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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Below you will find the link to my birth video. Please understand that even though nothing inappropriate is shown, this video is very personal. You are in no way being forced to watch this video. But if you do choose to do so, please be respectful. Thanks in advance!

Big huge thank you to Utah Birth Stories ( for this amazing video!

Just click on the link below to watch. Let me know what you think and/or if you have any issues with the link!
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

My number one pregnancy postpartum must have is the Bellefit Maternity girdle.

After I had Henry I ordered a type of postpartum girdle, and it was terrible. It was basically just fabric that wrapped around my abdomen and had Velcro to close. It was thick and bulky, it moved up and down under my clothes, and it bent weird when I sat down or bent over. Basically it was a waste of money and didn't help at all.

I knew this time around post pregnancy I wanted to find a girdle that worked. I am so glad I came across Bellefit. Their products are medical grade childbirth recovery. I have a bundle that comes with a dual-closure girdle in size large and a girdle with hooks (corset) in size medium. I began using the dual-closure girdle the day I was discharged from the hospital and I am already on the tightest setting of the girdle. I can already see the difference it is making! Next I will use the corset.

The Bellefit girdles are amazing in their quality. They are lightweight, durable, and most importantly stay in place. What is a girdle if it isn't secure? The Bellefit girdle doesn't move up and down when you put clothes on or sit down. The girdle secures at the bottom so it can't ride up all day long. It really is the perfect fit.

It has only been two weeks and I am already so satisfied with these girdles. I have included a picture of my progress 1 week postpartum and will continue to update as time goes on!

I highly recommend Bellefit. They also have an awesome shapeware collection as well as nursing pajamas. Their postpartum girdles are safe for both natural deliveries and C-sections. I highly encourage you to check out to browse through their products and check out the FAQ questions for answers to any questions you may have.

Receive $10 off using coupon code VIP10 right now! Also, there is free 2-3 business day shipping on US orders.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My what a crazy week our first week together was. I spent most of this week in tears because I was so stressed and worried.

We were discharged from the hospital on Friday November 7th. Anastazia's bilirubin count was 10 when we were discharged so we were instructed to take her to the pediatrician Monday morning to get another count done and to watch her coloring over the weekend. She weighed 7 pounds 3.5 ounces, which is fine because newborns are supposed to lose weight at first and she hadn’t lost too much of her body weight. While I was in the hospital the right side of my face started losing movement. It started with the right side of my tongue being numb, then the right side of my mouth wouldn't close right or smile, finally my right eye wouldn't close all the way. I had mentioned the issue to my doctor and to several nurses but they weren't sure what it could be. My doctor instructed me to go to the ER over the weekend if it got worse but the last place I wanted to go with a new baby was the emergency room. So we mostly just relaxed over the weekend. 

Anastazia didn't look too yellow but it was hard to tell because her skin is pretty dark anyways. So on Saturday I called the pediatrician's office to ask if we should bring her in before Monday. The nurse instructed me to watch her poops and if they transitioned to yellow before Sunday morning then we were fine to wait until Monday but if they didn't then we should bring her in Sunday morning. Well Saturday evening her poops transitioned to yellow and they remained yellow all through Sunday so we figured she was okay. 

“Bilirubin is the yellow breakdown product of normal heme catabolism. Heme is found in hemoglobin, a principal component of red blood cells. Bilirubin is excreted in bile and urine, and elevated levels may indicate certain diseases, including jaundice.”

Monday morning we took Anastazia to the pediatrician at 10:40 AM. They pricked her poor little heel and did a newborn checkup. She weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces. She looked good and her doctor even said she didn’t look super jaundice. She thought just by looking at her that she wouldn’t need to be put under lights. But they would call us with the results soon. After we left the pediatrician I called my doctor’s office to let them know that my face hadn’t gotten any better. The nurse said that she would talk to my doctor and call me back. When she called back she said that my doctor wanted me to go to the ER ASAP to get a brain scan to make sure it wasn’t a stroke, blood clot, or anything else serious. I instantly started crying. I was so scared and the last place I wanted to take Anastazia was the ER, but I couldn’t leave her at home because she breastfed every hour and I wasn’t sure how long I would be there. So Jairo, Anastazia and I went to the ER and Henry stayed at home with my mom.

I basically cried the whole way because I was so worried. I was still crying when we got to the emergency room. Luckily the ER by my house never has a long wait so they took us right back into a room. I have to mention that the staff there was amazing. They were so nice and made me feel much better. The doctor that saw me basically did a physical exam of my face testing the function. Then he told me that I had Bell’s Palsy.

“Bell's palsy is a disorder of the nerve that controls movement of the muscles in the face. This nerve is called the facial or 7th cranial nerve. Damage to this nerve causes weakness or paralysis of these muscles. Paralysis means that you cannot use the muscles at all.”

The doctor told me that Bell’s palsy could be more common in the third trimester of pregnancy or within the first week after delivery. It can also be more common in people with high blood pressure. I had been on bed rest for high blood pressure since I was 34 weeks pregnant and even in the emergency room my blood pressure was pretty high. I was so relieved to know that it was something that wasn’t too serious and would go away on its own. I got a CT scan just incase and it came back totally normal. The doctor started me on an antibiotic and a steroid (both safe while breastfeeding) to help shorten the symptoms. Unfortunately the treatment is more effective the sooner it is started so my symptoms could have been shortened a lot more if I had started the antibiotic and steroid when my symptoms first appeared. But at least I started them that day.

So we went home and I thought our worries were over. By this time it was almost 4 o’clock and we still hadn’t heard back about Anastazia’s bilirubin level. So I called the doctor’s office and they said they had the results but had to wait for a doctor to read them and then they would call us back. About half an hour later they called back and said that her count was 21.3, which meant that she was critically jaundice. She needed to be put under lights right away and stay under them strictly otherwise she would have to be hospitalized. Instantly I started crying again. I was so worried about Anastazia. I was so mad at the pediatrician’s office for taking over five hours to give us the results. She could have started the lights earlier that afternoon if they would have told us sooner. I also hated how the nurse was talking to me like I was a bad mom and would be incapable of keeping her under the lights. I know that is what I get for being a young mom but I still never get used to being talked down to. Of course I am going to do whatever it takes to make sure my daughter is healthy.

“Infant jaundice is a yellow discoloration in a newborn baby's skin and eyes. Infant jaundice occurs because the baby's blood contains an excess of bilirubin (bil-ih-ROO-bin), a yellow-colored pigment of red blood cells.
Infant jaundice is a common condition, particularly in babies born before 38 weeks gestation (preterm babies) and some breast-fed babies. Infant jaundice usually occurs because a baby's liver isn't mature enough to get rid of bilirubin in the bloodstream. In some cases, an underlying disease may cause jaundice.
Treatment of infant jaundice often isn't necessary, and most cases that need treatment respond well to noninvasive therapy. Although complications are rare, a high bilirubin level associated with severe infant jaundice or inadequately treated jaundice may cause brain damage.”
Her bilirubin bed and blanket weren’t even delivered until close to 6 o’clock Monday night. But we started her on it right away. She had to have the biliblanket (which really looks like a wand) strapped on her tummy and then be laying on the bilibed nonstop. We could only take her out of the bed to feed and change her. It was the hardest night ever. She HATED the bed. She would only sleep for 10-minute increments and then would be whining and crying the rest of the time. It was so hard to watch her. But I knew I had to keep her in there. I swear it was the longest night of my life. I was so excited when the sun started coming up. We had to take her to the pediatrician’s office at 7:45 AM for another foot poke. Apparently if we had been in the hospital she would have needed to be poked at midnight since her levels were so critical.

So we took her in to get her poor little foot poked. She weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces still. This time the nurse assured me that they would get the results in two hours. She said the only reason it took so long the day before was because LabCorp’s bilirubin machine was down so they had to wait for it to get fixed. This got me wondering if her results were even accurate, but oh well. So we left the office and waited. I called the office at 10 AM to see if they had received the results. They said that LabCorp’s actually has two hours from the time the pediatrician’s office calls them to arrange a pickup to actually pick up the results. So really the samples had just recently been picked up. I was pissed. The nurse told me two hours to expect the results. I got into a bit of an argument with the nurse at that point. I was so tired of waiting all day for results when I knew there were other pediatrician’s offices near me that processed the samples in the office. It had been a very stressful week and I was fed up with doctor’s offices by now.

Finally around noon the office called with the results. Anastazia’s bilirubin count was 14.5. This, they said, was really good, a huge improvement from the day before. She was no longer considered critical but we were instructed to keep her on the lights, just not as strictly. The doctor said we could take her out and cuddle her so she wasn’t so miserable. We were so relieved. I cried happy tears at this point. I was so glad my baby was getting better.

We were instructed to get Anastazia’s bilirubin count checked again the following morning before 10 AM. But honestly I was sick of waiting all day for results. There is another pediatrician’s office that is closer to my house that my cousin used to work at and she knew that they processed the results in the office, which means we would get them in 15 minutes instead of 4 hours. So we decided to take her there. Well that was even more of a joke. We were forced to wait 45 minutes to be taken back into a room. We had to wait in the waiting room with at least 10 other kids under the age of 3. (At the other pediatrician’s office that we go to, newborns are taken right back into a special waiting area near the nurse’s desk in the back so that they don’t have to be exposed to the other patients.) Then the medical assistant that helped us disgusted me. She was rude, condescending, dirty, and very unprofessional. She was annoyed that Anastazia was crying and that we wouldn’t give her a pacifier (because she doesn’t take one), but she wouldn’t let me nurse her because she wanted to be pricking her foot while she nursed. Then she put her gloves on and proceeded to type on the computer, touch clipboards, open drawers, and touch door handles and then tried to touch Anastazia. We kindly asked her if she was planning on changing her gloves before she drew blood since she had just gotten so many germs on them. Luckily she did, but not before she let us know how annoyed she was with us. She was rough while measuring Anastazia, and was just all around snotty. It was awful.

The doctor was really nice. He was patient and told us how she was measuring. She weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces, was 20 inches long, and her head circumference was 13.3 inches. She was in the 50th percentile for height and weight and 10th percentile for head. We did get her bilirubin results while we were at the office and her count was a 12. The doctor gave us the okay to discontinue using the bilibed and biliblanket. This was the best news I had heard all week!

I relayed these results to her normal pediatrician because after the joke we experienced with the medical assistant and front desk staff I was ready to put my differences with the office aside. At least my baby was getting better. Her pediatrician said that we should go in for another bilirubin count the following day (Thursday, November 13th). She said that her levels were going to rebound but they just wanted to make sure they didn’t get too high.

So on Thursday morning I took Anastazia to the office again. This was my first time driving with her by myself because Jairo was back at work. She weighed 7 pounds 9 ounces. She got her fifth foot poke, poor girl. She didn’t even cry with the poke this time. But she was quite the little kicker! She wouldn’t stop kicking the nurse that was taking her blood! I had taken her in around 9:40 AM and we actually did get the results around 11:40 AM this time. Her count was down to 11.1 so she was in the clear! The nurse said we didn’t have to take her to the doctor again until her two-week checkup.

So finally as of noon on Thursday, November 13th I could breathe. I cried one last cry of relief that our crazy first week was drawing to an end and that we were all going to be okay.

Incase it got lost in detail, here are Anastazia’s stats for the week-

Bilirubin Counts:
·      Hospital (11/07/14 at 4 AM) – 10
·      Pediatrician (11/10/14 at 11 AM) – 21.3
·      Pediatrician (11/11/14 at 8 AM) – 14.5
·      Pediatrician (11/12/14 at 9:30 AM) – 12
·      Pediatrician (11/13/14 at 9:40 AM) – 11.1

·      Birth – 7 lbs. 12 oz.
·      Discharge from hospital – 7 lbs. 3.5 oz.
·      11/10/14 – 7 lbs. 8 oz.
·      11/11/14 – 7 lbs. 8 oz.
·      11/12/14 – 7 lbs. 7 oz.
·      11/13/14 – 7 lbs. 9 oz.

·      Height – 50th percentile
·      Weight – 50th percentile
·      Head – 10th percentile

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Monday, November 17, 2014

May 15, 2010

Dear Baby,

This week was really hard. I invited my drill coach over to tell her I was pregnant a few days ago. I was so nervous waiting for her to get here. I had no idea how she would react. I knew for sure she'd be disappointed but hoped she would still be supportive. I don't think she realizes how much the team means to me. These girls are my family. I need my team more than anyone right now. They are my best friends and my sisters. Their support would mean the world to me right now.

As soon as my coach pulled up I felt my stomach drop and tears well up in my eyes. I even told mama "maybe we don't have to tell her just yet. Let's just make something up for why we invited her over today." But I knew it was too late already. So we invited her in and sat down on the couch. Mama did all of the talking. She basically just told her "well, Izabella is pregnant." I could tell that was not what she wanted or expected to hear. The disappointment on her face was so obvious it made me feel sick. Mama then explained to her that I was about 5 months along and since my body was already used to the workout my doctor said I would be fine to continue with drill. Also, my school counselor and the school's athletic director had already cleared me to stay on the team.

I had already tried out and made the team fair and square. I would be fine to attend all practices throughout the summer and participate in them until I was ready to deliver. I am due September 28th so I would probably miss the first couple of football game performances but then 6 weeks after delivery I could return to normal practices again. So I would not miss any competitions or anything. Really I wasn't asking for special treatment. It would be similar to getting an injury and having to sit out of practice for a few weeks (which some people do). So really I didn't think it would be a problem.

After we had broken the news to her my coach didn't say much. She was going to talk to my assistant coach and come back. So today they both came over. In their opinion it was unfair for me to stay on the team. They acted like I was asking for special treatment and they didn't think it was fair to the rest of the team. So they kicked me off the team. It wasn't even up for discussion. That was my coach and assistant coach's decision and I had no say in the matter.

I am devastated. I feel so alone all of the sudden. It feels like my family is being ripped away from me. I did not think this was even a possibility. I thought today we would break the news to my coach, set up a plan for how to tell the rest of the team, and arrange my "maternity leave". But instead I got kicked off of the team that means the most to me. I don't know how I'll go to school and see my teammates every day without seeing them at practices. I have never felt so empty.

But my coaches did say that they would be there for me during my pregnancy. They would come take walks with me to help me stay active and they were always going to be there for me if I needed to talk. I hope this is true because if I am just shut off from my team suddenly and completely I don't know how I'll get through this time in my life. What I need most right now is for my life to stay as normal as possible. That's why I'm not dropping out of school. I am determined to make sure my life stays on track even after I have you. I know I can do it. I just don't know if I will be able to count on the support from my drill team that I was counting on.

One thing I did arrange with my coaches was that I wanted to be the one to tell my teammates that I was pregnant. I didn't want them to hear it from anyone but me. Since I am keeping this pregnancy a secret I don't want to tell them until right before school ends because the whole reason I have kept it a secret for this long is so that I don't have to deal with the stares and criticisms I would get at school. I decided that I am going to write a letter to each of my teammates explaining the situation and letting them know how much they mean to me. So hopefully that goes over well. I just really don't want to lose these girls.


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Sunday, November 16, 2014


After you were born and we had some time for skin to skin and breastfeeding, they moved us up to our postpartum room. Since I didn't have an epidural they let me ride in a wheelchair and carry you up in the elevator. You held onto my finger the whole time. :) When we got settled in mama, papa, tiko, and Henry were there along with daddy's parents and Kenzie (my cousin). Corinn (our camera lady) left shortly after. Then daddy's parents headed home too. Mama, papa, tiko, and Henry went down to the cafeteria to get dinner and to bring some up for me and daddy. It was so surreal that you were finally here. Me, daddy, and Kenzie just sat around and talked for a while. It was so relaxing having you in my arms. Kenzie had to go home after a little bit and then Cass came to see you when she got off of work. After cass left we decided to give you a bath while Henry was still at the hospital so he could watch through the nursery windows. 

They let me bathe you while daddy recorded it. You are so tiny! I can't believe how little and round your head is, and how much hair you have! I remember when Henry was born he had the biggest cone head because I was pushing him out for 2 hours, poor guy! But you came out so quick you have no cone head at all. Mama, papa, tiko, and Henry ended up going home halfway through your bath because Henry was really tired. Once you were all clean the nurse told daddy and I to pick out a bow to put in your hair. And that's when it really sunk in. We have a little girl now! It's so hard to believe that we got so lucky to have a boy and a girl. We are truly blessed. You had to stay under the warmer for a little while after your bath. When daddy and I were waiting for you in our room Kenzie showed up again! It was such a nice surprise. It must have been pretty late by that time but I don't even remember because we were having such a good time. 

Me, you, daddy, and Kenzie were sitting in the hospital room just talking about life and how crazy it was that you were finally here! Kenzie and I had talked about her being in the delivery room when you were born for a long time. So before I was induced we agreed that mama would keep Kenzie updated so that she could come to the hospital shortly before it was time for me to push. Luckily Kenzie lives close because I went from a 6 to a 9 in 10 minutes! Then by the time I was a 9 and mama let Kenzie know to come down, you were born 13 minutes later! She made it in just in time. She walked in right when you were coming out. I am so glad she got to share in that moment. Especially since she couldn't be there when mama gave birth to Knash. Anyways that first night was relaxing and so surreal. You hardly slept that night but I didn't mind because I just stared at you, talked to you, sang to you, and fed you. Oh did I mention that you had your first poop tonight? I think that's impressive.


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Friday, November 14, 2014

I am on the bottom left with a black top and green zebra shorts
April 26, 2010

Dear Baby,

This week was drill tryouts! It's kind of crazy that I have been to every practice, performance, and competition and still none of my teammates know that I am pregnant. Sometimes being around them I forget myself. I've been pretty lucky as far as morning sickness goes. There has only been two times that I've thrown up in the morning. One of those times made me late to drill practice so I had to run laps. If only my coach knew why I was really late. But I suck up my morning sickness and push through drill practice anyways. I never sit out. My doctor says it's fine for me to continue with drill being pregnant because my body is already used to it. So it is not bad for you at all. 

I got permission from my doctor, my school counselor, and also the athletic director at the school to try out for drill again for the 2010-2011 school year. I haven't told my coach yet that I'm pregnant but I think I'll tell her sometime soon since it's after try-outs. I am so nervous for how she will react. I know she's going to be disappointed in me. She means a lot to me and the last thing I want to do is disappoint her. I know there won't be a problem though, she is very understanding and I'm sure she wants to see me succeed so I think she will ultimately be supportive. She's the best.

Tryouts were fun though. I can't believe that the school year is basically over! Freshman year was craziness and I'm sort of relieved it's almost over. I'm so excited for sophomore year. I'll get to meet you and you'll get to come to every drill performance and competition to watch me! I know all my teammates are going to love you. We are going to have to get you a little personalized onesie and jacket that says something like "SilverLine's littlest fan!" That would be so cute. 

Love you,
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Sunday, November 9, 2014

I was scheduled to be induced at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, November 5th 2014. Jairo and I arrived at St. Mark’s hospital at 10:10 AM. We were placed in labor and delivery room number one. By the time we got all settled into our room it was about 10:30 AM. My nurse, Elizabeth, came in and introduced herself and hooked me up to the monitors to monitor my contractions and baby’s heart rate. I explained to her that I was planning on not getting an epidural and I was very nervous for the IV to be placed because I am such a baby when it comes to needles.

Normally I have good veins but for some reason that day my veins were not cooperating. Elizabeth was trying her best but after two failed attempts at placing my IV (one in each arm), she had to ask another nurse to give it a try. Finally my IV was placed in my right hand. This was awful for me because I am right-handed and having it in my hand was so uncomfortable for me. I was so worried that it was moving in my hand I felt like I had to be so careful with my hand. Luckily they allowed Jairo to sign all the papers we needed to sign for the baby because there was no way I could hold a pen.

At 11:02 AM my nurse checked me and said that I was dilated 3 cm (the same as I was at my appointment two days prior). I had to be hooked up to the monitors for at least 30 minutes before the Pitocin could be started. So at 11:09 AM I was hooked up to Pitocin. After that things moved pretty slowly. My contractions weren’t very painful or regular yet. Mostly we were just hanging out for a while.

My parents got to the hospital around 11:30 AM. Henry wanted to stay at home with my brother and grandma. The next couple of hours were pretty calm. I was mostly just getting comfortable. My nurse came in every half hour to increase my dose of Pitocin. Cassidy came by around noon for her lunch break because she works close by. She stayed for about an hour and then said she would come back after she got off work at 6. I told her that I would probably be in labor until at least 7 PM. I predicted the baby wouldn’t be born before 7:30 PM. Cass said she pictured the baby being born with a head full of black hair. I really thought she was going to be bald! Cass left around 1 PM.

My doctor came in and broke my water at 1:19 PM. I was still dilated 3 cm. He warned me that the contractions were going to get way more painful now that my water was broken. He said they could start getting more painful right away or within about 30 minutes. He talked to me about my options with getting an epidural. (I know that he was doubtful I could withstand going natural.) But I told him I was going to do it. Within the next hour I started getting more uncomfortable but my contractions weren’t super painful yet. At 2:26 PM my nurse checked me. I was 3 ½ cm dilated but she said that the baby’s head was significantly lower. At this rate I thought I would be lucky to have the baby by 10 PM. My parents went down to the cafeteria to get some food for them and for Jairo. I spent a lot of time in the rocking chair because it helped to relieve my back pain. (I had very painful back labor). 

Over the next hour I was in so much pain. I couldn’t talk through the contractions whatsoever. I had Jairo turn off all of the lights in the room. It took all of my concentration just to breathe through the contractions. I was feeling them mostly in my back so I was having Jairo massage my lower back through the contractions. At first I could talk between contractions. But soon the time between contractions was barely enough for me to catch my breath between contractions. When my parents came back from the cafeteria, Jairo was eating between massaging me through my contractions. At this point most of my time was spent with my eyes closed. I was crying through contractions now.

My nurse was really supportive of me going natural. She was showing Jairo techniques to help ease my contractions. She had him put a lot of pressure on my lower back while I was having a contraction. At the same time she would push on pressure points directly below my kneecaps. These techniques did help a little bit but the pain was practically unbearable at this point. At 3:43 PM the nurse checked me and I was 6 cm dilated. Honestly I was disappointed. It did not seem like the pain could get any worse. But it certainly did. At this point the nurse called my doctor to let him know I was a 6. My parents were planning on heading home to pick up Henry so that he could be in the waiting room when the baby was born. They were both going to go but luckily just my dad ended up leaving.

The next few minutes felt like they lasted hours. The contractions were so painful I could hardly breathe through them. I was ugly crying at this point. Elizabeth instructed me to use my breath to make low-pitched, deep noises instead of high-pitched cries. This seemed silly to me but it actually helped. Then I heard someone making the strangest noises later realizing it was me; I hardly recognized my own voice. My body had taken over at this point. I kept telling myself just to get through this contraction and I could take a breath during the break. But then there was no break. This contraction did not end. It kept building and building. And then my body started pushing. Jairo was putting pressure on my back, Elizabeth was putting pressure on my knees, and my mom was putting ice on my face because I felt like I was on fire. All the sudden I was saying, “I’m pushing, I’m pushing!”

Quickly Elizabeth checked me. It was 3:53 at the time. It had been 10 minutes since I was a 6. “You’re a 9” she said. She could feel the baby’s head. She called in another nurse to prepare for delivery and to call Dr. Nielsen. The contraction did not subside. I could barely catch my breath before I felt the urge to push again. Elizabeth was holding my legs together waiting for Dr. Nielsen to get there. He was at his clinic across the street. I just kept telling her “I’m pushing!” She kept saying, “Dr. Nielsen is on his way.” At this point I didn’t care if the doctor got there or not, I could not stop my body from pushing. They called in another doctor that was already in labor and delivery just incase my doctor didn’t make it in time. But luckily Dr. Nielsen came running in just in time. He threw on his scrubs and then they let me push. By the time everything was set up and Jairo and Elizabeth were holding my legs the baby was already almost crowning. I had to push one time and her head was coming out. This was by far the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life. I’ve heard people refer to it as “the ring of fire” and this could not be more accurate. It felt like I was on fire and being torn apart. I didn’t think I could do it. I had a moment where I doubted that I could push her out. But then I mustered up all my strength and pushed as hard as I could. I was crying out in pain between pushes but Elizabeth reminded me to put my energy into making deep noises and pushing. So I did. Dr. Nielsen was telling me to slow down so that her head would come out slowly. I pushed through two contractions. Finally her head was out. I thought the worst was over but then I had to push her shoulders out. I cannot even describe the pain I was feeling. I really thought the pain would never end. I pushed one more time and then she was out. The moment that she came out I felt instant relief. It was surreal how much relief I felt at that moment. Suddenly the burning had stopped and the contraction ended. And then I saw her beautiful face, and it was all worth it. All the pain was worth it in that one second that I saw her face and they laid her on my stomach. Jairo was able to cut her cord and then they weighed her.

Our little princess was born at 4:06 PM on November 5, 2014. She weighed 7 pounds 12 ounces and was 18 ¾ inches long. She blinked her little eyes and looked up at me but she didn’t cry. I was worried that she wasn’t crying. I thought she looked a little purple so I kept asking if she was okay. They kept sucking out her mouth and she was breathing but still didn’t really cry. They took her over to the little bed and sucked her out and I guess a ton of fluid came out so she probably breathed on her way out. She ended up being perfectly fine. But she still didn’t cry, it turns out she is just a calm baby. (She didn’t even cry when they weighed her.) I think it may have helped that all the lights in the room were off so it wasn’t such a shock for her when she was born.

After I delivered the placenta I was pleased to learn that I did not need stitches. I only had very minor tears that would heal on their own. After Anastazia was weighed they laid her on my chest and we did skin to skin. It was the best experience ever. It felt so natural. As Dr. Nielsen was examining the placenta and the umbilical cord he held up the cord for everyone to see. There was a huge knot in the cord. It was like three knots put together in one. It was at least the size of his palm.  He showed it to all the nurses and commented how lucky it was that the cord did not pull tight at any point in the pregnancy or delivery because it could have been fatal. He also said that in all his years of delivering babies he has never seen a knot that big.

Overall my labor and delivery was an amazing experience. I am so glad that I decided not to get an epidural. The pain was unreal but it felt so natural. My body knew what to do all on its own. With Henry, I never had the urge to push and pushing felt so unnatural. But this time my body was pushing on its own, it is so amazing to me that our bodies know just what to do. The recovery was amazing too. As soon as I was all cleaned off I was able to get up immediately to go to the bathroom. Then I was able to ride in a wheelchair while holding Anastazia up to my postpartum room. With Henry they had to physically lift me and place me on a stretcher in order to take me up to my room and he had to ride up in his little bassinet and I couldn’t get up until the following morning.

Please know that I am only stating my opinion on my personal experiences. I have experienced an epidural and no epidural and to me, no epidural was better. This does not mean that I have anything against epidurals or anyone who receives them. I am a huge fan of medicine and am not trying to talk it down in any way, shape, or form. To me, giving birth naturally was the most amazing experience I will ever have. I know it would not have been possible for me to go natural with Henry because with him being my first I was in labor for 15 hours and pushed for two hours because he was facing the wrong way. I was very close to having a C-section. I just know that I am blessed to have been able to experience childbirth twice, and it is awesome that they were both such different experiences. I wouldn’t change anything in either of them.

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