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August 14

August 19, 2010

*Disclaimer*

Usually when I decide to write a new post, I sit down at my computer and just let my thoughts flow onto the screen. This time is different. This time I am sitting here trying to figure out how to communicate the amazing thing that happened. How do I put into words feelings that are so new to me? And, how do I make all this readable? I am not sure if I will be able to but I am going to try. This post may be long but please bear with me, I will try to make it worth it to you.

After 226 days of pregnancy our sweet and amazing miracle was born. She entered this big world at 8:51 am on Saturday, August 14. We have been falling deeply in love since. I cannot put into words the feelings I have. Words would not do justice to my emotions. Our lives are forever changed and we could not be happier.

Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens

The beginning of the end started Friday. I had felt some cramping while running errands and decided to call my OB. She said to pay attention to them and see if my belly was tightening during the pain. If it was and they stayed regular or got worse to go to the birthing center and get checked.

We had planned a girls and boys night out for our good friends G&G who were getting married the next day. I decided that since I had spearheaded the girls outing and love G dearly, I was going to go out. We met the entire crew at G&G’s house and went our separate ways from there. As I left there were many jokes flying around about me going into labor and Z (also their wedding photographer) not being able to shoot the wedding. I laughed it off and followed the ladies to the restaurant. We had a delicious meal and great conversation. Throughout, however, I was beginning to realize that the cramping/tightening was getting worse. G asked several times if I was OK. I tried to reassure her that I was fine and that I couldn’t possibly be in labor after months of us joking about missing the wedding due to it. We finished up with dessert and said our goodbyes, reassuring everyone that I would see them at the wedding the next day.

Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens

Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens

Once alone I decided to give Z a call. He asked how I was feeling and I told him that I thought that the pain might be getting worse and I should go get checked out just to be safe. He was still out with the boys so we decided to meet at the hospital. We got to the Birthing Center floor at about 10:30pm. My OB was there and checked me for dilation. As she checked me conversation turned to the wedding the next day and how Z was hired to photograph it. I was dilated to 3cm, 1-2 cm more than the day before. As my OB left the room she leaned over and said to Z, “So, what time is that wedding?” I knew right then that I was not going to a wedding or even home. I was going to have a baby.

Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens

Soon after I was moved from the triage room into my labor and delivery room. As if somehow my body knew where I was, I started feeling real contractions. M2 and our youngest sister were called and told to head our way, a baby was coming.  I think I was still in a state of disbelief. How could I be in labor? I had driven MYSELF to the hospital, my water had not exploded like you see on TV and two of my closest friends were getting married the next day!!! Yet despite all that, there I was, every contraction getting stronger and closer together until they were right on top of each other. Things seemed to be going pretty fast at this point. I was in pain and still trying to wrap my head around what was about to happen.

Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens

My memory gets a little foggy at this point. I know that the contractions were about 90 seconds long and maybe 2 minutes apart, meaning I got about 30 seconds of relief between them. Trying to focus through the pain fogs out most of the details. I do remember asking my nurse if I could have some pain medication to take the edge off from the contractions. She recommended trying a hot shower first. It helped for about 5 minutes until the pain got worse. After the shower I was given a dose of Demerol. It helped the pain just enough so I could rest a little. After resting for a while the nurse came in and checked me. I was still only 3cm dilated. No progress. It was about 5:30 am and I was exhausted. We sent both of my sister’s home figuring I had a while. I tried to get comfortable. All of a sudden it felt like a champagne cork was popped inside me and then a warm rush of fluid. It was 6:30am and my water had broken. I barely got the words out when the contractions came back. In full force, stronger, longer and closer than ever. After an hour of this intense pain with no dilation my OB ordered Stadol through an IV.

Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens

From this point on my memory is a blur. M2 and Z have helped me to recount this part of the story. I received the Stadol at around 7:20am. My OB arrived in her street clothes and checked my cervix at about 7:30am. I was 7-8cm. (A giant thank you to the makers of Stadol.) She left the room to change and Z called M2 and told her to head back quickly. (She was my co-birthing coach). By about 7:50am I was told that I could start pushing. At some point M2 magically appeared by my side and the most amazing birthing team was complete. Z had my left leg, M2 had my right. My OB sat at the foot of the double bed and my midwife cheered me on. We quickly fell into a rhythm. A contraction would start, I would say “legs”. Z and M2 would hold my legs back and I would push. 3 or 4 pushes per contraction and them I would rest. I rested so deeply that M2 said I looked unconscious. “Legs”, push, rest, “legs”, push, rest. Pushing was amazing. I was finally able to do something productive. I no longer had to wait for my body to do its thing. I was now a participant in my labor. I could push through the pain. It felt good. About an hour after my first push, Elsa Mae Stephens made her grand début.

~Elsa Mae Stephens 6lbs 10oz 18"~ Photo by: Melissa Fernette

I will not even try to tell you the rush of emotions I felt. Words would not do any justice and may, in fact, cheapen the experience. It was pure magic. I had our daughter on my chest. Our love, hopes and dreams personified. She was perfect. My life officially began the moment I felt her warm body on mine and her tiny hand reached up and touched my face.

Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens

Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens

The next hours were a whirlwind of bonding and vitals and measurements and blankets and snuggles and tears and nurses and visitors. I would try to recall details but my memory doesn’t include them. I do know that Z was able to spend time with us and bond with his little girl. He was also able to make it to G&G’s wedding that evening but not before picking up a very beautiful bride and bringing her to see our baby. Family came and went. Tears of joy were abundant and there was enough love in the air that you could just about see it. Elsa’s first day came to a close with my mom and I quietly enjoying each others company and becoming closer than ever. I see her through a whole new set of eyes. 30 years ago she was me and I was her new little miracle. Z returned and my mom left our new little family to enjoy each other.

Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens

We are home now and Elsa is 4 days old. Life has never been sweeter. She is amazing. I am beyond blessed. Somehow it worked out that I am to lead an awesome life. I am humbled by this. I am humbled by all the people who are so excited to have Elsa in their lives. I am humbled by all the love our little girl had received. I am humbled by the fact that we have made a life. We have contributed another being with amazing potential to the world. I have shed tears of joy every day. I have spent hours just gazing at her perfect, tiny face. I have fallen so in love with her. I have become a Momma. We have become a family.

Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens

And all of this just because Z loves M.

Photo by: Zachary P. Stephens

xoxo

-m

P.S. Check out Z’s take on the entire event at blog.zacharystephens.net and swing by zacharystephens.org to see a photo a day of Elsa!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mom permalink
    August 19, 2010 10:29 pm

    Not a dry eye as I read this wonderful blog, especially when I got to the part about you and me!! I love you all and hope to spend a lot of precious hours getting to know my new little granddaughter!!

    Love you lots!!!

    Mom

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