Crosby’s Birth Story

After spending a week here in Florida, my dad left on Saturday, October 26th
fully expecting me to have the baby the following day. I, on the other hand, was not so sure.
My mom and I got pumpkin spice pedicures then ran errands in the afternoon.
I had nothing more than maybe a few Braxton Hicks contractions all day.
We had a couple friends over for a visit, then headed down to our community Halloween festivities.
After dinner, Michelle came down to visit and I bounced on my exercise ball for hours.
We chatted about everything related to this baby and when we thought I was going to go into labor.
I was convinced that I would have to start having contractions in order to head to the hospital
because it’s so rare that my water would break (it apparently only happens in 8-10% of women).
I have several friends whose water just broke, so I didn’t think that would happen to me.
Greg and I ended up going to bed around 10:30pm. I had a couple contractions laying in bed,
but nothing that I felt like I had to stay awake for, so I went to sleep.

Two and half hours later, I woke up and my water broke almost immediately.
I looked at the clock.
1:04 am
I shot out of bed and headed to the bathroom.
After evaluating the situation, I went back into the bedroom to wake Greg.
He was completely out of it having worked late the two nights before. I finally woke him up
and told him what had happened. He asked me if I was sure?
Yes, I was sure.
I got in the shower and we gathered our items to head to the hospital.
Thankfully, my mom was still in town, so she stayed at the house with Kenley.
In the car, I began timing my contractions as they started pretty quickly after my water broke.
They were between 5-10 minutes apart by the time we arrived at the hospital
around 2:00 am, almost exactly an hour after my water had broke.

Once we were in Labor & Delivery, the nice nurse started asking me questions about my water breaking.
We got to our room and she had to make sure my water did indeed break.
I understand this is standard procedure, but through my contractions, I wanted to just yell, YES IT BROKE, I’M SURE!
Finally, she confirmed it and I was strapped up to the monitors and had to begin filling out paperwork.
As soon as they strapped on the heart rate monitor for the baby, I asked Greg what the baby’s heartrate was reading.
120bpm.
I told him, it’s a boy. I know it.
This was a complete 180 from what we had thought leading up to this moment,
but I was sure of it. We were having a boy.

I got a different nurse at this point for the rest of the night shift and she informed me I was 2-3 centimeters.
Around 3:15 am, I asked how close my contractions were together and she said 4 to 4 and a half minutes apart.
I asked if there was any reason to not get an epidural at this point (for fear that it may slow down labor),
she said no, and I requested to get one. We were the only couple in L&D so the anesthesiologist came right in,
unlike last time when I had to wait two hours. I definitely did not remember it hurting as badly. Dang.
On the other hand, it took about 45 minutes to kick in. During this time, Greg was busy buying Keurig K-Cups on Amazon.
He was very excited about a deal he found in the middle of the night and just couldn’t pass it up…
I, surprisingly, could care less what he was doing and just wanted the epidural to kick in.
Once it did, we tried to get some sleep, but I don’t think either one of us slept really.
I laid there, completely numb, wondering what it was going to be like to have a boy.

The nurse came in a few more times as the hours passed.
Around 6:00 am, she said my contractions were slowing and she wanted to start pitocin.
I was not thrilled about this since I wanted a completely different birth experience than last time,
but I obliged and rolled with the punches. Before she started, she informed me I as “a good 5 cm”.
In my head, I thought I would have this baby by noon if I continued to dilate 1 cm per hour as a good rule of thumb.
I was on the pitocin for about an hour and we went through the shift change with the nurses.
At this point, I was still very numb from the epidural and Greg kept having to put my leg back up on the bed.

IMG_8589b

Just after 7:00 am, our new nurse Jean came in to check on how we were doing.
She suggested that I reposition myself to my side and she moved my monitor that was tracking contractions.
She didn’t want to keep going with the pitocin if my contractions were picking back up.
Once I moved to my side, I felt SO much better. I was starting to get some feeling back and wasn’t feeling
completely numb. I was able to tell when I was having contractions now since I could feel the pressure.
By this time, Kenley was awake at home. We were able to FaceTime to talk to her and see how she was doing.
Both Greg and I were so worried about her. We felt so bad that her life was going to change so much
and she really had no idea. She seemed to be doing just fine at home with Meemaw though.
I updated my mom on how things were going and told her that I felt like I could start pushing.
Every contraction brought intense pressure and made me want to push.
She said to tell my nurse that as soon as she came back in.
We said our goodbyes and that was the last time we talked to Kenley before she was a big sister.

Jean came back in to check my progress. I was hoping for a good 6-7 cm at this point,
but was absolutely floored when she so nonchalantly said “your cervix is gone”.
She didn’t want me to do any practice pushes until the doctor had arrived on the floor.
I guess second babies DO come faster!
As she was leaving the room, the on-call doctor called to check up on me and she informed her I was ready.
They spent the next hour or so preparing the room for delivery, calling the nursery nurse, etc.

The doctor arrived shortly after and started asking about my previous labor with Kenley.
I told her that I pushed for 90 minutes last time. Once she assessed the situation,
she told me that she definitely didn’t think I’d be pushing that long this time around.
That was music to my ears and she was sure right.
Four contractions later and just under five minutes at 8:40 am, baby was here!
Her first comment was “big baby!” then “it’s a boy!”
I started sobbing. I couldn’t believe he was here already… my water had just broken seven hours before.
Greg and I just took him all in before we passed him over to the nursery nurse.
They weighed and measured him and kept commenting on how good his color was.
She said that he wasn’t stressed at all coming out and that he must have been ready.

IMG_8611b

IMG_8639b

In addition to Greg and I, there were only two nurses and the doctor in the room with us.
The sun was beaming into our room as it had just come up. The entire experience was completely
different this time around. It was much more quiet and peaceful.
The next two hours were spent getting feeling back into my legs and snuggling our sweet boy.
Greg called our family, most of which had no idea we were even in labor.

IMG_8641b

IMG_8647b

After we moved up to our room, we were anxiously waiting for one little girl to get up from her nap
and come visit us. It was hard to believe we had just seen her the night before when we put her to bed.
Now, we had two kids. We still kept thinking that she had no idea how her world has changed.

IMG_8662b

IMG_8669b

IMG_8670b

Kenley was such a rock star and a great big sister. She loved “baby Crosby”.
She loved touching, kissing, and hugging him.
They stayed for a few hours before heading back home.
We enjoyed a very short stay in the hospital and were home the next evening.

Crosby’s birth was completely different from Kenley’s birth.
Both were perfect.

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.