I was going to barre and fitness classes in the city 4x week and since I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, I really didn’t relax much beforehand. It was such a regret once I saw how much life transitions when you have a baby!
Now back to how this bubba came into the world..
Up until a couple days before Brody came, I had zero signs of labor. No contractions, mucus plug didn’t fall out – nada! I was convinced I’d be going to my scheduled C-section on March 12th (my doctor does not induce you after having a C-section for a VBAC). The thought of having the C-section itself didn’t make me nervous or scare me at all – in fact I really enjoyed having one for Ezra (going to share more on this soon). But knowing that we hope to have more children in the future, I was hoping to at least try a VBAC and see what it was like before committing to more C-sections in the future.
I had literally no signs of labor for what felt like forever…
I went to the doctor weekly from 36 weeks on and was never dilated week after week. When I went at 39.5 weeks (3 days before Brody came), I still wasn’t dilated and my cervix was only *starting* to thin. The doctor even tried to poke it a bit to help it open up and she said “you have one stubborn kid in there!”. There was no pushing this bubba to come any earlier than he wanted to. I knew he’d come when he was ready, but I was definitely starting to get anxious about his delivery and overall was just so uncomfortable. I wasn’t sleeping at all from 34 weeks on and I was just so so excited to meet him and bring him into our home!
The next day after the doctor’s appointment (Thursday 3/4), we went to Ezra’s nanny’s husband’s wake. And when I was in the bathroom, my mucus plug started to come out (talk about the circle of life). I was excited to see that there was some action starting to happen and it was in larger pieces than when I lost it with Ezra too. I came running out to Jordan that things were starting to go down! *finally!*.
The next night, I started to get what I consider to be labor contractions (not Braxton Hicks anymore baby). They were similar to what I had with Ezra but they were pretty far apart and the time wasn’t too consistent. Some were 5 minutes, some 15 minutes and so on. And these continued throughout the night and straight into Saturday morning. Then on Saturday morning when I woke up, they started to get closer together and more intense. Every 4-8 minutes or so and I’d have to stop moving when they came because they were getting pretty painful. This happened from 8am – 11am so I figured “hey let’s go to the hospital!”. Then as soon as we started to get ready, the contractions started to slow down and were every 10-15 minutes. It was confusing and annoying. I knew I had to go to hospital once they were consistently 5-7 mins apart or so and getting intense, so now what the beep do I do?
I decided to go for a little walk around the block with Jord and the contractions really picked up again. So whenever I was walking or moving, they were consistent 4-7 minutes and getting pretty intense. We kissed Ezra goodbye, Meme and Pop pop (aka my parents) came on over and we decided to head on over to the hospital.
When we pulled into the hospital’s parking lot around 2:30pm I kept telling Jord that the contractions were slowing down. We were so confused because one hour they’d be consistent and building up intensity and the next hour it wasn’t in that rhythm again.
We still decided to check in at the hospital and I put on the gown, answered a million questions and got checked out by some of the staff. Turns out I was only 1cm dilated and also the contractions weren’t showing up as what they considered for me to be in “active labor”. They suggested we go home and that I could be in early labor like this for days or even a week. Especially since I had a C-section, they said my labor wouldn’t come as quickly and to be honest, I wasn’t taken very seriously if you ask Jord or I. There were also many other things I was told but not going to get into that now – needless to say you can get the vibe from how we feel about the person who helped us. Trusting what we were told, we headed home and on the way we stopped at the grocery store to get some food. While we were there my contractions picked up again and I was again, bent over every time they hit. Which was about 8-10 minutes or so.
..this is when I should have turned around and went back to the hospital.
When things started to get crazy…
By the time 6pm rolled around – shit got real. And from the time of 6pm until 11:30pm I actually felt like I was dying a slow painful death and couldn’t understand how that was supposed to be me bringing life into this world!! (and this is coming from someone who has a solid pain tolerance). I took a bath with Ezra, had dinner, ate my body weight in browned butter chocolate chip cookies (sharing recipe soon!) and by the time we put Ezra to bed around 8pm, I was in the most intense pain my body has ever endured. I was screaming every time a contraction hit, which was still 10 minutes or more apart. My entire back would arch from all the aches in my lower back and uterus and it felt like the most insanely painful feeling I could have ever imagined. I was screaming to the point where I actually lost my voice the next day and no matter which way I sat or laid or anything, I was in pain. It was unbearable and 100000x more intense than what I ever felt with Ezra’s birth.
This also could be TMI for most but I was having very intense and frequent runs/bowel movements. I remembered this the day before Ezra came and how it felt like my body was clearing everything out pre-labor.
Then around 11:30pm I looked at Jord (who was 10000% scared shitless this entire time) and I said “we have to go to hospital now. Even if my contractions aren’t the 5-7 minutes they told us. I am either getting a c-section or hospitalized for crazy pains”.
My parents came back over who luckily they live 1 mile away when they’re not in Florida. And I got out of my pajamas and into sweats (which took a solid 20 minutes of effort) and by the time I put on my clothes – BOOM – my water broke. Contractions then started to be 3 minutes a part consistently. We headed down to my car and the car ride was horrific – let me tell you.
By the time we were at the light in front of the hospital, I started screaming that the baby’s head was coming out. Jordan 10000% thought I was making it up because it sounds crazy. But when we pulled up to the hospital, he put me in the wheelchair and I looked at the passenger seat in the car and saw blood everywhere. Then looked down and saw more blood on the wheelchair. I knew this kid was coming ASAP.
We left our car double parked in the front of the hospital and J sprinted me upstairs. We went towards the arrival area and my screams apparently scared the entire floor because people were flying out of rooms to see what the beep was going on. I was yelling “my name is Rachel, I am 40 weeks pregnant and am bleeding out and my baby is coming out!!!”. Dramatic? probably but I felt like it was an episode of a TV show – it was so insane. I am shaking a bit just thinking about it.
Needless to say I skipped checking in and was rushed into the labor and delivery room within seconds, a dozen people came running in Jord said (I was basically blacked out by this point). They put me on the bed and the resident told me I was 10cm plus 2 dilated!!!! What the beep??!?! I don’t know what the plus 2 means but sounds crazy to me.
So from 2:30pm on Saturday until 1am on Sunday morning/late Saturday night, I basically went from 0 to 100. I asked them to give me the epidural ASAP and in came my doctor and she said I had to start pushing NOW. No time for the epidural at this point. This was around 1:15am and so I started pushing, continued screaming and literally thought I was going to just collapse from the pain and faint on the table. Oh and did I mention that you wear a mask when delivering?! I kept taking it down to eat the ice chips as much as I could to get air and just not feel so suffocated.
After 20 minutes of pushing and taring, my doctor knew this wasn’t going to go too far for me without an epidural. Brody’s heart rate was dropping and they had to keep stimulating him in there as I pushed. The pain was unlike anything and I mentally just was not prepared for a natural delivery with no drugs. HUGE kudos to mamas who can do this, but it is not in the cards for me.
Thankfully my doctor said I could get one if I promised to stay still and since it was my first vaginal delivery, she was comfortable with this happening since the baby was less likely to push right out (thank goodness because I planned to get one the entire time!!).
I held my doctor and sat so incredible still somehow while I received the epidural and it was like a whole new world. I could push my legs up how they wanted, I didn’t feel the craziness as badly and just felt more at ease.
And then guys… BOOM!
15 minutes later Brody Isaac Carpenter was born at 1:59am (mind you Ezra was 1:10am so apparently my kids love that hour!!).
At 40 weeks and 1 day, Brody was born and handed to me straight from the womb. Something I didn’t get to do after Ezra’s birth because of the C-section. He laid in my arms, we nursed for over an hour and cuddled and I just cried so many tears of joy as I chugged a hundred cups of iced chips. My whole body felt so much more at ease and my little B was in my arms. I melt just thinking of him and how much love was in the room.
Jord and I couldn’t believe it how fast it happened. We are so grateful for a healthy delivery and baby and the amazing team at the hospital that delivered Brody. Especially my doctor, the resident on staff and the nurse who was with us for hours just talking and caring for us. We delivered at Saint Barnabas where we had Ezra. And it is truly such a wonderful place to deliver.
I am definitely going to share more on the VBAC versus C-section soon and my thoughts so stay tuned for that (you may be surprised on my overall feelings!).
I’m a doc. The “plus 2” actually refers to the “station” of the baby’s head, i.e. how far down he was 🙂 just FYI! Happy for you all that this emotional, crazy day resulted in a beautiful VBAC. Perhaps a bit of a blessing too that you inadvertently got to labor for so long in the comfort of your own home (and still made it to the hospital in time!). Congratulations!
thank you!!! xx