Life After Birth: Jamie's Birth Story
The past month and a half has been blissful and humbling as we've adjusted to our new family of four. While pregnancy was difficult, I loved everything about my delivery day. It is one I will cherish for the rest of my life.
Leading up to the delivery date
I was dilated and progressing for about three weeks before baby’s arrival. This was exciting for me and I was convinced that by walking 4,622 miles, I would be able to bring her here quickly and on my own. Wrong. All I did was wear myself out and psych myself out! So when I was given the option to be induced, there was no way I’d let that dangle in front of me without taking the offer! 1/31/2017 was the day. WAY too many odd numbers for my liking, but I think I’m over it.
For the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I had the mentality of “if I knew I were having baby girl tomorrow, what would I do today to prepare?” This resulted in a whole lot of cleaning and nesting! But when the actual day before came, all I wanted to do was snuggle my little boy and take it easy. It was a perfect and restful day!
My biggest concerns going into labor
When I was pushing (for about 45 minutes) with Bronson, my asthma began to flare up, which made things scary for me, and added a few hiccups in the pushing process. This included lots of coughing, needing oxygen, and needing medication to get rid of the tingling all over my face and body from lack of oxygen.
Not getting an epidural soon enough was another worry. I had been told the second time around would go faster and waiting too long for an epidural could result in not being able to get one at all! Yikes, no thanks!
Of all the concerns, a healthy baby was really all that mattered to me. I didn’t let this worry consume me though, I believed things would work out great and I knew that worrying about it too much would just make the day longer and more stressful than it needed to be!
The big day!
Blake and I arrived at the hospital at our scheduled time of seven in the morning! By the time I was changed, hooked up to an IV (I seriously have the WORST veins!), started on antibiotics for being group B strep positive, and done answering tons and tons of questions, I was finally started on Pitocin at about 8:15 a.m. I was still 3 centimeters dilated when my doctor (the coolest person I know, whom I love and adore and would trust with all of my life’s decisions-not just baby related) stopped by to break my water just before 9 a.m.
A few weeks prior, we had come into the hospital because my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. They checked my cervix, and then I walked the halls for an hour with my husband to see if I would dilate further and officially be admitted. Zero progress was made and they sent us home, which I was fine with since my doctor wasn’t on call. We stopped and grabbed ice cream on the way home and chalked it up as a unique date night. I then dealt with contractions about 5 minutes apart for the next several days. So it was crazy to go from those Braxton Hicks contractions to Pitocin-induced full-on painful contractions in a matter of minutes!
Fast forward about an hour and a half, and my contractions were getting much more intense. Upon finding out I was 4.5 centimeters dilated, I asked for the epidural. When the anesthesiologist arrived, Blake bolted out of there (he has a huge distaste for needles). After getting everything done and over with, I got the world’s stickiest spray (that apparently isn’t used very often?) sprayed onto my back to supposedly help the tape stick better-turns out it made everything stick better. My gown, the sheets, and everything else my back came in contact with ended up plastered to me, and portions of this didn’t come off for weeks! This sticky stuff was probably my least favorite part of the whole process!
The next couple of hours consisted in me finishing my book, playing games on the iPad, Blake quizzing me on Friends trivia, and taking a quick nap. Around 12:30 p.m., I was at 6 centimeters, and making steady progress!
My mom stopped by during her lunch break to say hello and see how things were going--I had planned on having her in the room when baby arrived. While she was visiting, my nurse came in and told me she would check me again in about ten minutes. But my mom wanted an update before she headed back to work, so I (she) had the nurse check me right then. It took her a second and then she said, I need you to push, I’m not feeling any cervix and I want to make sure you are fully dilated. I gave a little push, and with a panicked look, she told me to stop. Sure enough I was at a ten!
That was at 1:20 p.m., and baby came at 1:44 p.m.! So much happened in that twenty-four minutes, if I had blinked, I would’ve missed most of it! My mom called her office and told them she wasn’t coming back, then called my sister (whom I had also invited) and told her to book it down to the hospital! Meanwhile, my nurse called my doctor and people were in and out transforming my room and preparing everything for baby girl!
Everything was quickly settled and ready, and my sister had literally JUST walked in the room when my doctor had me push for the first time. I could tell by everybody’s reactions that she was right there and ready to come out. This wasn’t going to take long. I pushed 3 times during that first contraction, and when the next contraction came one minute later, one more push and her head was out!
Everything went smoothly and baby looked good! She had a whole lot of vernix (white sticky stuff) all over her which had her nurse convinced her due date was off and she could’ve cooked in there a while longer. Despite being given that information, she was perfectly healthy! And had a FULL head of hair! (You know it's good baby hair when random nurses are popping in saying they heard they needed to see this hair for themselves!)
After a brief few minutes on my belly, then being washed up and having the doctor cut the umbilical cord (again, Blake was fine to pass on that experience), they took her to be measured and cleaned up some more. She weighed in at 7 pounds 6 ounces and was 20 inches long. Once she got a diaper on, we had skin to skin contact and I was in heaven. I had been stitched up and was trying to wrap my head around everything that had just happened! SO FAST! I kept shivering and my whole body was shaking from adrenaline, but my asthma was in check and overall, I had a ton of energy and felt great!
Brisbane Kaye Kohler (Pronounced BrisBIN)
My husband served a two-year LDS Mission in Brisbane, Australia. He fell in love with the city and we’ve known for a long time that if we had a little girl, that’s what her name would be! The spelling of her name was quite the debate, but I gave in to Blake’s “if we’re naming her after the city, it needs to be spelled correctly” rants. Yes, it often gets pronounced wrong, but that’s something we’ll all get used to I suppose! Brizzy and I share a middle name; my maternal grandfather’s name was Kay and he passed away while Blake and I were dating. I love that her name is full of so much meaning! We love our little girl and couldn’t be happier that she is apart of our family!
Featured Image PC: erin b photography