Childbirth is beautiful but there’s nothing pretty about it.

Dear Delilah,

I had a beautiful pregnancy; no morning sickness, no complications, few stretch marks, & average weight gain. But labor was Hell.

(My last belly pic) 

Towards the end of pregnancy many women want to induce their labor, I however was not one of them. I didn’t want to strip my membranes, insert primrose pills vaginally, stimulate my nipples, or eat dates. I wanted you to be ready. I wanted it to be the right time.

Now don’t get me wrong I did some walking & bounced on an exercise ball for a little while but that was more to get through the anxiety I was feeling. I was ready to be done lying in bed for hours every night over thinking every possible scenario.

The truth is, you can’t prepare yourself for childbirth. Trust me, I tried. I took the classes, read the articles, asked the doctors all the right questions but nothing can prepare you for your unique experience.

On your scheduled due date, April 1st, around 1pm I started having minor contractions. Your dad & I were in HEB so we continued to shop. After that we came home & I monitored my contractions for 12 hours before your Granny & Nana got here. Due to all my questioning I knew the doctors did not want to see me until my contractions were 3 minutes apart for 2 hours. Around 4am I was assessed & only dilated 4cm, this wasn’t enough to be admitted so they told me to come back in 2 hours.

We went to IHOP where I continued to have contractions every couple of minutes. The pain wasn’t unbearable but it was enough to keep me from being able to talk or move. At 6am, I was dilated to 6cm so they admitted me, after laboring for 17 hours.

Waitress: “Are you..?”

Me: “Yes. I’m in labor.”

They asked me my plans as far as pain meds & an epidural went, I told them I was winging it. I didn’t want to be set on one thing & let myself down. Once I was crying hysterically through every contraction, I broke & decided to get pain meds administered through my I.V. Within minutes I was knocked out. 

While I’m sure my body needed the break, the medication slowed down my contractions & laboring process. They woke me up with pitocin. This is just liquid pain that makes your body attempt to self destruct.

After 24 hours of laboring, I got an epidural. While most of that decision came from pain, they also promised to step in & get the ball rolling. They broke my water soon after that & I can honestly say the epidural allowed me a little while to breathe & remember what I was doing all of it for. I was able to look at the faces of the people I love around me & see that they were no longer having to cry through each contraction with me.

Then as you were decending, the pain was too low for the epidural to reach. We were in the home stretch. About 5pm, after 28 hours of laboring, it was finally time to push. Movies & Facebook videos can’t express the pain I felt. With your granny on one leg, your Nana on the other, & your dad taking care of me, I began to push. For about an hour I pushed & screamed. I needed an oxygen mask to breathe & they were using an ice pack & a wet towel to try to cool me down between pushing. I thought I was going to die, quite literally & I wanted to. At 5:57pm I heard everyone in the room scream as the midwife pulled you from my aching body. As they laid you on my chest I fell backwards, thinking any moment I would pass out from pain & exhaustion. But the pain subsided & the look in your dad’s eyes some how brought me back. I had done it. After 29 hours, it was over.

I wish someone would have told my terrified pregnant self not to fear the inevitable. Did I poop? Yes, I pooped with every push. I could smell it & I’m sure it was a sight to see. But I was pushing harder than I ever knew I could & I can’t blame my body for emptying out. Did I tear? Yes, I had a second degree vaginal tear. But my body birthed a whole human & I can’t blame it needing a little more space. Did I say things I didn’t mean? Yes, & I choked your dad once.. I’m sore & swollen. Using the bathroom looks like a murder scene (& the smell of blood is crippling), it hurts to sit up, or walk. But I’m healing. This pain is all going to subside & you know what? I look into your little eyes & I see how much I mean to you. One day I’m sure I’ll just be your lame mom, but right now I’m your life source. I’m your warmth & comfort. Your favorite voice & your safe place. Thank you sweet girl for making the pain melt away & bringing so much beauty & light into mine & your daddy’s lives.  

Delilah Rain

7lbs 12 oz

21.5 inches long. 

My favorite adventures

Dear Delilah,

There will be many adventures once we have you, but here are a few of my favorite moments before you came along. 

Ziplinging & doing a ropes course in the Jamaican rainforest.

Attending our first military ball/banquet.

Your dad getting baptized. 

Our first Christmas

Cliff diving in NY

Building our first snowman

Spending our first Halloween together. Peter Pan is my favorite & we made the costume!

Going on a 10 mile hike, it was tiring then but a great memory none the less. 

Visiting NYC, very briefly. 

Attending our first concert together, it was Lee Brice.

Getting a new car! After having Betty White for 6 years & paying her off. 

Spending countless days at the waterfall by our first house. 

Swimming with sea turtles & sting ray in the Cayman Islands

Camping in the Adirondack mountains.

5.5 mile muddy obstacle course. I hated my life in the moment but I’m glad we did it. lol

Our proposal, I should’ve brushed my hair that day.. 

Our first cruise, it won’t be our last!

Visiting Boldt Castle

Margaritas in Mexico, plus all the tequila shots your dad had.

Niagara Falls for our first anniversary. We slept in my car in a McDonalds parking lot & I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Your dads first time seeing a play, which just so happened to be mine.

Our wedding day, of course!

Not pictured:

Our Toronto Zoo trip. It covers the most acreage of any zoo in the world. I thought I was gonna die from walking but it was amazing. 

Our first dance as husband & wife. It was waiting in line for the Galveston ferry. Cody turned up the music in the truck, came around & opened my door, took my hand, & danced with me right in front of everyone. 

Finding out we were having a baby, of course. Our biggest adventure of all. 

Finding your father

Dear Delilah,

Every story of love is different, but here’s ours. 

Your dad & I went to school together but I was a good kid & he was.. not. lol Sometimes I wish I had known sooner that he was the one. The truth is, I don’t think it would’ve changed anything. We were too different & we weren’t yet the people that God intended us to be when we crossed paths. 

After my first real relationship in high school, I’d kind of given up on finding anything beautiful. The truth is I had never witnessed a healthy relationship so I had no idea what I was looking for. After graduation I started compiling a list of character traits I would demand in a significant other. This kept me from settling for every cute guy I saw. 

He needed to:

  • Love God
  • Love people
  • Communicate
  • Make me laugh
  • Respect his mama
  • Be intelligent

There were more but there’s a few. 

New Years 2015 I ran into your dad at a party that we both kind of got roped into going to. I know you’re probably thinking “Y’all were each others New Years kiss & spent the night together under the stars.” Not at all. Your dad cheesily asked me to “stay & cuddle” after having a different NYE kiss. lol It sounds terrible I know, but he had no way of knowing he was talking to his future wife. 

Although I obviously denied his cuddling proposal, I felt the strangest sense of connection to him. It was the weirdest thing but I knew I couldn’t let that be the end of it, whatever “it” was. 

In the most humble way, guys always made the first move with me so I had no idea what to do so I thought “Facebook.. Duh”. Well we were already Facebook friends. I absolutely could not message him. What in the world would I say? So I deleted him off Facebook & sent him a friend request. Silly, I know. BUT guess who woke up to a message from your father? Got him, hook, line, & sinker. 

By this time he was already heading back to New York where the Army had him stationed so we talked all day & all night while he drove. We talked about our dreams, our fears, our families, our pasts, & our futures. We talked about things we had never told anyone & somehow we knew that we could trust each other. We did this for days. 

What you’ve got to understand Delilah is that through pain you learn to build up walls & I had so many walls up. It terrified me how easily your dad got in. He didn’t slowly break down the walls, he walked straight through them. 

Growing up with a lot of best friends, I always told them everything. But how do you admit to anyone that you think you’re falling in love with someone after a week? It sounds absolutely absurd. 

On day 12 your dad tried to push me away. That took me by surprise because if you knew me as a teenager you would know that I’m the queen of pushing people away. After making it clear that I wasn’t going anywhere your dad broke down & told me that he loved me & he was terrified that these emotions were consuming him. 

Love is scary Delilah. It’s the strongest force we know as human beings & it’s hard to fight it.

So we gave in. Two broken, heart breakers, who feared love & commitment. & it was the best decision we ever made. 

We started officially dating on Feb. 8. We were apart for the first 5 months before finally seeing each other. I can’t explain the way it felt to watch his eyes light up when he talked about things he was passionate about or see his smile. I could finally reach out & touch him, hold his hand, or play with his hair. 

The next time I saw your dad after that, we got engaged & then married the next day. July 17, 2015. I know, we broke all the rules. No big ceremony, no pampering, or bachelorette party. Married after only 6 months of dating but we knew. I can’t explain it but our marriage is the happiest & healthiest marriage I’ve ever seen. We’re partners in all aspects of life. We encourage, comfort, & love each other. We communicate & make one another strive to be the best version of ourselves every single day. I love him Delilah, & I know you will too. 

I’ll write a separate blog to talk about a few of our adventures. Stay tuned.

Learning to girl mom

Dear Delilah,

I always thought you would be a boy. I mean, my first child anyways. I’ve always felt like a “boy mom” & figured my adventures would come with mud, broken bones, & bugs. Don’t take this wrong, I am in no way disappointed. I’m just slightly changing my approach to parenting. I now have to raise you to be a strong, Godly woman in a man’s world. I have to raise you to be a lady but teach you that being a lady doesn’t mean your voice doesn’t matter. 

But on another note, I’m learning all about dresses & bows & headbands. I’m pretty sure I haven’t worn a bow since I was 3. I was raised on dirty fingernails & drinking from the water hose. I swam in the ditches when it rained & rolled my eyes when your Nana wanted me to wear anything but boys athletic shorts. I still wear shorts under every dress I own because I haven’t quite perfected the “sitting like a lady” part. Oops. 

Here are some of my high school friends & I after having a shaving cream fight & jumping in a muddy lake. 

Anyways, I’ve gotten loads of help from friends & family on making sure you’ll be the best dressed baby girl around. You definitely own more dresses, bows, headbands, & shoes than I have in my entire life. I’ve even made some myself! I bought a hot glue gun & I’m pretty sure that’s one of the first steps to being a girl mom. 

I’ve done my makeup the same since I learned how to do it in 8th grade. You wouldn’t believe the amount of things people alter their appearance with these days; drawn on eyebrows, over lined lips, fake freckles, fake eyelashes, etc. Super strange to me but if contouring, highlighting, & winged eyeliner are your passion then I’ll support that 100%. You & your Aunt Kylee can have a field day. 

Also, I’m gonna apologize in advance for your not so cute hair do’s.. I didn’t learn to straighten my hair until I was a teenager & I learned to curl it when I was in college. I can do the basic braid once your hair is long enough but I can’t french braid yet. Who knows, maybe I’ll do the whole youtube tutorial thing & teach myself. 

Dude, I don’t like pink. You don’t have to just because you’re a girl, I mean there are so many other colors. You have plenty of pink stuff so I’m not robbing you of your own choices but please don’t ask me to paint your room pink, I’m not sure I’m strong enough to handle that. 

Just know that whatever you love, I’ll learn to love. I thought I was made to be a boy mom but God has different plans & I’m so excited to see where this takes us. 

Creating your space

Dear Delilah,

Your nursery is coming along beautifully. I wish I knew what kinds of things you are going to be passionate about so I could decorate accordingly. As your dad & I fill your bookshelf (that he made by the way) with books from our friends & family, I can’t wait to read to you. As we set up the rocking chair, I know we will spend many nights there, holding you close. Your walls are covered with signs made & purchased by people who love you & your dad’s poem to you is framed by your bedside.

Your bedding was handmade by your Aunt Trisha who already loves you so so much. 

Your closet is stocked with more clothes than you’ll ever be able to wear, but you’re guaranteed to be the best dressed baby around. 

& should I even bring up your future shoe addiction? 

Your nursery brings me so much happiness but I can’t wait to make this house a home when you make your big arrival soon. 

A poem from your dad

When Delilah arrives, it will be so grand. We will be picking out flowers, playing in the sand.

This time of our lives will be so much fun, watching her grow, walk, crawl, run.

A new experience is right around the corner, not one new special moment at all like any other. 

Watching her grow from a little human being, to a great big tall giant at only age 3.

To see her smile, to hear her laugh, to watch rage build up as she gets mad.

To calm her storms and broaden her mind, to make sure she knows how bright she can shine. 

How lucky we’ll be just to watch her roam, as she dances around, our hearts she will own.

How beautiful and happy our little girl will be, when this house becomes bigger, not two but three.

When Delilah arrives, she will be so adored, A piece of us both, sewn together by the Lord. 

Are you ever ready?

Dear Delilah,

I’m terrified. I don’t know how to make this transition into motherhood. The time is nearing when you’re going to make your arrival & no article or pinterest blog can help me now. Up to this point caring for you has only required me to care for myself. How do I know what to do? I find comfort in the fact that mothers have been doing this quite literally since the beginning of mankind. Does every mother feel this way? Forgive me when I’m irritated with you for keeping me up for days & when I want to pull my hair out because you won’t stop crying & I’ve tried everything. I promise I’ll do the best I can. I’ve never been given a bigger responsibility than to raise up a human being. As you’re growing up & experiencing things for the first time, remember it’s a first for me too. We’re learning together. Forgive me when I’m too hard on you, or too much of a pushover. Forgive me when I’m overly protective, I promise your skinned knee will probably hurt me more than it hurts you. This is going to be one heck of a ride but I promise I’ll be the best I can be, for you.