“Every child begins the world again…”
– Henry David Thoreau
I will never be over the experience of having a baby.
I have no words, and also so many. Even through 9 months of
growing a little one and preparing for this, nothing truly felt real
until the moment I saw this little girl and the world stopped. Leading
up to the birth I was anxious and could not imagine how it would all
happen & work out to finally get her here. All I can say is that it was so
different and so much better than I could have expected. It was scary
and amazing and out of body and so so beautiful. I know how very lucky
we are to have experienced this and gotten the very best gift possible!
Here’s our little beauty ^^ Reagan Kate Rigby!
Born on July 18th, 2016 at 9:40 PM.
7 lbs 10 ounces, and 20.5 inches long.
She’s perfect and we’re in love.
As for the story…
After getting a few different due dates in different countries while living
abroad, we had a little range and had no idea when baby would really come.
My mom arrived in town from South Africa on Friday the 15th, and there was
no baby yet! We had such a fun weekend together showing her the neighborhood,
hanging out with friends, eating out, hiking, biking, getting a visit from my cousin
and aunt, running errands, and just getting caught up + spending time together.
I was so glad baby had waited for her to come, but also didn’t want it to be too
long now that my mom had arrived and we had people coming in town! We were
active all weekend, went to church Sunday and my mom made us an amazing
dinner before we went to bed. We made plans for Monday and said goodnight!
I woke up a few hours later at 2 AM (early Monday morning) to pain and contractions. I
wasn’t positive if it was the real deal, but I definitely hadn’t felt anything like these
ones before. I woke Chase up and we started tracking them in an app. They were 10
minutes apart, then 9, 8, 7, 6, etc. After 40 minutes of tracking the app said to go to
the hospital! I still wasn’t positive because they weren’t killing me, just consistent.
We went out and woke up my mom and tracked them some more, then started to
get our bags together and pack up some last things. It felt like a movie as we all 3
got in the car at 4:30 AM and headed to the hospital!! Luckily there was no traffic :)
We got to the hospital at Stanford and I was admitted. I was starting to doubt whether
I was really in labor, and was so worried I would be one of the “false alarm” people.
I got hooked up to monitors and we waited over an hour while things were tracked…
my mom and Chase and I were chatting and I was so distracted that I wasn’t positive
if I was even still having contractions regularly! Finally the doctor came in to check
and to our surprise she said I was having contractions less than 5 minutes apart, was
3 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced (didn’t even know what that was ) and for
sure in early labor. She said first-time labors usually dilate slowly, so I could either
choose to check in and get all hooked into an IV etc. right then, or go walk around
the campus and get some breakfast before coming back. We decided to take option
B and speed things up on our own, so we went to hike the Stanford Dish and did
4 miles together on the prettiest morning! It was such a fun memory and by the
end I was needing to stop and wait while each contraction came. It was definitely a
memory to do a hike while in labor! :) We’ll have to hike this on her birthday each year!
^^ Such a beautiful golden California summer morning. After The Dish we stopped
and got a yummy breakfast together (I had a pineapple ginger smoothie, scramble,
and parfait to fuel up) and the contractions were starting to be more noticeable.
We headed back to the hospital around 11:30 AM to see if I’d made progress.
They did a quick check and said I was now at 5 cm and 100% effaced
so it was time to get all checked in and ready to go. It started to feel
real that we really were having a baby, and probably that day!
^^ I called my Dad in SA to give him the update! He always
gives the best pep talks, even from 10,000 miles away.
We also called family now that we knew it was happening.
(PS that’s a monitor strapped on my belly under the gown :)
We met our cutest nurse Krista and saw our doctor Colleen who we love ^^ and
got things going with an IV. A few hours later I got an epidural because I was
just planning on it from the beginning, so it was nice to do right as contractions
were coming on stronger. Then I was able to relax in the room and wait! I got the
perfect dose because I could feel each contraction, but not strong at all. I even
dozed off a little bit. Around 5pm Chase and my mom went to grab dinner at
Chipotle, and I joked as they left to stay close and keep their phones! While
they were out my water broke on its own, and the doctor came in and said I
was getting close. I called my mom and Chase and couldn’t reach them for
a little, haha! I was laughing thinking if they missed the birth because
they were at Chipotle ;) but I wasn’t worried because I knew we still had
a few hours. They finally rushed back so worried, and we had a good laugh!
Later I was checked one last time and fully dilated, so it was time to push!
That was another surreal moment where we just realized it was happening.
We didn’t take one class, so I was learning pushing technique as I went.
Chase and my mom were in the room which was such a help! I wasn’t
sure how I’d feel about it, but the second we started pushing I was so
happy to have them both … and needed them! Chase was seriously
amazing and was the best and cutest labor coach through it all.
He was right there with the nurse, asked her if he could do the counting
to 10 during each push, telling me I looked beautiful (ha), saying how
he could see her little blonde head and to get her here, etc. My mom was
at my head holding my hand and seriously doing each push with me it
felt like. I pushed for an hour before the final pushes, so she had to get
creative with her encouragements. At one point she actually said during
a push “spike it like a volleyball!” because I used to play in high school.
Haha I laughed so hard and had to write that down to remember. Classic.
After an hour of pushing, the epidural was lessening and I could feel
contractions racking my body SO strong through my back. I started to feel
like I had no more energy and wonder how I could ever do the rest. We did
a major push where I could feel things more, and it must have pushed the head
close enough because the nurse grabbed the phone, called the doctor and said
“come to room 9– we’re having a baby!” THAT was definitely the most memorable
moment where I just got chills and all of us got SO excited. I knew we would meet
her any moment, that all the work would pay off, and our sweet girl would be here.
I started crying and this is when the “out-of-body” experience that you hear about
really set in. I looked around at our incredible doctor, resident, nurses, my mom,
and of course my husband and knew I could do this! We did a few sets and I was
getting so exhausted/overwhelmed at what was happening. I closed my eyes and
pushed as hard as I could and suddenly felt the head — and the rest of her body —
come out and into the world. It was the craziest feeling ever to suddenly feel her
move outside of my body. We heard her darling cry and saw her perfect body as
Chase cut the cord and they put her right on my chest. We were all teary and in
disbelief and it was the best reward possible. The doctors delivered the placenta
and did stitches and I didn’t even notice either thing because this little angel was
wiggling and snuggling on my chest and we were all just smitten from the start.
There’s nothing on earth like the moment of seeing your first baby. I’ll never forget it.
I couldn’t believe how smoothly things went compared to what I had imagined
and expected. Even though it was scary and unknown and definitely hard, it
was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced and I feel lucky to have even
had the chance to. I’d do it again ten times over for the amazing feeling of
heaven being nearby. Some pictures are below that Chase and my mom took.
Baby Reagan is such a miracle and we do not take it for granted that she is
here happy and healthy. I never want to forget the details of this day that
our lives changed forever. I couldn’t have scripted it better! Photos below.. My darling dad had to stay in South Africa as a mission president,
but he was so tuned in and up early his time to get the updates.
I asked my mom to FaceTime him after she was born so he could be
part of it, and his reaction was so priceless and sweet. He immediately
started to cry so hard when he saw her. We felt his definite presence & love!
I’m so glad Chase caught his reaction in a picture so I can show her one day.
My family was on a group text getting updates, and my sister-in-law
Mindy sent this picture from Salt Lake right when I began pushing.
I love it because it shows the heavens opening for our little angel! ^^
“We did it!!” ^^
Right after labor Chase had a little present wrapped up for me to open.
He had taken his “push present” duty seriously and found me exactly
what I wanted: a simple gold band to add to my wedding ring and
represent our new little golden girl. I want a new band for each child!
Chase’s parents had flowers delivered within hours, and were so
tuned in as well! They’ll come meet her in a few weeks since Chase’s
sister also just had a baby & my mom was here to help us right now.
Reagan got all of her ID bands and we got ready for bed!
I truly have never felt exhaustion like that, or euphoria like it.
I’m pretty sure I just mostly stared at her all night but we did get a wink of sleep.
Longest little feet! ^^
Chase was teary all night after her birth. So sweet.
Little blondie getting weighed and measured! ^^
Already one very smitten dad ^^
And one tired grandma Linny! She was such a champ, still being jet lagged
from South Africa and being up for 24 hours with us through start to finish. “A new baby is like the beginning of all things –
wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.” -Eda LeShan
Amen to that! Thank you for all of the love sent our way!
We couldn’t feel more grateful. Lots more photos on the way.