photography by Jana Williams
It’s been exactly 10 days since Chloe arrived into this world, and there are simply no words to describe the love I have experienced in the past few days. I’ve felt something that I’ve never felt before, emotions stirred inside of me that I never even knew existed! Although it will be hard to translate my emotions down on paper, I will do my best to accurately share my Birth Story with you today.
Chloe Victoria Chen arrived on Sunday, January 18th at 11:58 pm, weighing 7 pounds 1 ounce and measuring 19 inches long. It was Saturday early morning, my 39th week of pregnancy, when I felt some cramping in my stomach. I honestly thought I just had to use the restroom, but evidently I didn’t. The cramping came back every 10 minutes, and they lasted for about 45 seconds. Although the contractions were uncomfortable they were bearable, so I went on with my day. Had a delicious brunch that Allen prepared, took a shower, started to do some light housework, and took a nap. It was when I woke up from my nap the contractions escalated. I remember my girlfriends telling me NOT to check into the hospital too early because if the contractions were not within a 5-7 minute interval they will most likely send you back home. Now that I think of it, i’m not sure how I was able to stick out the pain, but I did until the next morning. I was still timing my contractions, and although they were 7-8 minutes apart we decided to head to the hospital anyways because the pain started to become unbearable.
We arrived at the hospital on Sunday at around 10 am, and I was almost sure they were going to send us back home because my contractions were so sporadic and on top of that my water didn’t even break. Allen & I prayed that they wouldn’t send us back home because I wouldn’t even know what to do being in that much pain. Thankfully they decided to induce me right away after they saw how much pain I was in from my contractions. Once they got me on pitocin the contractions started to come in harder and stronger. I’ve never been in so much pain before….I was extremely scared. Call me oblivious, but I didn’t know that you could request for epidural at any time, so I was just waiting around for someone to ask me if I wanted it. It was not until 5 pm when I finally asked someone to get me epidural right away. Within minutes I was completely relaxed, and was actually able to enjoy myself! I still had a while to go until I was fully dilated , so we called our family members to let them know that I was most likely going to give birth within the next 6-7 hours. It was perfect timing because it gave my parents just enough time to drive down from up north, and also my sister, who unexpectedly last minute booked a ticket, to fly in from the east coast. A lot of people were shocked that I was able to Instagram and Tweet while I was in labor, but to be honest there was so much waiting time in between that of course I wanted to update my followers on what was going on. For a few hours I was able to read a book, Instagram/tweet, and take a nap while Allen was watching Sunday football ( thank God our room had a TV!). I felt incredibly relaxed, which really helped me gain the energy and strength I needed when I had to start pushing. My parents and sister arrived just in time right before the delivery, and seeing their faces gave me a surge of energy, confidence, and strength. My best friend Sara (aka MommaSohn) also arrived just in time for the delivery as well.
At around 11:30 pm I was fully dilated and it was time to PUSH! I was actually more excited than nervous because I knew this was the final stretch before I got to meet my baby girl. Thankfully by then the epidural was wearing off, which allowed me to access my muscles and gain the strength to push thru. My sister, Jane, and best friend, Sara, were at the ends holding my legs (yes, they saw EVERYTHING! ah!), and Allen was there to hold my hand. To be honest all I remember hearing was Jane and Sara screaming, “OMG!! I see her head! she has so much hair!!!” or “AHHHH!!! She’s coming! Keep pushing!!!”. I have to admit…. all that screaming actually motivated me to push even harder because within 15 minutes of pushing Chloe was born! It happened so much faster than what I imagined it to be. After Allen cut the umbilical cord they gently placed Chloe on my chest so we could immediately bond “skin to skin”. Within seconds an overwhelming feeling of love poured throughout my body. As she was laying on me I remember counting her little fingers, and just staring at her in awe… I couldn’t believe that she was mine.
We stayed at the hospital for 2 extra nights where I was able to recover ( I ended up getting an episiotomy…ouch!), and was able to nurse Chloe for the first time. Breastfeeding was frustrating at first, but got the hang of it by the second day. I immediately felt this cosmic connection with Chloe… a feeling of comfort and security. Allen and I would catch ourselves just staring at her in awe, observing every little thing she would do. From her tiny little smirks, to her cute dimple, to even the expression she would make when she goes poopoo (it’s the funniest face ever!) , we can’t get over the fact that she is ours. It has been such a indescribable experience thus far. I can say that is has been possibly the hardest thing i’ve ever done, but also the most rewarding. She’s a part of me and i’m part of her….it’s truly a magical thing.
Just wanted to say Thank you for all of your support for the past 9 months! Your thoughtful comments. tips, and encouraging words has truly helped me thru out my pregnancy. I feel so blessed knowing that you are all on this journey with me, and that I can share my most personal & cherished moments with you guys. With that said here is a little video I made for you guys, and also the official video of Chloe’s birth….