Well since this is my “journal” I guess I should write Harper’s birth story here…also please note Sean’s stache throughout these pictures, it was definitely one of his best staches and I’m glad it gets to be in these photos forever.
I was set to be induced on September 13 even though my due date was the 17th. However, when I went in for my appointment the week before I wasn’t dilating at all so my doctor decided to postpone it until the night of the 17th. This kind of put a screw in our plans though because Dad and mom were coming early to help out and were leaving on a cruise on the 18th, so they were most likely not going to be here for her birth. We said oh well though and were all set for the night of the 17th.
So Sean and I went to the hospital around 8 that night, signed in and away we went to have a baby! When we got there I wasn’t even dilated at all, which was a bummer. But they placed the cervidel at 9 and we waited for it to start. Luckily for me I responded really well to this. After a few late night walks around the floor we decided to try to get a little rest as this would probably be the last time for awhile. Sean slept well, or as well as you can on hospital pull out couches. I was able to sleep a little here and there until about 2 am when the contractions really started to get bad. Being the nice wife I am I tried to hold in the pain so Sean could sleep a little bit longer and just laid there watching Scott Van Pelt on ESPN…I think I watched the same show like 3 times that night! By around 4 there was no more sucking it up and I had to wake Sean up. At this point my contractions were getting pretty intense and probably 20 minutes apart.
We went for one more early morning walk and made it about just a few feet from the room when a contraction hit and I just about doubled over. Haha at that point I gave up the idea of walking and we decided it was time for the epidural. And the epidural…what an experience that was. First of all trying to remain perfectly still as a guy sticks a huge needle in your back while your entire body is cramping up with a contraction is not for the faint of heart. And then once it was in I pretty much passed out from my blood pressure dropping so low. Sean said he wasn’t quite sure what was going on but that he knew my BP shouldn’t be that low. I don’t remember much for those few minutes, but I do remember when I came back around my whole left leg was numb. Yes my left only, not my right. I was one of the lucky few who’s epidural was only effective on one side of the body, lucky me!
Anyway, after the epidural and all the excitement that surrounded that it was time to begin the Pitocin. We started the Pit at around 6 am and by 7 am I was dilated to just under 4cm which meant I had a long ways to go. Change of shift happened and our new L&D nurse was amazing!! Seriously, I really liked her. Sean decided to run out to grab some breakfast, which was risky considering this baby was one her way! I settled in and tried to sleep just a bit more, haha fat chance! The lack of epidural on my right side meant that I was feeling every contraction…every single one. By about 9:30am I started to have some really bad back pain. I wasn’t sure why my back was hurting so badly, but with every contraction came this excruciating back pain. Finally Sean convinced me to call the nurse (something I was trying not to do) and when she came in I told her about the pain and she decided to check me. She said she didn’t expect me to be too far along since it’d only been 3 hours since the Pit was started. However, she said, “well you are completely dilated and this baby is coming! But don’t push!” Haha yea right, you try not pushing when I baby is ready to come out.
So we waited for about 25 minutes while they got everything ready and the doctor showed up…yes I was able to hold that 8lb bowling ball in for that long! Once he showed up I was given the green light to push. And no one ever tells you how hard the breath holding is when having a baby. Plus the nurse counted the SLOWEST I’d ever heard! Every time she got to 9 she would hold it for another 10 seconds and I would just look at her and be like “say 10, just say 10!” Sean was tasked with holding my left leg, the numb one, and he did great. Haha he then started talking fantasy football with my doctor right as a contraction hit and I had to yell at him to lift my leg so I could push this baby out!
I was lucky though because I pushed for about 25 minutes, I don’t know how women do any longer because I felt like I was going to pass out, and then Harper was here! She was born at 10:39 am on September 18, 2018.
I don’t think there are words that can describe the feeling when you first hold your baby so I’m not even going to try, but it was an amazing moment. The nurse told Sean to grab his phone because he was the photographer now. After a few minutes of skin to skin they took her to the warmer to get measurements and assess her. She was such a quiet little baby, didn’t cry at all so I just kept asking if she was okay?? And she was, she was perfect! She weighed 8 lbs and measured 20.5 inches. While they got her cleaned up and taken care of it took another 45 minutes for so for the doctor to take care of me and then it was just us. They gave us some time just as a family and it was so special. These moments are ones that I will never forget.
Remember how I said my parents were leaving for their cruise on the 18th? Well as it worked out I had her early enough that they were able to come and see her for about an hour before heading to the airport. Such a tender mercy.
After a bit of figuring out breastfeeding and removing the epidural, we were moved to the mother/baby side of the unit. That afternoon we had our favorites, Dave and Jessica Shumway, come visit us. They were so sweet to come and love on Harper and bring us dinner! Plus Jessica, who is a suuuuuper talented photographer took some of the sweetest photos for us.
Honestly I am not doing justice to the feelings of love and gratitude Sean and I have for all those who came to see us.
The first night was of course not very restful. It’s crazy how just every sound they make you wake up to make sure the baby is okay. Even Sean, who is the deepest sleeper ever, woke up throughout the night for her. No matter how tired we were though it was an amazing night with our new baby girl.
The next day Sean headed home for a bit to get some stuff together and shower and bring back some food. We also had Austin and Sean Calvert come and visit us. It was just another day of figuring out how to take care of this little bundle of joy we had now.
Finally, on Thursday we were given the green light to go. We had to stay a little longer just for me, but Harper was healthy and strong and just the sweetest. We made it home with her and then the fun began!
This experience was more than I ever anticipated, and I loved every minute of it. I love this sweet little girl and going through all this with Sean just made me love him even more. It’s just so surreal thinking that we made this little girl and that my body was able to help her grow and come into the world. We can’t wait to watch her grow and see where life takes her.