I started this not long after Kaylin's arrival, but it took until today to actually finish it!! It's a LONG post, so feel free to just look at the pics - this post was all for me to look back and read and remember. :)
Life is so very good, 23 days since Miss Kaylin arrived. I'm recording her birth story here, so I can look back and savor every minute of (most likely) my last labor & delivery.
My kiddos & I, 6 days before Kaylin was born. My stomach looks HUGE but I'm hoping its just the angle at which I'm standing. The kids are excited to meet their little sister. Myles & Macy ask every day when she'll be here and gives my stomach a hug at least once a day. Jaz of course has no clue what's about to happen to her life, but she knows where the baby is when you ask her. The big boys are a little more reserved about their excitement about a new little sister, but I know once she gets here, they will wait in line for a chance to hold her, and give her sweet little kisses on her forehead, just like the rest of us.
Fast forward to the end of the week, Friday, April 12th. I'm 13 days away from my due date and finished off the week of work, which has been my goal with this pregnancy. All the kiddos except Macy were at least 2 weeks early, so I'm kinda surprised I'm still pregnant. I take a picture of my belly, and put this on facebook. "Well, still prego. Guess baby girl wants to come on her own time, instead of being like the rest of the kiddos! Trying to enjoy these last few days/weeks?? of my last big belly!"
I'm trying very hard to be patient, knowing that the longer she waits to arrive, the more of my summer I'll get off instead of the cold, rainy weather we've been having. I've also been dreading the pain of labor way more than in the past. I have relatively easy labor & deliveries, and I've always looked forward to them, but for some reason, this time, I'm just dreading the pain and even start thinking about getting an epidural for the first time.
I sleep pretty well that Friday evening, but wake up about 5:00 on Saturday morning. I'm having contractions. Nothing painful, and still pretty spread apart (8-10 minutes), but they aren't going away. Normally, when I lay down, any contractions I might be having usually go away. I get cautiously excited as I lay in bed for two hours and they don't go away- is today going to be the day?? The first thing I do when I get out of bed is strip the bed sheets off and throw them in the wash. If we are having a baby, I want to make sure Grandma Barb has clean sheets when she stays over. Priorities. :) I jump in the shower and make sure to shave my legs. Contractions keep coming but still, nothing painful. I still haven't said anything to anyone, even Kyle. I want to make sure today may be the day before saying anything.
At about 8:30 I decide to get Jaz out of bed. I peak in at her...she's still sleeping, but she hears the door open. I catch a glimpse of her before she pops up...laying on her tummy with a NAKED butt in the air. Yep, I put her to bed in a nightgown, and she managed to take her diaper off. So - I strip her sheets off too and throw them in the wash when mine are done.
9:00 - contractions STOP. seriously?? So much for today being the day. I get depressed and wonder if this baby is EVER going to come. I mention to Kyle that I thought today was going to be the day, but then my contractions stop. I contemplate going for a walk to try to kick start things, but decide to try to be patient. By 9:30, I don't know what to do with myself. My kids are driving me slightly crazy (sorry, kiddos) and I'm just annoyed that I can't figure out what's up with my body. I go up to the den in my bedroom and turn on the TV to some mindless HGTV show. I zonk out after being up so early, and wake up around 10:30. I sit up and have a HARD contraction. Weird. Maybe my contractions are coming back. I get up and join the family again. Contractions keep coming, about 6-8 minutes apart. Not super painful, but more intense than they have been.
By 11:00, I'm contemplating calling my midwife. Not because I'm in pain, or even because they are that close together, but I have a feeling that today is going to be the day. Kyle is still contemplating going to the Chinese buffet with the kids for lunch. By 11:30, I decide to go ahead and call her and tell Kyle NOT to go out to eat. Contractions have been steady for an hour, and with my history of quick deliveries (I was in the hospital from ER to Jaz's arrival for a whoping 16 minutes), I'm nervous that I'm not going to make it in time if I wait too long. Sandy tells me to head on in, even though I tell her that I'm pretty sure its REALLY early (I'm guessing I'm 2-3 centimeters based on pain/spacing/length of contractions) but would feel better at the hospital.
We take our time getting out of the house. Curren is going to stay home and watch the kids and we put Jaz down for an early nap. We assure the kiddos that it will be several hours before their baby sister is here. I didn't even want to call any of the family until I was absolutely sure that I was having a baby today. We get to the hospital around 12:30. I still feel sort of stupid that I came. The contractions are still 5-6 minutes apart, and although they are getting a little stronger, still aren't super painful. I wouldn't even let Kyle bring in my hospital bag because I'm still afraid they are going to send me home. :)
However, they put me straight into a real room (not triage) and check me right away. NINE centimeters!! Are you kidding me?? I'm shocked. The best part - my midwife Sandy was not surprised at all. Unfortunately she wasn't on call, and had other commitments that day, so I had to have a different midwife deliver, but when Sandy talked to Bri as I was heading into the hospital, she coached her and told her I'd be at 8 cm but you'd never guess it by looking at me or how I was reacting to the contractions. I guess she knows me extremely well after delivery my last 4 babies!
Normally, with my labors I like to be up, walking the halls, or taking a bath. This time though, I didn't even bother getting out of the bed. I wasn't super uncomfortable, but just feeling lazy. :) I still can't believe that I'm so close to having a baby. I was breathing through contractions now, but for the most part it was tolerable. They were still 3-5 minutes apart, so I felt like I had plenty of time between them.
At about 1:10, I asked Bri to check me. I still wasn't feeling the pressure to push, but I felt like it was getting closer. She checked me and said I was complete - 10 centimeters but baby was still pretty high (0 station). My water still wasn't broken, and she said that if I wanted my water broken, baby would probably come sooner rather than later.
At 1:16, I decide to have her break my water. I sat there for a minute or two, and tell her that my contractions stopped - so weird. She looks at the little paper output from the monitor and said I just had one 30 seconds ago. I'm shocked! I seriously did not feel it. I'm so confused. A couple minutes later I have another contraction and decide to go ahead and push (still not feeling the pressure, but thought I'd give it a try).
One long push, and her head is out! The umbilical cord is TIGHT around her neck. Normally, Kyle 'catches' our babies from this point, but Bri was nervous because she couldn't get the cord off her neck, so I continued to push, and out came our sweet little baby with the cord wrapped around her body too! Kyle says it was like a figure-eight loop around her body & neck and it really freaked him out. Luckily, I knew the cord was wrapped around, but did not see it. Kyle also said that it seemed like I pushed for a really long time - although I had to remind him it was ONE contraction! I'd hate to see what he'd think of a REALLY long labor and delivery! :)
Kaylin Annemarie Matthias official time of arrival - 1:20 pm 4/13/13. 4 minutes after they broke my water. At this point I'm still in shock that she is really HERE! They put her immediately on my chest, skin to skin. I look forward to this hour alone with my baby every time. The nurses are really great about allowing immediate skin to skin as long as baby looks good. Even with the cord scare, Kaylin looks great and they don't need to take her to the warmer. A few minutes later I deliver the placenta and say "this is the last time I have to ever push something out of my crotch." WAY too much information, but a bitter sweet moment knowing that this is most likely the last labor/delivery I will ever go through!
At this point, I take one quick picture with my midwife, and she snaps a quick picture of Kyle & I, and then the room clears, except for Kyle, Kaylin, and myself. This is one of my very favorite moments with all my babies - the first hour alone. Kaylin and I continue to snuggle while Kyle makes a few phone calls letting the family know she has arrived. I send out a few texts to some close family/friends and continue to kiss on my new sweet baby. Kaylin starts nursing like a champ and I savor these moments. I know that soon we will be joined by all kinds of family and our kiddos, and while I can't WAIT for everyone to meet Kaylin, I know the noise level will soon quickly rise. :)
About 90 minutes after Kaylin's arrival, the kids arrived to meet their new baby sister. They are excited to see her and hold her. Jazzy is pretty interested in her baby and they all take turns checking her over and holding her. They must have discussed the order in which they would take turns on the way to the hospital (oldest to youngest) because I didn't hear one fight over who got to go next!
After everyone got a turn to hold her, I did take an opportunity to rinse off in the bathtub quick. I LOVE giving birth and the experience, but sitting in a bed for too long afterwards is just nasty and I always feel great after I get to rinse off and put real clothes on.
Here's our first (and only to date) picture of all 8 of us, taken about 3 hours after Kaylin's arrival. The kids are all wearing their big sister / big brother shirts that they made themselves the week before - one of our traditions with all the kids.
Both sets of grandparents, Lo/Jayda, and Heidi/Amber visited us in the in the hospital the first day. We all admired our sweet baby girl and were all kinda surprised she arrived so quickly. It was the perfect amount of guests to welcome Kaylin. I never felt overwhelmed and love to share the excitement of a new baby in the family.
Day two in the hospital was just as calm and relaxing. Kyle left to head home and get the kids ready for church. This left a quiet morning in the hospital room for Kaylin and I to continue to snuggle. She had a great night, so I didn't exactly feel like I needed to rest, but still savored the one-on-one time with my baby girl.
I took a few pics of her so that I could make a quick birth announcement that I could email to family, friends, and mostly co-workers. Might seem weird that I make that a priority 24 hours after her arrival, but I've found it's best to let the co-workers know as soon as possible so they know not to bug me now that Kaylin has arrived!
New visitors to meet Kaylin on Sunday were Neil, Kelsie, and the girls. It was great for Kaylin to meet more of her cousins and after a pretty quiet morning, I was ready for a little company.
By Monday morning, Kyle and I were so sad and sentimental! Kyle jokes that Allen Hospital is our most frequently-stayed "hotel" and it's actually true! We love our hospital stays and truly find it a magical and happy place to welcome all of our babies. The staff there is amazing and I love the one-on-one time with our new babies.
Kyle leaves early to get the kids off to school and I am quite emotional while he is gone. If we rewind back to August when we found out we were pregnant, it was in the middle of some very big life changes for our family, as Kyle transitioned out of coaching after 12 years. I found out I was pregnant literally the day before Kyle's coaching career was put on hold, so the start of pregnancy was marked by those sad and what felt like very unfair events. Kyle & I looked to Hebrews 12 for comfort in those early fall days trying to understand God's plan. Those versus would come up at various time throughout the past 9 months, whether in church, or on the radio and always found a way to bring a sense of peace - we were not alone and these events happened for a reason.
Fast forward back to the morning at the hospital, I flipped my phone to my "verse of the day" ap. What is my verse? Yep. Hebrews 12:1. I couldn't help it as I burst into tears. This sweet baby Kaylin Annemarie is such a blessing to our family, and seeing that verse again, as we are about ready to start life in the "real world" as a family of eight was very overwhelming for me. We are so loved and blessed by God, and I just felt like we could close that hard chapter of our lives.
It's so silly, but as we are getting ready to go, I snap some pictures of the room. These suites have been here since we had Macy, so I have 4 sets of the very same pictures. We sure love these miracle rooms.
We have to wait a little while for the nurses to finish up the paperwork, and by the time they are done, we are ready to head home. It's so bittersweet leaving these rooms for what is most likely the last time. I've loved all of my hospital experiences and even though I've been through it six times, they are all so very special and unique and it absolutely never gets old. Geesh - looking at the picture of us heading home and comparing it to when we brought Curren home, maybe the only thing that has gotten old since Curren's arrival is Kyle and I! ;) Older, and wiser, and so extremely blessed and thankful.
Lots more updates in the future on life as a family of eight (most likely through the thousands of pictures I've taken since her arrival!).