Amy won our Christmas giveaway and had previously submitted her birth story to us. We thought it would be fun to share a picture of Kahlan in the knitted sweater and then to share the story of how she met her family.
I’m Amy, married to Kris for almost 12 years. Mom of two boys, Roman, 11 and Liam, 6, and one girl, Kahlan born on August 4, 2017. This is what my very foggy new Mommy brain can recall.
December 2, 2016 I took a pregnancy test thinking it was absolutely going to be negative. But I wanted to rule out pregnancy before I looked into other reasons as to why I was feeling so run down. The results were almost immediate and I sat in disbelief in the bathroom. Five days later on the 7th I tested again, which looking back seems silly, but I had another test so why not give it a go. I decided after the second test came back positive that it may be time to schedule an appointment.
After talking options over with Kris we chose to contact Brookhaven and set up a consultation mid December. We got family to watch our two boys by telling them we were doing dinner and some last minute Christmas shopping together. We left the consultation that evening and there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that giving birth at Brookhaven was the route I wanted to take.
January 18, 2017, at almost 12 weeks was my first official appointment. I met with Maya who no longer works at Brookhaven, and the student was Savannah who I have grown to love. We decided to tell our boys the news that evening after dinner by telling them we’d have another stocking hanging at Christmas.
January 22 we told our close family and had the boys wear special shirts Kris had made. Surprisingly it took longer than I thought for them to catch on and it was my Aunt Michele who noticed and asked why Liam was wearing a shirt that said big brother.
My ultrasound was done in March and just like with our boys we decided to not find out the gender until the birth.
I was asked about the possibility of being featured in our local newspaper as they were doing a story on Brookhaven. I agreed and was surprised to find myself on the cover. At this point we hadn’t told anyone we were expecting but our family and close friends. What a birth announcement that was. Some of the audio from my birth was on WMRA with an interview with Misty. The link is here.
All of my prenatal appointments felt like a time to sit and chat with a friend. Nothing was ever rushed and everyone I met was always so welcoming. I knew early on that I wanted what everyone referred to as the party birth. I wanted family there, and food, and cake. I wanted our boys there to announce the gender to us and then to everyone else. At one of my last appointments we talked about how we wanted our birth to go. I stressed that if at all possible I wanted baby covered as soon as he/she was born so that way our boys could announce it to us and then to family. I was also asked about a student from JMU being present for my birth. I didn’t think twice about saying yes. What was one more person. I was so glad that I allowed her to be there because I later found out I was the first birth she got to see.
Fast forward to August 2, what would be my last prenatal appointment even though I didn’t believe it and was truly convinced I would be pregnant forever. I felt good, although grumpy and tired, and was having a good bit of Braxton Hicks contractions. Emily kept reassuring me that with the length and intensity of those contractions I would have my sweet baby soon.
August 3, my due date and no baby. With my boys I never made it to a due date. No matter how many times I told myself that it’s just an estimate and baby will come when he or she is ready. I was just convinced that this third baby of mine was never coming out. Around noon that day I texted Kris asking him if he wanted to go to the pool with us that evening. I needed to get out of the house and be outside and the pool was the only way I was going to comfortably be outside. Sadly about ten minutes after being in the water we were told to get out due to a contamination issue. I was wishing my water had broken and I was the reason we had to get out of the pool for a contamination issue. We moved to the very crowded indoor pool and my mood just went from bad to worse. I sucked it up for my boys so they could have a good time. After getting out of the pool I felt off, but it never crossed my mind that it could be the beginning stages of labor.
After getting home I took a shower and then we made a taco casserole for dinner. At dinner we joked about how it would be funny if this would be our last supper as a family of four. After tucking the boys in we watched some TV and then I spent some time on the couch texting my sister, Jennifer. Around 10pm I started noticing an increase in pain and frequency with contractions so I started timing them. I timed them for a good two hours and they averaged about 8 minutes apart. Still no part of me believed that labor was starting and that I’d be holding a baby the very next day. I went to bed around midnight and let Kris know about the contractions, but followed it up with a warning to not get too excited.
August 4, Kris woke me up before leaving for work to check on me and to let me know he would touch base on when to bring the boys to his work for bring your kids to work day. I got up to pee and felt a little crampy but was able to go back to sleep. Around 8:30am, I woke up and stayed in bed checking stuff out on the FaceBook world. I got a text around 8:45 from my Aunt Beth who was also my amazing photographer asking me if baby was waiting on my cousin to get back in town. I told her that was probably the case but I hoped not. We talked about how I was feeling and she told me of her plans that day and where she’d be if I needed her.
About 9:10 I got up and used the bathroom and noticed a good bit of blood in the toilet along with a lot more cramping. I decided to text the on call number and give them a heads up. Misty was on call and she said it sounded like a baby would be coming today. She reminded me to eat well and stay hydrated and suggested I come in for a checkup. I was quickly able to contact Kris and I swear he flew home. In that time I let my sister Jenn know what was going on as well as my Aunt Michele who was was able to keep the rest of our family up to date. We made it to Brookhaven around 11 for a check and I was very surprised to find out I was a good 5 cm along. Jenn and Beth were already there and kept the boys entertained while Kris and I were in with Misty talking over options. At 5 cm I still felt pretty good and truly didn’t believe a baby could possibly come any time soon. Misty suggested we go get some lunch and see where I was afterwards. I chose Tropical Smoothie because I didn’t feel much like eating but felt like I could drink a smoothie. Jenn and Beth came with us and Michele and my cousin Meredith showed up a little later to join in. Around 12:30 my back pain had really started to pick up and I was having to lean over the table a little during contractions. I’m sure I freaked some people out by being in labor there. The nicest employee chatted with us and we reassured her she wouldn’t need a mop. Had we invited her to the birth I’m sure she would have joined in.
We headed back to Brookhaven around 1:00. Even though things were picking up I still didn’t feel any pattern to my contractions. An hour later is when contractions became more regular and at 3:00 Misty decided to admit me. Family streamed in with food and games for the boys. I was able to eat some fruit and some small sandwiches in between contractions. My family made sure my water cup was filled for me at all times.
During contractions I was able to labor comfortably while standing and leaning over the bed on a stack of pillows or on a pillow on the mantle above the fireplace. Misty brought out a ball for me to sit on and we put it at the end of the bed with a few pillows in front of me to rest on. Family was in and out checking on us and it was nice to have that distraction in between contractions.
Around 5:00 I decided to have Misty check me again. Getting into a position on the bed for her to check me was awful and I think it wasn’t until then that I realized this was real. I was at a seven. Misty said it would be soon. We made the decision not long after that to start filling up the tub. Kris helped me change and around 5:40 I was in the tub and felt that I was where I needed to be. I started out in the tub on my knees but quickly changed to leaning back with my legs out in front of me.
For a while I was able to breathe through contractions in the water, then it turned into a hum. Contractions were manageable and I was able to focus and breathe through them until I felt baby coming down. Around 6:10 I became much more vocal and I felt like I lost all control because everything was happening so quickly. I was losing focus and I wasn’t in the zone anymore. I remember screaming that I was pushing and Misty helped bring me back by calmly getting my attention and telling me over and over that I could do this. She was right. 6:27 my water broke, at 6:28 the head was born, and at 6:30 baby was out.
Kris helped Misty catch and she quickly covered baby so no one could see the gender and then they put this sweet little thing on my chest. I said “oh my God” countless times because that’s all I could get out. I was so thankful for labor to be over and to finally have this sweet baby in my arms. Baby was still covered with a towel on my chest while I sat in the tub and we had all of our family leave the room except for the boys, my sister and my Aunt Beth. Once everyone was gone we were ready to find out if we had another son or a daughter. Kris was facing me and the boys were beside the tub. Kris locked eyes with me and counted and picked up the towel. Neither of us looked down and our oldest very excitedly said that it was a girl. We had a daughter and they had a little sister. The emotion on Kris’s face when he learned he had a daughter was something I’ll never forget.
Kris and the boys went out to see our anxious family and Roman announced that we had a little girl. I was still in the tub and could hear them all celebrating this new little life.
I sat in the tub loving on my little girl for almost an hour. Misty delivered the placenta during that time and at around 7:30 I was ready to move to the bed. Heather helped me rinse off while Roman was cutting the cord. I’m still shocked he did it but what a memory for him. What nearly 11 year old can say they got to cut their sister’s cord?
7:40 and I was in bed while they checked all over Kahlan. She was 8 pounds 13 ounces and 22 inches long. She was bigger than both of her brothers were at birth. I got to eat a bit later while family came in to love on us. We ate cake and visited. Family trickled out to go home and rest after a long exciting day. Emily showed up to relieve Misty and to discharge us. Around 10:30 we said our goodbyes to the last few family members and the wonderful ladies at Brookhaven and loaded up as a family of five to head home.
We made it home and settled in for our first night with Kahlan. Roman and Liam went to bed pretty easily even with all the excitement of the day. We slept decently the first night home. The next morning I got up and had coffee in my own house. I remember thinking that we just had a baby the previous evening and I was so thankful to be in my own house having coffee.
Kahlan has filled our hearts. Her big brothers cannot get enough of her and I cannot get enough of seeing Kris with his little girl.
Beyond thankful for this group of ladies who had a part in my pregnancy and labor and delivery. Also our family who supported us, and my other half, my husband who never left my side, supported me and helped make me as comfortable as possible and loved me through it all. If it wasn’t for their love and support I wouldn’t have been able to have this amazing experience that I did.