Mitchell Made

michael scott and leslie knope approved

04 March 2020

Sophie Bree: A Birth Story

We found out we were pregnant in July, much earlier than we had anticipated. It had taken us years with some medical intervention to conceive Rylee and there we were, pregnant after only a few months. A blessing but an unexpected, not according to plan, scary financial blessing. I was still in nursing school and paying off medical debt from Rylee. We were excited of course, but there was some underlying fear there. Could we do this? Of course, we could. God’s timing is perfect, and I knew we had to trust Him. Rylee came when she was supposed to and now Sophie was coming when she was meant to, the perfect moment as directed by God.

That was the gentle reminder I needed throughout this pregnancy. Everything was different than my experience with Rylee. Rylee came early at 38 weeks and weighed only about 6lbs. It was an easy pregnancy and labor from beginning to end. Sophie, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. Sophie was going to come on her own schedule and terms. At about 37 weeks, she weighed 7lbs 6oz. She was already measuring a pound more than Rylee had when she was born. My doctor was somewhat concerned about me delivering a larger baby but regardless, I wanted to let it happen naturally. We tried everything we could to induce her once we hit 38 weeks. Spicy food, walking, you name it. But she was comfortable where she was with no progress in sight.

“I really think she’ll come soon,” my doctor kept saying once I hit 39 weeks. Everything was ready. I was dilated, effaced, and she was in great position. All we needed was for her to be ready, but my doctor decided to put me on the waiting list to be induced just in case. We got closer and closer to my due date, and I was certain at this point that we would go past it. I worried about Sophie and the possibility of a complicated delivery. Every day, I prayed she would come soon and be healthy. Then on Monday, I got the call. “We’re going to induce you tomorrow. Be at the hospital at 7:00am.” I immediately called Kyle, and we were thrilled to finally get to meet our baby girl.

It felt like it took forever to reach the morning. The anticipation and nerves and excitement building. Kyle and I woke up early and headed to the hospital. We got situated in our room and the nurse came in to check on me: 4-5cm dilated, 75% effaced, and baby in good position. “This will happen quickly,” she said. The nurse started the Pitocin and called my doctor to come break my water. The rest of the day was a long waiting game. “Is it time?” I wondered as I analyzed every cramp, twinge, or pressure. I was never good at identifying my contractions and that was the case this time. I wasn’t sure but after a while, I finally asked the nurse to check. “Oh yeah, you’re ready,” she laughed. “10cm dilated. I’ll call your doctor. It’s time.”

Labor went by quick lasting only about 5 hours with 15 minutes of pushing. After my second round of pushing, I heard one of the nurses say “do you think we need assistance?” My doctor looked at her a little concerned. “I think she can do it.” She stated and then looked at me. “Push as hard as you can OK?” The nurses made similar statements and I started to worry. Kyle squeezed my hand. I wasn’t sure what was happening, but I knew something was wrong. “I can do this,” I thought. I had to do it for Sophie. And as I pushed, I prayed. “Please God, give me strength to do this. Please let her be OK.” I pushed and pushed and thank goodness, that sweet baby girl of mine came out. “There’s the culprit,” I heard my doctor say. Sophie’s umbilical cord had been wrapped around her neck and her heart rate dropped when I started to push.

I did it. I delivered my baby, and now we were done. We had survived the hardest part. I was wrong. After Sophie was born, the nurse turned off my epidural and my doctor left. Sophie laid on my chest and all was right in the world. Except it wasn’t. My nurse kept checking me, more than I thought was normal. I started feeling really strange and tired. After a while, my nurse explained that I was still bleeding a lot, and she wasn’t sure what was causing it or how to stop it. My uterus wasn’t firming up like it should have been. She decided to call the hospitalist to come check on me. (Side note: The week before, I thought I was in labor so we went to the hospital to be checked. The hospitalist at the time was the same one who came to check on me now). I was so relieved when I recognized her. I really liked her the last time we saw her at the hospital. She came into the room and explained the situation again to us. She started to push on my uterus. She pushed so hard and so fast, it felt like being stabbed or punched multiple times. She went back and forth from checking my cervix to pushing on my uterus. The pain was so intense that I started crying, and I could see the worry on Kyle’s face. He held my hand and rubbed my head. “You’re doing great, babe.”

Thirty minutes later, she told me she thought it would be best to restart my epidural and call back my doctor. I was bleeding too much, and they needed to do a full exam. My nurse stayed with me, reassuring me as we waited. Kyle kept a tight grip on my hand and told me he loved me. Both my doctor and the hospitalist came into my room, followed by a few more nurses. My doctor explained she would re-examine me to find the source of the bleeding. It would be painful, but the epidural would help she reassured. It took over an hour for them to examine me, find multiple cervical tears, and stitch them up. She stated that the tears were further down, most likely caused by Sophie’s larger size. The bleeding was slowing and they would run some blood tests to make sure I hadn’t lost too much blood as well as start me on some antibiotics. What was only supposed to be an extra 30min in labor and delivery turned out to be 5 hours, but my uterus finally firmed and the bleeding slowed enough that it was safe to go to our postpartum room.

We were finally done. All that was left was recovery and snuggling with our new babe. Kyle sat in a chair while I laid in my hospital bed. Sophie next to us in her crib. A sense of peace filled the room as our nurse came and got us situated. I looked at Kyle and asked him softly, “were you scared?” “Yes,” he whispered. “I’m sorry,” I couldn’t help saying, feeling bad for him. I couldn’t imagine how difficult it was to experience both mine and Sophie’s complications without being able to do anything. “We did it, babe.” I smiled. “You did it, babe.” He smiled back.

I looked around the room toward my wonderful husband now holding our new baby girl. My heart full and happy. This was the perfect moment we waited for. “We did it,” I said again. And I knew, all would be well now. And it was.
12 May 2019

Mother’s Day

On August 2, 2014, I officially became a stepmother to the most beautiful little girl. It was loving her that ignited a desire for children I didn’t know I had. Kyle and I got pregnant in December that year. I fell in love instantly and spent most of my time imagining our future with our baby. I wanted to wait until the 12 weeks to tell Kyle, but I was too excited. This baby would be born on his birthday according to all the websites. At the end of January, I left work in horrible pain. I spent the rest of that week at home bleeding, crying, blaming and hating myself. Still, we wanted to try for another. At the time, I wasn’t having a menstrual cycle so I never really knew where we stood. Each month I had to test to see if I was pregnant, and each month, my hope would build up just to be shattered. This continued for 2 years and self-hate, depression, and a dangerous fearlessness developed inside me. This was exacerbated by guilt from the cost of and the emotional/hormonal changes of treatment. During my worst, I would imagine myself driving off a bridge. It was time, I decided, to do something for just me and Kyle. Our marriage had been suffering, so I planned a big hiking trip. During that trip, Kyle and I climbed Angel’s Landing, a hike known for its height. A type of hike that I typically would be afraid to do. But not then, not with all my new fearlessness. It’s hard to explain, but there on the top of that rock where I had faced and conquered my fear, I felt God‘s presence with me. “Enough,” I remember thinking. One month later, I found out I was pregnant. Not everyone’s journey is the same, and some never finish that journey. But to all of you: mothers, stepmothers, foster moms, moms who have loss, and moms trying or who tried to conceive, this day is for you. I see you. Happy Mother’s Day.
13 May 2018

Rylee's First Birthday

Photography by Rasy Ran Photography. Beautiful calligraphy sign by Viv Jordan Studio.

Two weeks ago, we celebrated our Rylee's FIRST birthday! Holy cow, can you believe it?! She's one! I can't even believe how much she's grown.

The day started off really stressful. Aunt Flo was in town and wrecking havoc on my insides. I spent most of the morning laying on the couch with my best friend--the heating pad--instead of getting ready for the party. Once the pain went away, I was finally ready to set up.

Invitation by Viv Jordan Studio. 

Two hours later with only 30 minutes before the party, I realized I had no food on the table. Fortunately for me, I was blessed with incredible friends who came a little early to help me set up and when I say set up, I mean they did everything while I got dressed.

We decided to do a few special things for Rylee's big day. There's an Asian tradition where you place items that represent different professions in front of your kiddo. Whichever one they pick up first or play with the longest represents your child's future career. Of course, this rarely comes true and is more for fun than anything.

Rylee's potential career choices included a doctor, teacher, park ranger, ballerina, Top Chef, Whataburger manager (Texas, yee-haw!), and of course, Queen of Westeros.

I also wanted to make something she could enjoy when she was older. We decided on a time capsule and had everyone write a note or bring something to put in it.

Rylee sign by V. Garcia Designs 

Cakes from Whole Foods Market

She definitely chose Top Chef (mama's number one choice), but some of her family members pressured her into changing to Queen of Westeros. I guess that's OK too.

More proof that she really wanted to be a Top Chef.

Behind the smile is a worried mama. Luckily, she was too mesmerized by the candle to touch it.

Happy birthday to our girl! I wonder what she wished for... :)

Probably for some cake...


Most definitely the cake.

Also not a Rylee party without some impromptu dancing!

And super cool shades.

I mean look how cool she looks in those shades!

Best friends forever.

We love you Rylee!