Welcoming Baby Annabelle: A Birth Story

Our new little family of three! P.S. The link to my hospital gown is here!:)

Seeing Doug with her for the first time melted my heart. He’s already a proud Daddy and so protective:)

I didn’t even know Doug took this picture until I looked at my camera! This was right after she was born while I was in recovery. Normally I wouldn’t post such a revealing picture, but after breastfeeding for the past few weeks, I honestly feel like there’s no other way but to embrace it as a Mother!

I’m so thankful to have such loving and supportive parents. They stayed with Doug and I for the first week after Annabelle was born. My Mom helped me get a handle on breastfeeding and calmed my nerves about tending to a newborn for the first time and my Dad cooked all our meals and helped out around the house. They are lifesavers! 

Doug’s parents traveled from NorCal once they heard I went into labor and were there shortly after her birth. They are so excited to be first time grandparents, especially since he comes from a family of all boys! 

She gives the funniest faces!

We were in the hospital on Christmas day, so my Mom brought decorations to make our room feel festive! My sister sent over a personalized stocking and we hung that on the crib along with a few family ornaments:)

First selfie with Annabelle;)

I had to post a crying pic;) Even thought I cringe anytime she cries (even when her diaper’s being changed), she’s just too cute when she does!

Her yawns are to die for!

Doug’s face basically the whole time at the hospital…scared and excited at the same time haha

I seriously didn’t sleep the first two nights at the hospital. I would just lay awake staring at her all night!

I wanted to document Doug being overwhelmed by everything in the hospital;) The first two nights were rough. My Mom told me that I had nine months to process the fact that we were having a baby and Doug had to emotionally process it once she was born. He was a tad overwhelmed, but he’s adjusting perfectly now. He instantly took on that stressed out Dad mode from the get go haha

Hospital Gown c/o | Swaddle c/o | Personalized Headband c/o

As I’m writing this blog post, Annabelle is one month old! I finally found a moment to write everything down as she’s nursing and I wanted to document what happened during her birth sooner rather than later because I swear I’ll forget everything! Going into labor was nothing like I had expected. The whole experience felt like a dream. I had been told a multitude of stories throughout my nine months of pregnancy of what to expect and then when I went into labor and started feeling contractions everything I had mentally prepared for went right out the window. When I woke up on December 23rd I didn’t initially have any labor symptoms, rather a strange feeling today was the day. I even said to Doug “You better take a shower and get ready because I think today’s the day Annabelle will come!” He just shook his head and told me he still thinks I’ll be induced haha. I filmed two videos and kept feeling what I thought was Braxton Hicks. It wasn’t until I started to get lower back pain that I knew something was up because I had never felt back pain like this in the whole of my pregnancy. As Doug was rubbing my lower back I felt something leak out (ew, I know) so I rushed to the bathroom. I was finally losing my mucus plug! I read that this isn’t necessarily a sign of labor until the “bloody show” so I kept waiting to see blood, but none came.

Disappointed, I stepped out of the bathroom and began cleaning the kitchen and after a few minutes I had to run right back to the bathroom because more kept coming out and this time there was blood! So we rushed to the car and started timing my so called “Braxton Hicks” which in reality were contractions! I guess I just have a high pain tolerance? Or maybe it was because I was told countless times that “You’ll know when you know” and that “There’s no mistaking labor”, well there was for me! Once Doug started timing my contractions they were 2 minutes and 30 seconds apart! We started freaking out because we were told to leave our apartment when they were ten minutes apart to make it in time for the hospital. I called my doctor and he told me that since this was my first baby just to head to my regular hospital and not the nearest emergency room. We were panicking the whole way there. Once we neared the hospital my contractions were stronger and stronger and my lower back felt like it was on fire! Once we checked into the hospital they gave us a room and the nurse said “Let’s see if we will keep you or send you home.” Once I heard that I was like “Uhh, why would you send me home if I’m in labor?!” and she said I have to be 3cm dilated for them to omit me. Luckily I was 4cm dilated so I got all set up in my room. I asked for an epidural immediately because the pain was so intense in my lower back. I had to ask Doug and my Mom to rub my back so hard every time a contraction would come to reduce the pain. I give serious props to women who go through back labor without an epidural.

After about 2 hours I finally got an epidural and it worked almost immediately! I was AMAZING. It took my pain from a level 10 to a 2! A few more hours later they gave me an oxygen mask to wear and I thought that was strange, but I was too focused on Annabelle coming that I didn’t think anything of it. I finally asked if that was normal and the nurses told me that Annabelle’s heart rate would drop every time I had a contraction so they needed to give me more oxygen. I was so out of it that I wasn’t too worried until I saw everyone huddled around the monitor…my Mom and Doug included with a worried look on their faces. The doctor quickly came in and told me that they wanted to give me Pitocin since I wasn’t dilating fast enough to see how Annabelle would react to labor. They also gave me more fluid to reduce her stress levels (not sure the exact medical reason..I barely remember what all happened). After they tried a few different things Annabelle still wasn’t responding well to my contractions so they did an emergency c-section. When the doctor told me I needed a c-section at first I wasn’t convinced it was necessary because I had heard horror stories from other people telling me that hospitals give out c-sections left and right without thinking. I started protesting a c-section and then my Mom stepped in. My Mom’s a nurse and has been her entire life so if I trust anyone’s opinion it’s hers. She’s worked in almost all departments of a hospital and has seen it all so when she said “Hayley, Annabelle isn’t getting enough oxygen and if they don’t deliver her soon there could be complications.” That’s all I needed to hear and we were off to the operating room.

I honestly wasn’t scared about the operation because all I kept thinking about was how we were going to meet our little girl soon! The whole operation was done in about 8 minutes. It was so quick! They numbed me from the waist down and Doug was there by my side the entire time. After a few minutes I heard a loud cry and there she was! They quickly cleaned her off and let me hold her for a few minutes. They aren’t really suppose to let the mothers hold their babies for that long in the OR, but I protested so they had to let me haha. She was the cutest thing we ever saw! Right away I saw so many similarities between her and Doug. Her almond shaped eyes, nose, long eyelashes and fingers, and darker skin. I know she will change a lot in the next few months, but I thought it was special that she already resembled her Daddy so much! Even though my labor was hard and I had an unplanned c-section, I wouldn’t have had it any other way now that I have a healthy baby girl. I loved the whole experience anyways!:)

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7 Comments

  1. January 17, 2017 / 9:58 am

    Annabelle is adorable! Thank you for sharing your story and pictures!

    -Ana

  2. Brooklyn
    January 18, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    I have watched you on YouTube throughout your whole experience. You, Doug and Annabelle are the perfect little family! Thank you for sharing your story and first time experiences. I recently lost my mom and it has my fiance and I longing for a baby. Your all’s journey has been very inspiring and reassuring!

  3. January 21, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    Annabelle is so precious! I can’t believe it’s already been a month- I’ve been keeping up with your blog posts & Youtube videos, and it feels like her birth was just last week! Wishing all of you so much happiness 🙂

  4. February 3, 2017 / 1:30 pm

    Awww. You’ve taken some really beautiful photos. A new follower of your blog after being a new subscriber on YouTube!

  5. February 7, 2017 / 4:10 am

    The picture of you, Annabelle and your parents is amazing! What a beautiful keepsake from her birth!

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