Dylan and I were so excited and so anxious as Kensington’s due date came as fast as it did. Each day prior, Dylan would come home from work and say, “So, how are you feeling?” and though I was having contractions on and off throughout those last few days carrying her, nothing was regulated or very strong. But on her actual due date, December 11th, things started to really take off.
I was having contractions all day but I wasn’t timing them because each time I would, they would go away. I decided that I wasn’t going to stress over every single contraction until I could tell that they were regular without a timer. So I went about my typical Sunday routine which included going to my dad’s house for dinner. I rode with my brother and his girlfriend and basically had mild contractions throughout the entire afternoon/evening. I still didn’t track anything, but knew I should start when I had 5-6 contractions on the 25 minute drive home. By 9 PM, my contractions were 5 minutes apart but weren’t strong enough to send me to the hospital, so though Dylan and I were super excited that it might be time, all we could do was wait.
So to help us wait, Dylan and I turned on a movie and I ended up falling asleep at about 11 PM and slept until 1 AM. At that point, my contraction’s strength had increased significantly. But, I still wasn’t sure that they were real labor contractions and tried to go back to sleep. I was awake until about 2:30 AM when I began to pace around the bedroom. I decided I should probably call our doctor, so I left Dylan sleeping in bed and snuck downstairs to call. She told me to head to the hospital, and for some reason I burst into tears. I was so terrified of going to the hospital and being sent home for false labor. And I was also terrified of going to the hospital and being admitted for real labor.
I went back upstairs (sobbing, btw) to wake up Dylan and tell him that we needed to go to the hospital. He was so sweet and just let me cry my nervous tears out while helping me gain my confidence back with hugs and back rubs as we got our bags ready. Thankfully, I got myself together as we made it to the hospital at about 3:30 AM. They checked me and I was about 3 cm dilated and 100% effaced. It was official! They were going to keep me and we were going to have our baby! I started walking the halls to get my contractions closer together and we called our families to tell them the exciting news.
My sister, Angie, arrived at about 5:30 AM and she walked the halls with Dylan and I until about 8 AM when we went back to the room to meet our new nurse, Cayla. We all fell in love with her immediately! She understood our humor and enjoyed the incredibly inappropriate music we kept playing and made the whole atmosphere so light and fun. She got me bouncing on a birth ball and I bounced until 9 AM when my doctor checked and said I had made it to 7 cm! I continued to bounce on my birth ball until about 11 AM when I decided I was ready for an epidural.
However, the epidural began to slow down my labor, and by 12 PM I was only 8 cm and my doctor decided to break my water. By 2:30 PM, my contractions hadn’t increased like they should’ve and they gave me a few mL of pitocin. As we waited, Angie decided to rewrite our delivery board with some gorgeous calligraphy and she became all the talk at the nurse’s station. She has a serious talent, doesn’t she? We also took turns napping… Well at least Dylan and I did. Angie stayed up the whole time and got some pretty awesome pictures of Dylan sleeping.
We “labored down” until about 5:30 PM when Cayla came in to tell us we were ready to push! Cayla grabbed a leg, and so did Dylan. After one push session, Dylan decided he was going to hang out by my head instead of holding a leg (he gets lightheaded very easily … he can’t even get blood drawn without almost passing out, so I didn’t expect him to be holding a leg for too long) and Angie stepped in to hold my leg for me. I liked having Dylan by my head because he kept running his hands through my hair which was pretty relaxing. And I’m thankful he didn’t pass out because I might have kicked him out if he did. O:) Just kidding!
So we kept pushing–and let me tell you, that is hard work! Even though I had an epidural and couldn’t feel too much below my waist, I was still exhausted after each round of pushes. My epidural had definitely worn off some by the time we were pushing and I kept myself from clicking the “happy button” so that my dosage stayed low. It was nice because I could feel my contractions and I could move my legs a bit, but I wasn’t in any pain at all. I think this made me much more efficient at pushing, and I liked feeling like I had at least some control of my lower half without feeling all the aches and pains of natural birth.
After about an hour and 20 minutes of pushing, Kensington arrived! She had the cord wrapped around her neck, but thankfully it didn’t cause any complications. They tossed her on my chest and she let out the sweetest little cry I’ve ever heard. Of course I cried too, as did Dylan. Angie cut the cord (since Dylan would’ve passed out) and it made me so happy to see how excited she was to do it. Then we all soaked up every single minute of “Magic Hour” as we could. It was just me, Kensie, her father, and her aunt, all there to welcome her into the world. I had so many feelings all at once: amazement, relief, anxiousness, and excitement. Nothing felt better than her soft baby skin on my chest and to finally see her face and those big blue eyes for the first time–the face I had been dreaming about for so long. We had our first nursing session and she latched beautifully somehow. Afterwards, I passed her to Dylan and as he held her for the first time his face lit up with all those same feelings I was having. I could tell he was head over heels for her immediately.
I wouldn’t change a single thing about our first moments with her. Our little family growing from two to three was so magical. I will cherish it forever.
Kensington Louise was born 12/12/2016 at 6:50 PM and weighed 7 lbs 11 oz and was 21 inches long. She was born on her Grandma’s birthday, and her GyGy was so excited to share her day with little Kensie! We had our family back into the delivery room at about 8:30 PM so they could meet her. It meant so much to have so much family as eager as they were to meet our sweet girl, and it definitely feels so great to know how loved Kensington already is.
We had so many visitors come by the hospital and I think we went a full week with visitors stopping by our house each and every day. We were so overjoyed with all the excitement for Kensie Lou’s arrival, and I am so thankful for every single person who congratulated us, visited us, and gifted us with all the love in the world. We seriously can’t say thank you enough!
Kensington, thanks for not making us wait too long. We are totally smitten with you and cannot wait to watch you grow (slowly, I hope!). We love you more than we could’ve ever imagined and I promise we won’t ever let you forget it. Welcome to our family baby K.
Bonus picture! The view from our hospital room was amazing. The hospital goes all out for Christmas and to fall asleep with this view for two nights was absolutely perfect for our little December baby. Also, note Kensington’s Christmas hat the hospital gave us! Some volunteers made it, and gosh it is so cute! Definitely something we’ll be saving.