written to my love, Bellamy...
Well my dear, the day started out quite early on March 3rd, 2018 (a day past 39 weeks!). For the past month, we had been on our tip toes thinking you would arrive any day as my contractions were in patterns of 5-6 minutes quite often, multiple times a day. We even went to the hospital at midnight on Valentine's Day thinking your arrival was hours away. And it almost was, but thankfully we kept you in a little longer.
But as I awoke to a very strong contraction at 5:31am, I remember thinking, this could be it! But after a minute it died down and I then tried to close my eyes and get more sleep. But once again, 10 minutes later my eyes opened to another horrible contraction - and these were very different from the ones I had been having since week 22! The pain was way too real to be false alarm this time. This was "the" day. But to be positively and absolutely sure I tried to go back to sleep one more time and not 'think' this was the day, after all you had us fooled for weeks now. But sleep didn't come after that and the contractions kept coming every 10 minutes apart. Finally your daddy looked over at me as I tried to hide my squeals of pain and I said to him, "Today's the day!"
Kind of half panicked and half excitement I jumped in the shower and tried to get ready as fast as I could. At this point the contractions were every 4 minutes and so VERY VERY painful; I couldn't focus on anything during the contractions while they were happening.
Thankfully Grandma got to the house in record time to pick up your brother. And I finally made time to eat at least a little something since I wasn't sure how much I'd get to eat at the Hospital. But after eating and drinking some water, the contractions slowed down. They became every 6 minutes, then 8 minutes and then even 10 minutes apart. I could only think that perhaps I was dehydrated and maybe this wasn't "the" day after all.
By the time 1pm rolled around, your Daddy and I just figured we'd make the best of a day without a toddler and watch a movie together; especially since the contractions had by then become 20 minutes apart. Well low and behold, at 2:30 "the water" broke. And it wasn't just a little bit of water, it was like a movie when one minute there's nothing and the next moment your jaw is dropped because you're so in shock that all that came out. I remember thinking at that moment was, "What do I do!? What do I do!? Is she going to come out now!" I kept saying it to your Daddy over and over, after all I was already 3 cms. Before we could leave the house, I had to shower (one thing you'll learn about your mama, is I like to be clean! Haha). So I did that as your daddy called the hospital and told them we were coming, since the contractions that were 20 minutes apart were now 2 minutes apart and the pain was UNREAL!
As we arrived, it again was like a scene from a movie, I couldn't even get out of the car during a contraction. A couple nurses were waiting for the contraction to finish so they could wheel me up to the Birth Center. I even got a couple "good lucks!" from on goers. After we arrived in the room, I honestly lost track of the time - everything jumbled together.
Our Doula, Sarah, arrived and immediately helped ease my back pain with some massages as I held on to your daddy so tightly in pain. They told me at this point I was 5 cms. And since everything is a little hazy, I'm trying to remember at what moment did I realize that the pain was so intense that the 'calm' birth I wanted was slipping out of my fingers. All I could focus on was breathing and screaming. I had never in my life felt such pain, with almost no break. The contractions were coming every 20 seconds and lasting a minute and a half long. I couldn't get enough peaceful moments in to even think about anything but the pain. And I'm pretty certain your daddy's shirt, which I was holding so tightly, is still wrinkled to this day from my hands. With the realization that this wasn't the peaceful birth I had wanted (I so desperately wanted a different experience from last time), I turned to the nurse and said with my teeth tightly clenched, "Epidural, PLEASE!"
I had been holding out as long as I could because my fear was that all the back pain that I had, it would worsen if I didn't know if I was hurting it during your birth. I already couldn't walk more than 5 minutes without being in such awful pain in the weeks leading up to your birth. But that didn't matter any more, I had to focus on something other than the pain.
Sadly, the anesthesiologist took what seemed like forever to get there. I was worried that with my contractions being 10 seconds apart that he wouldn't be able to stick me in time! But thankfully he did and I have to say, EPIDURALS ARE AMAZING! Whomever invented them should win a Noble Prize. And as I was obviously feeling better, I even told all the nurses that. I also joked that, "Eve" and I would have some choice words when I see her in Heaven.
After I could finally think about something other than the pain, I was checked again and told that I was 8 cms and I should let them know when I felt pressure so we knew when it was time to push. About 30 mins later I told them I had pressure on my left thigh but none in the southern region, so we calmly waited another 30 minutes and I started asking for another dose of the epidural, but before they could give me anymore they needed to check the cervix. As the Dr checked, she looked up at me and said, "You're ready to get this baby out!"
I was in complete shock, I all of a sudden didn't know what to do. I was hoping this whole time I would get a VBAC, but didn't think about how I would feel when they told me I was ready to push! It's almost like you weren't baby number 2 because this was so different and I suddenly felt unprepared. But they reassured me that they'd tell me what to do.
And as I held my legs, with your daddy at my side, I started to push. It was unreal, I was pushing to see you. It's the most incredible feeling knowing that what I was doing was making your way into this world. It's so amazing how our bodies are so remarkable that the life that was in me, was going to be a life in our world in a few short minutes. All together I did 5 sets of pushing before you were out. Every now and again I kept asking what color your hair was - I had envisioned a brown haired baby from day one!
But the best moment happened as they told me to stop pushing and open my eyes! It was you! And oh my God, you were a beautiful! All the pain and anguish over the months were in this one moment worth more than I could every explain. It was you and you were finally here! As they laid you in my arms, all I could say was, "hello, we've been waiting for you!" It was absolute heaven to hold you. You were in my arms and I could just live in that moment forever. My heart must have grown, because the addition of love was immediate.
I think I held you for a straight hour and you fed immediately too. The experience was completely different from last time. And now that I've grown through the pain of the first birth, I realize that even though your birth was more average - I was still just as thankful and blessed to have two beautiful babies. And that was VERY healing for me. That no matter what way a child enters this world, that their mama is Wonder Woman! And I remember the Doula saying that I was Wonder Woman, as I often joked with her that people with natural births are amazing. But she reaffirmed that it didn't matter if I chose an epidural, a c-section or a birth VBAC - that "I" did it and "I" was Wonder Woman. It replaced so much guilt that I had with your brother's birth.
What followed was the typical hospital stay with all the not-so-fun healing and the nurses checking vitals every hour or two. But one of the hardest decisions was your name... What to name this beautiful child? We went in with two names and we honestly didn't decide until 20 minutes before we left two days later. But your name suits you perfectly and suits what we pray for you as well. Bellamy Mercy means "Beautiful Friend" and "Compassion." In this world so full of tough times and unkindness, we pray that you will be a beautiful friend showing compassion to all you meet. Our world could use some more good!
So my dear sweet baby girl, your story has begun and your daddy and I promise to guide your path that you may shed light wherever you go!
We love you and are so grateful that God gave us you!
Below on the left, was one day before you were born! Crazy how much life can change in one week!