i blinked and a year has flown by

i blinked and a year has flown by

I can hardly believe that it's been one year since CEP made her grand premier into our lives. I wish I could slow down time and savor these moments more, but no such luck. Instead I'll reflect on her  first year and share her birth story. Apologies in advance, this is really long. 

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Around midnight I was struggling to sleep because of my husbands snoring,—I mean pregnancy discomforts, and decided to grab a shower. I figured if I couldn't get a decent night of sleep,  I might as well be partially ready for work. I decided to take a shower. I noticed I was having some contractions and decided to time them. I felt a little silly timing them because I was doubtful that I was actually in labor...

Over the next few hours I continued timing my contractions (since they kept waking me up). They were almost a minute long and averaged 10-12 minutes apart. Around 2:30 AM I woke up and had this gut feeling that I should lay a towel down on the bed...just in case my water broke. I tried to go back to sleep at this point, but I woke up around 4:00 AM because I thought I needed to pee...what else is new for a pregnant lady?  I ran to the bathroom, noticed something pinkish, and thought, "I must have lost my mucus plug." I smiled to myself knowing this was a sign labor was sure to come in the next couple of days. I prepared to get back in bed, sat down, and felt a gush...

I realized, in that moment, what I thought was my mucus plug was actually my water beginning to break. At this point I was SURE I was in labor, and I woke my husband, Zach, up to call the midwife. I talked to Meghann, our midwife, on the phone for a few minutes so she could find out how I was doing and decide our next steps. Since my contractions were now only up to 7-8 minutes apart, she told me to grab a shower and try and get some rest. She also said she'd let the nurses of the hospital know to get my room ready, and we should head in whenever I felt it was time. Any nervousness I may have felt about waiting to go straight to the hospital were put to rest by her calming voice. So I took her advice on the shower, but rest wasn't really possible...

Since my water had broken things had become a little messy. I didn't have to deal with this mess the first time, as my water broke at the hospital, so I didn't know what was in store for me. BUT while pregnant with VHP I was fortunate to learn from our birth instructor to use a newborn diaper as a "pad" to catch the amniotic fluid. What they didn't tell me is how little those things actually hold. Every time I had a contraction there was another gush of fluid and more mess to deal with. By 5:30 AM I was over it and it was GO-TIME...

We called the midwife back and I let her know we wanted to head in, and she wholeheartedly agreed. Zach grabbed a quick shower (because who knows when he'd get another one of those), loaded up our hospital bag, got the car warming, and put some towels down on the passenger seat. Next he scooped up our VERY sleepy three year old and got her buckled up. Finally it was time for me to waddle down the stairs of our home and into the car...

After the longest 16 minute car ride to the hospital, we made it to the doors of the Women's Hospital at Henrico Doctors' Hospital. We called the nurses station to inform them of our arrival and waited. It may have only been 5 minutes, but it felt like forever. As we waited, we finally saw a nurse come out. Bless her tired heart, because she offered to wait with me rather than head home. We assured her we were fine, but she  left with reservations on her face. Fortunately, my midwife appeared moments later and said she was going to take me back to my room. She let us know it was shift change and they couldn't get me check in yet, but she wanted to get me out of the bright lights and somewhere calmer to labor...

Walking into that labor and delivery room was heaven. The lights were dim, fairy lights were on and twinkling, and calming essential oils were diffused into the air, and Meggann was this calming presence to assure me all was right in the world. Over the next 15 minutes my sister-in-law arrived, my mother arrived, and then my mother-in-law. My little family was now surrounded by people who love us to carry us through those important moments...

Between my husband; successful coach during baby delivery round 1 with VHP, our midwife; she delivered my cousins son 10 months prior, my mom; massage therapist of 20+ years and reiki master, and my sister-in-law; a registered nurse, I knew I had a rockstar birthing team.

Once Zach's mom had ushered our oldest out of the room, and my clothes were changed, it was time to check how far I had progressed. Turns out I was already 10 centimeters dilated, fully effaced, and it was time to push. Y’all, I knew second labors could be quick, but this was fast. I got to the hospital around 6:50, but it couldn't be later than 7:30 or 7:45 at this point...

Everyone assumed their positions and my midwife began working her magic. This may have been baby number two for me, but let me tell you, pushing a baby out is a lot of work. And it hurts. But, with warm olive oil, warm compresses, and skilled perineal massage, it’s not so bad. Women will tell you/cry of the pains of the ring of fire when the baby is crowning, but for me, it didn't exist this time. At 8:07 my beautiful baby girl poured into my hands. I pulled her onto my chest in one magical moment. For the second time, I did the hardest and best thing of my entire life...

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Giving birth is something I believe without a doubt shows us how strong women are, even when we don’t know or believe it. Having a midwife deliver a baby is not the norm in the United States, but I unequivocally believe this needs to change. I also know that I could not have given birth to a nine pound thirteen ounce baby so quickly without my amazing birthing team AND the determination of a mother longing meet her baby girl.

valentine shmalentine

valentine shmalentine

this is NOT a drill

this is NOT a drill

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