What an adventure this year has been! I remember the day I found out I was pregnant, the second I saw those two pink lines I burst into tears. Happy tears of course, but also nervous, excited, and a little scared tears as well! I remember immediately dropping to my knees and praying to my Heavenly Father and asking him to help me be a good mother. I was SO scared to be a mom. Even though Brandon and I knew it was time for us to start our family I was unsure if I was fit to be a mother. I felt so young and inexperienced and didn’t know how I was going to take care of a little baby. And then to raise that baby and have to teach him right from wrong and how to be a good person…it was all a little more than I could take. As I prayed though I was filled with peace and as I thought of raising a baby along side Brandon, I knew everything would be okay. Those two pink lines would forever change our lives and our next big adventure was beginning.
I felt very fortunate at the beginning of my pregnancy because even though I had morning sickness pretty bad, I was still able to work and do most everything I was doing before I got pregnant. For the most part my pregnancy was going very smoothly and everything was great..until we hit about half way. In May I found out I had gallstones after several trips to the ER and many sleepless nights, throwing up for hours, and having the worst pains I have ever felt. The rest of my pregnancy I was unable to eat any fat (not even good fats like avocados) and it was REALLY hard. Pregnancy is supposed to be your excuse to eat everything and anything, but all I could eat was lettuce!! (At least that’s how I felt.)
As if the gallstones weren’t enough I was also in a car accident that put me into labor about two months before my due date! Luckily they were able to stop the contractions, but from then on it felt like I had problem after problem. It was extremely frustrating.
The week I ended up having Reed, I was having painful contractions that would get down to 3 minutes apart, but didn’t last long enough to go in to the hospital. I was SO ready to have my baby and since I had already been to the hospital SO many times during my pregnancy I did not want to go in unless I was coming home with a baby!! I tried all the tricks to start labor and keep my contractions going, like eating pineapple, eating spicy foods, walking, and bouncing on a yoga ball. I continued to have contractions so it seemed to be working. The day before I had him, I was at lunch with my mom and all the sudden felt like I had peed my pants a little bit. I had heard that is what your water breaking sometimes feels like, but it didn’t seem like enough to be my water so I decided to wait and see if things got worse. I was getting my hair and lashes done by my best friend that afternoon and by the time I went to my appointment I was having some really painful contractions. I was hoping this meant my water had broke and I would have a baby soon.
Well my sweet friend got my lashes done and my hair colored, but was leaving out of town that night and didn’t realize her flight left as early as it did so we didn’t get my hair extensions in. My contractions had picked up and I was still leaking fluid so I called labor and delivery and they wanted me to come in when I could to get checked out. I made my mom come over to my salon to help me put in my extensions because I couldn’t have my baby without my extensions in! 😉 hahaha (don’t worry though. If it would have been serious and I needed to get right to the hospital I wouldn’t have bothered with my extensions!)
Brandon had our bags, the carseat, and everything else we needed ready and packed in the car when I got home (isn’t he the best?) and then we headed to the hospital. I was so nervous, but hoping we might come home with a baby and PRAYING they wouldn’t send me home!! When we got there they checked to see if it was the amniotic fluid leaking. They had to do two tests to make sure, but found that it wasn’t amniotic fluid and my water had not broke. I was still having very strong contractions 3 minutes apart, so they checked to see if I was dilated anymore from the week before. I was still only dilated to a 1.5 so they decided to just send me home. (BOO!) The contractions were getting SO painful and were very consistent, so when they stuck to their decision of sending me home I was NOT happy. I had a doctors appointment early the next morning and the nurses said if I continued to have contractions all night my doctor might decide to start me. Well I did continue to have really painful and consistent contractions all night and even though I didn’t sleep and was in pain, I was hopeful it meant I would be having a baby the next day! That morning my contractions got down to a minute and thirty seconds apart and were getting stronger. I was really hoping that meant I would be having a baby that day so I did my hair and makeup as I bounced on my yoga ball to keep the contractions going! (I REALLY wanted my baby here!) Our car was all packed and ready still from the night before so the morning went really smoothly and calmly which I think helped me out a ton. When we were finally on our way to the doctor’s office we were behind a semi that said “Miller Time” and Brandon said it was totally a sign we were having the baby that day! Haha!
When we got to the doctor’s office I could barely walk or stand up straight the contractions were getting so bad, but the nurse had no idea what was going on and thought I was just uncomfortable as I neared my due date. She asked me how I was doing and was taking her time with everything until I told her I was having contractions a minute and a half apart. She started freaking out and asked why we weren’t at the hospital, (Yeah that was my exact question too!!) I told her they had sent me home the night before so she hurried and got the doctor to come in and check me. When my doctor got there he told me that if the contractions had not caused me to dilate any more, I would just have to go home. He couldn’t start me because I was two weeks early. My heart sunk when he said that because I just couldn’t go home. I needed my baby to be here. So when he checked me and said I was dilated to a 3, I almost didn’t believe him. He told us to head over to the hospital and he would be there once I was all checked in to break my water. I was so excited and nervous and couldn’t even comprehend what was going on! I walked out stunned that it was actually happening. We had been planning and waiting for this day for nine months and it was finally here!! I called my mom to let her know and she told me she had just been pacing by the phone waiting for this call. She just knew I was having a baby that day. I guess Mom’s know everything!
Brandon dropped me off at the front entrance of the hospital and went to park the car. I went inside and told the front desk girl that I was in labor and needed a wheelchair. Because I wasn’t in “drop to the ground” pain yet, I must not have looked like I was really in labor because the front desk lady didn’t believe me! She looked at me and said “YOU’RE in labor?” really skeptically. I was kind of shocked and said “YES, I am in labor!!” Luckily Brandon walked in at that point and just grabbed a wheelchair for me. This time my ride up to labor and delivery was actually exciting and fun. I was going to get to take a baby home after all this!
I knew the drill ALL too well, but I didn’t mind being hooked up to all the monitors this time. My doctor came in around 10:30 am and broke my water and checked me again. I was at a 4 this time and he said I would probably have my baby around 4:00 or 5:00 pm. The anesthesiologist then came in to give me my epidural so they could start pitocin. The epidural wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. The numbing shot hurt the worst, but luckily I had Brandon right there holding on to me and helping me stay calm. The epidural started working right away and I was feeling great. My sweet parents came up to the hospital to be with us and we started telling the rest of our family members that it was Baby time! Everything was going wonderful until about an hour after getting my epidural I started to regain feeling in my legs and started to feel my contractions. Which at this point were becoming EXTREMELY painful because of the pitocin. I started freaking out so I called the anesthesiologist in to see what was wrong. She decided to give me a super strong drug that would numb me up again. She administered it extremely fast into my IV and at the same time my doctor came in to check me. There was a lot going on and all the sudden my ears started to ring and my vision got really weird. I couldn’t see straight and I just kept blinking really fast. I could barely hear what anyone was saying and couldn’t gather my thoughts to tell everyone what was wrong. All I could get out was “I feel weird. Something is weird.” I was still only at a 4 and I could hear myself replying to my doctor, but didn’t feel like it was me replying. My heart started to race and I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I wasn’t even present in my own body. I couldn’t express what was wrong or how I was feeling, but I was completely aware of everything going on. I started to panic and shake and my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. I was having a bad reaction to the medicine the anesthesiologist had given me, and in turn was having a panic attack as well. Everyone started rushing around trying to help me. My sweet Brandon stood at the side of my bed through the whole thing, holding my hand, and reassuring me that I was going to be okay and trying to calm me down. I was so glad my mom was there as well to get the nurses and make them take care of me. They ended up shutting my epidural off and giving me oxygen. I finally began to feel less shaky and my heart rate returned to normal and I was able to calm down. Through the whole thing baby’s heart rate stayed steady and strong and it didn’t seem to affect him at all! I was so happy about that. Brandon and my dad then gave me a blessing and in that blessing Brandon told me that I had angels there with me. It was so amazing and I knew my baby and I were being watched over and protected by my Heavenly Father. As hard as things got I knew I would be able to get through it.
Because they had shut my epidural off I started to feel the contractions again and it was SO painful!! (Yeah I am not cut out for a natural birth!) It was about 1:00 pm at this point and I was still at a 4! I wasn’t progressing because my pain was so bad and I couldn’t relax. They turned my epidural back on, but it wasn’t working at all. So they ended up just taking my epidural out and re-doing it. Yeah I had to go through the whole thing again!! I was not happy. When she re-did the epidural she said she was also going to give me a spinal block to stop the pain faster. I immediately felt it start working and my whole lower body went numb and I couldn’t feel anything at all. My legs felt like they were asleep, but I couldn’t move them or do anything about it. Not being able to feel or move them really started to freak me out. I tried to stay calm, but I was starting to panic. I kept making Brandon move my legs for me to see if that helped….but it didn’t. I started to have a panic attack and just wanted to feel my legs. My mom and Brandon tried to tell me that it was either not feel my legs or feel the contractions, but I didn’t care I just needed to feel my legs so they called the anesthesiologist in again. She was starting to get annoyed with me at this point I’m sure. She shut off the epidural and then restarted it on the lowest dose. I started to regain feeling in my legs, but then started feeling some of the contractions so we called the anesthesiologist in….again. She was totally annoyed at this point because I basically wanted the impossible! She gave me a half a dose of the stronger medicine this time and then said that was all she could do. Luckily that helped a ton and I couldn’t really feel the contractions, but was able to move and feel my legs. It was 4:00 pm by this point, and I was finally seeing some progress and was at at 5. Now that I had found a good happy medium to my pain they hoped I would start to progress faster. At about 5:00 I was progressed to a 7 (FINALLY MORE PROGRESS!) and my doctor said I would now probably have him around 9:00 pm. I was feeling SO much better and since we had such a long time still, Brandon offered to go get me a redbox. He had been in the hospital all day long too so he needed to go get some fresh air as well. Before he left he told me not to trick him with a false alarm and do NOT have the baby while he was gone. We both laughed and knew that wouldn’t happen. Brandon just went to the McDonald’s up the road and had been gone about 5 minutes when he called to ask me what Redbox I wanted, right at the same time the doctor came in to check me. I told Brandon I would call him right back to let him know. Everything had calmed WAY down at this point and so when my doctor checked me and then said, “Alright we are at a 10 and 100% effaced. Let’s prep her to start pushing.” I was completely shocked. I had went from a 7 to a 10 and ready to push in just 45 minutes!! (crazy that just being able to calm down made me progress THAT fast!) I started to freak out though because Brandon wasn’t there! I told my mom to call him and tell him to get there now. He was completely freaking out and couldn’t believe that happened as soon as he left. (of course it would happen though haha) Luckily it took them a while to get set up and Brandon was there before anything even happened. Devan (my photographer) and Ana (my videographer) luckily were on their way already and made it just in time for me to start pushing! I was so glad they both were able to make it because having that special moment documented in photos and a video is priceless to me! (I’ll talk more about these amazing ladies later!)
After the nurses got everything set up they had me begin to push. And MAN was it hard! I was exhausted and had no idea if I was even doing it right. My nurses were AMAZING though and talked me through the whole thing. I just need to talk about how awesome they were for a second. The nurse that was there when I first came in to the hospital, was just the sweetest. She took care of me so well and made sure I was okay through everything that happened. Her shift ended at 6:00 and that was right when I began to push, but she decided to stay because she wanted to be there for me and see my precious baby born. It meant so much to me that she stayed and when Devan sent me my pictures and I saw this one of her in the background watching the baby be born I just started to cry. She was truly an amazing woman and I felt so lucky that she was there helping deliver my baby.
I pushed for about an hour and a half and the whole time I felt like I would never get my baby out. It just seemed completely impossible!! I was SO tired and my back and arms were hurting so bad. I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore, but somehow I found the strength to keep going. I remembered Brandon’s blessing and knew I had angels there helping me. My Doctor was so amazing as well! He was so kind and patient with me not only through labor, but through my whole pregnancy and everything that went on with me during those nine months. He was so caring and really made me feel like I was loved and important. It really made pregnancy and labor so much better to have him as my doctor. When we were ready for the final push my doctor told me he wanted me to give this last push everything I had, but stop pushing when he told me to. I said okay and got ready. I began to push and then he told me to stop and give him my hands. He placed my hands on my baby’s head and then had me continue to pull him out and on to my chest. I had no idea he was going to do this, but I am so glad he did. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I had just helped deliver my baby into this world. Hearing his cry and holding him on my chest was a moment I will never forget. The immediate love I felt for Reed was overwhelming and amazing. After a while they took him to be cleaned off and checked out. I watched Brandon just stand by his little bed ready to protect him and care for him. When they handed Reed to him for the first time and I saw him look into his eyes, my heart almost burst. It was like seeing Brandon again for the first time and falling in love all over again. Reed is so blessed to have Brandon as a Dad and I am so blessed to be going through this life and raising a child with Brandon by my side.
After Brandon was able to have a moment with Reed, he brought him over to me to hold and love. When he laid him in my arms I started to cry. I couldn’t believe this was my baby. He was finally here and he was all mine. I turned to Brandon and said, “I want to have a million kids!” hahaha Even though my pregnancy was so hard, holding my sweet baby was worth every pain, every bad day, every emotional moment, and all the hard things I went through. He was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to me. I was able to just snuggle and try to breastfeed Reed while they got things cleaned up and ready for our families to come in and meet him. The skin to skin was such an amazing bonding experience and breastfeeding was just so amazing to me. Even though he wasn’t inside my tummy anymore I was still sustaining his life. It was a pretty cool realization for me.
I was blessed to have my wonderful Mother with me through labor. She helped me through all the painful contractions and made sure the nurses were taking REALLY good care of me! And when they weren’t she stepped in to make sure I was okay and taken care of. Brandon and I really had no clue what we were doing so it was nice to have her there to help us. She has been such an amazing example to me of what a mother should be and I feel so blessed that Reed has her as a Grandma. My mom is my best friend and having her there while I brought my baby into the world was so special. I absolutely loved being able to hold her hand and hear her words of encouragement as things got hard and I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. My mom cares so much about everyone and is always there when you need her. She has been heaven sent during my pregnancy and seeing both my parents hold Reed and become Grandparents for the first time was so special. The love they had for him was so great and you could just see it in their faces. My dad was so sweet and had stayed all day as well just waiting in the hall and bringing me whatever I needed. After I was all settled in my recovery room he brought me the most beautiful flowers! He is such an amazing Father and has helped both Brandon and me out so much that we decided to give Reed the same middle name as him. It is a family tradition on my dad’s side to have the boys initials RKE and the middle be Kay, so we decided to have Reed’s middle name Kay as well. (The first name beginning with an R was totally coincidence, but worked out perfect!)
Reed is lucky to have Brandon’s Mom and Dad as Grandparents as well! Not many baby’s luck out with two sets of AMAZING grandparents. It was really special to see them with Reed because he is named after Brandon’s grandpa on his Dad’s side. He passed away 10 years ago and Brandon was able to be there when he passed, so it was really special to be able to honor him by naming our baby Reed. Brandon’s grandma is still alive and when Reed was born she said, “It sure is nice to have a Reed Miller in the family again.” How sweet is that? I absolutely love that Reed’s name has so much meaning behind it and that meaning has to do with family. Family is extremely important to Brandon and me so having our child named after wonderful family members is so special.
Two days before Reed was born Brandon’s sister, Janine, flew in from Arizona for a surprise they put together for my father in law for his Birthday. We joked with her that we had to have the baby while she was here so she could meet him. Little did we know that the day before she went home we would have our baby and she really would get to meet him right after he was born! When Brandon called his parents to tell them I was in labor she answered the phone and jokingly said, “Are you having a baby?” and Brandon laughed and told her we actually were and she was going to get to see him. It was so wonderful to have her there and I am so grateful that she was able to snuggle and kiss him before she left.
After our families had time with Reed they took him to the nursery to be cleaned off and checked out. My mom and mother in law stayed with me and took all of our stuff to my recovery room for us. They didn’t stay long though and then went to go see baby in the nursery. Now that he was out no one cared about me 😉 haha just kidding. After they left and the nurses cleaned me up I was all alone. It was so weird just laying there by myself. I got so used to having a baby with me constantly and so much had been going on all day it felt weird to have it so quiet and calm. I started to think about my little family and couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly grateful for eternal families. This was my little family and I got to be with them forever. After Reed was all done in the nursery everyone came back to the recovery room. My dad brought my brothers and sister to see me and Reed and it was so cute to see them with my little baby. Seeing Reed with my little brother Rider, who is 7, was the cutest. He brought his Pokemon cards to show him. He didn’t know that Reed would just lay there and sleep hahaha. It was sad to not have my sister Ariel there, but she is doing great things on her mission in Ireland!
After everyone left I just wanted to hold Reed all night, but I was completely exhausted and hadn’t slept in two days so I let them take him to the nursery while Brandon and I slept. I ended up not being able to sleep hardly at all because I missed my baby. I knew I needed rest, but all I wanted was to hold him. At about 4:30 am I heard his little cry coming down the hall as they brought him to me so he could nurse. I was so excited and sat and snuggled with him the rest of the night. Looking back, that moment makes me laugh because cries at 4:30 am now don’t make me quite as excited. haha 😉
We spent the next two days in the hospital learning how to take care of a baby and resting as much as we could before we had to go home and do it all on our own! I had amazing nurses who took such good care of me and baby and they even took care of Brandon! I really enjoyed my hospital stay and wish I could have stayed longer! I hear so many mom’s say they couldn’t wait to leave the hospital, but I had a great experience. The staff was so great, the food was really good, I was constantly cared for, and my baby was taken SUCH good care of. We also had lots of family members come visit us and bring us things while we were in the hospital. We have such amazing families!!
When it was finally time to take Reed home it was so exciting and nerve racking! I sat in the back of the car by Reed and watched him the whole way home. (Can you tell I’m a first time mom? HA) When we had left for the hospital our house was a disaster and Reed’s nursery was no where near being put together and ready. This was stressing me out while we were at the hospital and I was kind of dreading going home. But when we walked in our house it was spotless, our fridge was full of food, and Reed’s nursery was all done and ready for him. I immediately started to cry. My sweet mother and a dear friend of hers had spent the whole day doing everything. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and could feel the love they had for us. It was so fun to be able to show Reed around his house and his nursery and where he would be living.
That first night was really rough and we ended up calling my mom at 2:30 am to come over and help us! Thank heavens for my sweet mother. She basically lived with us the first three weeks! She cleaned our house, made us food, held baby while I slept, and took care of me while I recovered! She was especially helpful when three weeks after I had baby I had emergency gallbladder surgery! If you didn’t see my blog post about that crazy adventure you can read it Here!
Having a baby has been extremely challenging. I knew it would be hard, but I didn’t know it would be THIS hard. I haven’t slept more than 3 hours at a time, I barely have time to change my pj’s let alone shower, and if I get my teeth brushed before noon it’s a great day. BUT I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am slowly learning the balance of taking care of baby and taking care of myself. Which I have come to find is SO important. The less I took care of myself, the worse I felt. When I get up and get dressed, put on some makeup, and do my hair I feel happier. I feel more put together and like I can get through the day and actually get things done. I really do love my new life with a baby though and the snuggles and smiles make all the hard times worth it. I am absolutely in love with my little boy and love being a Mom!
Now let me just talk about my photographer and videographer for a second. I am SO glad I decided to have them capture Reed’s birth and I am SO happy I decided to do photo AND video. I think we all somewhat know the importance of getting professional pictures, but I think professional video is overlooked, but it shouldn’t be!! Having both photos and a video of Reed’s birth has allowed me to relive it in such different ways and bring such different memories and emotions. I couldn’t choose which one I love more, my photos or my video, I just know having both is something I will always always treasure.
I had Devan from Devan Rae Photography capture his birth through photos. Funny thing is Devan and I didn’t meet until she showed up at the hospital. My best friend Jessica with Jessica E. Photography was originally going to be doing my birth story, but when I went into labor two weeks early and she was out of town we had to change plans. Luckily Jess was awesome and found Devan to take her place. Devan was SO sweet and so wonderful to have there in the delivery room. I didn’t feel awkward or weird that she was there because she was very professional, sweet, and respectful of everything going on. She captured Reed’s birth so beautifully and I feel so grateful to her! Even though I was so sad Jess couldn’t be there it was so great of her to send someone who was equally as talented and kind! Both Devan and Jess are amazing photographers and I would recommend them to ANYONE!
For Reed’s birth video I had Ana Jackson, with Birth Love Story, there to capture it all. Ana is so sweet and genuine. She was a delight to have in the delivery room. Like Devan, she was very kind and respectful of all that was going on and never made me feel uncomfortable. Plus her and Devan worked wonderfully together. When I watched Reed’s birth video I was moved to tears. It was so special to be able to re-live those moments again. Ana was also able to put his video to Brandon and I’s wedding song, “1,000 Years” by Christina Perri. This song is so special to Brandon and I and when we listened to it again after finding out we were going to have a baby, the song took on a whole new meaning. It wasn’t just about loving each other anymore, but about loving our child as well. I am so grateful to Ana for filming such an amazing video and giving me something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Here is the link to Reed’s video if you would like to watch it. You WILL cry, so make sure you have tissues on hand! 😉
Thank you SO much to everyone who has supported, cared for, messaged, visited, brought meals and gifts, and just loved Reed and Me through my pregnancy and since he has been born! I loved sharing my pregnancy with all of you and I can’t wait to share motherhood with you as well! Keep following along as I get the hang of this Mom thing! I will also be sharing my mommy tips and tricks to feeling normal and beautiful still after having a baby!! Because it’s easy to forget how beautiful you are, but trust me YOU ARE!
Thanks for reading Beauties!