Today Von turns one. I can’t even believe it. This year has been so fast and so slow at the same. It’s been one of the best years of my life and also one of the hardest. I can’t say that I’ve loved every single minute of being a mom, but I do like it a lot. And I can’t imagine my life without Von. She’s currently running around and jabbering instead of taking a nap (because she keeps fighting it) so I decided to just start writing.
This post will have some TMI moments cause I’m all about sharing the #realstuff.
On Instagram Stories I asked if you wanted to hear about Von’s birth story or everything we did to celebrate her first birthday. You voted, and here we are! (I still may share about her first birthday.)
Von’s Due Date
All of January 2018 we were waiting for Von to be born. I’d been born early and so had Griffin, so we assumed that Von would also come early. But day after day passed and I went to my 35-week appointment, then 36, 37, 38, and 39. I wasn’t really stressed about it, but I did want her to come. I wasn’t feeling super awesome (how can you when you’re huge and uncomfortable and have to pee every ten minutes? Also… I don’t like being pregnant) But all of the sudden it was February 3rd and Von’s due date was the 4th and she wasn’t there yet.
The day before Von was born we went to Walmart and Griffin and I watched a movie that night and I remember thinking “this could be our last night, just the two of us.” Little did I know how right I would be.
My contractions started around 11 PM.
About every 30 minutes starting around 11, I would sit up in bed (more like shoot out of the bed) as I had contractions. I honestly have no words to explain what it felt like, so if you’ve been in labor, you know. But It hurt for a minute or so and then I would be okay. At least mostly. I threw up once, and pooped (TMI) and knew in my mind that this was it, but I wasn’t ready to fully accept it.
My contractions started getting closer together and around 2:30, when they were less than 10 minutes apart, I called the hospital (because it was the middle of the night, they told us to call first) and they told me to come in. I waddled back to our room and told Griffin that it was time.
By this point, I was having contractions almost every 5 minutes and a little bit out of it. It wasn’t until we were at the hospital that I realized along with my bag I’d also been carrying my robe and my watch (I am still not sure why I grabbed my watch)
The doctor checked me to see if I was dilated enough to stay, and I was already at 5cm’s so we got checked in, Griffin called my parents (we’d told his parents before we’d left the house since we were staying with them) and I got my epidural pretty soon after we got to the hospital.
Before getting my epidural things were moving pretty fast, but the epidural slowed things down a bit. I didn’t mind too much though. I got to rest a little bit while my body did its thing.
Around 11:45 am was when I started pushing.
Guys. I’m not gonna lie, I really didn’t like this part. At this point, I’d been awake for about 36 hours (since I hadn’t slept much the night before) and I was ready for her to be here. I know a lot of moms say that they forget the pain of childbirth, and I mean, I don’t remember it exactly, but I do have some memories that still make me a little queasy. Childbirth is no joke!
Griffin, a few nurses, and my midwife were all with me. They were great coaches and just over an hour and a half later, Von came out. While I was pushing, we realized she DID NOT want to come out unless I was lying on my left side, little babe knew what she wanted. So I gave birth on my side.
I did scream a few times, not out of pain (thanks epidural) but because I just felt so much pressure and it needed to come out somehow. Also, I didn’t realize that giving birth meant using my entire body. My arms and legs were sore for a few days after giving birth (along with everything else that hurt for a bit.)
Whew. I was tired. But then they put her on my chest.
I looked up at Griffin and sort of laugh-cried and said something like ‘it’s over, she’s here’ and we couldn’t stop looking at her.
My parents arrived just after she’d been born after driving from Utah to Colorado and she got to meet her grandparents.
We stayed at the hospital for two nights. After delivery, you have to pee (after like 6 hours if you get an epidural) but I couldn’t because my bladder was so full. But after they used a catheter I was able to pee and start the healing process.
There wasn’t a nursery at the hospital, which really really stressed me out the first night. I was excited Von was here but all I really wanted to do was sleep because I hadn’t slept for almost 2 days by the time we got to our room. Thankfully the nurses took Von out to the nurse’s station for a couple of hours that first night so we all got a little bit of rest.
Writing this is hard and good.
Giving birth was not my favorite thing. Now, nothing went wrong and it was pretty fast for a first birth but I don’t really have a great pain tolerance and blood makes me queasy. I also really struggled after Von was born. I was exhausted (which is really the understatement of the century) and I felt like I didn’t know how to connect with this new little person.
I avoided social media for a while because I hated seeing other new moms talk about how much purpose they felt right after they gave birth and held their baby or how much they were enjoying the new experience. Because I didn’t feel purpose in motherhood for a long time (like months, but that’s a story for another day) and I really struggled with having a new little person that only I could feed.
Those first few months as a mom were a real struggle. Giving birth was a struggle. And I’m grateful that Von is here and that that’s all over.
I know that there are some people who love giving birth and who love newborns. I did love those newborn snuggles but I didn’t love giving birth. But I do love Von even more now than I did a year ago when they placed her on my chest for the first time just after she was born on the 4th of February.
I love watching her grow and learn and I love making her laugh. The newborn stage is fun, but I really love this new stage.
So, on her 1st birthday, I’m sharing her birth story that I’ve never shared anywhere except my journal. I love Von and I’m grateful she’s here and I’m grateful I don’t have to give birth to her again today. 😉