So I left you hanging with the whole birth story.
This is a doozy so you might want to grab a cup of coffee and sit in your comfy chair.
I'm finally feeling like I have enough brain power to give the rest of the story some sort of justice.
Let me recap.
April 7, Saturday, I felt funny all day. Irritable, huge, super tired...thought I was getting sick. I had texted my mom that day and said, "If my belly gets any lower, it will be on my thighs!" I sent her a pic and she texted back. "Oh wow, aren't you miserable?" Well, yes, actually I was. What I didn't realize was that little baby had dropped, which was why I also felt like I was walking around with a bowling ball between my legs all day!
For some reason, I had the urge that evening to do some "last" things. For example, we went to Target and walked around just for fun "in case it was our last time for a while". Then we went to dinner at my favorite steak house. Seth wasn't really loving the idea of going, and usually I compromise and we figure out a place that we both want to go to. Only this time, I realllllly wanted a steak and I told Seth, "This might be my last meal, and I want steak!" Looking back at everything I said, it was almost as though I was knowingly foreshadowing my own labor...but I had no idea I would really be going into labor in a matter of hours.
We got home and Seth had rented what I believe to be the most boring movie of all time. So, as Seth laid on his side of the bed watching the movie, I laid on mine, playing on my phone.
I remember around 10:00, feeling a cramp. I ignored it and kept playing on my phone. Then I remember feeling another cramp, but I also ignored it. By the 3rd or 4th "cramp", I decided to start timing them. Every 10 minutes on the dot, for about an hour, I was having a super mild contraction. I decided not to tell Seth because I wasn't ready to give birth. The next day was Easter Sunday and we had big plans with friends and matching Easter outfits. Plus my mom wasn't going to get to my house until Monday around noon. I HAD to wait a little longer.
Around 11:30, we went to bed and I was still having contractions. I decided to give Seth a heads up. He freaked out and wanted to know why I didn't tell him earlier. I assured him I was just having braxton hicks and that he should stop worrying and go to sleep! The contractions had become almost unnoticeable, so I had even convinced myself that I was having Braxton hicks...I'm an airhead.
Midnight rolls around. We had just fallen asllep good and I feel someone tapping my shoulder. It was poor, pitiful Caleb. His head was burning hot. Grabbed a thermometer and sure enough, 102 degrees. We gave him some medicine and made a big pallette with blankets in the floor of our bedroom for him to sleep on. I remember feeling the contractions again and thinking, "Seriously, they still haven't gotten the hint and gone away yet???" We all fell back to sleep somewhere close to 1:00 am.
Then, I woke up. This time I'm woken up by those same contractions that I was trying so hard to sleep away. I got up and decided I just needed to go to the bathroom really bad. Needless to say, going to the bathroom didn't make the contractions any better.
I decided to time them again while I was standing in the bathroom. After timing a few that were 3-4 minutes apart, I found myself having to hold onto the counter to make it through the next contraction. Andddddd that's when the panic ensued.
My hair was so dirty. I had planned to wash it the night before but I was exhausted and decided to wait until the morning...I was really regretting that decision in this moment! I turned on the shower and was going to try and make it out of the shower before waking Seth, but that wasn't happening. I went over to him and as non-alarmingly as possible, woke him up telling him I was going to take a shower. He said, "Ok" and rolled over to the other side of the bed. What a mistake I made thinking that he would get my hint when I told him I was taking a shower at 2:45 in the morning! I shook him again, this time I said, "Om...I'm taking a shower and getting ready and you need to too. I need to go to the hospital." His eyes got big and he sat up and said, "Oh! Ok!". He jumped out of bed and followed me to the bathroom. Right about this time, I started having a contraction and held myself up against the counter, closing my eyes. He watched me and said, "Oh wow! You're serious?!" Of which I replied, "Yes, I am!"
I got in the shower. Shampooing and conditioning between pretty painful contractions. I had intentions of actually drying my hair but these contractions were getting super painful with each one and blow drying was out of the question. I got out of the shower and started frantically trying to pack my suitcase. All I had packed were my pajamas. Thankfully I had the baby bags packed. I had texted and called my mom somewhere in this whole scenerio. I had a friend...a wonderful, glorious friend who was planning on keeping Caleb for me if I went into labor early, but I felt way too bad to call and wake them up at 3am! My mom was pretty stern when she told me, "Kathlyn, you need to call Lee Ann." When she said that, I knew this was for real...in my mind I was still thinking we would just go to the hospital and see if by chance I was truly in labor. My contractions were so bad by this point that I couldn't even call Lee Ann. I told Seth to pack Caleb a bag and call Lee Ann to ask her if she could watch Caleb, and thankfully, she said yes! Lee Ann and her husband were literal lifesavers...can't thank God enough for them!!!
This next part is going to really baffle some of you, while the rest will completely understand. I did manage to get a good amount of makeup on my face, and I blow dried my bangs...all I could stand to do to myself in between doubling over in pain. But hey, a girls gotta look good at major life events like this!
Poor Caleb was so confused during this whole ordeal. Since he was sleeping in our room, he was aware of the panic that had quickly encompassed the house. I vaguely remember him saying things like, "Mommy, what's wrong?" and "I wanna go to sleep in my bed". Poor little thing. I tried my best to comfort him, but those daggone contractions were making my job as Mommy pretty stinkin' difficult.
I do remember one funny story. I was looking for my black fancy flip flops to wear. I had just worn them the night before but for some reason they weren't in my closet. As I am looking for them, a huge contraction came so I found myself down on all fours in my closet floor, trying to find my shoes and make it through my contraction. I finally made it back on my feet, furious and frustrated that my shoes were missing. I gave up and just put on my old black boring flip flops instead. Caleb had been watching the entire thing from my bed. When I walked over near him, he looked at me and smiled and said, "Mommy! You better? You found your shoes! You better!" Hahaha! In that moment, I had a little laugh and realized he thought all the pain I was in this whole time was because I couldn't find my shoes...if only it were that easy!
We finally all got in the car. Seth still had to drop Caleb off at my friends house, which unfortunately was a good 10 minutes away...so that meant 20 minutes extra for me to endure. I tried to talk Seth into dropping me off at the hospital, but he really didn't want me to go by myself. Instead, I bit the bullet. As we were nearing my friends house, the biggest contraction came. I was panicking in my head. I literally thought I might have the baby before we got to the hospital. Lee Ann came and got Caleb out of the car...I was trying to give instructions for all his Easter things for the next day and try to tell Caleb goodbye in the middle of that big old huge contraction that literally lasted for longer than a minute, but it felt like an hour. Seth jumped back in the car, and we took off. Being that it was 4am at this point, there was no traffic and we zoomed through several stop signs...I was begging Seth not to stop, or hit a bump.
Seth barely gets the car parked and I am jumping out, walking as fast as I can to the hospital entrance, leaving him in the dust. I sat down, and of course I had a million papers to sign. Signing my name during a contraction was pretty ridiculous. I just remember sitting there waiting for the nurse to come with the wheel chair and that nurse was taking her ever loving time. I wanted her to RUN!!! I wanted my epidural sitting in my room, waiting for me and while they were at it, I also wanted a big southern style sausage biscuit.
We FINALLY made it to our room. Our first nurse was horrible, but luckily she was only there for about 45 minutes before the best nurse in the world showed up. The first nurse checked me and said I was only at a TWO! I wanted to cry but before I could, another nurse came in to double check and sure enough, I was at a 5/6. Thank you Jesus. She offered an epidural and before she could finish the word "epidural", I was telling her how awesome she was.
Unfortunately, I still had over an hour still left to labor through those knife stabbing contractions before the anesthesiologist showed up. This labor was so different from my labor with Caleb. I was induced with Caleb and it was a 22 hour labor. This time, I would get to my hospital room at 5am and give birth at 9:05am. I wasn't prepared for how fast everything was moving. During my contractions, I wanted Seth to stand beside me so I could smack his arms. I know, I'm such a weirdo and yall should've seen the face he was making. I knew he thought I had totally lost it, but I didn't care. I just wanted to smack his arms and hands, while singing the alphabet (of which later he told me I was singing wrong). My thought process was that if I could make it through the alphabet, my contraction would hopefully be over.
I also kept telling all the nurses that were coming in and out that if they could just hurry up and give me my epidural, I would be a lot more fun! I think my exact words were, "I'm really a lot more fun than this. I promise that after I get my epidural, I will be a new person!" I really laugh hard at myself when I think about all the crazy things I must have said to them. I just remember them laughing at me...but I was serious.
Finally, an angel walked through the door armed with my epidural equipment. The needle going in my back felt awesome because I knew that in just a few moments, I would be nearly pain free. The anesthesiologist said that my epidural was textbook perfect...amen. I told him I loved him and I really meant it. He laughed but when he left, he sincerely told me he was glad to do it and that he hoped everything went smooth for me. I really loved that man.
after epidural :-D
Now things were so much different. I was able to text my family and let them know we would be pushing soon. Seth and I *tried* to nap, but seriously, how can anyone nap when you're about to push a baby out??? Even though I felt relaxed, pain wise, I was as anxious as ever to find out if a little baby boy or girl would be joining our family.
About an hour after my epidural, it was time to push. I had the best doctor ever, Dr. Marker. She was a dream. I kept thanking her for missing Easter service for me and she kept telling me there was no place else she'd rather be than helping me birth this baby...I really love her too.
The pushing took about 20 minutes. I pushed HARD! The little bit of working out I had done throughout my pregnancy was really paying off. We laughed in between contractions. We talked about who thought it was a boy and who thought it was a girl and I told them that when all of this was over, I was really looking forward to breakfast, because apparently being pregnant turns me into a ferocious, eating monster.
Then, the big push arrived. It was surreal because no one told me how close I was.
We were doing 3-4 sets of pushes for each contraction. On the final push, I had only done one set and was getting ready to do the second when Dr. Marker yelled, "STOP!!!" Apparently, my baby was head up with the cord around the neck which isn't a good thing. I forgot all about whether it was a boy or girl because I was trying to make sure everything was okay without completely panicking. I later learned that a lot of head up babies result in C-sections because they're super hard to push out....I told you I was pushing hard!
After getting the cord away, Dr. Marker pulled my baby out. They let Seth tell me what it was but he was having a hard time getting a good look. Finally he yells, "It's a GIRL!!!!!!!!"
They put her on my belly. She was screaming and she was so pretty. I didn't cry because I couldn't stop smiling. I wanted to stare at her and figure out everything thing about the way she looked. They took her away, wiped her off and then announced that she weighed 7 pounds and 11 ounces...a perfect sized baby.
Seth told me that as the Doctor and nurses walked out, they said, "That's one of the most fun deliveries we've ever done!"
I wasn't lying when I told them that epidural would make me a much happier person. I love that I enjoyed the whole pushing process and that I was able to have a few minutes of peace and quiet with Seth right before Lorelei arrived. I'm not a martyr when it comes to giving birth. Having a baby is no cake walk no matter if you do it drug-free or with drugs, soooo give me that epidural!!!!!!
The first day in the hospital was great. I took a shower while Lorelei slept. My family was in the car, on their way to see us. The only sad part was that Caleb wouldn't be able to meet his baby sister until after Seth took him to the doctor. He had a bacterial ear infection, so he had to wear a mask around her for the first 24 hours, then he could take it off.
It was a sweet meeting when Caleb met Lorelei. He just kept staring at her and to this day, we haven't had any issues with him being jealous of her. In fact, he loves her to pieces and is always asking to hold her. He also gets upset when she's crying and when we show her off to our friends for the first time, he proudly says, "That's my sister!"
With Caleb, my labor and delivery and recovery were pretty rough. I prayed all throughout this last pregnancy that God would help everything to go smoothly. I'm so thankful to Him for giving me that gift. I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I will never forget it and I can't wait to do it again...in a few more years ;-)