Margaux: Birth Story

The day before your birth, Dr. Boswell told me that I was still at 4cm and 60% effaced (the same for 2 weeks now). We scheduled your induction for your original due date of 2/20/2020- because I like how those numbers looked. It was weird to schedule your birthday though.

At the end of the appointment, she said, “I’m on-call this weekend; maybe I’ll see you”. Hopelessly, I replied, “Probably not.” Her response, “That’s usually when the baby comes, when you’ve completely given up hope.”

The next day, I decided that I wasn’t going to have you until induction so instead of resting, I went about my day: going to your sister’s dance class, running errands at the Domain, & getting her ready for the daddy/daughter dance.

When daddy and your sister left for their date, my contractions became more noticeable and 5-1-1 (contractions 5 minutes a part lasting for 1 minute for 1 hour). I called daddy to let him know, but I thought I’d labor more at home and let them enjoy the dance especially since we pumped Eloise up for it.

My contractions became stronger and more intense. An hour into the dance, I called him to hurry home. “It’s time“.

Daddy came home and felt like he took forever to get ready, “I guess you’re going to the hospital in your suit!” I said sarcastically.

Once we got to the hospital, I was 5cm and 90% effaced. The charge nurse said, “She’s a keeper.” Then turned to me and asked, “Do you want an epidural?”

I was a different person once I got my epidural. The anesthesiologist took 2 tries, much better than my previous experience. My nurse checked me again, “You’re 8cm, 100% effaced.” I didn’t think much of it since I stalled at 7-8cm for a few hours with Eloise. That wasn’t the case this time. At 10pm, my doctor checked me, “10cm. Are you ready to push?” That took me by surprise, “Right now?!” They turned my room into a delivery room: the lights came down from the ceiling, the bottom of the bed came down and the stirrups came up.

My nurse brought a mirror in so I can see you come out. It was pretty wild to see your entrance in the world, inch by inch. 15 minutes of pushing later, you were born. I was able to “catch” you and pull you on my chest. “Someone get her” the doctor ordered. You also had her umbilical cord wrapped around your neck just like big sis. The doctor was able to set you free, but it took you a minute to aggressively cry. Once we heard you, we all were relieved. The doctor joked, “That baby is definitely over 9 pounds. 9.2 is my guess.” I was shocked. No way I gave birthed to a 9 pound baby.

Each birth is so different, yet so beautiful in each way. What an incredible experience. Luckily, my sister witnessed our delivery and took some pictures and video. We will forever cherish these first pictures and to be able to share this experience with my sister.

Margaux, we hope that you will always now that you are so loved by your parents and big sister. We are surrounded by a tribe that continues to support us, pray for us, and love us.

 

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart”

-Psalm 37:4

 

Xoxo,

Mrsabbys

Eloise: Birth Story

The weekend before you were born, I made labor cookies, ate spicy indian food and walked in the park to try to meet you sooner. Then on Monday, daddy scheduled me a prenatal massage. I told the masseuse to hit all the pressure points that will induce labor. After the massage, she told me that my pressure points were not “firm” and not to expect you any time soon. Disappointed, daddy took us to Alivia’s for lunch to cheer us up.

At 1pm, I was at my doctor’s appt for my 38 week check-up. I was surprised when she told me that I was 4 cm dilated and 70 % effaced, “You could have this baby tonight or tomorrow”! She thought it would be cool to have a ‘Leap Day baby’. I wasn’t too sure how you would feel to only celebrate your birthday every 4 years. She told me to monitor my contractions and go to the hospital if they get stronger.

I went back home and did just that. Also, I got moving: I started pacing around the house, sitting on the yoga ball and doing stretches. I wanted to labor as much as I could at home. Daddy got back from school and helped me time my contractions. We finally decided it was time to go to the hospital at 5 pm, but first, we ate hamburgers from Cook-Out. 😉

When we arrived at the hospital, I was 5 cm dilated and 80 % effaced. We were admitted and settled in our birthing suite. Daddy helped me get in the jacuzzi tub for some pain relief. The pain wasn’t unbearable just yet. About midnight, the pain became a little more noticeable so I decided to get the epidural to stay on top of the pain. The OB resident attempted 3 times and the anesthesiologist attempted twice. Finally on the 5th attempt, I received my epidural. At 4 AM, the doctor rechecked me and I was 6 cm dilated. She broke my water, and 2 hours later started me on a small amount of pitocin. By 10 AM, she rechecked me said, “Oh you’re ready to push.” I couldn’t believe it.

This was the moment we’ve been waiting for. 

We jammed out to Justin Beiber while I pusehd for 1 hour and 40 minutes, unknowingly it was his birthday that day. We finally got to meet you. Daddy saw you had the umbilical cord tied around your neck, but the doctor was able to set you free. Mommy had no idea that happened. I was able to “catch” you. The nurse told me to reach down and pull you out. What an incredible experience! We immediately placed you on my chest for skin-to-skin and the nurse rubbed on your back to get you to cry. Daddy went with the nurses who did your assessment. Your tiny hand held your daddy’s and melted his heart. We are so glad our good friend, Bernadette, was there taking pictures of our special moment. We will look back at your day and remember when we became parents.

We are constantly in awe of God’s gift to us.

 

“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” John 16:21

A letter to Eloise

Dear Eloise,

You are 3 weeks old. It’s been 3 weeks since we became your mother and father. These past 3 weeks have been better than I imagined. Sure, we aren’t getting our full 8 hours of sleep every night and we constantly have to think about when you feed next if we go out of the house, but our love for you is so deep, it has swallowed us whole.

Let me introduce ourselves to you.

Before you were born, your daddy and I met in Louisiana. I was working as a psychiatric nurse and your daddy was in his psychiatric rotation for nursing clinicals. He was at my hospital for 6 weeks and I didn’t notice him until his last day when he played his guitar for our patients. Your daddy is refreshing, genuinely kind, and bold. He told me he didn’t want to play games that he wanted to be with me. Four months later, he proposed!

Shortly after getting married, we started our journey as husband and wife in Austin, TX. We love to travel, try new restaurants and watch live music. They say your first year of marriage is the hardest, but not only did we survive it, we thrived. We have our Lord to thank for that. We hope you choose to follow Jesus as we have chosen to. Our lives are forever changed because we did.

Our favorite place we have traveled to is Costa Rica. We spent our first week as husband and wife there, completely unplugged from the world. We met new people, went on adventurous excursions like zip lining by Arenal Volcano and feeding monkeys on our jungle river cruise, but most of all we explored a new land by ourselves.

We chose to live in Austin, TX because they have good eats, great outdoor living, and it is the live music capitol of the world. We loved every second of living there, but God called us to move.

We have lived in Raleigh, NC for almost 28 months now. Your daddy is graduating in May from Duke University to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. We are very proud of him. After graduation, we will move back to Austin, TX to be closer to your cousins (Leilana, Kaelyn, & Sam). They are all excited to meet you!

Right now, Lola Alice is helping us take care of you. She is cooking for us, cleaning, watches & feeds you while we nap. She loves listening to you coo and watching you smile.

Your daddy loves fatherhood. He comes home from a busy day of school and can’t wait to hold you. He even holds you while he studies for boards. He wants to spend as much time as he can when he can. You’ve already got him wrapped around your finger!

As for me, it’s still surreal that I’m a mother. It’s amazing, but can be exhausting. When I wake up from my nap, I love seeing your sweet face. You are everything that I dreamed of. I am honored to be your mother, little one.

We hope you know how much we all love you and how much the Lord loves you, too. Never forget that you will always be enough and never settle for anything less than you deserve.

Out of all our adventures, you are our greatest and best adventure.

Love,

Mommy

Why you should take maternity photos

Hubs and I love taking pictures: yearly anniversary pictures, christmas pictures, really whatever reason we can find.

When I got pregnant, I  started weekly bump pictures to share with our family and friends who don’t live near us. Any chance we could, we would take pictures holding my bump.

It was a no brainer for us to take maternity photos.

We were going home for the holidays and were excited to use a photographer that we admired.

Maybe you don’t love taking pictures of every moment like us, but I hope you cherish the milestone pictures.

Reasons why I chose to take maternity photos:

1. Not every woman gets the opportunity to.

I’m fortunate that I am able to get pregnant. I know some women who can’t. My entire pregnancy, I’ve always thought of those women. I may not feel great all the time, but I try to embrace it all- the sickness, the tears, the tiredness.

2. Photos we will cherish forever.

This is our first pregnancy and we wanted to soak in every single moment. We will forever look back at these pictures as a happy moment in our journey together.

3. Our daughter will cherish these photos.

When my family and I left the Philippines, we left with very limited luggage & we didn’t bring a lot of pictures with us. I love seeing my mom’s old photos. It’s like I get a peak at her before she had me. If our daughter is just like me, she will cherish these photos. She will see the love between her daddy and I and how much we loved her before she was even born.

4. It’s fun!

We had a great time getting dressed up and posing like we were models. We even got my mother-in-law in on the fun. She came with us and helped us pose and brought out our props. Our photographer kept saying, “ABH” (Always be holding…the bump) and if you notice in the pictures, that’s exactly what I’m doing. He also said, “Smile with your eyes”, which is hard to do since we’re not Tyra Banks. We’re more like really big smile people.

Our photographer: Chris Brennan Photo

My outfit: Purple maxi dress- sewtrendy in plum, Green dress- non-maternity H&M dress- sold out, boots- Tory Burch (sale!), earrings- Kendra Scott, flower headband- Forever 21– sold out

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” -James 1:17

XO,

abbyhearts