Summer’s Arrival

by HEAB on November 9, 2010

Hello my almond butter loving friends. If you're new to HEAB, you may like to subscribe to my RSS feed or receive my posts via email. Thanks for reading!

Good morning or is it afternoon? I have no idea. :) A lot of you asked for more details regarding my labor and delivery, and so here goes.

CD and I hoped for a natural child birth with little to no interventions. We hired an amazing doula, Mary Anne Richardson (HIGHLY recommended for any expectant mothers in the Nashville area. She’s also a registered nurse and a mid-wife). Together, we’d taken all natural child birthing classes, and I’d read several books on the subject. My body was made to birth a child, and I was confident it could and would. I can’t tell you how many times I told CD throughout my pregnancy, DO NOT let me get an epidural. Well, things didn’t go exactly as planned.

Last week when we went for our 38 week check-up, we had another ultrasound. We’d had one at our 36 week apt. as well since my stomach was measuring small, and my doctor wanted to make sure everything was okay in utero. At 36 weeks, everything looked fine, and we were told the baby was just small. Fast forward to 38 weeks, and my doctor walked into the examining room with my ultrasounds results in hand stating that we had to get the baby out. I froze and tried to hold back tears as it was really important to me to let the whole process happen naturally, but there was no way I would ever put my baby at risk. Summer was still measuring small, but my amniotic fluid was low as well. My doctor was afraid that the baby was suffering from IUGR, or intrauterine growth restriction. In other words, Summer was no longer growing properly, and we had no idea why – still don’t. So, our options were to check into the hospital that night (last Thursday) and take medicine that would ripen my cervix, sleep through the night, and then get labor started Friday morning by breaking my water and a Pitocin IV. Or, we could try ripening my cervix to see if I would go into labor on my own over the weekend and if not, go ahead and break my water and start the pitocin on Monday. My doctor knew how important a natural birth was to me and informed me that we could wait, but that I would need to monitor the baby’s kicks very closely over the next 48 to 72 hours. Our doula was there with us, and we discussed our options after the doctor left the room. I knew I would be a nervous wreck all weekend if we waited, and CD agreed. Our doula asked my doctor if she could try stripping my membranes to ripen my cervix naturally rather than putting me in the hospital that night. She agreed, and we then went home hoping I would go into labor on my own, but if not, we were due at the hospital at 7 AM on Friday morning.

We came home and tried to prepare ourselves – it was so weird knowing we would probably be parents in less than 24 hours…at least that’s what I was hoping for. I was scared to death of a really long labor, and was praying that Summer would be here by at least dinner time Friday night. My mom came over on Friday morning to stay with the dogs as we had no idea how long my labor would last (thanks again mom!), and Chris and I left for the hospital.

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Me, CD, and the pups early Friday morning.

We met our doula at the hospital and were put in the room where Summer would be born. I was given IV fluids, the doctor broke my water, and the the nurse started the pitocin drip around 9 AM or so. For those of you that don’t know, pitocin is a synthetic form of oxytocin, the natural hormone produced by a woman’s body that causes uterine contractions. Because my body was not able to go into the labor process on its own, I never really got to ease into things. The contractions started around 9:30, and they were super intense and close together. CD, my doula, and my nurse, were all awesome. The nurse knew my strong desire for a natural birth, and snuck me popsicles. Hospital regulations usually don’t allow laboring women to eat just in case they end up in a C-section and therefore require anesthesia. However, she thought that was ridiculous and knew I needed fuel. Another reason I didn’t want drugs during labor is because I wanted to be able to move around. The administration of drugs meant an IV and constant monitoring of the baby’s heart rate and my blood pressure. Did you know that lying on your back is probably the worst position to be in for labor, especially when it comes time to push? In many cultures, women labor in a squatting position. Gravity helps push the baby down, and the position opens the pelvis as wide as possible. My doula helped me stay out of bed. She would hold the baby monitor to my stomach and take my blood pressure whenever the nurse needed a reading. I found the best position to be in during contractions was standing up with my hands resting on my lifted hospital bed. Every time another contraction hit, I would lean over the bed on my hands or arms and sway my hips back and forth. CD and Mary Anne were both so great. They stood right by me through every contraction reminding to me to relax and breathe. Dilation progressed quickly. I’m not quite sure of the numbers as I was too busy trying so hard to focus on staying relaxed. All I knew was that I needed to get to 10 cm.

After about 2 hours, the contractions were unbearable, and I started to get scared. In my mind I kept thinking I cannot do this for hours more and then push for another couple of hours. I could no longer relax and breathe as planned during contractions. I finally asked for an epidural. CD reminded me (in a very loving way) why I didn’t want one, and my doula kept asking if I could just go one for 1 more hour as she knew I was getting super close to pushing. I thought about it – I seriously did. I remembered all the reading I had done on the topic: an epidural could relax the body so much that labor could come to halt, and the doctor would then have to do a c-section to get the baby out, my body would not release all the natural hormones that it normally would during labor if I was drugged, the epidural could cause the baby to be a bit out of it immediately after birth making breast feeding difficult, etc. I knew all the facts, but I could not take anymore. I agreed to an hour more and then changed my mind. My doula then asked me to go one for another 15 minutes, but I just couldn’t. My nurse knew I wasn’t going to give up and called in the nurse anesthetist to administer the epidural. I remember that I kept apologizing to Chris, but he just held my hand and kept telling me it was all okay and that I was doing what was best for me. Once the epidural took effect, the contractions just felt like a slight pressure on my rectum. The nurse went to insert a catheter, and the doctor came to check me. Turns out by that point I was fully dilated. So, they told me to try and rest up for 30 minutes as pushing for a first-time mom can last 2 to 3 hours. So, I tried to sleep for a bit, and then the nurse told me it was time to push. Because of the epidural, I had to labor on my back, and Chris and Mary Anne each held a leg as I pushed. It only took about 3 or 4 pushes to get Summer out – maybe 5 or 10 minutes, and I actually had to stop pushing as the doctor wasn’t even in the room yet. Summer’s head was already out, and I remember the nurse joking about her full head of hair, saying that she was going to French braid it while we waited for the doctor to arrive. It was wild. Once the doctor arrived, I pushed once more, and at 1:28 PM, Summer was here.

Part of my birth plan was that the baby be placed immediately on my chest as soon as she arrived. The doctor placed her there, and the nurses cleaned her while she lay on me.

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I then delivered the placenta – did you know you actually deliver it after the baby? I didn’t until I took child birthing classes. I didn’t feel it as I was still numb from the epidural, but I hear it’s usually not too painful. I also tore during the delivery and had to get 5 stitches. Again, didn’t feel a thing, but trust me, I feel them now! We wanted to wait to cut the cord until the placenta stopped pulsating to ensure that Summer received every last bit of nutrient it had to offer. CD cut the cord with a shaking hand. So sweet.

Chris was amazing throughout my entire labor as were my doula and nurse. My doctor was great as well, although I didn’t see much of her. We asked for a no-separation policy, and so Summer never left our side during the entire stay at the hospital. She had her first bath in our room as well as all of her tests. Our pediatrician agreed to examine her in our room as well rather than in the nursery. We opted not to have the erythromycin ointment placed in her eyes. This is standard treatment to prevent conjunctivitis in the baby’s eyes should the mother have an STD. Yep, no STD’s for me, and we decided to avoid the use of what we thought to be an unnecessary antibiotic. Besides, it can blur the baby’s vision up to 24 hours, and I wanted Summer to be able to see us as clearly as possible.

My parents and brother stopped by after we’d had a little time to bond with Summer…

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Grampy Mac and uncle Scott meet Summer

Those first 24 hours were surreal. I couldn’t believe this precious little baby was really ours. When we got down to our permanent room, our nurse introduced herself and then left CD and I alone with Summer. We both kind looked at each other and thought, Okay, now what? Summer mostly slept through her first 2 days of life but is now spending more and more time awake. She has her days and nights confused and is up a lot of the night but sleeps really hard during the day. We’re going to have to work on that, but for now, we’re just going with the flow.

I know this is a food blog, and so let me share with you how bad the hospital food was. I have only good things to say about the whole hospital experience…except for the food. Blech! Dinner that first night consisted of spaghetti noodles with sauce, French bread, margarine, and an iceberg lettuce salad. Um, no thanks! We only live about 2 miles from the hospital, and so CD graciously went home, made a delicious dinner + plus breakfast and lunch for the next day and brought it all back in a cooler. Unfortunately, he missed his daughter’s first fart, but I called to let him know it had happened. :)

That’s it for now. Do I feel disappointed that my labor didn’t go as planned? Nope, not at all as I have my precious little girl sitting right here beside me as I type this, and I have no regrets when it comes to getting the epidural as I know it helped me relax and proceed with labor. Would I do it again? Well, it depends. If my body were allowed to go into labor naturally, things might have been different. So, if there is a HEABlet #2, we shall see.

We’re still working really hard on nursing, and I’m either breast feeding or pumping every 2 hours. It’s a lot, but I know it will be so worth it in the end. Again, I hope to continue posting, but I’ve had nearly no time to check email. I promise to get back to it someday, but for now, it’s not a priority. Thanks for all your support and love – it’s been amazing! :)

{ 202 comments }

VeggieGirl November 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

You and my dear friend Kristen (kristensraw.com) should chat about this. I sent her the link to this post.

Jasmine @ Eat move Write November 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm

This made me cry. I’m so happy for you. She’s beautiful. Congrats, and I know how pained you must have felt to deter from the birth plan, but honestly, I hear it happens to everyone. So glad it turned out perfect. <3

Jessica @ How Sweet November 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Chills… tears… all of it. Maybe this means I’m ready to be a mom? It’s not hormones for me at the moment, I do know that. What an incredible story. I am so happy that you shared it with us and glad that you made the best decision for you and your little one. Now I must go wipe my eyes.

Christin@purplebirdblog November 9, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Heather, thank you so much for sharing your wonderful and frightening and anxious and perfect journey as you brought your most precious gift into this world! This really pulled at my heartstrings, and I’m so glad that you were able to be true to you and what was best. You are an AMAZING woman, and I admire you more and more all the time! xoxo

Susan November 9, 2010 at 1:35 pm

Hi Heather, and congratulations on your new adorable daughter! I am coming out of lurkdom to tell you that I truly love and appreciate your story. I too wanted to have a natural childbirth but after 17 hours in labor opted for an epidural, and the fact that you listened to your body and chose to do what you needed to do is to me so important, as is the fact that you’re sharing this with others. I also felt disappointed for “caving” for a moment, but almost a year later I don’t even think twice about it and what’s the most important thing is that you now have a happy, healthy child and you’re healthy and able to take care of her, which I know you will do exceptionally well. Congrats again – Summer is beautiful – enjoy this special time with your new family! Oh and breast feeding gets much easier – it took me a good 4-6 weeks for it all to fall into place but after that it was second nature. Thanks again for sharing your personal story!

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:25 am

Thanks for reading Susan and for your encouragement. :)

Christina November 9, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Omg, i was holding my breath throughout this whole post. I’m so glad to hear you and baby and CD and healthy and sound!! I can’t imagine how difficult childbirth is, and I’m so glad you opted for the epidural when you knew you couldn’t handle it anymore. No one will understand what you went through! Big hugs and kisses for Summer – CUTIE PIE!!! Enjoy all your time with your new baby and best wishes

Bridget November 9, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Oh Heather, this was wonderful to read! Thank you so much for taking the time to write it. I’m sure Summer will grow up to be a beautiful and healthy young lady with parents like you two :)

Sami November 9, 2010 at 1:37 pm

AWHHH. I love the labor story. So dear.

You, CD, and Summer were all such troopers!
Labor is one of those things I’m petrified of going through…but it’s got to feel so rewarding!

Sarah R November 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm

What an amazing and touching story. You are a strong, strong woman Heather! Enjoy every minute of time with your little girl. :)

Dorry November 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Thank you for sharing your birthing story! I’m so glad all is well with healthy baby girl at home. Lots of love to the HEAB fam! Hope you get some sleep. :)

melissa @ the delicate place November 9, 2010 at 1:39 pm

aww HEAB. even though things didn’t go exactly how you planned, you have a healthy girl & all your loved ones there to help you through it! life never goes according to our plans most times anyway! glad you had good food on hand too! hospital food is THE WORST! i seriously don’t know how a nutritionist is supposed to be in charge of these meal plans?!

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 9, 2010 at 1:40 pm

It sounded like you had an absolute beautiful birth – keep on remembering that things won’t go as planned for the rest of your life now that you have a child! :)

Again, Summer is beautiful, you are amazing, and I ohpe you’re enjoying your time with her!

Shelby November 9, 2010 at 1:40 pm

My mom had all 7 kids without any medication and I still don’t know how she did it. I think she’s slightly insane ;) I was actually talking about it with her last night because I told her about little Summer. She was saying the exact same things like how the best position was leaning over the bed. Even though it wasn’t what you’d hoped, you still have a unbelievably beautiful baby girl!

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

Shelby,
Your mom is an amazing woman – seriously!

BethT November 9, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Our labors were pretty similar – I started labor naturally, but they also gave me pitosin because my fluid was low when I got to the hospital. I’m glad you have no regrets about your decisions – you did what was best for you AND Summer. You’re doing a great job so far!!

alli November 9, 2010 at 1:41 pm

you are AMAZING! great job! most things never go as planned, but you did plan on a healthy, beautiful baby girl and that you have! congratulations a million times over, it’s such a wonderful experience to be parents :)

Emily November 9, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Thank you so much for posting Summer’s beautiful story :) I am so glad that she is safe and healthy and that it worked out in the end. The picture of you and Summer after she was born is gorgeous, what wonderful memories! Good luck with everything, thinking of you!!

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday November 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Congratulations once again on your beautiful baby.
And thanks for sharing your story. I was really looking forward to hearing it.

I guess when it comes to labour, things never go exactly as planned. But the point is to have a plan and you certainly did.
It’s probably a good thing you got that epidural considering all the pain you were in. And I’ve heard that the tearing can be pretty painful too.

Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks November 9, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I love that you actually wrote about your husband missing his daughter’s first fart. It’s documented. You should save this entry so when she is an adult, you can sit and enjoy this memory together! ;)

Congrats again!

Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin November 9, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Wow thank you so much for sharing your story! I think its good to sort of play it by ear because as much as the classes and reading up teaches you, you can never REALLY be prepared for labor. Summer is adorable – congratulations!!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) November 9, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Best thing you did was put words to paper. As the days blur into each other, the months turn into years, you will be grateful that Summer’s birth story is well-documented and your FEELINGS and thoughts about it all are here, too.

You will forget the little details, but now, you have them all written down…and it seems silly now, because you think, how can I ever forget any of it…well, one does :) I wish I had documented mine closer to the birth, not months later.

I am sooo happy for you that you had a vaginal birth. That you’re nursing. That Summer is healthy. That any possible IUGR was picked up, acted upon, and decisions made. So happy that you and CD are there for each other, with the support of your extended family.

Your birth story is beautiful and I had chills, tears, and smiles while reading it. It’s what parenthood is…no matter how carefully planned things are, kids, nature, life in general will always throw a few curve balls at us. And you handled it beautifully.

Take care of those 5 stitches. I had a few too. No Novocaine. It was pleasant…kidding :)

And if you have an questions about nursing, please, ask!! :)

Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun November 9, 2010 at 1:47 pm

I literally just read my birth story with my daughter! Exactly the same. Baby always measured small and I had numerous U/S. 38 weeks I was sent to be induced because she was no longer growing properly. Wanted to try natural, but that dang pitocin sent my contractions into overdrive and I just couldn’t do it. Got the epidural and they had to slow down my labor for my midwife to get to me in time to deliver. Bam, baby out in just a few pushes. Crazy fast in the scheme of things!

So glad you all are well. You did just what you needed to do for you and Summer. That’s wonderful. :)

susan November 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing the story of Summer’s birth! Heather, you are so incredibly brave and strong. Maybe its just me, but I’m studying developmental psychology so I find pregnancy and childbirth completely beautiful and fascinating! Good luck with breast feeding! I was born smaller as well and my mom had a hard time feeding me at first but after two weeks it was all normal.

Shelly November 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Good job!!!
I love the part of your stories about the popsicles. I think not being able to eat for hours and hours is my biggest worry about giving birth- I get SO SICK when I don’t eat- light headed, nauseous, headache, and really really upset and angry- so I’m kind of worried about how I’ll handle labor (if and when I have the opportunity to have a baby) because of the no-eating thing. My plan is to secretly sneak in some Gu at least! Haha!

Sarah @ See Sarah Eat November 9, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Thank you for sharing your story! I love how well you had everything planned out ahead of time, even if it didn’t go that way 100%. I am so happy for you :)

Talia @ Texas Gunslinger November 9, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Wow, Heather, what an emotional roller coaster! I am SO happy Summer is healthy and that you are all home and enjoying life as new parents. I absolutely adore the pic of you holding Summer. Gosh, if I didn’t want to take a year to do fitness competitions, I’d definitely be ready to start a family. That pic of you holding your sweet baby girl really gets my internal “clock” a’tickin’ for little ones of my own HAHA! Precious, precious, precious!!! :)

Melissa Cline November 9, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story. You did great! Transition is ROUGH–I still remember it too well to want to have another baby yet LOL. Isn’t Mary Anne awesome? She’s got a great herbal mix for peri bottles/sitz baths for healing the ol’ undercarriage.

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:33 am

Melissa,
I will never have another child again without Mary Anne at my side. She’s amazing. :)

Janetha G - meals & moves November 9, 2010 at 1:55 pm

Heather! I loved reading your story about everything and I appreciate how open you are in sharing. I think that although you didn’t do things how you’d originally planne,d you did what was best for your little girl, and that is all that really matters. It was the same way just recently with my nephew–he was delivered over 4 weeks early, but the doc said that they had to get him out or it could be another fatal situation (they lost a baby last year), so that is what they did. I am glad you did what was necessary to deliver Summer! I get so excited every time you post a photo of that sweet little girl, she is honestly SO perfect. Holly, Elise, Danica, Susan and I all looked at the photo together when we were in San Fran and we ALL exclaimed, “THAT HAIR!”–followed by oh’s and awe’s.

<3

Dawn November 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story !! I, too have a beautiful baby girl who just turned 23 years old in August !!! Your story brought me right back to the day she was born. Everytime I hear details of birth, I get teary eyed…enjoy her every day and every moment. They really do grow up so quickly. Congrats and blessings to you and your family. Love your site :)

Kristin November 9, 2010 at 1:59 pm

I am so happy for yall! She is beautiful! Love the photo of yall and the puppies and so excited they love their new little sister.

Little Bookworm November 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Such a touching story! :) Thank you for sharing it!

Holly @ couchpotatoathlete November 9, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Heather thank you for sharing all of that — I am so happy you have Summer now :)

And I think CD knows that he may have missed Summer’s first fart, but it certainly won’t be the last!

Katy (The Singing Runner) November 9, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Even though I don’t have children of my own (and far from it!), I can feel how strong your feelings are for your daughter. While everything did not go the way you had hoped, you are still so strong and amazing. What a beautiful story! :)

Mara @ What's For Dinner? November 9, 2010 at 2:08 pm

I loved reading this… she’s just gorgeous, as are you!! I love the popsicle bit… all my friends have said that being hungry was one of the worst parts of labor!

Debbie~ November 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Congrats, Summer is so adorable!!! There is absolutely no shame in having an epidural. Every woman is different and every labor is different….that’s the amazing thing about it. I’ve had four kids…3 vaginally and 1 by C-section and no two births were the same.

I remember everything being such a big deal at the time (breastfeeding or not, cloth diapers vs disposable, when to potty train etc) I used to put such pressure on myself until one day my best friend (mom of 5) told me “this stuff seems so important now, but when they’re 18 no one’s gonna know the difference whether they were potty trained at 2 or 3….so relax” that was the best advice…it freed me.

Enjoy every minute with your little one…the time goes by way too quickly!! :)

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:35 am

Debbie,
Definitely great advice – THANK YOU!

Lola November 9, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Oh my gosh Heather. This was beautiful, it made me tear up! How precious and amazing giving birth is, and thank you for being so open and real. It is not often you have the chance to hear a real birthing story, where people give you the honest details and don’t glaze over the pain, nerves, and emotion of it all!! I am so glad you are proud of all your choices and I definitely think you should be, you have just experienced one of the most amazing gifts God could give!
Hugs to you, CD, and miss Summer. :) Love ya

Lynn November 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Oh Heather…..ooohhh Heather….I am typing through tears. This is so beautiful and all my memories of giving birth to my son started flowing…that’s when the tears started flowing, too :) Oh my goodness. She is just precious. I am so proud of you for ultimately listening to your body (that’s what HEAB does, right?!…you got it down pat!) and doing what was best for YOU and Summer to bring her into this world. Congratulations, honey. You and Chris are already and will continue to be AMAZING PARENTS!

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) November 9, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Oh sweetie, I am so with you! You know about what I went through with both of my boys. Nothing happened like it was supposed to. I am pretty sure giving birth is just as hard as trying to conceive (just not as much fun)! She is beautiful and you did what you needed to for both of you during that time. You had a major “mom” moment that day when you made a decision that scared the heck out of you, but in the end needed to be done! I admire everything about you, Heather, and I appreciate your honesty. You being honest, makes others understand that we are all human and we all do things the best that we can. As for the breast feeding, you will get there. It is so hard in the beginning, but it is so easy in the end. If you need anything, I am always here! Seriously! Have a great evening, morning or afternoon…whatever it is for you right now! Love and hugs to you!

Andrea of Care to Eat November 9, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I love your honesty in this post! I haven’t even started thinking about when it’s time to deliver, but I know I don’t want a birth “plan” – more like a birth “idea.” I figure anything can happen and you really have to go with the flow and just be educated about your options. What’s important is at the end you have a beautiful, healthy baby, right?
Much love to the new family :)

Courtney (greeneyedrunner) November 9, 2010 at 2:27 pm

thank you for taking the time to post this! i really just can’t stop looking at her…she’s wayyyy too cute!

Diana (Soap & Chocolate) November 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Oh my gosh, what a story! Just goes to show the saying is true – something like “life laughs while we make plans” or something to that effect. But Summer is here and healthy (and so are you) and that is what matters!

And yes, I cracked up at the mention of Summer’s first fart.

Katie Nickol November 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Heather, thanks for sharing! What an amazing experience, congratulations again! :)

Anita Ruiz November 9, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Wow!! Thank you so much for sharing this personal moment. I cried the whole time I was reading it. No it may not have been what you planned but it sounds like you did very well in rolling with the punches. For somebody who doesn’t have kids you have brought up a number of great things to think about when I am finally ready.

Glad to hear you have a wonderful support team. Summer is truly blessed.

melanie November 9, 2010 at 2:33 pm

So, I cried through most of your account, until I read the part about the fart, which I thought was fantastically awesome. I would have appreciated the same moment;).

Hospital food is generally disgusting as a rule…the hospital my dad was at when he had his bypass had an awesome salad bar, though.

You didn’t fail by getting the epidural. Getting it at the first twinge of pain, maybe, but you followed through as long as you could, and that’s pretty freaking awesome.

Maria @ Oh Healthy Day November 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm

You are an amazing person. That’s all I can think of to say after reading this. Welcome Summer – can’t wait to get to know you through HEAB!

Andrea@WellnessNotes November 9, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I’m so glad everything worked out in the end. I can so relate to things not going as planned when it comes to labor. I had a natural birth with the teenager 19 years ago and planned the same when I was pregnant with the toddler three years ago. We went through a lot of preparation and classes. Since I had a high risk pregnancy, I knew there was a chance that things wouldn’t go as planned. I ended up having to be induced at 37 weeks (the toddler had also stopped growing and was only 5 pounds 4 ounces when he was born) and wasn’t allowed to move around at all during labor. It wasn’t what I had prepared for.

Even though it wasn’t the exact experience I had hoped for, it’s still one of the top two moments of my life! :) Enjoy your brand-new baby during the next days and weeks! Times passes so quickly…

Ozlem November 9, 2010 at 2:41 pm

How sweet. makes me want to have another one ASAP. I wish, Enjoy.

Kiran November 9, 2010 at 2:44 pm

OMG!!! She is super cute :) Congrats to you, CD and the family.. I can’t wait to have one some day..

Lindsay November 9, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Wow!! You have a BEAUTIFUL daughter. I am so glad that you shared your story with us. I know that you chose to avoid certain things while in the hospital, do you think you will also try to avoid shots for the baby?? I mean I know that I got all of the shots, but I am interested in hearing what you plan to do. Also , thank you fo being such an inspiration for me because I was worried that I would never have children!! :)

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:41 am

Lindsay,
We skipped the Hepatitis B vaccination at the hospital which is the only vaccine given at birth. Summer will not be doing to daycare and so we wanted to delay giving it to her until she’s a bit older. We’re planning on some vaccines but not sure about all of them. We still need to do some research. I was never vaccinated, and I’m just not sure how I feel about them – at least some of them anyway.

Laura November 9, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I’m smiling from ear to ear!!

eml November 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Thank you for sharing HEAB! You are TOUGH – I would have had the epidural in an instant…;).

“Would you do it again?” – haha – give yourself some time before the next wee one :) .

Love the part about hospital food – it just really SUCKS. There should be a CD at every hospital to go out and get food for new moms :)

TSB November 9, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Yes. Hospital food does suck. I once stayed in the hospital for over 5 months and I had to live on hospital food in great quantity. It was not a good thing. They had food (spaghetti, ice cream) , but it was the quality: stale, limp, dry, moldy, or filled with the strangest ingredients. (Bacon in my soup). There were some okay things (carrot cakes), but all in all it was an unpleasant thing.
I thought “what doesn’t kill me can only make me stronger” because it was not a good experience.

lindsay November 9, 2010 at 2:55 pm

This story gave me chills, such a beautiful birth! I could not be happier for your family. Praying for you and for little summer to nurse soon!
LC

charlotte November 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Oh I wish you could see me right now – huge (happy) tears rolling down my face!! I don’t know what it is but I LOVE hearing other women’s birth stories. So thank you for sharing that with us:) And I’ve done childbirth both ways (my first two I had an epidural, the last 3 I did naturally) and both ways were utterly miraculous! Summer is happy and healthy – you did everything right, mama:) Take good care of yourself (you doing those sitz baths? They really do help with the perineal pain!) and cuddle that darling girl of yours!

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:42 am

Charlotte,
The sitz baths are one of the highlights of my day. :)

Mandy November 9, 2010 at 3:05 pm

I don’t think there’s a dry eye in the food blogosphere! Oh Heather, I am so grateful you have shared your experience. We truly have no idea what our birthing will look like, and you are absolutely right to have no regrets. You have a healthy, beautiful baby and you are healthy. Period. Your doula sounds amazing as well as the hospital, which is not so easy to come by. Sending you and Summer and Chris lots of love!

Allison November 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Sniff, sniff. Your baby is gorgeous and you’re attitude is so great. In the end, a healthy baby is all that matters.

Lori November 9, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Such a great story; I’m wiping away tears at the office.

Congratulations on becoming a mother! Woo!

Katie November 9, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Wow, Heather. First of all, your blog is WAY more than a food blog!

I am so glad you shared your story with all of us. I’m not a mom, but I had chills the whole time. It sounds like it went as best it could, all things considered!

Erica November 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I LOVED reading this :) You are amazing and strong for lasting that long without the epidural. Summer is just beautiful and you look SO happy in the picture right after giving birth. You guys will be fabulous parents

Kristen's Raw November 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Hi Heather,
Thank you for sharing your story. You’re an amazing mom and doing awesome! Breastfeeding gets better and better – I PROMISE!!!! My little Kamea is now 19 weeks and I LOVE bf. It took some time to get in the groove, but I can’t imagine anything else now. She breastfeeds on demand and I only pumped a few times in the beginning to give my breasts a break.

If you have any postpartum questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. Seriously. When I was in the beginning of my postpartum, I was so friggin’ grateful for my friends who helped me through it all and answered my weird questions, even when I asked the same ones over and over – lol. So, I’m here to offer the same to you, if you should need it. I know I don’t know you but you’re a friend of Liz’s so I already feel connected to you. Plus, we both wanted badly for that natural birth and we both ended up with something else. If you want to learn more about me… you can check out my food blog (kristensraw.com) or greenmommyblog.com – although I suspect you don’t have time to – lol.

Cheers,
Kristen

VeggieGirl November 9, 2010 at 3:41 pm

Definitely stay in contact, HEAB and Kristen! I love you both :)

Natalie D November 9, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Heather! This was so great to read your story. Your labor went similar to mine except that I didn’t get induced. I was hell bent on no epidural with my first and gave in and got it. Pushed for maybe 10 minutes or something, I don’t even remember. By the time #2 came, I got the epidural RIGHT away! I had her only 2 hours later. I think the epidural is the best thing ever now. This was informative too, about the stuff on the baby’s eyes. Thanks for sharing your story and best of luck.

Sylvia @ LifeIsGoodWithFood November 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Omigosh, I kept refreshing your page day after day, hoping that you would post up what happened during labor. Ahhh, I can’t believe it! Trust me, I personally know how terrifying it can be when a doctor walks into the room with a grim face… and tells you something that you don’t wanna hear.

In any case, omigod! That was such an amazing story, and the heck with the food blog – now I just wanna see more pictures of Summer! xD I’m so ridiculously happy for you; I remember when my godson was born. I was upstate in school and my friend texted me with: “yo… i’m in labor.” I was like, AHHHHHH! But I’m still so happy for you! <333 I hope that your stitches are feeling better; I know how those feel too…

As long as you, Summer, and CD are fine, I would say that having an epidural is okay as it's not the worst thing that you could've done. I myself probably would've asked for one the moment I went into labor, hehe :)

So happy! <333

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

Sylvia,
Thanks so much for all your love and support – your comments always bring a smile to my face. You’re a good friend. :)

glidingcalm November 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm

:) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ashley November 9, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Just lovely. So happy for you and your beautiful family.

Victoria (District Chocoholic) November 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm

“Do I feel disappointed that my labor didn’t go as planned? Nope, not at all as I have my precious little girl sitting right here beside me as I type this.”

This statement alone has me convinced that you will be an amazing parent.

lena November 9, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Thank you for sharing this! You’ll be very happy to have all this written down. I’m sorry things didn’t go as you planned (do they ever?) but I’m so happy that everything ended up beautifully.

Lauren November 9, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Wow, so amazing Heather! You did what felt best for you at the time- a very powerful message for us all in any situation. You listen to your body and honour it. You are an inspiration and a wonderful Mama already. I can tell :)

Annie@stronghealthyfit November 9, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Amazing story, thanks for sharing! So glad you and summer are both doing well :-)

Stefanie November 9, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl. I’m glad to hear everyone is doing well. :)

TSB November 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm

My friend had a baby about 6 months ago. She was over-due and had to have a scheduled C-section. She’s on bed rest now. The last time I spoke with her she was resting in bed while her husband made her a big omelet. You should be proud. You have to do what is the best thing to do at any moment.

Beth @ To the Fullest November 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm

I don’t know what else to say except AMAZING!!!!

Samantha November 9, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Thanks for sharing your story! You have the right idea, your little girl is here and healthy and you are recovering, that is all that matters! What a beautiful blessing she is, congratulations again!

Kristina @ spabettie November 9, 2010 at 4:07 pm

tears and chills as I read this, twice! such a beautiful thing – and even though it didn’t go exactly to plan, you did get to do many of the parts of the plan, and the best part is Summer… and the amazing parents you are and will be!

chills again as I write that – you are all so beautiful and inspirational… I love the HEAB Family !! <3

Lissa November 9, 2010 at 4:14 pm

I am so so so glad you did whatever you needed to do for you to bring Summer into this world in a healthy manner. Things maybe didn’t go quite as planned but you have an amazing baby girl in your arms now and that’s what matters most!! So so happy for you! Wishing you a speedy recovery and sending lots of happy vibes your way, HEAB and HEABlet :)

Deadra November 9, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I love birth stories!
Summer’s birth sounds like such a mix of my two. I was induced with Trixie because I had no amniotic fluid, so I didn’t even get to try for my homebirth. Then Hudson was a transfer because of some difficulties, but I was going for a natural birth, and I had to get the epidural at hour 22, and I was so bummed. So I understand. But there is a reason they have them, and you showed that reason!
If you’re interested I can share my birth stories with you.

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:46 am

Deadra,
I would love to hear more about your birth stories if you’d like to email me. It’s so cool to read about other’s experiences. Thanks for offering to share. :)

Tangy November 9, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Your story sounds a lot like my story with the birth of my daughter. I kept measuring small and my fluid was low so my doctor and I decided it was best to get induced–I didn’t want to get the epidural but after being awake and uncomfortable and unfed I was ready to remedy my pain!! My daughter ended up being 8 lbs much to the shock of my doctor! But she got here safe and sound, even if it was two weeks early.

And it is amazing what you don’t hear about pregnancy and childbirth–the yucky details are often left out!! Same for breastfeeding–I think for the first week I screamed and cried every time my babies wanted to eat but thankfully I knew it would get better and it did but I can see how some people would not stick with it after the extreme pain of the first week!!

Enjoy this time–this is the easy time!! She is easy to please and portable and sleeps most of the day :) Wait til she is crawling around and dumping things out of cabinets and drawers and refuses to sit still and talks back to you—at those times I try to remember my kids as a newborn and how sweet they once were ;)

Jill November 9, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Heather-so glad you got that epidural if you needed it! Pitocin + natural childbirth would have been really rough on you. And all that matters now is that Summer is with you and doing well :-) And yes, hospital food = HORRIBLE. It is probably the most common thing my patients complain to me about. Keeping all of you guys in my thoughts + prayers!

Gavi @ GaviGetsGoing! November 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Heather, what an amazing journey you, CD, and Summer have been through!! Thank you for sharing it with us! It is so amazing to read about the delivery process. Things can change in the blink of an eye, and you adapted so well to the modifications you had to make to your birth plan. Now Summer is in the world and she is healthy and happy and has wonderful parents who love her so much!! Congratulations and enjoy your beautiful baby girl! :)

Nicole @ Body By Beer November 9, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Wow, She is so amazing. And such thick hair!

I’m impressed at how long you went without an epidural. Can’t wait to see her pics appear in your blog.

Maren November 9, 2010 at 4:27 pm

What a beautiful story :) I cried! Congratulations again HEAB family!!!

polly November 9, 2010 at 4:28 pm

What a beautiful story, real, amazing, and filled with LOVE. :D I think my heart is going to pop out of my chest. HUGS.

Lurve you guys. XOXO

Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 9, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Oh my goodness, that’s such an icnredible story! I literally could not stop reading. I’m so glad you and Summer are okay. And like you said, even if the pregnancy didn’t go as planned, you have a daughter!! A healthy, beautiful daughter. That’s all that matters :)

Kimberly November 9, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Thank you for sharing Summer’s birth with us!! What a sweet time ;) I had epidural’s with all 3 of mine but my 2nd one didn’t work too well and they turned it off during my 3rd because I was TOO numb. That was kind of cool because I could actually feel what was going on when Elizabeth was born. Summer is just beautiful and I know you are probably staring at her every chance you get. I remember those days when I couldn’t take my eyes off of my precious babies :) They grow entirely too fast, so cherish every moment with her!

Kimberly November 9, 2010 at 4:35 pm

By the way, we had to cut Elizabeth’s bangs by the time she was 5 months old! She was born with a head full too! Love Summer’s hair :)

Kat November 9, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Your re-count of your birth brought tears to my eyes and took my breath away. Congratulations, she is just perfect. Also, you have quite the hubby in CD. What a sweetheart. My husband doesn’t cook – but WF hot bar will do!

Nicole November 9, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story. You and Summer are both so beautiful. I am so glad even though things didn’t go as planned that you are both safe and healthy. <3
Oh and props to you too, CD!

Cindy B. November 9, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Congratulations, Heather! Summer is gorgeous and who cares how she got into the world? I’ve done it both ways 2 times (natural labor onset vs. pitocin) and it’s not less painful either way for me, epidural all the way. Don’t have even one regret – you have a beautiful healthy baby!

GF Vegan Munchies November 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Yay! She’s here!!! She’s so beautiful! And so it your birth story. Thanks for sharing. I’m so happy everyone is healthy, happy and home.

Gina G November 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Summer is so blessed to have you and CD as parents, you both are going to be/already are such an amazing team! :)

Shauna November 9, 2010 at 5:05 pm

I have been in your shoes, girl! I had a very similar experience. In the end, we both had healthy, beautiful kids, and it certainly will not be the last time little Summer changes your best laid plans. :) Hang in there with the nursing. I know it feels like a 24/7 job right now, but it will get better, and then it’s easier than bottle feeding. I was so fortunate that my husband never wavered in his support of me during that ordeal. I can see that CD is just as supportive and I am thinking you are just as stubborn as I was, so it will work out eventually.

Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) November 9, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Nothing really ever goes to plan, does it really? I’m glad you did what was best for you and therefore Summer. Hugs and hopefully a few sweet dreams for you soon!

Lauren November 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Oh Heather, you are amazing! I’m so glad you have such a sweet, supportive husband, and such awesome care around you to deliver your precious baby. You are a trooper! This recap will be so special to have since it’s still fresh in your mind. I’m sure Summer will love hearing the adventure of her coming in to this world in the years to come!

Clare @ Fitting It All In November 9, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story in detail! I’m so glad everything worked out in the end. She’s gorgeous!

grocery goddess jen November 9, 2010 at 6:04 pm

First of all, you and Summer were in my dreams last night! So weird. I think I have babies on the brain :)

Second, I know I love reading about food on the blog, but I care so much more about what’s going on with the baby, I don’t care if you ever write about food again! Sorry the hospital food sucked, though!

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:49 am

Jen,
You’re so funny. How about a good mix of food and baby talk? :)

Emily November 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Heather, you should be so proud of yourself! You owned all your decisions (even when faced with things not going the way you’d planned), and did what was best for your baby AND yourself throughout the process. Also, contractions with pitocin are NOTHING like normal contractions, so waiting to get an epidural right at the end is totally awesome. I’m sure your doula has already told you all of this…but I’m a doula too, and I loved reading your story because it is just exactly what we try to help mamas do! :)

Natalia - a side of simple November 9, 2010 at 6:43 pm

I think I held my breath for most of this post… SO proud of you Heather. Keeping you, Summer, and CD in my prayers. Hope you are getting as much rest as you can :) Sending lots of love!

HandsinNamste November 9, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Heather,
Thank you for your honestly, and for sharing this with us. I’m so happy that you made the best decision for you and Summer. She is so beautiful, and she is lucky to have 2 wonderful parents!

Sending you lots of love and light~
Erika

Courtney November 9, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Lovely story :) Summer is beautiful and you look radiant in your picture with her right after her birth. Congratulations again! :D :D

Lisa Torres November 9, 2010 at 7:08 pm

so many of us have been there with you….all 3 of mine were different. I am glad it was fast for you!! whoo hoo!! You now have your own labor story. that you will get to tell over and over…lol..isnt it funny as woman we just love labor stories…guess because we can all relate…
most importantly she is here and healthy!!!!
Rest MamaHeab!

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:51 am

LIsa,
Yes, I was never really interested in labor stories before being pregnant, but now I want to hear everyone’s. Seriously, I see mamas walking towards me with a baby in a stroller, and I’m so tempted to ask them about their labor and delivery.

Ser November 9, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Thanks for sharing, Heather! I love me some birth stories. You know, if you have another baby, it is going to be easy peasy. You made it so far in the pitocin-induced labor without the epidural, which, from what I’ve heard, is unusual. Those pitocin-induced contractions are supposed to be awful! And then you only pushed for a short, short time. Girl, your next (if there is a next) is going to fly out! In any case, I’m so glad that you are at peace with all of your decisions, and that you felt in control of the situation. The most important thing is that you got to make informed decisions, and that you and Summer came out of the whole thing healthy and happy. Congratulations again on such a beautiful little girl!

Melissa @ TryingToHeal November 9, 2010 at 7:31 pm

i am speechless as this is probably the most detailed reading i’ve ever heard of labor.
you and your baby, and CD, are beauties. hugs.

Kelly Kurcina November 9, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Thank you for sharing your story Heather. I was fully convinced I could go natural as well and studied the Bradley Method. 3 kids later (2 teenagers now!) and 3 epidurals I say ‘go for the drugs’! Ps. it is hard for us health freaks, but I hold onto the fact that I nursed each for 18 months!
Your daughter is beautiful!

Kath November 9, 2010 at 7:45 pm

I’m happy everything went well in the end! Congratulations on having such a lovely little person with you now. :)

Emily Elizabeth @ Kisses for Breakfast November 9, 2010 at 7:57 pm

It was so nice to read your story of Summer’s birth. You have inspired me to write down the details of Annabelle’s birth as they are already beginning to fade. I’m glad you have such a positive attitude about the way everything turned out – you’re right, Summer is here safe and sound and you are doing well and that’s the most important thing! (They say that pitocin really intensifies the contractions – so way to go for hanging in there as long as you did!)

Kelly Michelle November 9, 2010 at 7:58 pm

what a beautiful story and thanks for sharing. so happy everything worked out and what a beautiful family you have

Cailin @ Stir Crazy November 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm

In the end, you have a beautiful, healthy baby girl, and you’re healthy, and that’s what matters. Before I had my son, they said (in the birthing classes) that it’s nice to have a birth plan but that it often changes as labor progresses. I admire you for planning to deliver naturally in the first place! And, by the way, she will eventually learn the difference between day and night :) It just takes time. She really is beautiful.

Kristin November 9, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Well done! Love you, Heather.

Annie November 9, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Yeah! So glad the birth experience was a good one.. and it’s good to learn now that things with children never seem to go as planned.. LOL.. I like your attitude to go with the flow… Thank you for sharing your experience with us… so kind of you… I am just so happy for you both…

Clairerose C November 9, 2010 at 8:57 pm

This is the sweetest journey!!Thank you for sharing it.Summer is very precious.I just love the first picture of her from the post the other day.She looked like she was smiling and happy to see her Mommy
:-) cc

Katie November 9, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Hooray! I’m so happy to hear all of this – it makes me so nervous/excited/terrified/thrilled to have a baby in 5.5 months! My sister-in-law had a baby last week and had an almost IDENTICAL labor and delivery to yours – down to the IUGR and the pitocin and the last minute epidural – kind of a weird coincidence. I’m so happy for you and your family, you are all beautiful and so inspiring!

justine November 9, 2010 at 9:01 pm

I EFFING LOVE YOU!!!!

Pure2raw twins November 9, 2010 at 9:13 pm

I am sitting here crying, but good tears!! I am so happy for you and Chris, and of course so happy to see Summer! You listened to your body, and did the right thing. Sometimes life has different plans for us ; ) I hope you guys are able to get some rest!!
If you ever need baby sitters, or need someone to make food and clean dishes, just let me know I will be on my way!!

Love you!!
xoxo
M

Heather November 9, 2010 at 9:13 pm

Wow! What an incredible story. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. You are such a strong woman!

Cat November 9, 2010 at 9:25 pm

Heather,
I had chills as I read this. So beautiful and informative to any new mothers out there. Your birth story is really similar to mine. I will have to tell you about it when I visit to come see sweet Summer…and you and C. ;) Again, you are so precious and I am so proud of you!!!
Love,
Cat

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:54 am

Thanks so much Cat. Got Summer’s care package. LOVE LOVE LOVE the onesie – oh my gosh, so cool. Soap is great too – been using it everyday when I take my hot bath. Seriously, one of the highlights of my day. :) Miss you!!!

Melissa @ I Never Imagined November 9, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Heather!! Your story warmed my heart. You’re amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! (P.S.- Summer is addddooooooorrrrraaaaaabbbble and I love how much you still talk about your pups, too- you’re a wonderful mom!)

Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama November 9, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Thank you for sharing your amazing story! I’m amazed that you have any time to post at all. :-)
Summer is so beautiful!

Donna November 9, 2010 at 10:13 pm

i feel as if i was right there! thank you heather for allowing us to be !

Emily November 9, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story! Your baby looks beautiful and I can’t even imagine how amazing it feels to have her with you now. Rest up lady :)

Leah November 9, 2010 at 10:30 pm

Heather! SO EXCITED FOR YOU! Summer is just precious! Your story is great; I love how you rode the wave and did what was best for you at the time during delivery. Chris is amazing. Thanks for posting this. Smooches from NYC :) Leah

Namaste Gurl November 9, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Wow [!!!]. What a beautiful, touching, genuine, and heart felt description of your birthing experience. Love you and SUPER glad that precious Summer is healthy, as well as you, and HERE :) xoxoxo

jessica November 9, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Thanks for sharing your story and what a great post for you to be able to reflect back on later! I’m not a mama yet but many moms I know say they wish they could remember the sweet beginnings of motherhood better.

S @ extremebalance.net/blog November 9, 2010 at 11:01 pm

Wow. Superstar!

I actually know someone who *loves* hospital food and has a great FB pic when, after delivering her second baby, she was trying to jockey her toddler away from her tray so she could save it for herself. I hear she shared the jello once there were tears, though. ;)

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:57 am

S,
That is hilarious. Wish your friend could have been at the hospital with me as I felt so bad sending back every tray completely untouched. She could have enjoyed all my food, and no tears would have been shed over the Jell-O. ;)

Monica November 9, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Thank you for sharing this! My husband and I have talked about this next step in our life often and it is nice to understand a bit more about the planning and preparation that needs to go into it.

Glad to hear that you are all doing well! :)

clare November 9, 2010 at 11:30 pm

best. post. ever.

you know its interesting, ever mother ive ever known immediately begins to talk about the next baby. whether its “i dont know” or “lets get started,” the thought of more is always there it seems.

so cool heather, so proud of you and your strength. GOD BLESS.

so badly wish i could photograph your little summer!

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:58 am

Clare,
Me too! And yes, CD and I were already talking about names for our next one…easy to do when all Summer does right now is eat, sleep, and poop. We might feel differently when she’s walking and into everything. ;)

STEPHANIE T November 10, 2010 at 12:36 am

Wow, what a beautiful birth story! My daughters birth didn’t go as planned either….. I had just watched the movie Orgasmic Birth and envisioned a sorta, well blissful birth and….uh yeah that didn’t quite happen because long story short, I needed a C-section. We all have do go with what is best for ourselves and our family. Fantastic job Heather :) Yea that Summers farting all by herself, that’s huge! Aren’t their little farts so cute? My daughter needed a little assistance with her farts….toot, toot!

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:58 am

Stephanie,
Summer is a champion farter. We can hear them from across the room, and yes, they’re adorable. :)

Taylor November 10, 2010 at 12:44 am

Such a wonderful recap – thank you for sharing!!! Congratulations again :-)

I have to say – as a hospital food service employee, I’m so sorry about the food! I’m sorry you weren’t at our hospital as everyone says our sounds so good ;-) And we give a special “Last Meal” to new moms right before they leave the hospital – complete with cheesecake and sparkling cider! ;-)

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 10:59 am

Taylor,
Wish I had birthed at your hospital. Love the idea of the “Last Meal”. That is great! :)

Mama Pea November 10, 2010 at 1:07 am

Oh HEABS. Just when I though my admiration and love for you could be no greater. I’m here for you girl. If you have an breast feeding questions, please don’t hesitate to call…any hour!

J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) November 10, 2010 at 1:10 am

Wow, that is an amazing story!! So glad that everything went well despite going off track a little. Good for you for breastfeeding, that’s such a healthy choice for your baby.

You handled everything gracefully; I’d be a nervous wreck! Congrats again on mommyhood :D

Tita November 10, 2010 at 1:59 am

Tears of joy…. amazing, you are both such amazing parents already…
Thank you for sharing this amazing story.
Love to all of you,
Tita

Scott in Ohio November 10, 2010 at 6:25 am

HEAB’s thank you so much for sharing your incredible story.

I think Summer’s arrival was just perfect. :-)

High-fives to CD for making sure you didn’t have to eat that crap the hospital calls food.

Now go get some rest. :-)

rachael (peace, kale, and yoga) November 10, 2010 at 7:47 am

Thanks for sharing your birth story! Breastfeeding gets easier and you certainly have the commitment. Enjoy these quiet days with Summer!

Dee November 10, 2010 at 8:11 am

Oh Heather, what a beautiful birth story. Thank you so much for sharing it. I wish you and your new family all the best!

Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble) November 10, 2010 at 8:18 am

Kudos to you for being so positive about the experience, even if it didn’t go as planned. You did what was right for you and Summer! So glad she’ safe and home :)

xo

Pat November 10, 2010 at 8:20 am

Thanks for sharing Summer’s birth story with us. I love hearing about everyone’s experience, and please know that it’s different for each child. My daughter was 15 days late, and I was suffering with PUPP (pregnancy related rash similar to chicken pox everywhere except your face, thank God! I was miserable.); my doctor was monitoring the fluid level every 2 days. Like you, I finally relented and had the pitocin; 3 hours later with no labor, they broke my water; 10 hours later and an epidural she was born. Second pregnancy: no PUPP, went into labor naturally; son born in 4.5 hours; mostly easy. Just wanted to share that with you to alleviate your concerns about going for #2; it most likely will be a completely different experience. Kudos to CD for taking care of your healthy meals! Thanks for sharing your pictures; Summer is gorgeous…love that hair!

Beth November 10, 2010 at 8:34 am

Oh yes. Induction. I know it well. I was induced with my first because of pre-eclampsia and we were at such a tiny hospital (and remember this was 19 years ago) that epidural wasn’t an option. So yeah. It hurt. If I could have had an epidural I would have, trust me. Thank God it only lasted 6 hours.

Good news about the pain of induction? Subsequent labors were a breeze in comparison.

I’m so happy for you guys, Heather. Summer is absolutely beautiful.

Chandra November 10, 2010 at 9:10 am

My 1st l&d didn’t go as planned either but my baby was born beautiful and healthy. I’m glad you aren’t bummed out about it. Your daughter is beautiful. Try letting her nap in the sunlight a few times a day and she will get her schedule flipped around in a few days. Our internal clocks are set by sunlight…it worked like a charm with all the kids in my family.

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 11:01 am

Thanks Chandra – good advice!

Felicia (a taste of health with balance) November 10, 2010 at 10:08 am

Thank you for sharing such an amazing experience with us Heather. I know you will be soo so happy years from now when you will be able to come back through old posts on your blog and read the detailed experienced you had. My love to your new little family!

Whitney November 10, 2010 at 10:13 am

Thanks so much for sharing the story of her birth- amazing! If there is anything you need, don’t hesitate to ask us! So happy for you and CD!

Karen November 10, 2010 at 10:18 am

You did great! Every birth is different and the primary goals are healthy Mom and healthy baby. Great job!

brandi November 10, 2010 at 10:31 am

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how much you plan – they just decide what needs to happen at the last minute :)

I’m SO happy that Summer is healthy and that you two are enjoying your little girl at home. Thanks for sharing, Heather.

dawn November 10, 2010 at 10:35 am

so great of you to post this–I feel included from afar in your exciting new adventure. much love to you and your adorable gang. dxx

sandra November 10, 2010 at 10:38 am

congratulations to giving birth to your first baby!! they truly are a miracle. I had exactly the same idea you had, and I truly couldn’t handle the pain in the end, but does it make me a worse mother I don’t think so. I think that giving birth is a miracle in itself, and now I have two beautiful daughters, who are the light of my life. Someone else posted that one is too hard on oneself. It is so true, especially as a first time mom, please remember to give yourself a break. Your daughter will thank you for it. Breastfeeding is all about practice and peace, don’t stress if you have to give her formula for one feeding just to catch your body. My mom brought me my meals, I slept when my baby slept (this was not as easy with number 2) and my husband was incredible. But you did an amazing job, welcome to the Mom club!! you are a member for the rest of your life!!
Good luck and congratulations!!

Lindsay November 10, 2010 at 11:04 am

You are such an inspiration Heather. I love your honesty and your attitude-that you althougth things didnt go the way you had “planned” it turned out perfect for you, CD and your daughter. What a lesson for us all to take away-for all matters in life. Just look at your healthy, sweet and beautiful reward!! Really spoke to me.

I am so thankful you decided to share this with all of us! Wishing you and your family all the best.

Sandy November 10, 2010 at 11:05 am

Congratulations!! Summer is a beautiful baby..You did fantastic~and did what was best for you!
I had lovely plan’s with labor and birth,but both my girl’s birth’s didn’t go as planned! Didn’t matter in the end, when you look at your Baby, and they are healthy~that’s all that matter’s!
Enjoy your sweet family of three!!

Gloria November 10, 2010 at 12:01 pm

What a beautiful experience, Heather! Thank you for sharing that with us. You are right – you have to do what is ultimately best for your baby, even if it’s not according to plan. A great message for all aspects of life I think :) Sounds like you did amazing! Congrats again!

Susan November 10, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Congrats Mamma HEAB on little Baby HEAB!!

Debbie November 10, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Congratulations Heather! You should be proud of yourself for delivering a beautiful, healthy baby girl. Don’t ever second guess yourself for taking the epidural…I have had two children and there is no way I would have not taken it….with my second i was already at 9 centimeters by the time I got to the hospital and got the epidural…i wanted to hug the Dr.! :) No one should have to go through that pain. The epi mix they gave me dulled the pain and helped me concentrate more on delivering my son … I could still feel him being born and move my legs right after…they have come a long way with pain management. Oh, and at my hospital…the food was soo good that my sister stayed for dinner with us because she had been there before! :)

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 11:03 am

Debbie,
Thanks for the encouragement, and our hospital food experience sounds sooo different. We definitely did not have any visitor wanting to stay for dinner! ;)

kelsey@snackingsquirrel.com November 10, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Welcome to the world Summer <3
Heather, this was the most touching post i've read! I read it twice over in fact because the first time I was trying to see through the tears in my eyes. It's going to be busy around your house for awhile but i'm looking forward to seeing how your little angel grows into your new little family nest <3 It was beautiful to see your perspective on the birthing process rather than the ones i remember from Health Class lol. Enjoy your new bundle of joy <3 Congratulations to you and CD. All the best in health and love.

Summer is truly lucky to have you as her mother to guide her through the journeys of her life <3

xoxo

Lynette November 10, 2010 at 3:34 pm

Wow.
1st-I’m so inspired to write all the details of our son’s birth because of this.
2nd- our stories are so similar -yet opposite (2 weeks overdue, induced with cytatek (sp?), little progression for 18 hours, pitocin, baby’s heart rate dropping with every contraction, listening to my body (epidural), still no progress at 24 hours, breaking water, internal fetal monitor, actually praying they would advise c-section, and being told we have no more than 45 minutes before they would do a c-section if there wasn’t any sign of progress, smiling on the way to the operating room…

And hang in there-I’m on week 8 of breastfeeding- and it’s sooo much easier!

Katie @ peacebeme November 10, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Thank you for sharing your story with us! I think it is wonderful that women have so many options for giving birth and that you got to have parts of your original plan while still doing what was best for you & the baby as conditions arose. Congratulations!

Kristin November 10, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Congratulations to you all, Heather and welcome out to Summer!
Enjoy every precious minute with her – she’s beautiful :)

bloomingbuzz November 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Heather-
Was just in Nashville this past weekend visiting my sister and thought of you the whole time! Congratulations on your beautiful daughter!

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 11:05 am

Bloomingbuzz, thanks for thinking of me. Hope you enjoyed your stay in Nashville. :)

Runeatrepeat November 10, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Thank you. Thank you for writing this. I am terrified of child birth and needed to read a real account. I <3 you, as always.

elk November 10, 2010 at 8:43 pm

It’s so beautiful that you documented your birth experience, and that you chose to share it. The more I hear about people’s birthing experiences (and a few of my friends seem to have spawned lately!), the more fascinated and amazed I become. The female body is amazing.
A friend of mine recently gave birth and had a similar experience with the epidural. She didn’t want one (to do with religious reasons, I think) and ended up getting one. I’m glad Summer came out happy and healthy (and you too!). My mother had to be induced into labour three weeks early with me due to the umbilical coming detached, and I turned out fine ;)
Thank you so much for sharing so much of your pregnancy experiences. The idea of pregnancy can sometimes appear so terrifying, but you’ve shown how natural it really is.
xx

Missy November 10, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Heather,
Congrats on your beautiful daughter!!! Thank you for writing this post about your birth plan and how things changed for you throughout the delivery process. This is a true, honest view of how we can’t always “plan” things, specifically when it comes to childbirth. As long as there’s a healthy baby in the end, there’s no wrong way to give birth! Congrats again!!

Stephanie November 10, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Congratulations on Summer’s arrival! I think it’s rare that a person’s birth plan goes as desired, but your birth was pretty close to it! Enjoy this time with Summer. She’ll be walking and talking in a blink of an eye!

Staci English November 10, 2010 at 10:42 pm

You are so cute, Heather!!!! I loved the info about Summer’s birth. It is so like kids to change ALL of the plans we have made!!! :) Congrats again! We can’t wait to meet our new baby cousin. Love you all!!!!!

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 11:06 am

Thanks Staci,
Love you too. :)

Tania November 10, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Congrats Heather! I attend high risk deliveries as a respiratory therapist, and a lot of the time, the entire birthing plan ends up being overhauled. Sometimes priority #1 is just getting the baby out!! Also, don’t feel guilty about an epidural in ANY way. Here in Canada it is the norm and there is no shame in it. I’m only sharing my experience in attending deliveries, but those who had an epidural appear to be more at ease/calm/focused than those who haven’t. The level of pain that some women experience is so shocking and intolerable it is unreal. Anyhow, no shame, no regrets and congrats! You made the journey on your own terms, from start to finish and that is to be admired. All the best to you and the hubby!

barbG November 11, 2010 at 10:03 am

Congratulations to you both and welcome to your beautiful little daughter.
It can be disappointing not to go “natural” however the unexpected can and does happen, so happily you are the baby are well.
Don’t worry that it’s a food blog, many new mom and not so new mom bloggers (whether it’s food, design or whatever) include all the news and wonderful new things their baby/children is/are doing.
So enjoy each moment.
BarbaraG

Cat November 11, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I don’t know why exactly, but when I got to the part about you apologizing to CD for taking the epidural, I totally welled up with tears. Just a very sweet story, I guess. I haven’t had a baby, but was with my sister last year when she had a similar experience to yours — wanted to go natural, but had to into the hospital for a more traditional birth. Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS, she’s a beautiful baby!

LizLivingVegan November 11, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Heather, that is so amazing! I teared up just reading it :) I’m so glad you and CD and the baby are all doing well. She’s beautiful!

Hayley November 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I know you know my labor story but I still can’t believe how alike ours were/are. Everything down to the intrauterine growth syndrome was pretty much EXACTLY the same!! You may have already written this somewhere, but how much did Summer weigh when she was born?

You’re SO lucky you managed to get a bit of ‘food’ into you – that was probably one of the worst parts for me…I was so drained of energy after being on pitocin from 9:30am until 5:30pm and not having any food. I’m envious you got to have that 30 minute rest before pushing, too. I was absolutely exhausted, but like you, I only had to push about 3-4 times. I’m not sure if you knew this but I begged for the epidural. I told Chris I couldn’t handle the pain anymore (it’s like nothing you’ve ever felt before right?!) but I was already dilated 10cm so it was too late. I’m on the same page as you about next time, too (God-willing there is a next time). I still like the idea of doing natural labor but pitocin really changes everything. The contractions come so close together (hard and fast!) when you’re on that IV. The important thing is that you have a beautiful, healthy baby girl…she is so lovely Heather – good job to you and CD! :) I can’t believe all that hair…she really is gorgeous – like her mama. Congratulations!! I can’t wait to read more about your adventures with her. I know I’m not an expert (I only have about 2 months on you!) but if you ever have any questions about ANYTHING please don’t hesitate to email me. I struggled so much with breastfeeding and the guilt from not being able to do it as easily as I’d hoped so if you ever want to talk about that my ears are always open.

Lots of love to you and your new family.. xoxo

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 11:10 am

Hayley,
Thanks so much for all your support and encouragement over this past week. Still working on the breast feeding – day 10 and still no milk. It’s hard and frustrating, but I’m doing the best I can. If it doesn’t work out, and Summer has to be formula fed, then I’m not going to stress over it. I would hate to look back on her first few months with regret over being sad all the time. It’s just not worth it. She was 5 pounds 9 ounces when she was born and dropped to 4 lbs 13 ounces. However, not that she’s on formula, she’s almost back to her original birthweight. I’m still pumping colostrum and waiting. We shall see. Thanks again for everything. Your comments have been very comforting. :)

Lauren @ WWoB November 11, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Much to my surprise, I cried as I read this post. Your process and creation of life is just so beautiful. I am glad you followed your heart and everything turned out perfectly. Take care!

Mali K (The Mali K Whey) November 11, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Hey Heather,

I’ve only recently discovered your blog and really enjoy your reading through your recipes for some “foodspiration”! I just wanted to congratulate you on the new arrival. What a beautiful little girl! You must be over the moon. I’m glad you didn’t need a C-Section! Hope you’re all doing well and are happy and healthy :) Much love and God bless.

Mali.xxx

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 11:11 am

Mail,
Thanks so much for your congrats and for reading my blog. :)

skinnyrunner November 12, 2010 at 9:18 am

congratulations on such a beautiful little girl! and what a great attitude that you have about it all.. you have a healthy baby and thats whats important.

Help4NewMoms November 12, 2010 at 11:03 am

Hey Heather, congratulations. Sounds like you did very well. You are so adorable and your blog is so great (I came across it last week, and I’ve been enjoying reading bits and pieces all this week), I want to send you a free copy of my book – no review pressure, I just think you’ll get a kick out of it and I want you to have it. It’s called “It Gets Easier and Other Lies We Tell New Mothers” See? You’re laughing already. Drop me your address at claudine at help4newmoms.com, and I’ll send you out a copy. Moms have to stick together. All the best!

Candice @ChiaSeedMe November 12, 2010 at 11:34 am

Congratulations on everything Heather! I admire you so much for the way you handled everything – so inspiring to me. Also, I really appreciate you giving all the details – like why you didn’t want an epidural in the beginning and delivering the placenta etc. I always hear people talk about how they want a natural birth, but they never say why! It’s really sweet of you to be so open – those of us who hope to have babies in the near future really appreciate it:)

Summer is absolutely breathtaking, and I can’t wait to follow you on this journey!

Mallory November 12, 2010 at 12:14 pm

i dont think i have words to describe…ill just leave

:) :) :) :) lots of these!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Katie November 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Oh Heather, great job! Every mother is a hero, no matter WHAT kind of labor and delivery she has. I too really wanted a natural birth, but I too was like “I would take ANYTHING right now for this hellish pain!!” after so many hours of it … that really surprised me about myself. I’m so glad to hear that you were able to make the right decision for you, regardless of how you had hoped things would go. And you know what? After (at most) the first month or two of Summer’s life, no one will even ask you whether you had an epidural or not – no one will care, because she is alive and well and that is really what matters! :) Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story, and the pictures. She (and you) are absolutely gorgeous!

Colette November 13, 2010 at 1:08 pm

They probably didn’t tell you that they could reduce the amount of Pitocin being administered in order to make the contractions more manageable.
Congratulations for you and for your beautiful baby, I’m glad everything turned out well.

HEAB November 15, 2010 at 11:15 am

Colette,
Oh, they told me, but they ended up increasing the amount of pitocin. Forgot to include that little detail. That’s when I started dreaming of an epidural…and then demanding it. ;)

Marcia November 15, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Thanks for sharing your story. You did awesome.

I had an epidural. I made it to 8 cm without one. But man, I couldn’t have gone without. It was the best thing ever.

Congrats on your baby girl.

Aimee November 16, 2010 at 8:46 pm

Congrats Heather! You guys are going to make the most amazing parents. And I am so beyond in love with your baby girl’s name! :)

Jennifer @keepitsimplefoods November 17, 2010 at 10:55 am

Wonderful story HEAB! You did what was right for you and that is all that matters. Great job and thanks for sharing!

Gena November 17, 2010 at 10:58 am

Heather, it was so wonderful to catch up and read about your birth experience! There are all sorts of labors and deliveries, and no matter how much we read, there’s no “right” or “best way” for it to happen — nature is way too unpredictable for such things! I’m so happy that you have a healthy and beautiful child.

amber@SAHM's musings November 18, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Congrats! It’s been awhile since I dropped by your blog. I’m happy to see you’ve had your sweet babe! Your birth story left me misty eyed. No matter how it turned out it’s still so amazing! Blessings to your new baby!

CookiePie November 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Congratulations!!! It’s so important to have a birth plan, of course — but in the end, all that matters is that you and your baby are healthy and well. It sounds like Summer was born right into the loving arms of her parents and other family — she’s a lucky girl! Wishing you all the very best!

ashtangamami December 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Heather! I’m so happy for you and CD. Summer is beautiful and i’m so glad to hear you don’t have any regrets. You learned the same lesson I did: All that matters is that you are both healthy. Everything else is just not important. xoxoxo elyse

HEAB December 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm

ashtangamami,
Thanks so much, and yes, what matters is that Summer is healthy. I’m so grateful for her everyday. :)

Rikki James January 15, 2011 at 9:22 am

First off, I am a new follower and love your site!
Secondly, I do not think it is possible (well, *maybe* possible but extremely difficult) to be on pitocin and give birth without an epidural. Before my lifestyle change 5 years ago, I had both of my first children by being induced (no real reason other than the dr wanted to schedule them..stupid I know) and I can tell you from experience that pitocin contractions and normal contractions are VERY different!
I had a natural birth with my youngest, I used a midwife and had a home birth. It was WONDERFUL! The contractions were a bit tough, but I was totally able to work through them with no problems. Just had to share that with you! :)

Lara November 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Just re-read this! I think you know that I can relate and also ended up with an epidural despite my best intentions for a natural birth. In the end, it just matters that they’re here, right?! <3

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