And just like that I have a three and a half week old! It makes me emotional looking through all these photos because she’s already changing so much. The past few weeks have been the hardest but most fulfilling. I love her so much and she’s been a great baby so far but I’m exhausted! I keep reminding myself this season won’t last forever. The sleep deprivation will pass and I know I’ll miss these sweet baby snuggles when she older and more independent. I’ll share more on my experience during my first month of motherhood next week but for now let’s talk about how she made her debut into the world!
To be honest I didn’t put much thought into labor while I was pregnant. I obviously knew it was going to happen but I chose to go with my usual fly by the seat of my pants mentality instead of reading a bunch of articles and researching every worse case scenario. I knew I wanted an epidural but it was my goal to avoid a c-section if possible. My mom and sister both had to have two c-sections because neither of them could dilate so I knew it was a possibility for me. Not that there is anything wrong with getting a c-section if necessary, I just really wanted to give it my best shot the old fashioned way.
The day before Piper was born we had workers at our house laying the floor and painting the walls in my office. If you follow along on insta stories you might have seen me share about all the stuff in our yard while it was all happening. The whole weekend was kind of crazy with house projects and trying to keep myself as busy as possible. Once the floors were installed Trent and I had to move everything back in my office before the rain hit that evening. I didn’t lift anything too heavy but I definitely was hustling. Trent kept telling me I needed to relax but I told him I was 39.5 weeks so if this project put me into labor so be it! We had plans to go eat dinner with Ailee and Sasha that evening and he kept telling me if my water broke we wouldn’t be able to go. Clearly he has no idea what it feels like to be THAT pregnant, ha! After a few hours of working outside (and over 10k steps!!) I got cleaned up and we headed to dinner.
The four of us love indian food so we went to try a new spot and ordered a bunch of different stuff to share. Sasha ordered an eggplant dish and I joked about how a friend told me eggplant parmesan is one of the things rumored to induce labor. But I didn’t think much into it because I came to terms with the fact that Piper was going to come when she was ready regardless of how much or little I did. It’s embarrassing to say but that week I was so over being pregnant and way too impatient – I walked daily, had my membranes swept, tried acupuncture, had sex, was adjusted at my chiropractor, ate spicy food, bounced on the birthing ball until I was blue in the face and still wasn’t dilating. My due date was 12/20 but at this point I planned to talk to my doctor on Monday about scheduling an induction on 12/21. If I could go back and change anything about the days leading up to her birthday, I wish I would have chilled out. The normal 39 week woes mixed with sleep deprivation really got to me and I felt like I was hanging on by a thread!
Okay, back to that night! I had Braxton Hicks during dinner and up until I fell asleep but knew if it was the real deal I wouldn’t be able to sleep through it so I went to bed. I woke up at 5am and knew these contractions were different than the Braxton Hicks I experienced for the past four weeks. The pain level was night and day! I started timing them using the Full Term app and they were 10 minutes apart for hours. I watched a cheesy Hallmark movie, streamed our church’s early service and repacked my hospital bag to keep myself busy in between contractions. At 12:30pm they were finally 3-5 minutes apart so I called the doctor and they told me to head to the hospital.
Once we got there the nurse checked me and said I was still 2 cm. I knew there was a chance they would send me home because it happened to one of my friends when she was in labor but not progressing. Well, she almost had the baby in the car on the way back to the hospital. Even though we live 10 minutes from the hospital I wasn’t going to risk it so I made sure to tell the nurse my pain was a 10/10.
At 1:30pm they gave me pitocin but I chose to wait for the epidural to see if I could dilate on my own. After laboring for a couple hours with intense contractions two minutes apart they checked me again and I was STILL 2 cm. What a bummer! I decided I couldn’t handle the pain anymore so I opted to go ahead and get the epidural even if I slowed the process down. Can I just say I have no idea how women have babies without drugs?! Holy moly. I thought I had a high pain tolerance but I didn’t stand a chance!
It was smooth sailing once the epidural kicked in. My sister, Trent and I watched a Fixer Upper marathon and relaxed until 6pm when they checked me again. I said a little prayer beforehand hoping for some progress and I was 5 cm – whoo whoo!! The doctor decided to break my water but said as a first time mom I could be here awhile so I should take a nap and relax. Even though I was super sleep deprived I couldn’t fall asleep, I was way too excited! My sister and I Facetimed my parents but told them to stay at home because I could be in labor well into the morning. Then around 7pm Trent went downstairs to eat dinner in the cafeteria with his parents.
At 8pm the nurse said Piper’s heart rate spiked and even though she wasn’t supposed to check me until 10pm she wanted to make sure everything was okay. So she did and quickly said “you’re 10 cm and her head is RIGHT there! It’s go time!” She then asked me where my husband was and scurried off to call the doctor. None of us were expecting it to happen this quickly so I slightly panicked. I called Trent three times but he wasn’t answering. Let’s chalk when you wife is in labor as one of the worst times to have your phone on silent face down on the table. I finally called his mom and told her to send him upstairs then five minutes later he came strolling in with a bag of chips and Dr. Pepper. The nurse looked at him and said “grab a leg!” Haha! After twenty minutes of pushing, Piper June arrived weighing 7 pounds 1 ounce, 19.5 inches with a full head of red hair and our whole world changed forever!
I can’t even explain how grateful I am Ailee was there to document the whole thing. Well not the whole thing, she stayed near my head for the record! 🙂 But the delivery was such a blur, it’s so special to have these sweet moments documented. If I could give one piece of advice about labor and delivery it would be to have a photographer there to capture meeting your little one for the first time. You can’t recreate these photos even if you tired!
Below are the photos by Ailee taken when Piper was born and a few snaps the following morning!