The birth of our little Sydney

January 10, 2012

 As I mentioned in a previous post, the day labor started was the day of a BYU cross country meet. I had hoped that doing a little jogging while watching the races might help me progress a little. {oh boy did this trick work! totally doing this next time too} That first contraction came right as the girl's lined up to start their race. We had already been there for a few hours. I didn't think much of it because I often had contractions when I exercised throughout pregnancy. But, on our ride home, I continued to have contractions every so often and I began to wonder if the day I had been {oh so patiently} waiting for was finally here.

The day continued pretty normally. Michael had to study all day and night for a huge Chemistry midterm on Monday. I was becoming restless because these contractions were getting a little stronger. I decided to make my way to the bed in hopes that laying down would help me feel better. I was wrong. The rest of the afternoon the contractions continued about 9 or 10 minutes a part, with an occasional 15 minute lapse. By the time evening hit, I was very uncomfortable. I took one look at my house and semi freaked out. It was a mess. Thoughts started racing through my head like What kind of mother would I be to bring a baby home to THIS! So in a desperate attempt to prepare for baby I started a cleaning frenzy. {I would have done anything to get my mind off of those contractions}. They started coming a lot more quickly. I think they were anywhere from 5 to 7 minutes at that point. It was quite the sight I am sure to see a contracting woman clean. I would have to continually stop to breathe through a contraction, bending over the counter, the sink, the broom, the table, you name it! 

All the techniques I spent months learning were the only thing getting me through. Michael was becoming much more aware at this point that maybe his wife was going to be having a baby soon. He would come hold my hand and help me through the contractions then rush back to his studying until the next one. Eventually the house was spotless and I felt then, I could truly relax. So off to the bed I went. Midnight rolled around and the contractions were getting much more deep. {I wish I could explain what it feels like. It is so intense, it almost feels like your insides are being pulled every direction.} I started to feel so tired. After a full day of contractions, my body was in a different place. Michael and I gathered all of the last minute things together for the hospital just in case and tried to "go to bed." HA. Who was I kidding thinking I could sleep off the pain. No, how about every 3 to 5 minutes bracing myself for the next one. At this point I was just thinking of a blossoming flower - one of the visualizations I learned. Every time a contraction came I would lift up my arms and pretend my hands were blossoming flowers. Michael should have been laughing at me, but instead he was gently kissing my forehead, encouraging me on. The contractions were relentless. I finally couldn't take it anymore. I pleaded with Michael to make it stop. I told him I would do anything to take back my stupid jogging decision the previous day. I told him I wasn't ready, I was too scared, I couldn't do this. He again just kept telling me, I could. 

Around 3 AM, I decided to take a shower. Boy did it feel good. During one contraction I nearly slipped out of the shower, but instead nose dove into the towel rack. Yes, graceful, I know. By the time I got back in bed my man was dead asleep. I felt so bad that I had kept him up all night and kept thinking this couldn't be REAL labor, so in attempts to save him some sleep for his big test on Monday, I decided to take on these contractions myself. Easier said than done. I tried my hardest to relax my body, but the contractions were almost a minute to two minutes long. After thirty seconds I could hardly bear the pain. 5 AM hit and I decided to get up and go to the bathroom. All I saw was blood. I screamed. Michael came running in and called the hospital right away. They told us it was normal. NORMAL?! We felt like such newbies. I called my mom, my sister, my brother. They all said I should go to the hospital because my contractions were consistently 3 minutes apart. So, we called the hospital again. Michael was just so excited by this point that he wanted to go start labor right away! I, on the other hand was too scared to think about it, so I kept saying we should wait longer. Well, the hospital thought so too. "Wait until she is two minutes apart for an hour." I just cried. Happy that I didn't have to go to the hospital yet, but half wishing they would have told us it was time just so I could get it over with. Well, the hours dragged on. I took a bath to try and sleep a little, but to no avail. We tried all sorts of stuff to jump start labor.

Hours later, around 10 AM we decided to go in to the hospital. My contractions were about 2 and half minutes apart and lasting longer than I appreciated. The moment seemed surreal. We gathered our things and got in the car {car seat included, which was really weird for me}. The whole way there all I could think about was this couldn't possibly be happening, but Michael kept reassuring me it was. Secretly I would look away with the biggest smile on my face. I was so happy. We arrived at the hospital and the nurse plugged me into the machines to monitor the contractions. I was only dilated 2 1/2 centimeters. Oh the let down. I felt so discouraged. All those hours and I barely made any progress. She advised me to go home since I was going natural and I might as well be comfortable as I still had a ways to go. I really didn't want to go home. I worked so hard to convince myself it was time on the way there, that going home was not an option. So we decided to wait it out and see if I would progress. Every hour the nurse would check. I think by the late afternoon I had dilated to a 4.  I was having a very difficult time focusing. I hardly had time to catch my breath between contractions. Michael was starving so I told him to go pick up some food because who knew how long this would take. He was gone for about forty five minutes, all of which were excruciatingly difficult. I felt a complete loss of control over my body and my mind. The pain was overwhelming. At times I felt so nauseas, I was sure I would pass out. I so badly wanted to regain this experience. I wanted to be given some heavenly strength. But, I kind of remained in my own world until Michael came back. I whimpered, he knew. It was time to talk to the doctor. My doctor wasn't too thrilled with my progress. He really wanted to put me on pitocin to get the process going, especially because on my blood pressure issues I had throughout pregnancy. He was concerned that my body wouldn't hold out very much longer. So, I cried to Michael. This was not in the plan. However, it seemed the best thing to do for the safety of little girl's arrival and my health. I was so tired by this time as well. I think my sister, brother, and brother in law came in at this point. It was so nice to see family. I tried my very best to hide the discomfort I was in. I could tell my little brother was like what the heck am I doing here. It made me chuckle inside. A little while later, we decided to go forward with the pitocin, which would speed up and strengthen my contractions. The doctor also suggested to get an epidural because of the dramatic increase of pain this may cause. Although I was scared out of my mind, we went forward.

Maybe two minutes after we made that decision I sobbed, pleading with Michael to save me from that needle. {By the way, pregnancy and labor are VERY emotional experiences... hence all the tears}. I am deathly afraid of needles. I have passed out many times getting barely a tube of blood drawn. {Lame, I know}. The nurse came in to give me an IV. I looked away so she couldn't see all the tears. She missed three times. THREE TIMES. I thought for sure I would rip out her hair. It hurt so badly. But, she finally got it in. Then came the epidural man. He was short and friendly. Surprisingly, I felt better that he wasn't this huge, mean man with a long needle. I sat up on the edge of the bed and squeezed Michael's hand as hard as I could, bracing myself for the worst pain possible. However, it really wasn't that bad. My IV hurt much worse. But, he spent about 40 minutes trying to get that sucker in. I braced onto Michael's arm as the contractions were becoming more and more relentless. Three different attempts later, the doctor finally found a spot. Immediately I started to feel better. My husband, who had been so supportive, was relieved to see me smiling again and not in so much pain. I slowly progressed over the next few hours and soon enough the doctor came in and told me to prepare to push in about a half hour.

The time had come. I was ready to meet her. I was so ready. I felt butterflies at the thought that she would be here soon. My determination seemed greater in this moment than any other. Michael upon hearing this, made frequent trips to the bathroom. {I couldn't stop laughing}. He was so nervous, as was I, but he couldn't hide it. The doctor came in a half hour later and we began the process. The nurse pulled my legs up into the stirrups and as the contractions came she told me to push for 5 counts, take a deep breath, push for another 5 seconds, and repeat one more time. As the first one came the explained to Michael to hold my leg up and push it towards me as I pushed. He exclaimed to her, Could this wait just a minute I really need to go to the bathroom?! I laughed at him, told him no honey, contractions don't wait. But, he really had to go, so we just waited until the next one. The pushing began. within one or two pushes she was already crowning. Her little head was apparently showing. The nurse asked me if I wanted to see. I reached down and rubbed her little head. All she kept saying was how much hair Sydney had. I told her sure, kind of skeptical of looking at myself in a mirror. She brought a mirror in and I took one look and turned my head away. It was too bloody for me to handle. But seeing her tiny head, that was exciting. I felt so much strength. I could do this. A few more pushes and they sent for the doctor. Sydney was so close. It was unreal. Five minutes later, my little girl made her way into the world. All I heard was 'Oh my goodness' from Michael. He took her in his arms and then handed her to me. While he cut the umbilical chord, I looked down at this beautiful baby. My heart felt like it would explode. The moment was here. For nine months I anticipated this. She was perfect. All mine. Forever. 

I am not sure I can put into words the love you feel for your baby. After everyone left that evening and Michael me and Sydney were in our room, I felt the more love than I could ever fathom. My husband exhaustedly went to bed {he worked so hard too}. I held my little girl most of the night. So sleep deprived, but not wanting to close my eyes. She was here. I felt so much joy. I couldn't stop admiring every little thing about her. She was perfect. God-made. Heaven sent. My little angel. The day had not been what I had anticipated. My plan was basically reversed. But you know what, that's okay. I was proud of what I endured. I realized then, that nothing else matters but getting your baby safely in your arms. I was so thankful for the care I received by my doctors, the encouragement I received by my husband, and the blessing I was given from my Heavenly Father. My little angel is more than I could ever ask for. 


  1. So beautiful Jessica. You are so blessed to have had a healthy labor, even though it wasn't what you anticipated. The process of having a baby is SUCH an amazing thing to witness - I thought I would puke the first time I saw a vaginal birth, but it really is the most special thing to be a part of. Sounds like you had a great experience overall. You did it! YAY!

  2. Sitting here at work, with tears. I am so happy for you, Jess, and what a special day that was for you. Thanks for sharing the story, and the pictures. YOU DID IT! And you're right... she is so perfect! xoxo

  3. Jessica. Your post made me smile, laugh, cry, everything! I honestly felt like I was living the experience through you (to a much lesser degree of course!) but I am so happy for you, and I will never forget the visual of you and your blossoming flower haha. love you!

  4. I absolutely loved stalking your blog today and reading this post!! All the details and the hard/precious moments... how wonderful that you have this recorded! I was definitely a crying mess by the end. Thank you for sharing the experience and those beautiful pictures. What a perfect little beauty she is! You must be the happiest mama in the world! :)

  5. This is such a beautiful story! I teared up through it all, love it, thaks for sharing.