Baby Rush's Birth Story

One thing I love and hate about having babies is that no delivery ever goes quite the same as the last. It's hard for mommas like me who like to know what to expect and when to expect it, but it also makes life exciting and no birth story ever the same! This baby is my fifth baby and in my mind that meant this time around "should" have been the same or similar to my other deliveries.  I have always gone into labor on my own. I've always had my babies the day before their due date or sooner. I have never had an epidural or had to be induced. And my labors are all pretty quick. But life has been throwing us curve balls this throughout this entire pregnancy so why should my delivery be any different?  

Today I'm sharing some of the background and the story of Rush's birth. If you are new, you can read this post and this post to catch up on the twists and turns of my somewhat complicated pregnancy. 

My last ultrasound was just a few days before 38 weeks. The baby tested fine during that scan, but my doctor at the high risk center was still concerned with letting me go full term- and so was my OB. I met with my OB after my ultrasound and we made a plan to induce me on Thursday February 1 if I didn't go into labor on my own sooner. 
I've mentioned before that I've never been induced so I was apprehensive about making a plan, but nothing throughout this pregnancy has gone as planned so I understood where the doctors were coming from. I had a few days to get the other kids scheduled and coordinated and to finish packing my bags. Thankfully I have great friends and family so it wasn't too hard to find places for the little ones to go and help with everyone in the evenings. 

On Thursday morning Soren and I woke up at 5:00 and got ready to go. My normal routine before heading the hospital is pretty much the same as when I go anywhere. I get ready. That morning, like any other, I got up and showered, did my makeup, did my hair and got dressed. 
I actually usually put more effort into getting ready when I'm going to the hospital because I know there will be lots of photos that day. I use a primer before my makeup and plenty of setting spray on top. I also use self tanner for several days before, whiten my teeth and do my nails. I've definitely taken the time to do my nails or shave my legs while in the early stages of labor before. I realize this might sound crazy, but all of those things are part of my normal beauty routine and it matters to me that my nails look good at the hospital or that I look like myself after wards. I always feel better if I'm put together. So if anyone asks why I look the way I do at the hospital, it's because I want to and I did a bunch of prep work to make it so. :)
A friend came over to stay with the kids and get them to school and we hopped in the truck to head to the hospital. It was very strange to be on our way to the hospital and to be feeling fine. My contractions were pretty minimal at that point as opposed to my other pregnancies when I'm usually almost in tears when we finally head to labor and delivery. We checked in, I filled out paperwork and they put me in my room. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty nervous. I had no idea what to expect and the anticipation of the unknown was hard. I kept reminding myself to take things one step at a time and that it would all end up okay. 

Yes,  I matched my earrings to my hospital gown. I couldn't resist changing them when I saw I had a matching pair. :)

First off the nurse hooked me up to an IV to give me my antibiotics for Strep B and then Soren and I sat around and talked from 6:30-8:00 am when my doctor arrived. When she came in and checked me I was almost at a 5 and about 90% effaced. I wasn't in any pain and my contractions were still really minimal so she offered to break my water and see what happened. I hesitantly agreed, but it ended up being no big deal. No pain, just a gush of water and then more waiting. 
And nothing happened. 
The hope was that because I was so far dilated, breaking my water would send me into labor pretty quickly. It didn't. The nurse suggested walking the halls to see if we could get things moving along. So Soren and I walked the halls of the delivery wing and talked work all morning. I felt like an impostor dressed in a hospital gown with no pain or signs of labor. We smiled at all of the nurses as we walked laps and I just tried to be thankful that I didn't have to drag my IV cart around. My body was refusing to go into labor and it was unnerving. Why wouldn't it just do what it needed to do?
Eventually my contractions started to heat up a little, but it was still minimal. And it was so strange to be trying to make them happen when I knew they were just going to hurt. Why would I want to do that? If you know me you know I do almost everything I can to avoid pain so "trying" to go into labor as a real metal challenge.
At around 11 am my doctor came back in and suggested we start some pitocin. She knew I was anxious about it so she just suggested starting with a tiny bit and seeing what happened. I was getting pretty tired of the waiting game (I had hoped to have a baby in hand by then) and so I agreed. The nurse put a drip in and we continued to wait. 
Soren and I continued to work. We joked that he got more work done at his computer that day than he had in weeks because he was just sitting with a laptop for hours. Some people bring movies and card games to pass the time during labor- we just bring our laptops and take advantage of no kids and being able to get work done. 

At 12:15 something finally started to happen. My contractions got regular and I was no longer comfortable. The contractions were packing some heat and my lower back was also feeling them. I always have back labor and feeling them in my low back is definitely a sign that things are progressing. Pretty soon I was out of bed and having to breath through the pain and the laptops quickly got put away. 
Not only have I never been induced, I've also never had an epidural. That's not because I'm a purist or anything, but mainly because I didn't have time to have one with my first. My first and following deliveries have all been so fast that I know I can mange without an epidural. I've always been scared to do anything different and so I never have. I didn't plan to have one this time either. 
One advantage of not having an epidural is that I can move around during and after labor. I've found I prefer standing and leaning over the bed while I am working through a contraction. Soren rubs and puts a lot of pressure on my lower back and I focus on breathing. This time was no different except that I handled the pain of labor better than I ever have. I really focused on blowing away the pain (like literally visualizing blowing it out and across the room) and then I focused on the words of a hymn in my head in between contractions. It worked really, really well. I wasn't fighting the pain but actually trying to think above it. Soren was a huge help in relieving that pressure on my back and at one point I had to tell him to repeat out loud what I was repeating in my head. I was in too much pain to think my mantra over and over, but him saying it really helped. "Just blow it away. Just blow it away..." It went that way for about 30 minutes and then my doctor had me get back in bed to check me. 
At that point I was in tears, but thankfully I was dilated to a 9.5 and my OB decided it was time to have a baby. They called everyone in and turned on the lights and got my legs in place. And I was ready to push! I bore down and pushed and kept pushing three times within that push and that was it. I always make the most of pushing- once I'm ready that baby is coming out! And he did! And that might be the best feeling on Earth. The relief that follows that kind of effort is impossible to describe. 
Our little guy was born at 1:18 pm on February 1, 2018. 

They put the baby on my chest and wiped him off. I was exhausted and needed a minute to pull myself together at that point but I was also really wanted to see that little man was okay. He felt and looked good! Thankfully he was pink and he was crying. Before he arrived I was nervous and curious to see his lip/mouth but once he was there on my chest it didn't really matter to me . I could see it but it wasn't good or bad or anything. It just was. 
The nurses got us both cleaned up and thankfully I didn't need any stitches this time around. I may not do an epidural during labor, but it only takes me about five minutes after the baby arrives for me to ask for my pain meds. My nurse got me my narcotics and some ice water and new bedding and I felt like a new woman. Soren helped get Rush cleaned up and weighed and all of that. My nurses and my doctor were all so helpful and kind and made the whole experience as good as it could have been. . 

Soren and I took turns holding him and called my parents. My Mom was there for Knox and Baker's birth, but her health has been worse lately and mornings are hard for her. Thankfully this little guy was born in the early afternoon so it worked great for her to come up to the hospital right after he arrived. 
We had his name in mind- in fact it was the only name we had- but we weren't sure about it until we met him. Thankfully even after meeting our little man, we still felt good about the name and my Mom was the first to know. We texted friends, called family and enjoyed a quiet afternoon of recovery.
We arrived at the hospital on Thursday and I stayed until Saturday morning. I actually love staying at the hospital for as long as possible after delivery. Going home is something I'm happy to delay. Part of that is because we have a great hospital and I had great nurses, but having alone time and nearly 48 hours to rest in bed is a treat I only get at the hospital. I also love ordering my meals from the cafeteria, having 24 hour help from the nurses and not seeing any messes or to-do's at home. During this stay I even sent Rush to the nursery for one of the nights so that I could get some sleep. The nurses were able to bottle feed him and I got a solid few hours of rest. 

During those few days at the hospital we did have several visitors, baby pictures and spent a lot of time teaching Rush how to take a bottle. Because of the flu kids under 13 were not allowed to visit the hospital so I wasn't able to have the boys come visit. There were good and bad things about that but they were pretty content to play with all of the friends I had lined up for them while I was in the hospital. 
As far as feeding, I started pumping pretty soon after delivery and I'll share more in another post about how feeding works with a cleft. For this post, I'm happy to report that before we left the hospital little man was taking a bottle quite well and we were all relieved about that. 

We left the hospital on Saturday and went to get the kids from a friend's house. They were so happy to see us and overall mostly happy to meet Rush. We went home and the kids each spent some time holding the baby and telling us about their time while I was gone. 
Baker was the slowest to warm up to the baby, but within about 24 hours he was asking to hold him and touch him and all seemed to be mostly positive. None of the boys were too concerned with Rush's mouth either. We had told them all along that Rush would be born with an injury in his mouth and that we'd have to have a lot of doctor visits to fix it. They seemed to take all of that in stride and still thought the baby was "so cute, especially when he opens his eyes."
Overall I think Rush's birth went as well as it could have gone. I'm so grateful that he and I were healthy and safe, that we had a great doctor and nurses and a great hospital, and that the boys were well taken care of while I was gone. 
Pregnancy may be over, but the story has just begun! Things definitely aren't going to slow down or get any less exciting with five boys, a business and life in general. Thanks for all of the love, support and kindness you show our family every day. We're so blessed!


  1. Congrats mama! My first was born 8 years ago on February 1st. Great day to have a baby ��
    Rush is beautiful!!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I love reading birth stories! When makayla was around 4 months old, when she would cry, I would try and see her palate in her mouth & she would stop crying to see what I was doing. It was pretty fun that she was curious & it was interesting to see her cleft palate inside her mouth.

  3. Oh my ovaries! <3 So exciting! Beautiful baby and beautiful family! Xo

  4. This was a joyous read! Thank you for sharing your experiences and the adorable pictures with us!
    (I'm with you...natural birth, but bring on the meds afterward!)

  5. Oh my goodness - this post gives me all the feels! It brings back all the emotions of having my boys! 1. You look AMAZING! 2. That little white fuzzy suit is ADORABLE! 3. I HATE the hospital - I'd rather be at home cleaning, lol. It's funny reading someone else's opinion. 4. Congratulations!!!

  6. Hi Kilee - I stumbled across your blog when reading The Mom Edit (as those ladies frequently wear your earrings). First, I wanted to tell you, I have no idea how you do what you do with five littles! I have two (an almost 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy), and it feels like about as much as I can handle. Second, your family is absolutely beautiful. I've been following along with your pregnancy journey and always love reading birth stories. Congratulations on your newest beautiful boy!

  7. Thank you for taking the time to share! Birth stories are always interesting and a beautiful way to bring moms together as we reflect on the similarities and differences to our own experience(s).

  8. Oh, what a beautiful family and what an adorable baby. So special to read about larger families (we have seven). Am I getting this right - you went in to the hospital to be induced but were already dilating so they waited? And kudos to you for no epiderals (I didn't either). I also want to respond to your instagram post here - I'm not instagram savvy, haha. Could you get breast milk from a milk bank to help with the pumping? God bless and I hope your little guy does fine.

  9. Loved reading this story! Yvonne, my sister your mother in law told me about your posting this on your blog! I've copied it and have saved it to my rootsmagic program for all posterity to read in the future! Rush is a special baby and he's very lucky to have you two as his parents!


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