How do you even begin to describe the experience of laboring a child? Exciting because you are about to meet that beautiful baby that you have been working so hard to create; terrifying because in a few short hours you are about to go through the most intense experience of your life and come out the other side as a parent.
Simply put, it was a whirlwind of emotions, vulnerability, exhaustion, and pain that I had never experienced before in my life. It was without a doubt the most difficult thing I had ever put my body through, but to be able to birth such a beautiful baby boy made it so worth it.
So here goes our story:
Kaeden’s actual due date was January 7th, 2016, but knowing how impatient his parents are, it’s no surprise our little guy was born 2 weeks early.Even before his early arrival, we had gone through a scare 3 weeks earlier when I had returned home from a long day and began feeling contractions. They kept intensifying and wouldn’t subside so we had to take a trip to the hospital. They admitted us for pre-term labor and were worried that at that point if Kaeden were to come, his lungs were not going to be developed enough for him to breathe on his own. Thankfully, the contractions had stopped throughout the night and we were cleared to go home.
But from that point on my contractions were a roller coaster ride. They would come and go but they were tolerable. It wasn’t until the week of Christmas that they really began to really pick up. They were so frequent and intense, that when it came to go time, it took Justin a second to register that it was the real deal this time.We had gone to the doctor earlier in the week for a check up and we were told that I was 2 cm’s dilated and with the contractions taking place, Kaeden could come any day or it could be still be along wait before he came because I wasn’t full term yet. We were a little disappointed because with having these kind of contractions for days already, we were certain that things had progressed a little more.
That whole Holiday week we were on edge but nothing had happened. The holidays arrived and Christmas day came, and went. Justin and I had made our normal rounds to our families but called it an early evening because my contractions were so bad and I was so tired from carrying this baby around all day. That night was when everything changed. I kept waking up to what felt like cramps but I was so sleepy that I really didn’t think much of it. But by 5:30 in the morning, the cramps were so bad that I couldn’t ignore them and I just had a feeling that this was it.
I woke Justin up and we immediately called my mom. She was going to be joining us in the delivery room and she lives down the street from us so we told her that be ready cause we were picking her up. We gathered our things, picked up my mom and headed straight for the hospital. During the car ride, the intensity was pretty bad but I was still able to breathe through the pain.
When we arrived at the hospital, luckily with the holiday’s there was nobody there so we were taken care of quickly. They put us in triage and the nurse told us I was 4 cm’s dilated and that Kaeden was in position (which didn’t surprise me because he was in position and riding low my entire pregnancy). The nurse looked at us and said we are admitting you and you guys are gonna have this baby today! Justin and I looked at each other with this “holy crap, this is actually happening” face.
With 6 more cm’s to go, I still had a while before this baby was going to come so I was determined to not be induced or get the epidural until absolutely necessary. Justin and I walked up and down those hall ways, bounced on the ball, I breathed through the contractions while Justin squeezed my hand; I was doing everything in my power to naturally speed up my labor. A few hours had passed and I felt like, “hell yea, I can do this as natural as possible!” Boy, did I get a serious reality check. I couldn’t tell you what time it was or who exactly was in the room at the time, but what I do know is that this contraction hit me and it was like sending volts of electricity through my entire body! IT. WAS. INTENSE. I felt this bad boy from my head, all the way down to my toes. It was so painful that I at that moment I didn’t think I could handle another one of those so I told them to give me the epidural.
Confined to the bed, it was turning into a long wait and we were at a standstill. All our parents had been lounging in the waiting room since the morning and my dad, who had to fly in from Texas, had arrived. The clock was ticking and nothing was really progressing further along. I was coming up to 12 hours since being admitted so the doctor came in to talk to us. They decided it was time to break my water and start me on pitocin to get the ball rolling.
As soon as they broke my water, my body just kicked into gear. It didn’t take long after that. The urges to push were coming so strongly! But when they came to check me, they said I still had 1 more cm to go and to not push. Let me tell you, when your body wants to do something and you are told not too, it is so hard to fight it to do something else. I had to find every ounce of strength in me to not push this baby out too soon. A few minutes later, the nurse came back to check on me and she said, “oh, his head is right there! I’m going to go get the doctor.” The doctor rushed in, and it was time to push! I had Justin on one side and my mom on the other, both coaching me through each push. Luckily, Kaeden was so low because it only took me 4 pushes and he was out!
The moment I heard his cries, it all became so real. We had done it. We had come out of this together, both healthy. The moment we had been waiting for was finally here. They placed him in my arms so we could do our skin to skin and I just lost it. I was balling. He was the most beautiful little thing I had ever seen. We had chosen delayed cord cutting, so once we had done some skin to skin right away, they took him from my arms and Justin cut the cord. His initial weight was 6lbs 4 ounce’s but he later dropped down to 5lbs 7 ounces. He was so tiny but he was so alert from the moment he came out! Justin and I got some time alone with him before we were taken up to our room so we took that time just to bond with him and soak him in. He was so wide eyed and looking around at Justin and I. He was the best last minute Christmas gift I could have ever imagined.
I will never forget that day he came into our lives. That day changed me into a mom, changed us into parents. We welcomed this tiny person into our family and have never looked back since. He has been the best addition to our family and has filled us with so much love. It has been an incredible journey, filled with love, laughter, and tears but I wouldn’t change it for anything.