The Birth of Ramsey Kate Bell

Friday, September 16, 2016

I didn't originally plan on writing about our birth story since we filmed a vlog, but there is so much of the experience that wasn't captured. If you haven't already, I recommend watching our 'We're Having A Baby' and 'The Day We've Been Waiting For' vlogs so you have a general understanding- I won't be retouching on anything included in these vlogs.

So where do I begin? I have to say I absolutely did not wake up (on Monday, August 15, 2016) thinking I'd be falling asleep in a hospital bed- IN LABOR. Even though we knew I may be favorable enough for an elective induction at my appointment that morning, it still didn't feel like a real possibility. Our favorite ultrasound technician was actually the one to tell us that I would be induced that night. (It was actually her first day back to work from maternity leave- perfect timing for our last ultrasound!) We had already met with our doctor and he had concerns about my blood pressure- which led to an ultrasound. After our technician discussed the ultrasound with Dr. Hiller, she returned to the room and as she walked through the door she said, "I hope you have your bags packed!" Neither of us could believe it.

I called the hospital at five that afternoon, and the nurse said to arrive at seven. Our bags were already packed and ready (they had been for weeks at this point), so Zach and I left for my last pregnant dinner. I insisted on Cracker Barrel- and it was right after the waitress brought our food that Zach received THE phone call. 'THE phone call'= the official job offer from Fresno State. WE WERE OFFICIALLY MOVING TO CALIFORNIA! Less than two hours until we had to be at the hospital nonetheless. We finished dinner while making phone calls to family (they already knew about the possibility of the move beforehand), and then headed to the office for Zach to share the exciting news with the Georgia Southern staff.

It's literally 6:35 at this point, and I'm standing by the front desk with all of Zach's files and belongings while he says his goodbyes. WE HAVE TO BE AT THE HOSPITAL BY SEVEN! Luckily I'm relatively easygoing, so I gently 'remind' him of the other life changing event we have going on. I'm still not sure how we made it to the hospital on time, but I don't think it would have even mattered if we were late. We sat in the waiting room until 8:30 and were then finally taken back to our room.

The nurse arrived to our room promptly and had me change into a hospital gown. This was it!! It felt so much more real at this point. My mom left work early to make the drive down, and she arrived as I was getting my IV. The IV was literally the worst part of the whole experience. I absolutely HATE needles and the thought of something being under my skin makes me sick. It was so painful- I almost came out of the bed. It was still painful even afterwards- I couldn't use my hand at all. So thankful the nurse recommended having it on my left hand or I wouldn't have been able to do anything! Afterwards, Zach was finally able to bring my mom in from the waiting room- and his parents arrived a few hours later.

FUN FACT: I was actually already having contractions and didn't know it. The nurse looked over at me after setting up my little monitors and said, "Are you having contractions?" She had the most puzzled look on her face. I touched the top of my stomach (I had been told previously that the top of my uterus would tense up and feel hard), and sure enough I was! I HAD NO IDEA WHATSOEVER. I said, "I guess so!" and the nurse almost laughed. I genuinely would not have known I was having contractions if it hadn't been for her pointing it out to me. It felt like Ramsey Kate was pushing herself around- and this was the only way I knew I was having contractions the duration of my labor. If I remember correctly, my contractions were already 3-4 minutes apart at this point. If I hadn't been induced I would have been sitting at home on the couch (with an ice cream cone in hand) binge watching a Netflix series. I truly don't think I would've ever known I was in labor.

The nurse administered Cytotec (a cervix ripen-er) at 9:00 pm, midnight, and 3:00 am. She checked to see if I had progressed at these times as well, but couldn't really tell if I had or not. Let me tell ya- some people are clearly better than others with this task, and having someone that fishes around in there is no fun. I don't think she even checked my progress at 3:00 am- that's how poorly the midnight attempt went.

I had a new nurse the next morning (Tuesday, August 16, 2016), and I LOVED HER! Debbie truly made the whole experience nothing short of enjoyable. She was so attentive and sweet to me the entire time. So very thankful for her!! Dr. Hiller made an appearance around 8:00 am to check my progress and break my water. I should've done a better job of recording my progress (oops!), but I believe I was 3 cm at this point. He asked me if I planned to get an epidural (which I definitely did), and he recommended that I go ahead and get it. I was started on pitocin (and fluids so I could get the epidural as soon as possible). So thankful I had already asked for the epidural, because shortly after starting pitocin I could feel the stronger intensity of my contractions. They weren't painful at this point, but definitely uncomfortable.

Once enough fluids were in my system, the anesthesiologist arrived for my epidural. Our parents left the room and I lost it to say the least. I've heard horror stories about epidurals- how painful they are, how they only numb one side, or how they haven't worked at all for some- and I was terrified. Zach and Debbie were so incredibly sweet to me the entire time. There was no reason for me to be nervous- at all. The whole process was a cake walk compared to the IV.. It was almost a joke in comparison. At first I could only feel it taking effect on one side, but another nurse suggested laying on my side to even it out. Sure enough, it worked! At this point I was golden- I got the epidural before my contractions were painful, and I got it soon enough that my dosage was ahead of the pain curve. And you best believe that every hour I asked for more- about 20 minutes before each hour increment I would start feeling back pain with each contraction (borderline unbearable), but as soon as I had another dose (not sure if that's the right terminology or way to say it- whatevs) I was perfectly fine again.

I progressed quickly. At 1:42 pm our baby girl entered the world- and our world hasn't been the same since. The day your baby is born is a day you grow up thinking about. You envision it throughout your pregnancy. You daydream about what your baby will look like, and how you'll feel in that moment when she finally enters your world- at least that's the way it was for me. Time stopped the moment I saw her for the first time, and life was in slow motion as she was placed on my belly. I'll never forget the way her eyes locked with mine, and her cries paused for a split second the first time she heard my voice. Single-handedly the best moment of my entire life. I still can't believe she is ours. She's truly a miracle.

You Might Also Like


  1. It's so cool to hear about other experiences! I had a c section and girl, I totally feel you on the IV was SO much worse than the Spinal! That was nothing! Haha. But I'm glad you had a pleasant experience and now a sweet baby girl! It really is an amazing feeling. �� Congrats again and prayers for your new exciting life on the west coast!