Friday, February 25, 2011

Dear Alyla

Dear Alyla,

You mother is incredible. The night/morning she gave birth to you, she changed in a way I never thought she could.

While I absolutely love your mother, she is...a baby. When she is sick, she acts like she is dying; when something hurts, it's always an 11 on a scale of 1-10. If someone touches her when she isn't feeling good, she swats their hands away and grumbles not to touch her. She's just a big baby! {And I say that in the most loving way possible... ;-) }

When she was in labor, though, she was drastically different. I actually kept laughing because I was so incredibly shocked at how well she was handling things! She breathed through those contractions and was so relaxed that you would never think that you were about to be squeezed from her hoo-ha.

There was a little monitor where we could see when she was having a contraction.

We weren't able to see the intensity of her contractions, but we could see your little heartbeat; when your heartbeat would slow down, we knew she was having a slightly more intense contraction. When we saw that your mom was having a contraction, your Grandma Shannon, Grandpa Joel, Uncle Connor, Aunt Lexy, Aunt Pat, Daddy, and I would get all excited and say, "She's going to come soon! You're doing so well!"

She would just proudly say, "Ya, I know I'm doing well, I'm breathing!" And that's your mom. When she's being awesome, she totally knows it and owns that fact.

When your mom went to her doctors appointment on January 3, 2011, her doctor didn't like some things that were going on with her body and said she had preeclampsia, which meant you were going to come a couple of weeks early. She was sent to the maternity ward so that she could be induced. You know how I found this out? FACEBOOK. Needless to say, I was a little hurt that she didn't tell me, but understandable, since she was a little stressed. I was still excited you were coming!

I got off work and rushed to the hospital, because there was no way I wasn't going to see you be born! While hanging out, we all played Phase 10. YES, even your mom played through the contractions:

She had to leave the game early, though, because she decided to take a bath in the big jetted tub that was in her room. She wasn't in for too long because her legs started to swell up again!

You mom also passed time filling out a baby book for you. There were questions like who there favorite sports teams were, who the world leaders were, and even how much milk is per gallon these days. It kept her busy, which in turn kept the pain off her mind.

Grandpa, Connor, and I stayed at the hospital until around midnight, but I got so tired. Your mom was still having contractions, but she was only 1 centimeter dilated. I knew I would be safe to go home and sleep for a few hours, since I had to work the next morning at 8am.

I got a call around 3:30am from Grandma and she said, "She's pushingshe's pushing!She's at 9 centimeters, get here!" I was out the door within a minute and arrived at the hospital 3 minutes later, because I live so close. When I walked in her hospital room, she sure was pushing!

In between pushing, your mom asked for some water, and because Grandma was closest, she went to get your cup. Immediately your mom shouted, "What are you doing?! Stay here, make someone else get the water!" I laughed, and my eyes started to water as I witnessed the intense love your mom has for her mom, your grandma. I know you will love your mom just as intensely, because she is a wonderful person and will be such a great mother to you.

It was also great to witness her shout out that she wanted her dad RIGHT NOW. Grandpa was standing a few feet from the bed and immediately went to hold your moms hand as she tried to push you out.

Watching your mom work so hard to give birth to you was life changing for me. To see her be so selfless and go through so much pain without complaining once was amazing.

Your mom isn't exactly selfish, but sometimes things go unnoticed by her because she's preoccupied with herself. That has changed though, and it's because of you. YOU are who she is worried about, and who she is thinking about. She was going through all that pain so she could hold your little pink body in her arms, so she could take care of you and love you with everything she has.

Your dad, on the other hand, made me totally laugh. There is a little speaker phone on a cord that's attached to the bed for the TV on the wall, and your dad had it draped over his shoulder the whole time your mom was pushing...with the volume on! I know he was doing it only because he was extremely nervous, and not because he wanted to watch Saved by the Bell and Married with Children.

Every time your mom pushed, you could see that she was pushing beyond her comfort level, and that she wanted to stop pushing long before she did. She always gave a little extra at the end of each push, helping you come out. When she finally gave birth to you at 5:02am, she was so calm. Everything in that moment was perfect.

The doctors cleaned you up a little, your dad cut the cord {which he later described as being like a rubber tube}, and you were laid on your mom's chest. The doctors said you lips were a little off color and that if they didn't pinken up soon they'd have to take you away, but you ended up being perfect. Absolutely perfect, Alyla.

After a few moments with your mom, you were brought over to this cute little warming bed. The doctors cleaned you up and made sure you had 10 fingers and 10 toes. {You did, by the way.} We were all surrounding you and saying, "Oh she's so little!"

I quickly went to your mom though because suddenly, all attention was away from her and surrounding you! I didn't want her to feel like she was forgotten. I ran my fingers through her hair and told her how proud I was of her and that she did it. She gave birth to a beautiful baby girl!

While the doctors were cleaning you up she kept asking your dad, "Babe, what are they doing? Babe?" She was concerned for you instantly.

When the doctors gave you shots you didn't breath for a few seconds, then cried and cried and cried. Eventually you started sucking on your dad's pinky finger and you calmed down.

Once you were all bundled up, you were handed over to you mom. She wanted to try and breastfeed you, but you wouldn't latch on. It was a strangely beautiful thing to see her getting frustrated because to me, it showed love. She really wanted you to be fed and healthy. Luckily, you both got the hang of breastfeeding.

After everything settled down, Connor and I went to my house to get an hour of sleep before I had to go to work and he had to go to school. I will admit that it was so incredibly hard to get through those 8 hours of work! It was so exciting to see you be born, but it just wore on my nerves. After I got off work, I picked up some Pita Jungle for your mom and grandma and went to the hospital. You were just about to get your first bath {!} so I helped your mom. She did such a good job and you could see how sad she got just because you were fussing!

You were able to go home after just 2 days in the hospital and your mom was excited. I'm sure she was nervous, but who wouldn't be? She had a little baby girl to take care of!

Since you've been home, I've gone out to see you and your mom every few days and it's comforting to know how much she and your dad love you. She's done everything she can to make you happy, keep her milk supply up, and take care of you.

One day when I went over there it was right after she gave you your first 'real' bath, after your umbilical cord had fallen off. She said you were so unhappy that you had an actual tear! She said she cried because she didn't want to make you cry. On my drive home I cried because of that.

After finding out that your mom was pregnant, I was worried. I was worried if she would be able to take care of you, what kind of mother she would be, if she would stay sober... In that moment that I was crying, every worry vanished because now I know she is capable of being a great mother to you, Alyla.

Your mom loves you. She is not afraid to ask for help. She knows I'm here for her and for you. She knows other family members and friends are here for her.

You have been born into an incredible family Alyla. We all love you.


  1. Ahhh Steff that is the SWEETEST THING!!!! You're such a good auntie! I know just how you feel!!! I love my nephew so much and I'm so proud of my sister!!! <3

  2. Thanks! It's such a wonderful thing. <3

  3. Aw, that was so sweet I cried a little!
    I'm an emotional wreck lately though.
    I was in the room when my cousin had her baby and it was the most amazing thing. Glad you go to witness it! =]

  4. I'm so glad I got to experience it too!

    Why emotional wreck?! That's no good!

  5. The main reason is because I am made up of the chromosomes XX... but Ryan's grandfather just passed away and I've been helping his grandmother each day and it's been really hard on all of us. You know how it goes, these things just take time.

  6. Ya, I understand the girl thing! haha

    That's too bad about his grandfather. =[ Things like that are always hard. it would be hard to see his grandma everyday too and take on some of her sadness.

  7. Thanks! It's such a wonderful thing. <3