Sunday, May 11, 2014

Declan's Birth Story

Today was kind of amazing when it came to thoughts. As different hours ticked by and we sang happy birthday to our boy for the umpteenth time, I'd look at the clock and relive that moment from two years ago. The day that I became a mother. The day that he was born. How fitting to celebrate the two together on Mother's Day. So today, after putting it off for far too long, I am finally going to touch on his birth story.

**The reason I never posted before was the 1,000 photos I had to go through. In doing all I can to make this post happen, I've given up on all editing. They won't be pretty, but they will be real.**


It began midnight May 11, 2012 as the back pain that had been bothering me turned more severe, into contractions that were nothing like I was told. Lying down turned to crawling around on the bed, trying to find any comfortable position. These were closer to one endless painful seize than the ebbs and flows of waves. Relaxing between was impossible, as was counting the time. There was no rhythm, no beauty, no broken water- just nearly endless pain. And despite the obvious signs, it was such an unbelievable feeling to think that it might actually be happening.

{the only pre-epi picture - trying to smile.}
After going to my mom's bed where she soothed me through the pain as Peyton tried to time contractions, calling doctors and packing bags, we decided that it was time to go. We were sure that those three hours of intense home laboring must have taken my three centimeters from that morning closer to seven. Upon arrival, after throwing up twice from the intensity and shaking on the bed with no give in the pain, we were told I was at four. FOUR. And that's when the epidural was ordered. 

Back labor is no joke my friends, no joke. An endless pain. It was all I could do to stay still while the doctor inserted the needle, keeping my mind focused by singing songs about the three bubbles floating in my IV. And I would have kissed that doctor right then and there, Steelers apparel and all. It was that good. The love for the epidural man is real, my friends, as all fathers know too well. 

Within moments I began to see and engage in the world again. The contractions became manageable, then nonexistent. There were cheers (from me) for epidurals and that's when the party truly began. My doctor came in scolding me that I hadn't called her. It was 6:00 am. I was 6 cm dilated.

{big contraction.. but BAM. epidural.}

Then there was the breaking of my water, the knowledge that there really was no going back, our boy was arriving that day. 

An hour later I was at 10. I was ready; it was time. Except not, since waiting an extra hour to push would allow the full four hours before giving the second antibiotic dose that I needed. So wait I did, and at 8:10 I started pushing.

The following hour was a party. It was joking between pushes, hearing those cheerleaders count to ten as I gave it everything I had, then telling more stories. It was laughing as my doctor texted our mutual friend the progress updates between pushes. It was nothing like I had imagined it would be and one of the least dramatic labors of all time. And as I got jealous hearing those age old comments of "There's the head! And the hair!!" a mirror was rolled out so I could join in on all my hard work. It was two steps forward and one step back as he made his way in, rolling the way my contractions never did. Until 9:17, when things shifted- we were here for a purpose and this was it. Our boy was coming. And so I pushed. And he was there. And he was crying and pinking and perfect. 

Just perfect

He came to my chest and I was completely overwhelmed by this little life. It was unreal, utterly unreal, that he was ours. I don't remember how much I kissed him or what my first words to him were, but I do remember realizing that in an instant my life had changed. I was still in the exact same spot with the exact same people, but just like that my belly was empty and my son was here. I was a mother. He made me a mother. It was such an incredibly difficult gift to process at that moment. I had no idea what lay ahead.

Many mothers say they were overcome by a love unlike any other when their child was first placed in their arms. That was not me. I loved him, a lot, but not in an all-consuming, angels-singing way. I didn't know him. And while that might sound harsh, it was magical to watch my love grow with him. He was fascinating. As he opened his eyes more and more each day, learning to coo and grab and roll and crawl and walk and talk and run. As he's grown deeper and more difficult and endlessly more giving to this world. As he showed me that being perfect is not the pinnacle, but it is a state of being that can continue to shift and grow. For just as he was that morning when he first hit my arms, he remains as perfect as can be. He is my boy, my son, my heart. The one who made me mama. And for him I will forever be grateful, and forever be in awe.

Happy birthday sweet love.



  1. Darn it, who's chopping onions in this office?

  2. Christina, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story! You've got me crying over here as I nurse Jamie. So much love to you and your little darlings, and happy birthday, Declan!!

  3. Beautifully written post, friend! Such a wonderful story!! <3 Happy Birthday, Declan!

  4. No editing needed. Absolutely beautiful...and I definitely cried reading and looking at these photos!

  5. AAAAAAnnnnnddd Happy Birthday Declan!

  6. love love love reading his birth story... its about time you got on the birth story bandwagon ;) Also, your face in the first picture? classic!


  7. Christina....
    I'm back!! Did you miss me?! ;)
    Happy, happy, happy birthday, Declan!! Here's to many, many, many more!! And happy Mother's Day, Friend!! ;-D
    Love you later, Raelyn

  8. Beautiful post! I love all the photos. Epidurals are magic! :) What a wonderful birth story! Happy (belated) birthday baby and happy (belated) mother's day to you!

  9. Thank you for sharing your birth story! The photos are beautiful- edited or not! Who took them for you? They really are great and seem to capture so many special moments. Happy belated birthday to your son and mother's day to you!


Comments are kinda the best and brighten my day! :)

And psst... I'd really love to write back, but usually do so through email, so I hope you're not a no-reply commenter!