Our Birth Story
Sitting here with no makeup, dirty hair in a messy bun, and eye bags for days, I can’t believe it’s taken me an entire month to write this. I knew having a newborn would mean being busy, (although it’s unlike any busy that I’ve ever known since you' stay at home in pajamas for the most part) but the fact that Kaden has been in our lives now for over 30 days is crazy to me. And since they say that you’re brain “forgets” which is how women continue to procreate, I wanted to share our story for those that have asked, as well as document it in case I start getting baby fever in a few months. :)
The day I started to go into labor, Jake and I decided to get out of the house to get my mind off the sporadic contractions I was having. We grabbed lunch in Bellevue, waddled around and laughed about how I could barely walk, and ate ice cream cones in the sunshine. I had a feeling (and was definitely hoping) that this baby would come early and I was doing everything in my power to get this labor moving along! That night we were watching tv and timing contractions as they got more and more consistent. At about 10 minutes apart, we called our doula - (for the record, I HIGHLY recommend having a doula and will most likely do another entire blog post on why they are necessary). Christine came over and agreed, it sounded like labor so off to the hospital we went. At this point, it was about 11pm and after I felt it necessary to wash my hair (it was day 3 after all), we got to the hospital around midnight. I got an exam and was about 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. Since they don’t admit you until 4 cm, the doctor then explained I could either walk around for a few hours and try to make things progress, or go home and wait. Being the competitive person I am, I decided to lunge into contractions and walk the halls of the empty hospital foyer with Jake and Christine by my side. The doctor had predicted I’d have the baby that evening and I wanted that to be the case. He came and grabbed me about an hour in and checked me again…I was a little more dilated but still wasn’t progressing very fast so he sent us home around 4am and told me to come back around noon.
I spent the next handful of hours bouncing on my exercise ball, as the contractions got more and more intense. I could handle the ones earlier but it was to the point now where I was in agony and tears with each one. We waited as long as I could and when I got to the hospital for the second time, I was only dilated 3 cm! The doctor looked at me and I just cried at her face. I was so discouraged, so tired, and wanting her to say anything else but “go home again.” They offered me morphine for the third time and this time I accepted since it felt like I was out of options and couldn’t go on like I had been. “If this is real labor, you’ll go home and sleep for a few hours, wake up and have this baby,” said the doctor. “If you wake up and the contractions have stopped, it might still be a day or so.”
Exhausted and frustrated, I felt my body relax fully by the time we reached our house again. I crawled into bed and slept for about 12 hours straight. I woke up with no contractions and made a vow to not walk, move, or do anything that might start them back up again in fear that it still wouldn’t lead to a baby! It wasn’t until 5am the next morning that I woke up and had significant bleeding. Freaking out, I called our doctor, doula, and Jake and I rushed to the hospital. Part of me still felt like I would get there only to be sent home again as my contractions still were very manageable and I barely even noticed them at that point.
Another exam revealed that my water had started to break and it was mixing with blood which made it seem much scarier than it was. Regardless, I was finally dilated to 4 cm and was being admitted! I was wheeled to a delivery room, contractions at 2 minutes apart, and in disbelief that this gigantic alien inside of me was going to be out of me soon in the form of our human baby. At this point, I reminded everyone that I would indeed like an epidural and to make that known to whoever was going to be a part of this process.
I still wasn’t in a ton of pain (at least not close to what I was feeling beforehand) and decided to take a nice warm bath to make my body relax and I’m not one to turn down a good spa-like bathtub. We put on music, called our parents, updated my girlfriends, and just tried to take it all in. This part was fairly calming and since the pain was slowly getting worse, I asked for the epidural right as I was getting out of the bath to hedge off any potential unbearable pain that was surely coming my way.
The anesthesiologist came in hurriedly and chatty, like a character out of a 90’s sitcom. He jabbered at us while preparing the giant needle I purposefully avoided looking at. Jake had been filming little updates of this process here and there for instagram and for the vlog we will hopefully be editing here shortly. However, this was the first time I looked at him and said, “I’m going to slap that camera out of your hand.” He quickly grabbed my hand as the needle pierced my spine. It definitely hurt but I think it may have freaked me out more than anything. In a few minutes though, I could care less, as all feeling in my lower half began to tingle and fade away. It was glorious. For the next few relaxing hours, my parents visited a couple times, we watched a movie, took a quick nap…it was all pretty chill.
“It’s time to start pushing,” the nurse said around 4pm. This was probably the part I was most confused about. How do I push? Will I now how to do it? What if I push and nothing happens? What if the baby doesn’t fit?! All of these questions were answered as I slowly made progress with each push. Jake’s sports-based encouragements of “dig! dig! dig!” really helped get me through the tougher contractions and it basically felt like a really hard work out which I was cool with…for the first hour or two. As the hours became three and four however, my strength was fading, my jokes were non-existent and we had already gone through all my pump up music. The doctor finally came in at 4 hours with a team of people and said “Ok, we’re going to try a vacuum and if that doesn’t’ work, we’ll have to do a c-section.”
“Hell no!” I replied. I didn’t go through four hours of working this bowling ball head down my body to have a C-section in the end. She agreed to watch me push once more and then abruptly told the vacuum people to hold off. I continued pushing with all my might while all the new people in the room joined in cheering me on. I was so close but couldn’t quite get him all the way out which led to the doctor performing a quick episiotomy. Jake covered my eyes and the baby was out on the next push. They threw this child on my chest and there he was. Wide-eyed and screaming, Kaden Lane George was born at 7:58pm at 6 pounds, 9 ounces and 19 inches long. This creature that has been jamming my ribs, kicking and punching me from the inside for months, was now a real-life, breathing, crying human. It was surreal to say the least.
Exhausted, swollen, and overwhelmed, we were sent to our recovery room. I had never had so much trouble walking in my life. The next few hours consisted of assisted bathroom trips, minimal sleep, and shock at what my body had just done. Some of my fogginess however was explained by what the doctor told me early the next morning. I had postpartum eclampsia, meaning my blood pressure was very high and was at risk for seizures, liver problems, and a plethora of other scary things. People either equate it to what Kim Kardashian had, or what Lady Cybill died from on Downton Abbey, to put it in context for you. :) I would need to get on magnesium immediately, and be monitored every hour. The nurses started administering it through an IV, explaining that I’d feel hot and sweaty like I have the flu and that was a very accurate. That entire next day was a blur of constant people coming in and out of our room, blood draws, and feeling like I was in quicksand the entire time. Luckily, I only had to be on the magnesium for 24 hours and would be monitored with blood pressure medication after that. Kaden had been discharged already so we were all just hanging in our room waiting for me to be cleared to go home. After a few weeks of doctors appointments for Kaden and myself, I’m happy to say that we are out of the thick of things, healthy, and happy. Tired, but happy.
I am so grateful for this beautiful baby boy, my amazing, supportive husband, and the wonderful encouraging community of people that came along with us during the whole process! Make sure to follow us on IG to stay up to date with how both Kaden and myself are doing as well as more family and project updates!