First, I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of reading other people's birth stories. However, I love having my own written down and here on the blog seems like the perfect place to put them. So if you enjoy birth stories, read on. If not- enjoy the cute pics and you'll get the gist of things. I promise not to share anything too "ew"!
With all of my previous kiddos, I've gone into labor exactly one day shy of my due date. That made things pretty easy to plan around and I fully expected this birth to go the same way. So with a due date of November 4, I definitely wasn't ready to be in labor on October 28. At that point we still had Halloween parties to attend, Trick or Treating, Easton's last soccer game and a new website to launch. No time for labor and delivery. And of course, that's not how life works.
On Wednesday, the 28th, we all took Easton to school and then went to Lowes to buy black out curtains for the nursery. By the time we got to Lowes I was having consistant contractions, but they weren't painful. It seemed that around every 10-15 minutes I was having a solid contraction. And they didn't stop. All day long I was contracting, but in no pain. However, I knew that I had been dialated and effaced a few days before, so those contractions must be doing something. AND Kesler's labor had happened exactly the same way. I told Soren several times that day that I might be in labor, but neither of us wanted it to actually be the case. We worked on the nursery and filling orders. I also did all of the laundry and cleaned the house. If I was in labor, my time to prepare was running out!
After dinner we turned on the World Series Game 2 and got the kids in bed. All while still having contractions. But at that point they were starting to get uncomfortable. During the last few innings my back really started to hurt and I started timing the contractions. By about 10:30 the contractions were between 2 and 5 minutes apart and lasting about a minute. There was no denying at that point that I was in labor. I called my mom to update her and texted the friend who was going to come sleep at our house with the other kiddos. And I called my doctor. She advised heading to the hospital right away. I hate laboring at the hospital, so I was hesitant to go in, but we packed up and by 11:30 we were checking in. And thank goodness. Because I was in a lot of pain at that point!
They got me a room and started hooking me up to monitors and IVs. My mom met us at the hospital and her and Soren helped me get comfortable. Soren asked me what I thought I was dialated to and I guessed a 7, but I was hoping for an 8. The nursed checked me and sure enough I was at a 7. So that meant things were close, but who knew how close?! I've never had an epidural because my babies come so quickly, but quickly could mean 1 hour or 3 hours. I've had labors that were both. I told the nurse that I really didn't want to lay in bed. Every time I have a baby I have really bad back labor and nothing makes it worse than laying on my back in a bed. And for the first time ever, the nurses were cool with that. They told me they just needed a 20 minute read on the baby's heart and after that I could walk around or do whatever felt best. And that made ALL of the difference.
After they unhooked me I walked around, leaned over the bed and hung on Soren while I was having contractions. I also winced, cried, sobbed and did all of those things women do when they are dialated to a 7/8. My doctor arrived and offered to break my water to speed things up. I was hesitant, but agreed and that's when the show really started! I laid down and she broke my water and then everyone started scrambling. "We're having this baby right now!" she said and she was definitely right. I was dialated to a 10 and started to push as soon as my water broke. I pushed and within seconds his head was out and they were telling me to keep pushing. I pushed with everything I had and that was it. One horrific push and he was out. Everyone was kind of in shock and I was feeling like death- still hollering long after he had made his arrival.
"Now that's how you have a baby!" was what everyone kept repeating. Meanwhile I was getting stitched up for a minor tear, my legs wouldn't stop shaking and I was really ready for those pain meds. The baby had come out so quickly that he had sucked up fluid into his nose and stomach so the nurses were moving quickly to suck it all out and get him breathing better. All babies come out purple, but he stayed purple for a while after birth (as you can see in the photos above).
Once they had him all sucked out they put him on me in hopes that skin to skin would warm him up and get him breathing again. I was still somewhat in shock and obviously recovering from labor, but it was such a sweet feeling to have that tiny warm body in my arms. He had his newborn smell, his wet hair and was hollering for everyone to hear. He also started rooting right away and was ready to nurse almost as soon as they put him on me. I swear my kids just keep coming out smarter and smarter! ;)
They gave the baby his bath and got me cleaned up plus a warm blanket and pain meds and a snack. I finally stopped shaking and was feeling fabulous at about 3:00 am, despite being tired. My mom headed home to get a little sleep and Soren and I tried to rest before he had to go home and take over with the kids. Because he was born just after midnight, insurance counted the 29th as day 0. Since I technically get two days at the hospital, that meant I could stay till Saturday rather than Friday. I definitely took advantage of that. Our hospital has a specific birthing wing and it is NICE. The nurses took good care of us, we had lots of visitors and I just sat in bed for two days. Not to mention the meals, the shower and the alone time with baby.
It took us until Friday to decide on a name. We had several in mind when we went to the hospital, but hadn't quite nailed it down. Soren was basically with the kids all day on Thursday- so he and I didn't have chance to deliberate together until Friday morning. We both finally felt good about the same name- and Baker Paul Nickels it was. Baker was a name I loved when we were pregnant with Knox, but obviously hadn't used it yet. Paul is Soren's Dad's name (and brother's middle name). We filled out the birth certificate and that was that!
I've got plenty to share about how things have gone since we came home, but I'm having a really hard time fitting in blogging right now. Business is crazy and so is four kids obviously, but I'll figure something out soon. We'll get a new normal going right?!?
Until then, keep up with us on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks for all of the well wishes and supportive comments! We are so blessed to have such good friends, family and readers! Muah!