Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Grand Finale: Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!

In the final weeks of pregnancy, every little twinge feels like it *could* be the start of something big!  You just never know.  At least, that is what people said when I was almost a week overdue with Katie.  With Will, I had a scheduled induction the day before his due date, so the waiting was a little less stressful.  This time around, the wait was kind of fun!  It was our first time having a baby with Kaiser health care, and Kaiser will not even talk induction until you've passed your due date.  So with an appointment set for April 5th, we knew we wouldn't be picking a birthdate until after that.  Would we make it to the 5th?  Would she come on her own?  We just didn't know!  Matt's poor parent's dealt with the stress, too, as they were the ones on call to come stay with Kate and Will when the time came.  In all honesty, I expected to wait.  I figured we'd get to our appointment on the 5th.  Beyond Braxton Hicks contractions, I wasn't really feeling any indication that I'd go into labor any time soon.  On March 31st, we spent some time at Matt's parents' house then went out for dinner.  When we left the restaurant, we joked that maybe they'd get a call that night.  I wasn't serious.

I'd gone to bed around 11pm that night.  It was April 1st at 1:50am on our clock when I woke up to what I thought might be a contraction.  It was what woke me up, so I wasn't entirely sure if I'd really had a contraction or what... I was still sleepy and unsure, so I just lay there waiting to see if another one would come.  And sure enough, I felt that familiar crampy feeling.  While it'd been a while since the last time I'd had contractions (about 20 months as a matter of fact), I remembered the feeling instantly.  Yep- those are contractions!  Not that contractions necessarily always mean that delivery is immanent, but still, it was promising.  So I laid around for a while... I got up and walked around... I went downstairs and grabbed a glass of water.  But still, they came about every 5 minutes, at about 1 minute in length each time.  I decided to wake Matt up and let him know that the business was beginning.  I called Kaiser and told them the news- 5 minutes apart, 1 minute in length, 3rd baby.  Told her which location we would be delivering at and that was that- she said come on in.  Matt called his parents and I hopped in the shower for one final clean up before go time.

If there is anything I have learned about having a baby, it is this: expect the unexpected.  I got out of the shower, ready to throw my things in my bag and head to Irvine.  Matt; however, had just received a call from Kaiser telling us that Irvine was full.  Full?!  Yes, full.  We'd have to go to Anaheim Hills to have the baby.  Now, it probably doesn't seem like a huge deal- but at 2:30am, when you're in labor and you've been expecting to deliver your baby at the hospital that you've been used to for the last 8 months- trust me, it becomes a big deal.  Not to Matt... just to me.  I was pissed!  Oh yeah, and the exit off the freeway is closed, so we'll have to go the back way.  Well, super.  Matt's parents arrived and we headed up to Anaheim.  It felt so far away- especially as we drove right past the Irvine location where we should have been!!!  I was bitter.  Then the bumpy roads and stop signs we encountered on the "back way"... strike two.

We got to L&D triage and the nurses were nice.  Sooo nice!  I finally started to relax about the location change at this point.  I got all hooked up to the monitors and the waiting began.

A midwife came in and told me that by total coincidence my midwife Dena, who had been seeing me through my entire pregnancy, was going to be at the Anaheim location that day!  That sealed the deal for me and I was officially over myself and perfectly happy being where I was.  I was 5cm dilated and moving along just fine, so I was officially admitted at that point and a little while later was moved over to our delivery room.  Being GBS positive, I had to have a penicillin dose every 4 hours through the IV, so they started that, started the saline and then the waiting continued.  The contractions began slowing down, so eventually my midwife, Dena, came in and said she'd recommend starting pitocin to get things moving along.  Before doing that, we went ahead and got the epidural process started so that *just in case* the pitocin kicked in quickly, I'd be ready!  I got my epi around 10:45am... that part is always yucky to me. Even though I firmly believe that epidurals are a gift straight from God, I just hate the feeling of it being put in.  Nonetheless, it was pretty easy and I could feel the tingly toes start pretty quickly- hooray!

Shortly after the epidural, the pitocin was started and contractions started picking up again.  Matt stepped out to get my mom and at that point I felt my water break.  Matt and my mom were back by the time the nurse came to check on me (I'd called her when I felt the water break).  The nurse who came was not my regular nurse (she'd gone to lunch) and said, "Eh, maybe your water broke..." but didn't seem to believe me.  I've felt that feeling twice before in my life- it's fairly unmistakeable.

My mom and I were just sitting there chatting away when suddenly I was feeling some pretty intense pain with each contraction.  It honestly happened so fast.  I went from shooting the breeze with my mom to having to stop and concentrate on breathing through the pain.  I pushed the happy button for the epi meds, but it wasn't really providing relief anymore.  I thought to myself, "Oh crap, this is going to suck."  We got the nurse in and she thought I might be getting close, but thought she'd wait and let the midwives get in there and check me.  Before they could get there, I was feeling a ton of pressure, which apparently told her that things were moving along.  We hustled my mom out to the waiting room at that point.  She checked me and I was 10cm and ready to get the party started.  Dena, my midwife, and a new midwife arrived just in time to turn on those weird lights they use, slip on shoe covers (this made me laugh at that point) and get in position.

The pushing was easy peasy.  One push to move her down.  Second push and her head was out.  Third push and our sweet Kennedy Eloise came screaming into the world at 2:25pm.  She wasted no time letting us know how she felt about this traumatic event... girl has a set of lungs!  She was so completely perfect!  Her tiny nose, her long fingers and toes... precious!  They laid her on my chest and I swear, all was right with the world.  I just wanted to keep her there forever.  She was SO small!  Dena (our oh-so-amazing midwife) took a guess and said she thought she'd be 6.5 pounds, tops.  The scale, though read 3.43 kilos which comes to 7 pounds, 9 ounces... wow!  I'm still questioning that one!  She was 20 inches long... long and lean.


This was the easiest delivery ever!  It was so quick, and once the crazy part was over and she was out, I had no pain.  None!  She nursed perfectly right off the bat.  She let us rest pretty well that first day, as most new, sleepy babies do.  It was great!  We went home 24 hours later, with our sweet Kennedy, and I couldn't wait for Kate and Will to meet her!  I missed them so much while I was in the hospital!  They came home from Grandma and Grandpa's and met their baby sister... it was so sweet!

Life with three is going great.  I think I had myself prepared for the worst... visions of three screaming children and me in a corner crying haunted my daydreams.  But I can only explain the last month as feeling just the way it is supposed to be.  In the short time we've had Kennedy here, it feels like she has always been ours.  I cannot imagine life without her now!  We are so very blessed.

I've been quite the iPhoneographer these days, as getting my camera out hasn't been top priority, but capturing photos has still been very important... here are just a few sweet memories from the first few weeks of Kennedy's life...

Thank goodness for my little iPhone... sweet memories captured quickly and perfectly!  Kate and Will really love their sweet baby sister.  Kate is such a precious little mama- always the first to offer to help and cannot get enough kisses onto her little sister in one day.  Will is eager to hold and hug her often and is usually looking for "Baby" first thing in the morning.  We've had a few little jealousy issues here and there, but as I said before, it is nothing in comparison to what I had myself prepared for!

I did Kennedy's newborn portraits at 9 days old and I am SO excited to share them... BUT!  I haven't ordered our birth announcements yet, so I don't want to spoil all the fun ;-)  I'll have them up soon, though!  

More pics and updates to come soon... maybe even some from my real camera... maybe.  If I get my act together.  Don't hold me to it, though!


  1. So awesome!! Thanks for sharing these memories, Alison.

    -Chris Baldwin

  2. I love that last picture of Kate with her little baby sister!

    1. Thanks, Bonnie! I love it too- Kate looks so cheeky :)

  3. Love the blog! So special and wonderful.