A Birth Story

Our little girl is 11 weeks old already. I sat down with the intention of writing about how parenthood changes your life in the most drastic way possible. I sat looking through all of my pictures from the birth and realized that I better document the birth as much as possible - before I forget. 

At this point I'm not sure we will have another child. I am sure most people with a 2 month old says this.  As much as having another child seems impossible I would be sad not to "birth" another child.  Childbirth is by far the most amazing, difficult, beautiful and profound experience of my life. I loved it.  LOVED it. The human body is miraculous.  Here is my story:

I was due on February 1st.  My due date came and went.  I was convinced I was going to have her early because that was the trend for the women in my family.  My dear friend Ashtin flew into Salt Lake from Hawaii early because she was going to be my doula for the birth. Yet the days passed and still no baby.  Ashtin was set to fly out on the morning of February 9th so I knew being induced was now an option. 

On Monday, February 6th Seth and I were convinced that we were going to get the labor started.  We walked about 3 miles that day and the contractions started and were quite regular.  They weren't really painful so it was obvious that this was just "early labor".  I was set to check into the hospital to be induced at 8:00pm that night and we really wanted to start our labor naturally.  We tried whatever we could to get things started.  Spicy food, sex, walking, even playing Dance Central on our Xbox - still no Millie.  I knew that if I was going to be induced that having the baby naturally - which is really what I wanted to do - would be nearly impossible.  However, I was more worried about trying to have Millie without the support of Ashtin.  I decided to go ahead and head to the hospital that night.  I was so done with being pregnant. I couldn't wait to meet my little girl. 

We packed up the car and took a few pictures of our journey. We left our house alone for the last time.

For the record can we look at his fat my face is?  Wow the water weight was crazy!  Not my best look. But that is one fine looking belly!

We got to the hospital with enough luggage that it looked like we were staying for a week. 

I was admitted to my room and the attending says "Oh are you going to be surprised on the sex? I see that the radiologist didn't indicate if you were having a boy or a girl."

Um - what!?  We know that our ultrasound was a bit sketchy but we were told at the appointment that we were having a little girl.  We knew the possibility was there that she could come out a boy.  But I knew - KNEW that she was a girl.  So they rolled in the ultrasound machine and yet again we couldn't tell the sex.   Oh Millie. 

Since I was having regular contractions I asked that they wait to start the Pitocin for awhile. I also asked not to be hooked up to an IV yet. I really wanted to do this naturally if possible.  I wanted to be able to walk and take a bath.  So they gave me another med - that was supposed to help induce labor.  And we waited. 

And walked -

The contractions did start getting harder.  Nothing I couldn't handle though.  I loved it.  It was so exciting. We hung out and watched "Bridesmaids". 

Tube Bunny was of course there to lend his expert help!

Finally at midnight the nurse came into check me. I hadn't progressed enough so they began the Pitocin.  For the next three hours things were pretty good.  The contractions were definitely more painful. Ashtin and Seth took turns applying pressure to my lower back through the contractions.  That helped a ton. I just kept breathing.  I also took a bath and that helped a lot.  

Around 3:00am things took a turn for the painful.  Really painful. I endured the next four hours in another state of mind.  Pitocin makes contractions much more intense.  And intense they were.  I tried the bath - it didn't help. I sat backwards on the toilet. I spent hours with my face pressed into the bed.  It was incredibly painful. I began to moan and cry. The doctor checked me and I was still only dilated to a 2.  Apparently my heart rate started to drop as did Millie's.  Seth was really worried.  

Apparently he leaned over me and cried "Don't leave me." I don't remember any of this. 

My mom and Heather made it up to the hospital. I don't remember them being in the room at this point.

Finally I begged for the epidural. Seth did exactly what I told him to do when I asked for it.  He responded, "Lets make it through one more contraction and see how you feel."  One more contraction seemed impossible.  They were happening about every minute and I was miserable. It must have been so hard for him to say that - and see me in that much pain.

The doctor came and put in the epidural.  I was always terrified of this. I just kept my head down and told them I didn't want to see the needle.  The hardest part was that you have to sit completely still while it is put it.  And it takes awhile. I had to sit up and lean over the tray table next to my bed. I just held onto Seth's hands and shook.  This 20 minutes was the most difficult of the day. 

Finally it was in but I wasn't finding relief.  The contractions were still just as painful. I think after about 30 minutes they called the doctor back. I am not sure what he did - give me another dose?  But it finally kicked in.  

And I felt MUCH better. I forced Seth to fix my hair because man it was crazy!!

 I was happy to pose for a picture with Ashtin - who was more amazing and helpful than I could have ever hoped for.  You know you have a good friend when they are willing to wipe your naked body down after your bath because you are too exhausted and in too much pain to do it yourself. She also served as the photographer today.  I love you Ashes!

The doctor came in to check me and was surprised to see that I was fully dilated and the baby had dropped.  She laughed and said, "Oh my gosh!  Becky do you feel like you need to push? I can't believe you are this far!" 

I didn't need to push. I needed some sleep. They left us alone for about 30 minutes while we napped.  

No wonder those last couple of hours were so horrible. I was in transition and we just didn't know it! I had made it through the majority of labor without any meds.  Go me!  

My doctor came in and said it was time to push.  This was at about 10:30am.  At this point the waiting room was full of our family.  Full!

Pushing was amazing. I loved it.  I loved that I could still feel the contractions enough to know when to push. I loved the feeling knowing that I was about to meet my baby girl. It was so empowering. I pushed for just over an hour.  

Our doctor told Seth that he could catch the baby.  So he suited up and got ready.  He also counted to 10 for each push.  I could tell the baby was crowning when I saw his face and heard the excitement in his voice.

It got to the point where my heart rate was dropping again and so was Millie's.  It was time to get her out! I was pushing nonstop at this point.  She was so close. 

And then she was here.

All I remember from this moment was the amazing sense of release and the nurses saying, "She's perfect." I burst into tears and cried, "I always knew she was a girl!"  They put her right on my chest and I saw her for the first time.  She was perfect.  My beautiful daughter was finally here. No words can describe that feeling.

She wasn't crying like she should have been so they had to take her to the warming table in the room to examine her.  Seth was right with her and crying just as hard as me.  He kept walking between her table and the bed to be with both of us. I finally told him to just stay with her.  I watched from across the room. 

I can't put into words how immediate the love you feel for your child is.  It's the most beautiful and overwhelming feeling in the world.  We both just cried and cried at this little miracle.  

Once it was determined that she was just fine they brought her back to me.  She was placed skin to skin.  She actually rooted immediately and latched on right away to breastfeed.  She never needed any help.  It's been easy since day 1. 

There was also an overwhelming feeling of already knowing her.  She had been a part of me for 9 long months. I already knew her so well. It felt so good to hold her in my arms.  

She was weighed and measured whileI was sewn up - I had an episiotomy.  It didn't phase me at all.  I was so enthralled with my daughter and our new life.  

We were now a family of 3.  

Slowly our family started to trickle into the room to meet the newest addition.  There are far too many pictures to show but I love this one.  So much happiness and excitement. 

We are happy parents. 

And she is perfect.

April 12th

I had a hard time coming up with 12 pictures today. It was a rainy and dreary day. I was working all day and really there are only so many exciting pictures to take of me at work. As I expected the majority of my pictures are Millie based. I find her to be adorable so maybe you will too.

1. Morning bottle with Dad. I miss feeding her every morning but she isn't always awake before I leave. Today she woke up just as I was heading out the door. Feeding her is such a special time for me (unless it's 3:00am) so I am glad that Seth at least gets to share in this opportunity when he can.

2. Back to work. I have decided to put a picture of a cow on my door for when I am pumping at work. I find this to be hilarious. I think everyone else just thinks I am weird. At least they know not to knock when they see the sign up- and hear the tones of the pump which I think sounds a lot like Scooby-Doo saying 'Ruh roh!"

3. If I am not with the two greatest people all day at least I can stare at them whenever I want to. What a handsome husband I have!

4. Yesterday was a sad day - Millie's 2 month doctor appointment. She had to receive 3 separate shots. Baby girl only cried for about 20 seconds and then smiled at us.

5. This girl LOVES her changing table. It's kind of odd but she is often happiest when sitting on her table. So alert and so cute.

6. So cute I have to kiss and kiss her.

7-9: See I am short on pictures but I LOVE this sequence of "dancing with Daddy!" I thought for sure we were going to hear her first giggle. Close but not quite.

10. All tuckered out - now she needed some snuggle time with Mom. Seriously this is my favorite thing in the world.

11. And she is in bed - this is early for her but we loved it! Sure we had to go in 30 minutes later to soothe her - but she was in bed at 7:23!

12. This leaves room for Mom and Dad to enjoy a little Harry Potter Lego (which we haven't played since she was born) and some delicious cookies which we nearly consumed that night.