Friday, June 19, 2015

Josie's Birth Story

Okay, here come ALL the details! Josie's birth was such an incredible, surreal experience. I love re-living it and remembering everything that happened, so I'm excited to have it all written down for the future.

I first started having contractions on Sunday, May 24th. Sean and I were in Orem celebrating my dad's birthday and were driving home to Ogden that evening. The contractions were about 7 minutes apart and slightly painful, but not bad. I was hoping that it was the beginning of labor, but by 10 p.m., they stopped completely. They started up again on Tuesday that week and continued until she was born the following Sunday! It was crazy. The contractions would last for hours in a row, and then disappear for a few hours. They were painful, but not bad and they didn't get more intense or closer together than about 5-7 minutes apart. By Saturday, I had learned about prodromal labor...yeah, that's a thing...but I didn't know about it until I was experiencing it.

Friday afternoon, we had a doctors' appointment. The doctor checked me and told me I was at 4 cm. and 90% effaced. I told her about the contractions and her eyes got big. She got a big smile and said, "Well then maybe we'll see you again tonight!" I hoped she was going to be right...but no luck. Friday night was pretty much uneventful.

Saturday started out the same as all the previous days that week, with mild contractions 5-7 min. apart. Sean had a lot of work to do at his shop in Brigham City, so I told him to go and work...I was sure nothing was going to happen at home. Before he left, we went for a walk around the neighborhood to see if we could get anything going, but still no luck. When we got home, Sean left for work and I settled in for a long day of 'false labor.' Contractions varied in length and intensity and ranged from 3-10 minutes apart all day.

By the afternoon, the contractions were pretty steady at 7 minutes apart and getting more painful. I was starting to wonder if something was wrong, since they still weren't getting any closer together and by this point, I had been doing this 'false labor' business for 5 days. I decided that when Sean got home, we would go in to the hospital just to get checked out. I was sure they would send me home, but at least we would know that everything was okay and progressing normally.

When Sean got home around 7:30, we went for another walk to see if it would do anything to make the contractions either stop or pick up a little more. In the 20 minutes we were walking, the contractions became a lot more intense and got to be about 4 minutes apart. I had to stop walking during contractions and hold on to Sean and breathe through them. We got lots of funny looks from the neighbors, but I'm pretty sure they all knew what was going on and were actually pretty excited for us. We got home and Sean gave me a beautiful blessing. Then, we put our bags in the car and headed to the hospital!

When we got there, I had Sean take a picture of me by the car in the parking lot before we went in. We walked up to labor and delivery (stopping along the way for a few contractions), and checked in around 9:00 p.m. I got changed into a gown in the triage room and a nurse came in to check me. I was already at a 7 and nearly 100% effaced. I looked at Sean, then looked at her and said, "So I get to stay?!" She laughed and said, "Uhhhhh,'re definitely staying."

In the triage room, they put in an IV block and then we headed to the delivery room. My mother-in-law arrived soon after that and we all hung out for a while. Around 11, I was at an 8 and asked to get an epidural. I felt like I was handling the contractions really well and wasn't in excruciating pain or anything, but I was sure that I would want to be numb down there for whatever was coming next. The anesthesiologist came in and looked at me (pardon my bragging...) and said to the nurse, "Are you sure she's at an 8? She looks too calm and relaxed to be that far." Then he asked me if I was sure I even wanted the epidural. I was just pleased as punch to hear that it seemed like I was doing a good job and hanging tough, but I definitely still wanted the epidural...haha.

The epidural was super quick and easy, not painful or scary at all. After the epidural kicked in, my contractions slowed down a lot. My water still hadn't broken though, so we decided to have them go ahead and do that. Since it was now officially the middle of the night, the nurses decided to wait to call the on-call OB until I was ready to start pushing. A residence Dr. came in and broke my water around 1 or 2 a.m. and then labor picked right back up. Everything went pretty fast after that.

At 3:00 a.m., I started pushing with my labor nurse (who was AWESOME! I just loved her! Best nurse I had the entire time in the hospital). At about 3:30, the on-call OB arrived, and at 4:10 Josie Jo Morris was born! 7 lbs. 7 oz., 19 inches long and came out screaming. She was the most beautiful, smushy, cone-headed little monkey I've ever seen in my life! :)

It was the best possible birth experience I could have imagined. I wasn't afraid or in pain or anything the whole time. I really loved it and honestly love to think back on it. Sean was amazing...right by my side the entire time. We had a pretty crowded delivery room - my sisters were there too, taking pictures and crying...haha. My mom and mother-in-law were also there, and I am so glad they stayed for her birth. I think they were both hesitant to do that, and I told them they didn't have to stay if they didn't want to, but it was such a neat experience to have so much joy and excitement in the room when she was born.

I struggle with anxiety and have for most of my life. I have always been nervous about having a baby, and as I thought about what I wanted my labor/delivery experience to be like, I had 2 major goals. 1.) Labor at home for as long as possible. I wanted to be home with my husband with all my own stuff and be able to labor however it felt comfortable to. I watched lots of TV, went for lots of walks, ate good food, sat on my exercise ball, used a heating pad, and made it to 7 cm. on my own! Mission accomplished! 2.) Keep the mood in the room  happy, positive, excited, and not too serious. I knew that having my sisters, mom, and MIL there with me and Sean would help with that. Everything worked out perfectly and I couldn't have been happier. I felt happy and calm the entire time. I wouldn't change a single thing about Josie's birth. It was just perfect.

When I saw her face, I immediately thought how much she looked like Sean. She has his eyes and his face shape and a good amount of fuzzy brown hair. As soon as they laid her on my chest, she stopped crying and just looked up at me. It was one of the most magical experiences of my life. I said her name and she lifted up her head and turned toward me like she knew her name! It was so neat!
I will absolutely never forget those precious moments of holding that little baby on my chest with Sean standing over us. We all 3 just looked at each other and was like there was no one else in the world but us.

It took about an hour for the doctor to finish patching me up (2nd degree tear, bled a lot, lots of fun...). After that and after Josie got all cleaned up, they put me in a wheelchair and we headed to recovery.

I have to say...I would rather do labor (all 5 days of it) and delivery again than the first week of Josie's life. My anxiety level during those first several days was just off the charts. I know it's normal for new parents to be nervous, but with my anxiety issues, it's like taking those typical new mom worries and doubling them. Thank goodness for my wonderful husband, who knows just how to take care of me and is endlessly patient. He is such an amazing daddy. Also, we were so blessed by our families and neighbors. Our ward brought us several dinners and both my family and Sean's came down to visit and hang out with us that first week.

Now that we're going on week 3, life is easier. There are still difficult moments every single day, but we're all figuring things out together. Josie is growing perfectly and is healthy and strong, I'm feeling better physically and mentally, and all 3 of us are adjusting to our new lives. Josie is just so perfect and beautiful and I know she was meant to be a part of our family. We love her so much and are so blessed and happy that she is here. I have loved watching her grow and change already, but have also tried to soak up every moment of her baby-ness and enjoy every newborn experience (even the tough ones). I just can't believe we're's still so surreal.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Parenthood Playlist

JJ's birth story is coming soon, promise...I just need the time to use more than one hand to type, and so far, that is pretty rare...since I'm either holding a baby, wiping up something that came out of the baby, or trying desperately to sleep. So, we'll get to that eventually. For now, here's this:

So, JJ is 8 whole days old now...say WHAT?! Time has flown, and at the same time, I feel like it's been an eternity. Sean and I have been joking around this week about songs (titles only...not necessarily lyrics) that describe our parenthood we've created a Parenthood Playlist. Here's what we've got so far. What other songs would you put on here?

"We Will Rock You" - Queen
"Pump it Up" - Joe Budden
"Rock the Night" - Europe
"Crazy Train" - Ozzy Osborne
"Crazy Little Thing Called Love" - Queen
"Hard Day's Night" - The Beatles
"I Need You Now" - Firehouse
"Hungry Eyes" - Eric Carmen
"Push It" - Salt 'n' Pepa
"Baby Love" - The Supremes
"Brown-Eyed Girl" - Van Morrison

I know I had more, but I can't remember (mom brain is totes for real...)