Friday, February 8, 2013

The best day of our lives

I'm finally getting around to recording Reese's birth story. For those of you interested, it's going to be a long post. I'm not leaving anything out...Enjoy!

On Tuesday, November 27th, I went in for my weekly doctor's appointment. The next day was my official due date, so I was hopeful that I had made some progress from my appointment the week before. Since my last appointment, I had walked in a 5k on Thanksgiving morning, gone Black Friday shopping and had been doing a whole bunch of squats and jumping jacks. I was hoping all of that activity had helped get things moving.

Much to my dismay, my doctor told me I was only dilated to a one and 50% effaced. I fought back the tears as he suggested that we schedule an induction for the next week just in case she didn't come on her own. I met with his nurse, who was so nice and helped me get everything scheduled. She was hopeful that baby girl would come before then though.

As soon as I got to my car, I called Josh and immediately broke down. I didn't know if I had it in me to go on another week. I was so done being pregnant both physically and emotionally. I did my best to stay positive because I couldn't be more grateful to be pregnant, but those last few weeks of pregnancy are rough. I was sick of swollen feet and ankles, exhausted from being uncomfortable all the time and so done with people telling me how big I was. Seriously, if you are reading this, don't ever tell someone that's pregnant-especially someone that is nine months pregnant how big they are. Believe me, you are already well aware of your size when you are pregnant. Anyway, Josh was really sweet and encouraging on the phone and that helped a little bit. I drove home and let out a good cry while telling baby girl that I needed her to come soon. We were so ready to meet her.

Here I am in my 9 month prego glory. 
Wow. That is a BIG belly.

That night a cute friend in my ward brought us dinner. She had approached me at church on Sunday and said she wanted to bring us dinner sometime that week and when she asked what night would be best, I suggested Tuesday. Little did I know, the timing was perfect. She brought a delicious dinner and I appreciated it so much. It was just what I needed after feeling discouraged from my appointment. (I seriously have the BEST ward and neighbors. THE BEST!)

After dinner, Josh and I ran to the mall to finish our Christmas shopping. We did most of it on Black Friday, but wanted to have all of it completed before baby came. When we got home, I took a hot bath and tried to convince myself that it was okay if Reese didn't come for another week. We went to bed and I was having a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions and was feeling extra uncomfortable. Around 2 a.m., I woke up with contractions that were actually painful. I laid in bed for a while trying to figure out if they were more than Braxton Hicks. I watched the clock and noticed that they were around 10 minutes apart and they were taking my breath away and I really had to focus when one would come on. I decided to get out of bed and go lay on the couch and start timing the contractions just in case.

I found an awesome free app that times your contractions for you, and began timing them while trying to find something on TV in the middle of the night. Surprisingly, the next several hours flew by and I was excited that these contractions were consistent and painful. I was so ready to have my baby. Josh woke up around 7 a.m. to get ready for work and came into the living room to ask what I was doing.  I told him that I was pretty sure I was in labor. By that time, there were about seven minutes apart and getting harder to breathe through, so I knew I had made some progress since I woke up at 2 a.m. We decided he should go to work, just in case this was false labor. He promised to keep his phone by him at all times and would be ready to leave if I needed him to. At that point, I called my mom and then I started contacting my coworkers and my supervisor to let them know what was going on. I finished up some emails to students and worked for about an hour and the contractions kept on coming! I was so excited. Boy did they hurt, but I didn't even care. I knew that pain = baby!

By 10 a.m., they were about five minutes apart and I knew at that point we were safe to go to the hospital. I called Josh and told him to hurry his bum home. I threw a few last things in my hospital bag and impatiently waited for Josh to get home. When he finally arrived, I had him give me a blessing and then we were on our way to the hospital.

As we were pulling out of our driveway, I kept thinking how crazy it was that the next time I would be home, we would be a family of three. Our lives were about to change forever.

All ready for baby
Picture taken Sunday, November 25, 2012

We got to the hospital around 11:30. After they checked us in and assigned us a room, the nurse came in to check me and make sure I was really in labor. To my surprise, my labor and delivery nurse was the same nurse that had helped me schedule my induction the day before at my appointment. She remembered me and said she had a feeling when I left yesterday that I would be back soon. She works part time in my doctor's office and part time in labor and delivery and is an awesome nurse. I told her I want her to be my L&D nurse for all my babies. Anyway, she checked me and I was only dilated to a two. I couldn't believe it -  I had been having intense contractions for about nine straight hours and had only progressed one centimeter since the day before. She told me I was definitely in labor and would have the baby in the next day or two, but I needed to progress a little bit more before she could officially admit me to the hospital. She told us to go walk around for an hour and if I progressed in that time, then she would keep me. So that's just what we did. We walked, well I waddled the halls of the hospital for the next hour.

When she checked me again I had progressed to a three. Hallelujah! They officially admitted me to the hospital and a little while later, my doctor came and checked on me. That is one of the many things I love about IMC - I love that the doctor's offices are in the hospital. He came and checked on me several times throughout the day while I was laboring.

Signing the paperwork. So happy to be so close to meeting Reese!
I do not miss that chubby, prego face. Yikes.

I labored on my own for a few more hours. My parents stopped by and so did Josh's mom and brother. Finally around 3 in the afternoon, I got my epidural. Bless that epidural. Anyone who can go unmedicated while laboring and delivering a baby has my full respect. That last little bit before getting my epidural was brutal and after laboring for 12 hours, I was spent. It was so nice to be able to relax for the rest of the day and not even know when I was having a contraction. Such a relief. Getting the epidural was the scariest and worst part of the labor and delivery process for me, but it was well worth it!

After a long day of labor, I was finally ready to push around 9:30 p.m. I was so excited! And I couldn't believe that Reese was going to come on her actual due date! We had my mom be in the room in case Josh couldn't handle the delivery. I needed someone there that could be stable for me. In our birth class, we watched "The Miracle of Life" and Josh just about died. He was 100% disgusted. Surprisingly, Josh handled the delivery like a champ. He held one of my legs and watched the entire thing without throwing up or passing out. haha. Call me crazy but I LOVED pushing! I couldn't feel any pain, but just pressure. It was an exhilarating feeling knowing that baby girl was on her way to greet us.

After about an hour of pushing, our beautiful baby Reese arrived at 10:35 p.m. I will never forget that moment of seeing her for the first time. It was the most amazing feeling. She was absolutely perfect. I couldn't believe how big she was, and we were all in shock at how much hair she had. She hardly cried and was wide awake just looking around. She was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.

8 pounds 10 ounces, 21 1/2 inches long. Big girl!

Once we got cleaned up, our families came in to meet her. It was so fun watching everyone fall in love with her. Reese will never be lacking for attention, that's for sure. Josh's brothers thanked us for having a cute baby. hahahaha. All during my pregnancy, they joked that the baby had better be cute or they wouldn't be able to love her. Those boys love to tease.

First family photo

After our visitors left, Josh was able to give Reese her first bath in our hospital room. It was so cute to watch. 

At this point, it was almost three in the morning. We were pooped. Josh hadn't planned on staying overnight in the hospital, but since it was so late, he stayed and I'm so glad he did. It was so special spending that first night as a family of three together.

The rest of our hospital stay was full of lots of fun visitors, relaxing and learning all about how to take care of our baby. I actually really enjoyed our hospital stay. Having nurses around 24/7 to answer questions and help out is so nice - especially because once you go home, you are on your own!

I don't know if I can adequately put into words my experience of becoming a mom. It has been the best and most amazing experience of my life. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed us with this sweet little girl. She has been the biggest blessing of our lives and I hope that I can raise her to be a strong, happy girl who loves the Gospel. Everyday I am in awe of how beautiful and perfect she is and I savor every second I get to be with her. Seeing Josh fall in love with her has been so fun to watch. He loves and adores her so much and he is completely wrapped around her little finger. I knew he would love our baby, but he has exceeded my expectations. He's such a cute dad.

We love our little Reese more than words can say.