Sunday, April 3, 2011

Birth Story!

Isabel SallyAnn Brinker - this is your birth story.

On the morning of Tuesday March 8th, 2011 I was sleeping on the couch because I was too uncomfortable to sleep in bed anymore. I had been on the couch since about 2am, and still couldn't quite fall fast asleep. I was just on the edge of consciousness... so at 5:45 it didn't take much to bring me to full alertness when I felt my first contraction. It didn't really hurt, but felt like a stomach cramp. I laid there with my hand on my belly talking to you in my heart, hoping another contraction would come along soon. Sure enough it did! I wasn't quite ready to think that I could actually be in labor yet, so I waited for one more, and you didn't disappoint me. I got up and got the iPad and started timing them.

At about 6:30 it was time for daddy to get up for work, so I told him that I had been having some contractions. He and Uncle Jeff were going to work out before going to work so I decided that I would tag along and walk on the treadmill to see if it sped up the contractions at all. Of course 7am is a prime time for working out so there weren't any available treadmills. Dad and I took off on a walk down the city path instead, timing contractions the whole time. At this point they were about 8 - 10 minutes apart. When we got back to the gym to pick up Uncle Jeff we had to make a decision if dad was going to head in to work or not. We decided to call Abuelita to see what her take on it was. She said that her labor with me started the exact same way. Being that the contractions were something brand new that I hadn't had before, and they were regular, Abuelita was pretty sure we were in the early stages of labor! Woohoo! Instead of dropping off Tia Rosa at school and then heading in to work herself, Abuelita went home and started planning her trip to coming down and meet you! A phone call to Grammie was next and the two grandmas started planning and coordinating their travels! Dad decided to work from home for the day.

The rest of the day was spent timing contractions, talking logistics (both grandpas started their drive down, and Uncle Luc and Blake were flying in later in the evening), going on a walk with Jenny, Wyatt and three week old Karlee, and doing a little photo shoot with the Blue Prego Dress in between contractions. After all, this was the last chance to get pictures of you inside my belly!

While we were shooting the blue dress pictures Grammy, Abuelita and Tia Rosa arrived around 5pm (thanks to Uncle Jeff and Auntie Sam!). It was pretty funny for them to be welcomed by a laboring mama in a tight blue dress! I told them that I was planning on going to the hospital in style! Haha! It was soooo good to see them! We were all extremely excited that you were on your way into our lives! While hanging out we perused through my baby photos and the grandmas told me birth stories while Tia Rosa was in charge of the iPad and timing those contraction!

Later in the evening Uncle Jeff, Aunt Sam & Taylor brought us some dinner, and a little while after that Auntie Abby and her mom stopped by to say hi. You see Auntie Abby's mom and your Abulelita raised their kids so similarly that we really wanted them to meet before Abby's mom headed back to Texas the following morning. Pretty much we were just having a fun pre-baby party all day! That night we went to bed and I tried to sleep in between contractions - that's not so easy to do! Somewhere between 2am and 4am the contractions started to get more serious and I had to focus more to stay relaxed and not tense up. Around 8am the contractions were about 5 minutes apart and had been that way for about an hour, so we loaded up and drove to the hospital!

When we were admitted at about 9am I was dilated to 5cm - half way there! We strolled around the room a little bit, I tried using a birthing ball, sat in the shower, sat in a chair, sat on the edge of the bed... some time around 12pm I had them check me again, and I was only to a 6. I started to get a bit discouraged. The contractions were very serious, but we hadn't made that much progress. As we were nearing transition (the hardest part) I was starting to loose my cool. Auntie Harm had been messaging me for a few hours which was awesome, but we were to the point where nothing was going to help. My feet, hands and face were getting a bit numb because I was not able to focus on my breathing. I decided to ask for something to take the edge off. They gave me one dose of fentanyl which didn't take away the pain, but made the contractions bearable. I was able to have longer rest periods between contractions and began to refocus myself and get back into the "zone". I thought that the fentanyl had slowed down the labor, but Tia Rosa said that according to the monitor I had some of my strongest contractions then! It turns out that I got that help just at the perfect time! When the nurse came to check me again I was dilated to an 8! Abuelita suggested that they break my water to speed things up. Well you had a surprise in store for us! When they broke my water around 2:30pm we found that you had gone poop in there! So the medical team had to put in place some extra precautions just in case you swallowed any of that yucky stuff. There was going to be a Pediatrician and an extra nurse there during delivery just in case.

At about 3:15 I felt my first urge to push a little bit, but I wasn't completely dilated yet. By 4:50 I was about 9cm, but the real pushing didn't start until around 5:30pm. Tia Rosa was updating everything via text. Here is the play-by-play!

5:25pm - She's going to start pushing!!!

5:32pm - She's pushing!

7:22pm - Still pushing. But she's getting closer to delivery.

7:47pm - We are ridiculously close to having this baby!!

7:52pm - A couple more pushes and contractions and they are going to get ready for delivery.
8:01pm - Everything's set up for delivery. All that we need now is that baby!
8:11pm - A few more pushes and we'll meet baby!

8:37pm - Still very very close. A few more pushes.

8:47pm - ITS A GIRL!!!!!!!

On 3.9.2011 at about 8:43pm we celebrated your birthday!

The pure joy in that room was nothing short of amazing. Your two grandmas were overjoyed with tears, your daddy had misty eyes and there were ear-to-ear grins all around!

You didn't swallow any meconium (baby poo) so you were placed right on my chest and we just stared into each others eyes. I couldn't believe that you were my beautiful baby girl! Your skin was silky soft, each fingernail and toe was so perfect. (I secretly was already looking forward to putting nail polish on them!) You were so tiny, yet at the same time I couldn't imagine how you had fit inside my belly! You made my life long dream of becoming a mommy come true! Not only was I a momma now, I was YOUR momma, and you were MY baby (well OUR baby - I can't leave out your daddy!) Nothing in the world can describe or be compared to holding you for the first time and knowing that you are an extension of your daddy and me, and both of our wonderful families. While I already loved you from the very first time that I knew you were growing inside me, that love was magnified immensely when I got to actually see your beautiful face, touch you smooth skin, and smell your brand newness!

You were born "sunny side up" or in medial lingo "posterior". That was your second little surprise for us! The nurse later said that if I had had an epidural you would probably have been born by emergency c-section because I wouldn't have been able to push you out. It turns out we were lead to have a (somewhat) natural birth for a reason! Those three hours of pushing went by faster than I thought, and were ever so worth it! You were 8 pounds, 1 ounce and 21 inches long - exactly like me when I was born! Your feet were also the same length as mine too! You have your daddy's chin, nose, long toes and adorable dimples, but my long fingers and big feet! We are still learning about your temperament and personality, but so far you seem to be a mix of both your daddy and me. You love to be cuddled and held - it doesn't matter if a perfect stranger is holding you, as long as you have warm loving arms around you, you are in heaven. But you also have a little bit of a stubborn streak and don't really like to sleep at night, or sleep by yourself. But during the day you are a super happy girl with a smile that illuminates your whole face and brings pure bliss to anyone else who is around too!

Isabel SallyAnn Brinker you are perfectly loved.
Welcome to world and the Fraley-Brinker family!


  1. oh my. I thought I was over hormonal crying. I guess not. That was such a beautiful and well written story Razzle. She is so so lucky to be loved by two of the most genuine people I know. I love you and your little family.

  2. What a beautiful story for Isabel to grow up with! I've got tears over here! You are a fabulous momma, Rach! What a special beginning...