Aug 12, 2015

Zoe's Birth, Part 2: 30 minutes or less

It all happened so fast, and for that I am eternally grateful.

I started pushing for 5-10 seconds at a time a little after 8 PM. After the first few, the doctor said she could see her full head of hair and asked me if I wanted to touch her. I said no thank you as politely as possible...I wanted to be blissfully unaware of the state of things down there. She asked Landon if he wanted to see and he also declined. She pushed it a little, assuming we might later regret missing out on such a moment, but finally realized we just wanted to see our baby in her full self as soon as possible.

At 8:31 PM, less than half an hour after I started pushing, Zoe Marie was born. Even as she was quickly wiped off and placed on my chest, skin to skin, I couldn't believe she had come out of me--that she was the tiny human I had been carrying in my belly for 9 months. She was so tiny in my arms but in fact not that small coming in at 7 pounds 4 ounces. I couldn't believe all of the hair on her head and how fast she began to give us a pouty lip that made my heart melt. Before I knew it, I was all sewn up (because yep, 2nd degree tear) and ready to try breastfeeding.

{Note that all these photos were taken on my iPhone since Landon's phone broke minutes before I started pushing and I didn't think to get the camera out beforehand. Sorry Z!}

She had trouble latching and I was quickly given a nipple shield to try. It worked good enough but I was determined to keep trying without using it (famous last words). Then Landon finally got to hold her and go with her to the other side of the room for all of her measurements.

After that, we had some time for ourselves with one nurse coming in and out quietly without disrupting us. It was beautiful. We let the shock of it all sink in and stared at our brand new baby girl with wonder and hearts full of pure love.

Then the messy part came: trying to walk to the bathroom, get cleaned up, and dressed. Oh my goodness the nurses that helped were seriously a blessing from God. It's true, you really aren't embarrassed in the moment but looking back, I cringe.

Next it was time to move to our room. My new nurse was another angel who continued to help me with the bathroom stuff and gave me my meds. Meanwhile, I was dying for pancakes. By this point it was nearly 11 or 12 at night and most places were closed, so my craving ended up being for Whataburger pancakes and a egg sandwich. Yum. I don't think I even ate much of it and before we knew it, we were being encouraged to get some rest. Landon learned how to change Z's diaper and swaddle her in her little rolling bassinet and then we all tried to sleep.

Nothing could have prepared me for the lack of sleep we would be getting from that point on. It. Was. Awful. Even when the nurses took Zoe to the nursery to watch her for an hour or two at a time, it wasn't enough (and they kind of discouraged that). But we made it through! The next day everyone came by and watched the Texas A&M football game in our hotel room. I started to feel slightly more like myself and changed out of my hospital gown and into comfy clothes. I had a never-ending supply of ice water that was wonderful. I got to eat and drink whatever I wanted. My only gripe about the hospital stay was how freaking cold it was. We were not prepared. It was difficult to sleep the next night because of that. I also didn't shower at the hospital because public showers really gross me out (even though another kind angel sent from heaven came in and cleaned the bathroom every day we were there) so I waited until we got home and had the best shower of my entire life. Glorious.

Seriously, being discharged was the best. We waited all morning and finally got the OK to leave sometime during the middle of the afternoon.

Even through the pain of the contractions, the messiness of the aftermath, the difficulty breastfeeding, the cold hospital, and the lack of sleep, Zoe's birth was absolutely perfect and went a million times better than I had expected. I reflected on everything hour by hour for months after, not wanting to forget a second of it.

I'd love to read your birth story/stories ... be sure to link it below ;)

Lots of hugs,

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