Thursday, March 12, 2015

On the Night You Were Born: June's Birth Story

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June Denson Weatherford decided to make her timely debut on her due date of Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 11:14 pm. She weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces and measured 20.5 inches long. She is the sweetest gift we have ever received. 

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The day of her birth is one that I will always look back on and cherish. As tiring and painful as it was, I would do everything over again in a heartbeat for her. I want to write it down so that I will always remember that special day... I will try to leave out the gory details to spare you all and just hit the highlights ;) {even though, as a nurse, there's not much that phases me so read with caution!} Just enjoy the pics if you're not into these kinds of stories!

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I will preface this story by saying that I was bound and determined to do my part in helping her come on her due date... Aaron's spring break just so happened to start March 1 {Thank you Lord!} and I was going to try to avoid a scheduled induction if I could help it. I had worked my usual three 12 hour shifts until Thursday and on Friday, Mom and I power-walked 5 miles of hills (we even attempted running a few!) and I don't think I sat down all day. Saturday, Mom, my Meemaw and I power-walked about 3 miles and then I ran stairs for about 15 minutes. One lady at the bottom of the stairs saw me and said, "Oh honey, you need to be careful!" and I quickly replied, "My due date is tomorrow!" and ran up another flight of stairs. I don't think I sat down that day either. I was trying to have everything ready to go if the baby came on time. I had a hard time sleeping the night before {which rarely happens} and ended up taking two benadryl just because I knew I was in need of a legit night sleep after how busy and active my week had been. The benadryl worked and I slept like a baby until about 8:30 am. As I was laying there waking up, I felt a "pop" inside my tummy and thought that had to be the weirdest feeling gas bubble... When I got up to pee I realized that my water might have broken... it was not a big gush like you see in the movies. Court and Clay had just called Aaron to tell him that they were bringing over donuts from this place I had been dying to try and so I decided to put off calling the doc until I got to eat my donuts... priorities people! Might I add that I could feel "Gerber" moving around in there like always and still wasn't positive that my water had actually broken. 

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I enjoyed my donuts and when I noticed the contractions started becoming more intense, I called the doc on call. It wasn't my doctor unfortunately, but I knew he would be a great one. It took him a while to call back because he was delivering one baby after another that morning so I hopped in the shower and got ready for the day. Courtney and Harlan kept me company and Aaron and I were calling and texting close friends and family to let them know. By then, I was pretty positive it was my water that had broken and I was beginning to have to stop what I was doing to rest during contractions. You know, like I'm doing here in the pic below... I'm sure Aaron thought it would be hilarious to record the moment. 

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When I finally heard back from the hospital they told me to come in as soon as possible. We took a few last pics and headed that way. When we got there I was 2 cm and "Gerber's" head was way down {0 station to be precise}. The nurses were in touch with the doc on call and came in to start the pitocin. I refused the pit and asked if I could have at least three hours to try and make significant progress on my own.  I would definitely take the medicine if my labor was slow because I knew I had a window of time to have this baby after my water had broken. The way my contractions were intensifying I was quite confident my body knew just what to do... and it did!

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Aaron kept me laughing and distracted me as best he could to take my focus off the pain. As the intensity increased, so did the nausea. I knew my nausea was mostly pain related but by then I was second guessing those donuts I had eaten... Oh and I had back labor which doesn't exactly let up in between contractions unfortunately. All the girls in the room kept taking turns massaging my lower back and applying a hot rice bag that Jane Gray had brought. That thing provided SO much relief!

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My Dad stayed in the room for the majority of my labor and coached me through the really tough contractions. He kept an eye on my vitals as well as Gerber's heart rate. My mom was in and out of the room because she couldn't stand seeing me in pain. Now that I have June, I can totally understand how she felt.

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One big contraction I had caused me to lose my donuts unfortunately, but I felt a whole lot better afterwards. When they checked me to measure my progress in that past three hours, I was at 5 cm! One thing that was really neat was that every time the nurses would check my progress I could accurately predict how dilated I was... How I knew I have no idea.

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I know it may seem weird to most people that I had so many people in the room while I labored but I actually preferred it that way... Having them there to support me and distract me was how I was able to cope with the pain. I know Aaron appreciated the backup help as well. It meant so much that they would spend their entire Sunday rubbing my back, encouraging me and offering me ice chips!

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Coming into my very first labor and delivery experience of my own I didn't really have a plan because I know there are so many variables and so many unpredictable scenarios that could happen during childbirth. I was not dead set on any certain way to deliver {epidural vs. natural} because I've seen both ways be successful and not so successful. My game plan was to just play it by ear, knowing my options were wide open. During one of my breaks in between contractions, my mind ventured back to the pain I felt while running that marathon at the end of my Ironman last year. During those grueling miles I could have stopped running and laid down in the grass and my pain level would have been the exact same as if I was still running... there was no break from the pain whatsoever, not even after I crossed the finish line. As intensely painful as each contraction was, the break I got in between {with a little back pain thrown in from the back labor} is what made the whole process bearable. Another thing that helped was the two small doses of Nubain they gave me. I was hesitant to take them because I was afraid they would make me nauseated and I had heard it doesn't always help the pain, but what it did do was help me relax better in between contractions so I could rest and gear up for the pushing part.

My sister Julie was unable to be there because she couldn't get off work and I know it was killing her!  We made sure to FaceTime her and send a million pics and updates. Jessica came to the hospital straight after her 12 hr shift and started tearing up when she saw me have a contraction. I quickly reminded her not to pity me because I had chosen this pain and that I was fine. If I couldn't take it anymore, the anesthesiologist was just a phone call away.

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But I'm telling you... the emotional and physical support from my family and best friends made all the difference in the world.

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When the contractions were getting so intense that my "pit crew" could tell I was starting to bear down during them and hold my breath... Dad was reminding me to breathe and Aaron quickly got the nurses and told them I would be needing the doctor very soon. {I couldn't really communicate during this time because remember those little breaks I was talking about? Yeah, they were starting to get shorter and shorter.} One really cool thing about the day is that my doctor was actually coming back on call that night! He was flying in from out of town that evening and literally made it in the nick of time. In the moments before he got there, my pit crew left the room and Aaron stayed. The nurses slapped an oxygen mask on me, turned me on my side {because I don't think I could follow commands very well then} and told me to "breathe for my baby"... I started breathing as hard as I could! Before I knew it, my doctor had arrived and when he checked me he gave me the go ahead to start pushing. You talk about the hardest, most painful 20-30 minutes of my life! I was totally regretting not getting the epidural then... Ha! Aaron was such a good coach though... he had one leg and literally got in my face and told me what I needed to do because I was so distraught. He's always been able to handle pressure-filled intense situations like a champ and I could not have pushed the baby out without his help.

My favorite part of the whole day was when I gave it one last huge push and the dr. caught the baby and flipped its little booty up in the air and Aaron yelled, "It's a GIRL!!!!" I was like, "It's a GIRL?! Oh my gosh, Aaron we had a girl!!!" Aaron had tears rolling down his cheeks and said, "My baby girl... I am done for..." It was literally the sweetest moment I have ever witnessed. It makes me goo goo just writing about it.

My sweet Doc with our baby girl!!

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Meanwhile in the waiting room... our closest friends and family are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our "Gerber" baby. 

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And June's proud Daddy got to show her off for the the very first time to everyone there! {How cute is that little bow the nurse made for her hat?!} Everyone was giddy with excitement when Aaron walked out with her!

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After Aaron had shown her off to everyone, he brought her back to me so I could nurse her. We were so awestruck by her.

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And so was everyone else...

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June girl... The night you were born was one of the most special times of our lives... You are our greatest blessing and the most precious gift God has ever given us. We love you more than life our sweet baby girl.

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