Friday, May 6, 2016.
I have been looking forward to writing this birth story for a long, long time. The main reason being that we are so excited to complete our family with the arrival of our son, but the secondary reason being that this blog means I am no longer pregnant! If you know me very well at all, you know I don't handle pregnancy with ease and grace. I am so very thankful for my babies, but the sickness never seemed to leave, and I had about every other glorious pregnancy symptom you could possibly have.
However- there is always an end in sight... (even if it seemed very distant some days.) Labor with Kenna was the most amazing miracle I'd ever experinced, and I couldn't wait to do it again with Siler.
Monday, May 2 I had an appointment at the OB where she told me I was dilated 3cm and 60% effaced, and she would be surprised if I didn't go into labor on my own. (Hallelujah! There was my hope!) Shortly after my appointment, I started having contractions. Since we live an hour away from the hospital, we decided to stay in Leitchfield that night just in case they got closer together. Sure enough, they got as close as 3 minutes apart, but I was confused because they didn't hurt... just felt like tightening around my lower belly. We waited a while, and when they didn't let up, we called the hospital to see if they thought I should stay home or come in to be checked. We decided since I didn't have any pain with them, it was probably not "labor" and we would wait it out at home. We stayed the night at Logan's grandma's house... and eventually the contractions subsided. I went all the next morning with contractions about twenty minutes apart... until we got ready to leave and they went to every six or seven minutes. I still didn't have much pain, so we just waited around and tried to focus on something other than how badly we wanted to meet our baby. We didn't want to leave Leitchfield though, so we stayed yet another night at a friend's house near the hospital.
The next day, contractions still continued. Logan and I were both beyond exhausted, missing our own home and king size bed... and decided to go into the hospital to be checked just to see if I was progressing or not. If I wasn't, we would go back to Meade county to wait it out.
Once we arrived at the hospital, my contractions stayed consitently five minutes apart, but I was not dilating. The doctor told us we could choose to stay and be monitored, or choose to go home and rest. (Sense a trend here yet? There was a lot of hurry up and wait during this labor story.)
We headed back to Meade county Wednesday, and Thursday was when the real fun began. Painful contractions started early Thursday morning. I labored most of the day on a birthing ball, with warm rice bags on my back and belly to bring some relief during the contractions.
Around 7pm, the contractions were every seven minutes and nearly unbearable... but didn't get to every five minutes (which is when the hospital had told us to come in.) This exhausting scenario continued through the night until Logan and I were both so exhausted, we decided we had to go to the hospital. Very quickly, they went from seven minutes, to every four minutes... and the drive to Leitchfield felt like it took forever. (That's a very bumpy road to be having contractions on, for future reference!)
When we arrived at the hospital at 4am; they checked me immediately (i was at 5cm) and hooked me to the monitors to watch my contractions. I made a joke about how I was so glad this was happening today, because I knew my OB doctor (who I absolutely love) was leaving to go out of state the next day. Brittany (my nurse) gave me a nervous look and told me she thought that the doctor was leaving for out of town that morning. While I began to panic, she called the doc, who sure enough, was leaving at 7am.
My labor was progressing very quickly, and contractions were down to every two or three minutes. Doctor Wendy came in immediately, broke my water, and started me on pitocin in attempts to speed up my contractions. (I was determined SHE was going to birth my baby!) I gave myself a mental deadline of 7am to have this baby. (Ha, usually that doesn't work out so well!) Once the pitocin started, I couldn't believe how intense the contractions were. It's no joke that they say it makes them much more painful. I was still waiting on my epidural... and by the time I got it I was nearly complete and ready to push.
My mom arrived at the hospital not long before I started pushing, and my sister and birth photographer Chelsea arrived not long after that. (Hallelujah! Everyone made it in time.) At 7am, I started pushing. Eleven minutes later Siler Paul Clemons made his way into this world at 8lbs, 20.5inches and with a full head of dark brown hair.
I never thought I would want anyone else in the delivery room besides Logan. Then I had Kenna, and the thought of my mom and sister NOT being in there with us terrified me! What is it about just needing your mom?!
I would've never dreamed I would have such a big baby (Kenna was only 6lbs11oz) or one with such a beautiful head of hair!
Brittany was one of the best nurses- she gave Kenna her first bath, and she coached me through breathing and pushing with Siler. I am so thankful Twin Lakes has such great nurses and doctors. Even though we moved an hour away, I knew that's where I wanted to give birth again.
Wendy- you are such an amazing doctor, and I'm so glad you were able to birth both of my children. (Even if you did put me on a time schedule with the second one!)
While the family waited in the waiting room, we had promised Kenna that she could be the first to meet her baby brother. She was so excited, and it made her feel so special. I knew this would be a big adjustment for her, so we wanted to do everything we could to make it about not just Siler, but Kenna as well.
Her smile when she saw him was spectacular.
She wanted to unwrap him and "look him over..." checking out his toes, his little chest, and his little arms.
Siler has a lot of living to do to live up to his middle name, Paul, after my amazing dad. He's everything I want Siler to be when he grows up- intelligent, creative, patient, kind, soft-hearted, and amazingly talented.
We loved watching the family's reactions when they got to meet Siler!
Thank you so much to Chelsea Higdon for taking the birth photos. You did a fabulous job of capturing a day I will never forget.
The second day we were in the hospital, we arranged a "Big Sister Party" for Kenna. We had cupcakes, a few presents, and everyone came to visit her. It was so wonderful, and she felt so special. Thank you so much to everyone who brought her a gift, celebrated with us, and made her feel just as special as Siler.
Kenna got to pick out a gift for Siler- I told her it could be anything she wanted to give him. I took her to the store, and she picked this blue blanket. I had it embroidered with his name on it, and it was perfect. She was so excited to give it to him.
Thank you so much to everyone who has prayed for us, stopped by to visit, brought a meal, offered to babysit... we are adjusting this first week at home. All is going well, Siler is nursing like a champ, and Kenna seems to have fallen in love with him as much as I have. Our beautiful family is complete, and we couldn't be more blessed.