Kenley’s Birth Story

Disclaimer: This is an extremely long post, don’t feel obligated to read it.
I wanted to document every aspect of our birth story to share it with Kenley one day.


Bringing Kenley into the world was not how I expected it to go.
I didn’t really have a birth plan, in writing at least,
but I had a general idea of how I thought it would go down.

I knew that I wanted to deliver vaginally and with the help of an epidural.
I wanted to labor at home for as long as possible and I wanted
both Greg and my mom in the room with me for support.
I also knew that I didn’t want to get my heart set on anything
because I didn’t want to be disappointed.

Throughout this entire pregnancy I thought that there was no way that I would
want to be induced, even if she was overdue,
I wanted her to come on her own time, as long as it was safe.
At my 38 week appointment, my doctor brought up the possibility of an induction
after I was already 2 cm dilated
and as he (casually) mentioned that he was leaving town right after my due date.

I kept an open mind about it.

He thought that I would go on my own before we got to my due date, so we waited…
and waited.
The waiting was excruciating.
I was anxious,  nervous, excited, a whole array of emotions.
Thankfully, my mom was here to keep me busy.

I had two more OB appointments before we ended up getting
a tentative induction appointment on Tuesday the 18th at 5pm,
which was not guaranteed if there were other mommies who were actually in labor.
I was not 100% sold with this, but, it meant that my doctor would be able to deliver Kenley,
which was what I definitely wanted… as well as this baby to finally be here!!

Monday night Greg and I had a date night. We went to our favorite
restaurant, Houston’s, in Winter Park and stopped at Jeremiah’s Italian Ice for dessert.
It was fun to have a last date night together.

Surprisingly, I slept really well that night.

We called the hospital at 3:30pm on Tuesday to see if they had room for us, which they did.
I called Greg at work and said it was go time, which was weird since I wasn’t actually in labor.
We packed our bags in the car and headed to the hospital.
It was really weird leaving the house knowing that we would return with a baby.
Our baby. We were going to be a family.
It was also weird leaving for the hospital not in labor,
even though I felt terrible the entire drive there.

We arrived at the hospital and were greeted by our nurse Natalie.
She was super nice, but ended up having to leave for another delivery,
so we got another nurse. She wasn’t so nice.
Thankfully their shift was over at 7pm so we got yet another nurse for the night shift.

We got settled in our labor & delivery room and got all hooked up to monitor
my contractions and the baby’s heart rate.
I was administered my IV, which was not a pretty sight.
I am very squeamish with needles and ended up having somewhat
of an anxiety attack. The nurses ended up sticking me in three different spots,
which was not pleasant. A couple other nurses had to come in because
they noticed that Kenley’s heart rate had dropped significantly and
I had to wear an oxygen mask to try to calm me down and get her heart rate back up.
We survived, but like I said, it wasn’t pretty.
I was pretty much terrified for how the rest of the delivery process was going to go.

 At 9pm the nurse started me on a very low dose of oxytocin.
She increased it every hour through out the night.
I was having contractions, but nothing serious or painful.
The night passed… my mom and Greg stayed up with me,
we all tried to sleep, but my vitals were being checked every hour
on the hour, so what very little sleep we did get wasn’t consistent.

 Around 6am the nurse checked me. We had made very little progress,
but they were hopeful that my doctor would come in and break my water before
he went into the office that morning.

At 7am it was time for another shift change for the nurses and
Natalie, my original nurse, was back.
She reminded me so much of my friend Meghann, who is also a nurse,
which was very comforting.
Natalie was amazing and I could not have asked for a more supportive
and better nurse to help me get through the day.

Around 8am, she let me know that the anesthesiologist had a pretty
busy schedule and if I wanted to go ahead and request my epidural,
it probably would be a good idea. I complied and they were hopeful that I’d get
it administered before they went into a c-section at 9am.

I wasn’t so lucky.

The good news was my doctor came in shortly after and broke my water.
The bad news was the contractions picked up very quickly and
I was having them every 2-3 minutes and they were painful.
Extremely painful.

Around 10:30am, Natalie checked me again and I was around 5 cm,
but her head was very low. So low that Natalie got very nervous
and said that we needed to get the epidural now.
The anesthesiologist came in shortly after to administer it.
By this time, I was sobbing. The pain was excruciating and at this point
I was scared that she was coming and I wouldn’t have time for the epidural to kick in.

For someone who is terrified of needles, I can honestly say the epidural was a breeze.
It may have been because I was so ready to get it or because I was still concentrating
on getting through my contractions, but getting the IV was way worse!

Soon enough, I was feeling no pain and happy as can be. It was amazing and weird.
I was able to move my legs enough, but was confined to my bed the rest of the day.
I was actually able to nap. After 2+ hours of extreme labor pain, I was napping.

As the day passed, we watched a lot of ESPN and HGTV. Natalie continued
to monitor my contractions, the baby’s heart beat, and my progression.
It seemed like I wasn’t progressing that quickly, but I was feeling no pain.

Somewhere between 4pm-5pm, I was 10 cm dilated.
I knew the time to push was right around the corner and I was scared.
What if I couldn’t do it?
She was going to be here soon. So soon.
We were going to have a baby.
Is it going to hurt?
I had so many thoughts running through my head.
But alas, it was time to push.

Another nurse started me off because Natalie was delivering another baby,
it was a crazy busy day in labor & delivery apparently.
My doc came in shortly after I started pushing.
There were nurses in and out of my room the entire time.
It was no time to be shy, that’s for sure.

I didn’t feel pain, just a lot of pressure.
Pushing was not easy. It was exhausting.
During every push, everyone kept saying how close she was
and how I was almost there.
After a while, I started to not believe them.
I had no recollection of time, I couldn’t talk, I didn’t even scream.
I just pushed. Then recovered. They gave me oxygen to help regulate my breathing.
I pushed, and pushed, and pushed.

About an hour and a half later (so I’m told) at 6:25pm on October 19th, 2011;
I heard her cry.
It was the best sound I’ve ever heard in my entire life.
And I cried.
She was here. She was finally here.
25.5 hours after we arrived at the hospital, she was here.

I was so thankful to have Greg and my mom there with me the entire time.
I could not have done it without their strength, patience, and support.

The next best thing to seeing my daughter for the first time is
seeing the love of my life with my daughter.

It was such an emotional day, but a day that I will never forget.

It definitely was not how I pictured our labor and delivery to go,
but that doesn’t matter now. I wouldn’t change it for the world.

One Week!

Kenley is now one week old!

We have had a great first week!

We were able to come home on Friday, after three nights in the hospital,
which you can tell took a toll on us.

Over the weekend, we had visitors, received gorgeous flowers, and yummy cookies!

We’ve been hanging out in our bouncer seat.

We had our first bath.

Of course, we had to make a trip to Target!

Hopefully I will be more frequent with the updates & pictures! 🙂
Thanks for being patient!

Plus One Makes Three

We are so happy to announce that we are now a little family of three!

Kenley Dee Gilbertson arrived on Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
at 6:25 pm weighing 7 lbs 13 oz and measuring 20 inches long.

We are home and doing well!

I promise to provide lots more pictures & updates very soon!

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!
We are so blessed.


I mentioned here that we have been nesting.
I say “we” because Greg has been nesting too, even though he may not admit it.

 Of course, I didn’t take any “before” pictures before
we completely started rearranging our house, as we were waiting for this little girl to get here.
(Still waiting by the way)
So I started looking through some old photos on our external hard drive
for some “before” photos that I may have taken a while ago.
Well, it turns out we have some very old “before” photos, so I thought it may be fun
to show you all how the rooms have transformed since we moved it.

This is our family room when we first looked at the house, it was “staged” by the sellers,
because the house was empty and didn’t have anyone living in it.
December 2007

After we moved in!
February 2008 

This was before we installed the hardwood floors.
I say “we” in this instance, but it was really the work of Greg & Chris.
I mostly supervised the installation process and cleaned up afterwards.
We had made some changes in the decor and added a chair.
Our last photo with carpet!
August 2010 

After the hardwood floors are in! LOVE them!
August 2010

This is pretty much what the room looked like last weekend,
before we randomly decided to make some improvements!

Here is what it looks like now!
October 2011

I want to update our art work & decor to give it more of a modern look,
plus get a rug for the floor, but that doesn’t need to be right now.

I love the new big comfy couch!!

This change sparked some changes in our living room/dining room.

This is the living room/dining room combo when it was staged.
December 2007

This is the actual intention of the room, but of course,
we didn’t use the room for this purpose.
When we first moved in, this room sat empty for a while.

Then, we acquired a ping pong table and that was the focal point of the room.

These are the only pictures I have of our dining room/living room combo,
and we use the term living room/dining room combo very loosely.

Superbowl Sunday
February 2011


However, it actually looks like a room now!!
October 2011

Can you tell we’re waiting on a baby to get here?!

I foresee this area becoming more of a play room area rather than a dining room,
which I am perfectly fine with!

39 Weeks!

39 weeks down… and hopefully only days to go!

I’m still holding out hope for “any day now”,
but we’re still here…
so, we’ll see.

I have had sporadic contractions,
but nothing consistent or too terribly painful yet.

Baby G is now the size of a mini watermelon
and is running out of room in there.

I see and feel limbs poking out constantly
and I’m hoping she’s just trying to find her way out!

Here is a small glimpse of what I see and feel regularly.

If you nudge her, she’ll definitely nudge back!

Throughout this entire pregnancy I have thought that
there is no way that she can possibly move around in there any more,
and every day she moves, kicks, and squirms more and more.
It’s crazy!

We are so ready to meet her!!
We’ll keep you all posted!

38 Weeks!

I am still here.
And still pregnant.

38 weeks and 4 days (but who’s counting?)

Here is a quick recap of the last 5 days or so…

On Friday at my 38 week appointment, I was 2 cm dilated.
Not what I was expecting to hear… but exciting!

On Saturday, my mom flew down, just in case.

It rained ALL weekend. ALL WEEKEND.
We got about 10 inches of rain.

We were all in full nesting mode, updates on that to come.

I went back to the doctor this morning and was about 3 cm dilated.
So… literally, any day now.

My mom and I walked around ALL day. ALL DAY.
Shopping, of course.
So… hopefully, any day now.

 We’ll keep you posted! 🙂

Are you ready for some football?

Last Friday night we got an email from one of Greg’s colleagues
asking if we wanted to go to the Colts/Bucs game in Tampa,
which happened to be the Monday Night Football game this week.

At this point on Friday night, I wasn’t feeling well at all,
we had just seen Contagion (good movie by the way), so I had been sitting for a while,
and was having some severe sciatic nerve pain, so I was a little skeptical.

But, it was the Colts. and MNF.
and something that we may not be able to just go and do very soon.

So, we decided to go, which I’m SO glad that we did!

It started off a little parking pass, that turned out to be so helpful!
We found a spot with our name on it.

Our seats were in a suite, which was so nice and comfy!

There were members of Zeta Tau Alpha at the game
passing out pink ribbons for Breast Cancer Awareness
and the NFL/ZTA campaign “A Crucial Catch”.

This made me so happy and so proud to be a Zeta.
I love watching the NFL in October and seeing all the pink.

Of course, we wish the Colts could have pulled out the win,
but it was actually nice to see Curtis Painter make two great plays for TDs,
something we haven’t seen much of all year!

It was a late night, but so much fun!!