First off, I cannot believe it’s November! I also cannot believe I’m getting ready to blog my first sessions since coming back from maternity leave. As I was sitting down to write about the amazing families I’ve had the pleasure of photographing recently, I realized that I haven’t blogged an update about my new little girl! I suppose I can blame it on getting used to my new role as mom to two. What a wild ride it has been.


My labor and delivery were very fast! With Drew, my contractions started 24 hours before I went to the hospital and gradually started to get stronger, as expected…and it was a full 12 hours at the hospital before he was finally born! It was loooong and sloooow. BUT, I had an epidural to keep me happy :)


This time around was different. My early contractions were very irregular and were not getting any stronger or closer….until BAM, it was extremely sudden when I just knew that the real thing was happening. So I rolled out of bed, went downstairs and did what any laboring mom would do – I proceeded to clean the house. Lol! Mostly, I was trying to keep my mind off of timing each contraction…but also, I was grossed out by the dust bunnies under my dining table :)  About an hour later I decided to wake my lovely snoring husband from his beauty sleep (although I’ll admit that I stood in the doorway for a while watching in pure jealousy how he could sleep so well while I was doubling over from the contractions) and called my mom to come over to watch Drew. My hubs later told me that he *knew* I meant business because I didn’t bother changing out of my pj’s or even putting on my eyebrows! Hahha! Hey, I didn’t think anything was wrong with my uber classy Dos Equis shirt! At least I wasn’t wearing my usual favorite jammies that night: My hubby’s No Ma’am or Buttweiser shirt (they fit so comfortably over my HUGE belly). Come to think of it, I must have been quite a sight…Big preggo lady wearing a beer shirt that looked more like  a baby tee :)


So we arrived at the hospital and I was 5cm at that point. The pain was moderate, but I thought “I can do this, what epidural – no thanks”. Ha. Little did I know that this was just a taste of the pain…little did I know. After an hour or so, I felt a trickle down my leg and thought, GREAT, I peed myself…but no, it was my water that broke – and that’s when I got excited! I waited about 30 minutes before I told hubs that I wanted to walk around to get the labor going, I told him I wanted “harder contractions” and was ready to rock and roll. He said I was crazy, and yes, what a fool I was, a fool I tell you. Suffice it to say, I got what I wanted, and within 10 minutes of walking – literally – the pain intensified 1000% (is that even possible?) Because I had an epi with Drew, I never felt contractions during transition. I know everyone has a different threshold for pain…but man, I must be a wimp because I was in bad shape – the pain was insane. The contractions felt like my pelvic bone was being broken in half. I would preface every contraction with “Ohhh noooo, another one”. I didn’t have a doula & hubs didn’t have any “coach training”, but at the very least I had photographed enough unmedicated births to know what not to do – scream or tense up. So I moaned, groaned and breathed deep. I sounded like an injured pig. I grasped onto my husband, swaying from side to side. I really couldn’t bear it anymore – which is when I grabbed him by the head, looked at him dead in the eyes and said “get me drugs, NOW” –  he called the nurse…and they said my angel (the anesthesiologist) was on the way. Little did I know that they lied to me to keep me sane. It was way too late for an epi, but they told me I would get one because if they had told me the truth, I’d probably go crazy (smart move by the nurses). Aaaanyway (at this point I was only at the hospital for 2.5 hours) they checked me, doctors and nurses flooded the room and they said I was almost ready to push. ALMOST?! Really, because I wanted to push NOW. The urge to push was so severe, I was on my side clenching and straining in order to prevent myself from pushing. What a sight. At least I was in a gown and not that Dos Equis shirt. Hahhaa! All the while I was alternating between moaning “Where’s my epidural”, “This is so wrong, so unnatural” and looking hubs, again, dead in the eyes saying “Help me, I’m dying, DYING”- LOL! Poor guy. I saw his eyes full of tears because he felt so sorry for me.  Then I heard the nurse say “Honey, no epidural, it’s go time”. Wha? What? OMG I thought, I’m SOL. Then something came over me, it’s like angels above were on my shoulders, because I got it together, realizing that no one could help me – that I had to get my sweet girl out and into my arms by myself, no one could save me from the pain. So I put on my game face, and pushed – I pushed like a deadlifter getting his weights up and over his head – with brute force, but controlled and steady. I didn’t scrunch up my face or squeal. I stayed quiet, relaxed my face and breathed deep with each push…and before you know it, she was out, and in my arms :) The best feeling of my life. My girl in my arms…and feeling like I had just taken the biggest ___ of my life. Ahhh, relief and joy! And it all happened in 3 hours!


It’s pretty funny in retrospect now that it’s been over a month – but man, what an experience, what pain! All worth it of course…I felt great afterwards. No drugs to recover from and I was totally present to take in and savor the fleeting moments of holding my precious newborn for the first time.  I’ll be the first to admit that it has been tough with 2 kids though – TOUGH. So challenging in fact that I had to start Drew in preschool part-time earlier than I had planned. It was just too hard keeping him busy and happy at home 5 days a week with a newborn. Between two kids, breastfeeding on demand, soccer and karate classes, cleaning the house, making meals & proofing sessions, it’s a wonder that I haven’t totally lost my marbles. But at the end of the day, when my babes are fast asleep…I reflect on my blessings and realize that I am so, so lucky – to have two beautiful, healthy children and an amazing partner. And when I wake up in the morning to hear my son say “Good morning Emi, I love you” in the sweetest, softest voice, my heart melts, and I remember that THIS is what life is all about…it’s more than a little chaotic, but it’s beautiful…and I wouldn’t have it any other way :)

  • Cindy Wilson What a trooper you are, Julie! Congratulations on your beautiful family.(11.02.2011 03:38pm)
  • Trish G What a beautiful birth story. I'm expecting my little girl to come tonight (fingers crossed) and this puts me in just the right mood! I delivered both boys all naturally and plan to do the same thing. It is a truly amazing experience, isn't it? Congratulations!(11.02.2011 06:50pm)
  • Sandra N. Congratulations Julie! What a blessing she is...(they both are. :) ) You said it's chaotic, but it's beautiful and this is what life is all about! Enjoy every minute. :)(11.03.2011 08:53am)
  • Ranee Kang OMG! You poor girl and a superwoman! My goodness. But us moms gotta do what we gotta do right? LOL! What a story. Glad it all went well for everyone.(11.08.2011 12:18am)

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