Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kendall's Birth Story

One nice thing about our decision to have a csection was the ability to plan things ahead with our family, since they all live so far away. My mom was able to fly in ahead of time to dress Reese up like Rapunzel help us prepare and to watch Reese while we were in the hospital. The morning of, we woke up at 5:30am and got ready. Yes, shower, shave, full hair and makeup for me. I mean, who knows when I would have a chance to do that all again? My wonderful neighbor, Jenny, came over to watch Reese while my mom drove us to the hospital. Jenny said the sweetest prayer over our family before we left. It was totally weird driving to the hospital, knowing I was going to have surgery a baby that day. Hubby, my mom and I all prayed and then we went in to register.

We were admitted to the L&D ward and began our wait. We brought our iphone doc again to listen to music to set the mood and keep my nerves to a minimum. I made awkward jokes to the nurses shocker as we waited for our Doctor (who also delivered Reese) to come in and check on us. When he came in he said "Good morning, how are you feeling?" I said "I feel fine, but you're the surgeon... how are YOU feeling?" He did this funny little neck stretch shrug and said "I feel good". Hubby and I couldnt help but laugh even though I think he was being totally serious. We were scheduled to go into surgery at 9am but they kept having to push us back because other women were having babies the nerve. The nurse brought Hubby some scrubs to get changed into and we just waited.

I was starting to feel pretty anxious, so the hubbs started to read scripture out loud as we waited. The anesthesiologist came in and gave us the rundown on exactly what I should expect and I let him know that there was a very high possibility I would pass out (I have a mild condition where I pass out sometimes) The nurse came in and brought be a totally disgusting medicine to drink (like a shot) that was supposed to calm my stomach for surgery. She told us "It might be 10 minutes... it might be 2 hours". We felt pretty discouraged, but suddenly the nurse came in and said "Ok, let's go NOW!" There had been a break in births and they wanted to make sure they could all help us before another baby needed them. They moved me into a wheel chair, the hubbs grabbed all his stuff, and off we went toward the OR.

We stopped for a moment to drop off Hubby in a waiting room outside and I went to sit in the OR. I gotta say, it was kind of awkward... Our doctor was there, a resident, a student, and the nurses... but the anesthesiologist was running late. Our doctor is the head of the OB department so everyone was just quietly standing there. My nerves were running so I said "Is it awkward that I'm the only one who's butt is hanging out? Hospital gowns don't offer optimum coverage" So awkward but everyone laughed.

The anesthesiologist arrived and had me arch my back for the epidural. A lovely nurse held my hands in front of me and whispered encouraging words. I did my best to fight it but before the second needle came I knew I was going to pass out, and told them so. Immediately the med student came right over to hold my shoulders steady so the anesthesiologist could finish quickly as I fought to stay conscious (sounds super crazy but it has happened before for me). The medical team laid me down, got me prepped and the anesthesiologist graciously put a fan right by my face to cool me down. After a few minutes, I felt totally fine. Its totally just a thing that happens to me, so if you are going to have a csection DO NOT freak out- I think this is just a thing that happens to me.

Everything calmed down and they brought the hubby in to the room. He brought the iPhone dock with him so we could play music during Kendall's birth. My arms weren't strapped down or anything so he held my hand and we prayed and made googly eyes at each other and whispered about our dreams and hopes for Kendall and our love for each other. It was equally as intense an experience as laboring had been. After some pulling and tugging the Doctor called the hubby to peak over the curtain and see Kendall come into this world. Kendall Grace was born at 11:15 am, weighing 7lbs 11oz and 19.5 inches long.

I immediately started crying, as did the hubbs. We kissed and then he immediately went to be with her. I could hear Kendall crying but I couldnt see her. The hubby called out to me that she had really dark hair, but then he mostly focused on her. I was crying and still having surgery as she had her apgar test for the first 5 minutes and couldnt call out to ask questions about her. My voice was quiet behind my tears and my heart ached with the knowledge I would miss 5 minutes of her life. Then I heard a low and calm voice in my ear "He's cutting her umbilical cord... they are listening to her heart... he's holding her hand". The anesthesiologist was whispering to me.  I got to experience those first few minutes of my daughter's life through his words. He has probably already forgotten me, but I will never forget him.

My arms were aching to hold her. Finally, the nurses brought Kendall over to me. They immediately out her on my chest for skin to skin contact. They pulled the belly band up over her so she was secure against me and could begin to nurse. I am SO grateful for the ability to still experience this even though I was having a csection.

We of course took the obligatory family photo in the OR. She was doing well and I was doing so well and there was no reason to separate us. She started nursing and did.not.stop. As they were doing the final stitches, I heard one of the Doctor's from behind the curtain say "WOW!" "What are you wow-ing about?" I asked "I'm sorry" said the med student "this new stitch and technique is just so good!" Well, i suppose if you're going to be wowing about anything while I have surgery, at least it's that!

After they had sown me up, they moved Kendall into the recovery room just 3 minutes before me. Kendall nursed the entire 2 hours we were in that room. Everything was very calm and chill. The hubby called everyone to let them know Kendall was here and to schedule a time for my mom to bring Reese to come meet her.

Y'all the moment Reese and Kendall met will be forever burned in my mind as one of the greatest moments of my life. Reese was so interested and so sweet. She started to sing to her (At Last I See The Light from Tangled... naturally) and gave her the sweetest kisses.

I know I was so worried before she was born.. worried about what life would look like and how we would adjust as a family. Y'all that was all for not. Reese has loved being a big sister, Kendall is a total doll (seriously no baby has ever smiled as much), and we have just absolutely loved the blessing of being a new family of four.


  1. i have had 3 csections and your experience is pretty identical to mine..except i pass when they start the iv not during the epi. i have a passing out thing too. so glad this was a good experience for you!

  2. You could have taken that last paragraph right out of my head! I was SO worried about how my Natalie would react to her baby brother, and I couldn't have been more wrong! Beautiful story =) Welcome to the world Kendall!

    Sending you sunshine,

  3. What a great story! My absolute favorite name is Kendall Grace! I'm really not trying to copy you. :) I didn't know that was her middle name. My middle name is Grace.
    Really a wonderful story. Praise God for her!!!

  4. Ashley,
    These photos are precious. You are seriously beautiful and glowing in all of them. I think childbirth is a miracle and love this story. Thank you so much for sharing! And your girls are precious. I may have started tearing up a few times while reading this. Seeing you hold her while crying just filled me with emotions and then seeing Reese kiss Kendall and that she sang the Tangled song to her! Ahhh

  5. So glad you shared! I was waiting to read about this! Your two girls are precious.... theyre just so cute and seem like great behaved girls!

  6. That last photo on the hot pink minky? Precious! Wonderful story, thank you :)

  7. So sweet to read! My husband is in medical school and will come home talking about things like how good the new stitch technique is--so funny they did that in front of you!

  8. Ashley, I'm so glad to hear you had a good experience with your c-section. I teared up!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm excited to meet my little princess in December, but the whole thought that I am bringing a human into this world still amazes me. It's so unreal!

    ...also, has the new TGBTB prompt been posted? I looked and couldn't find it, but I may have just been overlooking it.

  10. Congratulations, Ash! Yes, six months later, it still applies. :) Thanks for sharing Kendall's beautiful birth story.

  11. Aw - that's such a sweet story!

  12. Loved this! I loved my anesthesiologist...He was such a calming presence. He even scratched my nose for me because I said it itched. I keep wanting to get my medical records so that I can ask if we can use him again for the next baby! hahaha

    Thanks for sharing, girl!

  13. Can I get more info about the belly band? I had a c with my son and was not given the opportunity to nurse immediately so I would love to look into this for my daughters birth!

    1. You know the band they put on you to monitor baby's heart rate and your contractions? They just left that band up around my chest. Then They pulled it up over the baby instead of pulling over my stomach so she was tight against me