Hallie's Birth Story

Hallie Lois Buckmaster was born on May 6, 2016, at 7:53 a.m.  She weighed in at 8 pounds and 1 ounce and was 21.5 inches long.  Mom, Dad, and Big Brother are all wrapped around her little finger.  She's perfect!

This is the part where I warn you about the blood and such.  I have to document these awesome pictures for Hallie, but they certainly aren't for the squeamish.  If you have the stomach for it, it's worth seeing a captured miracle.


The night before it all went down I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep.  I knew I would be absolutely riddled with the excitement and anticipation of meeting my baby girl, so I didn't bother going to bed early.  Instead, Roy and I went out for a celebratory movie night with my brother.  My parents were already in town and offered to stay home with Camden, so we saw The Jungle Book.

It was good to be distracted a little, because part of me was quite nervous for the surgery.  See, where we are currently living there is one hospital where you can deliver, and this hospital isn't equipped for VBACs.  That means that if you've had a c-section in the past, you are obliged to have a repeat c-section.  

The surgery was scheduled for 7:30am, but even after we got home from the movie I couldn't relax and go to sleep.  Baby Bean certainly didn't help matters.  It was like she knew it was her last night in the womb and she decided to throw herself a party.  Honestly, I don't think she and Camden combined moved that much.  I'd feel an elbow scrape all the way from one side of my belly to the other, which consistently sent chills down my spine, and I'm pretty sure there were a few complete somersaults.  

It seemed like I'd barely closed my eyes when my alarm went off.  Roy and I grabbed our bags and left in such an excited hurry that I forgot to put makeup on!  So the pictures could be better, I guess, but I was simply too eager to get to the hospital and hold my baby.

We arrived at the hospital at 5:30am and after filling out paperwork we were taken to our room.  It happened to be the biggest room at the hospital, which was nice.  In no time I was sporting the oh-so-stylin' hospital gown, and we were listening to Bean's heartbeat accompanied by the loud swiping sounds she made whenever she moved.  Which was often.

Silly detail: I instantly noticed this sign and it made me laugh.  "Roy, hey Roy," I said, giggling.  "Don't fall, llama!"  He looked concerned.  "Are you on drugs already?"

I wasn't.  I just have a really fantastic sense of humor.  ;-P

Roy was good at keeping me relaxed as we waited to be taken down for surgery.  He was wearing his scrubs, sitting on the couch-turned-bed, being extremely calm and distracting me with his goofball ways.  Even so, when they laid me back and wheeled me from the room I became a little nervous.  Didn't cry this time, though.  This time I kept the end goal in mind: baby in my arms.

The anesthesiologist was a really nice man, but he still stabbed me in the back with a needle.  It hurt, but it was all good, I certainly didn't want to feel a thing.  As I felt my limbs start to go numb I had the strangest feeling that my head was going numb too.  It was difficult to breathe but I managed, "Um, I think I'm going to pass out."

The anesthesiologist made some adjustments, but I was not feeling good.  It wasn't until they gave me oxygen that I was somewhat comfortable again.  The staff in the room were all very positive and encouraging, reminding me that the baby would be here very soon.

Once I was stable they let Roy in the room.  His presence, as always, calmed me immediately, and suddenly the surgery was underway.  It's indescribably strange to feel the knife, the clamping, the tugging, but not feel any accompanying pain.

Roy peered over the blue sheet blocking my view and watched the whole thing interestedly, holding my hand in his.  Some hospitals are jumpy about cameras, but our doctor seemed to think it was a great idea.  In fact, he posed our little girl like this.  I heard him say, "Here, get this.  This is the money shot right here."

It felt like thirty pounds was lifted off my chest, air flooded into my lungs, and then I heard her.  That is definitely one of my top favorite experiences in life, hearing my babies' first sounds.  There's no explaining the happiness, and there was no stopping the huge smiles on our faces.  Roy squeezed my hand before lifting the camera and snapping away, looking giddy.

When they took her to clean her up I didn't expect to see her for a while.  But to my happy surprise they had the little cleaning station on my side of the blue sheet, so I got to see her almost right away!  She was beautiful!  Seriously the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen.  Roy went over to meet her, snapping more pictures.  He got to cut the cord and then bring her over to me, clean and swaddled.  This time my arms were free so I was able to stroke her soft little cheeks.  It was a moment of Heaven.

Roy left with the baby while they finished putting me back together.  All I could think about was when I could hold her.  They wheeled me back to our room and I had her in no time.  Taking pictures had fled our minds at this point.  We took turns holding her and loving on her, both of us trying to remember how to do the newborn thing.  Visitors weren't allowed yet, so we had plenty of time to just drink her in.  It wasn't until Roy had fallen asleep on the couch that I took this picture, the first selfie with my daughter.

The nurses at this hospital were great.  There were a few in particular that I really connected with -- one who even let me sleep at night!  And my body healed so much easier this time around, not having to also go through labor.  I had a little issue with my iron levels, but they just pumped some syrupy looking stuff into my IV and called it good.

Hallie, on the other hand, wasn't gaining weight quite like they wanted her to.  She was just such a sleepy thing that she was having a hard time staying awake to nurse.

Our first visitors were my parents and Camden!  Hallie is the first granddaughter on my side.

Camden was a bit concerned to see me laid up in bed surrounded by medical equipment.  So although that had him a little distracted, he was still very eager to hold his new baby sister.

I thought my heart would explode out of my chest watching my two kids together.  Camden was very gentle with her, but seemed to lose interest a little more quickly than I imagined - haha!

My brothers and sister-in-law all came into town and visited us in the hospital.  One of my good friends also made it to see us.  My room soon had flowers and chocolates in it.

No one could quite decide who Hallie looked like.  Roy and I didn't think she looked any thing like Camden, which came as a surprise to us both.  And yet we also couldn't seem to identify specific traits, either.  My mom thought maybe she had my ears and mouth, which I quickly claimed.  I certainly wouldn't mind having my own mini-me, since Roy already has his.

Later when we got home we looked at some pictures of Camden as a newborn and decided that they actually do look a bit alike.  Definitely siblings!  But I think Hallie inherited a few more traits from me that give her a different look.  {Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.  Only time will tell - babies change so much so fast!}

In the hospital Hallie slept best in our arms, which I didn't mind one bit.  I never wanted to put her down.

We left the hospital after only two days.  Luckily Hallie and I were able to figure out the nursing thing alright and they let her come home with us.

Getting into our vehicle with two car seats was surreal.  And awesome.  Having our little family together at home has been bliss.  My heart has never been so full.

Thoughts for Hallie

Dear Hallie,
We love you.  We've loved you and waited for you for years.  As each day comes to a close, and your birthday draws closer and closer, your dad and I look at each other and whisper words of hope and excitement.  Only 20 more days… 12 more days… 5 more days!  The thrill of knowing we will be meeting you face to face, holding you, breathing you in, in just a few days fills our home and hearts with indescribable joy.  

Your dad is kind, funny, honest, and has been a constant support throughout this pregnancy.  Just like he will be a constant support to you throughout your life.  Someday you'll see how really lucky you are to have such a good man for a father.

Your big brother is sweet, considerate, and caring.  He also loves nothing more than to make people laugh {preferably with potty humor} so I'm sure you'll be quick on the smiles if he has anything to say about it.  He's so excited to meet you.

One of the things I've most been looking forward to is watching the relationship between you and Camden develop and grow.  I hope you always love and look after each other.  Remember that family is the whole reason we are here.

This pregnancy has been beautiful.  I was pretty sick at the beginning, and of course a bit uncomfortable here at the end, but all in all I couldn't ask for better.  This time I truly realized how special this short time is when I have you in the womb.  I've tried to savor that.

We love you, and we're so ready for you to join our family.

The Big Brother

She's here, she's here, she's here!  We're a family of four!  My head is spinning, though I'm not sure whether that's a result of staggering joy, lack of sleep, or good old Percoset.  Probably a combination.

Clearly I've been terrible at posting, but I've actually been writing.  So the next two posts are late, but they are some of my thoughts and feelings leading up to one of the happiest days of our lives.


Camden's days as an only child are numbered.  Everything we do reminds me of this, and I find myself worrying about how he's going to adjust.

As we've been dusting off baby items and bringing them in from the garage Cam has enjoyed hearing about his babyhood.  Seeing the clothes he wore and the toys he played with.  Sometimes he asks that we pretend he's a baby.  I've heard that kids can regress once a baby sibling is brought home soooo I'm not sure how I feel about this, haha!

But the next moment he's "shaving like daddy" and my worries dissipate. 

On that note: I absolutely love the relationship Camden has with his dad, which I think will help him with said adjustment.  Each and every day Camden's face lights up when Daddy walks through the door.  And he's always wanting to do "boy things".  Good thing we'll soon have a little daughter or else I would get real jealous with all this "no girls allowed" stuff going on.

I'm excited to meet this little girl, but I'm even more excited for my precious boy to meet his little sister.  I'm so in love with this family I have.