Thursday, April 14, 2011

"C" is for Childbirth

Tully is here!  He was born on April 5 at 6:13 pm weighing 8lb 2oz and 20 inches long. 

John Tully Cockerham
My birth experience was everything I wanted it to be.  My husband, John, was there from start to finish, and I couldn't have done it without him.  He was so calm and supportive.  He was exactly what I needed, when I needed it, even if I didn't know I needed it.  The Bradley childbirth classes definitely prepared us for the whole process, and I am grateful to have had my best friend and companion by my side the entire time.  He has proven to be a great father!!  My mom has also been a major player this past week, and I would be lost without her too.  From labor and delivery to cooking, dishes, laundry, diaper changes, rocking, talking, and kisses for sweet Tully--my mom has done it all.  When I've thrown in the white towel from complete and utter exhaustion John and my mom have been going strong.  Thank you both!

Birth Story
I woke up at 5am on Tuesday and told John it was "go" time.  Contractions were underway, and we notified parents, co-workers, and our midwife around 9am.  We labored at home until contractions were three minutes apart for two hours and arrived at the hospital around 11am.  The staff at St. Francis South (SFS) Hospital was amazing and so supportive of all our decisions.  We did intermittent fetal monitoring, and it was SO much easier to labor without the monitors on my belly.  Also, I only had the hookup for the IV in my arm but no IV tube was linked or running.  I was a "don't-touch-me-don't-talk-to-me" laborer, so the less things on me, the better.  After arriving at the hospital Tully went into a sleep cycle, and they gave me the option of eating/drinking juice or starting a small amount of pitocin.  To stay in line with our natural childbirth plan I opted for food and water.  Tully woke up within a short period of time, and I vomited up everything up.  Awesome.  We accomplished the goal of progressing labor without drugs up to that point, but I did end up requesting an epidural, which was administered when I was 7cm.  (Soooo close to 10!)  I'm sure I hit the transition phase of labor, which is where you think you can't go on, and when I did John asked if I wanted to wait 20 minutes to see if I could get through it.  In accordance with our plan, I waited the 20 minutes, but I still wanted the epidural.  Although I was disappointed that I didn't deliver naturally, I had done the best I could do, and we all agreed I made the right decision for some pain relief.  Tully arrived a couple hours after the epidural and managed to inhale a huge amount of amniotic fluid on his way out.  Silly boy just couldn't wait to take that first breath of air.  The nurses quickly suctioned off the fluid and gave me my sweet baby boy.  We bonded in the hospital over the next 24 hours with minimal interruptions from staff.  I really was amazed at how little time they took him away for standard screenings and the circumcision.  He stayed with me almost the entire time.  This was really important to me, and we had chosen SFS because they didn't have a nursery, which meant they intended for the baby to room in with me too.

Funny story about the sleeping arrangements overnight in the hospital--in addition to John, my mom was there to support me during labor and for Tully's birth.  I asked her to stay that first night in the hospital with us too.  There was a fold-out couch and the hospital bed.  Two sleeping spaces for three people.  Hmmm...So John and I crashed on the fold-out couch, and my mom took the hospital bed.  Every time the nurses came in to get my blood pressure or temperature, they would walk over to the bed and start talking to my mom.  I'd have to wave from the couch and show them my hospital band, so they could tend to me instead.  I was released just after 24 hours of delivery, and I know my support team was happy to sleep in regular beds that second night.

This past week has been a blur with lots of learning, but most of the time I've been too "drunk" on feel-good mommy hormones to notice anything but my precious baby.  Breastfeeding my little milk monster takes up the majority of my day.  He goes on these binges where he feeds every hour, which is more exhausting than not getting sleep.  It's SO worth it though.  I was worried that he wouldn't latch or that my milk wouldn't come in, but everything has worked out just fine.  The bonding experience with breastfeeding is something I can't even describe.  It is the most rewarding, heartfelt thing I have done in my entire life.  It can be frustrating at times (in the middle of Target while shopping!), but I love, love, love it.

We've gone on several family walks with our dog, Zach, and he's adjusted well to the baby.  He was overly excited and liked to lick at first, but after 48 hours he settled into our routine (or lack thereof), and he politely sniffs the baby when he wants to see what's going on.  He's going to be a good big brother.

Here are a few pics of sweet Tully's adventures this past week.

After the first bath

Listening to daddy
Making faces for Grammy

Hanging out with PawPaw
Trying to decide whether to go fishing or golfing first with PawPaw
Snuggling with mommy
Taking a nap with Great Papa Jim
Ready to leave the hospital
Tully's visitors, Lauren and Lacey, helped us load up and leave
Tully and his big brother, Zach
Tully is a little confused here--he thinks he is a Baylor bear.  Right state, wrong school, Tully!


  1. Congratulations, Ashley! Tully's arrival sounded amazing, and I am so happy that it happened exactly as you wanted. Way to go!! I know that you are doing a great job as a momma.

  2. Huge congratulations to you Ashley and John!! I'm so excited for you guys!!! Way to go mommy!!! Enjoy!

  3. Ashley, I have never seen a newborn that smiles like Tully! You all look so happy and he is just precious! Enjoy every minute with him!

  4. Congratulations, Ash! Thanks for taking the time to write everything out... you're super mom already! Little Tully's smiles are just precious. so happy for you all.

  5. Congratulations!!! He is just adorable! So glad everything went well! Can't wait to see more pics!

  6. CONGRATULATIONS!! Tully is absolutely precious!! I love the pic of him and his "big brother!" lol!

  7. Congratulations! He's a handsome boy.

  8. Love this story! How many times in life do you get what you want? So nice :) You kicked tail pretty lady! Enjoy the reward and say hi to him for me :)


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