Bayli will be turning 3 in a week, and i've been spending so much time thinking about what my pregnancy and labor was like with her because our due date for the next little one is getting closer and closer, so what better time to write it all down than now?
when Bayli is older, and asks about what it was like when i was pregnant with her, and her very first birthday, i hope i remember all of the little details, but... i doubt i will, so, chances are i would just tell her to read about it herself by looking at all of the blog posts, but let's be honest. there are like 100 or more of them from that time. so... i decided to try and condense them all into one post, telling the story, and some of the unique details from that precious time in our lives before i forget, or have this new baby blurring the similarities and differences between her story, and her sister's.
in summary... here are the things that i remember about my pregnancy, and delivery from when i was pregnant with bayli.
we got pregnant while i was on the pill after only being married for 5 months, it took me awhile to realize i was pregnant because i was skipping the placebo pills so that i wouldn't have a period. we were about 3 months along when we finally found out we were expecting. i really didn't have any morning sickness, but i did experience other pregnancy symptoms that i attributed to my thyroid which had given me issues my entire life. but, after getting three positive pregnancy tests we let the crazy idea that we were pregnant sink in and finally told our families, found a doctor, and started looking for a new apartment. my second trimester was spent sleeping a ton, researching everything i could about babies and pregnancy. i continued to work at the salon and would come home and watch tv, or blog, trying to let garrison have as much space and quiet as he needed because he was finishing his last semester of college and continued to work full time to provide for our new little addition.
in january, at 6 months pregnant, we celebrated our first anniversary, and moved into my parents house as we waited for our new apartment to become available. finally the time came for us to move in, and do the home renovations needed for it to be ready to bring a baby home. my entire third trimester was spent cleaning, and organizing, and moving, and renovating, and painting, and decorating our new house. we would work on the house every day after work, well into the evening. just about two weeks before she came we finished the last improvements needed on the house. i had always suspected she would come early, and i was experiencing consistent contractions for most of my 3rd trimester. usually in the evenings, after dinner, while we were working.
one other thing that should be noted was my size. i stayed super small during the pregnancy. i never needed maternity clothes, and went to the hospital on her delivery day wearing my usual size 0 jeans. i only gained 15 pounds. this was something i both loved and hated. it was super nice to be small and comfortable. i never reached that completely uncomfortable stage where i couldn't sleep due to so much extra weight, or the back pains that come from carrying the extra weight. i hated it because of the comments i would sometimes receive... people asked if i was trying to loose weight, and reminded me that i needed to be a good mother and put my baby's health before my body. i had one client that even asked if i had lost the baby due to a miscarriage because she expected me to be bigger. i also never really felt like i was big enough to do maternity photos, it wasn't until the last month or so of my pregnancy that i felt like i was finally out of that "are you bloated or pregnant?" phase. i genuinely tried to eat enough for both of us, but it's just in my genetics to carry small.
the actual delivery day is something that's spotty as far as my memory goes. (here's the link to her birth story that i wrote the day after she was born, so it's pretty clear) i remember being surprised that they weren't going to send me home like i assumed they would after monitoring me for an hour waiting for the lab results to come back for my toxemia. i remember calling my friends and family telling them the good news, that we were admitted to the hospital, and we would be parents soon. i remember my friends having to bring items from our house because we hadn't packed a hospital bag, they also brought Texas Roadhouse for us to give to our visitors and our nurses. i remember not being able to eat any of it because of hospital rules for the mom to be -clear liquids only, and even then not very much.-
i had to be put on a magnesium drip which made me feel like i had the flu. i threw up for the first time in years the morning i delivered bayli due to that terrible drug. i have been told that the magnesium drip is also what has caused my spotty memory about that day. i really hated how it made me feel. i got the epidural after laboring with pitosin for a few hours. i remember being worried that the epidural wasn't working anymore when the time came for me to push. the pressure contractions were soooo different than the painful labor contractions i had been experiencing earlier and i felt like i could feel them all. I remember the relief once the nurse taught garrison and i how to push. i used a mirror and watched my body lower her head into position and thinking that it was truly a miracle and beautiful, even though i should have been disgusted by the sight. haha.
the actual moment of delivery, that last push with the doctor after the episiotomy was such a surreal rush of all of the emotions. i remember the flood of her body, and fluids leaving my belly's confinement in one quick motion. i remember seeing this teeny tiny baby in the doctors hands at the foot of the bed, i remember garrison cutting the cord, and her immediately crying afterwards. (at the time i thought she started crying because she must have felt the cord being cut.) they rushed her over to the warmers to clean off some of her vernix covering that was over her entire body because she was so early. it was this same white vernix that made me sooo worried that she wasn't healthy. i had expected to see a purple or bloody baby like in some youtube videos and because other moms had warned me about this. but no one ever talked about a truly white/gray baby like bayli. because of this unexpected view i asked what her apgar score was. i was mentally preparing for the worst. when the nurse replied an 8-9 out of 10 i finally felt reassured that she was healthy and going to be alright. that knowledge caused a surge of relief and bliss and i started crying. i hated the tears because they blurred my vision. i wanted so much to be able to look clearly at my baby who was on the other side of the room being cleaned. i wanted to memorize her features, i wanted to hold her, i felt jealous of the nurses who were cooing my crying child, before i had the chance. i wanted so badly to be able to both deliver her, and play the role of nurse as well. those motherly instincts kicked in as i felt anger watching them poke her foot, getting the blood needed for tests. i wanted to yell at everyone to just get out let us be alone as a family. and at the same time i wanted to kiss them for being there, and making sure everything was alright. it was about this same time that the doctor delivered my placenta, i remember the sharp pain that came from his subtle tug. almost like a bee sting from within my body. then i remember being stitched up. i don't really remember pain from that, but i was definitely uncomfortable and that was the only time i felt self conscious about being exposed, and the doctor being all up in my business down there.
FINALLY, after he finished stitching me up and once bayli was cleaned i got my chance to hold her. this is another time when i started crying and hated the tears because i wanted my vision to be clear to help me see her up close for the first time. all of the nurses except one cleared out of the room and garrison and i had our moment as a family. the only emotion i can use to express this time of the day was love. pure complete love. no other emotions existed. my mind was both clear and going 100 miles an hour. looking her over, both as a whole and at her tiniest of features. garrison got some of the love at that time too. he was my baby's daddy and i had never felt closer to him than in that moment. at some point in time (probably only after like 5 minutes) we decided we wanted our families to come in and see her. they had been waiting for this moment for so long, just like us, and sharing the joy made it even happier. watching them cry and hold her and say the things out loud that i was already thinking made it a truly wonderful experience.
this is where my memory starts to get blurry... sometime while my family was taking turns holding her, the nurse let us know that we needed to move floors, instead of being in the "labor and delivery floor", to go down to the "mother and baby floor" in order to make room for the other women in labor. garrison put bayli in her little bassinet thing that they wheel her around in, and the family all left to watch her get cleaned even more in the nursery. i was left alone with the nurse to get out of bed, and into a wheelchair as she wheeled me down to my new room. we went past the nursery and i tried to see bayli from my wheelchair, but couldn't... in the new room the nurse gave me my first fundal massage, trying to make sure all my organs were back in their right place. this was painful. i was no longer receiving drugs from my epidural and this was the first time i could truly tell it was gone. because of the magnesium drip that i was still required to have hooked up to my iv, i kept falling asleep while the nurse was there. apparently garrison and bayli came back to my room after the nursery but i didn't even notice because i was totally asleep.
the rest of my time at the hospital was spent in and out of consciousness. not only was i exhausted from the natural happenings of labor. but also because of the drugs that were affecting my system. i always get groggy when on any sort of pain killers. i remember nurses coming in every two hours, usually waking me from some sort of nap, to check my blood pressure. i remember having to give blood too many times to make sure my symptoms of toxemia were subsiding. i remember visitors coming in, and trying to nurse bayli. her mouth was so small that it was very painful and difficult for us. i ended up trying to use a pump to help my milk let down. for our last day at the hospital the dr wouldn't let us have visitors because my blood pressure wouldn't go down enough. this day garrison and i spent alone at the hospital, we used this time to shower, blog, and send pictures and texts to family and friends that could no longer come visit, and we did a mini photoshoot in our hospital room. bayli failed her hearing test in the nursery, so we talked about what life would be like if she was deaf. the nurses told us they thought she only failed the test because her ear canal was too small, and to come back in a week and they were almost positive she would pass. we kept her in our room for as much of our time at the hospital as we could. but they required her to undergo a carseat test for an hour in the nursery before getting discharged. during this time they tried to give her a binki, and they came to find out that because she was so small her airway would be restricted with a binki, so we weren't allowed to give her one till she was bigger. i remember finally getting discharged and being taught how to properly put bayli in her carseat. she never looked smaller than in that moment in her car seat (here's a picture).
i absolutely loved the weeks we had in that newborn stage. flailing arms, and tiny diapers, learning how to breastfeed, and sorting through the hard moments together. bayli was truly such a good baby and treated us well as new parents. i only experienced one moment of postpartum depression. i was worried that i didn't feel enough worry/anxiety when other people held her. i was happy, seeing them happy and loving on her and holding her. and in my crazy hormonal brain that meant that i must not love my child enough. i started crying because of it, and it took me a good few minutes to stop. i think the crying in general felt amazing because of the relief, that i didn't actually want to stop. this made garrison really worried, and it took him a few days to stop worrying about it. but that was the only experience i had. at about a week old, we took her to get her hearing test done again and she passed. and after a few more trips to the dr, for more bloodwork, even her biliruben (jaundice) levels were good. eventually garrison had to go back to work full time instead of just work from home, and that newborn phase passed right before our eyes.
really... it was so wonderful. i am so excited to do this again with her sister. and i'm even more excited to watch my beautiful, tiny, perfect, bayli turn into a beautiful, perfect, not so tiny, big sister. i am so excited to see how different or similar they look, and to experience all this stuff, the good and the bad, all over again...
but this time as a family of 4.