layla's birth: lena's version

you might have heard: i had a baby 3 months ago. if you recall even further back, it took me about 15 months to write judah's birth story, and even though jesse wrote his take much faster, it still took him about 11 months to completely finish it (read parts one, two and three).

lucky for those who can't get enough birth stories (ME!) i had 4 willing blog contributers in the room with me for layla's birth. 4 folks with very different perspectives: the laborer (me), the labor coach/impregnateur (jesse), the labor & delivery nurse (adrienne), and the sign-me-up-for-an-epidural-at-the-moment-of-conception godmother, birth photographer, and BFF (lena). so i figured certainly the 4 of us could produce at least one birthday tale before layla turned 3 months old. one of us did.

today is lena's account of what went down on 11.14.2010. i am going to add in my own selection of pics, but the captions are hers. take it lena:

I realize this experience was NOT at all about me. So forgive me if this comes across about how I handled being there and experiencing layla’s birth.

About a month before the delivery keight asked me to be there and take some pictures of Layla’s first few seconds on the outside. I was totally pumped and began preparing myself by watching youtube videos of women giving birth (who knew you had to be 18 to watch that stuff?). But let me just say that there is no youtube video in the world to prepare you for being around when someone gives NATURAL birth.

I get a text around 11am saying I should get to the hospital in the next hour or so. From what I have heard about labor I figured no big deal, this takes like 20 hours. When I got there around 1pm Keight was 5 cm dilated, walking around, and really didn’t seem to be in that much pain, but what do I know? The doctor came in shortly after that and told keight that if she didn’t progress soon then she was going to send her home. She said that she couldn’t just let someone in labor sit around and not progress, and since having the baby completely natural was the plan, it looked like we all might be headed home.

See, no big deal. Just chatting away.

2pm rolls around and it’s time for Keight to get checked again to see if things are moving along. And they are. She was 7cm dilated and 80% effaced. To me, Keight was still under complete control, and I was honestly thinking, if this is all there is to it why do people get epidurals? I think keight is just really good at labor.

About 30 mins after this happens all the nurses come in and start setting up for Layla’s arrival. I’m just thinking isn’t there supposed to be like another 15 hours? Keight didn’t seem to be in too much pain and we’ve only been at the hospital for 1.5 hours. I was wrong again. About two seconds later Keight throws up from being in so much pain. Things are starting to get real. And I realize that oh crap she HAS been in a lot of pain. And I’m trying not to freak out. Just be a little fly on the wall. But let me tell you, I felt at any moment, keight was going to throw a pair of scissors at my face when I was taking pictures of her during all this. Everything was quiet in the room except the freaking camera focusing before I snapped a shot. But she didn’t. Totally calm keight over there didn’t ever say anything to me.

I was trying to take pictures of anything but Keight at this point.

At about 3:15 contractions are clearly getting intense, keight is in obvious pain, and I really just want someone to get her an effing epidural, but again, not about me here. Keight has been telling us all for about the last 15 minutes that she is about to poop on herself. And all-star nurse, Adrienne, lets her know that’s a good thing, that it's the baby trying to push her way out. Probably the only time in your adult life where pooping on yourself is a good sign.

I was thinking no big deal. if this is what 7 cm dilated looks like the last 3 can’t be that much worse. Everyone wants to hit me in the face, I know.

About 15 minutes after Keight thinks she going to poop on herself Adrienne checks her status again. Keight’s 8cm and the baby is coming. The doctor had left the hospital and was called to come back. Dr. Carter comes in and checks everything and turns out your water doesn’t have to break for you to give birth. Keight’s water still hadn’t broken so Dr. Carter went ahead and broke it. Not that anyone cares about me, but I’m weak in the knees and trying not to die right on that floor.

at least the camera was making a ton of noise during this carefree moment in life. (note from keight: yes i see the side-butt action and how rough i look, but in the interest of authenticity, it stays. this is what 9 cm looks like, folks. and yes, that knitting needle is how she broke my water...this pic is very REAL people)

But now things are seriously starting to get intense. it’s about 3:30, Keight is in LOTS of pain, and Jesse is coaching her along and remaining so calm. At about 3:40 Keight asks for an epidural and Dr. Carter tells her sure, but the baby will probably be here before the anesthesiologist. Keight pushes once and we have a baby crowning, takes a break, pushes again and OUT comes LAYLA. HOLY frig did someone seriously just push a human out of their crotch with TWO pushes?!? I was caught so off guard. Trying to take pictures and not ruin my friendship with keight by missing all of the beginning moments of Layla’s life.

Baby Layla is here! and the other person in this picture is the only person who yelled at me during the whole experience. How am I supposed to know you can’t take pictures when they are getting oxygen?

Honestly I feel like I should write more about someone giving birth but it literally took about 3 hours total, no one was yelling, everyone was calm and Keight made it seem like no big deal. She was made to have babies. Me: not made to be an L&D nurse.

first time holding her. ignore my face, i LOVE her!

Matching B&G T-shirts (from his work). Yes, Elliot is that sweet. and cheesy


True story: Elliot once passed out watching a nurse take an IV out of my arm. Keight, will you please be in the delivery room with me some day? I CANNOT do that alone.

SOOO glad you’re here Layla. You are LOVED.

read nurse adrienne's version here
read my version here


  1. love this! so funny to hear someone else's perspective isn't it? way to focus, k8!

  2. yay!!!! i LOVE birth stories!!

  3. LOVE it!! I love birth stories. You are incredible, k8!

  4. Wow!!! Thanks for sharing, Lena :-)

  5. Oh this was really good!! I'd love to hear something from someone who was in the room with me.
    Mine usually goes something like this:
    6cm:I can't do this, get me an epidural
    8cm:finally get epidural
    two seconds later, I am complete and here comes baby/babies.
    You are my hero. I totally start panicking!