Thursday, March 21, 2013


     Hi everyone and welcome! I'll be honest and say that I'm a little surprised that I find myself wanting to blog, but since becoming a mom just over 2 months ago, I feel like I constantly have thoughts and ideas and things in my head that I want to write down and remember (especially during 4am feedings!), and since I'm not really a journaller (is that a word?) I thought this might work. It's also a way of keeping our families and friends who live far away updated and in the loop. We'll see how long it lasts!

     I feel like I need to first give an explanation as to this blog's title. Those of you that know Spanish realize that I'm referring to my baby as "my little creature", which may come across as a bit odd. Before Tessa was born, her dad and I read a parenting book and in it, the author explains that the Spanish use the word "criatura" to describe newborn babies, because initially they seem so helpless and unprepared for life outside the womb. Once Tessa arrived and we had spent a few hours watching her make her funny faces and noises and jerky, uncoordinated movements, we found ourselves agreeing with this comparison and began affectionately calling her our little creature. So that's where the title comes from. It's in no way meant to be cold or cruel, in fact, it's very much a term of endearment that we occasionally use for our precious baby.

     I thought a good place to start off would be with Tessa's birth story for those who haven't already heard it.

     Tessa was due to arrive on January 5, 2013. Our doctor had sent us for a non-stress test that day and during the test I was having fairly regular Braxton Hicks contractions. They continued for the next 2-3 days and then stopped altogether. I had another non-stress test on January 9, and during that test I didn't even register one contraction. So I was mentally prepared to have to wait until our scheduled induction date of January 14.

     I went home and carried on with my day. By supper time I was starting to feel some mild cramping, but didn't really think much of it, as I had already been having similar cramping on and off for about a week or two. It was a Wednesday, and as he usually does on Wednesday evenings, Cam went to play basketball. I was feeling restless and didn't want to sit at home by myself, so I went to Walmart. I had a few things to pick up and I also wanted to walk to try and get things moving. By the time I got home around 8:30 the cramping was definitely getting worse, but was still very manageable. I was able to time a few contractions at about 5-6 minutes apart by the time we went to bed. I fell asleep around 11 but woke up at about 2:30am with very regular (3-5 minutes), but what I considered mild contractions. I knew I likely wasn't going to be able to go back to sleep and I didn't want to wake Cam, so I went to the living room and tried to get comfy on the couch so I could maybe doze off again. 

     I'm pretty sure I didn't sleep a wink the rest of the night. By 5am the contractions were getting considerably more painful but still right around 3-5 minutes apart. Cam got up around 7 since he was scheduled to sub that day. We discussed whether or not he should go in or call and cancel his day. I wasn't feeling the need to rush off to the hospital just yet, but we decided that it was probably best if he stayed home just in case. We were taking our time getting the last few things packed (mostly because I was starting to have trouble walking during contractions), and at about 9am I was in the bathroom grabbing my toothbrush when I heard a small pop and felt a gush. Yep, my water broke. I won't go into much more detail about that, but we kicked it into high gear to get out the door to the hospital.

     We arrived and got all checked in and settled in the assessment room. My contractions were coming fast and strong and I was having a tough time relaxing and breathing through them. The nurse checked my cervix and told me I was only at about 2-3 cm, so I figured were were in for a long day ahead. We also discovered that there was some meconium (baby poo) in my amniotic fluid, which meant that a team of NICU nurses had to be present for the birth in case she had swallowed any and had trouble breathing. They moved us to a labor room and the nurse started asking me what I wanted to do about the pain. We had already decided ahead of time that we wanted to try for a natural, medication-free birth if at all possible. Being a nurse myself, I know that medications can be a very good thing and they definitely have their place in labor & delivery. I also know that sometimes things happen that are beyond our control, and often interventions are necessary to save lives. At the end of the day, my goal was to have a safe delivery and a healthy baby, however that needed to happen. But a big part of me also wanted to be able to fully experience the birth of my child, pain and all. Plus, the idea of an epidural just weirds me out - not a fan of having a giant needle stuck into my spine. So, we talked it over between us and with the nurse, and I agreed on taking a dose of morphine. Within minutes of getting the morphine, I was much more relaxed. It didn't touch the pain, but I was able to rest and relax more between contractions, and breathe a little easier through them.

     Our doctor showed up around 1pm and checked my cervix again. This time I was at 5-6 cm. We figured I still had at least 4-5 hours to go (the average dilation rate for a first time mom is about 1 cm/hour), so the nurse started asking again about pain medication and this time she brought up the "E" word. I agreed to a second dose of morphine, but in the time it took the nurse to go get it and come back to our room, I told her I felt like I needed to push (this was about 1:45pm). So she quickly checked me again before giving the morphine. She told me I was millimeters away from being fully dilated and had me roll onto my side which allowed the last bit of dilation to happen. So in 45 minutes I went from 5-6 cm to 10 cm and pushing. No time for more drugs or the epidural, to my relief. I pushed for a little over an hour, and it would have been quicker, but they had to get me to stop pushing for about 15 minutes (hardest thing EVER!) while we waited for the doctor to return to deliver her. Tessa Mae made her grand entrance into this world at 2:58pm on Thursday, January 10, kicking and screaming, weighing in at 8lb 1oz. She checked out totally fine and got to hang out with dad for a bit while the doctor stitched me up. The best feeling in the world was having my brand new, beautiful baby girl placed on my chest and getting to hold her in my arms for the first time.

From this:

To this:

We are so blessed!!


  1. Goodness I loved reading that. Your pictures look so similar to one's that we had with Lilly in that same hospital and how cool that she came on the 11th of January and Tessa came on the 10th. Keep writing. I love being able to catch up on you guys this way!

  2. Thanks for sharing this story.
    I don't think the word creature is "cold or cruel" - it's what we all are.


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