With every blog comes the baby story, and today it is all about Paisley. But before I talk about that I want to set the scene a bit more.
Like most young, newly-ish married couples, talks began about starting a family. We were living in Columbus, Ohio and enjoying our time completely relying on each other 10 hours from our families and close friends. I was in for the baby adventure from day 1, I wanted to be a mom, to raise my kiddos and create lasting memories as an expanded family. Brian on the other hand had other plans…he wasn’t quite as eager to pull the trigger…he wanted to live a little. Ha. And he held on for about 2 years.
The day he told me he was ready is a memory that will stay with me. We were on our way to the bi-annual outlet mall trip (Bah! My favorite place, check it out here) and he straight up said “I think I’m ready”. FINALLY! What seemed like forever had finally happened. It unfolded more inspired than that…but I was excited that my dream of being a mommy and creating a family had arrived.
While in the car, Brian explained that he had a dream. In that dream, his parents had told him that the longer we wait to start a family, the less time they have to spend with them. Essentially, every day we wait is a day less they will have to create memories. And that was it. The reality of his parents losing time with our kids was what made his decision. All the waiting was over. All the talks of ‘we’ll have kids after we do this or that’, ‘after we pay off debts’, ‘after we travel’, etc. are a moot point when it comes to the time they lose creating relationships (there’s that word again!) with family and friends.
We thought it was going to be easy…decide to have kids, then boom, you’re pregnant right? Wrong…at least it was for us. It took us another 8 months to get pregnant, multiple negative pregnancy tests, questions for the doctor and disappointment. It started to feel like a job, rather than this fun and exciting time spent with Brian. It was hard. I cried…a lot…and he kept reminding me that it will happen when it is supposed to happen.
Then one day…it did! I remember feeling sick that morning, but it passed. The feeling of hope strong, I took a pregnancy test like any other day…and hooray…it was positive! I was so excited. After what felt like forever, we had our prayers answered and God had blessed us with what turned out to be a pretty cute little babes.
Pictures courtesy of Lauren Barber (look her up if you are in the Columbus, OH area)
Being pregnant was not one of my favorite experiences. It adds to my already low body confidence issues, but that’s for another post. But all those feelings do not negate the amazing transformation that goes on with a women’s body during pregnancy. The feeling of baby kicks and turns is like nothing else, and may only be slightly above the sight of Brian feeling the kicks for himself for the first time. Seriously…it’s the absolute best to see a genuine smile and excitement on the hubs. (But I could do without the swelling and gigantic fat feet…ha.)
(I have scoured our computer looking for previous months belly pics and CANNOT find them anywhere! If I do look for the update! Argh!!)
Prepping for a baby is no small task either. There’s the room to paint, furnish and stock. Not to mention the clothes, diapers, wipes, blankets, towels, bows and frill for baby girl hair…the list could go on and on.But once that is finally done, it is waiting time. At the time of this pregnancy I was working full-time at Nationwide Children’s Hospital as a community-based school therapist AKA traveling therapist who visits elementary schools and lives out of her car. Super fun, super flexible job that I am so grateful for having. The last week of pregnancy and work, I was in a training with my boss. By day 3 of the training I was timing my contractions and they were getting more regular and closer together. My boss kept telling me to leave and rest, but I had to get those CEU’s (all you professionals know how that feels). I finished up the training with a day left of the work week. Thursday night was the night I couldn’t wait any longer. Contractions were happening every 5 minutes, so Brian and I decided to call the on-call doctor. Doc said to come in. That’s easy right?? We were going to have a BABY!!
Picture on the left was Wednesday Night before we went to the Hospital. Picture on the right was in the triage room.
As you can see from the picture, I was super excited to have this baby. We were ready, house was clean and baby’s room was prepped. When you get to the triage room one of the questions they ask you is how much pain are you in. As a first timer at this, and having NO IDEA how much pain I was supposed to be in, or how terrible it was going to get, my naive self rated it somewhere above a 5, but not past a 9. And as you can see by the smile, I was nowhere near where I needed to be! If you are smiling and walking around, chances are your body is not quite ready to pop the baby out. But having no idea what to expect, I simply thought this was how labor was supposed to feel…boy was I wrong! ha!
The nurse proceeded to check items from her list, asking how often contractions were, getting blood samples (by now I was used to feeling like a pincushion!), asking due date, etc. She then checked my dialation and told me I was dialated to a whooping…3…which is not enough to admit. She gave us 2 options…go home…or walk around the hospital for 1 hour then come back for a re-check. So we strapped on our tennis shoes (more like slipped them on, if you know Brian and I we don’t tie our shoes…ha) and started our walk.
If you want to know how long an hour truly is…spend it walking around a small hospital, at 11pm at night, FOR AN HOUR…seriously the longest hour of my life. But we were determined to have Paisley tonight. Those normal strides were mixed in with lunges, finding stairwells to walk up and down, and maybe an occassional jumping jack…but don’t tell my doctor that.
We were back in that triage room, exactly 1 hour since she let us wander…and drum roll for the re-check…STILL A 3, maybe 4! But not enough to admit. She gave us the two options again, go home or walk again. By this point it is a little past midnight and my bed sounded better than walking, so we packed everything back up and went home. Here’s where things get crazy and REAL! You’ve heard of the many wives tales to induce labor, from eating spicy food to jumping on a trampoline to having sex to drink tea containing raspberry and castor oil (yuck!)…I will let you guess which one we tried (my mom reads this thing!).
BUT IT WORKED!! Contractions got heck’a strong and frequent. If the nurse would’ve asked me to rate my pain scale now it would’ve been WAY worse than before. But did we go in…NOPE. I was NOT going to have her send me home again. So I tried to get some sleep (note: Brian fell right asleep as soon as we laid down, how nice.), and no matter what I tried I just couldn’t. Mix of nerves and pain is my guess. So when the alarm went off the next morning (Friday) I texted my boss saying I would be finishing paperwork from home and keep her updated. Brian worked from home as well. I sat at the computer all morning, bouncing on my exercise ball (another fun way to induce labor), completing notes and updating files to pass on to the therapist taking my place (I was not going to return to work after having this babes). Once notes were finished, I waddled (walking was not in the vocabular for super prego lady at this point) downstairs to our treadmill, turned on a show and started walking…waddling…hoping to progress a bit further. While walking on the treadmill my dad called me to check in. During our brief conversation I had at least three contractions, all of which I had to step off the treadmill and breath through them, not even able to speak. It was at this point my dad said we needed to go in. “If you can’t talk through your contractions, it’s time to call the nurse”. Heeding dad’s advice, I did. And here we were again off to the hospital.
It was almost lunch time, bless his heart…Brian worked up the courage to ask if he could stop to get lunch before we got there…bless his heart…ha. I must’ve been out of my mind because I said yes. We stopped across the street from the hospital at a Subway so my little hubs wouldn’t get hungry if this whole labor thing took longer than expected. (Don’t ever say I don’t do anything nice for you babe). He made sure I had my phone and gave me a couple towels, just in case my water broke…how sweet, right?
After the lunch break, we were at the triage room…again. I was SUPER nervous that I was just being a baby, complaining about the contractions and hoping they were going to admit us. Extra big drum roll for this dialation check……7!! I was staying. HOORAY! They walked…waddled…me down to the delivery room and asked which hand I would like the IV in for my anesthesia. And here is when I think the nurses had to hold a poker face. I was going to try this thing natural…no meds, no pain killer…al naturale. I think our nurse thought I was nuts, and repeated her question as if I didn’t hear her the first time. I kindly repeated that I wanted to try and go through labor without an epidural…that needle scares the crap out of me, and I wanted to see if I could do it! So she finished explaining all she needed to and left Brian and I for a bit to check on other patients.
Brian set up the phone calls with both our parents so we could chat before things got real, set up the iPad with some Grey’s Anatomy and ate his sandwich in the corner…while I got some ice chips and a popsicle. Joy…ha. It only took a few hours for me to progress, through multiple position changes and nurse checks. At one point I was on my hands and knees in the bed going through the transition phase of labor…which is the absolute worst. The nurse came in for a check on my heartbeat and Paisley’s heartbeat, but she couldn’t find Paisley’s. This is super scary. Things previously seemed to be going great, then suddenly she stopped chatting and kept her eyes glued on the screen, while moving the monitor over my belly. After the next contraction she asked me to flip over to my back…now this was probably the worst. I had to wait through a contraction, then move my whale, beached body, 180 degrees before another contraction hit. All while tangled up in cords for the monitor machines. Tricky stuff, but I did it…and man did that next contraction hurt! It was what she needed though, as soon as I flipped she was able to get the heartbeat back for Paisley. She thinks the monitor was just unable to pick up her heartbeat at the other angle. This lead to the final cervix check. I had made it to a 10!
The contractions were TERRIBLE, but it is mostly a mind game. If you can concentrate on breathing or something else you can totally do it!
In came the doctor, and she was super pumped. It was like a whirlwind. Nurses everywhere prepping the baby warmer, dressing the doc, asking if I wanted a mirror (NOPE!), continually checking monitors and sounds. Dr. Maffett was positive she would get Paisley out in less than 30 minutes in time to help another patient…she was wrong. The pushing started and about 3 pushes in she said Paisley was crowning. She then said “Reach down and feel the full head of hair.” I did…and that was the only time! Ha. So weird and kinda crazy. And then Paisley was stuck…for about 45 minutes. My body was so tired and weak that I was struggling to push any harder. I even had to be put on oxygen…again, tried to find the wonderful picture Brian took but I can’t…bummer…ha. Seriously, kudos to all those mommas who go the no meds route. It’s super tough work and I don’t think that I was fully ready for what it required. And kudos to those mommas who are smarter than I and did the meds…might’ve been a better choice. 😉
After about an hour and half of pushing our beautiful girl was born. Seriously so perfect and all the feels. Remember when I said that seeing Brian’s face the first time he felt her kick was the best, scratch that, best sight ever is seeing the hubs holding baby girl for the first time. Seriously the best EVER!
Anywho…so there ya have it. My lovely birthing story, full of naive moments, super fat pregnancy moments (for real 50 pounds of it), and bloated after babes moments (did you know you still look prego after baby…I didn’t think it would bounce right back, but didn’t think I’d still look gigantic!) I blame it on the fluids…right? Enjoy the pics of this precious moment and stayed tuned for Carson’s birth story in a few!
And here’s a few of the first weeks home
And just some of my faves since then. Love this girl and all she brings to our family!
Happy Hump Day!