Welcome to this beautiful world. You decided to arrive six days early. On Sunday morning, July 27th, your dad and I went for a long walk around our neighborhood in Kensington. Later in the afternoon, I decided to go for another walk with my good friend Sydney, this time around Lake Murray, while your dad played tennis with Steve. I started to feel a little uncomfortable, but I figured that was normal, being nine months pregnant and walking in the late July heat. At this point I wasn’t sure if I was in early labor. We went home and decided to have one last evening out-just the two of us. We had wanted to try this fancy Argentinian restaurant in Downtown San Diego. I took a shower and squeezed into the nicest outfit that I could manage to fit into. At 7:40 PM, just as we were getting ready to head out the door, my water broke.
I stayed surprisingly calm, while your dad scrambled around the house and frantically stuffed the last minute items into our hospital bag. We called triage and were instructed to come right in. In the car, your dad was on the phone calling what seemed like a million different people to let them know that I was in labor; including our Doula and good friend Jennifer. Meanwhile, he almost missed the turn off to the hospital, and I had to reminded him several times to breathe and to calm down. During our drive, I started feeling contractions. They were strong, but not yet painful and were coming around every 5 minutes. Once we parked at the hospital, your dad reached for my hand, looked into my eyes and reassured me that there was no one in the world that he would rather be on this journey with. At that moment we both realized that our lives were about to change forever.
By the time we checked into the hospital, it was 8:20 PM and I was dilated to 3 1/2 centimeters. The Midwife told us that she expected me to have a small baby, around six pounds, and that I would probably deliver after about 24 hours. Your dad’s jaw dropped open at the expected time frame. 24 hours? He hadn’t anticipated such a long labor. While we waited to check into the delivery room, our Doula Jennifer arrived. I immediately felt at ease, having a calm, nurturing, and loving support person with us.
At this point in the evening everything began to blur. We moved into a delivery room, and the contractions came on much stronger and more frequently. I planned all along to have a natural birth, without drugs or an epidural. My plan was to walk around the hospital, use the birthing ball, take a hot shower, and practice breathing techniques. I had the confidence that I’d be able to endure the pain. It couldn’t be that bad, right? Women had given birth naturally since the beginning of time. After all, I had completed an Ironman triathlon just 18 months before, how much harder could childbirth be?
My labor progressed very quickly, I dilated from 3 1/2 to 10 centimeters in three hours. The only birthing technique I attempted was walking around the hall. That didn’t last long, just a few steps out the door, and I collapsed onto the floor in withering pain. A nurse told us that we needed to get back inside our room because I was scaring other patients. Once inside our room, I was in so much pain that I vomited all over the floor, and all over your dad and Jennifer. I lied down on the floor, and labored there for the remainder of the night. Between contractions, I rested my face on the cold, smooth floor to try to feel some relief. Repeatedly, the nurse asked if I wanted to move into the bed, but I felt the most comfortable on the floor. She offered me the option of an epidural several times, but I declined.
Through all of this your dad was absolutely amazing. He never left my side, not even for a minute. He held my hand and reassured me that I could do this. With each contraction I screamed louder and louder until I thought I might actually die from the pain. I remember your dad told me that I was the strongest and most beautiful woman he knew. I thought about how labor was one thousand times more painful than I had ever imagined. I made a mental note of all the women that I had known in my lifetime, who had labored naturally through childbirth. I thought about the strength and courage of these women. I imagined looking at you for the first time, and holding you in my arms; that was the only image that got me through the pain.
After three hours of labor, I begged the doctor to check my progress. At this point my contractions were only about 30 seconds apart and I was experiencing excruciating amounts of pain. The doctor informed me that I was ready to push. I screamed that I didn’t want to push, that it hurt too bad. Your dad smiled and reassured me that I had to push. I was so eager to meet you that I pushed as hard as I could, until my face was red and my jaw was sore. I pushed for one hour, and then you arrived into this beautiful world.
Your dad saw you first, then the doctor placed you in my arms. I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. You were absolutely perfect in every way. You had a cute little nose, a full head of dark hair, and a look of peaceful contentment on your face. You didn’t even cry. You just looked up at me with your perfect little almond shaped eyes. You were beautiful in every way. Your dad kissed me, then he kissed you. I was struck with love and gratitude for him, for you, and for our little family. You were born on July 28, 2014 at 12:03 AM. You weighed 8 pounds and 11 ounces and were 21 inches long.
Scarlett, you will never begin to know how much your dad and I love you. We are so grateful for this gift of life, and that we were chosen to be your parents.