Harpers Birth Story

 Here is the story of sweet Harper’s arrival on February 15th, 2012. 
We had a scheduled c-section because she was breech. Although I initially had hoped I would go into labor on my own, our doctors recommended that we schedule it so that it would not result in an emergency c-section. I actually began having some contractions on February 14th, but nothing strong enough or often enough to call the doctor. That night, my husband & I went out to dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day & the Eve of our baby’s birthday. I could hardly eat my dinner because I was so nervous & excited for what was to come. 
Wednesday morning, we arrived at the hospital at 5:30 am. All I could think about was how hungry I was & how badly I wanted some jelly toast. I was trying to keep my mind occupied. We got into our prep room, where the nurse hooked me up to my IV, which I was told was going to be the worst part. It was absolutely painless. My husband & I waited in there for a while alone waiting for me to finish the bag of fluids. Here we prayed & talked about how we couldn’t believe the day was finally here.

The nursing staff was so sweet & kept telling me I was going to do great. I think I told everyone who walked in the door how incredibly nervous I was over and over again.  I had to sit on the edge of the bed with my feet on a chair, hunched over a pillow for them to administer my epidural. At this point, I lost it. I started sobbing because I was terrified, just a huge rush of emotions. The poor anesthesiologist definitely thought I was a lunatic – he hadn’t even finished putting the tape on my back! They told me that I would feel a little sting & then some pressure. That’s exactly what I felt. It didn’t hurt at all.. It was sort of a scary feeling just knowing what was happening but no pain. As I sat there for a few minutes, both of my legs got warm & heavy. They had me cross my arms over my chest and lay back down. At this point I started shaking uncontrollably. My husband looked terrified as I lay there convulsing on the table, but again I didn’t feel any pain, just couldn’t shop shaking. The doctor was running late, so we had about 20 minutes to hang in the room while my epidural kicked in. My husband held my hand while we talked with the anesthesiologist & nurse for a while. At one point I remember saying “I am surprised I haven’t said very many curse words today yet!” …everyone burst out laughing as they informed me that I had definitely dropped a few. The mood in the room was very laid back, it helped me calm down & I was ready to go!

The doctor arrived & the nurses wheeled me into the OR. Such a surreal feeling. They asked Brandon to wait outside the room for just a few minutes while they prepped me. I hated that he couldn’t come in right away, I was so nervous! They moved me from one bed to another, where I was sure they were going to just drop me to the floor. They threw up the curtain right below my chest & laid my arms out on either side of me on some supporting contraptions. Finally Brandon came back into the room and rushed over to sit by me. I was so scared that I was going to have a panic attack, Brandon did an amazing job chatting my ear off to keep me calm. He was so sweet & calming during the entire process, I never would have made it through this without him.

Then, before I even realized that they had even started, I heard the doctor say “we have a butt! we have ten toes!” I then felt immense pressure in my ribs, I remember telling Brandon that I thought they were breaking my ribs at that point. I could feel them pulling her out, it was painful but somehow amazing knowing what was happening at the same time. And then we heard the faintest little cry.  I burst into tears as the nurse said “Girl! 8:22 am! Congratulations!” The nurse grabbed our camera & told Brandon to come see her. He was yelling across the room to me “She is beautiful! Jess, wait til you see her!”

After what seemed like forever but was probably only a minute or two, Brandon brought our beautiful baby girl over to me. It was the most amazing moment of my entire life.
She wasn’t crying anymore, she was so calm just staring at us. I couldn’t believe this little, tiny baby just came out of my belly & I already loved so incredibly much.

I laid there holding her & rubbing her head, soaking up our first few moments as a family of three, while they stitched me up. I had never been happier in my entire life.
Harper’s birth was the most incredible, wonderful experience that I ever could have imagined. I will never, ever forget those first precious moments of her life & I am so happy we got pictures to document it.
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