‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…. A birth story

I’ve been telling myself for days that I needed to post Avery’s birth story before I forget any of the details, but guess what? Having a newborn is a lot of work!

First let me say that through my entire pregnancy/birth experience the biggest lesson I learned is that the moment a woman starts telling you their horrible pregnancy stories or frightening birth stories…cover your ears.

One thing my doctor told me early on in my pregnancy was this: This is your pregnancy and your journey, no one else’s. Your body was made for this and pregnancy isn’t a disease. Focus on the enjoyable moments and realize there will be uncomfortable moments as well.

As with most situations the majority of the stories I heard of pregnancy and birth were scary ones… I tried to go through my pregnancy and especially delivery with the words of my doctor in my mind. And you know what… I had an amazing pregnancy and a wonderful delivery experience. Sure there were painful moments and uncomfortable and exhausting days… but it was my choice to reflect on those times or to reflect on the incredible journey I was embarking on.

I hit my “due date” on December 20th with no sign of an arriving baby… Kyle and I took the opportunity to enjoy another weekend of dates and movies and Christmas shopping. Kyle was beginning to get much less patient than I was so he started researching all the various methods of inducing labor naturally. We walked…and walked….drank raspberry tea….walked some more… nothing seemed to be working. So many people told me that the longer she stayed in the womb, the better baby she would be. I didn’t know if this was true but it made waiting a bit easier. My doctor felt that there wasn’t an immediate need to talk induction due to my and the baby’s great health. There wasn’t a fear of my having a large baby or any other health issues and she felt that in her experience when you allow God to work on His own time things tend to go better for both mother and baby. I didn’t want to induce if my body and baby weren’t ready yet.

So we waited.

I had a doctors appointment scheduled for Tuesday, December 23rd for a checkup. My doctor was on call through the holidays but was leaving on vacation the weekend following Christmas. After my checkup she asked Kyle and I if we had decided on a plan. Did we want to set a date to induce or were we planning to wait it out? I told her we were fine waiting a bit longer but the thought of potentially having this baby in 2015 was too much for me!! Since my doctor was going to be out she went ahead and set an induction date of Monday, December 29th. She wouldn’t be the one delivering my baby if we made it to this date but it would allow us to be home with our baby before January 1st.

I left the doctors appointment feeling disappointed and frustrated at my body. Everything in my pregnancy had gone so text book and the thought of not getting to experience going into labor naturally made me so upset!! My doctor kept telling me that she strongly felt that I would have Avery before our induction date but I wasn’t so confident.

Kyle took the rest of the day off of work and we just spent the day out of the house keeping ourselves busy! We went out and had a big delicious dinner and came home to watch Christmas movies. There was a piece of mind knowing that at the latest we would have our little lady by Monday.

At 11:41 that night I woke to a strong pop feeling accompanied by my first painful contraction. It startled me enough to wake me up just as I was starting to fall asleep. I thought… oh I must need to go to the bathroom! As this was something I did every other hour anyways. After I finished using the restroom I was standing in my closet as my water broke. I quickly ran back to the toilet thinking, I can’t believe I peed my pants!! However I quickly realized it was actually my water breaking!!

I quickly ran into the bedroom to wake Kyle up. I was so excited that it was finally happening!! I couldn’t wait to hear my doctor tell me, “I told you so!” Kyle sluggishly woke up and followed me out to the living room. We turned on the Christmas lights and the TV and figured we probably had plenty of time so we should try to get some sleep. I pulled up the timer on my phone to monitor my contractions and started Googling everything about going into labor, length of contractions, etc. The first contraction was about 25 minutes apart from my second contraction and then they began coming every 7min 45sec. I decided to get up and put Avery’s Christmas outfits in her baby bag and I packed her ‘The Night Before Christmas’ book so that visitors could sign it and we could keep it as a keepsake. About an hour later my contractions started coming every 4min 45sec. I decided to get in the shower and finish packing my hospital bag. The contractions were beginning to get longer and much more painful. Kyle finally looked at me and said he felt we needed to get to the hospital soon. So we headed up to hospital around 2:00am. After making Kyle stop the car a few times because my contractions were so painful that any bump in the road was excruciating, we made it to Labor & Delivery.

After being questioned by several staff to ensure I was truly in labor, they quickly took me to my room. I immediately asked when medicine would be available! I was over those darn contractions. I had kept an open mind about whether I would get an epidural or not…but after laboring without one for 6 hours, running on zero sleep, and having contractions that lasted almost two minutes long… I knew there was no way I would have the energy to deliver if I didn’t get some relief from the pain so I could rest.

During this time my sweet husband surprised me with wedding bands as a gift and gave them to me following my first round of medicine and I was so out of it that I could barely form a sentence! Everything was moving so quickly that it was one of the few times we were alone for him to give them to me. I was so surprised and thankful that he planned to give them to me on such a special day! They’re absolutely beautiful and I will always think of all the incredible memories from the day he gave them to me!

My nurses and anesthesiologist were simply amazing. I had been praying for wonderful nurses and staff and they were beyond anything I could have imagined. They were such a huge blessing and I will never forget them. They did everything they could to make sure I was comfortable and answered any questions I had a long the way.

Kyle and I tried to rest as much as we could and around 10:00am I started feeling the pressure to push. My doctor was in the middle of delivering another baby down the hall and when my nurse came in and checked on me she quickly began getting everything ready. It was obvious that little Avery was ready to make her debut!

After about an hour and a half of pushing (in which I’m still nursing a sore arm from) our sweet little girl was laid on my chest. She came into the world quietly and just taking in all of her surroundings.

It’s amazing the emotions and thoughts that go through your mind when they lay that newborn baby on you… There is this sense of familiarity to this person you’ve carried within you for 9 months. Like, of course it’s you! That’s all I remember saying when I first saw her beautiful face, “It’s you!”
There’s a sense of amazement at the miracle that just occurred and a sense of, ‘Holy Crap I’m a freaking superhero…I just birthed a child!’

About two hours after she was born our family finally got to meet our little lady. She was showered with love and kisses and was the best Christmas gift we could have been given!!

Our first days at home as a family have been nothing short of amazing. We have been blessed with a baby who rarely cries and loves to sleep! I didn’t know those existed!! I don’t know what we did for God to bless us with such a great baby or if this is the calm before the storm but I’ll take it! She has such a calm personality and just takes everything in with her big beautiful eyes.

I can’t wait for all the wonderful moments that are ahead of us!! I’m so thankful I’m able to spend these days at home with her giving her lots of lovings!! I’m also thankful for an amazing husband who has been such a huge help! We’ve also been greatly blessed by family and friends who have brought us food, had us over for dinner, and who have given Avery lots of lovings during her first few days. We are truly and greatly blessed!!!

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Avery Claire
Born on December 24th at 11:48am
Weighing 7lbs and Measuring 19 3/4 inches long

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Heading to our first doctors appointment.

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Avery’s first Christmas picture!

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