We love Summer and Brooke from the Girls with Glasses so much. They are down to Earth, talented, and so refreshing to be around. We’re so excited to have both their birth stories and advice on that amazing time with a new baby today!
1. What is one thing you would go back to tell your new-mom self?
I would tell myself, that everything is going to work out fine. However, even if I was able to convince myself, I think it would be hard to not have some anticipation for what is about to happen. Until you experience it, feel it, and survive it, the concept of birth and starting a family can be almost impossible to fully understand.
2. Was there anything surprising or shocking that happened that no one warned you about?
I felt I was overly prepared for most things, but my post baby body was the biggest shock. I didn’t realize how long it would take to get my body back to normal. I wrote about dressing your post-baby bod here. I didn’t realize I would look 6 months pregnant for a few weeks. Even if you didn’t gain a lot of weight, unlike me, that uterus takes it’s time shrinking.
3. Do you have a bedtime routine?
We always brush teeth, read a negotiated number of books, usually an average of three, say a prayer to thank God for each member of our family and all the great things in our life, and ask for his help in anything that “we” are trying to work on, like “not hitting our little brother,” or “not saying penis at inappropriate times,” then lots of kisses, and trying to get out the door.
And an excerpt from Brooke’s birth story with London. It is so beautifully written, with imagery that perfectly captures the feelings of new motherhood, and should be read in its entirety here.
“I looked at the clock, it was just ten minutes past six pm. It was go time, I tried to calm my shaking body with the deep breathing techniques I had learned in my pre-natal yoga class. I wanted to be brave, I said a million little prayers under my breath “please heavenly father, please help me do this”. I begged Dave to not “look”, to stay up above with me, but he couldn’t help himself and wanted to be a witness. He was amazing. I was relieved after my first push to feel pressure instead of pain… though the pressure was intense it was bearable to my worn out body. My tricky doctor would distract me in between pushes by asking me about how Dave and I met nearly nine years before at the Thanksgiving dance in Mesa. I would get to a certain part of the story and suddenly feel the strong urge to push. It was hard physical work. My dad waited just outside of the curtain to be saved from the visual of the birth, but I could hear him cheering me on from the other side. My mom and sister stood at my side wiping my forehead and taking photos that would document the most important experience of my almost twenty nine years of life. We never made it to the end of the story, and those final pushes I squeezed Dave’s hand with all I had left, the doctor exclaimed “she has hair!” I was over the moon with just the thought of her little head of hair and I started to cry, I could hardly wait to see her, and with one motivated last push and she was out by 6:41pm, it was so quick and yet played out in slow motion, she didn’t even cry, as they immediately placed her beautiful little body on my chest.”
And Summer’s birth story too, after the jump!
We woke up at 4am, with my water breaking. The baby was already six days late, I was more than ready. We were planning on inducing later that week, but were thankful that the baby decided to come on his own!
The week leading up to this historic day, I felt good. Although I had gained fifty pounds, and felt as big as a house, I was able to still work and get things prepared for our little arrival.
Because my water brooke the doctor told us to get to the hospital as soon as possible. We made sure our bags had everything we would need, including: our iPod with songs I had chosen for the birth, a small speaker to listen to it, clothes to change into, our Canon 7D camera, our apple laptop, snacks for Kerry, Origins peach shampoo and conditioner, Victoria Secrets body lotion and assorted Lindt truffles for the nurses. When dealing with your health and the safety of your baby, chocolate bribes are always a good idea. Check out What to Bring to the Hospital video here!
We arrived at the hospital at about 6:30am. At my doctor’s appointment the day before I had been dilated to a 2, and with my contractions getting less than 5 minutes apart, I was hoping I was dilated to at least a 5. I had no such luck. I was only at a 3. The pain was pretty bad and I knew it was going to be a long day. Bring on the drugs.
We got comfortable in our room and I took a nap, while Kerry began the first of many texts and phone calls. He excitedly let our family and friends know that our little guy was on his way. He called his parents, his brothers, my mom and dad, and almost every friend we have. Since I was still asleep he started watching a show on Netflix.
At 4pm-ish the time had come to start pushing. We turned on the music to help calm the room and sweeten the atmosphere. A few songs we vividly remember playing were Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah, Cat Steven’s Father and Son, Ben Fold’s The Luckiest and Priscilla Ahn’s When You Grow Up. I pushed hard at every contraction, but as he started getting down lower his heart rate would drop as I pushed, which worried the nurse. The Dr. had us only push every other contraction to give the baby more time to recover between pushes. An hour past and still no baby. We talked about the possibility of clamps, the vacuum, or the dreaded “C” word. The last thing I wanted was a Cesarean section. I said a little prayer to myself. I asked ” If Rockwell could hear me to trust me, and together we could do this.” I felt a warmness in my heart and knew that it would be okay. I concentrated and with a few more hard pushes Kerry saw his little head. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. Kerry was able to cut the cord, with the Doctor’s help, of course, and the baby was able to come out the rest of the way. They put my beautiful baby on my chest and we sat there looking at each other. I couldn’t believe that this was my baby. We had made him and now he was in the world.
5:33pm Rockwell Clark Bellessa was born. We had been given the opportunity to be parents and to do our best to protect, teach and learn with him. He was a gift from God and we couldn’t be more excited. It had taken us over 5 years to get pregnant, yet he had come at the perfect time.