Ike Ross // Birth Story

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ike Ross | 3.26.15 | 6:31pm | 7lbs 7oz | 20 3/4 inches

It's been twenty-eight (amazing and somewhat sleepless) days. Being pregnant seems like a distant memory and Aaron and I seriously cannot imagine life with our little man. Every day rather moment we fall more in love with Ike as the three of us are learning more and more about each other. We've discovered that he loves baths, a certain zebra toy, snuggles, and smiling. I can already say that being a mom is a blast and a huge blessing all at once. I'm a huge fan.

Something you should know about me is that I am a planner. I like to have all the details worked out and I like to be in control. There's nothing wrong with that right?! Unfortunately or rather fortunately depending on how you look at it how I gave birth was out of my control. I have two autonomic disorders that cause an array of random symptoms and a congenital heart defect. This meant my birth plan was extremely simple. Like stupid simple. 

Have a baby.

That was it. Stupid simple. Except now I realize giving birth isn't quite "stupid simple." Anywho I was quite annoyed about the lack of control. But I finally realized that not being able to have control was entirely freeing. There was zero expectations. There was no such thing as a good birth or a bad birth. Giving birth in itself was amazing and something I could and would be proud of whether the birth was all-natural, medicated, vaginal or a C-section. My doctors all agreed (it's so nice when they get along) that based off of how my autonomic system responded to giving birth and how Ike responded would determine what happened and what I was allowed to do. Even after talking through multiple scenarios with my doctors it was quite grey. Grey as in an epidural would be great for pain relief and decreasing stress on my body but an epidural could also tank my blood pressure causing my heart rate to be high. Or as in I was cleared to push but if my heart rate got too high then I could not push or had to stop pushing. As in they had no clue how my body would react to anything. I was a loose cannon.  

I was considered high risk due to the autonomic disorders and congenital heart defect. Several times during pregnancy I had required IV fluids to stay hydrated and keep my heart rate under control. Ike had an echocardiogram at 20 weeks to screen for heart defects. A heart medication I needed to take had some potential side effects which meant extra ultrasounds to monitor Ike. I saw my cardiologist each trimester and had 2 echocardiograms. At 33 weeks, we thought Ike might make an early appearance and then again at 35 weeks. Pregnancy was interesting to say the least. I wasn't sure what to expect with giving birth.

But here we were all the way to 39 weeks and 6 days. It was March 26, 2015.

6:00 am // Aaron and I got to the hospital and were ready to go. I had woken up with painful contractions around 3am and just had a feeling that it was time to have a baby. I was only dilated to 2cm and 80% effaced. No improvement from my last OB appointment. This meant lots and lots of walking for the next several hours. 

9:00 am // This cervical check was also not encouraging. I was still 2cm and 90% effaced and they were talking about sending me home. Um hello please do not ignore my feeling aka mother's intuition that today was the day to have a baby. I was not happy. Hello more walking the hallways and weird stretches to try to move Ike down.

11:00 am // And then the fun started. This cervical check involved getting my cervix stretched (yes this is as fun and painful as it sounds) and having my water broken. Welcome to my favorite conversation of the day. 

Nurse Karen: Are you ready to have this baby?

Me: Yes!

Nurse Karen: Do you want me to break your water?

Me: YES!!!!

I wanted to hug Karen and do a happy dance cause Ike was really coming. My feeling had been correct. Only problem was that I felt like my uterus was trying to kill me. The stretching of the cervix and breaking of the water got me to 4cm and 100% effaced and holy cow these contractions were painful. Obviously this was a great time to start the paperwork and have me sign a million consent papers. Let me tell you I have no idea what I signed. I think my eyes were closed for half of them. After what seemed like an eternity, my IV fluids were started and the nurse was convinced that Ike was doing okay I was allowed to get up and walk. Small issue. I felt like I was going to pass out with each contraction. Back to bed I went.

2:00 pm // Second favorite conversation of the day went like this

Nurse Karen: I just updated your OB and she said to remind you that an epidural is a great idea. 

Me: I don't want one. 

*a mere three contractions later*

Me: Karen that epidural sounds fantastic. 

2:26 pm // And let me tell you that epidural was magical. I went from exhausted, cranky, snappy LeeAnn to happy, rested, in love with life LeeAnn. I got a two hour nap, caught up on text messages, and even got to say hi to my mom and my dear friend Danielle. All I remember pre-epidural is pain but post-epidural I have so many clear memories and I am so grateful for that. I love that I was able to be present and aware for Ike's birth. I love that I remember faces - Aaron's face, the nurse's faces, my OB's face, Genai's face, the nursing student's crying face. At this point I was 5cm and 100% effaced.

5:26 pm // I was 9cm. It was almost change of shift time which sucked. I dearly wanted Nurse Karen to deliver Ike. Let me tell you something about Nurse Karen. She is hands down the best labor & delivery nurse and I will be requesting her for all future babies I need delivered. She decided to do one more check 15 minutes later and what do you know?! I was 10cm and at station 3 (don't ask me what that really means). Time to have this baby before Nurse Karen got to go home. Yes I am that selfish patient who didn't want to let my nurse go home on time. Anywho Nurse Karen decided to have me do a practice push.

One practice push and what do you know there was Ike's head. No one was expecting that. And Ike's head had lots of dark hair. That we were kinda expecting.

Things got really fun (for me since I couldn't feel a thing) and crazy (for everyone else). I literally just laid there and watched everyone running around and making phone calls. 

Time out for a second cause I have to brag about the hubby. We weren't sure how much he would want to do but when it got down to it he stepped in and did everything. Aaron is not in the medical field like me and doesn't think the hospital is as fun as I do but he was fantastic. He held my leg and coached me through pushing. Somehow he understood how I needed to push better than I did. Like I said he's fantastic. And then he cut Ike's umbilical cord. And he changed Ike's first diaper full of the amazingness of meconium poop. And the next morning he even gave Ike his first bath. Basically I love seeing him as a dad. Okay time in. 

6:00 pm // Pushing time. And Genai even made it to the hospital (after making a pitstop at target... silly girl) to photograph the fun of me giving birth. Seriously such an exciting day why wouldn't you want pictures? My thoughts exactly! PSA - have someone take pictures. You will thank me later. 

Third favorite conversation went like this

OB: Do you want to use a mirror?

Me: NO!!!!

OB: It will motivate you to push! (um did my OB not hear Nurse Karen telling me what a great job I was doing pushing?! Must not have cause my OB kept telling me to push harder. Mixed signals much!!)

Me: No!!!

OB: Okay well we can bring out the mirror or I'm getting forceps...

Me: Fine get the mirror!

I'll admit the mirror was a help and definitely was motivating. My OB wasn't serious about forceps she just knew that I was terrified of forceps and told her I did not want them used at all. She's a great match for my stubborn personality. 


It's hard to describe all that happened at this moment when I first saw Ike. When I first held him. When I first told him that I loved him. Life changed in the best way possible. I was a mom. 

Birth Photography

Birth Photography

Birth Photography

Birth Photography

Birth Photography

Birth Photography

Birth Photography

Birth Photography, first family picture

Now that Ike is here, his birth story seems irrelevant. Only because the second he was born nothing else mattered. It didn't matter what my birth plan was, what medications I had taken, where I had given birth, or how long I had pushed. Ike was here.

But there is something special about a birth story. Each one is unique and is cause for huge celebration. I am so thankful for Ike's birth story. It was the perfect birth for him and for me. Love you sweet boy! We did it!! 

Birth Photography, Hospital Pictures

thanks to Genai Patterson for all these amazing pictures


  1. Anonymous23.4.15

    You have an absolutely beautiful birth story!


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