Rowan Anderson joined our little family on August 6, 2019 at 2:33 pm. She weighed 7lbs 7 oz and was 19.5 inches long. She is the perfect addition to our family and is just a bundle of joy. I have been so excited to share her birth story because it was such an incredible experience. I have never loved someone so instantaneously, but we couldn’t imagine life without her!
So if you can remember at 33 weeks we had our preterm labor scare. After we got everything under control I was put on bedrest, but my doctor was convinced that she would end up coming early, and so were we. Once I hit 37 weeks we were ready for her, but she decided to stay put! So after weeks of being dilated to a 5, then being dilated to a 6 we ended up scheduling an induction date for August 6, 2019. My doctor didn’t want to run the risk of me dilating further, but we had to wait until I was 39 weeks.
So she told us to call early the morning of our induction date to see when they wanted us to come in. The night before Colin and I went on our very “last date” just the two of us. After we spent time at home and made sure everything was going to be ready for the next day. I took a sleeping pill because I knew I was going to be too nervous and excited to sleep! Just like Christmas…We both ended up sleeping horribly and were up at 5:00 am to get things ready.
I knew I was going to be at the hospital all day so I got up, got showered and got semi ready. I called the hospital at 5:30 am. They said the night before had been busy so they would call us when they were ready. Colin ended up calling a half hour early because he was so dang excited. They told us to come in at 8:00 am to have baby girl!
Walking into the hospital knowing you were going to have a baby was such a crazy experience. We were going to finally get to use our carseat, see what she looked like, and experience all the new parent things. Not to mention give birth…
Once we got to our room and got settled, they hooked me up to all the monitors and kept in contact with my doctor. Since I was already dilated to a 6, she wanted to break my water to help speed things along. I absolutely wanted an epidural, so they paged the anesthesiologist to come get things set up. I figure if you can make birth as painless as possible, that is the way I want to do it!
I’ll be honest, I was nervous to give birth, but getting the epidural was the part I was most nervous for. I HATE needles and almost pass out when I get an IV, so I was stressing over the epidural. Once he got there I sat on the bed hunched over my belly (while Colin is holding my hands in front of me), and was ready to get it over with. It did sting a bit when he numbed the area for the needle, but what really got me was when he had to put the epidural catheter in. The bed was elevated slightly, so it made my spine tilt. When he put the catheter in it was pushing on bundles of nerves which was painful. It took him 3 try’s to get it in the right place.
Once it was in I was sweating and my muscles were tense and cramped all over. My neck muscles were actually so tense that it made my voice sound hoarse for the rest of the day. Even though I had a rough go with the epidural, once it was in it was HEAVEN. I did not feel one single contraction! Hallelujah.
After I was good and numb my doctor came in to break my water. She checked my cervix and I was still dilated to a 6, so she broke my water, and what an interesting experience while being numb. Lots of fluid and it was very warm. (Sorry for the TMI, but I figure I want to remember all the details.) After she was finished I was started on Pitocin and left to chill!
Shortly after our parents started to show up, as well as our photographer and videographer. Now all we had to do was wait! Labor with an epidural is a lot more calm that I imaged it would be. Of course the movies make it dramatic, but I honestly drank water/juice, chatted with my family and rested because I was super tired. Colin also kept track of all the guesses from friends and family. We had a running competition on our white board to see who was going to be closest on weight, and time of birth.
Over the coarse of the morning they kept checking to see how dilated I was. Once I was dilated to an 8 at around 12:00 pm, they had me put this peanut ball in-between my legs while I laid on my side to help dilate me further. Let me tell you, when you are numb from the stomach down you can’t turn over, lift your legs…NOTHING. So Colin and our nurse had to help roll me onto my side, lift my legs and get me situated. Then they had to move me to the other side and do the whole process over again. It was quite comical, and definitely a sensation I won’t forget!
After sitting with the peanut ball for about an hour, they came to see if I had dilated any further. Surprisingly I was dilated to a 10 and ready to push! Cue the nerves and adrenaline! BUT…they had me do some practice pushes and I was so numb I couldn’t tell if I was pushing or not. So they decided to wait a half hour until 1:30 pm to let me epidural wear off a little so I could feel myself pushing.
Once my epidural had worn off just enough that I could feel the pressure of the contractions and they said I was ready, it was a whirlwind of commotion. Tables were moved and prepped, nurses came in to get ready for baby, my legs were hoisted into position, and it was time to start pushing!
I was super nervous and Colin knew it. This was our first baby and I had no idea what birth was like. I had never seen a birth or personally experienced a birth, so I didn’t quite know what to expect. Every birth is different. It could be easy, it could be hard, or there could be complications. Colin made sure to hold my hand when I wasn’t pushing, and he kept cracking jokes to ease my nerves. He honestly made it a million times better. The perfect partner.
They would have me push in sets of 3 counting down from 10 seconds. It was so hard and I wasn’t sure how much progress I was making, but I sure didn’t want that mirror (haha). I kept crying in-between pushes because 1) my hormones and emotions were running high, and 2) they kept saying, “Oh we can see her head! She has a ton of hair!”
Pushing was also pretty silent. No screams or yelling like the movies. Just my silent pushes and encouragement from Colin, my doctor and the nurses.
I started pushing at 1:45 pm and by 45 minutes later her head was half way out. Once we reached this point I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable because we let my epidural wear off a little before pushing. The epidural was still flowing, but at a lower dose. I told them I was starting to feel it, but they said, “She is literally almost here, so if I could wait for a couple more pushes she will be here, then we will get you more.” So I pushed 3 more times and she was here at 2:33 pm!
I thought she would all come out at once and start crying, but I delivered her head (no crying yet), then delivered her shoulders. That was definitely the most uncomfortable part, but there was something really neat about feeling her being delivered. It was a very special moment and I was glad the epidural was worn off enough for me to feel it. Once her shoulders were out, so was she and there was her first cry. Hearing her cry for the first time made the water works flow. She was here and she was real and crying! I never knew you could love a tiny person so much just by hearing them cry.
They placed her on my chest in a blanket and through all the tears I got to see my daughter for the first time. After carrying her for 9 months I honestly couldn’t believe she was already here! We were so ready to meet her, but it was such a surreal moment.
I was honestly a little nervous about this part too. I get grossed out by needles, blood and the like. So I was a little nervous for how I was going to react when they placed her on my without wiping her off. I am here to tell you that if you are nervous or worried about the same thing, that in the moment it doesn’t matter. That baby becomes the center of your universe and all you can think about is how perfect they are and how much you love them. (but they did wipe her off pretty good with the blanket before taking her to get measured and weighed.)
Just when I thought I couldn’t love Colin anymore, we became parents. Seeing him be emotional and see how happy and proud he was made my heart swell. We have done and experienced so many fun and amazing things over the past 6 years, but this is by far my favorite. I am so glad we got these first moments captured. They are so special and bring back all the memories of that day.
After a few moments of bliss looking at our beautiful little girl, they took her to get weighed and measured. Of course she cried the entire time, but newborn cries are so cute and so sad at the same time. I was happy to hear her cry to know that her lungs are working and she is okay.
Colin brought her back over and we did skin to skin for the first time. Oh, it was heaven. Having her sweet little body against mine for the first time was oh so special. It was amazing to have her in my arms instead of kicking me from the inside. I looked down and she was wide awake and those bright eyes were looking everywhere. She was so alert and looking up at me. I was just trying to soak in every single moment!
We all laughed because after being on my chest for only a couple minutes she was flipping the bird. Colin had to snap a quick picture and we joked she was mad that we evicted her from her warm home.
After some blissful moments of skin to skin she started sucking on her hand which was adorable! Honestly, everything she did, and still does, is adorable. So we got her to latch and took a swing at breastfeeding for the first time. It is amazing what their little bodies go through, and what their instincts are programed to do. The fact that they know how to breastfeed already is incredible. I was so glad I got to share this special little moment with my girl.
We spent the rest of the day resting, relaxing and staring at our perfect little newborn. We were obsessed from the moment we laid eyes on her. We were in the hospital for a couple days and couldn’t decide on a name…well I couldn’t decide. I had a favorite name while being pregnant and Colin’s favorite name was Rowan the whole time I was pregnant. I was convinced she was going to be what I wanted, but then she was born, and she didn’t look like what I wanted to name her.
We had a list of names and were constantly going over it. We would call her one name for a couple hours, then another name when the first one wouldn’t fit. The second day Colin said, let’s call her Rowan today. I didn’t want to essentially “give in” and name her what he wanted. Even though at a time I was obsessed with the name, and was ultimately the one who added it to our list of baby names. So we ended up calling her Rowan for most of the second day we were there.
By the third day we were prepping to go home and were in crunch time to pick a name. Colin really wanted Rowan, and I was still on the fence. I was a little sad to give up my favorite name for another, because I had been thinking about the name the whole time I was pregnant. But ultimately I couldn’t deny that she looked like a Rowan. So I shed a couple tears and we wrote Rowan Anderson on all the forms and sent them away. It was official, she was now our little baby Row, and has been ever since.
Ever since we came home she definitely has fit her name, and has been the sweetest little babe. She is full of smiles and has been since we were in the hospital (mostly while she is dreaming), and she is such a relaxed baby. She only fusses when she is hungry, tired, or needs a diaper. Otherwise she is asleep or wide awake and so alert.
We love you Row. Thanks for choosing us to be your parents.