Thought I would share my experience on the birth of our first daughter, Magnolia Reese. Something I've seen others do and I was pretty excited to do myself and one day reflect back on.
Side note: no we did not name her after Chip and Joanna's giant business empire or after the girl from Heart of Dixie. I personally have always love the name since I was in high school. Sorry, I get asked that a lot. ;)
Due Date January 13th.
January 6th, walking at least 3 miles at the local gym's indoor track.
January 13th came and I woke up early and made Chad come walk with me. That particular day I walked in very pregnant and was greeted by an elderly couple asking me when my due date was. After saying today, the cute old man exclaimed TODAY? and I said yes and once again he said TODAY? yeah buddy, I'm thinking the same thing too. LOL
I got about 1.5 miles into the walk and could not physically walk any further from the discomfort. That was different since I had been making it 3 miles everyday. Totally thought today will be the day, but didn't want to get my hopes up.
Around 1 pm that day I started to feel what I thought were contractions for sure. But how are you suppose to know with your first baby right? I wasn't in any pain so we just went on with the day. That night I cooked everyone chicken parmesan and my mom made us cheesecake. I particularly didn't feel like the "this is it for sure" moment. I was hopeful that my contractions would increase in intensity and not go away like many first time moms talk about. I ended up have contractions from 1 pm to 8pm on the 13th. After dinner I hopped in the shower to wash my hair hoping this would be it, fingers crossed!
8 pm. Yeah that's when I felt them. That, of course, was my biggest question throughout the pregnancy. What do they feel like? From what I remember, I felt burning. Intense burning and the desire to just get on all fours. So here I am, in my living room, my mom and husband staring at me while we work through contractions. Around 9:30 that's when I decided that it was for sure time to go in. Contractions were every 3 minutes apart and increasing in pain.
Got checked in to the hospital. Things I didn't know. They make you pee like 10 times when you get there in all these different cups. Don't remember why I had too. They strap on AWFUL baby monitors on your already contracting belly. I pulled it off at least three different times and got yelled at by the nurses. Sorry. Another side note, don't tell the nurse you think your water may have broken because they have to do more awful checking and peeing and other things I care not to remember. So know for sure if your water broke before you go telling the nurses, mine hadn't broken...
Finally got checked 5cm!! Super glad for that and the fact that I didn't have to go home because I was fully expecting to get sent home. Read to many things about first time moms giving birth.
One of the things I vividly remember was the nurse talking, and talking, and talking. Things like how to swaddle a baby and how to tell if they are dehydrated and so many other things I did not care about at this point. The look on my face as I'm working through a contraction with basically my bare butt showing and she's still talking. Shoutout to nurses. I have two awesome sister nurses but at that moment I didn't want to be talked to. Apparently it's protocol at this particular hospital while you are getting checked in to give information like that. Chad laughed at me afterwards because while she was talking to be I decided that I was going to stand up, bare butt and all, and lean against the bed. Sorry but these contractions hurt and I wasn't about to lay in a bed cause that shiz hurts.
Finally, made it to the labor room and at this point it is midnight. Really awful, burning. stabbing, contractions but still manageable. And then it happened and they checked me again. If you ever get to experience a nurse checking your cervix, stretching it, in the middle of a contraction I feel ya and I'm sorry. That was my breaking point. I wanted a freakin' epidural now. I have no idea what natural birth felt like, but if it felt like what that nurse just did to me, then shout out to all those natural birthing mommas. Sorry, not for me.
And what comes with epidurals is not dilating anymore, yayyyy. Can you hear my sarcasm? But I am thankful I got to rest for the night. 7 am no progression so we get started on pitocin and finally by 10:30 am we are ready to push. An hour of pushing and our sweet baby girl made her debut at 11:21 am.
A birth full of small moments that I treasure so deeply looking back on it now. My mom being there to seeing Chad holding her for the first time to the first time I looked at Magnolia's face. Little pictures I will hold in my head forever. One thing I will alway be glad I did was to hold off visitors for probably the first two hours. and I just held her. That's the biggest advice I could give, having a room full of visitors after you just went through one of the most physically exhausting moments of your life doesn't sound fun to me. I did not feel bad for saying no visitors yet and making people wait. I carried this baby for 9 months and I'm gonna hold her a little longer, because one day she will be way to big for me to.
Magnolia is almost 3 months old now and so many things I've learned.
the simpleness of knowing I'm the one she wants most right now. how easily her tears fall away when I hold her. how we make things all better in her world right now. this is how I want to spend my days, wrapped up with her. her first smiles, coos and her eyes following me around the room. it was hard to get here. those first weeks were tough. i cried when she cried. the one thing that stands out to me from these last 12 weeks was Chad telling me to be tough. it was midnight, she hadn't slept all day and nursed constantly. i basically was letting her cry because i didn't know what else to do. he embraced me and said Erin be tough right now, you have to do this. a simple embrace made me feel 100% better. and that's what she needed. so we picked her up, snuggled in bed and decided that we were going to be tough all together. Something I hope I never forget when things are tougher than I think I can handle.
photos: Erin Woody Photography