the birth of indy louise


on saturday august 5th, we woke up late and layed in bed for a good part of the morning. we ate breakfast at home and then went to run errands to check off a few of the last things i had on my list that i had wanted to get done before you arrived. we went to a plant shop, we took some pictures. we came home and went on a walk around the neighborhood and it was a warm summer night. we went to bed around 11pm and i was starting to not feel very well. i was a little nauseous and having some cramps. i couldn’t sleep and kept feeling worse and worse as the night went on. i didn’t want to wake brock because i was afraid it was a false alarm. i downloaded an app to track my cramps (which were actually contractions) and kept laying in bed with my eyes closed. i was so nervous and all i could think about was that my hair wasn’t washed and the house wasn’t clean but none of that mattered. at 5:30am as i was laying in bed, my water started to break. i really didn’t want to have to wash our sheets so i jumped out of bed right away and came downstairs. i felt extremely anxious and looking back, i wish i would have taken the time to calm down and relax a little. i got in the shower while brock packed up our bags into the car while my contractions came in FULL FORCE. i was having the most intense back labor and was walking around on my hands and knees during contractions because the back labor was so extreme. everything was more intense after my water broke, i wasn’t prepared for the back labor that i was experiencing and while i wanted to stay at home as long as possible, i was afraid at how quickly i might be progressing and didn’t want to wait too long. i messaged one of my best friends, erin (we were hoping she would be able to be my delivery nurse) to check and see if she was scheduled to work that day. by 6:00 or 6:30am sunday morning we were ready to go to the hospital. with our bags all loaded up and the car running in the driveway. i sat looking at our house that wasn’t ready and cleaned, and i saw oliver. i immediately was brought to tears and got down on my knees to talk to him. i was so emotional and upset and i told him i was sorry. i knew the next time i saw him our lives would be forever different and i couldn’t help but feel so sad for taking away the only life with just the three of us that he had ever known. i knew he would eventually come to love our new baby, but i was so worried about what this new life would do to him. i stroked his face and looked in his eyes and told him how much i loved him and how sorry i was. i’ll never forget that moment in our little kitchen when it was still dark outside. it brings tears to my eyes still to this day.

once we got to the hospital and up to the nurses station the first thing i asked was if erin was on the schedule - she was not. i hadn’t heard back from her yet because it was so early and i was trying not to be disappointed. we were checked into triage and i changed out of my sweats and into a hospital gown while they tested my fluids to be sure that my water had actually broken. they got the confirmed test that it had and though i was disappointingly only dilated to a 1 (and had been since my appointment the previous monday.) i tried not to dwell to much on the number but i couldn’t help but feel insecure as i was in so much pain and not very far along.

we got checked into room 609. it was a big, bright room. the nurse suggested that i get into the bath with the jets to try and get control over my back pain. it sounded great - she started the water and i got in and immediately felt better. brock then told me that erin was heading to the hospital and the charge nurse on staff had given her the okay to be our nurse. i was so happy and so relieved. that news gave me a switch of energy and helped me calm down. she got there shortly after and it instantly made me feel better and more excited because this was what i had planned for and the way i wanted our birth to be.

the nurses came in to get my iv administered, but my hands were so swollen that nobody was able to get to a vein. i started to get nervous because i was really feeling ready for an epidural but nobody was able to get the iv started. after several nurses tried several veins, they called in life flight and finally he was able to get my iv on the first try. i started to get sick around this time and eventually the pain killer i had taken when i first got in my room was wearing off so i opted to get a second dose. the second round didn’t help even nearly as much as the first had, so i knew i wanted to get an epidural next. erin put in the order and i was going back and forth between getting sick and laying down. i was at a 5 then and i felt good about getting myself halfway there without an epidural but i was more than ready to be able to relax and try to enjoy this experience instead of constantly throwing up and bearing through the back labor.

the anastesiologist in quickly and they warned me that this was going to be painful, but the epidural honestly wasn’t anything compared to my back pain and i knew this was going to help me feel so much better. our birth photographer arrived and for a long time it was her, brock and erin and i in the room alone. we talked and joked - brock texted our families who were SO excited that you were coming. i was really actually enjoying this part of labor. you felt so close but i still don't think it had hit me yet that this was actually happening. i tried as hard as i could to soak in every little second and really wrap my mind around it. brock put on a playlist and erin got me into a couple of different birthing positions. everything was honestly perfect. i really didn’t have any concept of what time it was but by that time it was probably around noon. i labored mostly awake but tried to close my eyes a couple of times - surprisingly i wasn’t tired at all despite having had no sleep the night before. erin came in and out and kept with the paperwork and the birth photographer left to go get some lunch. while she was gone we switched into a different position and i was fully dilated. i couldn’t believe it was going so quickly and i immediately got overwhelmingly scared. this was the first time in the whole process that i felt any kind of fear. and i think it was because it was time to push and it was actually going to happen. we decided to wait for the photographer who was on her way back and erin told us you had hair and that your head was a little bit coned from passing through the birth canal.

our room was so bright and empty and it was just the 3 of us. everything felt so unbelievably surreal. the birth photographer came back and everything was just casual and calm...erin said it was time to push. i couldn’t believe we would be pushing with just erin, brock and i. i had expected doctors and nurses and equipment and everything. it was actually kind of nice to start the process so simply and with just the few of us. erin had my right leg and brock had my left, we waited for a contraction and as it came i started to push. erin had me push for 10 seconds, break for 3 and then push again for 10. we did 3 pushes per contraction this way. it was 2:02pm on sunday august 6th. after the first set of pushes we could see your head. none of us could believe how fast you were coming and the doctor came in to check on us and needed to stay because we needed to deliver. a flood of nurses, equipment and lights and trays of metal surgical objects came in. i pushed for another set and your head was out. by the 3rd set of pushes you were born. i was able to watch the whole process and see you be born. they had to unwrap the cord from your neck (it had been wrapped around twice which was possibly the reason for the bad back labor.) he put you on my stomach while the nurses cleaned you off and honestly i was in so much shock. i couldn’t believe that i had just birthed my first baby and that you had made me a mother. i think i expected for the tears to instantly start flowing and for a big moment to happen, but it was so simple and all came so swiftly that i was in complete disbelief. brock was able to cut the cord and i was able to pull you up to my chest. you were SO teeny and perfect. you had dark curly hair matted to your head and your sweet little ears were curled up from being in my belly. the doctors joked that my placenta was taking longer to come out than you did. the best word i have to describe the whole process is surreal. they took her to get cleaned up, measured and weighed. when the nurses brought her back she had a little hat on and was wide awake and so alert. brock and i sat there soaking in every part of indy's face and just sitting there in silence together in awe. it was the most amazing moment of my life and i wouldn't change a single thing.

while we were in the room with her during those first few moments we had our music playing on a random playlist...there was a song playing in the background during those very first moments with her and at the time i didn't remember the words or even knew who sang it, but i remembered thinking that it was a really nice song for that moment as the afternoon sun was shining in our room and it was just the three of us together and i wanted to be able to remember how that second in time felt forever.

the first morning we had at home, we were sitting in the living room eating breakfast and having coffee and brock put on a record. it was another beautiful day out and even though we hadn't slept AT ALL, we were so happy. a song came on from the record and i immediately got goosebumps over my body and recognized it as the one playing right after indy was born. brock was in the kitchen making more coffee (so much coffee) and he came in as soon as he realized it as well. i took the time to actually listen to the lyrics and i could honestly not believe it. i felt like everything in my life had lead me up to this moment and even though it was probably mostly hormones, sitting in the living room with our dog and cuddling our brand new baby girl i was so overwhelmed with love. i'll never forget that feeling of feeling like i was exactly where i was supposed to be.

baby girl we love you to the moon and back again.

photos by sweet little you