Tess’s Birth Story {By Daddy}

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With the birth of each of our babies I love that Zach writes his version of the story. I think it’s so great for our kids to have somethings that Daddy writes too instead of it all just being from my perspective of their lives! You can read his version of Kye’s birth here and Britt’s birth here!

All photos in this post were taken by J Bliss Photography

I have given this disclaimer before but I will again. I AM IN

It is funny how I am right 99.9% of the time. There is always
a point during Emily’s pregnancies when she gets very emotional about wanting
to go into labor. This is always right before she goes into labor.
  When I talked to Emily on July 30th (after her appointment) I immediately told her that she would
probably go into labor the next day. Well surprise, surprise she did. I was
sleeping upstairs to try and get some sleep and let Emily sleep because we were
both keeping each other awake. I woke up to a text message that said “I might be
in labor.” First of all I was not surprised. She had said this about 139 times
in the past two weeks. I did, however, go ahead and start getting ready because
I thought this actually might be the real deal. It was clear in the next 60 min
that she was in labor.
  So I called
Jordan (brother in law, he was going to take kids) to get the ball rolling (or
the baby dropping whichever you prefer).
Looking back on my getting ready is kinda funny. I found myself thinking
“ok I need to wear something that looks good for the pictures”.
  HOLY CRAP! My wife has me brainwashed! She
didn’t even say anything. With Kye and Britt I was wearing athletic shorts and
a VSU t-shirt.

One of the most interesting and funny parts of all of our
birthing stories is always Emily’s mindset. 
When she is going over the list to make sure we have everything, I am
usually “why are you so worried about everyone else”. I guess that’s just how
she operates. From the snacks for the nurses to thank them, to making sure she
made enough treats for me if I get hungry, it’s usually about everyone else instead of about her.

If you know anything about Emily’s past plans during birth, it
was to labor at home as long as possible. I try to be very supportive of this
while silently freaking out on the inside. I have this vivid image of me
walking into the emergency room carrying a child that is very slimy (not sure
how else to describe it) that is still attached to my wife. I’ve seen Em when she
gets ready to push and, no doubt, if she got to 10 cm in the car on the way – she
would start pushing.  With this being the
third child, and Emily’s body so ready to bear children, I was very nervous
about the baby coming quickly. 

for me, Emily was as well.  The first
thing I wanted to do was time the contractions. 
Em had me download an app on my phone and it was awesome. (She can tell
you what it was) At first they seemed to be a little inconsistent but after an
hour or so they stabilized to 3 to 5 min apart. Finally at about 9:30 my favorite words
of each labor came (besides it’s a…..) “Ok, I think it’s time to go to the
hospital!” We already had the car packed,
so all we had to do was hop in and ride. On the way to the car she had one
more contraction, and as soon as she was through it we left.  Em had two or three contractions in the car
and we made it in about 10 min. 

Then comes the fun part, checking in to the hospital. If it
takes as long as it does to check in when you tell them your wife is already
contracting every three minutes and you’re already “pre-registered,” then I cannot
imagine how long it takes it you’re not pre-registered.  It is almost like they think you have a mild
headache and are annoyed you came to the emergency room.  The lady that checked us in was nice, but
slow (more on her later). Of course, it doesn’t help that Emily does seem like she only has a mild headache when contracting. Next time we are going to practice being
dramatic along with Bradley Method when preparing for labor!

  Also, when we walked in we met the photographer. Oh and yea this was the
first time we met her. “Hi, I am Zach, Nice to meet you, Oh yes, please come
into one of the most intimate settings of our life and snap photos of a baby
coming out of my wife.” Obviously that is not what I said to Jennifer when we first
met her. I did not feel really all that comfortable with having a photographer with
Kye’s birth and Autumn, who took his 
pictures, wasn’t even a stranger. I guess I have gotten comfortable
with being uncomfortable. Jennifer was very nice and did a great job on the pics.
They are something that we will have and cherish forever. So at the end of the
day its ok (no, I was not trying to make that rhyme).

After a leisurely stroll where the guy pushing the wheel chair was acting like he was just cruising for babes (he stopped and talked to like three people on the way!), we finally reached the labor and delivery area. When we got there we ran into Elizabeth. She is probably my favorite person at the
hospital.  She is kind and funny and
always knows how to calm Emily or just says the right thing during the right
situation. And sometimes she will communicate little things to me with eye
contact that Emily doesn’t necessarily need to know.  It is very cool that she has been there for
all three of our babies.  It’s like
having our own doctor Quinn medicine woman, who knows what to do at all of
our children’s births. (I always try to reference DQMW in all my numerous
writings). She got us straight to a room without waiting in the small exam room
for too long. At this point “Leo” was only a few hours away.

Next came the IV. This was much smoother than last time or
the time before.  Emily seemed very happy
when they checked her and she was at 7 cm. I was relieved. I didn’t want Em to
try and go back home if she wasn’t far enough along.  Honestly, I think Emily handles the
contractions amazing.  I have never been
in the delivery room with anyone else (obviously), but I hear stories from
others. Most of them consist of women screaming or demanding an epidural as
soon as possible. Em never does any of those things. I always joke with her
about her pain tolerance discombobulation. 
Apparently, an IV is almost unbearable. If you step on the back of her heel
on accident when she has on flip flops she might cry. But labor, “it’s not that

(Yes, she posted on Instagram while at 7 cm dilated in labor)

One thing I learned this time around that was very helpful,
was how to read the electronic contractions charter. I was able to coach Emily
through the contractions better knowing when the peak of pain was coming and when the
contraction was about to ease off. 
During Kye and Britt’s births I was never on the same side as the
instruments. For some reason, I was over there more often with Tess. Up until
she was 8 cm no one could even really tell that Emily was in labor. She showed no pain in
facial expression, and no moaning or yelling. When the transition from 8cm to
10cm came she began moaning. Not crazy, just some. In a few minutes Elizabeth
checked and said she is 10cm.  Like an
answer to my prayers, shortly after Elizabeth checked Em, Stacy shows up.  It was time to push. I texted mom and let her
know. My text records show only 8 min between “She is pushing” text and “Baby
is here and ok” text.  Pretty fast!

For the longest time I had thought the baby was a boy. But at about 7 months I started to change my mind.
Too many things were pointing to boy. I felt that it was too much. I am glad
because I literally was convinced by the end it was a girl.  It was a well-known fact that I would have
liked for the baby to be a boy, but in no way was I disappointed. (I just
didn’t want to be outnumbered). Listen, I am sure Emily will just keep having
babies until we have another boy! When Tess entered the world I was so happy.
There is nothing in this world that compares to seeing your healthy child for
the first time. I started crying (just a little) and was so proud of Em. She
never ceases to amaze me. She truly was born to be a mother.

One of the first things I noticed was her cry. THANK THE LORD
it was sweet. When Britt entered the world she literally made my ears bleed.
Tess’s was soft and sweet and I hope that continues. Right away I was waiting to
hold her.  I usually get to hold the baby first as the
doctors tend to Em. I went over to the area where they clean the baby and
just stared at Tess for a minute. The nurse was so sweet and let me snap a few
pics with my phone. When she got done I did get to hold her. I did notice she
was a little more fluidy (not a word?) than our other two. I also noticed she was
BEAUTIFUL. I am a realist. All parents think there babies are cute. Kye was
not. His is so handsome now, but not as a newborn. Britt was adorable, and Tess
was just gorgeous. I held her for a while and was excited for Kye and Britt to
get there to meet their sister.

When the big kids arrived they were super excited. The look of love
Kye had in his eyes was so sweet. Brittlynn was surprisingly sweet and gentle
as well. I was unsure if she would get the concept. After the kids met Tess it
was time for the family to come in and meet her. Probably one of the funniest
moments in our delivery room history was when Kye announced the name. Britt
said “it’s a giruley” (sounded like a mix between a girl and guy), then Kye said
the name was “Tessley Fabreeze.” I was laughing so hard. The best part was the
look on people’s faces. I wish instead of correcting Kye, Emily would have
said, “we are going to call her Fabreeze.”

The family all were able to meet Tess and hold her for a few
moments before we had to move to the post-partum room.  It was nice of those who came to show up. It
means a lot to me and Emily. Rachael (Em’s Friend from Atl area) also drove all
the way down. She just missed seeing Tess, but she met her a little later. It
was so sweet of her to come and meant so much to Emily! We finally got moved to
the room and started to settle in. I went down to the van to get all of our
stuff for the night. I happened to encounter the lady who checked us in. She
said to me “yall getting ready to have that baby?” I said “oh, she already delivered her and we
have been in post-partum for a while.”  She responded “she ain’t done did have
that baby!” I was thinking maybe next time we come in it will be her and she
might move a little faster. I made my way back to the room (with a weeks worth
of luggage).  Emily was doing great and
feeling pretty good.  Of course I was
starving. I had done a very good job of not mentioning my hunger during
delivery. (Emily made it clear she did not care to hear of my hunger) Me and
Little Mama went and grabbed some grub from down stairs and brought it back up. After that
everything was just right!

Several people visited the rest of the day and the next. It
is always nice when people show their love towards you and your family with
small gestures of coming to visit or with food. It always makes you feel loved. I
really do enjoy night one after the baby. Emily and I talked about everything
that happened and who Tess looked like, and how cute Kye and Britt were. It is
a nice bonding time before the insanity of a new baby at the house. Overall, it
was by far the smoothest and probably most enjoyable delivery of all. I love that
our children are born into such a loving environment and family that will
shower them with love.  

Welcome to the world Tess. Your brother and sister are so happy you are here and your parents love you so much!

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