Paisley's Birth Story

Paisley's birth story begins on July 3 which was my 38 week doctor appointment. I saw Dr. Joel Bernstein that day at our practice. The practice that I go to has 9 doctors so you rotate and see someone new every time. I told Dr. Bernstein that I was DONE with being pregnant & couldn't do it anymore. He told me that I had to make it to my due date before they would induce (my due date was Friday July 13th). He looked at his calendar & the earliest he was available was Monday July 16th. So he called Wake Med Hospital and scheduled my induction. With tears in my eyes, I told him thank you & that I loved him (wouldn't be the last time I said that to Dr. Bernstein).

Our hope & prayer was that I would go into labor on my own & avoid being induced but apparently I have a stubborn cervix who does not like to cooperate so that did not happen. With induction, things were very calm. We were all packed and ready to go. Both Todd & I's parents were here. We all had dinner at our local Italian restaurant, Daniel's.

From July 16, 2012

The game plan was to go in on Sunday night so that they could insert a catheter that would open up my cervix overnight. We were suppose to call the hospital at 6:30pm on Sunday night & make sure a bed was available. So while at dinner, I stepped away to make the call and a bed was available! We said goodbye to our parents and off to the hospital we went. We checked in at the front desk with ton of luggage (baby books tell you to bring a ton of stuff). I'm sure people thought we were crazy for carrying that much crap into a hospital. (side note: hospitals need carts like they have at hotels- just saying)
From July 16, 2012
From July 16, 2012

We got to my room & the nurse began explaining what would happen. The doctor on call came in to insert the catheter and we were suppose to just go to sleep and labor would begin in the morning. I've got to say that I was a bit nervous lying there knowing that I would have a baby the next day. I didn't sleep at all because I had contractions all night long. Todd didn't sleep either because all he had was a chair for a bed. But somehow we made it through the night and woke up at 7am on Monday July 16th to start the whole process.
From July 16, 2012

Our nurse for the day, Laura, came in with Dr. Bernstein and they started the Pitocin. An hour with Pitocin and I was DYING! The contractions were awful and SO painful. The nurse suggested that I get an epidural an hour after I got Pitocin. I argued that it was way too early for an epidural. Apparently I was kinda nasty to her & Todd so behind my back she ordered the epidural. 45 minutes later, I wanted to die and she gave me the good news that she had ordered an epidural already and it was on it's way. Smart lady! As they were inserting the epidural in my back, my water broke on its own. I thought I was literally peeing myself and I was screaming "I'm peeing myself and I can't help it!". Luckily Todd wore his old flip flops because that stuff went everywhere. Once the epidural was in, they checked me & I was 4 cm dilated. This was 9:30 in the morning. I thought I'd have the baby by noon. But boy was I wrong!
From Kristy Shaeffer Slideshow

After the epidural, I was SO much better. They took me off Pitocin to see if I would dilate on my own and I could barely feel contractions. I took a nap, relaxed and just hung out feeling numb. It was great! Paisley's oxygen was low so I had to be on oxygen for most of the day. Thank God Todd is a funny guy because he kept the mood light despite all the pain.
From Kristy Shaeffer Slideshow

From this point forward it was slow going & extremely painful because they turned up the Pitocin. I felt each contraction (even with the epidural). My cervix was uncooperative & didn't move at the pace the doctor would have liked it to. The day just seemed to drag. I finally got to 6cm and then it was hours before I jumped to 8cm and then I got stuck.

During the last hour of labor, Dr. Bernstein came in the room and monitored Paisley's heart rate each time I had a contraction. Like he predicted, her heart rate would go down every time I had a contraction. He monitored us for about 30 minutes and then began talking to himself about the options that he had. When I overheard "Game Plan B" and "C-section", I lost it. I hadn't gone through 11 hours of labor just to have a C-section. I had a fever during the last part of labor and I had a cold wash cloth over my face. With the cloth over my face, I kept repeating “God you are faithful. God you are faithful”. God had been SO faithful during all of this, I knew He wasn’t going to leave me now.

So I took the wash cloth off my face and said to the doctor “what if I pushed her out?” He said “You want to try?”. I said “Yep”. So within a few minutes, they changed the end of my bed. Todd was told to hold my left leg while the nurse held my right leg and I began pushing at the next contraction. Dr. Bernstein literally went in and opened up my cervix with his hands since I wasn’t dilated to 10 cm yet. I grabbed my inner Texan and pushed Miss Paisley Lynn Craig out in 15 minutes!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve always been this way but I can do ANYTHING if I’m mad or determined and I was DETERMINED to get this baby out of me and not have a C-section!

Once her head was out, her body literally flew out. Todd had ring side view of the whole thing. Once she was out, Todd said "Oh my God" and then he dropped my NUMB leg! The doctor started to yell at him to pick my leg back up off the floor. They immediately took Paisley from me since I had a fever during delivery and I could see a litany of nurses working on her while she screamed her lungs out! Then the emotion hit. I cried uncontrollably for what seemed like forever. Todd cried too & just kept kissing my forehead. It was such an emotional moment.

Once I got my wits about me, I starting yelling at the doctor to let my friend & photographer Kristy Shaeffer in the room so she could take pictures of the first moment where I got to meet & hold my daughter. The doctor explained that I hadn’t even delivered the placenta yet & it would be a minute before they let her in. I didn’t listen & just kept demanding for Kristy to come in. Well, Kristy got there just in time and was able to capture the moment I’ve waited 32 years for!

From Kristy Shaeffer Slideshow
From Kristy Shaeffer Slideshow

40 weeks, 3 days & 11 hours of labor and Paisley Lynn Craig was finally in my arms!
From Kristy Shaeffer Slideshow

Monday July 16, 2012 was such a painful & deliriously rewarding experience. I still look at her and I’m amazed that this person was inside of me. God is so creative and SO real. This little life is nothing short of a miracle from up above. I’m so glad that my pregnant days are over and this beautiful little girl is here and we are finally a FAMILY!
From Kristy Shaeffer Slideshow

Here are some of the peeps who made this happen.

The most wonderful doctor & fellow Texan who saved me from a C-section, Dr. Joel Bernstein.
From Kristy Shaeffer Slideshow

The wisest nurse, Laura, who did NOT listen to me & ordered an epidural anyways. (I was apologizing in this picture for being a pain in her ass all day long!)
From Kristy Shaeffer Slideshow

Our wonderful friend & photographer who captured the BEST day of our lives.
From Kristy Shaeffer Slideshow

And the best & most supportive parents that both Todd & I could ask for.
From Kristy Shaeffer Slideshow

I have to say thank you to all of you who prayed for us during this pregnancy & during the delivery. Paisley was 7 lbs, 14 oz and 20 inches of perfection. She is completely healthy & normal. She loves to nurse and has gained 12 ounces since we left the hospital. We are having a good time getting to know each other and I look forward to sharing more pictures of our beautiful little girl with you soon!

Much Love,
Todd, Candice & Paisley

Kim  – (August 7, 2012 at 1:03 PM)  

What a great story, BF!!! :-) I loved it! I'm so happy for y'all and thankful to God for the miracle. Love you LOTS!!!

Kelsey  – (August 7, 2012 at 6:31 PM)  

I have been waiting for this blog... so glad it is finally here. I'm sure you have been busy (and tired) as a new Mommy! I cannot imagine how wonderful of a Mom you will be to Paisley for the rest of her life. I'm getting antsy to meet her! Love you.

Jessica –   – (August 8, 2012 at 11:23 AM)  

Great story Candice! It's wonderful that you captured all that in not only pictures but your words. Paisley will cherish that story when it is her turn. She is a blessing! Congrats again!

Kelsey  – (August 9, 2012 at 11:45 AM)  

Glad you documented it and for those of us not in Raleigh, thankful to be able to stay in touch and up to date. Glad you found your inner texan and pushed her out, literally! Enjoy this time, what a blessing she is!!!

Rebecca Francis  – (September 2, 2012 at 8:06 PM)  

Congrats! I just checked your blog and am so happy for you!

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