In case you didn’t know, Knightly is queen of the world [our world anyway]. She reminds us every day. And being queen of the world calls for a very dramatic entrance, which is exactly what she got. Our queen was too good for a birth in the comfort of a bed. A sidewalk in the “meditation” garden was much more suitable…
The start of contractions?
I woke up around 3am on July 3, 2018 with some very subtle feelings that I thought could be contractions. Since I didn’t go into labor with Brayden naturally (you can read his birth story here), I wasn’t quite sure what the start of contractions felt like. I tried to go back to sleep, but was too anxious to get baby Knightly out! So I stayed up in hopes they’d turn into something more exciting!
Braxton’s alarm went off for work after a couple hours. He was super confused as to why I was just sitting up chillin’ in our bed, so I caught him up! As he got ready for work, I started bouncing on an exercise ball, trying to time these, still, extremely subtle feelings. I had gotten 16 minutes apart, 18 minutes, 16 again, 20… I thought they had to be perfectly consistent to be contractions, so we both kinda brushed it off for the most part. As he was about to leave though, I still had my concerns… If these were contractions, and he went to work, I’d have to wait about thirty minutes for him to get home, then an hour drive to our birthing center! And with Brayden coming out of nowhere, I was worried that maybe Knightly would do the same and I’d have a baby in the car. But when he asked if he should stay home, I didn’t want to say yes and the “contractions” turn out to be nothing more than Braxton [the irony…] Hicks, so I said no.
Within the thirty minutes it took him to get to work, my contractions had gone from 16-20 minutes apart to 6-7 minutes apart! I still didn’t wanna call him, especially because I just told him to go to work. ? Buuuuut I did of course, and he walked right back out of the building to come get me.
We had a bag kinda packed already. My mom had come into town so she could stay home with Brayden while I gave birth. But one thing we had not done was switch over Brayden’s carseat to my mom’s car so they could come meet us after K was born. Another thing that hadn’t been done was teaching someone else how to strap the carseat in because we had just switched him to a convertible carseat and I was the only one who knew how to properly install in. LUCKILY, I wasn’t in any pain whatsoever. So I went out and switched it myself, and we hit the road!
At the birth center
We arrived at the birth center around 9:30am, Braxton dropped me off at the front to check in while he went to park. My contractions were now about 5 minutes apart [and around 50 seconds long], but I still wasn’t in any real pain, just mild discomfort.
I walked up to the desk with a smile on my face, ready to get a room and have this baby! I noticed there were a few women on beds in hallways, but didn’t think anything of it. The nurse at the desk seemed a little lost on where to put me though. Then another nurse walked up and said she’d put me in a room! Come to find out, it was the last room, and they were supposed to be holding in for whomever actually about to push a baby out because they didn’t have enough rooms! I got to keep the room due to them making a mistake. But little did we know, I wasn’t really gonna be needing it. ?
The nurse comes in and is just asking me normal initial questions like what my birth plan is… “??♀️ Um, yes, is there any availability on the sidewalk? I’d like a garden view please.” Just kidding. I told her a natural birth and I was considering a water birth, but still wasn’t sure [the idea partially grosses me out… Though I’m sure I wouldn’t care considering what would be taking place]. My water broke about 10 minutes after being in the room. I got cleaned up, went back to bed to have my contractions and fetal heart rate monitored for a while before freely laboring. Everything was good!
I had a bit more discomfort with my contractions after my water broke, but I was still smiling and talking through them. Given that, the midwife didn’t feel the need to see how far along I was dilated yet. Which was totally understandable, and I didn’t care because I literally hate that part. The nurse advised me to go on a walk! Walking is great for speeding up dilation, and I was fine, so why not recommend a walk, right? She checked the fetal heart rate one more time, then left me and Braxton to go for our walk.
Knightly’s grand entrance
As soon as we leave the room [around 11am], I tell Braxton I don’t want to walk. That I can’t walk. I felt some pressure as soon as I stood up, and walking was not my friend. But Braxton insisted we keep trying since the nurse suggested it. We decided to go right outside the birth center to the meditation garden [you could literally see it from my room window by the front doors… It wasn’t far]. As soon as we walked out, I had to hold onto Brax through a contraction. I walk another ten feet and stop to sit on a bench for another contraction. They had suddenly started coming one after the one, and I was in moaning pain.
As I’m sitting on this bench, dying, some dude pulls up in a parking space right beside the birth center. BLARING rap music. I’m just like, “Why yes, this is the birth playlist I had in mind. How did you know?” ? But on a real note, ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Who does that? I don’t care what genre of music it is. It was so loud. He finally gets out of the car… HE WAS DELIVERING MCDONALDS. I don’t know if he was a friend or Uber Eats, but dude, turn down your music in a parking lot. Luckily, he was there and gone suuuper quickly. Otherwise, he would’ve gotten quite the show.
We had gotten up to keep walking after a contraction. We walked another ten feet and I have to hold onto Brax. Then another. Then we arrive at another bench and I sit again. Braxton is still encouraging me to walk, and I love this man to death, but he just did not get that I could not walk. Then I get that full-on pressure. If you’ve had a baby, you most likely know what I’m talking about. That pressure that feels like you’re either about to push a baby out OR you’re gonna poop yourself. Either way, I knew I needed to get inside ASAP. So I told Braxton I had to use the bathroom [which I really thought I did when I said it, but had I known he would’ve agreed to go back in so easily, I probably would’ve just used that excuse sooner ?]. We wait for my next contraction so I can try to rush inside right afterwards. Contraction passes… annnnd, GO.
I take maybe ten steps and slowly just go down to the sidewalk. Braxton’s just like, “What are you doing???” [No, I mean he literally said that and told me to get up. ? We were just talking about this moment as I’m writing this, and he said he was getting kinda frustrated because I kept stopping and the nurse told me to walk… ??♀️ He means well. But you can have the next one, Brax.] I told him I can’t walk. And BOOM. My body just starts pushing, and I tell him I’m having the baby! He rushes to that intercom on the birth center door [they keep the door locked so nobody can steal babies], and just says, “BRIANA WILLIS IS HAVING A BABY IN THE GARDEN.”
So like twelve staff members coming running out, bringing supplies and whatnot. A couple people are standing over me with a sheet to block the midday sun. One person is holding a plant out of my face. Other people are bringing screens to protect my dignity from the parking lot and front door. And a couple minutes later, at 11:34am [at least, that was the closest estimate we could get among the chaos without a clock on a wall] out came baby Knightly. ☺️
After Braxton cut Knightly’s cord, he was able to hold her, and they brought a bed out for me to get me back in our room [where I also got my chicken salad sandwich as I did with Brayden, and it’s the only time I eat them ?]. We called my mom to bring Brayden to meet his new little sister, and it was a very cute experience! He got a little wild after a bit, so they did go home for night after a couple hours. We decided to only stay in the birth center for one night again because we wanted to be back home together with little man!
ALSO, come to find out, Braxton actually thought Knightly was dead! He said he just wasn’t getting good vibes from the people delivering her. And I was just like, “Well… they had zero warning that I was going into labor anytime soon, and they’ve never had someone give birth in the meditation garden…” I guess she didn’t cry right away when she was born either. But I can’t imagine how he must’ve felt during that time! His wife lying on a sidewalk, pushing out a baby he didn’t think would take a breath… That’s so scary. Luckily, we were both totally fine. I was making jokes right after she was born, so… yeah. More than totally fine. ?
Now I can only imagine what baby #3 has in store for us after having these two. We’re planning for a home birth, but who really knows? These Willis babies make their own plans.
Thanks for reading!