You guys, I can not believe my baby turns 1 this week!!
I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing, good and bad. I have certainly learned and changed a lot over the past year.
To celebrate her birthday with all of YOU, I thought I’d share a little bit more about her birth story (am I the only one who LOVES reading birth stories?) and her first year of life.
Brielle’s Birth Story
Being honest, If I didn’t have to be pregnant for the 9 months leading up to the actual birth, I could have delivered B 1000 times.
It was the most amazing, awe filled experience of my life.
Let’s back it up just a little bit though.. here is some much needed background information.
I delivered my first two babies at 35 wks 4 days. Yes, the exact same day! I just went into labor, went to the hospital and I was too far along for them to stop my labor so the babies came.. and went to the NICU.
So this time around, I obviously had in my mind that I would be going early. I was used to the NICU, it wasn’t the best but I hadn’t experienced anything different so that just seemed like the norm.
At the time, we were living in CT, literally almost 3,000 miles from family. Dan was in his final semester of Grad School. Most ‘final sememsters’ are easier, less taxing etc. but nope, just like the rest of his PA School experience, this was stressful, emotional and put a lot of pressure on him.
During his last semester he had 3 major tests. If he failed (under 80%) any of these 3 tests he would not graduate until 4 months later, aka he would not be able to start the job we had just accepted.
The pressure was real. My due date was July 30, but if I went at 35 wks 4 days like the last two I would have had Brielle a few days after his first test and a few days before his final two tests.
My plan was to get her here before his tests, I thought for sure if she didn’t come before his tests she would come right in the middle of one!
I actually spent a night in the hospital at 35 wks, by the morning though, contractions had stopped and they sent me home. I was a 3, almost 4 and 80% effaced. My doctor told me that he figured he would see me back at the hospital soon, I thought the same thing.
When she didn’t come that following week, I needed her to stay put for one more week until Dan was done with his tests. I was walking around, seconds away from being in full blown labor, praying that she would stay put for a little longer.
I remember this all so vividly, Dan had a test on Wednesday and on Friday. We spent the week making sure we were prepped to head to the hospital at any minute, making sure our long list of (amazing!) friends were available to come over if needed.
Dan’s test on Friday was literally an all day test. He started at 8:00 am, had a quick lunch break, and finished at 5:00 pm. Testing the entire time.
I honestly couldn’t believe it on Friday at about 3:00 that I was still pregnant. I had made it. (Not without almost daily tears though, pregnancy makes me emotional, all this extra stress didn’t help!)
I took my kids to our usual walking path and we walked and walked. Baby could officially come and I wanted her here now!
We walked for 1 1/2 hours, perfectly timed to go pick up Dan after that monster test.
Contractions started on the short drive home.
I remember being overcome with gratitude, medically speaking, walking around at a 4 and 80% for 2 weeks is nearly impossible! Especially with chasing after 2 other kids all day long.
I honestly feel like God had a major part in this. He knew that Dan would not be able to handle these tests along with a NICU baby all at the same time. He knew the best way. I had a plan, but that plan wasn’t what would be best for my family.
I remember just feeling so grateful that my plan didn’t happen and that His plan did. I felt (and still do!!) so so blessed.
We got our older kids to bed, called our good friend to come hang out at our house and we went to the hospital.
My doctor happened to be on call (blessing!) and he knew me and my labor history. He told me, ‘your 37 weeks, full term. Let’s throw in the towel!’
I hadn’t heard anything as glorious in a very long time.
I had previously had a C-section (Marlee girl was breech) so I could not have any Pitocen. My doctor got me all comfortable (aka I got my epidural, I am so thankful for modern medicine!) he broke my water and we waited for things to progress naturally.
We got to the hospital at 9:45 pm, I got the epidural at 10:30 and at 11:30 my doctor broke my water.
By 1:00 am I was ready to push.
Dan rotated through with my doctor (He delivered 48 babies in his little 6 week OBGYN rotation!) so my doctor let Dan do everything. My doctor just stood back and watched.
I started pushing at 1:06 am and Brielle was born at 1:11 am.
And guess what.. no NICU time! I got to actually hold and snuggle her! It was heavenly.
Dan and I just loved on our new baby for a few hours and then Dan headed home to be with our other kids. He was there a few hours before they woke up.
They didn’t even know we had left! (Blessing! We had some seriously attached children, I had been so worried about leaving crying kids to go have the baby!)
Brielle and I came home from the hospital Sunday night.. Dan had to be back to school Monday morning! (Blessing! He was only aloud 1 absence all semester. He didn’t even have to use it for the baby!)
Blessed, blessed, BLESSED! The first week home was pure bliss. Even with being all alone with all 3 kiddos from the get go. Hard but amazing.
Brielle’s First Year
The rest of the weeks and months to follow were not as blissful. 😉 I think her labor and delivery were so perfect because everything else was going to be a little rough. (He knows!)
From about week 3 until Brielle was a good 5 months old, she would scream every night from 5:00pm – 7:00 pm. Every. Single. Night.
At first it was frustrating, but as soon as I realized that this was how she was and nothing I could do would change it, it was a little better. She was fed, changed, burped, warm. She just liked to cry, and hated the binky.
If she wasn’t eating or sleeping, she was crying.
Luckily, she grew out of the crying around 5 months old. When she stopped doing the nightly cry, we all really started to like her a bit more. (Is that bad too say? We loved her, just didn’t exactly like her all the time. 😉)
We moved to Utah when she was 1 1/2 months old and miraculously, she slept the entire time on both flights.
Ever since the crying stopped, she has been a pretty chill relaxed baby.
Marlee has always been the one to get this girl giggling. Giggles are so much better than cries!
Today, she is crawling everywhere, pulling herself to stand, feeding herself and even starting to talk.
You guys, SHE IS SO MUCH FUN NOW! Miracles happen.
She is smiley, giggly, and might actually sleep at night now (depending on the day). She says hi and dad. The other day I swear she said bye, too. It hasn’t happened again though.
She nods when you talk to her and loves to play peek-a-boo.
She is my only blondie, and I still don’t know what color her eyes are going to be. They definitely are not brown, like my other two, but they don’t look blue or green either. I guess time will tell!
She is tiny, like my other two kids, and weighs a whopping 15 or 16 pounds. Easier to carry, thats what I say! I was the same way as a baby, I just make small kids!
We love our little B so so much! I’m so excited to see what the next year has in store!