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Mackenzie’s Birth Story

I had already had false labor at least 5 times, so when contractions started at 1:00am I just decided to go back to sleep.  Every 10-12 minutes I awoke breathed through a contraction and fell back asleep. My body was so tired from now two weeks of on and off labor.  So falling back asleep was easy.

After a while, I moved down to the couch to try to get more comfortable.  The contractions slowly moved closer together and became more consistent, but I was still able to fall back asleep in between each contraction.

At 4:30 I woke Matt up with the news that my contractions were 7-9 minutes apart.  As I climbed into bed next to him to fall back asleep, he recommend that I instead get up and walk around.  I really just wanted to go to sleep, but I rolled back to my feet to see if this was the real thing.

As I stood up and walked across our bedroom a contraction hit again.  This time it was strong!!!  The next one came 4 minutes later, the next 4 minutes after that one! Leaning over the dresser, we decided to call the Dr, our parents, and Sammy’s baby sitter.

It was now almost 5:00/5:30 am and the contractions were starting to take my breath away.  Matt grabbed our bags and we headed down the stairs.  I sat down on the couch and he went into the kitchen to eat a bowl of cereal.

Two more contractions hit and these were even stronger.  Something didn’t seem right. I started to get a little nervous about us being home.  Matt looked over at me breathing through a contraction and had the same realization. He quickly took another spoonful of cereal and called our babysitter asking her status- she was close but stuck in traffic.

Matt then told me to walk down to the car… we were leaving.  Sammy was asleep upstairs in her room though and I didn’t like the idea of leaving her.  Another contraction hit and as it subsided I obeyed his orders.  Sitting in the car, ready to pull out he called our babysitter, “Where are you at, we need to leave now?!”

Thankfully she was pulling up right behind us as we pulled out and sped down the road at 6:15 am.

This is where things start to get a little blurry and I have to rely on Matt’s testimony.

The car ride felt like forever as the contractions seemed to never let up.  As we pulled into the parking garage at 6:24,  I stepped out and braced myself against the cinder block wall while Matt pulled the car into the garage.  As we began to walk a very short distance to the door I froze.  I couldn’t move my legs.  This is probably where I could have panicked…but I really had no idea what that meant.

Matt sprinted to the door and grabbed a wheel chair.  He then ran me inside, up the elevator and to the check in desk.

The nurses were so calm as they began to greet us and check us in…no one was in a rush.  But as I began to say on repeat “pressure,” their tone slightly changed.  We skipped triage and were wheeled right into a room.

The contractions felt unbearable and I was having trouble breathing as I climbed into the bed.  The nurse told us I was only 6-7 centimeters along.  At that news, I began to say on repeat the single word, “Epidural.”  Sammy’s labor took 48 hours so in my head we had a long road before us.

The contractions came and went with hardly any break as they started to prep me for the anasteaiologist. Breathing became really difficult with no recovery and I felt like I was going to black out.  The nurse got right in my face and told me how to breath. But with the pain so intense I couldn’t pull myself together to follow her “hee hee ho” and I just wanted her to back up!

I remember making a conscious effort not to burst out in frustration as they tried three times to get an IV line in my arm.  Instead I just turned to Matt and like a broken record pleaded, “Epidural.”

A nurse came in and asked if the table should be prepared for delivery.  The only nurse with us replied, “no she still has time, she is only 6-7cm.”  Moments later the pressure increased, my water broke, and I began to yell pressure.  The nurse bent down to check me and said, “Whatever you do, don’t push!”  With my eyes closed I responded (or probably yelled), “I can’t help it”  I opened my eyes to see a sea of people in front of me.  I looked at Matt and begged for the epidural.  That is when one nurse said, ” If you push right now, the baby will come.”  My pain was overwhelming, but I started to push.  And as I began to push Mackenzie was born. Gasping for air, they set Mackenzie on my chest.  It was 6:58am!

And that is how my little Mackenzie was born, with less than six hours of labor, only 34 minutes spent at the hospital (in womb of course), and with “less than one push” as the nurses called it!

I wasn’t sure what it would be like to hold Mackenzie for the first time.  I wondered if I would feel the same joy and love as I did with Sammy just two years prior.  But as I held her that first morning I knew that this loves was different, it was a love all it’s own; just as strong as the love I have for Sammy, but new and not shared.  It’s amazing how your heart can fill with that much love in just a matter of moments.


Coming next time: Sammy meets Mackenzie! And one of my favorite images ever!



June - Girl, if you have another, you better have Matt take a course on home delivery!

Meet Mackenzie

Mackenzie arrived with record speed on August 6th and took us and I think the doctors all by surprise…but I will tell you more about that next week!

I’m writing today to say a quick hello, dust off the cobwebs here, and introduce you to my little Mackenzie.  Mackenzie is now 3 months old. So let me over the next few weeks fill your inbox with baby pictures as we play a little catchup (now that I am back from maternity leave).

Right now she smiles even when you are using a suction on her nose, she chatters more than any baby I have ever met (Sammy loves it), and she has Buddha like rolls.

But before I keep going lets start back at the beginning… stay tuned for Mackenzie’s birth story- it’s one you don’t want to miss.


Uncle Jeff - Congratulations Cassie!
You know how much I love kids. Keep the pics coming! 😉

Just You and Me


photo credit Yan Palmer

As I start my maternity leave, I am trying to soak up every moment with my first daughter before the baby comes.  We are tangled on the couch reading Curious George after nap, running through every splash pad in Boston, exploring the bakeries (my sweet tooth has come alive), and meandering down the cobblestone streets not thinking about anything except for the rocks to be picked up and plopped in Sammy’s little tin pail, which we carry everywhere.

It’s so hard to imagine how life is going to change in the next month…right now though, I just want to be here with her, just her and an occasional belly bump kick.

So if you have a favorite a place for us to explore or a gem of a place to eat at let us know… just don’t make me waddle too far:)

Oh, and don’t worry I will be back in October photographing beautiful families, but for now stay tuned for our adventures and Baby #2’s arrival.

Strawberry Picking

I looked up from picking my first handful of strawberries and glanced over at Sammy… her face was already completely stained with red juice, her chin dripped onto her overalls, and the over flow of juice in her hands was running down towards her elbows.  She was crouched down next to a bush pounding every strawberry she saw- red ones, not yet ripe white ones, dirty ones that fell of the bush… stems and all!

We had so much fun at Marini Farms Strawberry Festival (just up on the North Shore of Boston) and will definitely be going back. We ate strawberries all afternoon till our bellies hurt. I think we washed Sammy down at least 5 times from almost head to toe.

And Sammy loved their huge bouncing pillow- its ginormous and I have never seen anything like it, blow up castles, old fashioned duck racing, gigantic bubbles…we didn’t even get to the face painting, slides, oh and they had animals too… crazy goats that scaled the fences trying to eat everything in site.  I have heard that their strawberry deserts are a definite must… but we were just stuffed.