I was so thankful for the nurse that captured our moments with C and knew I really wanted Willow's to be captured as well. My friend, Nicole, of 314 productions is incredibly talented. That's an understatement. She approached me about shooting Willow's birth, and I was beyond excited. I'd seen so many done so beautifully and knew that she would do nothing short of perfection. If you forgot, she did our pregnancy announcement video, which I still watch and cry over.
This video blew my mind. It was so tastefully, beautifully, intimately, discreetly, joyfully, lovingly done. During the birth, I honestly forgot that Nicole was even there. She stayed behind the scenes, out of the way, and let us have our moment. I was nervous to have someone else in the room, but like I said, most of the time, I didn't even know she was there. At one point I asked her if I scared her for life (girlfriend doesn't have any kiddos), and when I turned to look at her for a response, tears were welled up in her eyes and she just smiled and said no. She was just as emotional as we were:) To my surprise, I was really hesitant about sharing this video for the simple reason that Nicole captured it so incredibly well that I wanted to store it up and treasure it always. But at the same time, because It was so beautifully captured, it allowed my family to get to experience that intimate moment without being there. Watching them watch the video and seeing the tears form, only validated my decision to have this birth filmed. I honestly don't know why anyone wouldn't have this done. I completely understand not sharing it publicly if you are considering having it done. Nicole even told me I didn't have to share this numerous times, but I'm sharing today in hopes that it will encourage others to step a little out of their comfort zone and have this incredibly precious moment in your life documented. To think that one day Willow can watch this video and see the love and intimacy we shared in that moment with her, makes me so thankful I had it captured. I wish so badly I could go back in time and have it done with C. She captured every moment so perfectly, noticed all the details, and edited it so tastefully. I guess I'll quit rambling on now.
Nicole, thank you for this precious gift. For your professionalism. For your generosity. For coming to the hospital at midnight. For documenting such a life changing event. For doing it so beautifully and tastefully. For your prayers. For your tears. For everything. I will never in all of my days be able to thank you enough for this gift. May the Lord bless you greatly.
Willow | baby from 314 Productions on Vimeo.
If you're getting married, adopting, announcing a pregnancy, want your family documented, literally anything you need or want documented through film, you MUUUSSTTTT use Nicole. I can not rave about her enough!
Now grab a cup of coffee, this post and timeline is pretty lengthy and I just don't care:)
On October 13 around 10am, I started having contractions every 30 minutes. I decided to help things along that I would take C to run errands and grab groceries. By the time I got home around 12, the contractions were still every 30 minutes apart. I was determined not to be in false labor for days, so we took a walk with josh around the block twice. A storm was rolling in and I just remember thinking the whole time, "I'm going to have this baby today. It's going to happen. Please Lord let it happen." When we got home, we put C down for a nap. My contractions were then every 15-20 mins apart. I walked around the living room, did squats, and focused on breathing techniques. We were planning to go to my parents that night for a family night, so I started getting ready. I packed up all of our bags and all of C's stuff so that if I did go to the hospital, he could just stay at my parents. By 6pm we were at my parents and contractions were every 8-12 mins apart. I walked around their house and ate dinner. For some odd reason, the contractions stopped and went back to every 30 minutes. Frustrated, I decided to walk up and down their stairs. I did that for about 15 minutes and it absolutely kicked my labor into go mode. Contractions went to every 5-10 mins apart and increasing in pain. I cuddled with C a few last times and put him down to bed at my parents.
We headed to the hospital around 10pm. By the time we arrived contractions were 5-7 minutes apart and way more painful than they ever were with C.
In triage, they determined I was in active labor, 4 cm dilated, and to get me the epidural quick because my contractions were insanely painful. My lab work took longer than normal to come in so my epidural was delayed 15 minutes. those were 15 minutes of hell. The pain, I can't even. FINALLY, it was time for my epidural at 11:50pm. With C, I had to have two because the first on didn't take. I was terrified of this happening again. Sure enough, after getting it, it only took on my right side. I kept trying to convince my nurse that it didn't work but they were insistent on waiting a few minutes to see if it would kick in. And that was my second round of 15 minutes of hell. Pain on one side might have been worse than pain all over. I'm not sure how that's possible but it was. The doctor came in, readjusted my epidural cord/line, and gave me another dose. Praise Jesus this time it took. They checked me at 1am and I was 7cm dilated. They decided then to break my water. At 1:55am, I was completely dilated and ready to have our sweet girl.
Nicole came after I got my first epidural, so she was there for the pain on one side and started filming then. It was perfect timing that she didn't come before the epidural because I'm pretty sure I was demon possessed. Let's just say I told three different nurses/doctors that I would kill them if they didn't hurry. And then husband said "ouch" (not thinking) when I squeezed his hand incredibly hard during a contraction and I almost killed him right then:) My voice was horse from a cough, so I literally sounded like a demon the entire night. It was pretty comical.
Nicole was able to give me stills from the video. So glad to have these as well!
At 2am, I did 2 rounds of practice pushing with my nurse. Then, she went and got the doctor, transformed the room into baby delivering mode, and it was time. The emotions hit me like a ton of bricks and I was shaking uncontrollably.
After a few short rounds of pushing, at 2:23am, Willow Ruth Kubler was placed in my arms and my entire life changed in that moment. I love having these images and the video to remember this. I bawl all over again every time I see them and view the film.
She was 6lbs 9oz and 19 inch long. I was able to have chest time with her immediately after birth for a solid 10 minutes. I didn't get this with C. Those 10 minutes will forever be stamped in my memory. Her tiny body cuddled in my arms. She calmed down almost immediately and I kept asking if she was okay because she was so calm.
Nicole left shortly after her birth, and we were moved to our room. By this time it was 5 in the morning. I nursed her for the first time, and then she was sent to the nursery for tests and a bath.
That morning family and friends poured in throughout the day to meet our sweet girl. Our favorite visitor by FARRRR was big brother:) I had my sister hold willow when he first came in the room so we could have a few moments with him before. We cuddled on the bed and he ate my breakfast (typical). We asked him if wanted to see Willow and he said no:) No is his answer to everything these days. Josh walked over and got willow. When he turned around and walked back towards us Canaan immediately pointed to her and said "low-low, low-low". I couldn't believe that he automatically knew that baby in Josh's arm was Willow. All the talking about Willow during my pregnancy must have really stuck with him. We cuddled and introduced him to her. He pointed, giggled, kissed her, and touched her. I had prayed and worried over this moment my entire pregnancy and it all happened so perfectly and sweetly. Well, besides the fact that C tried to rip my IV out. Yeah... that was fun.
We gave C a gift from baby Willow. A book about trucks and OF COURSE a Choo-Choo. Once he had his hands on that thing, it was all "willow who?".
The rest of the day was spent showing off our baby girl to those we love the mostest.
We were able to go home the next morning which was like Christmas day to husband. The man hates hospitals. I snapped just a few photos of our sweet girl in her precious going home outfit- Thank you Austin!
We spent that first day at home just the three of us and C stayed at my sister's house. I desperately wanted him there, but it was also incredibly nice to just relax, nap, rest and be with our sweet girl. She did so great the first night home. The next morning, we slept in after her morning nurse session and brother came back home at lunch. Right before his nap, we cuddled on the couch and watched one episode of Thomas. And then this happened...
The rest of the day (Friday) we spent at home just us four with no visitors. It was glorious. Saturday a few family members stopped by and some of my brothers came over. We spent the day cuddling our sweet girl and playing trains with our boy. We also took a stroll around the neighborhood for some fresh air.
So far, he's adjusting pretty well. He's been a little extra whiny and active, but we've stayed consistent with our routine and discipline. I honestly couldn't ask for things to be any better. He's doing so so well.
I'm incredibly thankful to my mom and sister for keeping C for 3 nights while we had baby girl. He honestly had so much fun, he didn't want to come home. Cousin Judah is his BFF, and those three days were like a joyous vacation for him. So thankful they love my boy so much.
Thank you again Nicole for all that you did. We are forever grateful.
Sweet little Willow, you've changed our lives for the better. I can't imagine life without you and I don't know how I've lived this long and not known you. You fit so perfectly into our family. I can barely handle watching your daddy cuddle you. It melts my heart to mush. I can't wait to watch you and C develop a sweet little friendship. He already loves you so much. He's constantly trying to hand you trains. He's so ready for a playmate. I'm loving loving loving loving the newborn stage this time around. You tininess kills me. You're doing an amazing job at nursing and sleeping. The past two nights you've only woken up once during the night to eat.... a serious miracle and gift to this sleep deprived momma. We go to the doctor tomorrow for your first check up and I can't wait. We love you, Willow girl.
my mind is blown that I just typed this all up. Little girl came a Week and One day early. Born at 38 weeks and 6 days. I knew the entire pregnancy I would have her early. The thought that I'm supposed to still be pregnant right now is so crazy. SO thankful that's not the case and I can hold her in my arms now. Little girls are a whole new kind of preciousness. It's rocking our world and we couldn't love it more!