Mazelle’s Birth Story Birth stories. There are billions out there. Some last a couple hours. Some last over 20 hours. Some are exactly like a woman planned. Some turn out to be horrifying. Giving birth is one of the most painful yet exhilarating experiences a woman goes through. It is a life changing moment. Mazelle’s birth story was perfect in my opinion. When I look back on the 20 hours I labored I see joy, anticipation, laughter, teamwork, hard work, prayer and so much love.
May 18th-22nd The week of my due date had finally arrived! My family lives on almost all four corners of the country so everyone started flying into San Diego. My dad flew in from Florida. My mom flew in from Minnesota. My sister Breanna & her fiancé were coming from Washington in a few days. My sister Holly was going to come hang with little Mazelle after she was born. I couldn’t wait for them all to meet her! So far my mom & dad were in town just in time for her due date May 20th. The unknown of when labor begins is such a funny waiting game. You try to plan around it but you really can’t because you really have no idea when your baby decides its time. And you try to not let it get to your head and stress you out. I struggle with worry so I had to remind myself that everything was going to be ok. I would tell myself, “Stay calm Heidi. You don’t want to put stress on the baby. Enjoy this time. Soak in the moments with your parents. They won’t be mad at you if the time they planned to be here comes to an end and Mazelle hasn’t come yet. They understand the unknown timing of this. It is ok. God is in control. His timing is always on time.” So we kept ourselves busy going on walks, doing stair exercises, eating and I don’t think we missed anything getting ready for this little joy to come. My dad started right away on a couple projects around the house like putting up a tree swing in the back yard. We called Mazelle “the giver.” That specific name didn’t come until after she was born but we were already seeing her life give so much to our family. Her life brought me joy and hope and allowed my heart to become intimate with God again. Her life of giving was already spreading even to my parents as they arrived. A little backstory is my parents are divorced. It was a painful time for all of us when it happened and all of us have taken small steps to heal & forgive throughout the years. So one morning Trevor and I decided to take my parents out for breakfast and there was this precious moment between my mom & dad that they shared and we shared with them and of course we were all crying. God used Mazelle’s life to give so much healing to our family, which there was more of that to come but we didn’t know that yet.
Friday May 23rd rolled around. It was Trevor’s birthday. I remember waking up early that morning like I did most days during my pregnancy and watched Trevor sleep as I laid beside him. I was full of thoughts like how much I loved him, how blessed I was to get to live life with him and I treasured every moment we learned something significant together. Being intimate and one with this man gave me so much insight into the love of God. So I just laid there watching him waiting for him to wake up. When he woke up I said to him right away, “Happy Birthday!” and he gave me a sweet tired smile back. Before getting out of bed, I posted a picture online of flowers that I had captured on one of my many walks and wrote “Peaceful.” My heart was ready for this day. It was also Memorial weekend and my sister Holly sent our family some photos of her putting flowers on my sister Heather’s grave (and our grandparents graves). We all responded with love of that sight. Mom responded to Holly with “Thank you for putting out the gorgeous flowers for our sweet Heather and Grandpa and Grandma. Your are the hands and feet of our family to remind us how precious life is.” My mom & Trevor’s mom Rose took me to get pedicures with them to try to distract us from the “waiting game” we found ourselves in. When we got back home Trevor and I decided it would be good to take a nap before heading out to his birthday party dinner that we had planned with friends and family. When I woke up from my nap I felt something squirt out of me. Whoo! I went to go check it out and it looked like my mucus plug came out. I also felt Mazelle drop really low into my pelvis. I called the birth center. The midwife on call was there and said we could stop by so I could get checked out. Oh the excitement that filled my body at this moment. I remember running upstairs in delightful tears thrilled to tell my mom & Rose the news, “Mazelle is coming!” I called my friend Kashema who was my doula to let her know the scope. Kashema had been supporting me throughout my whole pregnancy. She gave me all the books I needed to read to prepare for labor and made sure I was always exercising. Our friendship started to really grow as we went on walks together throughout my pregnancy which some have heard the hilarious story from us about one particular walk we had (If you ever see me in person, make sure to have me tell you the story 😉 You’ll get a giggle) She answered the phone with excitement “Are you in labor?!” She stayed quiet at first waiting for me to answer because she could tell I was tearing up. As she waited for me she then started to think something was wrong so she asked what was wrong. I finally was able to get words out through my tears and told her I felt Mazelle drop really low and knew the time was coming! She then realized I had been crying tears of joy! We exchanged excitement and I love you’s and made plans that she would help us make sure everything was set up at the restaurant where we were going to celebrate Trevor’s birthday. We would be running late due to the pit stop we needed to make to the birth center. My mom texted the family “Heidi just had mucus plug come out. We are going to get things checked out with the midwife before we head for supper. We have a lot of laughter going on here. I will keep you posted.” Trevor & I headed to the birth center. The midwife (Delilah) checked me and it did look like things were getting started! I was 1 ½ cm. She encouraged Trevor & I to cuddle a lot and be close to each other so we could produce some good ol’ oxytocin. Good call! We could definitely do that J I texted the family “Mucus plug is out. Everything looks very stretchy. Water hasn’t broken which is good.” So we headed out to celebrate Trevor and we were so excited for the labor to begin. During Trevor’s birthday party, Kashema and I started counting & measuring the small contractions that started to come. It was so fun. She would press the start & stop button as I would yell across the room, “Press the button!” and sometimes everyone in the room would yell with me. It was teamwork at its best! What a celebratory way of starting off labor by being with the ones we loved celebrating my husband’s life and the new season that was upon us. I wanted to try and get a good night sleep while the contractions weren’t strong or too frequent so I headed home while Trevor finished saying goodbyes. As I laid there I couldn’t believe the moment I had been waiting for was HERE! I was in wonder. Trevor got home shortly after and we fell fast asleep. Well sort of 😉 I mean how do you go to sleep!!??
May 24th It was May 24th at 2am and I felt a gush. Did my water just break?! I called the midwife and she was only a minute away from the birth center and said she would turn around so we could get checked. As I was just about to text Kashema to give her an update she texted me. We laugh that we are always on the same page all the time. This time we were too! I let her know the status that we were headed to the center to see how things were progressing. The contractions were still bearable without her coming and joining us. When we got there, the midwife was there to meet us. She didn’t have to do much checking; she knew that the gush was my water because it was still coming out when she looked. At this point I was 2cm. She advised going back home and getting some rest. Oh how do you rest! Of course I did try. Pretty early in the morning around 6:30am I just couldn’t lay in bed any longer so my mom made me my favorite egg & cheese on toast. As I sat at the dining room table eating I noticed the contractions getting a little stronger. Our roommates were awake getting ready to leave for work. They were happy to hear the news that their new little roommate was on her way. One of them was telling us a story and I had to stop listening because a contraction came. I didn’t get to tell him “hold on” or anything because the contraction was so strong. He thought I had started praying deeply in the middle of him talking. Haha! After breakfast the contractions started to get more consistent and frequent. I was brushing my teeth when a contraction came which didn’t mix well because my throat is so sensitive. I twisted around to try and make it to the toilet. Of course I completely missed and threw up all over the bathroom. I said out loud to myself “Am I in transition?” It seemed way to early. “You wish Heidi!” As everything seemed to get more intense it was time for Kashema to come and we also headed back to the birth center to see what was up because I had thrown up. It was probably because I had my mouth full of toothpaste foam when a contraction came but we just wanted to make sure. And of course everything was fine. It was around 10am and I was now 2.5cm. The midwife (Delilah) was so patient with me for all the times I came by to get checked. As a first timer it was nice to have the birth center so close and to be cared for so much as everything was so brand new to me and I was learning as I went. So with me being 2.5 cm around 10am we thought maybe this was going to be a longer labor than we wanted but we decided to keep the hope we had on our hearts to carry us through. We also stopped to grab some good snacks on our way back home to carry us through too. Yummy! The contractions started to get harder and more frequent. I labored at home in different spots like Mazelle’s room where I hung onto her crib and on a big comfy chair with tons of pillows to get the perfect position. Kashema said there was this moment when I welled up with tears because I realized I was getting a little tired but I was so excited to meet my daughter. My dad came soon after that moment with the three roses I wanted. He said the roses were from Ecuador and the floodgates opened in my eyes! I had lived in Ecuador for a year right after high school where a lot of healing had happened for me. It was actually a time in my life I said “I love you” to my dad for the first time in years and meant it! What a special symbol the roses had become! At this time I tried to eat again because I had thrown up all the nutrients earlier. As I munched on food, I would have to grab it out of my mouth if a contraction came because my throat is so sensitive and I needed to breathe threw it. One time I didn’t get a chance to grab the food out of my mouth in time and well…of course I threw up all over the downstairs living room floor and over our cell phones and the chip bag (which we decided it was probably not a good idea to finish those. Haha!) We had a good laugh that is for sure. Because I threw up again and it was beginning to be 12 hours of active labor we decided to take me to the birth center to get an IV to hydrate. My sister Breanna and her fiancé had arrived at this point. What perfect timing! It was a rush of energy for me to see my sister there. She also was able to take over pushing on my hips so Trevor and Kashema could take a break. What a relief for them too! So we arrived at the birth center once again. Seriously I was so lucky to have this place so close. My midwife there was now Crystal. She had a calm voice with a big bright smile. I liked her so much. I labored for a little bit at the birth center during this time and we did a stress test machine thing too. Everything was looking great. My baby girl’s heartbeat was strong. At around that time (4pm) we measured me and I was only 3cm. I was getting really tired at this point because I really hadn’t slept now since my good nap before Trevor’s birthday party. Exhaustion was starting to set in. We were all a little concerned how exhausted I was becoming. The team had been pushing on my hips to get me through contractions for most of the labor. It helped so much as I bared the intense waves of contractions. Because exhaustion was coming on, I felt like it was time to change it up. We headed home and I knew I needed to lie down and try to sleep. Kashema went home to get some rest too. We all needed it. I started to use a different coping technique I had practiced during my pregnancy in hopes it would help me relax my body so I could rest. It was a visual story. The story started with me standing at the edge of a cliff. When a contraction started, I would visualize myself jumping off the cliff into deep water. I would swim deep into the water through a tunnel. When I would get through the tunnel I visualized a cave. My baby girl was there and I would pick her up. I would swim back through the tunnel, up to the surface and then to shore. I would recommit to getting my baby girl as I visualized jumping off the cliff each time a contraction came. Trevor laid next to me and tried to nap too. He was exhausted. My mom was on the other side of me sitting and praying over me quietly on the edge of the bed. I laid there doing my visualization and tried to rest. You know when someone is falling asleep and their body will do a little jerk? My mom said she could feel me jerk so she knew I was getting some kind of rest. She was so grateful. Her daughter was truly resting. Kashema had come back and switched spots with Trevor. Her and my mom both had hands on me at this point and prayed together. I feel like this time was needed for many reasons. For rest of course, but it also gave me time to seek comfort from God, release all power I thought I had, and remember to trust and know that all my strength comes from Him. One of the Bible verses I had written out on a card to look at during labor was Hebrews 12: 1-2 “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” Around 6:00pm there was a moment I felt a couple gushes of water so I went to the bathroom. As I sat on the toilet my body started to push during the contractions. It was like I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to push! As I sat there on the toilet feeling these urges I said to Kashema, “Is it weird that my body wants to push?” She said back, “We need to go!” because she knew I was transitioning into the pushing stage. I always wondered during my pregnancy what it would feel like when your body wanted to push. You read in all the books that you will know. Really, you will know? Well now I knew what that felt like. You do know! Haha! It was about 6:30pm when we headed to the birth center. The drives back and forth to the birth center were pretty comical. We have some amazing pictures of me sitting in the back seat with my sunglasses on while my arms are stretched out holding onto the ceiling handle bars while two people sat beside me to push on my hips. I have to say…I kind of looked like a cool hardcore rock star J I thought I would only be 4cm maybe 5cm because of how I had been progressing this whole labor. Crystal measured me and she said, “Well I have good news, you are 9cm.” Everyone cheered and I raised my hands up and said “Halleluiah!” and then said “Get me in the bathtub!” I had pictured myself giving birth in a tub. So they got the bath ready for me setting up my 3 roses, my birth pictures that Trevor and I had drawn and played my worship playlist. The first song to play was “Oceans.” My song of course! Trevor sat in the tub with me while Kashema sat beside on the edge. I had all my people surrounding me: Trevor, my doula, my sister and my mom (who was keeping my sister Holly up to date so she could be there with us too). My dad & Breanna’s fiancé Justin were right outside the door. I felt like they were my strength circle. Family is very important to me and I loved being surrounded by their love. Crystal would come in and out to check on me as I pushed in the tub. Her presence and voice continued to be a comfort to me during this time of hard work. We could feel Mazelle’s head crowning. Crazy feeling! She had lots of hair on her head that was for sure! Everyone recommended I try peeing because I hadn’t gone pee and maybe sitting on the toilet would help with gravity to push her down more. I could not get the pee to come. And after awhile I could barely hold myself up and didn’t want to go back in the tub because I was exhausted. A soft cozy bed sounded amazing. I pretty much just wanted to fall asleep. Ha ha! So I moved to the bed. It was about 9pm by this time. I held onto the headboard on all fours to push. Mazelle was slowly making her way out. Everyone was cheering me on which helped me keep going. They held the 3 roses up in view for me to see. Trevor & Kashema were right there by my face helping me breath and telling me to moan & push deep with all my might. I did best when they would moan with me. I am really good at copying sounds so it helped so much when they made the sounds with me. My mom and sister were watching her little head merge. Mazelle kept coming and I was so ready for her to come fully out. My arms and legs were shaking so much as I was losing all my strength. My daughter was staying strong though. Her heartbeat was strong the whole time. I needed some gravity help at this point. I wrapped my arms around Kashema’s neck as she stood on the bed while I pushed and pulled down on her with everything I had. I have to pause here for a second because I have to give major props to Kashema. I mean she was literally holding me up and letting me completely pull on her! I always tell her she is superwoman. J This definitely helped, as it seemed to really get Mazelle coming out. I got back on all fours as Trevor sat right up on the bed next to my face and held my hands. Trevor could see I was at the end of myself. The last words Trevor said to me before I took my last phases of pushes were, “Honey the inner strength you need is there. Faith is stepping out when you don’t know if it will be there but you believe it will be. I want you to step out. It will be there. Know it will be there when you get there.” I listened to those words with such intent. I let them feed my faith. Who knew those words would take on such a bigger meaning for me and for Trevor. And then I went. I dove off the cliff, took 3 last pushes smashing my face in a pillow and out she came! The cheers in the room were heavenly. I could hear some laughter too. Oh my gosh that feeling of her whole body coming out FELT SO GOOD! She was born at 10:49pm at 8Ibs 14 oz. and 21.5 inches long. Big baby girl! I flipped my body around to lean against the headboard. It became quiet as we all peered at this new life before our eyes. Then the “awe moment” came as she was laid on me. Her head turned to look up at me. It was like she wanted to make sure to meet me right away. She knew time was of the essence. Our gaze was locked. Her eyes were deep and captivating. She was a miracle. It felt so dreamy. I stayed there as I fell in love. It was a new kind of love I had never felt before in my whole life. Crystal asked what her name was and I said “Mazelle Joy” just staying in my state of blissful peace. There was nothing that could take that precious moment away. We were saying hi to each other for the very first time.