Friday, May 11, 2012

The Birth Story of Anna Elizabeth {Annabeth} Tidwell

Friday, May 4, 2012

2:37 a.m.

I awoke in pain. My immediate thought was “It’s time,” but the intense sensations felt more like gas than the contractions I had been feeling the past few weeks. It’s strange how even after having previously experienced labor, you really do forget the pain. So, instead of grabbing my watch and timing contractions, I searched the medicine cabinet for Tums and guzzled an A&W root beer. Of course, neither helped. Between trips to the toilet and attempts at sleep on the couch, I eventually came to the realization that I was actually in the early stages of labor.

5:30 a.m.

Daniel got up to get ready for a leadership conference he was heading to for the day although he was apprehensive about leaving me. I told him to go on because the contractions seemed to be slowing down and were still pretty erratic. However, I knew that with him gone all day, I would not be able to take care of the girls like I needed to, so I called my mom to tell her I was in labor and needed her to come. Fortunately, she and my dad were only about an hour away at their cabin.

 6:40 a.m.

Both girls are awake and Daniel is leaving. He asks yet again if he should stay home, but while I am apprehensive about him leaving, I really do not want him to miss his event. Plus, I figured with my parents coming and his conference only ten minutes away, if we needed to get to the hospital soon, I was confident we would have plenty of time to do so.

7:30 a.m.

Mom and Dad arrive. The girls are eating breakfast, and I am trying to pack my hospital bag. {Why hadn’t I done this already?} The contractions are picking up in speed and intensity, now coming about every 5-6 minutes. I take a long hot bath to relax, think, and pray. I then decide to call the midwife’s office, which I know is not yet open. After leaving a message with the answering service, Lauren, the midwife on-call at the hospital, calls and suggests I go on to the midwife’s office to be checked. Because the hospital is over 45 minutes away and I know we will be facing rush-hour traffic, I decide to call Daniel. 

8:15 a.m.

Daniel arrives home and finishes packing our things. We kiss the girls and head to the midwife’s office. Unfortunately, though, we are in the thick of traffic going into Nashville and Daniel misses our exit, so by the time we reach the midwife’s office, I am already contracting every 3 minutes and the intensity of the rushes is pretty strong. I decide we need to go on to the hospital. Daniel calls the midwife’s office to tell them our intentions so they can let Lauren know we’re on our way.

 9:35 a.m.

We arrive at Vanderbilt Medical Center (VMC). Fearful that I wouldn’t be able to walk from the parking garage to Labor & Delivery, Daniel drops me off at Patient Pick-up and goes to park the car. The next fifteen minutes feel like an eternity as I wait for him because the people surrounding me in the waiting area are talking rather loudly about me while I am sitting there, head bowed down, eyes closed, concentrating intently on the surging contractions. When one woman pipes up that she thinks my husband has abandoned me in labor, I know it’s time for me to leave. I walk gingerly to Patient Services to ask for a wheelchair to L & D when Daniel arrives. A staff member wheels me up to L & D, and I am admitted to my room.

 9:55 a.m.

My midwife Lauren and the nurses arrive, and I put on my gown and crawl into bed where I am hooked up to an electronic fetal monitor. In order to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean section) at VMC, you have to agree to continuous monitoring of the baby, which pretty much means you have to stay in your hospital room for the duration of labor and delivery. However, my contractions are growing so intense that I want nothing more than to lie on my side and relax. An anesthesiologist arrives to offer medications, which I refuse, and then a doctor comes to explain the possible consequences of having a VBAC, which I completely tune out. 


10:45 a.m.

Daniel and I are alone in the room when the contractions intensify to the point where I can’t concentrate anymore and begin losing control. I repeat Isaiah 43:2-3 to myself and silently pray. The pain is such that I tell Daniel that I can’t do it anymore, but he calmly reassures me that I’m in transition and that the baby will be here soon. He is so good at encouraging me and his words soothe my doubts and fears.

At just that moment, though, something feels like it’s falling inside me, and in the next instant, my water breaks. Suddenly, I am filled with an overwhelming urge to push and there are no medical professionals in our room—no midwife, no nurses, no one but Daniel and me. I start screaming, “Help! Help me!” Lauren hears me from the hallway and rushes into the room as Daniel alerts the nurses.

There is no relief from the surging contractions: they seem to only escalate and fall over and over again without a moment’s rest. I am lying on my side in the bed, and the nurses help me get into the right position to push. At this point, though, I am tired and ready for it all to be over. After pushing a few times, I shout, “Just pull her out! Just get her out of me!”  Pushing is not my favorite stage of labor as it is for many women. Fortunately, I only have to push for about fifteen minutes before Annabeth arrives with a head full of dark hair. Of course she is absolutely perfect! All I can do is cry, “Oh, my baby! I love you!” 

All in all, my labor from start to finish lasted approximately 8 hours. We are so proud of our sweet little Annabeth. She is dearly loved by her Mommy, Daddy, and two big sisters, Kate and Cora.

 Anna Elizabeth {Annabeth} Tidwell
7 lbs. 11 oz.
19 in. long


  1. Such a cute little girl! Congratulations!

  2. Carrie that was so good... she is so precious.. hope you guys are doing well. mandy barrett

  3. Loved your story Keri. Thanks for posting
    She is beautiful. Congratulations!!!!

  4. Congratulations, Keri! She is beautiful! :) And what an extra special Mother's Day you're going to have! :)

  5. I am so happy for you, maybe we will run into each other at the doctor's office soon! Hope everyone is doing well and let me know if you need anything.
    Take Care,

  6. Congratulations to you all! I am so happy for you and glad that everything went well. Let me know if you need anything.
    Take Care,