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We woke up bright and early the morning of Friday, October 20th. I set an alarm the night before, but I didn't end up needing it. My head was spinning, my belly was full of butterflies, and I was awake long before I needed to be (I'm not even sure I managed to sleep at all). I procrastinated packing my hospital bag until the last possible minute (I'm good at procrastinating, unfortunately) and spent my spare time that morning putting a few things I may need in a duffel bag that we took with us to the hospital. We had a few extra minutes around the house before we needed to pack up and head to the hospital so Tay and I collapsed together on the floor of our living room, curled in close together, and stared at the ceiling as we tried to wrap our heads around the fact that we were going to the hospital to have a BABY. 

Some of the last photos I took as a pregnant lady (before we went to the hospital the morning Billie was born).
Things in my pregnancy had been going really well in the weeks leading up to Billie's delivery. The  OB appointments were short and sweet because things were going exactly the way they were supposed to. At my 38 week appointment, however, things got really interesting. The week prior, at my 37 week appointment, baby was looking good-- her head was nice and low and my body was progressing towards labor just like it was supposed to. We were anxious and excited to see when Billie Rose (however, at the time, she was just "baby" to us) would make her grand appearance. When the doctor went to check to see if my body had progressed any further into going into labor, she realized that my lower abdomen (where baby's head was supposed to be) was really soft. Consequently, she brought in a little ultrasound and inspected the situation a little more in depth. 

Long story short: Billie had decided that she wanted to call all of the shots and had flipped herself so that her head was wedged up in my ribcage and her feet were kickin' me down below. She was breech. The craziest part about all of it is the fact that she chose to flip the night before our 38 week appointment! She worked her little booty off to flip around within my womb and it looked extremely bizzare from the outside (at one point my stomach looked more square than it did round). 

So, at our 38 week appointment we ended up scheduling for a version (the process of trying to flip baby back into the right position before delivering) a mere seven days later. It was weird to "know" when our baby girl was going to come. We'd been anxious about the thought of her coming unexpectedly... but that quickly changed (Taylor was pumped about scheduling a delivery date because he was more nervous about the unexpected than I was). 


We delivered at the hospital where one of my sister-in-laws works as a labor and delivery nurse. She was the sweetest thing and took the time to decorate our room for us before we arrived! She also went out of her way to swap shifts with her coworkers to ensure that she'd be there for us when we delivered our baby. It was honestly so relieving to have her there taking care of us. Having a familiar face involved in the process of having our baby definitely made things a little less nerve-wracking for me (but I was still so nervous, obviously). 

We got hooked up to a whole bunch of monitors and then we had an ultrasound to make sure that the baby was still breech. Sure enough, she was. But, knowing me and the craziness of my life, things got a little more interesting from here on out. As I mentioned before, we scheduled a version and were planning on trying to get the baby to flip before inducing labor and delivering her later that day. 

Unfortunately, however, as we were looking at the ultrasound, it was brought to our attention that my fluid levels were very low. Because of that, the doctor expressed his concerns that continuing forward with the version may be dangerous for the baby and the chances of it actually being successful were pretty unlikely. "It's more than likely that, even if we try to flip her, we'll just end up in an emergency c-section anyway. It will be safer for the baby if we just opt to go straight for the c-section at this point." he said, when we asked him to be candidly honest with us. "We can still try to flip her...." he mentioned, "but if I'm being honest, I won't try all that hard because I highly doubt we're going to have any luck." 

So, from that point on, we started prepping for a c-section. Baby's safety was the most important thing for us and we were advised that the safest way to bring her into the world was via a cesarean section.

I'm not going to lie, when we'd officially made that decision, I felt really good about it and I knew without a doubt that it was the right thing for us to do, but I was genuinely terrified of the concept of a c-section. They took me into the operating room by myself and Taylor waited behind in our delivery room until he was given the "OK" to come and be with me through the c-section. The room was cold, but I didn't feel cold. I was shivering uncontrollably but I couldn't figure out if it was because of nerves or the temperature of the room. I felt like a robot as I went through all of the motions and followed all of the directions that I was being given.

When your husband takes a goofy selfie and you make it public for everyone to see.
Before long, I was reclined back onto the table and the entire lower half of my body was numb. I kept trying to wiggle my toes but to no avail. I remember that it kind of freaked me out that I had no control over myself at that point, so I tried really hard to not think about it. They brought Taylor into the room wearing a full-on body suit type of thing with a really funny hat. He had the biggest smile spread across his face as he locked eyes with me. My head was spinning and I felt like I was going to puke (it was definitely the drugs)-- his smile quickly faded when he saw how sickly I looked. I laughed at his concern and when he sat down on the little stool placed right next to my head, he took my hand in his and squeezed it real tight.

The next little part was all somewhat of a blur. There was a drape hung between us as the surgery (which was honestly pretty good because I don't know if I could have handled seeing my own guts spewed out on a table) and although I couldn't feel pain, I could still feel everything that was going on. I felt them messing around in my lower abdomen and extreme amounts of pressure. Then I felt them begin to pull. It felt as if they were pulling forever. And I felt like I was going to be sick. I was sweating profusely and Taylor kept wiping the sweat off my forehead in attempts to help me feel as comfortable as possible. I kept staring into the barf bag placed beside my head and praying that I wouldn't actually end up puking. Taylor kept trying to talk to me and my head was spinning so violently that at one point I remember just looking up at him and saying, "Shhhhhhhh." (Which made him laugh aloud). More pressure, more tugging...

And then we heard her cry.

I cannot put into words the emotions that I felt from that point on. She continued to cry and I did too. My eyes were leaking everywhere and I couldn't stop it. I looked up at Taylor and whispered, "She's here, she's really here," repeatedly as we listened to her sweet baby cry fill up the silence. The nurses (more specifically, our sister in law who got to be the scrub nurse for the procedure) called Taylor over to meet our baby girl for the very first time. I heard them swooning over her and exclaiming things like, "She's so cute!" and "Her hair looks kind of auburn!" and my mind tried to make sense of all of the little exclamations so I could imagine what she looked like. I could hear her crying but I couldn't see her-- I was stuck behind the surgical curtain that was hung as they put my belly back together.

Taylor kept going back and forth between me and the baby-- he'd run over and watch her being cleaned up, measured, and weighed, then he'd come back to me and tell me how cute she was. I was so anxious to actually see my baby. It was probably a good five or so minutes after she'd been pulled out of my womb before I finally got to see her-- but it felt as if it were a million years as I sat and listened to her crying.

Eventually, however, someone called out, "CaLea, are you ready to meet her?" and I lost it. I was beyond ready to meet my baby girl (but I was also beyond terrified to meet her). Before I even had a chance to really respond, Marissa, my sweet sister in law, came out from behind the surgical curtain holding my baby girl and my heart felt as if it were about ready to burst forth from my chest. I remember muttering aloud, "Oh, she's so cute!!" repeatedly as they brought her closer to me and laid her gently upon my chest. Her soft skin felt so warm against my own-- I couldn't believe she was real. My own baby, right there, warm, beautiful, and thriving in my arms. As soon as I was holding her, I knew what her name was. We'd been stumbling over a collection of names for a few months leading up to her birth, but the moment I finally met her, I knew her name. 

I held her close to me and soothed her cries into a calm silence. Taylor said that she'd been crying since the moment she was born, but when they placed her upon my chest for the first time, she stopped almost instantaneously. It's cool to be the mom. It's cool to be the one that can comfort a child simply because you carried her within you for nine months. 

I laugh at the photograph of the moment I first saw her: my face is practically inside a barf bag because of how nauseated I was throughout the c-section, you can see the doctor's head behind the curtain as he's putting my inside back where they go, and my arms were in the most awkward positions because I was so completely out of it (but also somehow completely aware of the fact that I was totally out of it). 

She stayed cuddled up on my chest as they wheeled me back to my room. Our sweet mothers (both mine and Tay's) were there for us waiting to meet their newest grandbaby. Those first few moments with them and our girl were some of the sweetest moments of my life. I loved watching my mother in law hug Taylor as he held our Billie Rose. Those are the kind of moments I want to wrap up in my heart and keep forever. 

Although I had been pregnant for nine whole months, I felt as if I had been thrown into the role of motherhood so suddenly. There I was, holding this perfect, tiny child in my arms and I had somehow become her mother. It felt so familiar and so foreign all at once. I was entirely unsure of my own qualifications to be a mother, but I loved that little girl more than anything in the world. Not only was she mine, but she was OURS-- mine and Tay's-- and we'd get to raise her together. I cannot express what it was like to hold her and love on her in those first few moments following her birth.

Tay, enjoying the good things in life (aka french fries and baby cuddles).
An awkward photo of Billie with the doctor who delivered her.
Our baby girl with her sweet grandmothers!
Even now, over a month later, I look at these captured moments and it all feels so surreal. October 20th, 2017 will forever be one of the sweetest days of my entire life because it was the day I  finally became a mother (to the sweetest, loveliest, most wonderful little girl!!!). And it was one of the most sacred and sweet experiences of my entire life. We're so grateful that everything ended up going rather smoothly and that we got our baby girl here safely. We've come to learn that, in our life, things RARELY go as they're "supposed" to... but that's what's made this life together such a grand adventure. That being said, in the end, although we seem to take the unconventional paths of life, we always end up right where we want to be. And for that, I am grateful!


Video by my very talented friend, Kalynn.

xoxo

4 comments

  1. This is amazing! You are amazing!!!! You did it! You gave birth!!!! I watched my sister's c-sections and it's no easy feat! Congrats girl!

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    1. It's all still so insane to me that it even happened, if I'm being honest! But it was such a cool experience and I cherish it. I was scared out of my mind in the middle of it all... but somehow calm at the same time? I can't even put it into words. Thanks so much!

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  2. Oh my gosh! Such a pretty baby! Is she named after your grandpa and Taylor's grandma?

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    1. Thank you so much! And yes, she's named Billie after my grandpa and Rose after Taylor's grandma!

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