Hey there!

Thanks for stopping by my blog- a place where I share a bit of my photography, a bit of my life, and a lot of me! I am in love with the life that God has provided me. I live with my wonderful husband in central Oklahoma, in the town of Edmond. I am a wife, sister, daughter, and friend. I enjoy my work as a nurse and photographer. I adore sweets, nature, and my pesky (but cute) boxer, Honey. I feel that I am blessed with a passion for photography, and pray that I am able to bless others through it.

Thank you for being here and sharing the experience with me!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Birth of Ainslee Grace

Sweet Ainslee Grace is here! 

What a beautiful blessing to have our daughter with us now, and we feel privileged to get to love on this precious baby girl.  I watched the birth slideshow made by my amazing friend Deshawna from Echo Photoworks, and I realized I haven't shared Ainslee's birth story yet, so here it goes! (Never mind the fact that I haven't posted on this blog in a year and a half....). 
Last January, I found out that we were pregnant with our 3rd child. I told Ray by writing on a hard-boiled egg (an inside Bradley birth method joke!), and he shouted in joy and told the boys immediately.  Even though I was scared to have anything be different about this pregnancy/labor (I had the best labor with Eli and would re-do it in a heartbeat), I decided early on that I wanted to wait to find out the sex, since we accidentally found out with Isaiah and Ray chose to find out with Eli. Well, it turns out there ended up being quite a bit different with this pregnancy/labor than my other 2. For one, I started having contractions at 29 weeks and ended up having my very first surgery, an appendectomy, with sweet baby still growing inside. We prayed for the contractions to stop, and they did the day after surgery. Then August came with a whirlwind of change, it was all the kids' birthdays, Isaiah started school, our foster daughter officially moved back with her family, we sold our first home, bought, and moved into our new home (I signed at 39 weeks pregnant.. after more prayers that I wouldn't go into labor yet).
I hoped to deliver after we signed, but before Sept 1 so I could choose to start school early if needed (since I have a say in such things..), but that day came and went. I thought I might go on the Friday near my due date since that's what I did the last 2 times. I thought I might go the weekend of my due date, and so did my family- my parents, best friend, sister and sister-in-law were all hanging around without any pressure for me to go into labor. It was Labor Day weekend, without any laboring. I still felt really good and enjoyed being pregnant (I'm one of the crazy ones), but then my OB threatened induction after I hit my due date. Since I was still hoping/planning on an unmedicated labor like my last 2, I really didn't want pitocin in the mix. The office planned it for Friday since I would be 41 weeks Sunday and they wouldn't admit me for induction over the weekend and didn't want me to go over 41 weeks. As the day got closer and I realized I might really not go into labor by then, I got nervous (I also realized that "Friday" was 9/11- not necessarily the day I wanted to 'give' my baby for a birthday). I called my docs office 3 times the day before induction, maybe, slightly begging to put off induction, and they finally got tired enough of me and off the induction until Monday. At that point I did all the walking, sideways stairclimbing, handstanding, trampoline jumping, and more to go into labor. Baby continued to stay put. I enjoyed a weekend of beautiful weather and no plans but to hang with my sweet boys. 
By Monday, Sept 14, there wasn't a sign of labor. When I called to make sure the hospital had a room, they told me it was delayed while they waited for a nurse to be free. Ray and I dropped Isaiah off at school, my parents watched Eli, we closed an account at the bank, then checked back in. The nurse told me I could come in now, that my doctor had warned them I would use any excuse to get out of this and he wanted me there (it wasn't my excuse, but I wasn't pushing to get in!!). So we drove to Mercy Hospital (I delivered the boys at Deaconess- another thing I was scared to change in the beginning). It was interesting driving in without having a single contraction. At my last appointment earlier that week, I was dilated to a 2 and 70% effaced, which is where I've been the last 3 weeks of all 3 of my pregnancies. It was odd walking up not in labor. We checked in at 9:30, did the paperwork, got an IV, and started the pitocin at a super low rate of 0.5 per my request. After 15 minutes of no contractions, they increased it to 1. We started to see some contractions, it was after 11 am by then. The nurse said that my doctor would come by at lunch and break my water. I know from experience that contractions are way more painful after my water breaks, I didn't want that so early on! We turned up the pitocin (I wanted to prove I was laboring okay) and I was grateful to have my friend/photographer/doula there and helped confirm my decision to not break my water at that point. I was contracting regularly and pitocin was at a 6 when my doc checked on me, they were happy with that and let me continue. My friend Summer drove down from Tulsa to hang with us, we played a game of Rummy and she kept us entertained with her silliness (and kept my bed warm for me ;c). I was winning all the rounds (while in labor, thank you very much) while sitting on the birth ball, standing, or resting in bed. Deshawna kept me going to the bathroom every hour. She rubbed a pressure point on my ankle that you could visibly see increase the contractions. On the last round of Rummy, I wasn't able to lay down my cards, and went from first to last, boo.. Ray won the game! I decided it was naptime (I had insomnia pretty bad while pregnant and was up early that morning). I was always amazed that people took naps while in labor, but I really was able to rest, and it felt good! Just before 5 my parents showed up with the boys. They didn't quite know what to think of me being all hooked up to monitors and an IV and all that, but they quickly turned their attention to the games, activities, and snacks that grandma brought. My sister and sister-in-law were bother there as well. Everyone was eating crackers and candy.. and even though I understand the whole clear liquid thing incase of surgery, I really don't like being pregnant and in labor and not able to eat (that was never a factor for my other 2). I ate a couple Popsicles (and some fruit and cheese at lunch, but shhhh...).
At 6:39 (per Deshawna's notes), my family left for dinner. I was bouncing on the birth ball. At 6:42 I stood up, felt a kick, heard a pop, then felt a gush. My water broke! The nurses were giving report to the next shift, both sets helped get me cleaned up and dry. I'm so grateful my family (esp the boys and Felton) and just stepped out of the room! I had the nurse cut the pitocin in half (to a 3) because I was scared the contractions would get too intense. The nurse checked me, I was a 6-7, 90% effaced and a -1 still. I layed in bed for a bit to change things up. Deshawna hooked me up with a peanut ball to help baby move down. My family came back from dinner. The contractions were getting more intense, I moved to kneeling over the ball in bed. I was having to work through contractions, but everyone else was just relaxed in the room. At 9pm, Summer and Judy took the boys to lay down and watch a movie in the waiting room. I was standing and "dancing" with Ray during contractions. I was trying hard to relax during contractions so baby would move down and engage. Ray is a blessed, blessed man that I'm not a crazy laboring woman, because he kept cracking jokes and even threatened to tickle me.. it made me chuckle that he was so ridiculous, but I let him know I wasn't in the mood for jokes. I could tell I was moving into transition, I kneeled by the bed, then climbed in bed on my side. At this point I felt like I was starting to loose control. Last time I was checked was at 8:20, I was a 7 and still a -1, so I felt like baby needed some time to come down. I had the urge to push during contractions, but I didn't think it was there in between. I was on my side, struggling, starting to moan and talk to myself, pushing, but I started to loose track of contractions. The nurse wanted to check me, but I told her she couldn't. It sounded like the worst thing ever at that point. In my head I though, 'can't we just get the doctor in here??'. But I also thought baby might still be high. I rolled to my back in an attempt to let the nurse check, when everyone realized that baby was coming and had a head full of hair! (No wonder I didn't want her to check me!!). The nurse started calling for help (she had only been at Mercy for a couple months, but thankfully she was an experienced L&D nurse). I was at the point I couldn't not push. My doctor was on the floor just waiting for the word, my mom ran into the hall at one point to call for help because no one had come yet. She said he was at the end of the hall and came running. I continued to push, and in the time it took the doc to glove up, I had delivered a precious baby! Dr. Shanbour helped the nurse hand her to me. Someone asked what the sex was, I looked down and announced "Girl!". I wasn't super excited, surprised, or shocked. It just felt right. I hugged me sweet baby while they finished up. Summer, Judy, and the boys came in the room, asked what baby was (she was wearing a gender neutral hat). When I announced girl, Summer screamed (it was 10 pm, we told her to be quiet!). It was late, the boys didn't really know what to think. Isaiah came to meet her, Eli just hung around. We took some family pictures, then the family packed up to leave. I was soaking in my skin to skin time and wanted to nurse my baby before handing her off to the nurses, so the family left without knowing weight or anything. The family all came back though because the realized we forgot to eat the birthday cake I had made! It was a yummy strawberry cake that was suggested by my cousin (I even felt like a girly cake was appropriate). Everyone enjoyed the cake, then left to go home to bed. I had to recover in the room for 2 hours before moving to a new room after midnight. I had always said that if I had to have pitocin during a labor, then I might be okay getting an epidural. But I am very pleased that the pictocin did it's job to get labor going, but was still tolerable. I didn't really feel the contractions much until after 5 pm, so it was about 4 hours of active labor. After tearing up thinking about how bad it might go in the morning, it turned out to be a lovely birth story! And the most important part, she's here!
Ainslee Grace Ofosu was born on Sept 14, 2015 at 9:54 pm following induction by pitocin (and a retraction of all the prayers we prayed that she would stay in). She was 8.2 pounds and 22 inches and healthy and happy!
It took 2 days and a lot of anxiety on my part to name sweet girl, but we did it so we could leave the hospital and go home! She's been a great baby, very chill and a good sleeper and eater. The boys are adjusting well and lover her very much, it is so sweet to see.


Lindsey said...

Love it, cousin! Obsessed with your sweet family and so glad the strawberry cake was good! 🍰😊

Eileen Grubbs said...

Amazing birth story. The music is wonderful. Your family is blessed with love and beauty. Happy Birthday Miss A

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Cacey T said...


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