"Describe each of your pregnancies, and labor stories for each of your children."
I will warn you all up front, this will be a long one. Feel free to read if you feel like it, if not, no worries!
My pregnancy with my first daughter, Eden, was expected. What I mean is that, when I first shared with some of my close friends that I was going to go off birth control and see what happens, my lovely friend Lu (who has a prophet gifting for sure) says to me that she felt “something” would happen in March. She didn’t know if that was we would get pregnant in March, have a baby in March, but she felt March for some reason. As it turned out, I found out I was pregnant with our first child on Sunday March 13th. Anthony and I were undecided on who and when we were going to tell people so we went to church that morning, alll business as usual. I sat across from Lu and simply looked at her and smiled - she started crying. See, she just knew =) My first 2 weeks of being pregnant were fine, other than being really tired, but once the 8th week hit, so did the sickness. I spent the next 10 weeks being pretty sick. I was usually sick upon waking up, would muster up enough strength to get through the day ( I was still teaching 3rd grade at the time) and then come home and fall asleep, sometimes to wake up and get sick again and go back to sleep. I survived and lived for the day when I could find out what we were having! Initially I had wanted to be surprised and Anthony wanted to find out, but by the time our 20 week ultrasound came around, I jumped up on the scan table and blurted out, please tell me what we are having. The ultrasound tech kindly told me to calm down, and she would tell us IF she could when they got to that part. I think all along I had just expected to have a boy, with Anthony coming from a family of all boys, but when she said, “looks like a little girl”, I couldn’t have been more excited! I spent the next 4 months buying all things girly. Anthony and I knew her name before we even got pregnant - we had always loved the names Eden and Nevaeh (which is Heaven spelled backwards) - and especially together. So, as soon as we knew it was a girl, we announced to everyone that our daughter Eden Nevaeh was expected to be born on November 19th, 2005. And guess what - SHE WAS! I am one of those rare few that actually have their baby on their due dates - and thank Goodness, because I don’t know if I would have made it another day. I had started my pregnancy weighing in at a whopping 100 pounds -and I weighed in around 138/139 right before I had little Eden. That is substantial weight gain for such a “little” person, and I felt every pound of it, let me tell you!
I had started labor in the middle of the night on 11/17....we even called the OB and they told us to wait it out until morning when the regular docs came in, but by then, it had all but stopped. I immediately went into a sort of depression and laid around and slept for hours until finally I decided to get up and walk for awhile and then our friends invited us out to dinner, and I welcomed the distraction. We met Ken and Lauren and ate at 2 Cousins. On the way there, I started having contractions again. Which proceeded through the entire dinner, and then through the entire night we spent visiting at the Martin household (Carrie and Corey had come home for Thanksgiving). So, there I sat, in the midst of many, many people, mostly guys, in labor for over 4 hours before I told Anthony that perhaps we should go home and get our stuff ready. We drove home, called the OB, and they told us to come on in. I was in immense pain sitting, and did not enjoy the ride to the hospital at all. Once we arrived and they got me all changed and checked into triage, Anthony and I made guesses as to how far along I was- we both thought around 4 or 5...much to my dismay, the midwife, Anne (bless her heart) sadly looked at me and told me I was barely 2. She suggested I go home. I proceeded to cry right there and then. So I got changed, and suffered through another 15 minute drive home. I tried a bath, I tried to sleep, but I was having contractions every 3 minutes or so - so sleep was pretty much out of the question. I told Anthony to get some sleep - so at least one of us would be rested, and I literally walked around in circles for the next 6 hours. I couldn’t sit- no, sitting was definitely out of the question. I peed every single time after a contraction. That was so annoying. Finally at around 6 I woke up Anth and told him I could barely take it anymore, so certainly I must be getting close, so we went back in, and I was trying so hard to be brave as they checked me, but I was certainly scared they were going to send me home again - but alas, I was 4..ONLY 4, but at least I could stay!! I got a room, ordered an epidural right away, and then rested. We had one brief scary moment after my epidural in which my blood pressure and Eden’s heart rate dropped significantly - thus sending in an barrage of docs and nurses equipped with oxygen devices and I remember a long poking looking thing, that was to break my bag of water (which by the way was already broke and I didn’t even know - remember the peeing after every contraction - yea, that was my water). After they got everything sorted out, mommy and baby were great. So I slept for an hour or so, and then just waited. We realized when I was fully dilated that Eden was face up (that’s why I couldn’t even sit - very bad back labor!) So they gave me this egg shaped device to allow the baby to turn on her own, which she did MOSTLY, and then they let me start pushing. I will say I was the most scared of this part, but by the time it came around, I could NOT wait to push this little girl out! It is certainly a give and take process. I opted for a mirror in which to watch this give and take, and although frustrating at times, it was one of the most amazing things to witness! Finally after about 45 minutes, at 2:22 in the afternoon on 11/19/05 Eden’s tiny little head appeared - and I laid there awestruck- literally. I did nothing. Just stared at her tiny little face and features. For 9 months you dream about and constantly wonder what your baby will look like, and then all of a sudden, here she was! Anthony had to remind me, a few times, that I needed to get the rest of her out, in which I was glad to do. They plopped her scrunched pink and purple little body on my belly, and instantly, I was in love. She was the tiniest little thing - weighing in at only 6.0 pounds even. She was screaming and crying, and healthy, and beautiful, and perfect in every sense of the way. Although I remember few things about the blur that was the next few days, or even weeks, I still remember very clearly the moments when she made her arrival into this crazy thing we call life. Five years later, she is still my beautiful, and tiny, daughter.
Kaiah was a bit more “unexpected”. I had, not on purpose, but accidentally gone off birth control in July- when Eden was only about 7 months old. I was not planning on having my kiddos too close together. But after I realized that I had forgot my BC while we were on vacation at the beach, and would have to start all over again, we just decided “heck with it” we will take our chances. I got pregnant with Kaiah in the beginning of December. Her story is funny because i KNOW when I conceived her, only because shortly thereafter all 3 of us got SO SO sick that there was no baby making going on for awhile I assure you =) So I found out about her on Saturday, January 6th 2007. Eden was 13 and a half months old. I had waited a bit of extra time to take a test, as I kind of suspected I might be preggers, and sure enough, I was. Starting Sunday January 7th I was deathly sick. It was probably some of the worst weeks of my life, which seems horrible to say since I was carrying another little baby and we were thrilled about it...but seriously, I was miserable. I joke often that if there was some sort of program to put me in some sort of medical coma for that first trimester, I would have signed up immediately. I was sick at least 4-5 times a day, EVERY SINGLE DAY. And by sick, I do mean vomitting and all. This lasted until my 11th week. So for over 6 weeks straight, I dealt with this, and trying to juggle a very busy almost 14 month old. I would have hands down won the worst mom award - as I would wake up, throw up, struggle to get eden’s diaper changed and put clean clothes on her. Bundle her up, struggle to get to the car without throwing up again, and drive to my mom’s house, where she would take care of Eden and I would alternate between sleeping and getting sick until it was afternoon and time to put Eden in for a nap. I did this almost 3-4 times during the week. I would come home in the afternoon, throw up again, try to nap - but to add to my list of dilemmas, was a bad case of Tachycardia (increased heart rate). So even though I was laying down and not exerting any energy (unless puking your guts out counts) my heart would race - to between 130-160 beats per minute. It was loud. I could heart my heart working away as I would try to lay down...that my friends, is no fun at all. I remember telling Anthony (who by the way was probably wondering what in the world happened to his wife during this time - Holly (as he knew her) was nowhere to be found!) about 2 weeks into this misery that if this little peanut was a boy, WE WERE DONE. Approximately one week later, I said, WE ARE DONE. I don’t care if it is boy or girl, or gorilla for that matter, I just couldn’t do this again. The funny thing was, as quickly as this sickness started, it ended just as abruptly...I woke up one morning in the middle of my 11th week, and didn’t throw up. It was a miracle. I had a few episodes here and there throughout the rest of my pregnancy, but all manageable. I was BACK, thank the Good Lord Himself! Anthony and I both expected that this little one was, indeed, a boy. This pregnancy was very different than Eden’s - and I just felt differently. So, when 20 weeks rolled around, I expected to hear that we were having a boy. But as the ultrasound tech rolled her “stick” over “the area” I saw that it was another girl. The 3 lines that the first ultrasound tech with Eden tried to show me over and over again to prove it was a girl (which I wasn’t buying, but decided to trust her anyways) I saw very clearly on this ultrasound, so when she said “looks like it’s another little girl for you guys!” I knew I wasn’t seeing things. My first thought initially was, “I hope Anth isn’t disappointed”, which of course he wasn’t. I was completely thrilled to have another little lady around! We had a bit more trouble deciding on a name for this baby. Because we were kind of thinking it was a boy, we focused more time on that name...which we finally agreed on Malakai Elias. I was really pulling for the name Quinn for a girl, but my husband could not be persuaded, once we knew for sure it was going to be another girl, we decided on Kaiah (thinking we would call her Kai, just like we would have if we had a boy) and Malyn (which means my beauty).
The rest of my pregnancy went by pretty fast, since we moved into a new house when I was 6.5 months pregnant, and summer was right after, it was kind of a blur. I started this pregnancy at 102 pounds (that’s right, I kept 2 on from my last one...yippee!) and ended at 143. Do the math, it’s over 40 pounds, and I spent the last trimester during the months of June, July, and August. If I ever had second thoughts about maybe having another one and revoking my first trimester declaration, the summer trimester reassured me that I was INDEED not carrying anymore children. I know you are thinking “wow, she really complained a lot about this pregnancy!” and you would be correct. I was not a glowing pregnant lady. I was laying by the pool (beached whale style) at the end of july (so about 5 weeks until my due date) and this lady walks over and is all bubbly and going on and on about how much she loved being pregnant, and saying things like “isn’t it just the greatest! don’t you just love it”. I am sure I had one of those moments where I involuntarily make a disgusted face, and simply said “actually, I don’t. I can’t wait for it to end.”
And end it finally did on September 2nd, 2007 ( 2 days early from my due date of the 4th - which was Labor day that year!) It is very true what they say about second babies having a mind of their own when it comes to labor, and no two labors being the same. With Eden I had frequent contractions only 2-3 mintues apart, and wouldn’t progress. With Kaiah I had off and on contractions for over 24 hours. Sometimes with 10-15 minutes inbetween. I had tried going shopping, going walking, sleeping, anything that might get them more consistent. NOTHING. SO, we had our wonderful friends over, ordered Nino’s (here is a plug for eating pizza shop foods right before your due date, it works every time), and AGAIN, I sat here in labor for a few hours while my friends talked to me and each other...some who were pregnant also at the time asking me how it felt like, how painful was it, how could I just be sitting around while I was IN LABOR. I was still not convinced it was active labor...but after they all left, Anthony insisted I call the doctor and see what they say...they told me I should probably come in. I had horrid flashbacks of having to be turned away and sent home...and just didnt’ want to look like an idiot, I mean this was my second time around! So I go threw the whole deal in triage, get all hooked up, and my midwife comes in to check me and says, “oh wow, you are almost 7!” WHHHHAAAAAATTTT!! I never had contractions closer than 8 minutes apart in the past 24 hours. The first thing I thought, beyond knowing they wouldn’t send me home was, “Can I still get an epidural!?” I was settled in my room, got my magic medicine and went to sleep. Anthony was out on the little couch and we slept for an hour or two before I felt my water break, and shortly thereafter, it was time to push.
I was assured by several midwives throughout my pregnancy that this one was going to be little as well, probably 6 and a half pounds. Well after 22 minutes of pretty easy pushing, Kaiah Malyn entered the world at around 4:40 in the morning - and she wasn’t 6.5 pounds, she was 7.12!!! That is almost 2 pounds different than Eden! I couldn’t believe it. My first thought when I saw her cute little pouty face was that she looked a lot like Eden, just a bit bigger. The second time around was much more smooth, and I felt much more prepared, but it was equally amazing to experience the blessing of giving birth to another healthy and beautiful little girl. I will say though, that I remember a little less of what all happened after Kaiah was born...I was so totally exhausted from a lack of good sleep, that I remember trying to feed her, I remember them taking her to the nursery, and then getting me all cleaned up and ready for a room, and then the next thing I remember is waking up to the sound of my IV drip monitor going off because it was empty. Anthony and I were in a recovery room sound asleep for a few hours before anyone came to check on us. Kind of crazy, but it all worked out.
I realize that this is a really long post- and yet, it could have been 20 pages longer. There are so many little things about pregnancy and labor that you mostly forget, but once in awhile you are brought back to them when you see a pregnant woman do something, or you hear a newborn baby cry. Even though I didn’t enjoy being pregnant, I was still incredibly happy and blessed to be able to carry my 2 daughters without many complications and have safe and happy labor experiences. I realize this isn’t always the case, and so I always try to remember that along with all the crappy stuff I went through, mine had a super happy ending for which I am eternally grateful and thankful to God above for. My daughters are the greatest joy in my life, and they were worth every single trip to the toilet, every sleepless night, every ache and pain, every pound I gained, every stretch mark they inflicted...all totally and completely worth it.
In the words of Mat Kearney “Nothing worth ANYTHING, ever goes down EASY...”