(our 2011 Christmas Photo- taken at 39 weeks)
Note to expecting mothers: My sweet friend took some wonderful photos, but I would recommend taking any maternity photos before 37 weeks :) Unless you just want to remember how HUGE you were! It was one of those things I just kept putting off until, well, it was almost too late.
I thought it would be fitting to share John Ryman's birth story today and tomorrow as I look back on those special days one year ago. I had planned on sharing his birth story about 11 months ago, but after postponing and forgetting many times, I decided a few months ago to just wait until his first birthday. I'm so excited to relive our 2011 Christmas with you and I'll be glad I have it in writing one day when I start to forget the little moments.
Don't worry, no gory details or crazy drama that will have you running from ever getting pregnant. I feel like I read so many horror blog posts and extreme birth stories while I was pregnant, that after I delivered I was frustrated more people didn't share the beautiful stories. I tried to prepare myself for the worst possible scenario, remind myself that even if that occurred Christ was still in control, and then remove my thoughts from those fears. Thankfully, I had a mom and several sweet friends that told me their sweet stories and how much they actually enjoyed labor & delivery- crazy huh?! I know that good birth stories are rare mainly because every delivery is different, but I wonder if that's simply because most people share the horrible, screaming experience and you prematurely expect yours to be the same? I went into the day looking forward to the process and encouraged by friends that it is okay to enjoy labor and delivery. My next pregnancy will probably be the complete opposite of John Ryman's but there is something to say about a calm mindset, free from horror stories read online. Okay, probably thinking too much into it... All that to say, this is a birth story you will want to share with pregnant friends or people with a fear of delivery :)
I guess it all started a week before the due date, well actually 9 months before... but about a week before I started some of the old wives tales to induce labor. I tried some spicy wings at Buffalo Wild Wings (which for me is just medium!) A little eggplant with dinner. LOTS of walking and shopping even though I was done with Christmas gifts- TJMaxx was a favorite. Then on the 22nd, I took some evening primrose vitamins and continued the dosage until I woke up in labor. I highly doubt any of these things helped, but who knows!
(looking Large at Christmas Eve Eve Church Service)
Christmas Eve Eve (the due date) came around and no signs of labor. We spent a lovely day with my family shopping and eating. That evening we all went to one of the Christmas services at Compass. It was strange because it was the first time in 20 years that my dad did not have to be a part of a Christmas Eve service. Patrick helped out on Christmas Eve Eve, but didn't have any specific responsibilities either because of the uncertainty of whether he would make any of the services. What a beautiful service and a joy to spend the evening with my whole family worshiping and celebrating the birth of our Savior!
Patrick, Sam & I headed home (the rest were staying at a nearby hotel) with still no signs of labor.
Who knew that after a great night sleep I would wake up Christmas Eve with my first contraction!
and this little Christmas blessing would be here before the day ended: