Harper's Birth Story
As I sit here writing this with Harper laying in my lap, it all seems surreal. There are times where I really don’t remember life before she was here, and I mean that in the most wonderful way! Like what did I do with my time before her? Speaking of before she was here let’s dive in to her birth story! *DISCLAIMER. INDUCTION BIRTHS TAKE MUCH LONGER, MY BIRTH STORY MIGHT REFLECT THAT LOL*
Harper’s due date was June 14th. I was scheduled to be induced on the 11th. The doctors tried to convince me to go earlier but I fought them and we settled on the 12th. Looking back I wish I had listened to my gut and refused an induction all together but one thing I have learned being a first time mom is you live and you learn.
I wanted so badly for Harper to come out on her own so I tried EVERYTHING to get her to exit. Walking…so.much.walking. Spicy food, pineapple, if it was on a list somewhere I tried it. She wasn’t budging. So now it’s the night of the 10th, I’m 3cm dilated, fully effaced, mucus plug gone but labor wasn’t starting. Josh and I accepted that the next morning we were going to hospital. We decided to go out one more time with some of our best friends, so off we went to where else but Bar Taco. It was a perfect last super as it were. After dinner Josh and I headed home to go over our hospital bags one last time and try to get some sleep. You know that feeling you got as a kid on Christmas Eve night or the night before the first day of school? Well this night was like both of those times 1,000. Since we couldn’t sleep, we stayed up talking about how the next day was going to forever change our lives. About how we couldn’t wait to meet our daughter. And how we always had to make time for each other, how being parents was not going to consume us. We looked at it not as we were giving up the life we had before Harper, just adding to it.
Happy induction day!
We woke up from what at that point ended up being a nap. I did my hair while Josh packed the car. Josh made me breakfast, I was too nervous to eat…I should have eaten. The drive to the hospital was short but long enough that by the time we arrived my nerves had settled and I was ready to do this! We pull up to valet park the car, I grab my bags, Josh goes to grab his but a strap was locked under the car seat. Easy fix, just take the car seat out and grab the bag…well in comical new parent fashion neither of us new how to take it out! We were trying for a few minutes until one of the valet drivers walked over to see what the delay was. Well before we could even finish explaining he had the car seat out. “First baby huh?”
It was oh so apparent.
It’s now around 9am. We settled in to our room. The nurses quickly got the induction underway. Luckily since I was already dilating and thinned out on my own we got skip a few steps. The plan was no epidural. (For those of you who don’t know, I have had serious issues with ovarian cysts and doctors always told me that pain is worst that labor so I felt like I could handle it.) Now we just wait. And now I’m starving but can’t eat anything except popsicles, broth and jello. Let me tell you I have never had so much broth in my life! Induction labors take much longer so we knew going in it was going to a hurry up and wait situation. We napped, went on a few walks, played Uno, watched a lot of Friends. Now its 4:20pm, contractions are getting more real. I am bouncing on an exercise ball and playing Uno when Josh makes me laugh SO hard and POP! My water broke! Now its really go time. Labor has started! We call our moms and tell them they can make their way to the hospital.
A couple hours later my contractions were starting to get out of control, they went from 5 minutes apart, to 1 minute apart, to less than a minute apart. I didn’t have time to catch my breath in between them at this point but I figure if they were this close it must be time to push soon so I just worked through them. The nurse quickly informed me that I was 5-7 hours away from pushing…5 to 7 HOURS! I very calmly leaned over to Josh and said “Babe, I’m getting an epidural.” He was shocked since I was so adamantly against getting one but I knew I would have had no energy left to push if I was in that much pain for possibly 7 more hours. I would say getting the epidural was the scariest part of the whole thing, but honestly it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. Josh was seriously amazing at calming me down and distracting me.
Ok so now I was able to relax a bit, regain some strength and enjoy the next 5-7 hours. They didn’t give me a full-strength epidural so I could still feel and move my legs and feel the contractions, it was just strong enough to take the edge off. IT.WAS.WONDERFUL. I took this time to nap, which was also wonderful! I woke up from a nap and saw Josh, my mom and his mom all napping as well. I feel so blessed to have had such an amazing support team. The doctor would come in every so often to check my progress and finally around 2:30am she said I was ready to push! YES! Let’s do this! We all gear up to get this little girl out but then my contractions slowed down to 8 minutes apart…are you kidding me. Guys induction labors are not for the faint of heart, well lets be honest no labor is for the faint of heart haha. So they upped the Pitocin and we waited till my contractions were back to 1-2 minutes apart…which took 2 hours. So now it is 4:30am, and it is really go time! This was honestly my favorite part of the whole experience…actually of my whole life. Pushing my little baby girl out was so magical I won’t be able to fully describe. It was such an out of body experience (I think you have to be somewhat out of your body or you would die haha). Josh held one leg, my mom held the other. Josh’s mom was cheering me on along with the nurses and the sweetest med student. I pushed for just over 1.5 hours. And let me tell you after that last push I just laid back and closed my eyes so relieved I didn’t have to push again, my mom had to nudge me and tell me they were handing me the baby.
When they laid Harper on my chest I couldn’t believe how much I already loved her, and how excited I was to finally meet her even though I felt like I already knew her. The moment when Josh leaned in to see our daughter I had never felt so complete. Even though there was so much going on during those first few minutes, with doctors and nurses bustling around, it felt like it was only the three of us, it was magical.
Harper Jane arrived on June, 12 at 6:11am. Weighing 7 lbs 10 oz and 21" long. As soon as Josh held her and said "Hi Harper, it's Daddy!" her eyes popped right open. He had spent so much time talking to her while I was pregnant, she knew his voice for sure!
We spent the next hour snuggling our little peanut. We both were in awe of what had just happened and how we already couldn't imagine our lives with out her. She stole our hearts immediately! And now, after knowing each other for 18 years, dating for almost 13 and being married for 6, we were a family of three!