Isla Rose’s Birth Story
posted in: Isla RosePregnancy

My little lady is 6 weeks old. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve thought “Jill, you’ve got to write down her birth story before you forget,” so I’m going to go ahead and try my hardest to remember the details.

Mystery-gender baby’s due date was October 11th but that day came and went without the slightest hint of a contraction. It’s funny how you have a countdown to this specific day that in reality is not all that defined. It’s also funny how people will make a comment about how you haven’t had your baby yet… You know, just in case you haven’t noticed.

The morning of Tuesday October 14th I had what a knew to be contractions for the first time in the whole of my pregnancy. They came every 15 minutes for 4 hours straight. During the course of those 4 hours I was both excited at the idea of meeting our little one and terrified at what labor was going to be like. I was just as equally disappointed when the contractions went away knowing I’d be pregnant for at least a little bit longer.

After work, my family went out to dinner where my contractions kicked back into gear. Feeling worn out from pregnancy and emotional from the hormones, I chalked it up to be nothing but decided to text my doula, Ginger, to let her know how my day had gone. She told me that it sounded like prelabor and to make sure I go to bed early so I’m rested for whenever labor hit.

Sure enough at midnight early labor hit. I tried to sleep through the early contraction but to no avail. I woke Josh up and let him know it was “game time” (his favorite word choice for labor), and he drew me a bath and turned on one of the playlist he made me for labor. About an hour and half later we called Ginger to come over believing labor was progressing well. Ginger arrived and helped us labor at home for another 2 hours. The pain was getting pretty intense, and we decided it would be better to get to the birthing center before the pain got too much more as the drive would not be pleasant…. And it wasn’t. I damned every red light we hit along the way.

By the time we checked into the birth center at 4:00 AM and were asked the same questions five times over, I was dilated to a 4. And this is when things slowed the heck down. It took me another 4 hours to dilate to a 5 and another 5 1/2 hours to dilate to a 6. When my doctor checked my progression at 1:30 PM, she was not particularly pleased and made it known somewhat insensitively. My goal for the labor was to go without intervention as much as possible, and my doctor was not thrilled with my decision to hold off getting my water broken. She said would give me till 3:00, and then we would have to discuss it further.

At this point I was feeling very defeated. I was exhausted both physically and mentally, and the words my doctor said to me only made me feel this more so. Thank God for Ginger and Josh. These two never left my side. They wiped my tears, gave me water, provided me with a calm presence, and were so unbelievably encouraging.

When 3:00 was approaching, I told Ginger I couldn’t keep going like this. I had been having very intense back labor and had been living in the bath tub as it was too intense out of the tub. While I was nervous that the progression would be too intense after having my water broken, I couldn’t imagine laboring as I had been for much longer. Ginger calmed my nerves about the potential pain, explaining that the contraction wouldn’t be any more intense as they had been for the past 12 hours only closer together. To avoid having to get my water broken by an attendant, she encouraged me to sit on the toilet, relax and push as hard as I could during my next contraction. No luck. She then told me to try to break the water myself by scratching my fingernail on the bag. Bingo. This did the trick. I was ready to get this show on the road and meet this baby!

Guess what… Nothing changed. Labor was just as hard and no closer together. This baby refused to drop. I did everything I knew to do: focus on my breathing, relax through the contraction, and visualizing the baby dropping. Honestly at this point I thought this baby was never coming out; that this whole thing was a sham. And I’m not saying that jokingly. I really questioned if this experience was reality or a massively sick joke. On top of that, my contractions started coming less frequently. Ginger encouraged me to get out of the tub and walk around hoping that doing so would encourage the baby to drop and for me to dilate. Back labor is full on hell. Ginger had tried turning the baby while I was laboring in the tub to see if this would relief some of the pressure which it did but only slightly.

Being out of that tub was excruciating, but it did seem to help me dilate with a little help of some squats and sage leaf essential oil (to encourage contractions). About a million squats, a billion breathing exercises, and 3 hours later I was dilated to a 10 and ready to push. I thought the urge to push would be more obvious, but at this point nothing about labor was feeling very obvious. With Josh on one side and Ginger on the other, I pushed as hard and as controlled as I could to get that sweet baby out. I remember wanting to scream like in the movies. I also remember being surrounded by encouragement and cheers. After 20 hours of labor our sweet baby made her appearance!

Isla Rose was born on October 15th at 8:04 PM, weighing 6lbs 10oz, 18 in long. She was perfect. Absolutely perfect. That feeling that everyone tells you about: overwhelming love, indescribable joy, utter amazement. I had all of these ten fold. I cried. Lord, did I cry. I told her how much I loved her and kissed her sweet head to my heart’s content.

My doctor and nurses took her vitals and then passed her to Josh to hold. Such a beautiful sight: seeing your love holding your new love. It’s also funny how something 9 months in the making can put you in a shocked state, but that’s exactly how we both felt. Shocked that she was a she. Shocked that she was finally and actually here. Shocked at how miraculous it all is.

After Isla came out, it became a little more clear as to why it took so long for me to dilate. She had an extremely short umbilical cord. We believe she was probably caught up in it not allowing her to drop, because it wasn’t until after Ginger tried to turn Isla that I began to dilate.

While I was doing skin to skin, Josh went to tell the family who had been waiting patiently that we had a baby girl! My family had been waiting at the birth center since 5:00AM, and Josh’s family from Oklahoma had been waiting since 9:00AM. So when I say patiently, I mean it. Shortly after that they all came into our room to meet the little lady. I’ve never felt so much love and togetherness as I did in the days and weeks after Isla Rose was born from both of our families. Also, I was extremely impressed and pleased with my experience at Wesley’s Birth Center. The nurses who took care of us were unbelievably kind and supportive. I know my experience wouldn’t have been nearly as good without the nurses we had. 

There are probably some details missing, but all and all I don’t care about the details. I’m just extremely grateful for the day my little girl was born, and I will never forget that.

I’ll be posting about her 1st month next time.

If you read all of this, I’m impressed and thank you. 



A Bump Update
posted in: Pregnancy

I think one of the first sayings I heard about pregnancy went something like this: “The days are long, but the weeks go fast.” And I’d have to say that I mostly agree. However my days can go pretty quickly, too, especially when you have to revise unit trains left and right. Am I right?! I know, I know…. no one has any idea what a “Trade Fulfillment Scheduler” does.

As I type this, I am in my 31st week, and it’s hard for me to believe that I’m nearing the end of this journey. Single digits of weeks…. single digits.

Let me answer the question any pregnant woman gets asked at least 5 times a day (not complaining, it’s just a fact): How am I feeling?

Nervously I tell people, I’ve been feeling really good (because I know so many don’t). For most of my first trimester I didn’t actually believe I was pregnant. “I don’t feel pregnant” I would think to myself.

It took me well into my second trimester to look pregnant vs a little tubby in the midsection. Again, I felt mostly normal/not-pregnant, that is until I got to week 22. That is when this little babe made his/her presence known. I would be reading at night before bed when my book would bounce a good inch or two on my stomach. Well, hello little karate kid! Or in Josh’s words, “He’s gonna be a socca playa!” (he’s quoting some movie I can’t remember… Billy Madison maybe?)

Third trimester came in with a bang. I’ve been trying to workout pretty regularly, because it makes me feel so much better. That is until I met the prenatal workout DVD from hell. Crazy, stupid challenging. After the third time I did the workout, which was my first day of my third trimester, I could not walk. No exaggeration. That’s all I needed to be done with that thing, but unfortunately it took me a bit to recover.

And this kid is ACTIVE. I mean, I know he/she sleeps, but only after an acrobatic display for a couple hours on end. And along with those kicks, tumbles and stretches, I have been introduced to the emotional world of pregnancy. Crying about my growing butt, crying about my this, crying about that, worrying about this, worrying about that. Oy, that is not me. I tend to be peppy and positive; glass half-full type. I even know in my head when I’m being emotional, reigning it in though is a whole other story.

So that’s how I’ve been feeling for the past few months: mostly good and incredibly grateful for this healthy, active babe. I’ll try to bring you one more update before this little one makes his/her big entrance, but no promises.  Until next time, Jill.

posted in: Pregnancy

There is a trait about myself that isn’t my favorite.  Sometimes when I’m overwhelmed, I tend to just drop things entirely instead of cutting back or making a different plan.

This is exactly what I did with my two blogs: Jill Nicole and Sincerely Jill. The concept of trying to make content for two blogs and work a full time job (and part-time photography business) overwhelmed me to the point where I stopped doing either. Which is good and bad. It’s bad because I love photography and food, and I love sharing it with others. It’s also good because it means I had my priorities in line: actual life comes first.

However, I’m ready for a solution. In the coming months, my two websites/blogs will be merged into one nifty website where you can learn about all facets of my life, my photography, and my love for food. I will continue to post new content at Jill Nicole with links to the posts on Sincerely Jill until that website is up and ready. I’m very, very excited about this project, and I hope you like it as much as I think I will.

I have another project I’ve been working on the last 18 weeks, and it’s called growing a baby. 

I found out I was pregnant the old fashion way: missing my monthly friend.

Josh and I had been in Muskogee, OK for a few days after hearing his grandfather was not in good shape. He unfortunately (and fortunately, he had been suffering) passed away, and we stuck around to help with the funeral arrangements and the funeral itself. Josh stayed with his family for a few more days while I went back to work. While Josh was gone is when I saw that faint pink line. As any gal would do, I took a picture of it with my phone and sent it to my close friend with the caption of “soooo I may or may not be pregnant….” For her sake, I won’t share her response, but after her expletives of joy she said “a lines a line baby, you’re totally pregnant!”

After, I don’t know…. 7 tests later (I know, I know… a little excessive) I started to believe it to be real. I was NOT going to call Josh to tell him I was pregnant. No way. So I waited for what seemed like 2 months (2 days) to awkwardly tell him near the bar at Firebirds while his parents were waiting in the booth.  I pulled out little baby booties without saying a word and just nodded my head and smiled (very eloquent, I know). Josh’s response: “Seriously?!…pause…pause… “Well, ok!” (equally eloquent).

Little Baby Lu is due October 11th, and learn from me, do not make personal announcements on April 1st. I did not even think of it being April Fools day until every kept asking me if “it was real.” Oops. Lesson learned.

I have been extremely lucky with my pregnancy so far. There have been a few bouts of wanting to eat Sonic out of tater tots, 9:00pm bedtimes, and a pleasantly pimpled face, but most of these things only lasted for a week or two thank goodness. Especially the tater tots… I don’t think my butt would ever recover.

I’ll be share more on the pregnancy and life in the weeks to come. Onward to a new adventure!