Naomi June Brunson // Born Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 9:16 am in Vacaville, California.

I was 39 weeks pregnant and getting impatient to meet our little one. My pregnancy went fairly smooth, thankfully, but nearing the end all I wanted to do was to meet our daughter. It was killing me not knowing when she would come. Plus, the dozens of pee breaks during the night were getting old.

Over the last couple of weeks I’d been feeling pre labor signs like inconsistent contractions as well as a few other things that made me wonder if labor was imminent. My mom kept reminding my impatient self that should would likely be late and come past her due date (January 15) especially because it’s our first baby.

The morning of January 5 (Friday), Kyle and I went to see our chiropractor. It had become a routine visit throughout my pregnancy, which helped relieve my back pain. I’ve also read being well adjusted and aligned can help your labor and delivery go smoother.

It wasn’t until that night (around 10 pm) that my contractions started coming with a twinge of pain. I was still trying to talk myself down that they weren’t regular or strong enough and would probably go away. By 1 am I was in quite a bit of pain and they seemed to be getting closer together (7 minutes apart) so I called labor and delivery. The nurse told me it’ll probably still be a while and I should try to get some sleep. That sounded great and all except my contractions were too painful to even think about trying to sleep.

At 1:30 am Saturday morning, after failing to relax and sleep because the pain was gripping, Kyle and I decided it was best to go to the hospital just to be safe.

We get there around 2 am and the nurse basically rolled her eyes at me but said she’d check to see if I’m dilated. I was only 1.5 cm dilated. I felt SO defeated and confused because the contractions were extremely painful, I could barely even breathe through them. By this point they were maybe 4 minutes apart. It felt like once one contraction was ending another was just getting started. I was in a fog the next couple of hours from the pain and we were about to be sent home. Luckily, the doctor came in to check me again and I went from a 1 to a 3 cm in 40 minutes. HALLELUJAH we were going to be admitted. I was seriously about to lose it because of the pain and did not want to go home. Good thing we didn’t...

Of course it still took a couple of hours to get my epidural (that I kept begging for) because everyone assumed I would still have a while to progress. Finally, I got my blessed epidural and after 5 hours of almost constant gripping pain, I could breathe and feel some relief. Not long after that my midwife checked me again and I was dilated to a NINE and fully effaced. I was expecting or hoping for maybe a 5 or 6 by then but oh my goodness. I believe I went from a 1 cm to 10 cm in 7 hours.

I have to mention, through all this my husband was a serious champ. He hated seeing how much pain I was in and was also terrified of being sent home when we first got there. Pretty sure those first 5 hours I was leaning into him squeezing his hand and wailing and crying the whole time. But he was my rock and helped me breathe through it.

They claimed my contractions felt so intense because I progressed so fast. I sure hope so, or else otherwise I feel like a total whimp! But for most of the time there weren't any breaks between contractions. And I didn't get my epidural til I was a 9, so ladies, while I love and totally planned on using modern medicine, still prepare yourself because most of labor is still done without it!

The epidural didn’t hurt, and felt AMAZING to get some relief so I could at least try to think straight and be present for the birth. At this point, my midwife tried to turn the baby because she was sunny side up. After that, she had me use a peanut ball to help encourage the preferred position for baby’s head. I remember her mentioning to spend 30 minutes on each side with it, but after 5 minutes I felt the pressure get much stronger so I insisted she check me. I was a 10 and it was game time.

Everything happened so fast it’s hard to even remember all of the details. Once they told me it was time to push, Naomi was born within 30 minutes. I had such an incredible team - my midwife and nurse knew just how to motivate me and cheer me on. At first I hated the idea of using a mirror to watch her being born, but with their encouragement that it helps motivate me to push effectively, I obliged.

It was the most surreal but incredible experience. Watching our baby come into this world, each push getting stronger and closer to meeting her. I’m forever grateful for modern medicine, but man, even with an epidural you feel a lot. I could still feel each contraction come which was helpful because my body knew when to push. And just like that, after 7 hours of labor and 30 minutes of pushing, our little Naomi June Brunson was born, 7 lbs 3 oz. She looks just like her daddy and I'm hoping she keeps her red hair.

We got immediate skin to skin for the next hour which was heavenly, and Kyle cut the cord. I was in shock and awe for a while that she was really here and completely ours. I’ll forever cherish those first moments of us three together.

We came home the next evening, and that began a whole new adventure maybe I'll write about in another post if people are interested. But we are incredibly grateful for this tiny blessing and life has only gotten more fun with her in our lives.

Images by the wonderful Jen Hammer Photography.