So happy to introduce Lily Jade Diana to the world. Lily was born on December 6th at 1:02 PM. She weighed in at 6 pounds 6 ounces and was 19 inches long.
It has been hard to find the time to put together this birth story. 90% of my waking hours I am holding Lily and only have one free hand, which makes it quite difficult to type. Fortunately, at this moment, I have hands free and (hopefully) just enough time to share our story.
Lily was a tough little tot to bring into this world. I guess I needed to have some sort of struggle to balance out the fact that my pregnancy was such a breeze. Through all the ups and downs of pregnancy and delivery, finally getting to see her sweet face made everything worthwhile.
Let me tell you how it all began…
On December 5th (Lily’s due date!), my mom and I were awake early running errands, and I was on a mission to walk as much as possible that day in the hopes to get Lily in action.
Our last stop of the evening happened to be my 40 week checkup at the doctor. I was my doctor’s last patient of the evening. After we finished the checkup, my doctor left the room, I stood up and my water broke. I stood there in the room in complete shock, and I was wondering if what I thought happened actually happened.
I ran out into the hallway and described what happened to my doctor. She immediately shouted, “We’re having a baby tonight!” (My doctor is very vivacious, and yes, I have a female doctor). She called the hospital from the office and told me to make my way there in the next hour or so.
(I have a few candid photos from that evening to share with you in this post. Forgive their quality, but I thought they would add well to the story line. Thanks to my mom for taking all the photos throughout the evening).
On the drive home, my mom and I called everyone we knew and told them the news! I, of course, called Shane first and shared the news with him. I don’t think I have ever seen a guy be so excited in my whole life!
I have to say, it was pretty nice to have my water break at the doctor’s office. That way there was no confusion of what was happening, and I had a time frame of when I should head to the hospital. I got home and I had time to shower, eat huge bowl of oatmeal, and gather my hospital bag.
My first contraction started at home just as I was getting in the car. The feeling was intense for a moment, but totally manageable. As my mom, Shane, and I made the 5 minute drive to the hospital, my contractions were about 8 minutes apart. We arrived to the hospital exactly two hours after my water broke, and the nurse was ready to take me back.
I was admitted into a small room where the nurse gave me a fashionable hospital gown, took all my vitals, hooked me up to a hydration IV, and checked my cervix. Unlike many women who arrive to the hospital being 3-4 cm dilated, I was at 1 cm with contractions 5 minutes apart upon arriving. Yet, still at this point, the pain was manageable and I was optimistic that maybe I could do this naturally.
Once the pain escalated, I moved from the bed to an exercise ball (one I brought with me). Sitting on the exercise ball helped take the pressure off my pelvis, it helped occupy my mind, and for a short while it seemed to make the contractions easier.
I was hooked up to a contraction monitor that displayed the timing between my contractions and indicated the pain intensity. Once my contractions were spiking at over 100 on the monitor, I felt like I was going to throw up. Well, on second thought, that’s actually what I did. It was not a pretty scene!
Over the months of my pregnancy, many people asked me of my birth plan. I have never wanted to set expectations for my delivery because I know many things can happen unexpectedly and I didn’t want to be disappointed. My birth plan has always been “to go with the flow.”
So that I did.
After 7 hours of painstaking contractions, and still only being dilated to 3 cm, I basically decided I would die if I didn’t have an epidural.
At 3 AM they moved me into a labor and delivery room, which was kind of scary. I was like, oh shit I’m really doing this!
It took an hour for the anesthesiologist to arrive with the epidural, but it seemed like an eternity. I was yelling for my mom and Shane to track him down immediately and bring the epidural to me! I was rolled up in a ball on the hospital bed going in and out of what felt like a conscious and unconscious state. The pain was so terrible that there was no breathing exercises or exercise balls that could help me. I wanted that shot and I wanted it yesterday!
The anesthesiologist finally showed up. I was actually really nervous about getting a shot in my spine, but at the same time, I decided that it could not hurt nearly as bad as the contractions. I was right. As I was clutching the nurse around her waist as he gave me the epidural, I barely felt the shot, and the medicine started to kick in almost immediately. I felt one more (less painful) contraction after the epidural and all the others subsided.
In some sort of delirious, way-too-tired, exhausted mode, I was lying in the bed and repeatedly saying “thank you epidural.” (real talk: I recommend it to everyone!)
So once you get an epidural, it is just a waiting game. Your body continues to go in and out of contractions, and the cervix continues to dilate, you just don’t feel the pain. I could still feel that my body was going through contractions; it felt like a tightening sensation and pressure, but it didn’t hurt. For me, other than the pain management, the best thing about getting a epidural was that I was able to rest. I was so tired from being awake almost 24 hours, and it was nice to be able to to close my eyes and rest my body. I forgot to mention, that I could still move my legs and wiggle my toes. I don’t know why that was important to me, but it was. 🙂
Right before my move into the labor and delivery room, I had started developing a small fever. Once I was settled, they called my doctor and she had the nurse give me an antibiotic and the nurse also started putting cold towels on my head and neck. This actually made me pretty nervous, but I just stayed calm and trusted my doctor. I was a little out of it at the time, but I believe they told me that it’s common to have a low grade fever once your water has been broken for such a long span of time.
For the next 7 hours I rested and waited. Shane and my mom waited in the room with me and took turns napping, and my girlfriend, Rachel, came to my room a few hours later to be there for my delivery. I had no idea of the time it would take to dilate to 10 cm! When the nurse told me she thought I would have the baby around 10:00 AM, I thought she had lost her mind! I could not imagine it taking another 7 hours to pop this baby out!
With tons of cold towels on my head and neck, at 9:00 AM I had finally dilated to a 10. The nurse called my doctor to have her head to the hospital for my delivery.
By 9:30 am my doctor was in my room, and she was explaining to me how to push the baby. I don’t know why, but I just assumed that the pushing process would only take a few minutes. I thought you pushed a couple times and out pops the baby. Perhaps for some women that is how it happens.
I was not that fortunate!
Lily was being very contrary and she kept trying to come out but then sneaking back inside. Of course, she was head down, but she was turned at at an unusual angle with part of her shoulder trying to come out at the same time as her head, so it made the pushing process very difficult.
My doctor asked if I wanted a mirror so I could see what was going on, and my answer to that was a big HELL NO. (That sounds like my worst nightmare).
The one downside to having an epidural is that you only have a couple positions from which you can push the baby. That would be on your back or on your sides. We tried them all. Standing up and using gravity to my favor could have been a great solution, but that was not possible since my legs were numb. (But if I had to choose again, would I still have had an epidural? Oh yes!)
I pushed her for 3 & 1/2 hours, and still no baby. I was so frustrated that i just burst into tears. I couldn’t imagine what I could do differently or how I could push any harder to make her come out! I was feeling pretty hopeless.
Once the 3 & 1/2 hour mark hit, my doctor had to deliver the potential bad news that if I did not push the baby out in a few more tries then she would have to try the vacuum (doesn’t that sound scary?)!! The problem with the vacuum procedure is that, legally, the doctor can only attempt the vacuum three times and if the baby does not come out there must be an immediate c-section.
By this time, I was SO exhausted and also I was freaking out because after this long process, the last thing I wanted to do was have c-section. I asked my doctor if she would let me try a few more times before she used the vacuum and she said yes.
Shane really tried to encourage me, but I could tell he was distraught himself. My mom was a wreck and I could tell she felt so helpless. Everyone in the room with me was beyond amazing in helping give me the strength to make this happen.
I finally just had a heart to heart with Lily and told her that I REALLY needed her to help me. I told her how much I loved her and how I wanted to meet her in just a few moments.
If you would have walked by my room during this process, you would have heard what sounded like a cheerleading squad rooting me on. My doctor is a true badass; she was so awesome during the entire process by encouraging me even when I thought there was no way I could do this. I am so thankful that my doctor was patient with me and gave me plenty of time to have my baby naturally.
Finally after a few more tries, Lily arrived!
She gave us one more scare upon her arrival as she arrived face up with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck twice! Luckily she was perfectly fine, and the only damage was her temporarily shaped cone head, which is one reason she looks great in hats! 🙂
Once she was born, they immediately placed her on my chest, and we locked eyes. It was such a surreal moment; I could not believe she was finally here. It’s hard to describe the feeling of when you first make eye contact with your child. For me, I was so excited that I was just in shock, and trying to process the whole experience. I didn’t cry because all I could do is smile. I was so thrilled that she was healthy and relieved that she arrived safely. Her eyes were (and are) the sweetest thing I have ever seen!
When people ask me how my delivery was, I always say that it was much harder than I ever imagined, but also so rewarding. All 18 hours of waiting for Lily was worth it!
Adjusting to motherhood is not easy…the breastfeeding, sleepless nights, and baby cries are all a major challenge, but I love waking up every day (and night, lol) and seeing her beautiful eyes and sweet face! Knowing that I am solely responsible to care for little being gives me so much joy.
I couldn’t have asked for a better cheerleading squad to be with me during delivery. So grateful for everyone.
A baby definitely fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty. For us, little Lily was the sweetest surprise ever. My pregnancy, delivery, and birth have been nothing short of magical. It’s truly unbelievable how we can create life and watch it grow before our own eyes.
Christmas is right around the corner, and for me, this is the best of time year to have a new baby! I love Christmas so much, and I am looking forward to Sunday when we have family over at our home with Lily. My brother will be visiting for the holiday, and he will get to meet his niece for the first time; he is ecstatic! My dad couldn’t make it for Christmas, but he will be here after the first of the year. I am so happy that my family gets to meet Lily when she is a tiny girl! Now I just need to find a Christmas outfit that fits her! All of the Christmas outfits I have are too big; she is too small for newborn and too big for preemie sizes. I may just have to wrap her in a red blanket and put cute santa booties on her. Next on the blog, I’ll be sharing our One Month With Lily.
Thank you for all of your sweet messages on instagram and snapchat. They are so sweet and make me excited to share this new chapter with you!