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Baby Weston's Birth Story

On Saturday, October 7th, Alec and I woke up ready to take on another day of baby watch as we waited in anticipation for our baby boy to arrive! We started the day off by enjoying some breakfast + coffee in our living room while watching some college football. Then around 10:30am we hopped in the car to head to White Rock Lake for a beautiful + chilly fall morning walk. Overnight the weather had finally shifted from our hot, summer 90 degree days to cooler, breezier autumn temps and we were excited! As we walked around the lake we just couldn't help but daydream about our baby boy. What he would look like, who he would be, and when he would make his debut.

After we finished walking 2 miles, I was tired and ready to call it a day. Plus we had worked up quite the appetite so we decided to head to Taco Deli to pickup a few spicy breakfast tacos to see if that would help naturally induce labor. I had a chorizo taco on flour with the medium salsa which definitely had a good kick to it. After enjoying our tacos at home, we decided to rest a little and watch some more football. It was sweet just hanging out in our first home together, with the back door open letting the cool air fill our home just enjoying each other's company and cuddling on the couch before everything changed!

Then around 2:30pm I started having contractions. At this point we thought they were just Braxton hicks (practice contractions) because they weren't that strong and were pretty inconsistent. The rule of thumb is if you can still keep talking through them and they don't get more intense with time then they are just practice ones prepping your body for actual labor. As we continued timing these contractions, they did get more consistent but still not more intense so we didn't think too much of it. When tracking real contractions, you are looking for them to be 5 minutes apart, lasting 1 minute long, for 1 hour. That's when you know it's time to go to the hospital. Looking back we were pretty much in that range of 5-1-1 from about 2:30pm-7pm but again I could still talk, walk, and continue with what I was doing so we figured they weren't the real thing. I was even doing a load of baby laundry throughout this timeframe!

Around 4pm, we actually invited my dad, Brian, and Marisa over to watch some football with us at our house to help distract myself. Alec and I were still consistently timing the contractions but had agreed we really wanted to do as much of the laboring process at home. My goal was to be at 4-5 centimeters dilated before heading to the hospital. Again there is no way of knowing how far dilated you are (so that was a silly goal I had in my head) but I figured if the contractions got intense enough I would just feel it and know when it was time to go to the hospital.

The saying, "when you make plans, God just laughs at them" couldn't have been more true for this situation. At this point we had been on "baby watch" since last Saturday, September 31st and had kind of given up on the fact that we could naturally induce labor. We had a schedule induction for 7pm on Tuesday, October 10th which would likely have meant he would be born on Wednesday, October 11th, with his official due date being Thursday, October 12th. It had been a week of us doing all of the old wives tales of ways to induce labor; curb walking, spicy foods, red raspberry tea, bouncing on my yoga ball, working out, Miles circuit, etc.

So assuming we would just have to wait until our induction date to meet our sweet boy, we decided to go to Old 75 beer garden to watch the Arkansas football game with my family. The game started at 6:30pm so we left our house around then but first we stopped at Whataburger to grab me some dinner. I was already pretty hungry and we weren't sure how long of a wait it would be at Old 75 so we figured better be safe than sorry. When we arrived at Old 75 it was just a little after 6:30pm. Luckily it wasn't too crowded so we were able to get a table right away. As we sat and watched the game, I continued having fairly consistent contractions but was enjoying being outside and in a change of scenery. Just after 7pm however, my water broke and things started to get real very quickly!

It all just felt like a scene from a movie! I was just sitting there and all of a sudden felt a pop like sensation with a gush of water that I couldn't control/hold in. I immediately tell Alec what has happened and we quickly get me up and wrap my jacket around my waist, as I waddle to the car. As we are walking to the car hand in hand, we can't believe that this moment has finally arrived. I start tearing up a bit thinking about all the things. Thinking about how our lives are about to completely change, how we are letting go of our "young, dumb" selves, and stepping into this new + exciting season. I am also thinking about the process we are about to go through to get this baby earth side and of course feel anxious + nervous. However, knowing this is all in God's hands and his timing is perfect, we both feel a sense of peace, calmness, and excitement for our next + best great adventure!

Of course, I had already (mostly) packed our hospital bags at 37 weeks but there were some last minute things we needed to add in before leaving the house. As we rushed home to throw them in the car I continued having contractions that were getting more intense while also leaking uncontrollably. It was quite the car ride but luckily we were only about 10 minutes from our house. Once we got home Alec ran around the house like a chicken with his head cut off trying to gather all the last minute items we needed and load up the car. We both quickly changed before throwing everything into the car and driving to Medical City Dallas Hospital. I will never forget right before we hopped in the car I was looking over the packing list in our living room, right in front of our tv stand having the strongest contractions yet thinking to myself, "holy cow, we have got to go before I have this baby in the car." Again luckily the hospital was only about 10 minutes from our house which was good because my contractions were definitely getting much closer together + stronger.

Once we parked and got up to the 9th floor, we quickly checked in at the nurses station. When doing so we let them know my water had broken about 30 minutes ago and they all seemed shocked once they found out this was our first baby too. After we got to our labor and delivery room, I quickly changed before laying on the bed to get checked + confirm my water had broken. At my 39 week appointment (that Thursday) I was dilated to a 2 and 70% effaced. With how strong my contractions were I was thinking I would be dilated to at least a 5 but when she checked me I was only a 3 but his head was very low. My plan was to get an epidural but not until I was 4-5 centimeters dilated just so I could be up and active however I was in too much pain and decided to get one right away and boy am I glad I did!

Since things were moving along so quickly and well, they officially checked us in and started all of the labor + delivery prep and procedures. They took my blood, put in my IV, and put 2 monitors on my belly (one for baby's heart rate and one for my contractions). Before I could get my epidural I had to finish half of my saline bag which felt like it took forever + made me nausea. During all of this I was still having very strong contractions every 2 minutes while also trying to answer questions, fill out paperwork, and breathe through the pain. Finally the anesteologist came in around 9:30pm to give me my epidural. Truthfully I was in quite a bit of pain from the contractions so I didn't even feel or mind the epidural! Afterwards though my blood pressure started to drop a little bit so they decided to give me medicine which brought it right back up.

At this point, things finally started to calm down a bit. I was feeling much better (still having strong, consistent contractions but couldn't feel a thing) other than the uncontrollable shaking but everyone said that was very normal. The nurse then told us that we were just going to monitor how my body progressed over the next couple of hours but to prepare ourselves that it would likely be a long night. Most women having their first babies progress about a centimeter an hour so we would likely not be ready to start pushing until early Sunday morning. She said that getting an epidural can sometimes cause labor to slow and if that was the case they could give me Pitocin to help move things along.

During this time we also realized that Alec hadn't had anything to eat for dinner so he quickly texted my dad to bring him Whataburger. At this point it was about 10pm and my contractions were still consistently happening about every 3 minutes. Around 10:30pm the nurse came back in to check me and let us know that I was dilated to an 8 now. We were shocked and so relieved that the whole process was moving along so smoothly and quickly. From there the nurse and Alec flipped me onto my side and put the peanut ball between my legs to continue helping my body progress naturally. 45 minutes later the nurse came back in to check on me and quickly removed the peanut ball and called the doctor because I was 10 centimeters dilated and crowning! At that point Alec and I could both tell the nurse was a little nervous as I was pretty close to delivering our boy and we needed the doctor to get there ASAP!

Unfortunately our doctor wasn't the doctor on call that night (which we figured was going to be the case since it was the weekend) however she was sweet enough to still come in to deliver our baby boy. When she walked into the room I literally started tearing up because I was so happy to see her. Throughout the entire pregnancy she has been such an amazing doctor to us answering all of our silly questions, reassuring us through the whole gestational diabetes journey, and bringing the calm + sweet energy we needed to each appointment. Needless to say, we are obsessed with her!

Luckily she lives pretty close to the hospital so when the nurse called again asking for an ETA she was already in the parking garage and ready to go. When she arrived it was midnight on the dot and after she quickly scrubbed in, it was time to start pushing. At this point I was still feeling really good, my contractions were super consistent, and the epidural was at the perfect amount. Every time a contraction would come I would take a deep breath in, hold it for 10 seconds while pushing, then take a break. During each contraction I repeated that sequence 3 times before pausing to start again once the next contraction came on. With each push we were getting closer and closer to meeting our sweet boy which was enough motivation for me to bring him earth side. I also couldn't have done it without Alec being my total rock throughout the whole labor and delivery. He was the perfect person to have by my side encouraging, comforting, and coaching me.

Then after roughly 30 minutes of pushing, our boy, Weston Ryan Stegall, decided to make his debut at 12:34am and our lives were forever changed for the better! The doctor immediately laid him on my chest for us to start skin to skin because he came out with a strong cry and lots of color which is exactly what you want to see/hear. After 45 seconds Alec was able to cut the umbilical cord while the nurses continued cleaning off Wes and checking his vitals. At this point my doctor removed the placenta and started cleaning me up. I was having a little bit of a hard time clotting, so they gave me vitamin k shot to help with that while also starting me on a drip of Pitocin.

For the next hour, I got to enjoy quality skin to skin time with Wes on my chest and Alec by my side. The second he was placed on me he immediately calmed down and didn't cry at all however he also didn't close his eyes once. He came into this world with the most kind and curious spirit that we are already so obsessed with. After an hour the nurse took him to do some tests while Alec stood right by the bassinet comforting him. At this point the doctor was finally done cleaning me up and let me know that I was all good to go! Once Weston was done getting all cleaned off and checked, it was Alec's turn to do some skin to skin with him. Let me just say, watching your soulmate hold your angel baby that you made together is one of the most rewarding experiences in this life. I couldn't help but tear up at the fact that we get to be Weston's parents and that he is the perfect combination of both Alec and myself. Around 3:15am it was finally time for us to move from the labor + delivery floor to the maternity floor. So Alec quickly packed up our things (yes we way over packed but I'll go ahead and link our Hospital Bag blog post here in case you are interested) and loaded a cart so we could be transferred.

Once we made it to this floor and settled in, it really started to hit us that we now had a beautiful baby boy that we got to love and raise together. As you could imagine the first night was a little rough lol. Mainly due to the fact that we both had so much adrenaline rushing through our bodies that it was hard to sleep but nonetheless we made it work. Of course we had nurses, lactation consultants, doctors, etc. coming in every so often to check in with us, see how things were going, and continue running tests. But overall we were just esthetic that our sweet boy decided to join us earth side a few days early!

Throughout that day (Sunday, October 8th), we had our immediate family members visit us in the hospital and get to meet their first grandchild/nephew on both sides. We also got to enjoy lots of quality time just the three of us doing skin to skin, watching sports, and recovering. The next day (Monday, October 9th), we decided we were ready to go home! Technically if we wanted we could have stayed in the hospital another night (since he was born on Sunday morning) but both Alec and I were ready to take our sweet boy home. Of course we had to get the clearance from both Weston's doctor and mine, but they both agreed we were free to leave early. That morning we met with the birth certificate representative (as this is something you must do before leaving the hospital), had his hearing checked, and assisted the nurse in giving him his first bath. Around noon it was finally time to take our baby boy home so Alec loaded up the car with all of our stuff and grabbed the carseat. As we walked out to the car we couldn't believe that this was our new life! Everything we have both always wanted + talked about was finally coming true, and we couldn't be more grateful, in love, and happy.

Thank you so much to all of our family + friends who have reached out to check in on + congratulate us for the arrival of our sweet baby boy. We feel so lucky to be surrounded by such an amazing community of people who love and support us so well!


Stegall family of 3 :)

P.S. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel so you can watch our full vlog coming out soon with our full birth story!

Weston Ryan Stegall

Born on Sunday, October 8, 2023 at 12:34am

6 pounds, 8 ounces, & 19.5 inches long

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