Monday, March 26, 2012

Sienna's Birth Story

It's been almost two weeks since the birth of our sweet girl, things are slowly settling down as we are working on establishing a routine, its been hard work but I decided to take the time to write the birth story while I still remember the little details of how I spent my 25th birthday in labor, as every mom out there knows there are no words that can begin to describe the feeling of the day you meet your child for the first time. 

Sienna's Birth has given me a new kind of appreciation for my own mother and all that she's endured for me to be here...Thank you Mom, now I know.

Warning: I have included every tedious detail in this story for my own memory's sake, I am aware that its lengthy and may be an overkill with all the pictures ( one being graphic)...but its my story, and here it goes:

  Friday, March 9th - Danny & I were watching a movie when I suddenly felt like I peed myself a little, hmmmm? well with all the strange changes brought on by pregnancy, I didn't find this all that surprising...kinda gross, but I brushed it off and we continued to watch the movie.

Saturday, March 10th - We woke up early,  I was excited about my mom & sister's arrival..we did some cleaning & food shopping & headed to the airport...My mom was glad Sienna held off making her grand entrance in hopes that she still had a chance of being here when she did decide to come meet us.

Sunday, March 11th - Beautiful day out! I was feeling so restless, I needed to be entertained because I was starting to hate the waiting game. We all decide to go to the park to walk in hopes of inducing labor & to take some photos..I kept thinking that they may just be my last belly shots as I could go into labor at any point....For dinner,  my sister made me eggplant parmigiana as its supposed to be a labor inducing was yummy (thanks sis!) Later that evening as I was washing up for bed, there was a trickle of fluid down my leg..hmm? this again? We called my midwife, she told us that its probably just some discharge as there is more towards the end of the pregnancy. I couldn't sleep that night, I was up every hour with major anxiety.  I kept thinking could my water have broken? 

So happy my mom & sis flew out to welcome Sienna with us

Monday, March 12th - DUE DATE & OUR 25th BIRTHDAY! - I was so sad that Danny had to go to work on our the 6 years we've been together, we always did something special on our day & we were never apart...I laid in bed for a while, I didn't wanna get up and start making too much noise as my mom & sis were sleeping in the room over. At around 6:50AM I get up to pee & to my surprise I lose my mucus plug. I immediately text Danny and of course he is super excited. I ran into our guest bedroom where my mom & sis were sleeping to tell them the news, they greet me with a half asleep "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" at that point, I forgot it was even my birthday.

Shortly after, my contractions did begin. Slowly, with very little pain so I wasn't sure if it was the real deal. I quickly download an app on my phone to time them since Danny wasn't there to fulfill that duty for me. They started off about 15 mins apart and tapered off for a few hours, then came back...that was the story for most of the morning, at around noon, I took the dog for a walk & called my doctors office & spoke to a midwife who I have never met before (g0 figure)...She said not to go to the hospital until I pretty much cant walk anymore due to pain...I didn't really like that advice very much and asked if I could come in to the office to get looked at by one of the midwives who I'm familiar with...she said there wasn't any openings till 2:30, which I was OK with because I wanted to give Danny enough time to get home from work so he can come with me.

2:00pm - Danny gets home & off we go, my contractions were fairly close together, but still not painful or steady. When we got to the doctors office I was given a stress test, sat there hooked up to a monitor listening to baby's heart...everything sounded great, My midwife then proceeded to check me and I couldn't believe what she had just said...

" you're 3cm, 80% effaced and your water is broken, you need to go to the hospital right now as we don't know how long your water has been broken for, I'm going to call them and tell them you're on your way"

WHAT!! are you serious?! we looked at each other in shock then scurried out of there very quickly, I don't think I ever got dressed quicker.. both of us were making calls on the drive back home...everyone was super excited, of course. We made it home and my mom made us lunch..I thought it was a good idea to eat before we left since we didn't know when my next meal would be, after that we gathered our stuff and headed to the hospital. I couldn't believe that all those tickles of fluid really was my water breaking, I thought its suppose to gush out at all once?

The last few hours of being pregnant was such a surreal feeling. I am about to say goodbye to my  baby bump and say hello to our much anticipated daughter.  

40 weeks!

Once we got to the hospital, my heart was racing...we checked in at around 4pm & I was immediately put on antibiotics to prevent infection since none knew how long my water had been broken for...after that we just sat & waited for contractions to get where they needed to be...the nurse told me that they cannot check my cervix as often as they usually would to minimize chance of infection, as this seemed to be the biggest issue...I was kind of bummed that I wouldn't be updated on my progress as often, but better to be safe than sorry.
Along with the antibiotics in my IV I was told I needed some  Oxytocin to get things moving, we really really didn't want any and decided to against it hoping things would happen on their own if we waited some more...well, after a few hours...contractions were still all over the place and we had to get the much dreaded pitocin  :(

Around mom & sisters arrive. They helped the time pass, joking around & keeping me company. After the pitocin, the contractions started picking up big laughs soon turned to groans  as the pain & discomfort kicked in. I tried to manage the pain as best as I could without the epidural, knowing if I got would for sure slow things down.

still smiling

the smiles soon turned to painful groans as contractions picked up

After a little while, I was running out of energy...dealing with the pain took a toll on me, how was I going to push with zero energy left? The contractions got so bad, I started to shake scared the crap out of me. I needed to relax but I couldn't even sit in bed. I was up walking around the room...exhausted...shaking..and on the verge of tears. Danny had ran out to get himself some food since we both knew we had a LONG night ahead of us, him gone made me freak out even more. I didn't want anyone touching me..or talking to me..I just needed to focus on breathing & trying to muster up some energy.

The nurse finally checked me, for the 1st time since the doctors office that afternoon and I was 5CM...I was so disappointed, all that pain and only 5cm?! how could that be? at that point I was just frustrated and asked for the epidural, I needed to rest & that was the only way I could. The epidural man, as I called him...was pretty busy, I was 3rd on a waiting list to get him...the wait seemed like an eternity. About 45 minutes he finally came, and boy was I relieved to see him...the needle going in my back, which I never thought Id be OK with...was nothing compared to the pain of contractions...I felt relief almost immediately, I was still able to feel my legs & contractions...just no pain....I was able to go to sleep. Danny slept on a chair, my mom & sisters squeezed on a pull out bed.

3:45 AM - I got woken up to be checked - FULLY DIALATED! the nurse had me to some 

"practice" pushes to see how I do...she said I push like a pro but it would be a while...she then called my midwife to come in.

6AM - My sweet midwife who I cant say enough good things about, came in even though she wasn't on call that day, but knew I really wanted her to deliver me. I am so humbled & forever grateful for her kindness to do that for me.

SUNNY SIDE UP SIENNA -  Not long after my midwife, Ramona got there... she realized little miss S was "face up" not the ideal position for a successful vaginal delivery. The majority of face up babies get stuck because their head cannot bend properly to fit though the pelvis. This put such a damper on the atmosphere in the room, I so badly wanted to experience natural labor & avoid a c-esction but it was beyond my control at that point. Ramona tried so hard to make Sienna turn, putting me in specific positions to push...on all fours...squatting...on a bar...anything and everything she could think of. 

Despite all of the effort & 6 hours of pushing in all different stubborn little girl wouldnt budge. We were so so close- It killed me, all that effort & nothing...her head was was right here!...but she was stuck in the same spot for hours, unable to come down....Danny was able to see her head & informed me that she had "cute hair." 

A Doctor was called in to asses the situation and give his input/2nd opinion on what to do next, I was beyond exhausted...I didn't have an ounce more of energy left in me to push anymore, but I would have found it somewhere if there was a way I was able to have her vaginally...I was swollen, as her head sat in the same spot for hours...I had an ice pack on my crotch in between pushes, I felt the pressure of every single contraction and was so worn out after being at it for all that time. I thought I was going to pass out....the don't call it " labor" for nothing. The Doctor then decided it was c-section time...I literary felt like I wasn't even human anymore at that point. Usually, women are only allowed to push for 3 hours, but since Siennas vitals were fine & she was responding well to everything...I was allowed to go longer & try to make it happen naturally.

12:20PM- I get wheeled off to the OR...I must have dozed off on my way there because I don't even remember them setting me up, I just remember looking up at the ridiculously bright light above me & them putting the blue curtain up....I freaked out at one point because Danny wasn't beside me, I kept asking for him...once he was allowed in the room, I knew it wasn't gonna be long...I had him talk to me to distract me & keep me awake. 

1:06PM - Danny looks over the curtain & at me with tears in his eyes and says " shes here, I see her" five seconds later...the much anticipated sound..her that point the three of us are crying.

I wasn't brave enough to look at this picture for a few days,
 now I find it amazing & I'm glad he took it.

They showed her to me real quick, I'll never forget that sight...even all covered in blood & gook she was the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my whole life. 

First family photo

I was overwhelmed with love, the feeling I had that moment is one I can barely describe. She looked up at me with her big eyes and I just could not believe that she was mine.

Although I didn't get to have a natural birth like I originally wanted, none of it mattered because at the end of it all I got EVERYTHING I ever wanted, and it didn't matter how I got it. She is perfect, healthy & mine.

swollen & exhausted,
 but couldn't be happier

us with our little belated birthday present & cake

cousins & future BFFs

Proud Daddy & Auntie

skin to skin

Auntie, Grandma & cousin

I hope one day, Sienna will read this & know just how much joy she brought us that very day

Happy Birthday Sweet baby girl,
we love you so very much.


  1. Loved every bit of it :) made me tear up a little. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is beautiful. Surprised you remembered this much. My memory was shot a week later. Like I started a whole new life when my son was born. Enjoy every moment. You're lucky to have a wonderful man in your life to spend this new adventure with. Good luck :) @hargettc

  3. This is such a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. Your baby girl is absolutely beautiful and perfect. Congrats! And God Bless. <3

  4. Brought tears to my eyes! So happy for you and your husband!!!

  5. Joanna, first of all, congratulations for your beautiful girl. This made me cry, and it brought back the memories of when I had my daughter. I can't express how much these little babies of ours change our lives for the good. I am happy that everything went well at the end, and you guys are happy and healthy. She is so BEAUTIFUL! Congrats again!

  6. I loved reading every little detail. It was beautiful, and I'm glad you remembered so much. Hugs and kisses from auntie Fabiana

  7. The first shot of Sienna is amazing!!! Extremely tasteful! Did you hubby take the photos? Or did you have a birth photographer? Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing:-)

  8. Congratulations. I have been following you for a while and am amazed at the wonderful person you are. I am not a mother yet, so I cannot relate, but that was such a beautiful story! Made me cry. I can't wait to see your beautiful family grow.

  9. Beautiful story! May God bless you & your beautiful family! Having a child is the most amazing experience. Congratulations!

  10. This is just too sweet and beautiful! I want to become a midwife so all this us very interesting to me! Best wishes to you and your precious family!

  11. I just started following you on Instegram during the last few months of your pregnancy. I'm not going to lie I cried throughout your birth story! So beautiful. Congratulations.

  12. Thank u for sharing ur beautiful story! I'm in tears :') happy tears of course! Congratulations! I actually just happened to run into ur blog and got caught up reading about ur beautiful family.

  13. Sweet story. My first was sunny side up, too. I was able to have her vaginally, but it was AWFUL! But you are SO right... in the end, it only matters that we have our little ones with us.

  14. truly amazing! love this story so much Joanna!

  15. I love reading birth stories! This is a beautiful one. I pushed for 2 hours and to this day, I still don't know how I did it. I'm amazing, the amount of strength we muster up during that time.


Your sweet words always make my day! :) Thank you.