Creed was born on Sunday, September 25th, 2016 at 5:28am

I was due on October 7th so he was just about 2 weeks early. Our house was pretty busy that day. My sister-in-law (Erica) , mother-in-law, sister’s best friend (Siohbahn), and family friend, (Ardera) were over helping me to prepare 16 meals to make before baby arrives (something I found on Pinterest) which I had been looking forward to doing. I used the pregnancy card to get everyone to help. Also my nephews were over swimming and my husband and our friend (Dee) were… I don’t know what they were doing but we had a full house. We wrapped up around 5:30 and wanted to go to the food truck festival but the meals took a little longer than I thought.

Everyone left the except for Dee and I started feeling a little weird.  I started cramping and I knew that this meant something but I wasn’t sure what it was. It didn’t feel like contractions but I felt like I needed to lay down. So Mike asked me what was wrong and I told him and he immediately freaks out. He tells me to call my doula. (For those who don’t know, a doula is like a midwife but without the medical credentials. They  are an aide for those who want to have a natural birth without a epidural. They give you different positions and techniques to help you in the birthing process). I wasn’t ready to call because I didn’t feel like I was having contractions. I called anyway to calm Mike down. Of course her phone was turned off (it never was any time before, she’s the best) so I contacted the back-up doula. By the time I contacted her I was pretty sure they were contractions because they were coming and going like a wave.  I downloaded a contraction timer app and starting timing them and they were 5 minutes apart.  I let her know they were 5 minutes apart and I kept having to poop (tmi). She told me to relax and she’ll get a hold of her my doula for me and if they progressed much more to call her back. Thankfully my doula called me a few minutes later and she said she was coming over in about a hour. At that point my contractions were just uncomfortable but not unbearable. I really wanted to get in the tub so I had Mike draw the water but it wasn’t getting hot enough, so I got in the shower.  The hot water felt amazing. While I was in the shower Mike was running around trying to wash clothes (not sure why) and packing his bag. I got out the shower and went to pack my bag. Please take everyone’s advice and pack your bags early. Thankfully I packed everything I needed… probably because I had a list that my doula helped me with.  By the time I was done packing my bag my contractions were 2 minutes apart and there was blood on my sheets (bloody show is a sign of active labor). I called my doula back and she said she’ll meet us at the hospital instead of coming over.

It was go time! I was actually excited… I had been waiting for this moment for 9 months!

We got to the hospital and they checked my cervix and I was 4cm dilated. I was progressing pretty well. At this point the contractions were still bearable. Before I even got in my room the whole family was at the hospital. Mike’s mom was with us and everyone else was in the waiting room. We called my mom and let her know I was at the hospital… she proceeded to call every hour asking if I had the baby yet?  You have to know her to understand, lol.

My only request was a room with a bathtub. Being in water while in active labor is supposed to help with the pain and it helps gets everything ready (down there) for labor… in particular it softens the skin that stretches during birth… I know this is a lot!

I got in my room and got hooked up to everything. I handed over my birth plan to the nurse. (A birth plan is a list of request that the mother has in regards to the way she would like the birth to go.) Of course birth is unpredictable, but it’s good to be informed and prepared. I really wanted a quiet room.  I also requested that I only be monitored intermittently so that I could walk around and get in the tub during contractions. My nurse was really accommodating to the request on my birth plan.

Coincidently my doctors phone was off also. I wanted her there (they say she’s the Paula Dean of OBGYN’s) but the doctor on-call came highly recommended so I felt at ease.

I kept asking to get in the tub because I thought that would give me some relief.  I was a little obsessed with the idea of being in the tub but the nurse wanted to monitor the baby’s heart rate. At one point it looked irregular and she continued monitoring but everything looked fine so she let me get off the monitor and get in the tub.

Once I got in the tub I felt like my contractions got worse. I almost couldn’t even sit in the tub. On top of that the tub was small. My tub at home was twice the size as the one at the hospital. What a let down. I stayed in the tub for what seemed like a hour or longer. The pain was more intense but it seemed like they were coming at a slower rate. At one point I fell asleep in the tub… don’t ask me how. I was just so exhausted.  At around 3am I was so exhausted.  I just wanted to sleep. I was having a mind battle and I made a deal with myself.  I said if I’m at 8cm I was going to keep going, epidural free and if not,  I was going to get the epidural. I asked the nurse to check and I was 6cm.  I told Mike I wanted the epidural and I could tell he was happy. He didn’t try and talk me out of it. Getting the epidural while in active labor was a bad idea. Before I could get the epidural I had to lay in the bed to recieve a bag of saline. Laying in bed during labor is the worst. It’s much better to stand up or walk. By the time the anesthesiologist came in my contractions were about 30 seconds apart. I know there’s no turning back but at this point I felt like I was at a 8 or 9 because they were coming so fast.

I got the epidural screaming bloody murder because I had to stay still while having contractions basically one after the other. It was the worst part. At this point I regretted asking for it.

Once I got it, it took about an hour to kick in. I took a short nap and the nurse came in and said I was at 10 and it was time to push. We all think when she checked my cervix in the tub I was further than a 6, but who knows.

My favorite part was pushing. It was so peaceful. I had my husband turn on some worship music and my doula pulled a mirror over so I could see what was happening. There wasn’t a lot of talking or commotions in the room everyone was very calm… just the way I like it. I pushed for about 40 minutes which was painless because of the epidural. I did want to feel him coming out but that wasn’t an option at this point. He came out and his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and his cord had a knot in the middle of it.  This was apparently a rare occurrence (1 out of 1,000) He seemed unbothered because he came out screaming but the cord around his neck might have been why his heart beat was irregular early on.

Creed Michael Johnson was born at 5:28am and he was 6lbs 5oz and was 19 inches long.  I couldn’t believe I was hearing my very own baby, and meeting this little life who had been inside of me for 38 weeks. There were so many emotions to feel,  but I mostly felt an intense amount of love for Mike. He had been such a strong but sensitive and supportive partner to me, and to give him the gift of a beautiful baby boy made my heart so full. Our lives were forever changed in those moments. Although we were already a family it’s like we became a family again somehow.

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Dress: c/o Rachel Pally Creed’s Outfit: Etsy