It took me over 3 weeks to write this. Because, of course it did. I figured I’d better get on it before the details start to fade in this never ending fog of cluster feeding, dirty diapers, and late nights.
So pull up an ice box and lend me an ear… or, whatever you have available (I know, guys – I’m delirious. It’s only going to get worse… you’ve been warned).
This is the birth story of my sweet Keithan.
I hated being pregnant. There. I said it. This time was harder than I remembered, which is the theme of the past 9ish months. Hard.
Truthfully? I feel like a real jerk admitting that because other than stupid weight gain, puke and peeing my pants, this pregnancy was much like my other two.
And that’s incredible. Not to overuse the hashtag blessed here but for real. We’re #blessed.
Truthfully number two? I think both Kyle (that’s my hubs and not some random dude in case you were wondering) and I were hesitant to have a third baby because we wondered if we were pushing our luck, you know? Like, maybe we should stop because two healthy kids is like hitting the jackpot and eventually your luck runs out. And I was old this time. 35. Advanced maternal age bull crap.
It made us so nervous.
“What if something goes wrong? What if he has health issues. What if I have health issues? Can we handle it all?”
Isn’t that a terrible reason? Thankfully, we listened to God’s whispers and forged ahead. Keithan is so perfectly perfect in every way. And we’ll get to that in a moment. But first? Contractions.
I had fairly painful contractions for a full week before I gave birth. In 2008 and 2010 when I had each of my girls, we had to use this old fashioned thing called pen and paper to time our contractions. But not this time, folks. Nope. This time we used an app to time those bad boys.
And it LIED to me.
OK, it probably wasn’t the apps fault (maybe user error?) but it did get my hopes up. I was having consistent contractions 4 or 5 days before he was born and each time I would get this message.
And then this one.
I was just so ready to be done being pregnant. I had the world’s worst cold (no, really) about 5 days before he was born too – so that was awesome. I was coughing so bad and any woman who has had a baby knows coughing at 78 months pregnant is not good for the bladder.
I should have bought stock in pads that week, because I used them. A lot.
It was terrible, guys. Like – I was a sight. And I smelled like urine. And I was starting to walk like a 115-year-old woman because my back hurt so dang bad.
I had a doctor’s appointment on the morning of the 2nd, so Kyle ventured with me. My regular doctor was on vacation (of course she was, darn it) so I had someone new. (And folks, she was lovely. And young… but really lovely.)
She told me the good news. That…. I had not dilated and was still sitting tight at 1 cm.
Blerg. Bring on the pee.
Kyle and I went on a quick coffee date that morning and I’m so glad we did. Because by the next morning, it was finally game time.
Early Friday morning on March 3rd (we’re talking 4ish am) I felt those contractions again. Since I wasn’t sleeping anyway, I decided to get up and work on the ole’ Her View site, just in case baby decided to make his appearance.
Which was good, because by the time the rest of my house started to stir, I decided it was probably THE day. I have a history of having fast babies (hello less than two hours with my 2nd!) so I knew I couldn’t mess around. There would be no baby delivery in my bathroom. K? Thanks. Still, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time in the hospital laboring either… so, we waited just a bit. I did make sure to take one last picture with the girls before they headed off to school! This would end up being my last baby bump pic!
Contractions weren’t super close at first, so I told Kyle to go ahead and go into work. He took one look at our house (um, disaster + it likely smelled like pee?) and decided to stay home to work, clean and monitor those contractions. Finally around 10:45 a.m. we decided to call our doctor.
We ventured to our local clinic just to be 100% sure these were the “real deal.” My blood pressure freaked out my docs and they sent me to the hospital right away. Apparently it was high? I don’t know. I was high on pain at that point and a little disappointed in myself for not getting that darn pedicure.
Priorities people. Priorities.
I was also sitting pretty at 3 cm. So we knew it was go time.
We checked into the hospital around noon and got down to business – which means, I started my birth plan.
What was my birth plan, you ask? Great question. There wasn’t one. I like to “wing” a lot of things in my life, birth plans included.
“Please let me know if you have any special requests,” asked my nurse.
My only request? To just wing it with me.
So the hubs and I turned on some 90s music on Pandora, switched the TV over to a House Hunters marathon and got down to business.
Will I have an epidural? Maybe. Maybe not. I was going to see how I felt. Honestly, I thought I could do it without one. With my 2nd, I was 8+ dilated before I had any drugs. Even my doc that time around said, “Leslie, I think you can just do this without.” (I wanted an epidural that time but she came too fast.) I ended up with an intrathecal for my second girl and hoped to do the same with Keithan if needed.
(I should note – I didn’t want to try without drugs because I wanted to be super, or special or even because I was worried about it. Nope. I was just curious. Like – this was our last baby and maybe I should just really do this without just to see what it’s like. Come to think of it, that’s how I live most of my life. I know.)
My nurse suggested I hop on the big ball to get things moving and boy did they ever.
Guys, holy buckets of cats. Talk about pain. This is proof that every baby and every pregnancy is 100% different. By 5 cm, I thought my body was going to break in half. I went from a 3 to an 8 in about an hour and when I started cussing, (Kyle said I only dropped one cuss word – but in my head, the F bomb was flying like mad) I decided it was time for drugs. Screw trying something new, I was over it.
(Again, I could have probably done it, but it’s best not to “wing” a birth plan if you want to go without drugs. Heh.)
This guy held my hand during every contraction and was so incredible throughout the entire birth. I’m kinda a big fan.
Keithan was coming too fast, so we did the intrathecal and also prepped for an epidural too. The intrathecal was so perfect. I was laughing with the nurses and asked the hubs to take pictures. Seriously, it was glorious and FAST.
Until it wasn’t. Those things only last about an hour and a half – which we all thought would be plenty of time since I was moving so quickly – but it wasn’t. When I got to about 9 cm, the pain came back, friends. And that’s when they gave me the epidural and I started to float on the ceiling.
I have a love/hate relationship with drugs. I would be the worst drug addict.
They broke my water and unfortunately, we found out it was meconium stained. Sometimes baby’s have trouble breathing when this happens, so they couldn’t put him on my chest right away which was a bummer. (I was told this can happen because of stress – so perhaps the high blood pressure issues or my nasty cold from the days prior had something to do with it?)
By this point, my legs weren’t numb but I couldn’t feel to push. No matter though, he came out in about two pushes.. screaming.
Which is just about the best sound ever.
By 5:22 p.m., our sweet boy was born.
They whisked him away to check over and gave us the all clear within minutes.
I just kept looking at Kyle asking him if all was OK. He probably told me a handful of times that all was well – but I didn’t feel sure until the little guy was in my arms.
After was a blur as it usually is. Lovely mesh panties, nurses pushing on my stomach (holy pain!), stitches, visitors, monitors beeping, cluster feeding and baby snuggles. I finally got out of bed a few hours after he was born to take that glorious first shower. You know the one? When you stand in the warmth of the water and ponder the fact that you just made and delivered another human being.
Mind. Blown. Yes – even the third time.
As a “push present” for myself, I devoured an entire family size bag of almond M&M’s (in like two days) gifted to me by my sister, Linds.
It was the best gift ever.
Kyle and I feasted on cheeseburger and fries after the delivery (holy starving!) which was a welcome treat since I had nothing to eat that day except a granola bar. Nice planning, Leslie. Honestly? I didn’t want to puke or poop on the doctors, so I purposely avoided food that morning. In hindsight, I should have just. had. food.
My mom and dad were the first ones there. Talk about bawling… when Kyle said, “Keith meet Keithan” my heart melted into 590 pieces. Our baby is named after my dad, Keith and Kyle. So basically, he has the best name ever. Two of my favorite guys.
The girls came in to meet him too, and I was just a mush.
Two days later, right before check out, my head started to pound. Like, really pound. Turns out I had a darn spinal headache from that epidural.
My platelets were too low so they could’t fix it with an epidural blood patch, meaning – I had to spend the first few days at home with my new baby and a lovely headache. Had I known I would have a terrible headache for days after, I would have tried to push that kid out with no drugs. It would’t have been pretty, folks. But it WOULD have been better than my headache.
They did give me extra fluids in the hospital minutes before I checked out – which helped for a bit.
That’s why it was HARD those first few days. Thankfully, Kyle was a huge support and by mid-week the headache had lifted and I felt back to normal. Or… as normal as one can feel a few days after giving birth.
On Sunday morning, we checked out and made our way home. Even though our hospital stay and all the nurses/staff were wonderful, there’s just nothing like your own home to make one feel so much better. Clearly we were excited to break outta there!
It’s a cool feeling to know we are “done” with this stage of our lives, you know? The baby factory has officially retired. It’s closed for business. It has shut down for good. Any way you say it, sounds lovely. It had a good run with three healthy babies, and now we retire that time of our lives.
Am I sad about that? Nope. I really just feel so incredibly content.. and happy.
Guys, I’m so in love with this little dude. I honestly can’t imagine life without him. Thank you for all your love and prayers this past month and throughout the entire pregnancy. We are so lucky and thankful.