Mya Rose: A Birth Story

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

October 3, 2014

Well, technically it’s 1:26 am on October 4th but we’ll call it the 3rd.

I can’t believe what a week it has been. I can’t even believe it’s been a week. And at the same time there has never been anything in my life so significant packed into such a short amount of time.

On Tuesday at 1:59pm, our daughter Mya Rose was born in the Regions Hospital in Saint Paul Minnesota. 6 lbs 13 oz. and 19 in long. She is a light and a joy to us and we can’t believe she’s ours. Truly, it is a radical thing to become a parent.

On Monday night, I turned over in bed to go to sleep, looked at my phone (10:36pm) then felt a weird sensation, like a balloon filled with warm water had been punctured right in between my legs. I froze. But not before yelling, “My water broke!” to Josh, who proceeded to scramble to put on his clothes, then the boot he has to wear for his Achilles injury. Darn thing.

I’m not sure why they say my ‘water’ broke. It really should be ‘waters of Niagara falls’ or something to that effect. Really, there was so much ‘water’ that I actually started to laugh because it had paralyzed me to the bed while Josh ran around trying to collect things and figure out what to do about me. What can I say? I was in shock.

I laid there, a little confused but not enough to pay much attention to it. I was due yesterday, so it wasn’t like it was bad timing but my midwife had told me that she has only rarely seen women who’s water breaks before they get into the hospital. Typically it seems contractions will come and after a certain amount of dilation and effacing, the water will then break. Even though its not impossible I definitely wasn’t expecting it to happen this way, although many movies and tv shows had prepared me for it. Plus I had been in for my weekly apt just that morning and I was dilated to a big fat ZERO with 75% effacing. Not very encouraging. But they had hooked me up to a monitor and seen that I was having these tiny, babiest of contractions that felt more like playful indigestion than anything.

September, 28. Day before I went into labor.

So I went about the rest of my day- went to Target, took my time walking around making sure that there was absolutely nothing else I needed (wound up with 5 more items), took myself on a lunch date to Chipotle, came home, vacuumed, did laundry, then had dinner with Josh when he got home. He was excited about my news that I was having little contractions but I assured him it didn’t necessarily mean anything and it could still be another two weeks before baby girl came (this was my mood for almost my entire last trimester- very chill and nonchalant with a hint of denial. Baby girl would come when she dang well wanted to)
We talked with his parents for a while about when we thought she’d come and they teased about it being time already that she came out. I frequently felt like the least anxious person for this baby to come and the only thing that ever made me impatient was other people’s impatience. It was like everyone was trying to ruin my zen and get me all worked up because it was more exciting that way. In my head though I knew that laboring and delivering the baby was all the excitement I needed.

So anyway. Back to it being night time and my water is breaking all over the place…

After a few minutes of scrambling, collecting, giddiness, exchange of smiles and wide eyes, and my incessant need to leave the basement somewhat clean (really though, picture me, Clorox wipes in hand in the bathroom in a half bent position. That’s about right), we were out the door and on our way to the hospital!

I remember getting really mad in the car because my phone wasn’t charged and the charger was in one of the bags in the trunk. But I needed my baby playlist on Spotify! I had perfected it with songs to soothe and excite me and now I didn’t have it! All that prep for nothing. I was so bummed.. It was the end of the world. And the beginning of a long night of really fun hormonal surges…

I called a nurse hotline on the way there to let them know I was on my way to the hospital so that they could call the hospital to let them know I was coming (I dunno. I was just following my clinic’s instructions) and the lady was taking me through this hilarious list of questions like when my due date was and, “If you couldn’t call us would you still be on your way to the hospital?” and I was like, “Well my water just broke soo… probably. Yes.” And she was all, “Oh! Your water broke?! Ok, yes. Go to the hospital. Congratulations!” Why, thank you. I appreciate the validation.

We drove up to the entrance around 11pm and you could tell it was our first time in this situation because we sat there for a second unsure of whether or not we could just leave our car there. Was anyone watching? What if we got in trouble?? We even considered Josh dropping me off and going to find a parking spot!
No, no you’re coming in with me. I don’t care if they tow our car.

We made it inside, where it was completely dead, and a security officer took one look at us (bags, pillows, sweats, belly and all) and said “Birthing center is through that door.” And told us that we could leave our car then come back to park it later.

Josh left me to go turn the car off real fast and I just kinda stood there with my things and a slight smile on my face, rocking from side to side. “Here I am.” I thought, “This is it. It’s pretty nice so far…” That happy ignorance was quite the blessing because if I was thinking about what would really happen in a while, there would be no smiling.

We got to the front desk of the Birthing Center and just kinda smiled nervously and said, “I’m having a baby.”

Apparently they don’t always believe you when you say that because we spent the first 20-30 minutes in triage, waiting for someone to agree that my water had, indeed, broken (I could have just showed them the 3 depends adult diapers I had gone through before getting to the hospital, but I figured that was a little much)

I remember feeling excited and anxious, but mostly really calm and relaxed. The nurse, Meghan, was very kind and had a nice demeanor. She listened to my story and agreed I was probably in labor but it’s just procedure to see what kind of progress I was making. They monitored me and we all watched the little dial make it’s waves every few minutes- contractions were a’comin! I remember feeling the first painful one and I laughed a little out of excitement.
I met the midwife who would be with me through the night and by about midnight I was in the delivery room. I still wasn’t dilated much though, but the nurse and my midwife wanted to give my body a chance to catch up with itself naturally.

I was in a very good mood- I joked around with Josh and the nurses, bounced on an exercise ball, and told them I wanted to walk around the hospital. I saw no problems ahead- I was having my baby today!

The story was a little different when the pain really started to kick in about 30 minutes later.
Apparently contractions that happen after your water breaks (a.k.a. all of mine) have a nice bite to them.

So we labored through the next few hours- some in the tub, some on the bed, but all very, very painful. My nurse and midwife checked on me about every 30 minutes. I had told them I planned on getting an epidural but I think they wanted to get every ounce of natural labor out of me as possible because they would come in, check on me and say, “Ok let’s go until (45 minutes from the current time) and then we’ll see where we’re at. 
This, to me, meant “and then we’ll give you the epidural.”
Finally around 7 in the morning, hunched over my bed after I had scared both Josh and myself with the yells and noises I’d been making from the pain, I demanded my epidural. My nurse simply said, “Ok!” and went to find the anesthesiologist.
Well, that was easy.
Once I got the epidural I actually sent Josh out of the room for a break. He and I both saw a side of me we’d never experienced and I knew even I was a little surprised by it.

Josh’s family came in to visit us then and I got to chat, talk with the new nurses and midwife currently on shift and, best of all, sleep. Oh my goodness, sleeping was absolutely wonderful after all the energy had been completely zapped from my body. I had never been so tired. 

Then around noon my midwife came in and said it was getting closer to it being time to push! It was wonderful and terrifying to hear. Wonderful because I was ready to have this baby and I was feeling some terrible pressure right in the low center of me that I wanted alleviated and terrifying because, well… I had to push!

I didn’t realize until after but pushing was really one of the best parts of labor. At no other time had I been able to be somewhat in control of the pain I was feeling, and it was great to actually be able to dictate what was going on for once. After a few coached pushed I found a rhythm and was mostly hitting them myself with the support of Josh, my midwife and my nurses. I had a great time talking with Josh later about his experience and perspective of the birth.

About 30 minutes later, I heard them say that they could see her head and I heard Josh say, “Oh my gosh” I couldn’t believe that she was coming!

The last 10 minutes were the hardest because she felt so close but it seemed to be taking so long. I was really feeling the pain and my back and my body were so tense and tired. Just as I felt like I really couldn’t push another time and was asking the nurses to go in and get her, I felt my last push. And there she was.
I couldn’t believe that she was there. Just like that.


I’ll admit, the feeling of her being out was overwhelming. I was done. We were done, and I could breathe. I took that moment in, then I was ready to meet her.

She was beautiful. They placed her on my chest as they cleaned her off, and I just started talking to her incessantly. Telling her it was ok, everything was ok.
A lot of my assurances to her were for myself as well. We'd both been through the ringer.

She was incredible. She cried only for a little while, her eyes were wide open and she was kicking, pushing and lifting her head up to get a look around.
I was just in awe of her.

The love in the room for the next 30-40 minutes was palpable. The nurses were fawning over her while they measured her and both Josh and I got some great skin-to-skin time. She was so relaxed and observant. In truth, I felt so glad to be done it was overwhelming. It was definitely the biggest accomplishment in my life with the biggest reward.

Her three strongest qualities we saw in the hospital were her thick, dark head of hair, her littleness and her awareness. Her eyes were just so open and even though we knew she wasn’t yet able to register much, it was so amazing to watch her looking around.

It’s taken some time to absorb it, but more and more every day I realize that this is our family. Josh and I lie in bed and just talk about how happy we are- in spite of all the challenges that come with a newborn we are just so happy to be her parents and to be experiencing all of this newness with her.

We love her so, so much and are so grateful that she was born a healthy, happy baby. I just know the happiness she’s brought to our lives will only increase more and more with time.

2 Parts Exhaustion, 1 Part Retrospect

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

There was a time, long long ago, where I would actually use the kitchen. 
And I made things. Lots of things. Like this cake. 

That time has temporarily been put to rest seeing as the thought of washing a dish now brings me close to tears. 
Nothing (I tell you, NOTHING) seems at all worth the effort of cooking. 

Seriously, I am giving myself major high fives over here for the new garbage bag and the loaded dishwasher. 
Small victories, right?

And now it's time to do a little catch-up.
The past couple months have consisted of the following:

 Our 1-Year Anniversary (hence the cake)
 Basketball injury for Josh, resulting in surgery and a 3 month recovery
 A weekend of surgery recovery, combined with throwing a bridal shower, babysitting a 6-year old with the flu and realizing just how truly, very pregnant I'd become
 Wedding preparations for Josh's cousin's reception
Stairs. Lots and lots of stairs.
Busted car radiator and efforts to replace it by ourselves (still in progress)
Josh's sweet sister coming home from her 18-month mission!
And leaving 3 days later for BYU :(
Watching my feet fluctuate between bulbous and elephant-like
Choosing career paths and correlating grad schools to apply to for next Fall
Fun new design projects
Complete indulgence at the Minnesota State Fair- chocolate dipped fried cheesecake on a stick, anyone?
Having my first proud mama moment at my midwife appt when she told me that baby girl had switched positions and gone head down in preparation for delivery!
Playing the "what if I went into labor right NOW?" game with myself
Spending as much quality time as I can with Josh

Needless to say it has been quite the summer, and I'm thinking that the Fall and I are going to get along splendidly this year. 
Amidst all of the hubbub lately, I have been really prone to looking back as we close the chapter of our first year and open this new one, beginning with the arrival of our sweet girl. 

This is a picture of us at a friend's wedding a year ago, just 2 weeks fresh from the altar.

We talked the other day about those first few weeks of marriage- being dirt poor, driving all over the country, and coming home to an apartment in desperate need of repairs. 
We really had so many adventures that I love looking back on. 

And now it's been a year since then and we can't even believe how much change life has brought us in such a short amount of time. 
But I always want to remember, in the midst of all the busy, crazy and new, how much fun and happiness I have with this person and our life together. 

I don't know that I can say there's nothing I would change about it, because I can definitely think of a few purchases made and arguments had that seem pretty silly now. But I am just so glad for the the many moments whispered to my heart that say, 
"And this is why you married him."

A sweet answer like that to an un-asked question is one of my favorite parts of being married. 
The small moments that culminate and eventually overwhelm you when you're not expecting it. 

I'm just happy to have more years and moments to look forward to. 

All About You

Friday, July 11, 2014

This bumpdate is for you, little girl.

We're almost 3/4 of the way through this little journey and we are 
just so happy that you're still growing and moving non-stop.

I never want to blame bad memory, or the fact that I'll have other kids and other pregnancies crowding my brain as a reason why I can't remember the details of our short and sweet time spent together like this. So here are some answers to questions you might ask me when you become a little one and some details that I want to remember....

Where Were You When You Found Out You Were Pregnant?: 
In the bathroom of our very first apartment. I took the test without telling your Dad first because we'd agreed to wait out the weekend before we found out... but I couldn't wait!

What Was Your First Thought When You Found Out?: 
It wasn't so much a thought as much as disbelief and amazement. And lots of happiness. 
People get kind of funny when something incredible happens, and our reaction was to laugh lots, hug lots, and stare at each other with really big eyes.

Did You Think You Were Pregnant Before You Knew?: 
Yes. I am not a napping person, and I had started to take 2 or 3 hour naps, no problem. 
And shed tears over Wendy's spicy chicken sandwiches on Fast Sunday. 

What Were Some of The First Names You Thought of For Me?: 
Grace, Audrey and Sienna were some that we liked. Now we've got it narrowed down to two and are waiting to meet you before we choose!

When Do I Move Most?: 
When I'm lounging about or taking walking breaks in Target ;) I've heard that you and most other babies spend lots of time sleeping while mom's are up and moving. Which is very thoughtful seeing as walking around and such is becoming quite the chore lately..

Have You Ever Been Scared or Nervous While Pregnant?: 
There was a small period of time where we went what seemed like forever without getting to go see you on an ultrasound or listen to your heart beat. Plus you hadn't started moving very much yet around the time they say is 'average' to feel movement. But when we did get in to the doctor you looked perfect, your heart was strong, and you've been moving like nutso for a few good weeks now. 

Have I Done Anything Funny?: 
Well there was that one time that you were in a yoga pose in my belly for who knows how long. 
You seemed to be very comfortable with having your feet right in front of your face. Silly girl. 

What Do You/ I Crave?: 
You are a spicy food craver! Since being pregnant I've managed to boost up my tolerance of spicy food quiiiiite a bit. You also love big green salads, pineapple, and the occasional steak. I couldn't eat more than a 9 oz. before... but I think I can out-eat your Dad in the red meat department now ;) The craziest thing I have craved was a big juicy pickle and some raspberry lemonade, at the same time. 

Do You Get Sick a Lot?: 
I was very sick for the first 3-4 months, but then I think we started to mellow out a bit and not have to avoid the kitchen so much. (Your Dad did lots of cooking and dishes during those months.)

What's Your Favorite Thing About Being Pregnant?:
You are my most favorite thing. Other than the first few months this has been, I think, a relatively easy pregnancy and I have just had so much fun watching you get big and feeling you move and imagining your little personality. Especially when you move right under where my hand has been resting on my belly- those little high fives (or foot fives...) are pretty incredible. 
Sometimes I catch your Dad staring at my belly and smiling to himself- 
he's so excited to meet you, baby. 

Keep growing, little girl. 

Family and the Fourth

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Josh made an observation about my demeanor the other day that has really stuck with me and made me think about how blessed we've been and our current situation.

"You are your happiest self, but all the time."

And I feel very much like my happiest self, all the time.

The last couple of months in Rexburg were rough. They were rough on my body, they were rough on my mind, and they were rough on mine and Josh's relationship. I was on the very sick side for the first trimester of my pregnancy, felt like I had no idea what I was doing, and watched my productivity level go from an average 7.5 to a 3- all while working a very high-demand job and trying to finish the semester to get my degree. 

Eventually it just became a constant spiral of feeling negative all the time- holding myself to standards I couldn't meet, yet working myself into the ground, and constantly worrying, "What am I going to do?" 

Then we got to Minnesota. 

And I began to feel lighter.

I stopped feeling so much pressure and weight, and decided that I could afford to give myself a little bit of a break. And that this short amount of time we have before baby girl gets here is precious- not because of her absence necessarily, but in terms of preparation. I want to make sure I put as much effort as possible into preparing myself for motherhood (as much as you can prepare yourself for something you've never experienced before, and can't really fully anticipate how it will change your life.)

Since being here, one of the things that I feel most grateful for is Josh's family and extended family. 
They are a wonderful group of people who have been so loving and accepting of me, and taught me a lot about what is important in life and in families.

Being able to spend so much time with them, soaking up every ounce of summer, and have so much support has made me appreciate my own family that much more (and miss them like crazy) and look forward to the addition being made to mine and Josh's family. 

It's just happiness really.

And so, here are some pictures of time spent with the family and our super fun 4th of July that we spent with them.

Josh's Grandma, Barbara and Great Grandbaby, Juniper.

Just some fun family time on Sunday at Grandma's after dinner.

The ONLY bad thing about 4th of July was experiencing what it's like to be producing 2x the amount of blood as a normal human being in a state that considers the mosquito to be it's state bird.

6 bites on one foot.

But everything else made up for that!

Swimming, BBQ, fireworks from Wisconsin, homemade ice cream...

And cakes made into the shape of hamburgers.

What's more American than that?

This boy and artillery shells...

I had no idea.

It was a wonderful 4th of July! 

Fun fact: It's our last time celebrating a holiday (that's not labor day) before baby girl is here.


Bumpdate- 27 weeks

Friday, June 27, 2014

A longer-than-normal update since I haven't documented in almost a month.

I swear I grew a good 2 inches horizontally in about a week.

Still loving the tunic dress-leggings combo.

My good friend, Andrea, who just had her little boy this past week, recommended a store for baby things called Once Upon A Child. It's like Plato's Closet, but for kids.

And. It. Is. Bad. News. 

Baby Gap clothes and the most adorable other little get ups for 1-6 dollars?! 

Yes, please.

My baby wardrobe went from nearly nonexistent to excessive in about a week.
Don't feel bad about it one bit.

Now I have to share this fun little quirk from my last time at the ultrasound tech.
When my little girl popped up on screen, this is what I saw. 

Yes, those are her feet touching her forehead.

She's just practicing her yoga, it's fine.

I was a little nervous though and asked the technician if it's normal/ safe for her to be positioned like that. 
She assured me it was totally fine.... so, yeah.

How far along? 27 weeks (on Sunday)
Total weight gain/loss: 20 lbs
Maternity clothes: I bought some awesome dark green pants that just have an elastic band and tie at the waist. I have a hard time not reaching for them everyday. I haven't really bought a ton of 'maternity clothes' though- just extra blousy shirts.
Gender: Girl 
Stretch marks: No belly marks... yet!
Sleep: Like a log. But only on my side (lower back has started to sore up real nice) and always woken up in the morning by a pretty rhythmic set of kicks and punches :) 
Most interesting interaction: Two gems from the past few weeks:

- In the Mall of America, after holding the elevator open for a group of very loud rambunctious ladies, the elevator got eerily quiet while it traveled until one of them looks at me and says, "....Pregnant?" 
As I look over my protruding belly, "Well if I'm not there's something really wrong with me." 

- While walking out of my gym a lady at the front desk looked at me and said, "You ready?"
I said "Well yeah, but I'm fine with waiting the 3-ish more months till she gets here." 

Homegirl's eyes seriously bulged. 

As in, 'You mean you're not about two seconds away from delivering right here in this 
Lifetime Fitness lobby?' 
I know, I know. I'm large. Thank you. Now please take care of those big eyes before they jump out of your head.

Best moment of the week: Josh and I won't even fully be awake yet when I start feeling kicks, so I just pull his hand over and rest it on my tummy to watch him wake up to the feeling of her moving. 
Movement: I'm impressed at how I will simultaneously feel a punch/kick on two opposite sides of my belly at the same time. 
Makes me feel best: Getting heavy doses of sunshine.
Hardest task: Holy I can't bend over for the next 3 months. 
Food cravings: Large amounts of everything. Especially Chipotle. Like, for every meal.
Most looking forward to: Really beginning to get our space set up for baby girls arrival. I have big plans for making the most out of our little space!
Most nervous about: Honestly, I have very few nerves right now. I've been hearing more lately about the strain of a newborn on a marriage, so I'm trying to mentally prepare for that and talk with Josh about it.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Like clockwork I have morning sickness ONCE a week. 
Are you showing? Oh yes. 
Belly button: Flat as a pancake.
Happy or Moody: Very happy! Baby girl is healthy, and I'm honestly starting to feel the excitement kick in. Looking at her little clothes every day helps.
Weekly Wisdom: First- always ask for a 3D ultrasound! Second: I've found it to be somewhat rewarding to hold myself to slightly higher expectations than other people hold me to. I have lots of sweet people around me who want to make sure I don't push myself too hard, and I definitely keep it in check but I feel very energized at making choices like walking vs driving to the farmer's market, and pushing myself just a bit further to finish all of the chores for the day. It's good to take it easy and not go past your limits, but don't form a bubble of idleness around yourself. Getting up and moving (waddling) really helps keep up the energy levels.

I feel content with waiting 3 more months, but I'm getting increasingly excited to meet this little one.

I already think she's the greatest.