I have a DAUGHTER! In fact, she is here sleeping in my arms... while the boys are off with Grandma and Grandpa on fun adventures, I get to snuggle, bond, and love on my sweet baby girl. She is just 10 days old, but already so much a part of our family. Shad said it best the other night, while we were sitting adoring our sweet babe; 'She is a missing piece that we didn't know we were missing [until she came].' Seriously though. I still have major anxiety and stress about managing 3, yes THREE, children; but how incredibly blessed I am to have perfectly healthy beautiful children. I cannot believe how much I love each of them.
But let's rewind. Her birth story... all the details. ;) (Just to warn you this is going to be long...like really long)
OK- so I know that many of you other moms out there are going to criticize me when I say this, but this was certainly my hardest pregnancy- by far. I know, you're thinking but you didn't even know you were pregnant until four months in (16 weeks!)! Well, lets recap by saying I was having major migraines, really one constant migraine, for about 6 weeks until I found out what was causing them. And the emotional toll, stress, and MAJOR anxiety I felt over having a super surprise baby was very taxing. I couldn't sleep at night, I cried every night for almost a month after I found out. And I just didn't feel physically and emotionally ready to carry, birth, and take care of another baby. I already HAD a baby. Nathan was just 10 months old when I found out! And it was a GIRL! I don't know what to do with girls! I had never pictured our family with a girl... it was always going to be boys for me.(Obviously, I feel VERY different about that now! Except, the thought of teenage girls still terrifies me.)
Then 29 weeks hit and the third trimester hit hard. My body was just exhausted from having just had a baby, PLUS taking care of two very little and very active boys all day! I was so tired all the time, which made me cranky and even more stressed out! At almost 30 weeks I had to go into the hospital to stop pre-term labor and contractions coming at about 3-4 minutes apart. Then put a few minor restrictions, but luckily no bed rest. And from then on I was constantly contracting for the remainder of the pregnancy. I'd walk up the stairs, contraction. I'd pick up one of the boys, contraction. I'd do laundry, contraction. I'd sweep the floor, contraction. I'd eat spicy food, contractions! Ugh.
Needless to say, I was more than ready to have her out and I'm so glad she decided to come a week early!
I had told Shad a few months ago that I was aiming for a Cinco de Mayo baby, and really wanted to have her then. However, after feeling so miserable I was trying to get her out earlier... I was tired of her teasing me with the constant contractions!! But after my 38 Week doctors appointment on the Monday before she came I finally decided that it really was going to be a couple more weeks until she came. I decided to enjoy my boys more and I planned all sorts if things to fill up my week and weekend! Including the ever-reliable Double Date tactic over the weekend! (If you remember both my boys were born the morning/afternoon after a double date.) On Friday we decided to go out with some friends from the ward. My parents took the boys overnight and we were able to stay out WAY too late and have fun.
The next morning after I showered I started having contractions... nothing too out of ordinary for me, except for these felt a little more intense. After about an hour of these, I asked Shad to start timing them. They were about 5-6 minutes apart, and felt pretty real. We picked up the boys from my parents and decided to run some errands. (Shad thought process was if we were having a baby then he needs to get some stuff done, since he has such limited time during the week! Haha!) I told Shad to pick up my hospital bag from the house on our way out, just in case they got more intense faster. I only made it to one place before I had to head back home because walking around just made me contract harder and worse. Shad ran some more errands with the boys, and I told him to keep his phone on... I was convinced this was real! I was thinking if she holds out until midnight I will get my Cinco De Mayo Baby after all!! Hooray! However, as the afternoon progressed they started to taper off and get further and further apart. **MAJOR SIGH** By dinner time they were only every 20 minutes... but MORE painful! I almost had my mom take the boys again for the night, because I was still holding onto to hope that she would come. But decided not to jinx it, I didn't want to be too prepared!
After contracting painfully, every 15-20 minutes for the last few hours I decided at about 10:30PM that she wasn't coming after all and tried to go to bed. Just when I fell asleep around 11, they started coming hard and every 10-11 minutes. I decided to wait them out and see if this was really happening. Shad went to bed around midnight, and then they started coming every 7 minutes. At about 1 AM I called the hospital. They told me to shower, drink lots of water, and if they start coming 3-5 minutes apart to come in. I got up walked around, packed more stuff in my bag... tried to focus on something else. Drank tons of water, but they started coming every 5 minutes!! And it hurt. I woke up Shad, told him to pack his bag and shower... this was for real. I called my mom to come over (I guess we should have had the boys stay!), and then I showered. The shower made the contractions way worse and sped them up.
We arrived around 3AM at the hospital. I got all hooked up to the monitors and their contraction monitor wasn't working!! The nurse looked at me like are you really having contractions?! I wanted to scream at her!! They got the monitor working saw that I was contracting every 4 minutes and checked me. NO PROGRESS. No progress from my last appointment!! What?! I was already more than ready for my epidural!! At 4 AM they told me to go take a walk around the hospital, my nurse said that it looks like when I do start dilating and progressing it would be fast. She told me not to come back until 5 AM unless my water broke or it was too painful. Let me just say if you want to torture a woman... make her take an HOUR walk while in labor!! Oh man, it was miiiiiiiiiiiiiserable! I couldn't make it five steps without having to sit down and endure a painful contraction! I felt ridiculous. Luckily it was 4 AM and the place was pretty much empty. I kept thinking what if my water broke here in the middle of the hall?? So embarrassing! Luckily it did not. Finally after about 45 minutes I felt I had enough of this torture and really didn't feel like it was doing any good. I was sitting more than anything!
But the walk did the trick! I came back from my walk at a 5 and fully effaced! Whoop! They started my IV and antibiotics (For the Strep B-- my first time having that!) so they could get me my epidural ASAP! I got my blessed epidural around 6AM and it was seriously the BEST epidural I've ever had! I hardly felt anything going in my back AND I was able to move and feel my legs and feet the ENTIRE time! Yet, I was totally pain-free! I felt all the pressure from each contraction, but none of the pain. The only downside was that I wasn't able to get any sleep because I could still feel each contraction. (Even though Shad had NO problem snoozing on the couch this whole time!) Plus, right after the epidural began to take effect my blood pressure dropped way down. I felt extremely dizzy and sick. So I had to get a quick shot of meds to boost my blood pressure. A little scary. My blood pressure stayed low for the couple days I was there at the hospital and I kept having to have my blood drawn. Yuck.
Just before 8, the doctor came and checked me. I thought she would break my water to get this going... but she said I was at a 9 and wanted to try and keep baby in there until 9AM!! Why?? I guess I have to have the antibiotics for the Strep B in my system for 4 hours for them to be most effective. If baby came before then, we'd have to stay an extra day to monitor her for infection. Well... I tried to keep her in! But 10 minutes later my water broke and she was slipping out! I was pushing involuntarily! They called the doctor back in, Shad started panicking (again!) that the doctor wouldn't make it in time. Finally after about 20 minutes to doctor came back in, got everything prepped. And ONE big push later our little girl arrived!!
Shad and I saw her come out. It was like slow motion. There she was. Perfect. So incredibly teeny tiny. No words can adequately describe the moment when your child arrives into the world. There is so much love and emotion that follow. So much love for this baby that you've worked so hard for the last few months growing. So much love for Shad and our growing little family. That one moment is so perfect.
They whisked her off, while I got all cleaned and stitched up. Shad took pictures and watched our baby girl being introduced into the world as they weighed, cleaned, measured, and wrapped her up. It felt like forever until I got to hold her. But finally they placed her into my arms. My daughter. Still, I couldn't believe how tiny she was/is! Shad and I awed at her beauty. How we really have a good recipe for makin' babies! And how much she looks like her big brothers! We instantly fell in love with her.
My mom and the boys came to visit just a couple of hours later. Owen immediately fell in love with her. He couldn't stop kissing her. He wanted to hold her and love her all day long. He kept commenting on her "cute tiny" hands, feet, & ears! It was so sweet. It completely melted my heart. Nathan really didn't notice anything was different! He now knows there's a baby... and loves to kiss her like big brother and pat her head! Nathan is still trying to understand the concept of "gentle" and "soft!" They will be great big brothers to her. She will be well taken care of. Owen often says "She doesn't need to cry... We'll take care of her!" How true!
Owen giving her kisses and admiring her "Cute Tiny Toes!"
Since we didn't make it to that 4 hour mark, we did have to stay an extra day to monitor Baby Kaisa. I was sad to have to stay an extra night/day. But I am grateful that if anything did happen she would be well taken care of at the hospital. Luckily she checked out well, and we were both given the okay to go home after 48 hours. We are so ready to start our new life as a family of 5!
Holding my girl, after being up for 30+ hours!
Proud Grandparents meeting our girl.
First Family of 5 Photo!
Cute Nathan with Grandma!
Our Kaisa-girl just 5 Days Old. I got lucky and caught her first big grin with my phone!
We love her to pieces!