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Today is Mother’s Day and I’d like to share the story of the day our little girl came into the world. As with each of my pregnancies, this story is unique and special. Each of my babies’ brought different challenges and wonderful memories as they made their journey into this world. Without a doubt, Avalynn was by far my most difficult and scariest pregnancy. Severe HG (hyperemesis gravidarum) kept me bedridden and dependent on home IVs for almost the entire pregnancy among many other complications, but this story is about her birth, and that was an amazing and beautiful day!
I was exactly 39 weeks pregnant on April 11, 2017. We were all very much ready to meet “baby sister.” While it definitely seemed like I was going into labor on my own early, she made it all the way to her scheduled induction date safely tucked inside my belly, which was a bit of a relief as we were awaiting the arrival of my sister so that the boys had someone to watch them while we were in the hospital.
I spent the last week of my pregnancy trying to get the house organized and prepared for our sweet girl’s arrival. I literally organized everything from the kitchen pantry to the linen closet because it made sense at the time. I don’t know if it was me being stuck in bed for months or something else, but the nesting game was strong with this one. I had planned on filming one of those “What’s in my Hospital Bag?” videos but I literally was packing the bag up until 10 minutes before we left for the hospital. I will have to tell you guys what I packed sometime soon but I missed the boat on that one. Sorry.
I gave the bedroom a last once-over before we headed to the hospital. The Halo Bassinest swivel sleeper was all set up and ready for our sweet baby girl. It was exciting to know that the next time we’d walk into our room would be with our new baby girl.
Unlike in Florida, where we went in the night before our induction, Utah hospitals have you go in that morning. So needless to say, I was excited, nervous, and a little terrified of the unexpected. I mean, this was our third baby and my previous deliveries were great. I had hoped this one would be similar, but you just never know. Every pregnancy and delivery is different. So I was feeling all kinds of things. I managed to pack everything I needed and kept it pretty minimal. Our hospital is undergoing a massive construction overhaul so I didn’t want Drew to have to make ninety trips to the car. I also thought of a genius idea: instead of a giant and heavy overnight bag, I decided to use a carry on suitcase with wheels. Genius, I’m telling you. Ladies, your husbands will thank you if your hospital bag has wheels.
So we arrived at the hospital and valeted the car at 8:27am. I don’t even know how to describe my outfit, but I didn’t put a lot of thought into it because I knew I would soon change into my hospital gown. Let’s just say my shirt was way too small and my belly was super huge!
We made our way upstairs to the maternity ward and did all the paperwork with the receptionist who was super sweet. Then, we waited for our room for about ten minutes.
As we were brought into the delivery room, we remembered how both of our boys were born in the EXACT SAME delivery room at the Florida hospital. Although in a brand new state this time, we couldn’t wait to meet our baby girl!
This was the view from our delivery room:
And this was the “Daddy” shirt I got for Drew:
I got changed into my hospital gown that Drew got me from Baby Be Mine Maternity (Gownies) that came with a matching pillow case and gown for the baby. It was super cute! I wish I had one of these with our previous babies. I never really thought about how gross it is to wear a gown that so many other people have worn before. It felt nice to have something that was just mine, all clean, and much prettier! (And for those of you wondering, it didn’t even get ruined. But even if it did, it would have been way worth it!)
Here’s me in my gown in our delivery room:
Fun fact: at the end of pregnancy, your legs can retain a ton of water and look massive. It goes away after a couple weeks postpartum.
Next, our amazing delivery nurse got me all hooked up to the machines to monitor heart rates for me and the baby and measure contractions. Then, I was checked to find out I was still 4cm dialated (same as what my OB reported at my last prenatal appointment.) I let them know about my birth plan (which consisted of two things: healthy baby and epidural in that order) and we made plans for the anesthesiologist to come give me some relief once pitocin started. I also met with my doctor and called our birth photographer to let her know they were going to break my water so she had enough time to make it to the hospital.
They gave me a shot of Lidocain to numb my arm before placing the IV. I’ve never had that before. And after having more than 40 IVs placed during my pregnancy, I was so used to them and didn’t even care. I can honestly say, the Lidocain shot was WAY worse than getting the IV by itself. So if you get the option, I’d say go without Lidocain. My arm was super sore for a week from the Lidocain. But anyways…..
Fun fact: Stretch marks are pretty much unavoidable. Not everyone gets them, but if you are meant to, you will. I used a ton of lotion and it didn’t even matter. But they aren’t that bad once you get back into your normal shape. And they are totally worth it.
And then we waited for about half an hour for all of those things to happen. I was very relaxed knowing things were on track, like they were with the boys’ deliveries, so it was a relief.
Our wonderful birth photographer arrived and took some photos of our special day so we could remember what the room looked like and special moments my husband and I shared as we prepared to welcome our baby girl! The photos from here on out are from her. (The ones above were from my phone.)
I think I got the epidural right before she came, or right after. But it wasn’t too bad. My husband was allowed to stay in the room and hold my hands which was a HUGE help! In Florida, he had to be on the other side of the room for some reason. I liked having him close. And I also knew what to expect. It is painful but only for a few seconds. So while I was nervous, the hard part was over pretty quickly. I’d say less than 5 minutes from start to finish which included the prep work and only about 30 seconds was super painful, which is really not that bad when you think of it. Before I got the epidural, I had a few back to back pitocin contractions. Ouch. High five to all the mamas who are all about all natural. I’m just not made for that. I’ve struggled with Stage 4 Endometriosis since I was 16 years old. I had severe HG during my pregnancy. I’ve put in the hard parts. For me, the delivery is the finish line after a long and difficult journey and I wanted to enjoy it. All of it. And for me, that meant as pain free as possible. I was so grateful for the ability to choose an epidural and for the third time to have such a great experience with it working flawlessly.
We waited for the epidural to kick in. It took about 20 minutes maybe? I was really cold and started getting the shakes which was probably due to going into transition. My doctor came in and broke my water. He said they would check me in a couple hours to see how far I had progressed. I told him that I tend to have quick labors (both the boys were about 3 hours-ish), so he got prepared for things to happen quickly. Somewhere in that time frame, Avalynn’s heart rate was a little bit low so they put me on oxygen to be safe and it helped.
Drew put on my “Ready Set Push” Delivery socks which are not only cute and non-slip, but were super comfy on my cold feet!
About 20 minutes later, I called for the nurse and told her I had a feeling the baby was ready to make her appearance. She checked me and I was 10cm dialated! My doctor came back in and got suited up.
The baby was not positioned correctly. She was not breech but she was backwards so our OB had to literally rotate her around. I’m pretty glad I had an epidural. I could feel her rotating but it didn’t hurt, thankfully. So crazy!
And then the pushing began.
I pushed through about three and a half contractions and our sweet baby girl was here. She was born at 11:48 am. (If you checked the time on the clock when our OB was getting prepped, you’ll see that everything happened in only TEN MINUTES!) She was so tiny! And so perfect! And I was so happy. So so so happy. My body fought hard for her even though it was fighting against me. It was an absolute miracle that our sweet baby girl made it to full term and into this world. After all I had been through, I was just so so so thankful to have her here. I knew everything was going to get better and I just love her so much!
Drew got to cut the chord again. They held her up so we could get a picture of that moment. I was still shocked she was already here. It really went by super fast. Pretty much exactly like what I experienced with the boys.
They brought her over to the warmer to get her cleaned up and I told Drew to go with her. (I had to finish all the mom things and it wasn’t my first rodeo. With the previous deliveries I had to get stitches. This time was no different. Only I had an epesiotomy instead of tearing. Not sure if it helped, but I had less stitches than the previous two so that was nice.)
After she got cleaned up a bit, they brought her over to me for skin to skin. I was so happy to hold our sweet girl in my arms! Our first baby girl! “Baby sister” was finally here! I knew the boys would be over the moon to meet her. They were SO excited about her the entire pregnancy and especially at the end. I couldn’t wait to have all three of my babies in the same room later that day!
We stayed in the delivery room for a couple hours and then I was taken upstairs to the Mother/Baby floor where we’d stay overnight. The nurses were absolutely wonderful. I literally can’t say enough nice things about them. My doctor was also amazing! I was surprised how much time he spent with us as our last experiences were much shorter but still positive. The level of health care was just amazing all around. I was okay. Our baby girl was healthy. And I had no where to be except in that room, in that moment, holding her. I was on cloud 9!
We weren’t able to get a picture of Drew’s first time holding Avalynn, unfortunately. (With all that was going on, we forgot to ask.) But here’s one I took on my phone. I’m bummed because the lighting was so bad in front of the window.
Around 5pm Drew left to go pick up my sister and the boys to bring them to the hospital. (We have some super cute videos of them meeting her that I will share in my next post.) We got to go home the following afternoon which was so nice so that we could all be together.
In the meantime, we’d like to introduce you to our daughter, Avalynn Elsie Satmary, born on Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 at 11:48 AM and she weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces and was 19″ long (the EXACT measurements of Andrew!!).
Baby Name fact: Elsie was my Nana’s name. She passed away in September at the age of 89. We named our daughter after Nana. My other grandma’s name was Mary. She went to Heaven when I was 16 years old. And coincidentally, her name is part of my married name. So my little girl has both of their names in her name, which is so special. I sure wish they could both meet her, but I know they are watching over her!
Thank you to all of our family and friends who have been supportive during the pregnancy and birth of our daughter. We appreciate all of the calls, texts, messages, and visits so much! Special thanks to Marina Russell Photography for capturing our special day for us so we can save these memories forever! Also thank you to my doctor, all of the amazing nurses and other hospital staff who made our birth story so amazing! And thank you to Kristi for watching the boys for us while we were at the hospital!
I love to read other mamas’ birth stories!
Share yours in the comments below!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
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Owner and operator of Paperclips & Pacis, a lifestyle blog sharing the best of #momlife and #entrepreneurship. Wife to Drew, Mommy to Andrew (age 6), Aidan (age 4), and Avalynn (age 1). Cat mom x2. Lover of Disney World, office supplies, and social media. Instagram: @paperclipsandpacis