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Showing posts with label birth story. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birth story. Show all posts

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. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Zakiyah's birth story

Sitting here, two weeks into being a mama of two beautiful, healthy girls I am overwhelmed with many emotions of God's grace and wonder of how he can give me such a life overflowing with blessing and perfection.
I have been wanting to write out our birth story since Zakiyah was born. It is such a overwhelming experience to even process and write down. But it is so nice to have for our memory:)
My due date was August 13th...a Monday. However, Andy and I were determined to have this baby on my birthday, August 5th. Andy and Zion share a birthday of February 19th. She was born on his 31st birthday. So, me being Christy was set and determined to make this baby come out on my 31st birthday. Perfect, right? So I did everything you are told to do.....I walked a lot. I drank the raspberry leaf tea, made the labor cookies, got massages, pedicures, rubbed my pressure points, got out my breast pump. You name it, I did it. So August 5th came........and went. No baby. So in my mind, I was already overdue since mentally I had that day in mind. I, then began to come up with other fun dates for a birthday but those too did not happen.
At my 40 week 3 day overdue check up with my mid wife, we discussed being induced. I was all for it.  My check up was on Thursday, 8/16. I was still only dilated to a 2 maybe 3 and did not have a soft cervix. I had a lot of anxiety because my Mid Wife, Sharon was going to be out of town on saturday and sunday for 24 hours and I did not want to go into labor with her out of town. So we set up arrangements for me to arrive at the hospital in Wabasha on Friday morning at 7:30 to be induced. So my parents came and got Zion from us and we were ready to have the baby. As we drove to Wabasha that morning, Andy said he didn't feel comfortable with me being induced. He thought we should just hang on and wait for baby girl to come when she was ready. I, on the other hand was not having it. I was so done with my pregnancy and was ready! So ultimately, I won that one.
We chose to do a more mild form of getting the ball rolling. Sharon gave me a half of a pill of cytotec in my cervix for contractions to start. Typically they start coming within 2 hours. So Andy and I hit up my fav lil restaurant, Stacy's Kitchen for a cinnamon roll. We then went for a walk around the downtown and water front.

Basically, going back every 45 minutes to see if anything was brewing. But, Nothing. At 12:30, 5 hours in, I still had no progress. I was pretty feisty at this point and frustrated. It is such a weird feeling to leave your home, packing to have a baby. Locking your house up for the anticipation of bringing home baby and just dreaming of holding them. kissing them. and not being pregnant anymore! So at this point, Andy and I had some decisions to make regarding what to do next. He did not feel comfortable with me having another pill or doing anything more intense. I got the Cass pep-talk on patience, God's timing, and she will come when she wants to come. All of which were right. Thanks Hus.
So Andy and I opted to leave and go about our weekend and pray she didn't come until our mid wife was back in town sunday. We went and grabbed lunch at a local dive for a burger and took a scenic drive back to Rochester to hit up a local flea market, Gold Rush Days in Oronoco. (pix of Reads Landing Restaurant)

 I anticipate this event every year so I was pretty excited to go and browse the booths. We met up with some friends of ours and were having a great time. I got myself some fresh lemonade and a homemade ice cream sandwich and was a happy camper. About 1/2 hour into us being there, I started having contractions. Go figure. THis was probably around 2:30 or so in the afternoon. I kept them to myself at first. I was in denial. Of course, they started now. After 15 minutes or so, I told Andy that I had them. He instantly got our the phone to log them. Sure enough, they were lasting 30-45 seconds and coming on every minute and a half to two minutes. They were very manageable pain wise. At this point, they just felt like cramps.  There was a lot of excitement and craziness from our friends and us. I am sure the vendors and bystanders in the booths thought we were comical, with our timing of contractions and such. After 30 minutes of so, we called our mid wife and we were on our way to Wabasha again for the day.
As we drove to back to Wabasha, I had the normal feelings. What if its fake? What if its too early? Andy put his hand on my belly, and said, "Christy, she is coming out today!" I was so excited.
We arrived at the hospital, greeted my the birthing center staff, "your room is still set up:)". This is why we love it there! They hooked me up to monitors to track my contractions. It was just a waiting game at this point. We were prepared for them to pick up eventually. I was still dilated to a 3 and nothing really new down under. So every 30 minutes they hooked me up and checked my contractions and baby girl's heart rate etc. Everything was normal. But, No progress. At supper time, Andy for the 3rd time that day, hit up a local restaurant for our dinner date to be in our room :) Pizza and root beer. We played some cards, a game called 9 cube and just chilled. At about 9pm, we got ready for bed and they told me to page them every time I got up to check my contractions. I was discouraged at this point, for the fact that I could sleep through my contractions. They went from being very frequent to being random. THey were more like every 4 minutes and lasting just as long. Basically, the cytotec took its turtle time to kick in and then started to wear off. So my night was uneventful. No baby. Crazy hormones. tired. discouraged. frustrated. At 5 am, I asked to see Sharon, my midwife and she checked me again to see if there was any progress. Nada. I told her to go home. I felt the guilt for wasting her time. Andy and I went back to sleep til around 8 am and I got the approval to leave and go about my weekend round 2. I was a wreck. tears. emotions. sad. We went and grabbed a coffee from a wanna-be coffee joint. You know its bad, when you order a "half caff. drip with room for cream" and they start pulling shots of espresso. just sayin. Andy comforted me and spoke encouragement to me on our drive.
I was totally ok with waiting for her to come. It was just the disappointment of going to the hospital 2 times in 12 hours to have a baby and leaving without. Not to mention, I am the MOST impatient person ever. Andy and I headed from Wabasha to Red Wing to get Zi pie at G&G home front. Highway 61 is the most beautiful drive. While driving, I responded to lovely text messages from my friends and family encouraging me and waiting to hear the news. I called my girlfriend, Katherine, who was having a bridal shower at my best friend, Jody's house that morning to tell her I couldn't emotionally go. She comforted me and understood.
We got our dose of happiness from our awesome 2 year old. big hugs and kisses. As we headed back to Roch, I decided I wanted to go to the shower to support Kath and have some amazing brunch! Hey, I planned the menu...why not:) We stopped at my sis, Cara's new house to see it quick. It was move in day and then I got dropped off at the shower. Let me tell you, good food. good iced coffee (thanks Pioneer woman) and amazing friends does the trick. I felt loved. My other sis, Chels was there to be awesome as always. The rest of my Saturday was full of rest and hanging with Z and Andy.
Sunday morning, We went to church and went about our normal day. fellowship. Roscoes-Holler. the best bbq! and some more Gold Rush action. I bought a shelf for the nursery and was having a great time. We went over to our friends, Eric and Danielle for supper, park and outdoor fire. I went for a walk and called my midwife to set up a ultra sound and check up the following day. The plan was to go there around lunch time. As of monday, I would officially be in my 41st week of my pregnancy. One week over due-NBD. I had my friend Katherine rub my feet and ankles to get those pressure points working. I was over this pregnancy!
We got home around 10pm and put Zion to bed right away. Andy conked out soon after. I sat in bed, praying for this baby. Within 15 minutes of laying there, I had full blown, painful, hug the pillow, contractions that were lasting over a minute. I timed them for 45 minutes, no sleep for me, and woke up the hus at 11:15pm to say its GO TIME! for REAL! We called our next door neighbor and friend Sarah  to come sleep on the couch til my mom got to our house. Andy jumped in the shower and made a coffee while I got situated. I was so calm surprisingly.  As we drove the 50 miles to Wabasha, I complained that Andy was driving too slow and too crazy around corners. Nothing made me happy :) We got to the hospital for 3rd time at 12:45 am Monday to be greeted my our peeps. "Andy and Christy your room is ready". Gotta love! I got hooked up to the monitor and machine right off the back. I was dilated to a 4 and things were moving along. At about 2-2:30am, I requested to get in the tub because my back pain was on fire. I had the nurses rub my back every contraction to help with the pain. I just have to say the tub is the best. I can't express enough how much it helps with pain. My contractions and everything moved along like normal. At about 4:30am or so, I was at 8cm and I asked Sharon to break my waters. I was over the waiting for it to happen. As soon as she broke my waters, things progressed. I started pushing around 5:15am or so. Did it hurt? Um, Yeah. Like a mother. The corny way of explaining it, "I am woman-hear me roar!" It is the most empowering, crazy experience ever. Pushing out a baby. Allowing your body to rock it out. It is still mind blowing to me that I have the physical strength to go through labor. What a gift. What a miracle. I cried. I grunted. I said I was done. I asked How much longer. I complained. But, I was determined to have this baby girl. At about 5:55am, her head crowned and quickly grabbed the camera just in time. I put my hands down by her head and their she came. It was amazing. She barely cried. She had tons of hair, big feet, big gorgeous eyes. 10 fingers , 10 toes. She was perfect. Zakiyah Nova Cass- born at 5:59am August 20th. 8#4oz  21"long.  Zakiyah is hebrew and means PURE. and Nova means BRIGHT and NEW. I have always called Andy, my hubby nova, stemming from Cass-anova. nova scotia. So we thought it would be fun to use. We liked how strong the name was.

this is Kiyah, right after she was born. looking at me. how precious.


my gift.

still looking at her mama while Sharon was cutting the umbilical cord and cleaning up....

getting weighed and checked!


the famous feet that kicked me the whole pregnancy and labor.

After my perfect delivery, we ran into complications. My placenta would not come out. Usually it takes about 7-10 minutes for a placenta to come out. A woman will feel the need to push and it comes out. Me, not the case......After about 10 minutes, Sharon and the staff moved me to a bed so it would be easier. They had me stand up on the bed, which was very painful, considering I had just pushed out a 8 pounder. Just a touch sore and weak down there.....I ended up having pushing half of the placenta out and the rest was stuck inside. So Sharon sat there holding my placenta in her hands trying to get the rest out. gross I know. I will spare you the details but say it ended up taking 2 hours for it to come out. It was two awful hours of pain. tears. ultrasounds. talk of emergency DNC in the OR. doctor and Sharon trying to get it out. I had Kiyah nursing, trying to contract my uterus to help it along. How did it come out? prayer! Andy literally said, " in the name of Jesus, come out." and it did. Thank you Lord.
A little background on my body. I had to have a DNC 4 weeks after delivery with Zion because I still had about 5 cm of placenta left. Which meant I had a lot of clots. Then in May 2011, I experienced a miscarriage, which lead to another DNC 4 weeks after no heart beat because my body would not pass the baby naturally. Then with this pregnancy, we discovered I had scar tissue from the the surgeries and had to be extra cautious with my ultra sounds to make sure the scarring would not get tangled on baby. So basically, I obviously have feisty placentas that doesn't like to cooperate.
It is a minor problem for many people. But it has been a little traumatic to Andy and I. We feel very blessed to have our two beautiful healthy girls.
Post delivery, we took naps and rested up before our family arrived to celebrate with us. I cuddled with Kiyah and took her in. Her smell. her details. her precious little hands. her peach fuzz all over. PERFECTION.

Here she is holding daddy's hand.

soaking up Z

first nap:)

cuddling her daddy

a fun pix.

Mommy and Kiyah

Zion came to hospital at lunch time with my mom. We kept it a surprise of where she was going. Andy met my mom and Z in the parking lot to tell Zion what was going on. She was wearing her Big Sister shirt from our friend Heather. Zion was shy at first but so excited.

 She wanted to sit with me and Zakiyah right away. She gave her kisses and held her hand. She asked me if I had a baby in my tummy still. So cute.

 It is the most surreal moment when you are holding your first born, your baby, the daughter that taught you how to be a mom, and for the first time realize how BIG they are. Wow. It is like she grew up overnight. I will never forget those minutes of our family growing....Zion is the proudest big sis ever!  I still can't believe I have two girls! What a crazy thing. Such a gift.

soaking up some Z time. getting to know her sis.

Kiyah totally responds to Zion. She definitely knows her voice and is calmed by it. It is amazing. Here we are....the fam! Cass Fam 2012.