A Birth Story / Rylee Paige

After a week and a half of a lot of nothing, no contractions or signs of labor, I decided to have a "me" day. I had the whole afternoon planned out. I would go get a foot massage, grab a quick milk tea, stop by the store, and then pick up Emily on the way home. And I'll be honest. I'll admit it. I had ulterior motives. I had heard a rumor that foot massages could induce labor so I figured, why not? If anything, I'd at least get a nice relaxing massage out of it. So I headed to my appointment, hope in my heart and tension in my feet.

Once I got there, I was greeted by the sweetest little lady. She was like an Asian version of Betty White and seriously, as nice as could be. Anyway, she greeted me and led me to what I'd like to call, "the 'please Lord, let this baby come' room." So she gave me the best damn foot massage of my life, and I walked out feeling super refreshed. As I got in my car and drove to Target, magic happened. I started having my very first contractions, at least the first ones I could feel. I pulled into the Target parking lot and walked around the store to see if they would go away. The pain was so good y'all. My excitement was really building up at this point and after an hour of consistent contractions, I decided to go pick up Emily and head home before they got worse. But then the pain was not so good. The pain was PAINFUL, and I had to park in a random neighborhood so I could kneel over and cry. I called Kyle, tears streaming down my face.

Sweet Kyle. Love of my life. He reassured me everything would be fine. He told me to head home. He would call his mom and have her pick up and watch Emily. He would also come home right away and take care of me.

Slowly, I drove. And when I got home, I immediately climbed into bed and then you know what, the contractions stopped. THEY COMPLETELY STOPPED. THOSE DANG HOPE-SHATTERING CONTRACTIONS STOPPED. Kyle came home. His mom dropped off Emily. I was embarrassed. I ate fried chicken while weeping (the weeping didn't actually happen but the fried chicken totally did). I really thought it was going to happen. I thought Asian Betty White had used her massaging voodoo magic to induce my baby.

So that night, Kyle comforted me/patted me on the head like a dog, and I went to sleep. The next day, I woke up and grabbed a yogurt drink. Emily was watching Kickin' It and I wanted to be kickin' it next to her (my apologies if this made you uncomfortable, you're welcome if you chuckled). Then as I sat down, I freaking peed myself.

I was like,"HOLY COW, did I just pee myself?" I went to the bathroom to check and then a thought crossed my mind. Could this be my water breaking? I wasn't sure. Kyle had always joked that it would be like a flood. He had prepared himself to be swept off the bed, riding the wave of my amniotic fluid (too much? not enough?). But this was just a little trickle. Kyle, bless his heart, was still sleeping while I debated with myself on the toilet. Finally, I stood up and exclaimed, "hey boo, I either peed myself or my water broke." He immediately woke up.

After showering, 10 more trickles, and Kyle patiently but frequently asking me when we should head to the hospital, I decided that I had not peed myself after all.

Once we got to the hospital, the nurse (her name was Chris) had me change into one of those stylish hospital gowns and lay in bed while she checked to see how far along I was. 4-5cm dilated and 80% effaced, she said it would be quick. It was not quick.

We arranged for one of our friends (sweet Helena) to come get Emily until Kyle's mom could pick her up. I didn't want her to see me in labor but mainly, I didn't want to traumatize her for life. I was ready for the worst. And yet, I still didn't feel any contractions. Nothing like the ones I had the day before. So I laid there next to Kyle and my birth photographer, and we watched Die Hard 2 together.

After Die Hard 3 (Yes, you read that right. By this point, we had watched both Die Hard 2 and 3), I was 7cm dilated but still not feeling any contractions. My doctor always told me that I had a high pain tolerance, which Chris the Nurse agreed, but I figured I was just channeling John McClane level bad-assery. I'll take the credit though, just my own bad-assery apparently. Chris the Nurse and I decided to go ahead and have the epidural put in and start some Pitocin to help things along.

After Face/Off (not the reality TV show but the movie with Nicholas Cage and his most Oscar-worthy performance), I started feeling kind of weird. Like I really had to poop. So I called Chris the Nurse and she came in to check. 10cm!!! Game time, she said!

So I pushed and pushed my heart out. Pushed like I never pushed before. I pushed because I couldn't wait to meet our baby, the baby we had been praying and hoping for for almost two years. I pushed because Kyle held my hand, stroked my hair, and kept telling me he loved me. I pushed because I wanted to finally know if we were having a boy or girl. I pushed because despite her shift being over, Chris the Nurse stayed to help because she also wanted to know our baby's gender. And I pushed because even though we were supposed to have the on-call doctor, my actual Ob-Gyn (who happened to be the wife of our infertility doctor) wanted to be the one to deliver our baby.

And then Rylee was born and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever experienced. I held her in my arms and I felt more joy and fear than I had ever felt in my life. And I couldn't believe that Kyle and I had created her together. That we had created this new life that would forever change ours. And everything felt like it was as it should be. 

The rest of the night was a blissful blur. Emily, Kyle's mom, and my mom holding Rylee. Emily opening her gift from Rylee and wanting to take pictures of her new little sister to show off at school. Seeing Kyle take care of our baby girl and finally, late late that night when I couldn't sleep because I just wanted to watch her as she laid on my chest. This creating life business, magical I tell ya. Magical. 

***Photos by A Sacred Project

The Waiting Game

I realize I shouldn't be complaining. I'm only 38 weeks and have 2 to go, but when the doctor said it'd be any day now over a week ago, I sure did get excited. Days have been dragging and my patience (what little I had before) is practically gone. I spend my afternoons eating Cap'n Crunch and watching April the Giraffe, my hero, hoping for the birth of her baby and mine. I mean, come on! This warrior-champion for pregnant women everywhere-has been overdue for almost 3 weeks now. If April can do it, surely I can. But little baby, I'd sure like to meet you. It's nice and cozy in your mama and dada's arms, I promise.

Our Marriage

I have a really awful memory. Like so bad that I can't remember what I did yesterday. So I thought it'd be nice for me to have a little note of my favorite memories during the process of us getting married. Something to look back on sort of thing. :)

Before Wedding
  • Calling everyone the day we got engaged and their reactions (most notably, Cuong and Jaymik).
  • The two bachelorette parties with my favorite people, the amazing wedding shower thrown by our wedding party, my work bridal shower, and the lovely tea dinner hosted by Barb. So grateful for all the wonderful people around us.
  • There was a moment the week before getting married where my sister and mom thought they wouldn't see me until the day of. We were standing in the middle of the street saying goodbye to each other. Right there in the middle of the street with the three of us hugging, my sister starting sobbing "my baby sister is getting married!"
  • When we arrived at the court to get our marriage license, I had brought the wrong form so we had to rush back home to get it. There was only about ten minutes left before the County Clerk closed and we were barely going to make it. Kyle was speeding (which is unlike him) so that we could hopefully make it on time, but then we saw flashing lights behind us. We were stopped by a police officer for speeding which led to uncontrollable crying on my part. He came up to our car, let us go and told us to just be careful and that we could still make it on time. We barely made it but sure enough, got our marriage license. The rest of the day was a perfect dinner and ice cream date to celebrate.
  • After losing both our cars, all the calls from loved ones offering help.
  • Spending time with everyone during the rehearsal dinner and the amazing speeches by Cuong, Raul, Helena, and Rasy. Also seeing Rasy cry during his speech. :)

Wedding Day
  • My sister coming in to see me right before I had to walk down the aisle. I was so nervous and when she came in, my whole body was shaking. She said she just wanted to make sure I was ok and to of course, also take a picture. ;)
  • After seeing Kyle and crying in front of everyone, my mom coming up to hand me a tissue.
  • Deacon Randy explaining that before the ceremony, he asked Kyle if he was ready and Kyle responded with "since the day I met her."
  • Making eye contact with Chris Lew while he was reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
  • Marrying Kyle
  • Finding out from Kyle that my dad had come in to spend time with him and all the groomsmen before the ceremony started.
  • While hiding with Kyle behind a door at the side of the church afterwards, looking outside to see Aunt Cindy sneakily snapping pictures of us.
  • The amazing speeches from Michael, Lindley, and Rochelle.
  • After all our practice, finally getting to do our first dance. Then seeing our incredible teacher, Chris Lew, crying in a corner once we finished. I think/hope we made him proud.
  • Cake, ALWAYS THE CAKE. But really the Big Foot cake by Linda was so amazing and delicious!
  • ALL THE DANCING! Turn down for what!
  • Seeing my nephews and Emily dancing, too cute. Also toward the end when Kyle and I were dancing with the kids, my aunt, uncle, and cousins (who were sitting down the entire time) came up, grabbed our hands, and joined us!
  • My dance with my dad and also Grandpa Schafer. I love them.
  • Courtney catching the bouquet, woot woot!
  • The after party but mostly getting to eat all the leftovers and cake! ;)

After Wedding
  • Getting to sleep in with Kyle at the hotel. Waking up to my husband.
  • Wearing my very first ao dai for a special dinner my mom hosted with all our family and friends.
  • The amazing speeches from my family and especially my sister's speech welcoming Kyle to the family. There was a lot of crying that night.
  • The late night chat with Grandma Kirk and Barb, my other mommy.
  • The honeymoon.
  • The marriage.