Well here we are with a one year old! Like how? How has a full year gone by?! It has really truly been the best year ever and having pey in our lives has been one of the biggest blessings we ever could have hoped for. I realize i’ve had a lot of time away from my blog and one of the posts that I never quite got around to writing was all about Peyton entering the world, so I thought what better time then her 1st birthday! I know I’ll want to remember the events and all the details later on, so let’s do this thing!
Leading up to Labor/ Delivery
They say the last 2 weeks of pregnancy are extremely uncomfortable and you’re just ready to have your baby. I would 100% agree! I spent week 38 and 39 waddling to and from my two classrooms as the school year had began and I was in my 9th year of teaching orchestra. I kept praying I wouldn’t go into labor in the middle of the day ;). I mean, could you just see the traumatized faces of my middle schoolers, as water gushed down and hit the floor. Okay- this seriously is how I expected it to be, but it was anything but that. My water didn’t break until I was in the hospital about 4 hours away from Peyton begin delivered.
Here’s what I remember…
A year ago, Labor Day weekend to be precise, I was walking out of my orchestra classroom for the last time before Peyton would enter the world, with everything all set and prepped for my maternity sub! Leaving my classroom believing my baby girl was 3 days away, made the uncomfortableness a little more Bearable. I was gonna be a momma soon! Peyton’s due date was set for September 7th, the tuesday after Labor Day. I remember leaving the school, grabbing myself some Starbucks ( pretty sure it was a pumpkin spice latte) and then heading into one of my favorite home stores to wander around before returning home.
We enjoyed the weekend and waited and waited. Pey didn’t come. There were many times that I thought I may have been in labor and been having contractions, but looking back on it now I think I may have just had braxton hicks. We tried so many different things to get her moving… ( curb walking, spicy foods, dates, you know…) and her due date past. A couple days turned into a week! I was ready to meet my little girl.. ready to feel a little more comfy… ready to sleep in my bed again. Interesting fact… I hadn’t slept in my bed since week 27 due to Sciatica and not being able to sleep on my left side one more night. Instead of trying to stay on my left side, I had resolved myself to sleep sitting up, in the recliner, the rest of my pregnancy, which ended up being 41 weeks. It was challenging to wait, but I knew God had a purpose and that He had a destined time and place for her to come into this world.
Contractions finally began on September 11th, although still not very consistent or regular. But, On September 12th around 4pm I began having more consistent contractions and I began monitoring them. Being that Peyton was my first baby, I had no idea what contractions actually felt like and how I’d know if I was truly in labor. I sought the knowledge of my doula and asked others. People had always told me… “ you’ll just know” whenever i’d ask about contractions and they were right- I just knew!
We called Katie, my doula, around 5pm to let her know labor had begun. I highly recommend getting a doula, especially for your first baby! It was so helpful having someone to turn to for advise, help, preparation, and mindset/ breathing work! Katie, I believe, was a God send! So incredibly thankful for our doula and friend, katie for prepping me for 7ish weeks leading up to the labor and delivery, and reminding me that God had prepared me and my body for it. We ( Dave and I) had decided to wait out most of the contractions and beginning of labor at home, so Katie, my doula headed over to our house once the contractions became more consistent. Not only did she bring me so much more peace and ease, but she also brought her essential oils diffuser, lotions/ oils, and all her gear for monitoring and for keeping me at ease as the contractions progressed.
We made camp in the nursery as I rocked in the recliner I had been sleeping on each evening since 27 weeks pregnant. It was such a beautiful way to begin my labor— in the very place my baby girl would soon lie. Katie, my doula, had such a servants heart… she not only talked to me and pushed my back down through some of the intense contractions, but she also massaged my back, legs, and feet with oils to help keep me relaxed. The whole time, I felt God’s presence- He was there with us in my daughters, blue lit, lavender filled room.
I began to get a little anxious thinking Peyton was coming sooner than later, so we headed to the hospital on September 13th around 1:30am. Walking into the hospital, I felt a ton of emotions… mainly excitement for Peyton to enter our world but I was also nervous — i had no idea what to expect, no idea how the whole day would go and no idea when Pey would be born. But every time I felt those nervous/ anxious thoughts or feelings surfacing, they quickly left and in their place God brought peace!
As I labored and got closer to 8 centimeters dilated, I began to think about my options. I had always been a little intimidated by the thought of getting an epidural, but I also didn’t know my pain tolerance and if I really truly could go all natural. I’m not gonna lie- I honestly had no idea what I was going to do when the moment came, but I knew I’d know in that moment, and make the call then. I allowed myself to just go with the flow and see how my body felt as it got closer to 8 centimeters, letting that be the deciding factor. * A couple other things to note- my OBGYN was not set to be at the hospital til about 7am ( it was only about 4am) and a friend of mine, a labor and delivery nurse, was working that morning and upon seeing my name on the roster, she became one of my nurses.
Again- God was with us!
As I continued to labor, i felt such peace in our room. 2 weeks prior to my due date, while waiting, i happened upon a christian instagram account with an amazing meditative app. I had begun preparing my mind and heart for labor and delivery by meditation on scripture, working on breathing practices, and encouragements/ affirmations from this christian hypnobirthing app. Every night as Dave would tuck me into the recliner in Pey’s bedroom, I’d hit play on the hypnobirthing app and meditate on the verses and affimations as I’d fall asleep – quite the way to fall asleep, right?! it was so relaxing and I really started to believe them. I had this playlist on repeat in the hospital room. I found this particular listening playlist on instagram through the account (@christianhypnobirthing) and it is one of the first things I share with pregnant friends.
I don’t remember a lot of specifics when it comes to times, but as I entered 8 centimeters dilated, I decided to keep moving forward all natural. The hours between 4-8am were tiring but finally I began pushing around 8am. Most of the labor I either hung from the bar towards the top of the bed with my knees planted firmly on the bed or I sat on the edge of the bed pushing the bar they had attached. When it was time to push, I laid on my back, legs spread, and pressed my heels into the bar to help bare down. I realize now that my breathing through the pushing wasn’t the best and instead of bearing down, I really should have continued deep breathing, but ya live and learn, right?! I kept pushing and nothing seemed to be happening. My doctor finally told us that she thought I needed a episonomy to be proactive instead of me possibly tearing all the way up and down. Yikes. Thankfully I didn’t feel anything and within a couple more pushes, Peyton was out and being laid on my chest.
I will never forget the moment she was placed on my chest. I was so incredibly happy in that moment! And – like everyone always says, I didn’t feel any pain at all! I was proud of myself and while holding her and staring into her perfect little face, I had a rush of emotions… gratitude, joy, pride, excitement, elation, contentment, and love just bursting out of my chest. Here was this perfect little miracle that Dave and I had the chance to be a part of! Here we were, life being forever changed at 9:40am on September 13, 2021, as we become parents for the first time to the sweetest, most beautiful 8lbs 12 oz little baby girl.
We stayed in the hospital for a couple days, mainly to make sure I was alright and as we got extra help with Peyton latching and eating. We left the hospital as a family of 3 on September 15, 2021. Isn’t it the weirdest thing how you just leave the hospital with your baby and all of a sudden you’re a parent and you’re trying to keep a whole human alive? It’s seriously mind blowing! But here we are a year later… and wow, we did it! We kept her alive and thriving! This last year has been one of the most joyous years of my life and I can’t wait for more! Peyton Jane Ross- You are the best blessing we have ever been given! We love you! Happy First Birthday!
TIL NEXT TIME…