As I sit here in my bed, watching my baby on the video monitor, I can’t understand where the time has gone. Tomorrow she will be one. ONE!! How did this happen! Yesterday she was this teeny thing and now she’s a walking, talking fierce little girl.
Growing up, when my Dad was putting me to bed and he asked “What story should we read…” 9 times out of 10 I’d say “Tell me the story of when I was born.” So in case Keely ever asks– Here is the story of when she was born.
To a year ago. My due date with Keely was 4/24/17 and for about a month nothing was really happening- she was in place but I’d only dilated about 1cm. My doctor planned on my coming for the 40 week appointment and even letting me go a week past my due date if everything was ok.
Thursday April 20th I got up and got ready like any other day, went to work and started having contractions. They were between 20-30 minutes apart and just kind of uncomfortable. I texted Kyle to let him know and his first response was “should we go to the hospital” “Nah, they’re really far apart” I told him. I went about my morning at work in a fairly normal fashion and even went on a furniture delivery. Our install team thought I was insane and of course made me sit down while they brought furniture in. I stayed at work til almost 7 and that had Kyle really freaking out. What’s funny is I think I had myself fooled into thinking I wasn’t in labor. I kept telling everyone it was no big deal- I even confirmed a drapery install for the next day! When I finally did get home my contractions were closer to 10-12 minutes apart and that really had Kyle nervous.
It was like that episode of the Office- you know where Jim is throwing those baby books around, talking about 5-7 minutes and Pam’s eating ultrafeast with Kevin. Fortunately I didn’t wait til I was 2 minutes apart like Pam- but I did eat 2nd dinner.
We spent the night picking up the house for the inevitable house guests we would be having soon. My bag had been packed for a week, the nursery was all ready- and car seat installed! About 10pm my contractions were around 8 minutes apart and again I denied what was happening. I convinced Kyle to let us sleep in our own bed- BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE!
Around 3 am I got up for my hourly trek to the bathroom- while waddling back I felt a funny feeling (only way to describe it) It’s hard to tell you what it feels like when your water breaks- it definitely was not a waterfall like we’d been told! It was more like a POP! I woke K up and told him what I thought had just happened. He shot out of bed (just like a cartoon dad) and was running around in a panic. I on the other hand was calm, cool and collected for once in my life and I matter a factly stated that I was taking a shower. “The lady in the class told us not to shower!” “That lady’s water clearly never broke- I’m showering, this is gross” I showered, then Kyle decided to shower, then we thought we better feed the dogs, then I thought I better eat something because it would probably be a while before I could eat anything- WORST IDEA I HAVE EVER HAD! As we were leaving Keely decided she didn’t like mommy’s breakfast- so I had to run back inside. We finally got to the hospital around 4 am.
Our hospital has a wonderful OB ER room and this is also where you go to check in when you are about to have a kiddo! The put us in a “triage” room and of course got Keely and I all hooked up to the monitors so they could see what was going on. They swabbed me to see if my water had in fact broken- it had- and then proceeded to call my doctor. The staff OB came in and said “How does 4/21 sound for a birthdate?!”
It’s funny the things you remember- The Secret Life of Pets was on in our room. We couldn’t find the remote to change the channel or turn it up. We’d hadn’t seen it yet and somehow even without sound- it still had Kyle rolling laughing. If you know my husband and you’ve heard the laugh I’m talking about then you are probably laughing too just thinking about it- its infectious.
Back to Labor-
Because my water had broken and they’re always worried about the risk of infection, my doctor ordered pitocin. Pitocin helps speed things up because of course after all those contractions on Thursday I was still only 1cm dilated. I’ve never been more disappointed in my body- I joke, kind of.
My whole pregnancy I was on the fence about an epidural. My game plan was pretty much “we will see what happens.” My engineer, planner husband was thrilled with that idea. I managed through those early contractions in the triage room. They moved us to an L&D room around 7 am and I think I labored without pain meds until closer to lunchtime. By that time our amazing photgrapher friend Casee had arrived as well as mine and Kyle’s parents, his sister and my brother and sister-in-law. I was still making it through those contractions but they were getting closer together and much more intense.
My mom walked into our room right when I was in the middle of one and of course said “that looked like it hurt.” My dad walked in and I immediately burst into tears- such a daddy’s girl! Kyle’s mom is a NICU nurse and she walked in- looked at the dose of Pitocin they’d given me, watched my next contraction and said you’re ready for the epidural. I nodded my head and that was the BEST DECISION I EVER MADE! Haha, but seriously. I wasn’t mentally prepared to do this without pain meds- there is so much thought and mental planning that I should’ve done and I just wasn’t prepared to do this without and epidural- no matter how much willpower I had. I’m thankful this was my experience. I have the memory of pushing and being present during that process vs. being blinded by the pain.
The anesthesiologist did a great job with my epidural and I was even able to move my legs afterwards- that was a big deal for me. One of my worries was not being able to move my legs- the thought of mentally trying to get them to move but not physically being capable had me freaked. Fortunately I had mobility- the left one in particular kept moving on its own!
I labored until about 3:30pm- it was nice having family in the room on and off during that time- helped keep me distracted, I got a nap and even made some work calls (because I’m crazy)
Ohhh and I ate my weight in grape popsicles.
Keely shows up
I promise I’m getting to the good stuff. At about 3:40pm, Dr. Calison came in to do her check and declared to the room we were ready to push! Woohoo! Everyone left except of course Kyle and our friend Casee who took pictures, brought me wash cloths and even rubbed lavender EO on my head and neck!
We did bring oils with us! I had the diffuser going most of the day with a Gentle Baby/Lavender combo!
I pushed for 33 minutes! Y’all pushing is hard when you can’t really feel those muscles- something they never tell you in that birthing class! Once I finally got the hang of it things went smoother. There was a dip in our Oxygen levels and I got to wear that gorgeous breathing mask- anything to get that kid here safely!
She was almost out when Dr. Calison asked if I wanted to touch the baby’s head. Ummmm no- that was my gut reaction. Then some crazy mom juju kicked in and I reached down, felt that incredible head and got her here! It as the perfect motivation.
Those first moments when its you and this amazing being YOU created- there is nothing like it! Keely latched right away- hungry kid from the beginning- and we did skin to skin. Kyle and the nurse gave the first bath and our girl got great scores on all the tests!
We then introduced Keely Harper Stokes to our moms. That was a great moment- the two grandmothers coming in together! It was just the five of us for a few minutes and those are minutes I will treasure forever. Seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces as they walked back in the room! Loved it!
Best kid ever
Keely- I said this then and I’ll say it now! I don’t deserve you- you are just the best girl in the world and Dad and I are beyond thankful that God let’s us be your parents! Thank you for making me a mommy, baby bird! We can’t wait to celebrate you!