Before I jump in to telling the hive all about our daily adventures and mishaps, perhaps I should start out with how Baby Crown came to be.

Mr. Crown and I got married when I was 19, and he was 23; yes, we jumped the gun a little, but he had just joined the military and was being stationed in Japan, and that was just too far away for me. So we tied the knot at a quiet, little ceremony at the courthouse on July 21, 2006. Fast forward five years, to when we all of a sudden began buying our dog a lot of clothes. I mean, really, he had a Dallas Cowboys jersey, several Halloween costumes, even winter booties. We’d take pictures of him, oooh and ahhh, while his face said it all: You people need a kid to do this to. So we started working on it!

And working. And working. And working. Making a baby is way more difficult than what they made it out to be during sex education in high school, for us anyway.  After almost a year of trying, we were going to give it one more month, before seeking help.We just let go of all the charting, and had fun. That really IS when you get pregnant!

Fast forward again, all the way through “yay,” happy husband, happy family, to “Look, I’m showing!” to “Oh my gosh, it’s a girl!” to “Crap, he’s deploying in June and I’m due in October,” to “I love you, come home soon, be safe,” all the way to the evening of September 27, 2011, one week and one day before my due date. Cue first contraction at 7 p.m.

I had moved in with my parents temporarily right after Mr. Crown had left, because being six months pregnant all alone in a state with no family nearby did not sound like fun. That first contraction started deep in my lower back, and was like a dull ache that got worse as the minutes passed by. I slowly made my way to the guest room where I was staying, and rolled around, moaning on the bed. I thought, Holy crap, if this is what they’re all going to feel like, I want the epidural right now! But, after about 20 minutes, the pain went away, and I felt completely fine. I got up, had dinner with my parents, and then we all sat down to watch the baseball game. Everything was normal until a few hours later, when the contractions started up again in my lower abdomen.

This time, they didn’t stop.

They got progressively closer and closer, and definitely stronger. Around 2 a.m., I jotted off a quick email to Mr. Crown in the car, while my mom drove me to the hospital. I arrived, was checked in, and when the nurse checked me, found that I was already dilated to a 4, and was being admitted. It was time!

By this time, Mr. Crown had received my email, since it was 6 a.m. where he was, and he was set up and ready to go on Skype. My mom left the room so we could have a few minutes of privacy, and in the middle of him excitedly asking how I was doing, another contraction started. I was trying to breathe and concentrate, and he kept yakking on and on, so I yelled, “SHUT UP!” His eyes got huge, and he looked at me, and said, “Honey, get the epidural.”

A little background: I am not a needle person. I have exactly zero tattoos, I have never had my ears pierced, I still start shaking at the thought of a shot or getting blood drawn, and up until the birth of my daughter, I had never even had an IV. So abstaining from an epidural wasn’t part of my birth plan, because I am pro pain meds all the way, the more the better. It just scared me, and the contractions so far hadn’t been severe enough that they overtook my fear of a huge needle being jabbed into my spine. But that last one, it tipped the scale.

Once I got the epidural in, everything became a beautiful dream. I could smile, I could talk, I could be excited! I am not anti natural births, or pro epidural; I am simply for every woman having the kind of birth experience she wants, as long as it’s medically safe for both mom and baby. For me, with my low pain tolerance and anxiety towards the whole birthing process, being able to have that fear neutralized was amazing.

I took several naps, while my husband sat there, on Skype, watching me. Just watching.

After 14 hours of labor, I was checked and finally told it was pushing time. Literally 90 seconds later, I was holding Baby Crown in my arms. I even have proof it was that quick; my sister videotaped the whole thing.

She was so adorable, so tiny, so beautiful! My husband was crying, thousands of miles away on the other side of the world, as the nurses wished him congratulations on becoming a father. He wasn’t there, but he was. He heard her, he saw her. He couldn’t touch her, or hold her, or kiss us, but it’s amazing that he was still a part of her day.

And just like that, two became three! Well… I mean, four!

Did anyone else have a super fast first delivery?