I’ll let Hazel’s mama tell her beautiful story in her own words but wanted to leave you with one quick thought:
If you are on the fence about having a photographer for your birth, please take a look at these images and let them change your mind and your heart.
Thank you again Kelly and Jared for letting me be a part of something so special and sacred. I literally have no words to express what an honor it really was.
Born December 16th 2014 at 7: 51 am
Hazel has been surprising us from the moment I found out I was pregnant with her. When my husband and I decided to try for another baby, my ONLY stipulation was that I did NOT want our baby to be born in the busy month of December since my husband and I both have December birthdays. So while we were trying, we took precautions to make sure I wouldn’t get pregnant in March but apparently we weren’t cautious enough because just a few weeks later, I learned that we would in fact be having a December baby.
When we went in for my first checkup to hear the heartbeat, two different nurses couldn’t seem to find one. Immediately terror went through us as we started to prepare for the worst but hope for the best. The doctor came in with an ultrasound machine and after a bit of searching, found our baby and found a heartbeat. Both our relieved sighs were audible! That’s when we learned that the reason the nurses couldn’t find a heartbeat before was because apparently I was two weeks behind in my pregnancy than we thought due to an irregular ovulation cycle. So, instead of being due during the first week in December, my new due date was now during the week of Christmas. My doctor could tell in my pleading eyes that I would rather not have my child on Christmas Eve so he kindly offered the suggestion of inducing me a week early. The only time he could possibly do the induction that week was on December 16th, which also happens to be my husband’s birthday. After pouting for a while because I wasn’t happy about my husband and future child having to share their birthday for the rest of their lives, my sweet husband touched my shoulder, looked me deep in my eyes and said, “I can’t think of a better birthday gift can you? Plus, I’ve always wanted a princess party, now I have an excuse.” I smiled back at my joking husband and told the doctor to schedule the induction for the 16th.
Fast forward to December 15th, 2014.
We celebrated my husband’s birthday a day in advance before dropping off our daughter with my parents so we wouldn’t have to worry about it when we left to the hospital in the morning. We got home from my parents around 9:00 p.m. and realized I hadn’t finishing packing mine or the babies bags in preparation for the next morning (typical me.) My husband went to bed around 11:00 p.m. while I stayed up keeping myself busy making sure I had everything ready while simultaneously going into full blown “nesting mode.”
I fell asleep around 2:00 am, I awoke just 30 minutes later with what I told myself was a nervous tummy. I ambled to the bathroom and sat there for 20 minutes with nothing happening except feeling my “tummy pain” turned into intense back pain. I was so exhausted only have gotten 30 minutes of sleep that I went back to bed thinking it would pass. Not 20 minutes later I was back in the bathroom wondering if my kidneys were failing because the pain in my lower back was so intense. I finally had the intelligent thought to google “back labor” and as I read the symptoms realized that Hazel wasn’t done surprising us yet. I remember looking down at my belly saying, “You couldn’t have waited just 7 more hours for when I was PLANNING to have you?!” Almost in answer, I felt a strong surge of pain in my belly which told me I needed to wake up my husband to take me to the hospital….FAST.
My husband rushed me to the hospital around 3:15 a.m. with frazzled hair, red tired eyes, anxiety riddled on my face still in my pajamas, but none of that mattered when I realized we were about to meet our daughter. We got to the labor and delivery floor where the nurses contemplated checking my progress before admitting me into a room but quickly realized I was further along than they thought.
They got me gowned up and into the bed so the doctor could come check my progress. We didn’t wait long before the doctor came in and while checking me he said, “Wow, you are dilated to an 8+ already!” Being that I started feeling labor pains around 2:30 and it was only 3:30 a.m. that’s a pretty quick progression. The first words out of my mouth were, “Am I too late for an epidural?” The doctor smiled and said, “I don’t think so, not if we hurry and call him, let’s see where the anesthesiologists at.” I was doing my best to talk steady through the pain at this point but I believe I said something like, “YES, LET’S HURRY!” I received my epidural just in time since I was quickly approaching my pain threshold which finally also allowed me a moment of mental clarity.
As soon as I was somewhat relaxed, I asked my husband to call my mother and to set out the photo of my grandma who had recently passed. My grandma and I have always shared a strong bond and I was there when she passed away this summer with Hazel just 24 weeks old in my belly. I was heartbroken that she wouldn’t be able to meet Hazel in person but I felt certain that she was there in that hospital room with me.
The doctor came back in and checked me to see how Hazel was progressing which is when he learned that she was posterior. I told the doctor that Hazel delights in surprising us and asked what he suggested. I was asked to lay as far as I could on my left side with my right foot up in a stirrup in an uncomfortable scissor type position for an hour. Apparently this position has been shown to have a high success rate of helping babies flip.
After about 45 minutes of laying in this position I started to feel a heavy aching pain in my pelvis region which had me urgently asking for the nurses out of concern.
The nurses came in and we were both happy to learn that Hazel had in fact flipped so she was now face down. The reason I was in so much pain was due to the fact that my epidural had basically sloshed to my left side from being tilted in that position for so long and I was no longer numb. That’s right about the time the doctor came in and told me he was ready for me to start pushing. Wait, was I ready?? I didn’t get long to think about it as another contraction seized my thoughts and told me that ready or not, I was about to meet our daughter. The doctor realizing I wasn’t fully numbed, gave me a local shot to help with the pain and within 5 minutes, I began to push. Everything at this point was happening so fast and the whole process of me pushing is a blur as it went by so quickly.
After only 20 minutes of pushing, feeling more of the pain and pressure than I probably should with an epidural, the bonds of heaven and earth crossed paths for a singular moment and in that moment our daughter was born. As soon as Hazel was out she began to cry and cry and so did we.
Words seem so insignificant as I try to describe the joy and the future that flashed before me when I first locked eyes with my daughter. In that moment when she was placed on my chest and we looked at one another I saw future hugs and kisses, toddler tantrums, first bike rides, starting school, her first dance recital, soccer practices, driving lessons, first crushes, prom dresses, her first heartbreak, fights and makeups with her older sister and years and years of memories. So many possible futures, so many foreseeable ups and downs and so many levels of love and joy passed between us, all in one look.
As I held my daughter’s tiny hand in mine, I marveled at the capacity such a small baby has in evoking such large emotions within us. At just 5 lbs 14 oz, Hazel was already showing us that though she was small in size, her ability to wrap us around her little finger was greater than we could have ever anticipated.