birth story - part one

today is my beautiful daughter's second birthday. i can't even begin to explain how much my heart bursts with love for this little girl. she has changed my life in ways that are unexplainable. for the past two years, i would occasionally think back to the week that i finally got to see her face for the first time. this birth story might be two years late, but i know in 20 years, my memory will fail me even more and i will be thankful for writing this post.

note: this story is LONG...and will have multiple parts.  i may jump around a bit and it all may be complete randomness. but i am remembering every detail and writing it down for my own sake. just a warning :)

one day old

one year old
two years old

in 2009, the third week in september was one of the longest weeks of my life. the waiting game was at an all time high. my due date was scheduled for september 17th, but....is a due date ever really right on the money? nope. and this was torture for my husband. he likes to be in control of every situation and have a plan for everything. at a moment's notice, i could go into labor and our lives would turn up side down. the countdown was down to the single digits and we were anticipating labor at any moment.

a little background: brandon was still in school at the time and working part time at diamond vogel paint store. i had been working as a supervisor at child serve and chose to work right up to my due date and even if no baby came on the 17th, i decided to start my maternity leave anyway. the plan was to take all 12 weeks off and then go back to work. that WAS the plan. unlike my military husband, i don't always like to stick to the plan:) more on that later.

months before the baby was born, i knew that i wanted to share my birthing experience with my sister, carolyn. i wasn't sure of all the details (where she would be, what she would be doing), but i knew that she needed to be there. carolyn had flown into des moines on a tuesday night and my dad drove her up to ames the next day. i cut out of work early to hang out with her as our "last time" as sisters before i became a mommy. the last month or so of my pregnancy was somewhat of a interesting time for me. i had a lot of "lasts" that i felt the need to grieve. my last christmas before i had a child. the last nap time before having a newborn to interrupt. my last date with my husband before we knew each as "mommy and daddy" and not just husband and wife. i clung to the alone time i spent with brandon as if it was my last. i would cry when he would leave to go golfing or go to work and felt sad that our "time" together was ending. i blame it all on the hormones. anyway...that wednesday, seemed like the beginning of the end of the last alone time i would get with my sister. looking back, it seems so silly, but i really had no idea how much a baby would shake up the dynamic of my life.

the plan for wednesday was to go to one of my last appointments at Doran Clinic. carolyn, brandon and i all ventured into the check up room, where they hooked me up to a machine to check for contractions.
as a first time preggo, i had no idea what the heck a contraction felt like. everyone kept asking me if i had been feeling any contractions and i would excitedly exclaim, "no! i can't feel a thing!", like it was some kind of accomplishment. little did i know that i had been having mild contractions for weeks and just thought it was the baby moving around in there. we all sat in that room, watching the numbers on the machine tell us that i was contracting. it was surreal. in brandon's head, contractions meant labor, so he was ready to hop on over to the hospital. sorry buddy, it's not that easy. my doctor told me all the signs of labor and basically told me to go home and wait. WAIT?! that's all we've been doing!! she also told me that she was on call this weekend, so if i were to go into labor, she would be able to deliver my baby. this made me all the more ready to have this baby! i trusted Dr. Lines and felt so comfortable with her. i wanted so badly to have her there with me, during one of the biggest and scariest moments of my life. i think i looked calm and collected on the outside, but my head was running a mile a minute and my emotions were on high.

so, we went home and went on the longest walk of my life. we showed carolyn our neighborhood and even drove to a new part of town, just to get a change of scenery. we had literally been on 12 walks that week
already....a new route was definitely appreciated.  i remember feeling so slow compared to the non-pregnant people in the group and was struggling to keep up the whole time. a funny thing that happened during our walk, was that there was a little girl riding her bike with her dad down the street. they passed us and we overheard the little girl tell her dad " that girl in the blue shirt is pretty....but FAT". i just love the truth speaking mouths of children. carolyn and brandon laughed hysterically and i just sulked. we made our way home to start dinner and possibly one of my last meals before i give birth. again with my never ending feeling of "lasts". brandon made parmasan crusted salmon and it was delicious. we all sat around the table and joked that it could be my last meal while my baby was on the the inside. following the meal, i insisted on getting gelato. in the car ride over, brandon called his mom and made her think that we were at the hospital. he loves to tease his mom and he had been doing the same joke for the past 3 weeks. jenny got her hopes up EVERY time:)

the next day, my due date came and went. it was my last day at work and i went out the lunch to panera with my boss. i remember her telling me how quick and easy her labor was and i just sat there praying i would have a similar experience. i headed home, feeling weird that my maternity leave had started, and my baby was no where in sight. i think we had a fire in the fire pit that night and just sat around waiting. carolyn filled me in on some natural ways to jump start labor, such as taking a shot of castor oil, but i opted to not take it to such extremities yet:) the last thing i wanted was a bad case of diarrhea and still no baby.

friday, september 18th. brandon skipped his classes, and my mom came up to ames to take everyone out to lunch. i picked our favorite restaurant, the cafe, and ordered the mac and cheese, which was amazing. we sat in a booth by the bar and my baby belly was so big, i could barely squeeze in! after lunch, brandon drove us around ames and tried to find the bumpiest roads in the city to drive down. he was determined to meet this baby and would go to great lengths to do so! mom and carolyn decided to go back home to des moines to wait untilbaby peyton made her move. little did they know...they'd be driving back up to ames later that night!

to pass the afternoon, brandon and i took ANOTHER walk. we walked/waddled toward down town ames to pick up some groceries to make dinner. brandon had the great idea to make jalapeno poppers for me for dinner. he was definitely bound and determined to jump start my labor...even at the expense of all my taste buds:)

stick around this week to hear more of the story....the jalapeno poppers might be back in the story later:)


  1. Oh my goodness! I remember as it if it were yesterday. I can't believe it was 2 years ago and homecoming week on top of it ! Whew what an exciting week!

  2. OooOoo I can't wait to hear the rest! :) I obviously know it, but seeing it all again is so much fun and I feel like it was just yesterday too!

  3. Carolyn/ Auntie PeachesSeptember 20, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    Im just happy you didn't have to drink castor oil. that plus 9 months preggo = probly not very comfortable. I love you and i love your story, sees!