Okay I want to start off by saying that I am not an expert on anything birth related, I’m the complete opposite actually. But, I’m stoked to finally share this post with you after it being requested so much since our girl’s arrival. I also want to thank everyone for their kind words. We are so loved and so blessed. This is gonna be a long post so grab your coffee and a snack or two.
PS- there’s gonna be a few little tips and such embedded in this post for you mamas to be😘
After trying literally every method possible to get baby out, I finally accepted that baby girl was coming when she felt like it. When I say everything, I mean everything. I tried red raspberry leaf tea, bouncing on my birth ball, long walks, spicy food, sex, pineapple juice, etc. You name it, I tried it. Nothing was working for me so I was just gonna live my life until baby came out. I went ahead with my scheduled lash appointment(fun fact: Nikki, my amazing lash lady, has said that there have been multiple preggos that get their lashes done and then go into labor shortly after) and then went home and lounged.
I started timing my contractions that night around 8:55 pm while rocking in my glider and after an hour I decided to lay in bed to see if they would subside. I had Braxton Hicks contractions on and off for the past few weeks so I wasn’t getting excited yet. I laid down and they continued so I decided to look for the number and call the birth center to see if we should come in. As I was opening Google, I heard a faint pop but thought my back popped(lol). A few seconds later I was laying in a small puddle- my water had broke(all over our clean sheets and freshly made bed lmao)! I waddled into the bathroom to prevent making a bigger mess(don’t know why I was concerned with a messy house in that moment) and then Jesse started grabbing bags and loading the car.
I would like to note that my daughter is awesome for letting mama have her lashes done before coming out.
The whole drive and check in to the birth center is a bit of a blur. I just remember a nurse trying to take my weight and as soon as I stepped off the scale my water was continuing to flow all over the floor and I really wanted to sit down. We got into our room and filled out a bit of paperwork before getting settled into bed and being told we should try and get some sleep. I don’t know about you guys, but trying to sleep when you’re beyond excited for something seems impossible- think “little kid waiting for Santa to come” excited. I tried to sleep for a while but then came contractions. I tried to breathe through them as planned but they just became too much and I was ready for some drugs. I didn’t want an epidural, for some reason I had some negative stigma towards getting one so I was looking for alternative ways to get relief. I received a dose of fentanyl through my IV and man did that feel good. I fell right asleep for the hour that it was effective. I was ready for dose 2 of 3 at that point but sadly dose 2 was no match for my contractions and I was ready for an epidural. I gave in and I have no regrets because I immediately felt relief. I slept for quite a while but I was already 8cm dilated when I got the epidural so things were moving along.
Mamas- get the epidural. Labor is so tough on the body, do everything to make yourself comfortable. Don’t be stubborn, you do not have to suffer.
Also I want to let y’all know I did not and am still not suffering from any back pain from said epidural.
Push time came the next afternoon and I felt ready…boy did I have absolutely no idea what I was in for. The epidural caused me to be numb from the waist down, all I felt the whole time was pressure. This did cause me to struggle with lifting my legs up to push. I honestly think that was the worst part of the whole process lol. I wanted to move my legs but they did not want to cooperate.
Baby girl did not want to crown and after a strenuous 4+ hours of pushing and my labor beginning to stall, we decided I needed some help getting her out. I did not want a C-section because I had already progressed so well on my own so my doctor offered the help of a vacuum. I was hesitant but knew I needed my baby girl out so we went ahead and used it. This caused Kailani to have a little torn/scratched skin on her poor head but it healed fast. Babies heal remarkably fast you guys.
The vacuum was ready and I had multiple nurses yelling at me with each push(yes, you still have to push your babe out, the vacuum doesn’t just suck them out like you might think). Not the dreamy, relaxed birth I’d imagined but I am grateful that Jesse was there with a calm head to keep me sane. A few pushes(less than 5) and our girl was placed on my stomach. I felt so much relief and joy in that moment accompanied by shock of course.
As far as pain goes, I was in minimal pain. I felt a lot of intense pressure when her head and shoulders came out but that was the worst part and short lived(thanks, epidural).
Our girl was perfect and those first days in the hospital were nice and all but we were ready to go home by day 2. Well, the doctors had other plans. Kailani had a touch of jaundice, something super common in newborns, and needed to be treated with some light therapy. It was agonizing. I knew she hated it. She cried for her mama and just wanted to nurse to be comforted. I literally tear up thinking about how horrible it was to watch. We tried to leave her in the lights as long as possible in hopes of getting out of there soon but 6 hours later her levels were still high and she needed 6 more hours in the lights. Well this came at the same time as her cluster feeding(when babies eat super frequently. For us, it was about 15 minutes every 30-60 minutes). Jesse and I were not going to starve her so we fed her when she wanted to eat. Despite us being told to feed her on command by our (amazing) previous nurse, our night nurse did not agree with this.
This is where our night took a sharp turn.
She blamed the cluster feeding on anxiety from the lights and wanted us to just let our baby cry it out. For any mama, you know that is a horrible feeling seeing your little one cry for you and you having to leave them be. We tried but on the few times we pulled her out, she acted absolutely starved. I had a gut feeling(and major engorgement) that was telling me to feed my baby. That feeding her when she needed to be fed was the right thing to do. Again, our nurse disagreed and made Jesse and I feel horrible for trying to do the right thing for our babe. This was not flying well with this mama.
The nurse offered to move her to the nursery so K could lay in her belly, something other babies found comfort in when they had to be in the lights. At this point she only had about an hour and a half left so we figured why not. We asked if we could come with her and the nurse agreed so off we went. Well when we arrived to the nursery, another nurse(I’m assuming she was the one in charge) came over and told us we needed to leave Kailani there or take her back to our room because "it was pointless for us to all be there when we could have that in our room”. The difference? She can’t be on her tummy in our room because she needed to be monitored when laying in that position. The other nurse had told us it was okay which we brought up only to be met with the same argument. I was fuming at this point and beyond upset. I knew K needed this light therapy and she was screaming on her back in our room so I left the nursery and my babe, and speed walked back to our room bawling. Jesse followed and I screamed and cried about how I just didn’t trust the people who were supposed to care for our baby. This was my first round of mothers intuition. How could I trust them when they couldn’t even get their stories straight? How did I know with 100% certainty that my little girl was getting the absolute best care possible? I did not trust these 2 nurses and wanted my baby in my sight.
Well, apparently my screams were heard and the first nurse came in and told us we could go to the nursery and see Kailani. I have a feeling this was them caving because it’s bad for business to hear a new mom scream about how she doesn’t trust the nurses on that floor. I did not want to be dramatic but something in my gut told me that I needed to monitor them like a hawk.
I was right about this. TRUST YOUR GUT MAMAS. You are not overreacting and you deserve to be heard. Your little one cannot advocate for themself and they depend on us to be their voice.
This light therapy cycle brought her levels down enough for us to be discharged. Thank God.
Being home was the best blessing. Our tiny girl sleeps for 3 1/2 to 4 hours at night, eats, and then goes for another few hours. Jesse and I are blessed and I myself am living in postpartum bliss.
Speaking of postpartum…I didn't want to make this post longer than baby K’s birth story. If you’re ready to read about postpartum life head to my next post here.