Atlas's Birth Story


My mom had mentioned that me and my siblings were born 3 weeks early, hence, I was expecting my little babe to make his debut sooner then expected as well. But, in all honesty, I just prayed that he remains cooking a little longer. Coming from a scientific background, and having worked in NICU, I knew just how important the last couple weeks of pregnancy was for the baby's lung development. Although 37 weeks is considered "full-term", it is not until the 38th week that the alveoli in the lungs fully develop.


Few days before labor, I had a feeling the big day was near. I woke up on 4/20/17 at 4am with what I thought were contractions. They felt almost like a mild cramp, nothing that made me flinch in pain. I was tracking my contractions on the Baby Bump App and it seemed they were pretty regular, around 5 minutes apart and lasting about a minute. I woke Sedat up, and told him it might be time to go!

We were so unprepared! Our hospital bags were ready, but nothing was loaded in the car. We hadn't even thought of food, and for some reason I was craving bananas that morning. So off we went to our local Safeway and bought snacks. During this time I remained in the car, cringing in pain once contractions hit. I was so sure that once we got to the hospital they would send us back but that wasn't the case.

When we arrived at the hospital, every room was full. They took me into the triage room to monitor and check my vitals. By this time it was already 6:00am and when the nurse came to check how much I've dilated,  I was taken aback. She confirmed I was 5cm (halfway what?!) and said we would be having a baby today! We were overjoyed!


The next question of course was whether I want an epidural or not. I never wanted an epidural and was determined to get through labor and delivery without it (& I DID!). My main concern was not the pain but whether I'd be able to give birth in a labor room and not the triage that I was in. The nurses had no idea where to put me and were even considering taking me to the surgical room. I had come up GBS+ and had to take IV penicillin. It made me sick to my stomach and I started to feel anxious. Add the pain of labor& contractions, my progress came to a halt. I got stuck at 7cm.

Luckily a room had opened up and we were moved to L&D around 9am. I still felt like vomiting due to the antibiotic but I had felt a little better to have my own place, without having to listen to 5 other women around me. This is where things still didn't progress because although the nurse that was taking care of me was extremely kind, she was convinced that Atlas had turned a little lopsided and that's why I was having a "back labor". So she had me lie down for a good 4 hours and put me to different "exercises".


I was in pain. I was stressed. Now I was having a back labor and my baby who was in the perfect position a week prior was "turned". I started to panic. From 10am until 2pm (when her shift ended) I was stuck at 7cm with sporadic contractions. I called the whole thing quits once she left and got up to walk around and that's when things started to progress. Within 2.5 hours I was ready to push!


I was so worried about delivery but everything went so smoothly and easily, within 20 minutes Atlas made his debut in the world and was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen! The Dr. gave us a big congratulations and thanked me for having a "text book" delivery.

For those who are wondering, I'd do the whole thing over without getting an epidural. It was a beautiful experience to feel everything but I was naive enough to listen to the medical staff around me instead of my gut. If I had stayed home for a few more hours, Atlas probably would have been born at 10am vs 5pm and I would have saved myself from so much misery. So word to the wise, do what you think is right because everyone interferes. If you feel like something is wrong, don't do it no matter what the medical staff presses.

At one point actually the Dr. came and wanted to pop my water for labor to move things faster and said I might need a C-section if my progression stays the same. I declined and said I want to wait. My water actually broke during delivery and made the whole thing that much easier.


Everything else was a breeze. I was so hungry and really wanted Turkish food to celebrate! My dearest husband brought us lahmacun, baklava and ayran to celebrate (more on the food at a later post!) and it was the best thing ever!

My recovery was quick and painless, everything with Atlas was tip-top and we had a beautiful baby son to take home!





All photography is by the talented// 

Cari Courtright

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