Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Story of Noelle


Name: Noelle May Hendrickson
Birthday: Saturday, May 19, 2012
Birth Time: 9:33 AM
Weight: 6 pounds, 8 ounces
Length: 20 inches
Total Labor: 14 hours

The Story:  It was Friday afternoon, 3 days after my due date.  I finished my last day of work and said goodbye to everyone and headed home.  When I got home I called my mom for a brief therapy session-  I was pretty nervous about the switch to stay-at-home-mommyhood and just needed some mom conversation after officially leaving my job. 

Just a few seconds into the conversation (that we never ended up having by the way) my water broke.

What is funny about this is Paul had put on our joint calendar "Tessa goes into labor" at 4 pm that friday.  Turns out he was only an hour off.  :)  Go husband!

Ok, I think this is already too detailed.  I'm really sorry dear people that hate detailed birth stories.  

The doc was merciful and, after we established that my water had indeed broken, she told me I could take a shower and eat some dinner and then head down to the hospital in Fort Collins, CO. 

On the way down to Fort Collins, around 7 pm, I had my first real contractions!  Wahoo.  I say real contractions because I have had an amazing amount of Braxton Hicks contractions since week 20 of pregnancy, and I had false labor a couple nights before my due date.  

So I did not have to be induced or anything, and I was dilated to a 7 or 8 around midnight.  I got an epidural around 1 am, which I had to wait about 30 minutes for, because right when the anesthesiologist was about to come into my room, a mom showed up at the hospital screaming in pain through the hallways lol already dilated to a 9.  So she trumped me.  Grrr....  

Sidenote:  I have so much admiration for people that go natural.  I always knew I wanted an epidural, but both natural and epidural appeal to me.  But there was NO way when I got to a certain point that I would have chosen natural, just because I could not stand the pain when I knew there was a choice.  I understand that back in the day, you just had to go natural.  But knowing you have a choice, I don't know how you choose natural in the moment.  So Kudos to my natural friends:)

So I dilated to a 10 quickly, but we waited a bit to see if the baby would come down any further on her own.  This part was just LONG.  My epidural wasn't working completely, but it was still less pain than it would have been.  

Anyway, finally we started pushing at 6:15 am.  I was so tired and hungry at this point.  I tried some jello, but then it all came up.  Lesson learned:  No Jello on an empty stomach after 11 hours of labor!  

My uterus was getting "lazy" partway through the pushing.  So the pushing took a while.  I could feel the pushing and the crowning and the head come out, which I was so grateful for- I didn't know if you could always feel those things with an epidural.  I pushed for 3 hours and little baby Noelle came out at 9:33 am.  I think there must be nothing more sacred than the experience of having a baby, and I hope I never forget that moment and the moments that followed with my baby and husband.  She was perfect and I could not have imagined her to be more perfect and beautiful.  

I had a postpartum hemorrhage due to my "lazy" uterus not wanting to contract:(  So I lost a lot of blood which was not a big problem- it just made my first couple days of recovery a little more complicated.  Luckily, I had no idea it was happening until after it was taken care of, so I was able to bask in my baby bliss.  

That is the story of how Noelle came into the world.  

Our hospital stay is such a blur now that it's been a few weeks.  But we loved the staff and our experience there.  Here are some pictures from Noelle's first couple days of life:

Awesome hat from the hospital:

 Going home on Monday as a family of 3:

We got so many meals from ward members and from Air Force friends.  We've gotten so many supportive phone calls and texts.  Oh, it has meant so much to us!!  We are so grateful to have our healthy baby girl, and also so grateful for friends and family.  


  1. I love birth stories, thanks for sharing yours! Noelle is beautiful! We're so excited for you.

  2. I love birth stories as well, especially now that I've gone through it. (Before my own birth stories, I think I was a little grossed out.) Congratulations! She's beautiful. I hope sleeping and nursing are going smoothly.

  3. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Love the name. I had it on my list for Emmy. Glad to hear it all went well and that your sweet baby is here at last. I wish you restful nights in the very near future :)

  4. Awwww, Tessa, gosh dang it your story and the pictures brought tears to my eyes! She looks so sweet and I am so happy for you. :-) I only got to be a SAHM for 7 months and it is a lot different than working but so nice to spend so much time together. You look great and I also love the daddy-daughter pictures!

    Do you have my email address, I have a little something I'd love to send you if you'd be so kind as to email me your mailing address.

  5. Thanks for the story - I loved reading how little Noelle came into this world. Hope you are all doing fine, just taking it one day at a time.

  6. I love the birth stories too. And agree with the comment that I probably like them more after having gone through it myself. I can't believe you got to take your time after your water broke!!! As soon as mine breaks, I have about 40 minutes before I'm dilated to a 7 and ready to die. This is only just enough time to actually get to the hospital. I'm glad your hemorrhaging was easy to take care of. It doesn't sound like a very good thing.

    Anyway, I am happy for you. Congratulations. Now you have to just keep posting pictures of her.

  7. Thanks for sharing your story, Tessa! You have such a beautiful family. Love you!

  8. What a beautiful story, I'm so happy for you! I went natural, but only because I didn't have time for an epidural. I'll hopefully be getting one next time. But luckily I only had to push for 15 minutes, I can't imagine 3 hours of pushing, you are an amazing woman! I hope your transition to mommy- hood is going smoothly, those first few months can be hard! Enjoy being a sahm, it's so much harder than going to a "real job" some days, but the rewards are infinitely better! Love you!

  9. Happy you've posted. I've been waiting to hear all about it. You and Paul must be awesome parents. Are the grandparents going nuts? You'll just have to let them spoil Noelle. Love her name.

  10. Thanks for posting the details! Loved reading how it went and so happy to hear she is here and you are both doing well! Bless you all!

  11. Congrats once again! I love reading birth stories, but have never actually recorded mine. Glad all went well and hope you are loving staying home with that sweet little girl.