Sunday, December 2, 2012

Scarlet May Johnson - Her Story

Disclaimer: If you want to see more pictures and skip the story you have to scroll down a ways...

Scarlet May Johnson

Our little bundle of joy is finally here and we are so excited to start sharing pictures.  So here it is, her story, all the glorious details of the labor and delivery of our sweet little girl, Scarlet May Johnson.  I was due on Friday, the 23rd but I had already assumed that I was going to go past the due date, maybe even the two weeks they would allow me to go before being induced.  They said after one week they would induce if I wanted it but I really wanted to go into labor naturally so they said I could have up to two weeks.  Anyway, I was praying to be able to go into labor naturally so I was delighted when I woke up on Monday morning at about 6:15am with a tightening of my belly coupled with mild cramping.  Of course never having experienced labor before I wasn't totally sure if that was the start of the real thing but I was hopeful.  The contractions at that point were about 10-20 minutes apart.  Around 11:30am my mom and I started on a vigorous walk.  Just after 12:00pm I started noticing leakage of fluid.  I wasn't entirely certain if it was a tear in the amniotic sac or if I had just peed my pants a little, which was totally possible.  It happened a couple of more times though, even right after I had gone to the bathroom (thank goodness for a Rite Aid on the route we were taking!), so I was fairly certain it was amniotic fluid, not just urine.

When we got back from the walk I checked with my provider and was advised to go to the hospital to have the fluids checked.  The contractions at this point were about 7 minutes apart with still just mild cramping.  I decided to shower and get all ready to go and stay at the hospital just in case they did want to admit me.  Ken came home from work and then he, my mom, and I went to the hospital just after 3:00pm.  Being in triage felt like forever.  They monitored the contractions for a long time and then tested the fluid.  They said it would take about 10 minutes to get the results of the fluid but it ended up taking only about 30 seconds.  It was the amniotic fluid so I was granted a room at the inn.

Getting sent home from the hospital because I wasn't really in labor was one of my biggest worries simply because I thought it would be so frustrating.  I was grateful that they allowed me to stay even though once I was in my room and they checked my cervix the nurse said that she stretched me to 3cm.  I thought it was going to be a loooong labor since that was all that I had dilated to but in the end I progressed fairly quickly.  By 9:00pm I had dilated to 6cm.  Sometime around 11:00pm I was already at 9cm.  For anyone who doesn't know, the cervical change from 7cm to 10cm is called "transition" and it is typically the most difficult part of labor because the contractions are at their longest and strongest and they come close together, sometimes with no break at all.  I would never have made it through those few hours without the help of Ken and my mom.  Since we were doing a natural child birth I felt everything and Ken had to help me regulate my breathing through the contractions and my mom had to verbally tell me to stay focused and that I could do it.  At times she even had to use a sharp tone with me but it was exactly what I needed.  I only really panicked  a couple of times, once was when the on call OB came in at 11:00pm and checked my cervix and found that I was at 9cm.  Then as she left the room and I was beginning another intense contraction she said, "See you in a couple of hours."  I asked, "Did she just say 'a couple of hours'?!"  I wanted to be done right then, not in a couple of hours.  I just about freaked out.  Ken said he wanted to go punch the doctor for saying that.  Fortunately, with the help of my excellent support team (Ken and mom) I was able to regain focus for the subsequent contractions.

And the doctor was right, it was a couple of more hours, but it didn't feel like it, the time really flew by quickly for me.  Just after 12:00am the rest of the amniotic sac finally burst like a water balloon and the baby was able to really descend into the birth canal.  By 12:30am I finally had the "uncontrollable urge to push" that the delivery nurse said we were waiting for.  The contractions during the pushing phase are pretty intense but it is amazing how satisfying of a feeling it is to push so it is not as bad as the transition phase.  Plus there is the excitement of knowing that truly it is almost over.

The OB came back at about 1:15am and I had me push a few times then she told me that I really was very tight and though she didn't regularly recommend episiotomies, in my case she did strongly recommend it, otherwise she said it would probably take a long time still and be very painful.  I had specifically stated in my birth plan that I did not want an episiotomy if at all possible but I knew I had to be flexible.  However, while I was still considering the option I had another contraction and the urge to push.  With the second or third pushing effort of that contraction I heard my mom say, "Open your eyes!  Open your eyes!"  My little baby girl was already being pulled out.  The OB said, "Well, you proved me wrong."  There was of course some tearing but that didn't matter, I was done and my little girl was safely on my chest.  She was born at 1:25am on Tuesday, November 27th.

One of the things that I really appreciated about the hospital where I delivered was that the baby was placed immediately on my chest and all of the initial testing was done with her still right there on my chest.  They only took her briefly off my chest awhile later when I finally gave consent.  At that point I was curious about her weight so I let them take her to give her a bath and weigh her.  She weighed in at 7lbs 4oz, just the right size.  She is 19.25 inches long.  They had a bassinet for her in the room with me so she never once left the room until she was carried out by daddy in the car seat to go home.

She had swallowed a lot of fluid and blood on her way out so we had to witness her puking up a lot of gunk over the next few hours, which was a little scary at first and so sad to see, but she was a little champ and got it all out.  Since she was working on getting that all out for several hours she wasn't very interested in eating during that time.  Because she didn't eat much her risk for jaundice went up.  We stayed at the hospital a few more hours than we otherwise would have had to just to make sure she was ok but her blood test came back fine for the jaundice so we were finally discharged at about 5:00pm on Wednesday.

I hadn't slept very much at all while we were at the hospital.  If you want an adrenaline rush, try having a baby!  It was so crazy how wide awake I felt almost the entire time we were at the hospital.  And, quite frankly, I still have some of that adrenaline, or perhaps now it is just anxiety, that doesn't let me nap a whole lot during the day but I haven't felt extremely tired either.  I am sure it will probably all catch up to me eventually.  Thank goodness for my mom being here to help out too.  That has made a huge difference in the wee hours of the night.

As for the name, it was funny how many times we were asked what her name was and we had to simply say that is a good question!  Throughout the pregnancy her code name had always been Xena, Princess Warrior, since we didn't have any other name picked out.  We finally had two names to choose from when we went to the hospital, Scarlet and Ivy.  Although we were leaning towards Scarlet we decided we would just wait to see what she looked like.  Her black hair totally through us for a loop.  We had not been expecting that at all.  (I do promise this is Ken's child.  The only thing we can figure is that the 1/4 Italian in both of us is dominate in her.  She has blonde eyebrows though so I have to assume the hair will eventually change.)  Anyway, when we started debating the name at the hospital we were leaning towards Ivy but after we called her that for maybe an hour or so it just didn't really seem right.  Then we tried Scarlet and it was the perfect fit.  There is no reason or story behind the name Scarlet (I haven't even seen Gone With the Wind) but I just liked the name and mentioned it to Ken one day and he liked it too.  And it is at least biblical. (See Isaiah 1:18)  As for the middle name, it was also really just one that I liked but it was Ken's maternal grandmother's middle name as well so she has some family heritage there.  We are so happy and so proud to be the parents of Scarlet May Johnson.  She truly is a precious angel.

Now for the pictures...

On mama's chest just after birth
Sleepy little girl
I am very possessive.  I had to take pictures with my name on her wrist band so everyone knows that she is for sure mine.
Love her eyes!
The doting father.
Her first car seat ride.  I am so excited about the car seat cover I got on etsy and the blanket that a friend made.
With Grandma Morgan at the hospital.
With Grandpa Johnson at the house.
Already sporting the vintage look.  My oldest brother Keith wore this as a baby.  It is the nursery rhyme "There Was an Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe."

Look at that head of hair!  I was so shocked to have a dark headed baby with so much hair.

Proud Daddy.  Thanks Kay Bragg for the tie!

Everyone tells us how beautiful she is, because of course she is, but the best compliment thus far was from our Bishop.  He is a doctor so he stopped by while we were still at the hospital.  Later he sent Ken a text that said, "I don't know how to tactfully say this but, you might want to consider having a paternity test done since I don't know how you got such a beautiful baby!"



  1. Krista!!! What a beautiful and PERFECT birth story! I'm so impressed by how prepared you were for this birth! It really makes all the difference and you have the perfect story to show for it. Reading this actually got me excited to give birth again! You are amazing. So amazing and how blessed little Scarlet is to have you as her mama.

    She really is gorgeous! The first picture your parents sent I think my jaw dropped. Not that I was surprised that you had a pretty baby but I was just surprised that she was ALREADY so gorgeous. Newborns aren't always so beautiful but she really is the most gorgeous little newborn I've ever seen! I remember thinking that Freddy looked like Pres. Hinckley when he was born (cute for an old man, not for a baby), LOL.

    I am SO SO SO happy for you! I'm so glad you have your mom there to help out cause I just want to offer you help. The only help I can give from here is advice so if you ever need any, just let me know. I have a little gift for you guys but I'm not sure when I'll get around to sending it. Hopefully before Christmas :)

  2. Awesome - congratulations! Loved reading every bit of her birth story! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Congratulations Krista and Ken. She is indeed beautiful. I too enjoyed reading the story although I did have the thought at one point, "How did I ever do this?!" I hope it isn't too long before we get to meet Scarlet too.

  4. Loved reading your story! Thanks for sharing and congrats!!! Love from the Hillyards!

  5. Congratulations Krista! Bre't and I were thinking about you last Thursday and wondering if you had had the baby yet! I think she is beautiful, just like her mommy. You'll need to come visit us sometime once life has settled in for you!