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Monday, February 18, 2013

Zion Leilani Birth Story

Sitting here, in the quietness of the night, with my family all in bed, all I can think about is where I was three years ago. What I was thinking? Where I was? What I didn't know. I was about to have my life change forever. 
I have been wanting to write out Zion's birth story for awhile now. Tonight seems like the perfect night for it, considering it is her Birthday-Eve. (we have to celebrate all week, right?)
My due date was 2/17/10 with my pregnancy. I had a rough pregnancy overall. Lots of throwing up/physical pain/water retention/insomnia etc. I was over it. Over being pregnant. I was impatient. I wanted to meet my little girl. 
I had my 40 week check up on Thursday. I was officially 1 day overdue with the baby. I was ready. At my check up that day, I had expressed my concern with my NP/Mid wife about my fears and anxiety. Andy and I had switched from Mayo Clinic to Wabasha Hospital half way through my pregnancy, after researching and talking with friends. Two sets of our friends had delivered their babies with Sharon in Wabasha and raved about the care and awesomeness of Sharon. We had toured the birthing center and met Sharon and knew it was our fit. 
We were planning to go all natural and have a water birth for labor/delivery. I, however, was very scared. I could not kick my nerves. What if I failed? What if I couldn't do it? I had been hearing so many opinions from people about labor in general. I am a person that can not handle pain well. I never dreamed I would want a natural delivery before I started researching and praying about what was best for Andy and I. 
So that day at my check up, I shared some of my thoughts with Sharon. Tears streaming down my cheeks, she looked into my eyes and said, "You can do this, Christy. Think of all the women that have given birth. You will too." It was so simple, yet it resounded in my spirit. I went home after my check up ready to make it happen. Andy and I went about our day off by cleaning our bedroom. We rearranged our room and vacuumed/dusted the bedroom. It needed it! I picked up raspberry leaf tea to drink and get things rolling. I was up and moving around all day until after dinner. By 7pm, we had both sat down and were watching t.v. for a a couple hours. I had been going to the bathroom every 10 minutes or so and was really annoyed with my small bladder. 
Around 9 or 10 pm i had gotten up to use the bathroom, and had noticed I was bleeding. I screamed for Andy and started to freak out. Oh my word, it was time. It is so crazy when you are in that moment and you know everything is about to change. I called the hospital and talked to Sharon. She told me to lay down for 20 minutes and see if I was still bleeding. I remember her asking me if I had contractions. To be honest, I didn't even know if i was. i always blew them off to be nothing. Being Christy, before laying down, I started cleaning our house and getting the bathrooms ready for company. Andy was quite annoyed with me. ha. So I lied down, and the bleeding subsided. Sharon had said, if I was having contractions, I would not be able to sleep. I thought for sure they were braxton hicks. So we decided to go to bed. We we got into bed at around 11:30 or so, Andy took NightQuill. That was one of the worst decisions of our life. You see, he asked me if he should take it or not. He had been fighting a cold/cough for a while and needed rest. We sure enough, within 45 minutes, I was having contractions 5 minutes apart lasting 30-45 seconds give or take. So we frantically packed up our stuff in our newly organized and clean room to hit the road 60 miles to Wabasha. I will never forget listening to Shane and Shane the whole way there while there was a lot of silence on my behalf. We both were praying, processing, and just trying to get there as fast as we could. I remember the last song on the cd ended when we were parking the car. 
When we got to the hospital, it was around 1:30 in the morning. Sharon greeted us right away and got me in the room. I was at a 4cm and things were moving fast. I got in the tub after about 30 minutes of being hooked up to monitors and such. I was in a lot of pain. My vices were chapstick/wet wash cloths on my forehead, and holding Andy's hand! When I was in the tub, I would have them rub my back in between contractions. After an hour in the tub, I got out to use the bathroom and they had me go to the bed to check me over. I had already dilated to 10cm in an hour. Things were moving really fast. Sharon told me that I needed to get back in the tub, because it was time to push. I told her I wasn't going anywhere. I was too tired. weak. and feisty. So the bed it was! We started to push. I tried multiple positions. By now, I was asking for drugs. Crying and whining, actually. But they knew me...... So they gave me something really light. It was a muscle relaxer.  It was so mild, it was to make me think it was helping. I can't remember what it was called. But it worked, I thought It was helping a bit with the pain. I pushed for 3 hours or so. I was on my back with my feet pushing on Andy and a nurse's hips every time. My water broke when I was pushing. 
In between contractions, I would close my eyes and try and rest. It is hilarious how we can rest that fast. My body kept shaking and I was so tired. Keep in mind, Andy at this point had nightquil in him for well over 6 hours with no sleep. Poor guy. But was he allowed to complain? No. It took me awhile to even figure out how to push. It sounds silly, but you really have to learn. I won't go in to detail, but It is so intense and painful. I literally felt everything.
I always envisioned myself to be really loud or reactive during labor. I thought I would claw Andy's arm and be screaming the whole time. But, I wasn't. I was so calm. I was in the zone. I was really quiet and focused. In preparation to labor, I had read through some books and articles on natural childbirth that really helped me be ready. I remember saying, "Jesus" in my head over and over. I remember saying, "I can do all things thru Jesus" over and over in my head to coach myself. I relied on my Father to get me through it. The normal Christy couldn't do this. But my God carried me through the whole labor and delivery. 
 I remember the head crowning and my mid wife asking if I wanted to feel it. I said, "no." I was too tired to do anything. When I pushed her out,  my eyes were closed that I didn't even realize she was out. She was crying and Sharon said, "Christy, hold her." I couldn't believe it. She had so much hair. She was huge! She was beautiful. I cried and cried. There is something so precious and indescribable meeting your baby for the first time. God is so faithful. I couldn't believe she was mine. I couldn't get over her beauty. 
We named her, Zion Leilani. Zion means, "presence of God" and Leilani means, "heavenly child/ or flower". I have been a fan of Lauren Hill since high school. On her album, "The miseducation of Lauren Hill", she has a track called, "Zion".  She has a son named Zion and it is a tribute to him. It is beautiful! I have been jammin to it since '99. When I was pregnant with Z, Andy and I went to dinner one night and he said, what about Zion for a name? I always thought of it as a boys name, not a girls name. So we discussed how in the bible, Mount Zion is referred to as:  she and her. I thought about it, and was pumped. It was the perfect name. We gave Z, a life verse as well:  Psalms 50:2 Through Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth! Amen! Leilani, is Andy's mom's name! I love it. She goes by Loni, but we thought it would be so meaningful to have her name be Zion's middle name. 
She was born at 7:05 am on Friday, February 19, 2010. She was 8lbs10oz. and 20 3/4" We didn't have a high quality camera for the birth. Here are some pictures from when she was born. 
Did I mention that Zion was born on Andy's 31st birthday? It was the biggest gift he has ever received. When we found out I was pregnant and did the math with my due date, Andy was determined to have a birthday with his child. I feel like it was God's way of showing Andy he was meant to be a father to a daughter. Zion was his precious gift. 







Daddy meeting his birthday girl. It was quite emotional when he held her and was looking out the window at the blanket of snow outside reflecting on God's promises. None of our family or friends knew we were in labor since it was the middle of the night. So after I delivered Zion, Andy called our family to tell them she was here. We had kept the name a surprise too. 



after the eye drops.


After having Zion, they moved us into our room. It had been about 2 hours or so and I was finally all stitched up and resting in the bed. Andy had opened our blinds and put on our iPod. He played, The Glorious Unseen. A band I had heard before but not really noticed. I was holding my swaddled daughter, taking in the sweetness of the moment. Overwhelmed with gratitude and joy. Tears were streaming down my cheeks. Tears of joy. Tears of love. Tears of triumph. Tears of excitement. Tears of exhaustion. I couldn't believe she was mine. My daughter. I had a daughter! I was a mother. It was one of the most overwhelming moments of my life. 




(I have more pictures that I am going to post later. They are backed up on a hard drive)

One of the most powerful and overwhelming moments of my life was giving birth to Zion. I can't even begin to put it into words. The depth that I had instantly for her. My heart was overflowing with love. I was so mesmerized with her beauty. The hours a new mama spends just looking at their blessing is a huge amount. 

Zion has taught me what really matters. 
Zion taught me how to be a mama.
Zion has taught me how to fight for whats right. Hoping that we can give her the best. 
Zion has taught me how to let go. to live. to laugh. to forgive. to be a child again. to color. to just be. 
Zion has taught me that it is ok to have 100 questions in a 30 minute time frame. 
Zion has taught me patience. conflict resolution. 
Zion has taught me how to see things more simple.
Zion has taught me how to be a better daughter to my parents. 
Zion has taught me how to love Andy in new ways.
Zion has taught me how to dance and be crazy.

I love how a child view things so black and white sometimes. 
I love how they ask the tough questions. 
I love how she loves her back rubbed at night. 
I love how she plays lion and runs around our house saying, "roar". I love how she has a belly laugh. 
I love how she is such a nurturer and takes care of her babies and her sister. 
I love how she says, "you're the best." "I love you mom" "mom, you not working today?" 
I love how she says, " mama, I hold you" or "I cuddle you"

Zion Leilani, you are a blessing. You make your mama proud! love you precious girl. 

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