This post is designed for two purposes a) to rejoice in and glory in God's miraculous creation with all of you in bloggy-land and b) to serve as a way to remember the details of these two wonderful days for our family. I know now that I have officially entered motherhood and have a "Birth Story" to tell, I am always excited to walk in another's shoes as they explain the details of their births as well. So, for all of you moms (and dads alike) who love a good birth story get a cup of coffee and snuggle in for TWO stories from the Hines Herald.
Katelyn Jane - May 10, 2008
From the very beginning, I began praying specifically for the arrival of Katelyn. Don was in his final year of seminary and planned on graduating May 4th. Our due date for Kate was May 1st. We had taken a great birthing class, being that this was our first delivery, had taken a baby-moon to Ireland, and were in the process of praying that God would work out the details to her arrival so that Don and I would both be able to be in attendance to his graduation. The end of April (my specific date I desired her to come) came and went. Her due date came and went. Don's graduation came and on that evening I began having contractions. We had spent the evening with our good pals TJ & Shannon Logsdon who were also expecting their first girl in two weeks. Little did we know that evening, that Shannon, not I, would be in the hospital the next day delivering their little lady, Ariana, a little earlier than her due date. Don's family was in town this week to celebrate his graduation and we planned on spending some great time with them and hoped to introduce Miss Kate to them before they left.
Tuesday, May 6th - I had my 41 week appointment where they informed me I still hadn't made any progress. So, I pulled out my notes to my birthing class which gave instructions to naturally induce labor with an herbal remedy. I headed to the organic store to pick up my blue and black cohosh to begin my regimin. That day, contractions began. All through Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday night.
Wednesday, May 7th - contractions continued sporadically morning-noon-and night.
Thursday, May 8th - I had another appointment to monitor the baby and to check to see if we have any progress and then to make final plans for an induction. The ultrasound came back fine, and the stress test had some complications until I got something cold to drink that got Katelyn moving. We left the office with the knowledge that I was now 2-3 cm dilated, 80% effaced, and if nothing happened before Sunday evening, we'd be headed to the hospital for the beginning of their induction process. All day Thursday we continued the herbal drops and the contractions continued, making sleep since Tuesday a rare and desired commodity.
Friday, May 9th (1 AM) - we began making preparations to head to the hospital. The contractions were anywhere from a minute to eight minutes apart and lasted anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds. Basically, I was still all over the board.
2 AM - We arrived at the hospital. Before admitting me the nurse checked me and said I was 2-3 cm and 80% effaced. I was so disheartened. I had just endured another 14 - 16 hours of sporadic contractions and no change! She then informed us that this day they had only had boys born, and since we were having a girl, Katelyn was going to have to wait until tomorrow. Don and I looked at each other with the thought that we have 22 more hours to this day . . . surely she will be born on this "boy day". The call to admit me was postponed until my midwife could come and check me in the morning. So, our extremely long night of walking the halls began. It was long and exhausting.
8 AM - my midwife, Pat Collier, came and checked me again. I was somewhere between a 4-5 cm. She said she would be back in at lunchtime and officially admitted me. In the meantime I sat on the ball, I walked the halls, they monitored the baby, I watched the Today Show, I drank my juice, I walked the halls, I bounced on the ball, they monitored the baby, etc.
Noon - When she came back at noon, there still wasn't a whole lot of change. So, she decided to break my water to really try to get the contractions consistent.
2 PM - they began a petocin drip to again try to regulate the incredibly inconsistent contractions.
4 PM - I had jumped in the shower to try to relax. The nurse came to check on me and said that I was now at 9 cm dilated and to give them a call when I felt the urge to push. No more than 30 minutes later we made that call, the nurses had brought in all the stuff to ready for the arrival of Katelyn, and I thought this was it - I had made it! They helped me back in the bed and checked me again, only to tell me that I was only really at 7 cm because a woman's anatomy is different when she is standing and when she is lying down. By this point, I thought I had just made it through the toughest part of labor - transition - and was going to get to push. But instead, I'm being told that I hadn't even begun the hardest part yet. I was exhausted from contracting for days and said I needed some kind of medicine to help me get through. They gave me someStadol. Which gave me some much needed sleep, but also made me really loopy. By this point Don's family had arrived at the hospital hoping that their precious little granddaughter would have arrived by then.
9-10 PM - Still no Katelyn, the medicine is worn off and I am unable to handle any of the contractions. Being hooked up to the monitor I could see the degree at which the contractions were hitting and the contractions were only half the strength of what they were before the medicine was administered and now I was unable to control the pain. So, I then called for the epidural.
10 PM - Epidural given. Life is now good! They pumped up the petocin to get my labor completed. Meanwhile, I slept off and on until it was time to push. I am thankful I called for it when I did, because I don't know if I would have been able to push without the rest I was able to get and who knows how much longer my labor would have gone without the help of the petocin to speed it up.
11 PM - Time to push!! My midwife was awesome. She had slowed down the epidural enough so I would be able to feel where and how to push. However, it still took me a while to really get the hang of pushing.
Saturday, May 10th 12:24 AM - Katelyn finally arrives! We missed the "boy-only" day by 24 minutes. I guess that nurse was right, and she reminded us of it that night too. By this point, Don and I were exhausted. We were certainly thrilled that Kate was finally here, but we both needed to rest! But first we were able to share her with Don's family before we caught some shut-eye.
Claire Noelle - December 21st, 2009
Around November 10th, a month before my due date for Claire, I didn't know how I could possibly make it another month before she would be here. She was sitting right on one of my nerves, making it hard to change positions or sometimes even walk (especially at the end of the day). But the Lord gave grace to handle that month plus another 10 days.
Tuesday, December 8th - 40 week check up - Dr. Robertson gave me hope with what she called a "fingertip" dilation and some effacement.
Tuesday, December 15th - 41 week check up - Dr. Isbell stated that there was no change since last week and I would have to come in again on Friday to monitor the baby and scheduled the induction for Tuesday, Dec. 22nd.
Friday, December 18th - Dr. Jenkins (my favorite in this practice) said that I was dilated to at least a 2 and he gave me what they like to call a "whirly-bird" which is a stretching of the cervix which many times can begin labor. He gave the instructions about the induction, but also mentioned he would be on call Sunday evening and he hoped to see me there. He also said since there was a low-pressure system bringing in a snow storm this weekend, there is a good possibility that I would go into labor myself this weekend.
Sunday, December 20th - Awoke to a couple contractions in the morning, but have had quite a few this time around and didn't think much about it. Readied for church and had a few contractions through the service. We also had plans that day to go out and enjoy a meal and do some window shopping at the outlet mall.
12:30 - 4 PM - Chili's for some yummy food and outlet window shopping. All the while having contractions probably every 10 - 15 minutes. I would just tell Don "I'd like to stop and look at this for just a second" until the contraction passed.
5 - 7 PM - Don and Kate went home and watched a movie while I laid on the couch and caught a nap.
7 - 8 PM - Don reheated some leftovers to eat and we all sat down and ate a quick, lite dinner. About this time I started feeling quite feverish. Inside I felt cold, and despite the fact that I had three layers of warmth, I couldn't get warm.
8 - 9 PM - After getting Kate in bed for me, Don filled up the tub for me to soak for a while. The contractions continued to get closer and closer throughout these activities and it was during this time that my mind officially thought that I really was in labor.
9 - 11 PM - After the bath, I finally shook the chills and was feeling really comfortable out by the Christmas tree. Don watched a football game for a while, then popped in a movie, then finally went to some relaxing Christmas music. He timed my contractions a few times throughout this time, the last time being around 10:45. He recorded the lengths as being somewhere between 40 - 50 seconds in length and about 1 1/2 - 3 minutes apart. So, on paper it looked like we should be headed to the hospital or actually probably already there, but by what he was witnessing in my face told him we still had time. After one of the contractions I looked over at him to see what the time was like and it confirmed what I was thinking. I was coming to the end of what I could handle and knew we needed to call the Doctor and see what he said, but Don was being skeptical. So, I finally communicated to him that I was having hard contractions and they were getting worse, but I am being able to control them so much better because I am so relaxed. So, my face is not showing the expression of pain, but I am in pain and I'm ready for this pain to be over. I think it's time we at least called. He was doing exactly what I asked him to do, which was to try to keep me home as long as possible, because laboring in the hospital did not help me relax. We finally called, and Dr. Jenkins said to come on in.
11-12:15 - Don packed up the rest of the things needed in our bags, packed up the car, helped me to the potty (but I couldn't go because I was beginning to feel more pressure down there and was afraid to go! Tee hee), got me in the car (after having about 5 contractions from the couch to the car), got Kate in the car, and off we went. I made the call to our babysitter in the car (timed it just right so when she answered, yup, I was in the middle of a contraction and could barely talk to her).
Monday, December 21st 12:15 - 12:45 AM - On our way to the hospital. Half way there, I am getting the urge to push (unlike what I felt with Kate, since the epidural weakened the sensation quite a bit). We get to the hospital,make the exchange with the babysitter, meanwhile having contractions with the urge to push, making me vocalize since I am feeling more out of control than when I was sitting on the couch watching my twinkle lights on the Christmas tree. We enter the ER section of the hospital, Don is trying to figure out how to open the wheelchair that is seemingly broken and finally decides that he needs to get his wife in the next best option - a REALLY narrow wheelchair with no place to rest my feet. He thought, she'll never fit in there, but let's give it a try. I squeeze in and we are off to admissions. They have our old address still on record, even though I filled out the pre-registration papers already and handed them in to avoid this type of situation. What type of situation you ask? Well, the situation where I am contracting now at a rate of maybe a minute apart with the incredible urge to push with people CONSTANTLY telling me not to push. While the FULL Emergency Room patients look on in either horror or disbelief as the quite shy reserved woman is screaming to help control her body and tell it to NOT push when everything in her is telling her TO push. All the while being asked to write my name and my address and phone number. That situation . . . that was the one I was trying to avoid! =) 12:45 - admitted.
12:45 - 1 AM - The next obstical to arise was the nurse that was to escort me from the admissions department to the maternity ward. He was, well, how could I say this properly . . . um . . . he had an alternate lifestyle, or limp wristed, or he would be right at home with many of the fashion shows on TLC or HGTV, or as I've heard one person put it he bakes his bread in a different oven (or something to that effect =). Anyway, to a lady in labor, he was not the guy I needed to be escorting me telling me not to push because he didn't want to deliver my baby in the elevator "after all we have just met". (ha ha ha ARG!) Or why was I having another girl, I was suppose to be having a boy, so I could have one of each. (ahh yes, I put my order in next time!) Needless to say, arriving in the maternity ward couldn't have happened any sooner. With much help from Don and from a nurse, they got me from the wheelchair to the table to check me. (caution gentlemen - labor words soon approaching) Don said she really couldn't check since my bag of waters was hanging out of me, but hadn't burst yet. The labor & delivery nurse grabbed the phone on her hip to call the Doctor who was headed to a C-Section to stop him because he was "going to have a baby and have one right now". They attempted to get me back into the wheelchair, but the nurse soon aborted that idea and just rolled the table/girny I was on into the closest available room, where I was promptly moved from the girny to the bed. The doctor soon walked in and I told him I had the urge to push. He said, "you can go ahead and bear down" these were the best seven words I had heard in a long time! Hurrah! He threw on some gloves and in between pushes adjusted the lights.
1:05 AM - With less than five minutes of pushing and less than 20 minutes in the hospital Claire Noelle made her entrance to this world. Talk about really just having the doctor there to catch the baby!
Afterwards Don and I were actually giddy with how the events transpired that day. When Don finally went back to the car to get our bag and camera (since she came too fast and he didn't have a chance to do it before she arrived) and they had taken Claire for some initial testing, we decided we needed to get some rest, but we just sat in the dark, quiet hospital room recounting God's goodness. We just kept saying "I can't believe she's here" and "I can't believe I just did that." God truly was gracious in answering so many specific prayers . . . I went into labor on my own without herbal remedy or their induction method, I was able to relax at home and had a pretty easy time relaxing through contractions, I was able to get the Doctor I loved, and even though I wasn't resigned to the fact of not having any medication - I was able to enjoy this birth without it, Claire arrived in enough time for us to be home in time for Christmas, and even though she was born in the early morning - we didn't miss a whole lot of sleep like we had with Kate.
So, although the birth stories to our little ladies are like night and day, we can say we are truly thankful to our God for entrusting us with raising these precious little souls to be His worshippers, no matter how the Lord had them enter this world.