^i wanted to share these so you're welcome that i added the stars ;)
i honestly do not understand how i keep seeing girls who look amazing during labor! even some who went natural look like rockstars. definitely a little envious considering i'm more than a mess during and even after labor. tanner took these photos and i remember him asking me if i wanted photos of the actual birth and i said no, but to just be with me and in the moment. i think he liked taking pictures to keep his mind off of what was happening. i'm glad i have these pictures to look at though because i was out of my mind and these show it haha. i definitely want a photographer at our next birth.
florence ivory - 4.18.16
5 lbs 15 ozs
21 inches long
florence's birth was crazy. i had lost my mucus plug at 37 weeks, two days prior to labor but everything i read said labor could start soon or in a few weeks. so i didn't know what to think of that, only knew my body was gearing up for it. i had contractions during most of my pregnancy and felt normal so i agreed to go with tanner to the city of rocks, 3 hours away from boise, to film for proof. we left around 5:30 in the morning and headed on the road with our dog cuba, 4 other people piled in the back seat, and towing our airstream. i was really uncomfortable during the drive and had tanner stop 3 or 4 times so i could stretch and go to the bathroom. we were out at the city of rocks for a few hours filming and taking photos and at one point i hopped over a fence and remember feeling something weird in my 'hooha' and gave tanner an uncomfortable look. he asked if i was okay and i said yes, but something just felt really weird when i jumped over the fence. i don't know if that's what got labor started but we got back on the road 2 hours after that incident and i started having contractions in the car. at first i just thought i was getting diarrhea and had to go to the bathroom. my contractions felt exactly like when i get a stomach bug. truly, it didn't even cross my mind that they were contractions because i expected them to feel different? i had tanner pull off at a gas station so i could try using the bathroom but nothing came out.. i was just extremely uncomfortable and once we got back into the car, i pulled my pants off of my stomach because just the pressure was bothering me. our friends were talking in the back seat, we had music playing, tanner was on the phone and i'm in the passenger seat thinking... wait a minute... am i in labor? we had joked about it on the drive down saying we could deliver the baby in the airstream but i felt fine then. i'll never forget the first contraction, that i FINALLY realized was a contraction.. tanner was on the phone and my whole body tensed and i couldn't help shake my leg really hard to deal with the pain. i grabbed the handle by the window, breathed really deep and was arching my back because my lower back was killing me. i didn't say anything because nobody noticed what i was doing. i started watching the clock and going okay, that was 4 minutes apart, about 4 in a half, okay back to 4 minutes.. at this point tanner was pulling off an exit to go the the bruneau sand dunes to finish the photo shoot. i told tanner i really wasn't feeling good and didn't think we should go to the sand dunes. i felt bad because everyone was planning on doing it so i apologized and said i needed to go home and lay down. then, for the first time mentioned that i maybe, might be, feel like i could be, in labor. i didn't want to alarm anyone.. it's a dang good thing we headed back to boise because it wasn't long after that my contractions really kicked in. they were 2 minutes apart and we had an hour left to the hospital. the car was now quiet and they turned the music off.. i hated that because i didn't want them all watching me fight through the pain, but i'm going to brag and say i did an amazing job haha. i was mostly silent during my labor and was focusing on keeping the baby in. we got off an exit in boise and got into our friends car so we didn't have to haul the airstream to the hospital. the second i got into the car and away from everyone was when i let it alllll out.. words that will not be repeated and i started to panic thinking we weren't going to make it. i had never been more relieved to see the hospital in my life. tanner pulled up to the ER and a nurse ran out with a wheel chair and said he knew where i was headed. they ran me down the halls, like in the movies, and the second i saw the bed i started ripping my clothes off. they checked me and i was an 8, no time for an epidural ( i was hoping for natural but at that point wanted the epidural. ) they then brought me into labor and delivery and i remember looking at the clock, 6:30 and thinking this baby will be here before 7. trying to wait for them to put on the contraction and heart monitor nearly killed me. i hated having that pressure on my belly. holding still for the nurse to put in my IV was actually worse! finally, a nurse told me to get on my hands and knees to help with the back labor. she pushed on my lower back during the contractions and that was the first (tiny) ounce of relief i felt. i was stark naked and the same sweet nurse brought me a hospital gown to give me some decency haha. at this point, i remember a piece of advice a friend gave me and she said to just 'give in to the pain.' i had been fighting it to prevent having a baby in the car but now i could just give in. i felt like i was going to throw up and at that point i didn't tell anyone that i needed to push, because i was afraid they were going to tell me to wait. so, i pushed on my next contraction which ended up breaking my water. everywhere. it went everywhere! i was still on my hands and knees and yelled out that i needed to push! then i looked at tanner, quite frantic asking what was going on with my.. mhmm, butthole! then i asked if it was possible to give labor through your butt??! the pressure was unbelievable! but oh man, i pushed on that next contraction and felt her head come out and that feeling was something i can't describe. pure relief. my next push and she was out. i turned over to my back and they handed her to me, still covered in vernix and i was able to hold her skin to skin while they stitched me up. i had a two degree tear, but it wasn't bad. the first thing i noticed was her red hair.. i wanted a redhead and was surprised that hers was so noticeable. i couldn't believe how beautiful she was! i just stared at her in complete awe. they let me nurse her for a while and then eventually took her to get her measurements. they left the vernix on to let it absorb into her skin. for not having time to tell them what i would like as my "birth plan" it went more than perfect. after i gave birth naturally, i had the thought that i did not care to do that again, haha. but now that time has passed, i would like to have all my babies naturally. the doctor on call who delivered her said that in future pregnancies, the moment i feel the first contraction i need to start making my way to the hospital or else i could have them in the car or at home since labor tends to be faster with each baby. my total labor with florence was two in a half hours.
we spent a total of 24 hours in the hospital and were more than ready to go home. it's just too busy there with nurses and others coming and going at all hours. florence has been one of the greatest joys in my life. she has brought so much healing and a completeness to our family. she looked so much like ivory as a newborn and that was such a beautiful gift to me. she was fussy for her first few months and didn't like to be put down but i savored all the moments of holding her and especially when she would fall asleep on my chest. she is my best friend and i love having her with me everyday. i swear tanners sole purpose is to be a dad. he proves to be the most loving father everyday. he lights up when he see her and she loves to be with him. i love watching them hang out and seeing tanner genuinely want to show her the world and have her with him. i miss ivory, terribly, but i've had more then enough confirmations that her life here was how it was supposed to be and that she is doing a greater work. there has not been a moment of feeling less, because she is not here, but only feeling more content with life now. she is very much a part of our family and we feel her near. i love my family and can't wait to continue to watch it grow.