A Birth Story: Oliver Aitken

{I apologize in advance for the length of this post but I wanted it for my records}

For weeks I had a feeling I would deliver early. Everyone told me I was crazy and that first time pregnant mothers typically deliver later than their actual due date. Regardless, I knew he would be joining our family sooner than later and I was prepared for the arrival of our little boy.

My mom flew in a week before my actual due date. As soon as she arrived we worked hard to quicken my labor... and when I say worked hard - I mean worked HARD. Our days were consumed with miles of walking, galloping around Target and the mall, eating spicy food, more walking, squats, walking up hills and curbs, drinking castor oil, foot massages, and more walking. Although I had been experiencing pretty consistent contractions since the day of her arrival, it seemed that regardless of what I did, my labor didn't seem to progress much. I was adamant that I didn't want to go to the hospital until I felt like the contractions were too intense to bear. My biggest fear was to be sent home in false labor. 

On Wednesday morning, and after yet another long night of contractions, my mom and I decided to go on another walk to distract me.  I truly cherished every second I got to spend with my mom before I delivered our little one. I will always look back at those moments as some of the sweetest I have shared with her. As I prepared to experience the miracle of life, I looked at my own mother in a whole new light. I am so grateful for the time that I was able to spend with her and for her sweet words of wisdom and encouragement. I realized in those moments if I could be half the mother she was to me, I would be a success. 

The remainder of the day was spent relaxing with two of the people I love the most... Brett and my mom. The three of us shared so many laughs together which was just what the doctor ordered. Those two kept me calm and upbeat regardless of the pain I was feeling. As we went to bed that night, we joked about the baby coming the following day, October 31. Halloween. My mom said I would deliver the cutest "little goblin". 

Around 1:00 am, I woke up in a lot of pain. I quickly got up and tried walking around to see if the pain would subside... it didn't. My contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart and increasing in intensity with every second. I quickly woke up Brett. "It's time," I whispered. Brett was so excited. I have never seen him jump out of bed so fast. As Brett ran around the house packing up our things, waking up my mom, etc. I quickly jumped in the bathtub. Not only did the water feel great, but it was also wonderful to be able to shave my legs before heading to the hospital (the things you worry about during labor--- am I right?)

As I started to blow dry my hair, the contractions began moving to my back. I had to stop every few minutes and hang myself over the bed. My mom and Brett continued to time the contractions. 2-3 minutes apart. Before I knew it, we were in the car and off to the hospital. Once at the hospital, the nurse checked my dilation. 3 centimeters. I was devastated. This was the same size I had measured at my doctors appointment 2 days earlier. "How is that possible with all these contractions I am having!?" I asked the nurse. There was no real answer. After an ultrasound and some waiting, the nurse stated that she thought it was best I go home and rest up. I burst out in tears. My biggest fear was coming true. I didn't want to rest. I was in pain and was ready for our little boy to come. Unfortunately, it was not my decision. I was sent home with a shot of Morphine for the pain and Ambien to help me rest. 

During the car ride home, I was a complete mess. I was emotionally and physically exhausted. As soon as we walked in the door I ran to the bathroom to throw-up. The combination of the ride home and the pain medication didn't settle with my stomach well. After cleaning up, Brett and I crawled into bed to get some rest as the nurse had suggested. 

About an hour later, I woke up with some of the worse pain I had ever experienced. I lay there thinking to myself, "Okay...Is THIS it?". I tried to convince myself that I was making it all up. There was no way I was going to be sent home again. I needed to know for certain I was in active labor. 2 seconds later - GUSH. My water broke. Then BAM - the contractions came on 10 times stronger. I curled into a ball in tears. Brett counted me through each contraction, rubbing my back and holding my hand. I knew he was going to be a good coach. 

Although I was in pain, Brett and I were able to share a sweet moment as husband and wife in between contractions. I won't ever forget it. Standing in our bedroom. Me leaning on Brett. Our lives were about to change forever. As things were whirling around us, we stood still for a moment to take it all in.

And then we were off. As we drove to the hospital I could hardly sit in my seat. I sat in the backseat with my mom holding onto her for dear life. Brett drove as quickly as possible through traffic (i later found out that he weaved in and out of traffic with speeds upward of 100 mph - so glad I didn't notice). 

When we pulled up to the hospital, I was quickly whisked away in a wheelchair. The nurses worked so fast to hook me up to the monitors and to check my dilation. 3.5 centimeters. The pain was insane. I looked at Brett and said, "I can't do this." Surely I was in for the long haul. Brett sweetly held my hand and reminded me that I could do hard things. How grateful I was that he was by my side. He was right. I can do hard things. Contractions were just 60 seconds and I could get through them. 

I was certain I was going to be sent home, but to my surprise I was rushed to a labor and delivery room. Within a half hour I received an epidural, and was in heaven. Seriously - my demeanor changed in a matter of seconds. Nothing but smiles (and the picture below proves it)

Within a matter of hours, I had dilated to a 9. Shock and sheer joy set in. I can do this I thought again to myself. Sweet Brett had tears in his eyes already. He said - We are doing it! The nurse quickly ran to get my doctor. It was about 4:15 pm. Everything happened so fast after that point. My doctor quickly checked me and asked if I was ready to push. It was then that it hit me that my life was about to change forever. I was ready. I had been preparing my whole life for this moment.  

Brett was the best coach. Looking back on it now, I think it was one of the best hours of our marriage. We worked as a team. Never once getting frustrated. I still can't believe it. We get frustrated over how to fold the laundry - yet now we were both completely calm. Brett talked me through it, held my hand and leg, and looked me dead in the eyes. I will never forget the moments his eyes were set on mine. I was never so sure of us as in those moments. He never let go of me. Ever. He kept saying, "You're doing it."

I also felt overjoyed that my mom was there to witness and share this special moment. She stood by my side the entire time, encouraging me and showering me with so much love. She would hold by head as I pushed and continually reminded me what I was capable of. I will never forget looking up at her, seeing tears in her eyes as she looked down on me and said, "I am so proud of you Coco. So proud of you."

As I pushed I thought I might throw up. I think I remember my mom asking if it was normal for my face to turn so red. Ha. All hopes of looking good in pictures were now off. I didn't care. I was sweaty and gross. I began to feel those strong contractions again. People were pouring into our room with all types of contraptions. Prior to labor, I had always been worried about "pushing", but I was grateful to find that it came very natural. My doctor was extremely calm and kept telling me I was doing great. I loved hearing her cheer me on.

In between pushing I would always take a second to stop to smile. It was happening. Really happening. I wanted to take in and cherish every second. I felt like we had waited so long for this little miracle to arrive, and I did not want to take the moment for granted. I was overjoyed with gratitude and happiness. After pushing for about a half hour, the doctor realized the baby was faced posterior (hence the awful contractions in my back). She took a moment to turn the baby. Once the baby was turned, things were easy and he came fast.

Brett was still to my right and being as sweet as could be. The baby's head was crowning. "Give it one more push," the doctor told me. I did... and he came out. He let out a huge cry and I knew he was my son. It was 5:36 pm.

The next few minutes of my life will forever be etched in my memory. I cry just typing about it. The pain was instantly gone - or out of my mind. I have never felt so much joy. There we were - the three of us. I never imagined something so sacred and powerful. It is true what they say - the veil was incredibly thin. I don't think I remember anyone else in that moment. Just our little family. We were both extremely emotional. I kept saying, "He is so perfect. We are so lucky. He is our miracle." And Brett stroked my head whispering, "you did it. you did it." Our little boy calmed down the moment he hit my skin. We talked to him. Comforted him and told him we loved him - over and over and over again. This little face brought us sheer happiness. The moment was so perfect. The moment we finally became parents.

We snuggled him for about 15 minutes. We took it all in. It was the quickest 15 minutes of my life. 

Looking back on it now, I had been so nervous about the delivery... but it was truly the greatest thing. If I could, I would do it 100 times over again. I am beyond amazed at how miraculous the human body is. The miracle of life is permeating our lives and we couldn't be happier. 

As we snuggled as a family, Brett turned to me and said, "I think I know his name." "Me too," I responded. It was a magical moment calling Oliver by his name for the first time. 

We quickly called our families to share the news. One of my favorite moments was calling my dad. I cried as I shared the news. "I just wanted to let you know that you are now a pumpa." All I heard were sniffled tears on the other end as I shared the news. I love how sentimental my dad is.

Soon enough, they moved us to a new room. We settled in together as a new family. It was a blissful, foggy, Thursday evening. 

We were not expecting any visitors since we don't have any family in AZ. We also knew Gary and Michelle would be coming in a couple weeks and didn't know whether or not my Dad would be able to get off work.. so when we got word that my Dad had made arrangements to come down the following day, we were thrilled.

Friday evening, I cried when my Dad poked his head in our hospital room. I am quite the Daddy's girl and was over the moon to have him there with us. It was love at first sight for him too. I was also surprised to see my little brother walk through the door. I shed a few tears to have everyone together. They gushed over how small his little body was and each took turns holding Oliver. 

I love these photos. I think their faces say it all. Proudest Nana, Pumpa, and Uncle around.

After my parents and brother left, the three of us shared our first night together. I won't lie - it was STRESSFUL. Oliver pretty much cried the entire night and I could hardly move due to the aftermath of the delivery. Each time he cried I was slightly caught off guard when the nurses would hand him over to me. Why me? I don't know what I am doing!? Although I didn't quite understand it at first, I slowly began to realize that no one could comfort Oliver like I could. This was something I did not anticipate. The instant connection was powerful beyond belief. I was a mom in a split second. He knew me and I knew him. It was a mutual love. I'll be sure to remind him of this when he is 15.

I cannot tell you how wonderful it felt to come home with Oliver. Brett and I were no longer just a couple. We were a family. Our home felt different. It was a warm sunny Arizona day...and as the light poured in our car as we drove home, I could not help but feel a little closer to heaven. It was over 3 years ago when Brett and I had decided it was time to start adding to our family. The answer was so simple and clear. And now I know why. I cannot believe we have been entrusted with such a sweet spirit in our home. To be honest - it completely frightens me at times. But that feeling I felt when we stepped foot in our home with the newest family keeps me moving forward. 

Oliver was meant for us at this time. It is overwhelming how right this is.
Welcome home Oliver.
Please bear with us as we learn to be your parents. 


  1. Beautiful! Congratulations!! :)

  2. I love your birth story! Thanks for sharing and for all the time you give to making handouts for the Come Follow Me Curriculum. They are well used. Congratulations on your sweet Oliver!

  3. I love that you not only shared about the baby, but that you shared moments that you and your husband had. I think that is very special and is an example to others that this kind of experience you can do together.. :) so happy for you!!

  4. You are amazing! Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. Oliver is adorable and you will be amazing parents. Congratulations.

  5. congratulations! loved reading your story, a day you'll never forget!

  6. Your story brought tears to my eyes. I could feel the spirit as you told of your experience. What a special story. Thank you for sharing.

  7. So wonderful -- congratulations! Wishing you much joy and happiness!

  8. What a beautiful story that is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.

  9. That is the sweetest birth story! I had chills and tears in my eyes through out! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Very, very sweet. My own mom showed up the day of delivery and left 3 days after. I remember being so disappointed that she would leave so soon. I am glad to hear how much you appreciated having your mom there the week previous. My oldest is still far from marriage and childbirth, but reading how your mom helped has given me fresh perspective to keep tucked back in the recesses of my brain for when the time comes.