My Pregnancy Summary & Birth Story
Updated: Jan 8, 2020
Well folks the title said it all... I had a baby! So if you have wonder why I've been a little MIA, that's pretty much why. I wanted to share some of my journey but so much has happened in the last year it wouldn't be fair to squeeze into one post. So I will start with my pregnancy...
I complained about being pregnant the entire time. But it wasn't has bad as I complained about. I was scared. Prior to being pregnant I worked extremely hard controlling my diet, exercise and anything else I could, But being pregnant I felt very out of control and that I didn't like. I didn't know what to expect and I couldn't get past being pregnant and giving birth. Very rarely could I really imagine life with a newborn. But throughout my pregnancy I would get glimpse of joy and excitement. Feeling her kick or move or have the hiccups. I just didn't want to wait. I wanted her to be here with us and for me to back in control (this is the moment where the moms laugh).
Being "plus size" and pregnant is not as bad as people expect it to be. I even hate saying that, "plus size" not out of shame but I think its stupid. Why I need to be put in a category. What makes it hard is outsiders perspectives and (some) doctors opinions. But I stayed in good health and so did my baby. I didn't get GD (gestural diabetics) or high blood pressure or even swollen feet. So if you are reading this... don't panic, breath and live. Listen to your doctor, but if you don't agree get a second opinion. I look back on my pregnancy and regret not loving it as much but at the same time... I didn't know. I didn't know what happened after I had the baby. How much I would love this little being. How much being a family of 3 feels how it was always suppose to be. And I wouldn't go back and change it because I needed to go through the experience to learn about this love. And when (if) I'm pregnant again with baby number two I think it will be a lot more fun and will go by much faster.
One thing I was very interested in was decorating "Baby Girl's" nursery. Okay, let me be honest... I was obsessed decorating her nursery. The theme, paint colors, crib sheets, color scheme etc. I went with a Woodland/Boho theme. I wanted light and airy with a touch of rustic. And being a photographer I of course wanted to make sure the room would be ideal to photograph in (and I did accomplish that).
I was also spent hours creating her registry! And now being 7 months postpartum I feel like an expert in baby gear. To see my registry and my Must Haves see my Baby Registry blog post.
My Baby Shower was such a beautiful event. My sweet mother in law hosted it at her gorgeous log home. She kept with the woodland theme and had great centerpieces that had baby breath, wood slice charters and little bird nest. My family and friends are such an incredible blessing in our lives. The amount of gifts we received was... overwhelming and awesome all at the same time. I had such an amazing time talking about my sweet girl and spending time with some wonderful people.
Reese's birth was not as planned. I tried to go into labor on my own... like I tried everything... spicy food, raspberry leaf tea, bouncing, walking everything. I kept having Braxton Hicks contractions and was only 1 cm dilated. So nothing was happening. On March 31st (my dads birthday) I checked into the hospital to be induced in the morning. At 8:00 am I was given pitocin and started having contractions right away. They were bad at first, but then they increased it... the nurses & doctors don't mention that with pitocin you don't get a break. Seriously, it is one contraction after another. And since you have an IV and a monitor on your belly for the baby is difficult to get up and walk around. The best I could do was sit in a rocking chair next to the bed and monitor. So knowing this, I went for the epidural right away. Which wasn't bad, like you are getting a shot in your spin but it sounds worse then it is. Just a moment of discomfort. But once that epidural was in full effect...blissfulness.
At this point I thought it was going to be smooth sailing. I accepted that it may take awhile but I was comfortable, watching tv, playing on my phone and just chatting with Chad. After about an hour after my epidural it was lunch time, Chad ran out to grab something to eat and my labor nurse went to take her lunch break. At that time my doctor came in (Dr. Bright) with the nurse and checked the monitor and to see if I have dilated anymore (I hadn't). She leaves and comes back about 10 mins later... "You need to have a c-section". My heart dropped. Reese was not tolerating the pitocin, everytime I was having a contraction her heart rate would drop. At this point I was only 4 hours in and she was getting stressed. My doctor explains everything and once she leaves I break down in tears (just to point out I was by myself with only the sub labor nurse at this point). I remember the nurse being so kind though, he sat down next to me grabbed my hand and asked "What are you feeling? Lets talk it out, what questions to do you have?". I think I spatted out between sobs "I am just scared." and I was! I didn't want to have a c-section, its major surgery! I wanted my body to take care of it they way it was designed to do, a part me felt like I failed. So we called Chad and he was back in the room within minutes it felt like. From there things went by so quickly, I was being prepped and moved into the operating room. Even though I was numb from the epidural I remember being able to move myself from the bed to the operating table, with help from the nurses of course, but I kept thinking to myself, should I be able to do this?
After a few minutes I see Chad walk in all decked out in his scrubs. He sits by my head and we wait has they begin the c-section. I don't remember too much (they were pumping me with a lot of drugs) so its hard to give many more details. I do remember they got her out quickly, I heard her cry right away. Relief. Then to my right I saw the nurse walk over to weigh her. I thought to myself "Chad go get her, or hover over them while they do everything". Luckily a nurse grabbed him and guided him, he got to cut what was left of the umbilical cord.
I just remember laying there watching them. But I was distracted, the amount of pressure/pain on my left abdomen was overwhelming. Chad came back to my side right away concerned. They brought over Reese and put her to my face, "look at your baby, congratulations!" then snapped a photo.
You can see I was trying to push through some pain. But I remember so vividly hearing her cry and placing my hand on her. She was so tiny. Soon after the pain was getting hard to ignore. It took them about 45 mins to finish up. They must of loaded me up with a lot of pain killers because the next thing I remember is being moved into recovery and Chad walking in with Reese (I am literally in tears right now). We hadn't named her yet, but Chad handed her to me and said "she looks like a Reese." I put her on my chest and tried to feed her and replied "yes, Reese Paige Marshall". It was such an odd feeling, feeling I knew exactly what to do and at the same time having no idea.
Once I was in recovery the rest was pretty much smooth sailing. The first night and next morning was the hardest for my recovery. Why? Cause they make you get up and oh man, it literally feels like your stomach is going to fall out. I remember leaning over as I walked over to the bathroom (super slowly). But as the days went on and the more I got up the better it got. Also, the first shower is mauh (chef kiss). It literally was the best thing to sit down on the bench in the shower and let the hot water wash over me. I felt like me and after going through all that, I needed it.