Monday, July 18, 2016

Collins || a birth story

It's been 3 weeks since Collins was born and while it is a day I will never forget the details tend to fade over time.  I love that I have a written recap of all of our babies being born.  I love looking back on those special days and being able to read about the day takes me right back.  Giving birth and welcoming new life is so special.  There is honestly nothing more sacred and to think I've been able to bring 4 beautiful, healthy babies into this world is more than I deserve!

I've been beyond blessed with relatively easy pregnancies.  I always joke with Keith and tell him he doesn't know how lucky he is that I'm not sick or feel really bad or complain a lot! ;)  But saying all that I could tell this time that I'm a tad bit older than I was in the past and let's just say that I slept really good every night!  Being pregnant and working full time, taking care of 3 other kids and spending a lot of time outside in the heat is not for the faint of heart.  I started having contractions around 36 weeks but nothing consistent.  My doctor mentioned at that appointment if I my cervix was favorable then he was all for a scheduled induction.  Me too!  He checked me and I was 1cm dilated and about 70% effaced and baby was at a -2 station.  I was the same at my 37 week appointment.  At my 38 week appointment I was 2cm dilated and we went ahead and confirmed my induction date for June 27th.

I was less anxious this time as far as worrying about the other kids and how they would adjust.  I knew this time around that there would be an adjustment period but ultimately welcoming another daughter would only mean more love and fun for everyone!  The boys were super excited and Miller Kate was really too young to understand.  I love having a scheduled date because it allows us to be really intentional the few days before and spend lots of quality time with the kiddos.  And helps me get everything checked off my list and everything lined up for the other kiddos while we are in the hospital.

When the day arrived we had to be at the hospital at 5am.  Woah, so early.  My mom came over at 4:30 and Keith and I headed out.  Once we checked in we were taken to our room immediately to get things going.  They had quite a bit of trouble placing the IV and this was honestly one of the worst parts of the entire day.  It took 3 tries and they blew a vein in my hand so it was super sore.  But once they got it in they started the pictocin.  Dr. McKinney was the doctor on call (I had seen her once in the office and really like her!) so she came by around 6 and went ahead and broke my water.  I was still about a 2-3 at this point.  I got a new nurse at 7am because it was shift change and I really liked my nurse!  My doctor came by a little after 8 to check on things and when he checked me I was 5cm dilated.  This freaked me out a little as I wasn't expecting to already be a 5 and then I started panicking because I had told all our family not to rush up.  

We went ahead and called everyone to let them know they may want to go ahead and head that way.  I especially wanted my mom to get there with the kids so I could see them before the baby was born.  My nurse suggested going ahead and calling for the epidural.  The contractions were consistent but tolerable.  But I knew I would be getting the epidural eventually so I figured why wait.  They showed up around 10 to place it and it didn't take the first time.  It felt like electricity was shooting down my left leg.  It was awful.  He had to pull it and replace it because he had hit a nerve.  It took a while for it to work up to my belly.  They had me sitting almost straight up to move the baby down in the birth canal because she was still really high.  The epidural ended up being perfect.  It was enough to take the edge off but I could still feel every contraction and the pressure which I was glad for.

Everyone showed up shortly after I got my epidural so I got to visit with everyone.  And we had gotten the kiddos a goodie bag with some stuff to help keep them busy so we gave them their presents.  The boys were super excited and ready to meet their newest sister.  MK was really unsure and really didn't want anything to do with me.  Which I understood - I was in a weird looking bed all hooked up to wires.  But I was still so thankful to be able to visit with them and talk to them.

They checked me a couple more times over the next couple of hours.  I stayed at a 6-7 for quite a while.  Then I was a 9 almost 10 for a little while as well.  Finally around 1pm I was complete and it was time to push.  My contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and I was pushing with the contractions.  I pushed for about 30 minutes and our sweet Collins was born at 1:36pm.  She came out and started screaming right away and we were so thankful.  She was beautiful and perfect.  They laid her on my chest and she stayed there for an hour and she also latched right away and nursed for 30 minutes.

After the hour of skin to skin contact they cleaned her up some and measured and weighed her.  She screamed through most of this and although its hard to hear your baby cry it's really good for newborns to cry so it was a blessing.  She was the exact same size as her big sister - weight and length!  We all thought for sure she'd have dark hair like Graham but her hair is light, probably the lighted of all 4.  Keith went and got the kids around 3pm and brought them back.  They were so excited to see her!  They were in the room to watch us bath her and wash her hair.  Once she was all cleaned up they took turns holding her.  The boys were precious, especially Graham, and couldn't get enough of her.  MK was exhausted at this point from not having a nap so she only wanted her daddy.

The rest of our families came back a little after 4 to meet her and take turns holding her.  It was such a perfect day.  Things went so smoothly and it was probably my easiest birth yet and also my easiest recovery.  We moved to our postpartum room about 6 and got all settled in.  We had lots of visitors over the next couple of days who were excited to come love on our girl.  

God answered so many prayers surrounding the birth of Collins.  And we are so grateful.  We are so in love with our newest daughter and our family feels so complete and perfect!

Here are some pictures from that very special day!

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