I can't believe it is my turn to share how my dear, sweet boy came into our family. I have read many of these "birth stories" on other blogs and have looked forward to the day that I got to see the birth of our first baby unfold. Here I am, with Little Henry curled up on my chest, and I get to kiss and smell his sweet head as I write down his miraculous entry to earth.
Let's start a couple of weeks back. About two weeks before Henry's birth, I was sitting in one of my twice weekly NST's (non stress tests) where they monitored his heartbeat for 20 minutes to make sure he wasn't under stress. He always did great and I always loved hearing his heartbeat. It was during one of those that the nurse said "You're having a contraction right now, can you feel that?" I had felt a slight cramping, but didn't think much of it until she told me what it was. Pregnancy is not without it's fair share of aches and pains, so what was another little twinge of discomfort? Well, now that I knew what a tiny contraction felt like, I noticed them. They weren't super regular, or even painful, but they were noticeable.
Not too long after realizing I was having "warming up contractions" we received the news that Ronnie's grandpa had passed away and the funeral was going to be here in Salt Lake. We felt lucky that we would be able to attend but I was also scared to death that I would have a baby with all of Ronnie's family was in town, during the funeral. To add to my fears, Ronnie and I ended up having to give talks in sacrament meeting with only 2 weeks until our due date and while we both came down with NASTY colds.
Heavenly Father heard my pleas and Henry stayed put until the funeral was over, mine and Ronnie's colds had gone away, and we were emotionally ready for Henry's arrival.
Now that we have a little back story, do you mind if I switch gears? I realize there are many that have been anxiously waiting to read our birth story, but I know myself, and even though I would like to think I would write a version down just for Henry, I probably won't get around to it, so I am going to use this opportunity to write him his very first letter from me.
My First Born Son. Do you know how incredibly special and loved you are? Mom and Dad thought they would wait much longer than they did to get you, but we both felt a strong urge to go ahead and start trying for a family. We weren't sure if Dad's injury would make our process a little longer than usual. As it turns out, Heavenly Father knew we needed you right away and I found out I was pregnant with you in what seems like a blink of an eye.
The Lord's timing was perfect. I ended up turning a really good job down in Wyoming so I wouldn't have to be away from you once you were born. Dad took a job in Wyoming that eventually led him to an amazing job in Utah that we wouldn't have even considered if I had been working too. You endured two moves before you even entered the world but you took it easy on me and I had a great pregnancy.
Mom and Dad had only been in Salt Lake 2 months when it was your time to arrive. Life was a little crazy those last two months, but you waited until exactly the perfect day to come. I woke up early on the morning of Saturday, February 9th and could feel that the contractions I had been experiencing for the past two weeks were stronger and much more regular. I just knew that you would be coming soon so I started picking up the house and getting things in order so we would be ready to bring you home if we ended up in the hospital soon. I made dad go to the grocery store with me and even take me to Target so I would feel prepared when it was time to go to the hospital. Our friends the Dahlin's came over and not too long after they left, my contractions got much stronger. We went and picked up some dinner but I couldn't even eat because the contractions were too distracting. (You know if french fries are in from of me and I am not touching them, something big is about to happen).
I called my mom to tell her my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart, lasting for a minute and she told me to go ahead and go to the hospital. I really hadn't been having them for long so I waited another couple of hours and then your Dad and I packed up the car and went to the hospital.
It was snowing pretty heavily and we seemed to be the only ones out on the road. It was so peaceful and quiet all around us, with the snow softly falling as we drove that very short, but very long drive to the hospital. It seemed to be the way you wanted to come to us, peacefully. It was about midnight when we got to the hospital. The nurses checked me and I was only dilated to a 1 1/2. They sent us home and said to come back when the pain got worse. Not words you like to hear when you already think you are in pain.
Lucky for me, I had the world's best labor coach. Your dad was right by my side through every minute. The nurses at the hospital gave me some pain killers to help me through the next few hours. All they really did was make me really sleepy. Your dad would let me sleep for 4 minutes and was right there waiting for me when the next contraction would come and I needed him to tell me it was almost over and how great I was doing. We did this for 5 1/2 more hours. Mom falling asleep, waking up to a contraction building up, and Dad watching over her with more love and concern in his eyes than I had ever seen before. He rubbed my back, held my hand, and showed me the kind of tenderness that is so hard to find in men anymore.
Finally at 5:30 am on Sunday, February 10th, we went back into the hospital and I was dilated to a 5! They checked me in and I said "Give me that epidural!" I had really wanted to go drug free, out of curiosity of what natural childbirth felt like. Nothing kills that curiosity like actual childbirth.
After the epidural kicked in very quickly, I was able to drift in and out of sleep for a couple hours before the Dr. gave the go ahead to break my water. That was at about noon. The Dr. got to the hospital at about 1:00pm and they told me I could start pushing at about 1:30. I had been told by many friends that I should really get a photographer to document your birth, and maybe I should have, but I loved exactly who was in the room, and the memories I have of that day. I hate being photographed and just knowing that it was me and my sweetheart let me really enjoy what was happening.
Although I was pushing and it is usually a climactic, crazy situation in the movies, it was absolutely peaceful in our room. I knew I was about to become a mom, but it didn't feel real yet. Between pushing, I would look up at your dad and enjoyed the feelings of love and excitement we were feeling. We quietly told each other words of encouragement between pushes, and slipped in "I love you" here and there, and after just 30 minutes of pushing, you were placed into my arms and I looked at your big eyes blinking up at me, knowing in that moment you knew me better than I knew myself. Just like that, I was a mom. You were my baby. We fell in love.
As your father and I breathed you in those first few moments, I loved seeing the doctors and nurses pause every few minutes to watch as we became a family. What a wonderful job they must have! I am sure they get to see many amazing births and lots of love shared, but I like to think that the love your dad and I have for each other, and beginning at that moment- for you, is a little more special than usual.
Your birth was very special and sacred to me, and I am so glad that it is your Daddy that I got to share it with. Our lives were suddenly changed forever in a bigger way than we ever could have imagined, but it is the best change that has ever happened. I love you more than any words could ever express! I thank Heavenly Father everyday that He chose me to be your Mama.
*Thank you to our dear friend Val Dahlin for coming to the hospital the day after Henry was born and getting these great photos of our newborn baby boy!