March 12, 2013

Weekly Pregnancy Bump Photos: Weeks 13-39 & Natural Birth Baby Tree.

This may turn out to be my longest post EVER. Especially since of course I have so much trouble narrowing down the pictures of Baby Tree’s first two weeks!

First off….the final completion of weekly pregnancy bump pictures!! Added are weeks 37-to the end. She was born at 39 weeks 3 days, so there is no 40 weeks photo. But the last photo is by far my favorite  <3 <3

Birth Facts:

Born at 10:27 pm on February 24th, 2013, weighing 7 pounds 7 ounces, 19.25 inches  <3

Taken at 5 days old. My mom was here helping us the first week & a half, so she got some of David & I, and David took some of her & I as well…

Three generations.



(Below is the story, followed by a link to the birth photograph video.)

As many of you know, Baby Tree was born on my birthday, February 24th. I got the MOST amazing present for my birthday <3

The story started the night before (barely). We were over at a friends house for a mini-birthday dinner & games night. Towards the end I did notice that my lower back was hurting quite a bit, which actually hadn’t happened much during the whole pregnancy. On our drive home, I had my first mild contraction that started the labor, at 11:35 pm. (I had had a couple random mild contractions in the weeks before but never more than two in a row). After that, they came very mildly about every 15 minutes. We called our doula, Connie, to let her know, and tried to go to sleep. With them coming less than every ten minutes or so, even mildly, I was not able to sleep all night, but tried to let David, while keeping track of my contraction times on my phone, and the night flew by. By morning they were still the same. I took a small bath, and just tried to rest through them since I hadn’t slept. In the afternoon we went on a neighborhood walk (if any neighbors saw me squatting every few minutes, I’m sure they knew what would be happening soon!) & officially finished packing my hospital bag. By late afternoon the contractions were a few minutes apart & starting to be more painful. So with Connie’s suggestion, David, my mom & I headed out and arrived at the hospital at 7. By 7:30 they had checked me, and I was thankfully already 5 and a half cm dilated, which was more than we had hoped for! Connie arrived, and soon after my friend Jolie, who was taking our birth photographs. Baby Tree wasn’t being highly reactive so for an hour they had her monitored. After that I was able to do intermittent monitoring, and did some walking around the hallway with David & Connie. By now the contractions were quite painful. While trying to go to the bathroom, my water broke. At one point they checked me and I was 7 cm, the next time 8 cm.  From that one, it was only about half an hour or so til I started pushing! Contractions were coming so close together & painful, I was sitting on an exercise ball leaning over the bed with David & Connie taking turns massaging my back/hips. I started reaaaally feeling the need to push and was just tensing my whole body to resist that urge, til finally they checked me & were surprised to learn I was completely dilated – only about half an hour after being 8 cm! Stacy, the nurse who’d been checking me & was very sweet, told me the doctor was on her way but not here yet, but if needed she & the other nurses could deliver, if I wanted to start pushing. I think I just heard the okay on pushing & was so glad to go at it, I didn’t care about the rest!! Apparently I pushed for about 20-30 minutes total. The doctor barely arrived on time…just a few minutes before baby came! That’s how fast everything went once we got to the hospital. From 5 and a half cm to baby being born, in THREE hours. Apparently usually each cm to dilation takes about an hour, and pushing is between 30 mins to 2 hours. We expected to have more time at the hospital but it flew by in those three hours. David & I had been pretty determined to do this without needing an epidural…I think even if I’d wanted it might have been too late, it was so fast! David stayed by my side the whole time. During pushing I was just pretty much paying attention to Connie’s instructions & reminders, counting with her.I am so thankful I had her there! At this point I hadn’t slept in 37 hours. Between contractions they were giving me oxygen for the baby. There was a mirror so I could watch if I wanted…but every contraction & push had me squeezing my eyes tight. The nurses were telling me I was doing great, they were surprised I was still smiling between contractions. Apparently when I started pushing David said I even made a joke – after seeing in the mirror I was like ‘a baby is going to come out of there??‘ David also told me later that towards the end of pushing, that he was just telling himself not to faint, reminding himself to bend his knees. I could tell when the pushing was getting closer to the end, and the doctor thankfully arrived. Finally pushed a lot on the last one, and her head came out! I also had some ripping when this happened so that was the most painful part of the whole thing, I think I kinda screamed out. Then all the nurses & doctor were yelling at me to PUSH PUSH PUSH! But without the pressure of her head it was hard to tell what to push anymore, plus I was recovering from that pain. But I tried, and after I asked David because I vaguely remembered… ‘did someone like climb on top of me & push on my stomach?’ & he said yes. And out she came! Soooooooooooooo beautiful.

David hadn’t been sure about cutting the cord, and when they asked him, I was pretty much like ‘you go & cut that cord mister…it is not hard after what I just did!’  ;)  The first breastfeeding went well, and by the time we got transferred to the recovery room it was nearly 2am. Unfortunately our nurse that night wasn’t that helpful, and she just wanted to cluster feed, and we were kind of lost being new parents on everything, and didn’t get to sleep until 7am…and then only for an hour. But my first hour of sleep in almost 48 hours  :) Got a couple more hours throughout that day, and our first visitors (the rest of David’s family, and some friends) that evening. The next evening we were sent home. My mom stayed with us for over a week & was SUCH a help with taking a shift each night, holding this baby that just wanted to be held allll the time  :)

<3 <3 <3 <3

I am SO THANKFUL to God, David, Connie, Jolie for everything they did, being there for me in the way I needed them. David for encouraging me through it, praying for me, helping in any way he could, exhausting his arms giving my lower back massages when contractions were 30 seconds apart, & always being by my side. Jolie for capturing the moments so beautifully…I am truly so glad you were there  :) And Connie, who really helped me so much, coaching me through the pain, counting for me, reminding me to relax my shoulders, guiding me in pushing, encouraging me & reciting Psalm 23, telling me how perfectly the birth was going so far, & breathing with me (wow that’s a lot of me’s!). But really, I am sooo glad David & I made the decision to have a doula, and that she really was the perfect doula for us!! THANK YOU Connie  <3 And to the Lord…for seeing me through natural birth! I hadn’t been sure I could do it, but with Him & all the prayers of friends & family that day…the birth could NOT have gone more perfectly, seriously!! This from a girl who when she was little decided she didn’t want kids because she was scared of the pain. David & I are thankful for all the prayers for this little one & how she came into the world. And we are IMMENSELY blessed by our baby girl. <3  <3


Hospital stay pictures…

[All pictures of Baby Tree & I, taken by David with me setting the camera settings. Pictures of David & Baby Tree, taken by me. Pictures of the three of us, taken by my mom/David’s mom with me setting the camera settings.]

*melting Daddy’s heart*




Once we were home…she’s a week old here..


I love this man sooooooooo much. He was so wonderful the first weeks with her…indescribable <3


Haha  :)

Not sure, but this might be the start of a new [personal] series of photos…

Thank you to everyone who wrote us, congratulating us. We are so blessed in every way! PRAISE GOD!

PS: the winner of the Starbucks gift card from my facebook page birth guessing post is…my sister-in-law (who’s also pregnant with a girl!) Melissa, with her guess of Feb 26th & 7 lbs! CONGRATS! And there were several guesses with the exact birth weight too…wow you guys are good!  :)

PPS: To view other related photos..

Baby Tree Announcement Photos by Michelle March.

Gender Reveal Photos. (It’s a girl!)

Bump Photos Weeks 13-18. (including a very tiny Iso!)

Bump Photos Weeks 19-26. (including Iso outtakes)

Bump Photos Weeks 27-32. (including David outtakes)

Bump Photos Weeks 32-36.

My Baby Shower.

My Maternity Photos by Esther Louise.


<3 <3 <3 <3


<3 <3 <3 <3

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