Evander: A Birth Story

Like every good birth story, we’ve got to start at the beginning. Thursday the 17th, one week before Van made his appearance I opted to have a cervical check and found out I was 2cm dilated and 60% effaced. I tried not to get my hopes up just in case Bubba decided not to come a week early like his sister. But I was still really hoping for a Memorial Weekend Birthday!

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Hospital Bag and Postpartum Care

Okay you guys it is getting real!  We are officially TWO days away from our “Baby Window” (more on that in a minute) and SIXTEEN days away from our actual due date.  I am beyond ready to finally hold our precious Bubs.  So I have decided to talk about my hospital bag which is now completely packed and ready to go.

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Nesting and Organizing in the Third Trimester

 

 

Hello Third Trimester!  The countdown to baby Evander is getting real.  We have exactly 53 days until we hit our “baby window”.  Gemma was born at 39 weeks and 0 days, so I’m predicting Evander’s arrival to fall somewhere in between 38-41 weeks.  I am in full on nesting mode and I wanted to share a little bit about what I am doing this time around to prepare.

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What we are investing in for Baby #2

The clock feels like it’s ticking faster than normal as we anticipate the arrival of Baby Smith number 2.  Luckily, a good thing about having babies so close together is that we are pretty much set on baby items.  There are only a few things I am looking at investing in for Evander.  Some are on the list because we will have two under two.  Others are on the list because I realized that what we used with Gemma either didn’t work or I didn’t like.

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Top 10 Basic Newborn Essentials

What exactly do you need to care for your newborn baby?  Because of finances and the small duplex we live in, Dallas and I don’t have the room or money for a lot of items.  We are minimalists at heart and both despise clutter.

So I’ve decide to list out what I believe are the Newborn Essentials.  Make sure you get these on your registry or have them before you bring home your baby.

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Introducing Gemma Raine: A Birth Story

I’m so excited to share with you the birth of my sweet baby girl: Gemma Raine!

birth story title

 

Sometimes, I stare at her precious face and it just hits me that she’s the little bug that I carried around for nine months.  I can’t believe she’s finally here.  Here’s the birth story:

 

newborn baby girl

24 Hours Before Birth
Thursday Morning (March 30th)

I was 38 weeks pregnant and had my weekly OB-GYN appointment.  I’d been having very irregular braxton hicks contractions for the past few days and I knew I was already dilated so Dallas and I were curious as to how the appointment would go.  My doctor checked and informed me that I was currently 4cm dilated!  However, knowing we wanted to avoid induction she didn’t send me over to labor and delivery since I was not having regular contractions yet.  She advised us to stay close to the hospital and really pay attention to the time and frequency of contractions.  We went over any warning signs and when to stop everything and come to the hospital for the birth.  She told us it most likely wouldn’t be long.  Maybe a few days or a few hours, but her guess was before our due date of April 7th.

Dallas and newborn Gemma baby hospital

After the appointment I had some spotting and cramping which I was told was normal.  I was advised to pay attention to my body and if it didn’t go away to come on in to L&D.  Over the next few hours the spotting went away but I continued to have cramps and irregular contractions.  I kept a running log on my phone of the times each of the contractions started.

mother newborn baby birth

15 Hours Before Birth
Thursday Evening (March 30th)

Dallas spent the evening at Salvation Army and I hung out at my parent’s house timing contractions.  When Dallas was done at SA he came over to my parent’s house to meet me and have a quick dinner.  I showed him my continual (but still irregular) contraction times.  He wasn’t too worried but could tell I was starting to get nervous.  I didn’t want to drive home to fort worth, only to turn right around and rush to the hospital.  I was NOT going to deliver baby girl in the car.

father newborn baby birth

We decided to go on a walk before making the decision on whether to go into L&D or go home.  On our walk through the neighborhood I noticed my contractions strengthening and getting closer together.  I was never in a lot of pain.  It was still just mild discomfort.  However, we decided to go ahead and go on in to the hospital… just to be safe.  I had this sinking feeling that we’d be turned away once they saw how sporadic my contractions were.  They had drilled 5-1-1 (5 minutes long, 1 minute apart and for 1 hour) into my head and I just wasn’t there yet.

gemma newborn baby birth

However once we checked in, I was immediately sent into a delivery room and hooked up to monitors.  Sure enough I was in labor!  They told us I’d be staying until our precious gem made her appearance.  I opted for the epidural and received it early enough that my first few hours of labor were a piece of cake.  I wasn’t in any pain.  It was only the anxious anxiety of knowing I’d be meeting my baby soon that kept me up.

newborn baby carseat birth home

 

newborn baby sleeping

Friday Morning (March 31st)

It was smooth sailing.  I progressed quickly and by the following morning I started getting the urge to push.  We were able to hold out until my OB got their instead of having the on-call doctor deliver.  By that point I was extremely uncomfortable and could feel each contraction even with the epidural (way to go all you mama’s that go with medicine!!) My body took over and I had to start pushing.  My water had not broken yet and was the only thing stopping our little girl from being born so I decided to go ahead and have them break the water.

About an hour later and with lots of pushing, Gemma was here!  Dallas got to help pull her out and was right there as they cleaned her up before handing her over to me.  Nothing comes close to the feeling of knowing you made it through labor.  She was (and is) so beautiful and I felt exhausted but exhilarated.

baby girl one week old

newborn baby girl

newborn baby girl

 

What a joyful ride it’s been so far.  Motherhood is quite the adventure and I’m barely making it through but I love it.  I can’t wait to see where it takes me.  Thank you Gemma girl for giving me the gift of being your mama!

[Don’t forget to check out my Pinterest Boards for more baby info.]

-Brittany Smith-