When Evan and I found out I was pregnant, we were both so scared but excited. Okay Evan was mainly scared I was mainly excited haha. The pregnancy came as a little bit of a surprise only because we had kind of joked about “trying” and didn’t think that we would get pregnant so quickly, and by so quickly I mean one and done. I was excited, thankful, scared, and surprised that we got pregnant after the first try. I remember taking the test twice and after the second one read positive I sat down and cried out of both fear and thankfulness. I knew what a blessing it was to be able to get pregnant when so many women I knew went through years of pain and heartache because of infertility, or are still going through it.
Although I was so thankful and excited, I didn’t have the pregnancy I expected. Week 6 was when my morning sickness started and it came on so strong and kicked my A$$. Seriously though, it was the worst nausea i’ve ever experienced and for about 7 weeks straight I sat in my bed almost all day everyday except to go to the bathroom to pee, shower, or throw up. If you are reading this and you have gone through severe morning sickness, you know it’s a special type of hell. It was miserable, actually it was downright depressing. I didn’t know how to be excited about being pregnant when I was feeling SO sick 24/7. There were many tears shed and prayers pleaded. I could write a lot about this experience, and probably will another time, but it will suffice to say that my morning sickness slowly got less intense but never fully went away, and even the tiny bit it did let up over the 9 months was a miracle (and an answer to my many prayers) and made me feel good. I couldn’t have done it without Zofran or Unisom either, that was my combo that worked best. Zofran in the morning and Unisom at night. I had read a ton about “natural” methods to relieve morning sickness, and after trying pretty much everything (ginger, tea, motion sickness bands, bland food, small meals all day), medication was the only thing that took off the edge. And thank goodness! I’m a huge believer in doing what works best and makes you feel the best. 🙂
Other than the morning sickness, I was physically doing great until the round ligament pain in my 3rd trimester. Ooooh buddy it was bad. It was the worst when I was in bed laying on my side (which was obviously the only way I could sleep being pregnant). We actually went to labor and delivery the first night it set in because it was so severe and I had no idea what was going on. It felt like my groin muscles were tearing apart. UGH. When we went in they checked on everything and said that I looked good and that it was round ligament pain most likely and that I could take tylenol at night to help it out. So that was fun! Haha.I have to say though that despite the pain and exhaustion from the morning sickness and RLP, I was always so happy and grateful that I was healthy, that my body was creating a beautiful human, and that it was doing it really well! Our nurse raved at our 20 week anatomy scan that Holland looked wonderful and that her little body was developing perfectly.
A few of my other favorite memories from being pregnant were when we found out she was a girl (surprised both of us because we felt like we would have a boy first), I felt her kick for the first time (and when Even was able to feel her kick and move around), and when she would hiccup in my tummy. It was always so obvious and cute! She was such a squirmy baby inside my belly which I actually LOVED, and she definitely hasn’t changed ha.
March finally arrived and we were just about as prepared as we could be. Evan and I went on what we thought was our “last” dinner date on March 25th. We were excited for baby of course but also wanted to savor our last few days together as just “Us”. Evan and I both really enjoyed having 3 years as just the two of us to finish school, work, and travel. We were able to spend a lot of time together doing things we loved and making our relationship a priority. I am thankful for those years and will cherish the just “Us” stage forever.
Holland was due March 27th, and of course that day came and went ha. We went to my 40 week appointment on March 28th and still not much progression. I was dilated to a 1.5 and 70% effaced, still. I hadn’t had any contractions or signs of any. So my Dr set us up with a time for induction on Sunday April 2nd if baby had still not come. They said they would start me on pitocin on Sunday and more than likely we would have her on Monday because I was a first timer and labor would most likely be long. I was nervous to be induced for some reason and was hoping I would go into labor naturally before then. The last week of pregnancy was rough as my body was so tired and belly was so heavy and tight! My whole body was pretty swollen too, by that week I weighed 170lbs. I had gained a solid 45 pounds and could feel it!
So we prepared and planned for Sunday and made sure we had everything ready to go. I packed my hospital bag early in the week and sent out texts to family and friends letting them know we would have a baby by Monday! The nice part about planning on being induced was the ability to plan and prepare for the exact day and time we would arrive at the hospital, that way I could eat lunch, do my hair and makeup, and not have to worry about waiting to go to labor and delivery until I was in pain from contractions. BUTTTT obviously Holland had other plans ;).
Friday, March 31 I woke up at 3AM to some small cramps, not unusual during my pregnancy so I didn’t get too excited or worried that they were contractions (even though they were) and fell back asleep. Woke up again at 4AM, cramps (contractions) were worse but when I got up to go to the bathroom they subsided so I figured they might be an onset of very mild contractions that wouldn’t turn into labor labor contractions. Woke up again at 5:30AM cramps (contractions) were pretty strong and lasting about 15-20 seconds, started to think that maybe I was in real labor because this had not happened before and the timing was how the Dr describe labor contractions to me. Now you might be thinking, “How on earth did you not know you were in labor by this point?” Haha. Being a first time mom I had no idea what to expect from contractions, and at this point they felt like really bad period cramps, but I couldn’t decide if they were strong enough to be actual labor pains. Also I was worried that if I went to the hospital too early they would turn us away because I wasn’t dilated enough or something weird. I’ve heard plenty of stories about being turned away and having to come back to the hospital even though the pain was horrendous! And i figured why not just endure these pains at home as long as possible in my comfy bed rather than in the hospital waiting room or something. Made sense to me Haha.
So anyways, I took a bath and didn’t feel them anymore, so I went back to sleep and at 6:30AM I was woken up by one that caused some serious pain. I asked Evan to time them just to make sure, and for about 30 min they started to be 5-7 minutes apart. By 7:15 Evan said “Hey, I think this is it, these are really close together” At this point I knew I was in labor, for real! I had just rolled out of bed thinking maybe I would have time to somewhat get ready or put a little makeup on or idk maybe even brush my teeth or something! Haha but they were so painful that I literally got out of bed, grabbed my hospital bag, put my hair in a ponytail, threw on of one of Evan’s big sweaters and the nearest pair of leggings sitting on my floor and we left!
Luckily we only live 3-4 minutes away from the hospital. Which was amazing. I had 2 contractions in the car but was still able to talk with Ev and even joke about how it was really happening and were having a baby! We got into the hospital and only one girl was in the waiting room with me. It was about 7:45AM. She was relaxed and dressed and looked all cute, and I was a hot mess demanding I get a room asap haha. After arriving, I was taken to a room pretty quick and setup to check contractions and dilation. The nurse let us know that if I wasn’t dilated enough they may have to send me back home. Yikes, that was my fear. BUT thankfully I was admitted by 8AM because I was already dilated to a 3.5, about 90% effaced contracting regularly and strong. Our nurse was AMAZING. She was young, funny, and super reassuring and helpful. I prayed for a good nurse and honestly recognized that prayer was answered as soon as I met her. Our room was big and nice. It was just Evan and I at the hospital for about 4 hours. It was nice to just be with him and soak up those precious moments before we met our baby. He was so awesome, I couldn’t have married a better guy. So at about 8:30AM my nurse offered me a painkiller because the anesthesiologist wouldn’t be up for an hour with the epidural. Nooooo haha. I was so ready for the epidural. but I decided not to take the painkiller as I heard it could cause serious nausea. Nausea and contractions? No thanks! So I breathed through contractions for the hour before he got there. The worst contractions came when i had just been given the epidural. Omg. That was definitely some of the worst pain I’ve felt in my life for sure. They were SO bad, like almost passed out bad. I was bawling. But after the epidural set in it was wonderful! The epidural part was SO fast and I seriously just felt a small pressure in my back, no pain, no problems, Took about 30 min to fully set in and it was heaven.
By 10AM and I was dilated to a 4.5/5. After that we just joked around, and talked with family. My Mom, Sister, Niece, Mother and Father In Law came before the delivery. I ate pineapple flavored ice chips and just hung out. By 12pm I was dilated to a 7. By 1pm I was at an 8. The nurse kept saying how quick my body was dilating and that she was excited as it was going so well, and even though I couldn’t feel the contractions she said they looked beautiful and were progressing really well and strong! She then told me that at this point that they were going to break my water because we were getting close and it just wasn’t breaking on it’s own. So my Dr arrived and broke it for me, took two seconds and I didn’t feel a thing. She then started to tell us that baby had a bowel movement in utero and would need to be checked once she was born by a NICU nurse and a respiratory Dr. Just so she didn’t inhale any stool when she came out to breathe. Sarah (my Dr.) said this was common and that she wasn’t worried at all as baby wasn’t in distress and everything else still looked good. Still kinda scary to hear though!
By 2PM I had reached 10 cm and was 100% effaced. The nurse came in and said we would start pushing until hear head was ready to come out then she would call Sarah back in. We pushed for 30 min. My nurse had my right leg, Evan had my left, and my Mom watched the contraction monitor and gave words of encouragement :). Pushing was exhausting haha. Holding your breath for 10 seconds and pushing hard is rough. But that epidural made it super awesome as far was what I felt, which was really nothing. Ha. I remember thinking oh, this is actually not bad at ALL as far as pain or pressure is concerned. I kind of love that Evan was so involved. He was able to watch the whole thing as he helped with my legs and then Sarah had him keep holding while she delivered Holland. Evan kept saying I can see her head, she has dark hair! At 2:45PM Holland Jeane Vilos came into the world. It was so funny because Sarah and my nurse both said “wow! That’s a big baby. She’s huge! Haha.” We all laughed, and I cried because I heard her little cry for the first time and it was adorable. I also noticed her perfect little lips. They were so pretty. She was 8lbs 11oz. Almost a 9lb baby! They also said my placenta was huge. Looked really healthy though. I did try to eat super well during pregnancy so I guess that could have helped ;). Sarah stayed for a min to stitch me up, she said that I had teared naturally just a little and only needed a few stitches. She said it looked really good though and was a “good tear” ha. Which I was also so thankful for. While she was stitching me up up she said, “You did amazing for a first time baby, next time you have a baby you definitely do not want to wait so long at home, you’ll probably have a super quick labor based off of this one!” Ha kinda nice to hear. 🙂
After after she was born, they took Holland and cleaned her off, which she didn’t really need much of. The NICU nurse and Respiratory person checked her and left super quick so Sarah said that meant everything was good. They gave her a little hat and put her in a blanket and then brought her to my chest. She Immediately lifted her head and opened her eyes! She was not sleepy at all. It was so cute. She was beautiful and already seemed so aware and alert. She was also “rooting” or looking to eat immediately! So they said I could actually try breastfeeding right away because she was obviously looking. So she latched on no problem and was sucking. CRAZY. It was so insane that she knew exactly what to do so quickly. She had only been in the world for like 15 min!
Anyways, after that it’s all an awesome, wonderful blur. She did fall asleep and everyone got to hold her. Our families left around 4pm so that we could go down to our recovery room. We went down with Holland and got food and water and relaxed. It was the best day ever. I wish I could go back and relive it. There’s just something so special and life changing about the moment you actually deliver and see your baby for the first time. I was in so much awe that a sweet little human came into the world because of my body. It was miraculous really. She is so special and such a blessing to us. Still can’t believe we have a daughter and she has been home with us for 2 months almost! She seems so independent already and is so aware of her surroundings. I’m excited to see how she grows and for her little personality to blossom.