Tess’s Birth Story {By Mommy}

Tess’s Birth Story {By Mommy}

Disclaimer: If you have never read any of my previous birth stories then I want to warn you.

I am detailed and very open and honest about my experiences.

I also have photos from labor and delivery in this post.

If any of those details or photos may bother you on any level then I highly recommend for you not to read any further. 


Pre-Labor Frustrations:

On Wednesday July 30th 2014 I had my 39 week obgyn visit.

You can read about the visit here.

Following the visit, I felt very down.

I had done a GREAT job of being positive and patient up until that point.

But hearing about the concerns that arise when you go past your due date really scared me.

I’d never reached my due date before and I didn’t even want to think about the things that could go wrong with my baby if it “baked” too long.

I also didn’t want to be pressured to be induced if it wasn’t necessary and I feared with Stacy gone that the pressure from others would start.

I was also sad that it was my last visit with Stacy and that, at that point, I knew I wouldn’t be able to have BOTH Lindsay (my photographer for the birth) and Stacy (my midwife) present at delivery.

I was bummed and I needed to have that day.

A day to just be sad and disappointed!

We all have days like that and I had mine!

When I called Zach upset about it all he actually told me that me being upset was a good sign that labor was coming.

I got SUPER upset about Kye after my one day shy of 39 weeks appointment and then my water broke and he was born 😉

I went to Walmart following the appointment and slowly walked the aisles in hopes that my water would break there and I’d have some super awesome Walmart labor story.

Since that didn’t happen I stocked up on snacks instead.

Why not just allow myself to get nice and fat while I waited for baby to come?

I was in a pretty cruddy mood all that day.

I have so many sweet friends who reached out to me but I didn’t really want to do anything.

I just wanted to be upset. I got really, really mad at my nails.

Which I know is random but when I got the gel nails done I assumed they would last long enough for the baby to be born and for newborn pics.

These beasts looked awful and I hadn’t even given birth yet!

I told Zach I couldn’t stand it and needed to go get them redone that evening.

Robyn was being SO sweet all day and basically said she would clear her schedule to do whatever I wanted.

So I told her to meet me at the mall after I got my nails done and we could walk some. 

We walked around the mall for about an hour and then Robyn insisted on buying my dinner.

I’m telling y’all…she’s a keeper!

We hit up some Mexican food and during dinner, I started having legit contractions.

Nothing super painful, but enough to where we did start timing them and I did say I thought I should go home.

When I walked in the door at home Zach had a SUPER sweet card waiting for me with a little treat!

So, so sweet. It was really an awesome ending to a bad day.

A great friend keeping me company and my amazing husband reminding me of how much I’m loved!

I took a shower and the contractions stopped. I ended up staying up pretty late that night and got to sleep around midnight.

I had been snoring in my sleep (haha!) so Zach went to sleep upstairs in our guest room.

Am I in Labor?

I woke up at 6:15 on Thursday July 31st feeling a contraction.

I had a hunch this pregnancy that I’d go into labor in the middle of the night and wondered how I would know I was in labor if I was asleep.

Zach and I agreed that if a contraction ever caused me to wake up then it was probably labor starting.

Sure enough that contraction at 6:15 woke me up!

I was laying on my left side and waited a bit and did feel another one.

So I shifted to my right side and felt two more.

I then sat up and browsed Facebook on my phone and felt another (I figured changing positions was a good way to see if they were legit). 

At 6:30 I decided to go ahead and get up.

I had planned to go to Goodwill that morning with the kids and to Gap that afternoon with Casey so I needed to be ready for the day anyway.

I started getting ready and had this sway thing going on where I just naturally swayed back and forth and had more contractions while standing.

I didn’t know for sure if it was the real deal (I mean I’ve had my fair share of false alarms this time around!) but I went ahead and text Zach at 6:45.

I told him that I wasn’t sure if anything was really happening but thought he might want to come down and get a shower before the kids woke up just in case. 

He came down and got ready and we decided to call Jordan at 7 to give him a heads up.

We both felt like it was really labor since the contractions didn’t stop and seemed pretty regular.

We asked Jordan to come over and take the kids to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast so I could labor at home without having them there with us.

Jordan was on his way to do his radio show (he does a sports talk local radio gig…so perfect for him!) and I felt very torn about what to have him do.

I was worried that I wasn’t in REAL labor and that he’d miss the show for no reason and be upset with me but he said he’d rather miss the whole thing than get there and start the show and have to leave, so he headed our way.

The Beginnings of Labor:

During that time period, I had my bloody show and had a lot of poop going on. (remember I warned yall about DETAILS!)

I felt like it was my body’s way of preparing for labor and those signs made me even more sure that this was the real deal.

I was in disbelief because it was all just SO perfect!

Starting labor first thing in the morning?

After a full nights rest? Zach already being home?

It being Stacy’s LAST DAY of work before her baby?

I mean the stars were aligning just perfectly and I couldn’t believe it was true!

I sent Rachael a text at the same time that I sent Zach one.

She planned to come down for the birth and I wanted to give her as much advance notice as possible!

I also was texting with Robyn.

And I sent a text to Stacy letting her know, the backup photographer letting her know (Lindsay wasn’t due back in town until later that afternoon), and to Mrs. Charlotte so she would know.

She told me she was heading to the hospital haha I told her to go back home bc we would be staying at home as long as we could!!!

When Kye came downstairs we told him the plan and that we thought Mommy was going to have the baby.

He was thrilled and excited. When we got Britt up she had tee-teed through her sheets.

For only the second time ever since she’s been wearing panties to bed. Of course haha!

We just tossed the dirty sheets in the washer and Zach changed out her sheets to new ones (thankful I bought two sets!). 

I had several contractions while the kids were still home but stayed calm through them and I don’t think either of them realized I was in any kind of pain at all.

I asked Jordan if I was acting like Casey did while in labor haha. He said no way 😉

The contractions were roughly 5 min apart but I felt 100% FINE between them. I was able to do things just like normal and even felt normal and everything!

Once the kids were ready they left the house at 8ish and we walked them out to the car.

I noticed Britt had dang marker on her hands and face!

Of course the one night they went to church and used markers Zach didn’t bathe them and I went into labor 😉

I asked Jordan to make sure he washed them and I sent Casey a text to ask her to make sure Britt was cleaned up too haha. Yes, these are the things that concern me while in labor!

I had Jordan get one last pic of us as a family of four before they left.

In my mind, I had wanted to have a picture of us to post as a way to let everyone know I was in labor.

I was pumped it actually worked out to happen!

Once the kids left I posted it on Instagram with the caption “the next time you see us we will be a family of five!”

When I posted it, I instantly started crying.

It was one of the only times I got emotional during the whole delivery.

Making it social media official made it SO REAL and I was so excited!!!

Zach was the first one to “like” the picture and we both thought that was pretty funny 😉

I also thought it was funny that I happened to be wearing both pink and blue!

Laboring at Home:

My first priority once the kids left was to get breakfast.

I wanted to make sure to have a meal before giving birth and decided to drink my regular meal replacement shake.

I did skip the vitamins as I was nervous they might make me sick! 

I had read over Britt’s birth story the day before and I’m SO GLAD I did!!!

It really made me feel so much more confident about everything.

When it comes to labor, you tend to focus on the BAD parts.

It’s a natural thing to do but reading over that experience reminded me of how awesome I did and that I could totally do it all again and rock it 😉

It also reminded me of so many little things I had forgotten about and it really helped me that morning! 

I was still feeling completely fine in-between contractions but started to need Zach with me during them.

I never laid down for any contractions this time.

I preferred standing up and leaning against Zach.

He would tell me to relax in a soothing tone and would gently massage my lower back.

We really were an amazing team this time and both of us were so in tune to my needs. 

We didn’t really time too many of them as they were happening, I was more focused on getting things done in-between them.

It’s crazy how SLOW time goes.

It felt like I had so much time between each contraction but really it was only 5 minutes!

I could tell when they were about to start and when I was at the peak.

I just felt very in control this time and extremely mentally present. 

When I found out Lindsay was going to be out of town I went on a hunt for a back up photographer.

I had several sweet friends volunteer but I really wanted a legit photographer there (it ended up that one friend was out of town and another had her tonsils out so I’m thankful I found the back up!) if possible.

Through another photographer, I found Jennifer from JBliss Photography.

When we started talking we had the same vision in mind and I just felt like she would be a great fit for what I was wanting.

I let her know that she was my #1 call while Lindsay was gone and the morning of she said she was available and ready!

She lives kinda far from the hospital and I was nervous about when to tell her to head up there so I just told her she may want to go ahead and go as we’d rather her beat us there then not make it in time. 

Once we were 100% ready to go I stood up by the couch while Zach watched tv.

After reading my story with Britt I remembered to drink as much water as possible.

I was dehydrated with her which made my veins trickier to get the IV in and caused me to need the iv longer after delivery.

I didn’t want to repeat that experience so I chugged as much as I could between each contraction. 

At about 9:00 (so 2 hours and 45 min after labor started) the contractions were about 3 minutes apart and we used an app I had downloaded to time them.

Zach loved the app and said we need to remember it for next time.

I think it was called full term timer or something!?!?

I can’t remember because we totally deleted it in my hospital room after delivery haha.

We decided to head up to the hospital at about 9:15.

At that point the contractions were 3 minutes apart (and Robyn told me I needed to go up there when they were 3-5 min apart so we were def in the hurry-up-and-go stage).

They still weren’t overly painful but I was feeling a good bit of PRESSURE and that made me nervous.

I did not want to be that girl who gave birth in the parking lot outside the hospital haha. 

On the Way to the Hospital:

On the way there I had three contractions.

Contracting in the car is THE WORST thing ever.

It’s so, so uncomfortable and hard to relax.

I got through them but it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

Also on the way my pediatricians office called to reschedule an appointment I had for myself (they are a family practice so they see all of us) it was hilarious because I answered and told them I was in labor so to cancel the appointment and I’d see them soon with my new baby 😉 

Our hospital has totally changed their parking situation and I’m so glad Zach knew how to get to the ER entrance because I would have been driving around lost haha!

We made it there very quickly and Zach asked if I wanted him to drop me off or park.

I told him to go ahead and park and we’d walk in.

I’d rather do that than have to have him leave me to move the car! 

All photos from here on were taken by JBliss Photography!

We arrived at the hospital at 9:30 and met Jennifer inside the entrance of the ER.

Kinda hilarious to be meeting someone for the first time and having them be present during such an intimate situation!

I had called months ago to pre-register at the hospital but it doesn’t make a difference because they still ask for a million things at the check-in desk and make you sign a ton of stuff.

I knew if I walked in freaking out and being dramatic that they would hurry everything, but that’s just not my style.

I felt very in control and didn’t want to lose that by pretending to freak out.

So I was calm and stood there filling out stuff.

I told the lady right away that it was my third baby and I had labored at home and that we needed to rush it.

But did she listen? Nope.

She even made me sign the same form three times because I didn’t sign on the right line. Seriously!

Zach saw her later that morning when he went to get our other stuff out of the car and she said “your wife is getting ready to have that baby huh?” and he said “No, she ALREADY had it!”

The woman couldn’t believe that I had just checked in at 9:30 and was so calm and then had a baby a couple hours later. I warned her she should have hurried!

Through the check in process I felt GOOD. Like too good.

Like Zach and I both secretly were worried that I was in false labor good.

I only had this one contraction where I even needed to lean on Zach, the others I had were all small enough where I could continue doing my thing through them and stayed very, very calm the entire time. 

They did make me sit in a wheelchair to head back to labor and delivery.

I did NOT want to sit. At ALL.

The guy kept slowing down and even stopped to talk to someone on our way.

I was kinda snappy and kept saying “keep it moving! keep it moving!”

Sitting in the car and contracting wasn’t fun and I didn’t like the idea of contracting in a wheel chair either. 

Heading to Labor and Delivery:

When we got back to labor and delivery I saw two faces that brought so much joy to my heart!!!

Laura, who was an awesome nurse for Casey, AND Elizabeth, who was my AMAZING nurse for BOTH Kye and Britt!

I couldn’t BELIEVE I lucked out with Elizabeth.

Zach said he was surprised I never even mentioned hoping to have her there and I told him that I knew I was already hoping to have Stacy and Lindsay and that having them was unlikely…I didn’t want to risk being even more disappointed to not have Elizabeth either.

I still cannot believe Elizabeth was there!!!

Such a true blessing from the Lord FOR SURE!

Seeing her just gave me so much peace and I knew I was in the best hands possible!

We never even had to bust out my birth plan or speak up and request ANYTHING.

Elizabeth remembered my previous births and knew what I wanted without me even having to voice it. Is that not so, so awesome?!?! 

They took me to the small little check in room and only stayed there for a minute.

I just stepped on the scale (forgot to look at it) and then they took me into the labor and delivery room.

Just like with Britt they did all their check-in stuff with me in the actual labor room and were super patient and asked me things in-between contractions when I felt okay to answer. 

Laura said “You have the same delivery room Casey did!”

So I straight up asked her if we could get the same hook up for the HUGE postpartum room Casey had too and she said yes 😉 Score!

I had a small tote packed for the delivery room and also brought in my Boppy
for that first feeding, my thank you treats for the nurses, and my water cup.

I actually brought both of my Turvis cups in the car with us.

I drank one on the way to the hospital and had the other one nice and full for the delivery room because I remembered that it took awhile to get me some water so having a full cup was helpful!

I vividly remember the moment I got into the labor and delivery bed and I said “once I get in I know I can’t get back out!”

I was SO, SO mentally present this time around ( I will probably keep saying that because it was so true and something that was such a big benefit to natural labor) and I remember looking at that bed and thinking about what was about to start happening and how once I was done in the bed, I’d be holding my baby 🙂

They hooked me up to all the monitors and they really didn’t bother me this time. I think knowing they would be there made it easier to deal with them. 

All of my stats looked great, they kept commenting on my blood pressure being awesome.

Baby’s heart rate stayed around the 130s the whole time.

Something else neat about this delivery experience was that I could feel the baby still moving during labor.

I never remember being able to keep feeling the little kicks but between contractions Leo was def moving around great in there still! 

When Elizabeth checked me she said I was between 6 and 7 cm dilated and by checking me that she probably pushed me to 7.

When I got to the hospital with Kye I was 4 cm, with Britt I was 6.

I was hoping to be more like 8 cm this time but I’ll take 7 and not complain 😉

I honestly think we got there at the PERFECT time because 8 cm is the transition phase and I imagine I would have not been as calm if I showed up at that point in the game! 

Yes…I had Z take a pic of me on my phone and I instragrammed that joint in-between contractions! 😉

(Btw my hospital gown was custom made by Francie Beth Boutique…not only does she do awesome work but her custom gowns are cheaper than the pre-made ones on Etsy!)

It was then time for my least favorite part of delivery: the IV. Ugh. I hate it.

I really, really tried to hydrate well when laboring at home in hopes that my veins would cooperate.

Laura was AWESOME and took her time putting it in and really made sure to put it in a great spot and to make it as easy and pain-free as possible for me.

Zach said I did the best ever with it 🙂

She put it between my elbow and hand which was WAY better than last time.

Last time it was in the crook of my elbow and every time I bent my arm it would stop flowing and beep.

It was not only annoying but I also ended up dehydrated because I didn’t get enough fluid!

(I always bring treats for the hospital staff…you can see how I make ’em here!)

Other deliveries I have been more comfortable on my side…this time I was more comfortable on my back.

I actually still slept on my back a good bit during this pregnancy.

For some reason, it was just a more comfortable position for me.

I stayed on my back a good while but then asked Elizabeth if I should be on my side.

She said it’s best to vary from side to side to help turn the baby and get it more in position so I tried to have a few contractions on one side and then roll to the other, but I think I still ended up on my back majority of the time!

Zach’s main jobs were to help me relax, make sure I stayed cool (they have a big fan in the room that we put on me but when I was on my other side I needed him to hold the small fan we brought with us), and keep me hydrated.

He did a great job and I tried super hard to be nice during everything.

I think the main thing I say during delivery is “I’m sorry” because I worry so much about being snappy to everyone and worry they will think badly of me haha. I apologize A LOT.

It IS hard to talk and hard to be using a nice tone while contracting and laboring and I’m sure no one would hold it against me but in that moment I just feel super insecure for some reason. 

Active Labor Contractions:

Once I was settled in I was fully able to relax between and even during the contractions.

Often I was almost in a sleep-like state.

Sometimes I couldn’t talk at all, even when asked a question.

Teresa came in (she was on call that morning) and broke my water.

It was a WAY better experience than last time.

It was calm and I was at the perfect point in delivery to have it broken as I wasn’t in the transition phase yet.

I don’t even remember anything about my water being broken with Britt (it broke naturally at home with Kye)

It felt good to have the water broken but I was very self-conscious about being messy “down there.” I asked poor Elizabeth to clean me up quite often.

I just really wanted to stay feeling clean as much as I could! 

Teresa put an internal monitor on the baby and it felt strange.

I was able to take off one of the belly things and they said the internal monitor is more accurate.

The little wire coming out of my privates was an awkward feeling but I quickly got used to it.

I did NOT get any Pitocin this time during delivery!

During Kye’s they gave it to me because I had been pushing so long and they needed to show that they were trying different things to help get him out.

With Britt I’m not sure why they gave it to me and I wasn’t happy about it.

Pitocin doesn’t help with pain relief, it just makes contractions stronger so it def didn’t take away from my natural birthing experience…but I didn’t want it either!!!

They didn’t give it to me this time until after delivery to help with the after birth stuff. 

I started feeling nauseous after each contraction.

I’ve heard of people throwing up during delivery and I understand why now!

Def glad I skipped my vitamins that morning. Right after each contraction came to an end I’d feel like I was going to puke.

I never throw up so I didn’t think I would actually throw up but Zach had a barf bag ready just in case and Elizabeth did offer me some anti-nausea meds which I ended up not taking.

I don’t think I ever even answered her any of the times she asked about it because I was in that sleep-like-I-can’t-speak state!

During previous deliveries I’ve been pretty chatty.

Zach likes the way I act in labor and thinks I’m funny? Haha.

This time he said I was the least funny.

I think it had to do with being further along when we got there and being more in control of things and more focused.

On the way to the hospital, I actually showed Zach the exact way to rub me during contractions to make sure it would be helpful.

I like to be rubbed in one direction…towards my hands or feet.

Not a back and forth rubbing, just a one-way rub.

He uses a calm voice and tells me to relax and let the tension flow out of my body.

That sentence and that particular way of rubbing really does the trick to allow me to fully relax during contractions.

I’m so glad we communicated that prior to arriving at the hospital because I wouldn’t have been able to explain that once things got more progressed and it was great that he knew my needs.

During most of the contractions I could tell everyone that one was starting, I knew when I reached the peak, and I could tell them when it was ending.

Which was great because anything they needed to do to me, or ask me, etc could be done at a good time for ME rather than them poking at me or something during the middle of a contraction! 

The Transition Phase:

The transition phase is both the shortest phase of labor and the most painful.

It’s typically around 30 min long and you know once you reach that point that you will be pushing out a baby soon!

The transition for me this time was, again, my toughest time.

With Britt I had transition for a LONG time because I had a little bit of cervix left in the way to prevent me from being 10 cm (I was 9.5 cm) and we had to wait on Teresa to get there to break my water to allow the cervix to go the rest of the way.

This time I reached transition and assumed that since my body was telling me to PUSH that I should PUSH!

It felt good to push. Natural to push. So I pushed.

Turns out you aren’t supposed to push until you are 10 cm.

I didn’t even know that?

I thought whatever your body says to do then that’s what you should do!

When Elizabeth told me to stop pushing it was the only time during delivery that I got upset.

I didn’t cry cry but I said “please please guys you can’t tell me that. Let me push. I have to push”

I basically begged to be allowed to push.

It was a rough 2 contractions.

Elizabeth did a GREAT job handling it.

She was super calm and explained to me that me pushing before 10 cm would cause my cervix to swell and I could end up in a c-section.

She explained that this was going to be the hardest part and that I needed to stay in control and on top of it and that I didn’t do all of this to end up in a c-section situation.

This is actually DURING transition phase while contracting!

Zach watching the peak of the contraction

Once I understood the why behind me not being allowed to push, I felt way better.

The fact that I could even PROCESS information at that point in the game is awesome to me.

I think it’s truly a testament to having a drug free birthing experience.

I was 100% mentally present and in the moment the entire time from start to finish.

I pushed for two of those contractions and then had four more that I stayed in control and didn’t allow my body to push.

I actually put my feet up and held my hips in the air and just thought about it over and over again that I couldn’t push.

It was very difficult but it was also awesome because it was truly my mind being in control and telling my body what was going to be happening!

The 4th don’t-push contraction was the hardest and I knew I was ready.

I told them I couldn’t do another contraction without pushing and that I knew it was time.

Ready to PUSH!

Stacy came in to get the show going! Y’all! It was SO AWESOME to look between my legs and see her face haha.

Seriously though! I never thought she’d be able to deliver my baby.

I’ve been seeing her since Zach and I got married and we have formed a good friendship through the years.

With my first baby, she was on a ski trip when I delivered.

With my second she was on maternity leave.

And with my third, she was having her baby THE NEXT DAY.

I mean could it have been any more perfect with timing?!?!?! I really couldn’t believe she was there.

There has been so much build up for me about having Stacy deliver that Zach was actually worried about it.

He was worried that she wouldn’t be able to live up to the hype I’ve created for her in my mind.

But he said she totally surpassed his expectations and that she was amazing.

She really, really was. And I’m truly thankful beyond words!

I mean my favorite nurse AND my favorite midwife?!?! God really did time it all just PERFECTLY!!!!

They got the stirrups out which was a mistake.

I’m for sure going to remember next time to say I don’t want to use them!

They were too far apart and uncomfortable and we ended up not using them at all until the after birth stuff.

The handles for me to hold onto were also so low and hard for me to reach.

I was basically not very comfortable for the pushing phase but I was just so ready to push that I went with it the way it all was.

The contractions were coming quick at that point and there wasn’t much time to change anything up anyway!

I was very surprised when I saw these pushing pictures of me.

I promise I was pushing as hard as I possibly could…but I don’t really look like it do I?!?!

Since the stirrups were so uncomfortable we ended up doing what we’ve done in the past…Elizabeth held one leg and Zach held the other.

I have ZERO memory of anything that was going on around me at that point.

I feel like my whole delivery I was very in the moment and able to think logically and comprehend everything going on.

But when it came to pushing I just was on a mission.

I remember just thinking over and over again that the harder I pushed, the sooner it would be over. 

With Kye I pushed for 3 hours.

I didn’t understand how to push and would push then clinch and basically be pushing him back up in the birth canal. S

ince then I know that the key to pushing is to 1) push like you are pooping and 2) keep your butt relaxed as much as possible between pushes so the baby doesn’t go backwards!

I do remember Teresa running back into the delivery room and saying that she had to be in there to see if it was going to be a “Leo” or “Leoette” 😉

How awesome to have TWO midwives?!?! And especially my two FAVORITES!

I mean did the Lord bless me in this delivery or whhhhat!?!?

I kept thinking about that and how God was just ALL OVER THIS! 

Teresa was super awesome when I was pushing out Britt.

I like how she takes charge and tells me what I need to do. I respond well to directions 🙂

She was down by my ear (fanning me with a mouse pad haha) and her coaching was awesome!

The combo of Stacy and Teresa was really amazing!!!

I only had between 4 and 6 pushing contractions.

It was all a time frame of less than 20 minutes.

Zach texted everyone at 11:07 saying I was pushing and the baby arrived at 11:15.

So we think it was probably close to 10 minutes of pushing.

I wish they had a clock where the woman in labor could actually see it!

They have it on the wall behind the bed so I can never know for sure exactly of the times of things. 

I pushed on every contraction except one and took VERY few breaks in-between.

I feel like it was pretty much constant pushing.

I didn’t communicate much either during that time.

They tried to get me to push during the one that I relaxed for but I just knew I needed that rest for a second.

I did my best to push as hard as I could and to listen to what everyone was saying but if I knew I needed to stop and breathe, then I stopped and got my breath. I didn’t want to give out! 

The only things I remember saying during the pushing phase was when Stacy asked if I wanted the baby on my belly right away.

All I could say was “cord. pulse.”

Luckily she knew that meant I wanted to let the baby lay on me and let the cord pulse until it was done 😉

After I had the resting contraction I also remember saying “Ok let’s do this!” before I started pushing again 🙂 

The worst part of pushing was the ring of fire.

I don’t ever remember feeling that before. OMG it’s legit like your privates are on FIRE.

Stacy told me that’s where I was at and it was a great motivator to get that baby OUT so that phase could be OVER! 

Stacy said she could see the head and saw a lot of hair.

She also said she needed to do a little cut and Zach said he could see that she needed to as well.

I totally, completely, trust Stacy. So I said go for it 🙂

Turns out the baby’s heart rate had also dropped.

Zach was so scared but did awesome not saying ANYTHING. No one did!

No one told me and I’m so thankful for that.

I was able to stay focused!

If they had said the baby’s heart rate had dropped I probably would have freaked out.

It was def best that no one said anything but it makes sense looking back that they were all so urgent about me pushing and pushing quick. 

This was the slowest I remember actually birthing my baby.

I felt like the head was there for a little bit before I got the rest out where with the other two it was more of a combo head then shoulders situation. 

Meeting OUR Baby!

As soon as the baby was out I said “yesssss” It felt SO GOOD to be done pushing and to just not feel any of those urges or pains anymore!

Stacy and Zach both said “It’s a GIRL!!!”

The first thing I said was “well I was wrong” haha!

I really had thought boy for pretty much the entire pregnancy!!!

I have NEVER been more overjoyed to be wrong about something 🙂

I’ve always, always wanted a boy first then two daughters then a son at the end.

We are 3/4s of the way to my dream birth order!

I LOVE that our two girls are so close in age and I’m so excited to see their relationship together!

I love, love, love seeing all the JOY on everyone’s faces!

I was nervous that Zach would be disappointed if we had another girl.

He was pretty honest about his desire for another son.

I really truly believe the reason our baby took longer than we had expected to arrive was because Zach needed that time to get to a place where he was TRULY happy for a girl or boy.

I also think I needed that time to be truly mentally prepared for labor and to feel the confidence I needed to be able to do it all again 🙂

God’s timing is SO AMAZING and SO PERFECT.

It’s hard to trust in that perfect timing when you are impatient and waiting on something that you want so badly.

It’s hard when you have a plan and an expectation and don’t see the reasons behind God’s decision to not give you what you want when you want it.

But He really did bless us SO MUCH. It was the PERFECT delivery and resulted in such a PERFECT baby girl!!!

And if there was ANY doubt in Zach’s excitement…these pictures prove his instant love and joy over our sweet baby.

I always have known Zach loves me and loves his children but seeing his face in these delivery pictures is such physical proof of that love.

You can see it in every picture of him!

I cry looking at these pictures and they truly have made me love him even more 🙂

I have even more of them that I’m saving for when Zach writes his version of the birth story!

The first moment I saw my new daughter my first thought was “omg she’s even prettier than Britt!”

Britt was SUCH a pretty newborn and I was shocked that a baby could be even prettier!

The nurse who was taking care of the baby was SO awesome.

She pulled up my gown and laid the baby on my belly so I could feel her against me.

Zach said Stacy was awesome with the cord blood too and was pushing the blood up into the cord to really make sure the baby was getting it all. 

He has NEVER looked sexier!!!


The afterbirth experience also went very smoothly.

My placenta was in one piece and Stacy pulled it out pretty quickly and with minimal discomfort.

She did have to stitch me from the little cut but said it was a very minor stitch needed.

It felt like it took FOREVER for her to stitch me up but she said she wanted to take her time and do it right…and honestly I’ve had the EASIEST recovery “down there” so she def did an awesome job!

And I didn’t mind it all too much since I had this sweet baby in my arms to look at and keep me distracted 🙂

Her apgar score was 9.9! As perfect as perfect can be 🙂

Proud, proud Daddy

She is for sure my most precise baby yet!

Labor was 5 hours to the minute!

I felt the first contraction at exactly 6:15 and she was born at exactly 11:15.

She also weighed exactly 7 lbs and was exactly 20 inches long!

If she’d come a day later (her due date) then she’d REALLY be precise huh?

Maybe she just didn’t realize that July has 31 days 😉 

Once I was no longer in the focus of labor I could talk to Stacy!

She said she had hurried so fast that she was still in flip flops, had left her phone and keys and literally had to run through the hospital to get to the room in time.

She said she even saw all the family in the waiting room!

I’m so thankful she WANTED to be there and that she did get there so quickly.

I’m sure it was a funny site to see a 9 month pregnant woman running through the hospital 😉

It’s so, so neat that our babies are only one day apart!

She had her son the next day and we texted a bit about how our babies were getting to know each other in the nursery 🙂

Future boyfriend for our daughter is already lined up!

In my labor pictures before I felt like I looked really hunched down so I raised the bed up right away to allow me to sit up.

Zach brushed my hair and I chugged some water. Gotta get glam right? 😉

I didn’t bother touching up any other makeup or anything.

I always bring it with me but never end up using it!

Next time I should just pack the brush and nothing else!

Third time was the charm! So beyond thankful that Stacy was able to be there for our special day! She was worth the wait!!!

Even though everyone in the room knew we had a girl, we were still careful not to say the name because we didn’t want anyone to slip up.

So no one in the room knew the name until we announced it!

Stacy had to go so I went ahead and whispered it to her before she left 🙂

First Nursing Experience:

At this point in the game I am zero percent nervous about how to properly breastfeed.

I knew what to do, but needed helping getting it done.

My arms were pretty much shot.

Holding onto those handles and pulling with all my might def wore me out!

I felt AWESOME but just couldn’t hold her very well.

She was very, very alert right after birth.

She had both eyes open so wide but had ZERO interest in eating.

I joked that she’s def going to be my easy-going third baby.

She was content and they said not to stress over it so we didn’t force her and went ahead and did the meet and greet with everyone and then I nursed her again once everyone left.

And that second time? Girl GOT IT. Whew!

She was happy and content while everyone held her and loved on her and then as soon as I put her back to the breast once they left, she ate like a champ and like she’d been doing it her entire life (all 45 min of it haha) 😉

I lucked out this time around because SEVEN babies were born that morning.

The staff was all so busy that no one rushed us at all.

We were able to relax and take our time and never felt like we had to hurry. It was such an overall, wonderful experience!

Mommy and Baby:

My first impression of my newest baby girl was how TINY she was!

My whole pregnancy I not only thought I was having a boy…but I thought this would be my biggest baby.

My belly was SO tight and it felt like the baby had ZERO space.

I think this little girl will just enjoy proving me wrong 😉

Not only was she a SHE, but she also came later than I had predicted, AND she was my smallest baby yet!

Not only was she small, all of her features were so tiny and petite and just perfect. Even right after birth she looked like a little baby doll. 

With each child my love for them becomes more intense and more instant.

I did not cry when she was born (although Zach sure did!) but I think the adrenaline rush from birth makes me less emotional?

I felt just an overwhelming, pure JOY.

Everything was just so amazingly perfect. Perfect delivery that ended in a perfect, HEALTHY baby! What more could I have ever wished for?!?!

Tessley Capri Parker


Born on Thursday July 31, 2014

11:15 AM

7 lbs 20 in

I prayed over this pregnancy and this baby more than I’ve ever prayed about anything in my life.

This girl has been covered in prayer and I can see how the Lord truly did answer those prayers.

Thank you to everyone who lifted us up, not only the day of delivery, but throughout my pregnancy.

I feel so blessed and so honored to be a mother for a third time.

I don’t take a second of it for granted and I am so thankful for this opportunity.

God’s timing is always perfect and He really was just all over this entire delivery experience!

Best delivery yet…can’t wait to do it all again!!!

“For this child I have prayed and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart” 1 Samuel 1:27

You can go back and read Kye’s birth story here and Britt’s birth story here.

You Can Also Read More About Tess’s Birth:

Big thank you again to Jennifer from JBliss Photography for the gorgeous photos that truly captured the emotions of our special day!

Update: I love reading over this birth story as it ended up being my LAST delivery experience and it truly was just SO PERFECT.

We felt called and lead to complete our family through the journey of adoption. You can read about that entire experience here 🙂

mom holding new baby - a third childbirth experience: what to expect during drug-free labor and delivery


  1. Katie1315
    August 15, 2014 / 6:51 pm

    Beautiful pictures. Sounds like everything was absolutely perfect! So happy for your family of 5!

  2. Laura
    August 15, 2014 / 7:39 pm

    She is just beautiful! Congrats to the new family of 5!

  3. Michelle
    August 16, 2014 / 4:01 am

    She is so beautiful. And can I just say how perfect it is that the nurses were wearing pink, not just because you had a girl but also because they matched your gown and just make all the pictures that much nicer 🙂

  4. Kat Fleming
    August 16, 2014 / 9:17 am

    Congratulations Parker family! She is beautiful. I know that you end up printing up a blog book, so I just wanted to give you a heads up that you put 7 lbs 20 Oz as her weight.

  5. Renea
    August 16, 2014 / 2:40 pm

    I noticed that, too! So cute.

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