These photos were taken by my good friend Erica when Rylee was just about 48 hours old. You can see even more of them on her BLOG. If you remember, Erica was also the one that took our engagement photos and wedding photos back in 2009. (hard to believe it has been that long since we got married!!) She is pretty darn amazing and I will cherish these pictures of our Rylee bean forever.
I suppose this post also serves as a “sneak peak” into her nursery. More to come.
She has arrived!!! Meet our new baby girl, Rylee Jean Larson. Born Friday, August 19th at 10:45am, weighing a healthy 6lbs 6oz! Honestly, I could not have imagined a better birth. I have some catching up to do here on my blog about what went down the week prior to delivery….so….to back up:
A week ago, last Wednesday, I had my regular scheduled weekly appointment with my doctor. I was 2 1/2 weeks out from my scheduled due date of August 27th and was having very little contractions. Some Braxton Hicks here and there, but nothing painful or concerning that I might deliver early. The appointment went great. I had my first internal check and both doctor and I were surprised to find out that I was already 2 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced. Basically, my body was already preparing for birth and my cervix was “primed for labor” as my doctor told me. But as always…my belly was measuring small. So yet again, I was sent back to the radiologist to make sure her growth was on track even though I appeared little. This had happened so many times throughout my pregnancy that I was not too concerned. I had been given far more ultrasounds than a pregnant woman should ever need, but every time the results confirmed that my Rylee was growing just as she should. I assumed the results of this ultrasound would show nothing different. But I got a call that night from my doctor telling me that Rylee’s abdomen was measuring significantly smaller than the rest of her body. Her abdomen was measuring 33 weeks and the rest of her body 38. For some reason she was not receiving sufficient nutrients from my placenta to grow as she should, so everything she was taking in was going to the places that NEEDED it and not into her belly. She told me I had a stage 3 placenta and that it had started to calcify and was not functioning to it’s full capability. Rylee needed to come out because her chances of fattening up were better outside the womb than inside of me. So I was scheduled to be induced on Friday morning.
I cried for a while after hearing the news. Scared that she might come out with some complications and have to be taken away from me. Scared of how my body would react to the pitocin and if Rylee would go into distress during labor. But a peace came over me Wednesday night, knowing that God had this all in His hands, and that there was nothing I could do but trust that He knew what was best for the both of us. It was such an odd feeling KNOWING the day and hour my baby would come. I had anticipated my labor to be unpredictable. To be scrambling around the house grabbing my bags and racing to the hospital with Sam as my contractions worsened. Instead, I woke up at 4am and calmly gathered all my things making sure I did not miss anything. Sam and I ate breakfast and prayed for the health and delivery of our baby, and drove in the dark to the hospital to wait to be induced at 5:30am. When we arrived at the hospital the nurses there could not find my doctor’s order for induction. I told them I was to be induced with pitocin, but they wanted to wait until the doctor arrived at 7:30 before making the call without confirmation. So we were forced to stall the induction for 2 hours. Alas, 7:30 rolled around, induction was confirmed, and as expected I was hooked up to IV’s and put on the lowest level of pitocin to get my labor started. I was still just 2 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced. My doctor Erin, who I absolutely loved, broke my water at 8am, and that is when my contractions quickly picked up. By 9:15 I was already 5 centimeters dilated and the pain of the contractions were getting more intense. The nurses and I couldn’t believe how quickly I was progressing. Although it is very rare to be induced and not receive an epidural, I really wanted to try. Being as sensitive as I am to narcotics (and everything else for that matter), I was worried of the effects the epidural might have on me. But by 10:00 I was 7 centimeters and feeling like I needed something to relieve the onslaught of pain, so I called in the nurse and asked her if I could get the lowest level of an epidural. So at 10:15 the anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural in my back and told me that my contractions should continue to get less and less painful over the next half hour. But it wasn’t really the case for me. I DID feel significant relief in my contractions, but I felt a whole other kind of pain…PRESSURE. It was 10:30 and I felt like the baby was already coming and the epidural had not even kicked in yet! Could this be right or was I just being a wuss!? I had to call in my nurse again and explained to her what I was feeling and asked if she could check (yet again) to see how far I was dilated. She shrugged her shoulders and agreed to check again…and the minute she did she went into “go mode”. She got on the phone and said “Room 1, I need a doctor NOW, baby is coming”. A few other nurses were rushed into the room in case my doctor did not make it over in time for the birth. But thankfully, Erin came flying through the doors, threw on her masked, and coached me through my pushes. Only 4 pushes and Rylee was delivered at exactly 10:45am!! With no stitches or tears! Baby girl wanted OUT! There were a few specialists there to check her right away because of her anticipated small abdomen. But only a minute after seeing them check her and wipe her down, Rylee was placed naked and crying on my chest (the best feeling in the world) Praise God her belly was normal size!! The ultrasound was wrong, and Rylee weighed a healthy 6 pounds 6 ounces! My labor was a grand total of just 3 hours!! I know, crazy right? I would have never imagined such a quick, smooth delivery.
I am still blown away when I think about how everything played out. God really did have a plan for me and Rylee. One that I could never have forseen. Not only for my labor, but also my entire pregnancy.
I have always been one to doubt my body, and when I found out I was pregnant, I was not sure how I would cope. I was still battling my gluten and dairy allergies and all the complications that came along with that, but now I had to grow another little human inside of me? I was skeptical, to say the least. But throughout this process, my body has proven me wrong in so many ways. Not only did it grow a perfectly healthy baby girl, but I too was healed of my gluten/dairy intolerance. Now who know’s how long that will last. I have heard many stories of women being healed of some health problem during pregnancy only to have it come back after birth. But I can say being able to eat bread and pizza and cheese and milk while pregnant, was pretty awesome.
Sam and I feel blessed in every way. This week we have both been home together just enjoying our little girl. She is the tiniest thing. Her head fits perfectly in Sam’s palm. It’s the sweetest sight to see him holding her. He is already the best daddy. Yes, babies a LOT of work (hats off to all you mom’s) and Sam and I are both pretty exhausted….but it’s so so so amazing to finally hold her in my arms and look her in the eyes and rock her to sleep. Cry’s or smiles, I love them both. Her hands and feet are really long. And I laugh because I remember just a few days ago those feet being in my ribs.
Meet Minet and Natalie. Sisters, best friends and owners of the amazing downtown San Diego boutique, DOLCETTI. I was commissioned by Natalie (right) to create this illustration for Minet (left) for her 30th birthday bash. They are the cutest! I had so much fun with it. And this will go down as my LAST commissioned art piece pre-baby!
Countdown is on! 10 days(ish) until I get to meet my baby girl! My hospital bag is packed and the car seat is installed! It’s so surreal to think that I could really go into labor any day now. As much as i’d love for Rylee to come early…I am not banking on it because I think I would go crazy that way! I suppose it’s better to plan on her coming late, and if she does decide to come early, it will be a welcomed surprise. I thought for so long she’d be an early baby, but the closer I get….the more I think she might be right on time. 10 DAYS!!! Can you believe it!?? Time just flew. I can’t wait to show you pictures of her room. I am still working on finishing it up, but I really do love it already. I will be spending LOTS of time in there, so I wanted to make it something special, and soothing, and comfortable, for the both of us. Although I was pretty bummed when I found out yesterday that my crib bedding will still be another 3 weeks before it is shipped (it’s already been over a month!) I guess the store I bought it from had some problems with the supplier and blah blah blah. I know she won’t be using it for a while anyway (she will be by my side in her bassinet for a couple months I’m sure)….but when I want to finish something….I want to FINISH it! And there is no way a nursery is complete without crib bedding! Anyway, rant complete.
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers and encouraging words over the last few months! It’s been a huge blessing to me. Life is certainly taking a new turn for Sam and I. And I don’t think parenthood is something you can ever be fully prepared for. It’s something I’m sure we will struggle with, get better at, and learn along the way….and hopefully be the best we can possibly be for this baby we created. We are excited for this new chapter and for the growth of our little family. We have always dreamed of having babies and raising them together and loving on them and building our own traditions as a family. This just feels like step one in that process, and I can’t wait for what lies ahead. I get tears in my eyes when I think about Sam holding Rylee for the first time and what an incredible daddy he will be. Gahh, I need a tissue! Our lives will change completely in just a matter of days.
And speaking of lives changing….I don’t think this guy knows what’s coming! haha. Don’t you just love his grumpy face!?
I believe in giving credit where credit is due. If you see any photos here without correct sources, please let me know and I will happily correct it. Likewise, if you wish to use any of my photos, I'd appreciate it if you properly credited back to my original post.