Welcome to the World, Juliet Elise Hagglund!

So, as I noted in my last post, the state of life post-Juliet's birth was busy, and somehow I didn't realize I had never posted her birth story. We're a bit behind the times, it being December of 2013 and her being born on October 3, 2012 but this is really important to me so now that I realized it was lost (I did for sure write a draft on my phone when I we were still in the hospital but apparently my phone ate it) so I am posting it now. I'm saving one post in current time but also posting one back in October of 2012 so that I can easily find it when I look back :) So here we go!


Toward the end of my pregnancy with Juliet things were rough. There was a scare where my blood pressure was so high the nurse wouldn't even tell it to me. I was placed on bed rest. There was an appointment where we thought we were about to head into a heavy and fast induction because of the big, scary preeclampsia. I didn't have pre-e, praise Jesus, but it was a hard time. When we went in for an appointment on Tuesday, October 2nd, three days past my due date of September 29th, we had our bags already in the car. Good thing we did!

Basically, I was in labor in every way except for contractions. I had been cramping and having all sorts of early labor signs for well over a week, but no actual contractions. My appointment was around 11am, and after talking with my doctor, we decided it was time to send me downstairs and admit me and have a baby. My blood pressure was sky high again, and since my body was well into labor and I was emotionally and physically spent, it was the best decision. Plus, we were pretty sure I'd have been back in the next 24 hours and with the blood pressure it was best to just get the show on the road. Because she's the best, Dr. Spence told Jason and me to go grab some lunch and check back in by 3.

Captivated from first sight.

Daddy, too!

Happily, we grabbed some Chipotle and check into the birthing center by 3 we did. I was tired and ready to go like, yesterday, already, but it took a really long time for the nurses to actually be able to help me. I talked a lot about hoping Jules would be born on October 2, so I was hoping that maybe things would go quick. I could have a baby in 9 hours, right? The nurses didn't actually get things going until almost 6, though. Come to find out, there was a very sad situation with a woman who birthed a baby that, from the scant details I could gather, was immediately taken away from her and into state custody. I don't think the mother wanted this, so it was a very sad and emotional experience. My main nurse actually had puffy, red eyes and I could tell she was trying super hard to be professional and happy, but she was just spent. It was a bit of a bummer :/ But on the upside, I did find out that it was REALLY good Juliet didn't come on her due date because apparently a gazillion women had babies that weekend and the hospital had been overcrowded. So that was helpful.

So, around 6 we started a little bit of pitocin--seriously, I think it was at like a 2, basically the lowest; remember how with Roger it was all the way up to a 16 to try and tell my uterus to go?--and got ready to roll. By around 7 the contractions were ramping up. I did much the same as with Roger--screamed and cussed and told Jason, "WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME!"

Ok, no, not really. I have been surprised  to find that in both labors as it became increasingly painful I became very quiet and just focused on breathing. Plus I'm pretty sure they took me off pitocin and my body took over, though I'm not quite sure on that one. The nurses warned me that if I wanted an epidural I might want to ask soon because another woman down the hall was getting close, too, and there was a chance that if I was ready and she beat me to the punch it could be a rough wait. At about 7:30 I was around 4cm, and it was time to get the internal fetal monitor and a catheter (per request--I learned that I love me a catheter when I'm in labor.  No shame, ladies, no shame!). To do so required breaking my water, which was when we became VERY glad that we had decided to jump start my uterus and get birth rolling that day, because there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. This also meant that a special pediatrician had to be called in and ready when it was pushing time, because Juliet would need a special exam to ensure that her lungs would be ok and wouldn't get a nasty infection.

So the contractions continued, now with the sweet grace of not needing to deal with the obnoxious task of having to pee. Seriously, I kind of love catheters. I think it's one of my favorite parts of giving birth and why I'm glad that the midwife route isn't even an option for me. And oh my word, I just realized that tub births probably have ladies sitting in their living rooms, peeing in a big old birthing tub. Who has time to get out of a tub and traipse across the house to the toilet? I guess much grosser things get in that water. But still...I'm very much a catheter girl in that regard ;) ANYWAY, around 9:30 I requested the epi but sadly, in Murphy's Law land, my birthing twin was getting hers. It wasn't in until about 10:45. Oy!

The times get fuzzy at this point, but I know that my doctor checked me around 11ish and warned me that we would be having a baby in the next few hours. I was at 6cm but she felt sure it would go quite quickly. She strongly encouraged me to try and nap. I did try, but to no avail. When she checked me again at 12:30 I was at 10cm--it was crazy to me that it took a solid 5.5 hours to go from 4cm to 6cm and then it took under 90 minutes to go from 6cm to 10cm. But my doc was, as she always is, very right that things would go very quickly. We actually were waiting to start pushing to make sure the pediatrician, her assistant, and various other things were in place to be ready to go.

Then, around 1:15am, it was time to get ready. I did one test push, the whole count to 10 thing, and everyone stopped me before I could even get to 3. Apparently Juliet was VERY ready to come out quickly and everyone else wasn't quite set. But then I did push at about 1:30am. I was stopped halfway through the first push, and my doctor had to move some scar tissue from Roger's body destroying birth out of the way. Then we did a second push and I was stopped at about halfway again--this time because Juliet was born!

Juliet Elise Hagglund entered the world at 1:35am on Wednesday, October 3, 2012. She weighed 9lbs, 3oz, was 20" long and had a head in the 100th percentile at 14.25"

Scenes of beauty. Her face, and sleep.

It stayed that way for almost a year--ha!

Praise Jesus, she was perfectly healthy, no adverse effects from the meconium, and I believe her apgar scores were 8 and 9. And she had the lowest bilirubin scores my OB had ever seen. She was beautiful and perfect and nursed like a champ right away.

Hospital policy is that newborns must stay a full 24 hours, so since Juliet was born at 1:35am that meant we weren't able to leave the hospital until Thursday afternoon. Still, it was sweet because a few friends came and Roger was able to come meet his little sister for the first time on Wednesday afternoon. He was mainly interested in snuggling Mama and eating goldfish, but we still were able to get a few cute pics.

We came home Thursday to a super cute sign and ready to start life as a family of four. It was a lot of work and almost nonexistent sleep, but I wouldn't change a thing. And even as I finally get this written out nearly 14 months later I still nuzzle her neck, kiss her head, drink up her gorgeous eyes and life changing smile, and marvel that Jesus chose to put this amazing little creature in my womb and entrust her care to me on a daily basis, for real. Jason's been such a sweet daddy to her, and I praise Jesus almost daily, as well, that our sweet girl has such a loving daddy who cares about her heart and being a humble reflection of God the Father's heart toward her. Roger's actually a pretty sweet brother, too, and always hugs and kisses her when he isn't so sweet to her.

Suffice it to say, Juliet, you are deeply, deeply loved and I praise Jesus for you! Our family didn't know what we were missing and then you came and we were complete in a beautiful new way.

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