“In early 2016, I was diagnosed with PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome) which meant when my husband and I decided to have a child, it would be very difficult. (Reading that line “when my husband and I decided” is quite funny now.) Shortly after that I started praying to God to make me fruitful; I had no idea what that would entail for me!
“August 15, 2016 I went home early from work feeling flu-like and just overall crappy. I was getting sick (so I thought) and decided to go home and rest. I felt this way all week but pushed through work. That Wednesday something was pressing on me and I just needed to be with my husband; he was 3 hours away in Pecos working. I decided to pack me and the dogs up and fly down there for a nice surprise. I can do a 3 hour drive, a few hours of sleep and 3 hours back before work- no problem. I used to do it all the time! I got up the next morning feeling woozy and under slept. “What is wrong with me?” I remember thinking, “just shake it off, once you get on the road you’ll be fine!” I was not fine. A little while into the trip I was starving and drifting off. I decided on coffee (bad mistake!) and those heavenly, lovely French toast sticks from Burger King (which didn’t last long a la coffee).
“Finally, later that Thursday I confided in my husband “I just don’t feel well”. “Take a pregnancy test,” he replied, which is his answer to everything! I told him no, absolutely not throughout the day until he finally convinced me. Friday morning I walked into the bathroom and 3 minutes later could not believe my eyes. I called my husband crying, speaking inaudibly between sobs and snot, and all he said, “It’s going to be ok”. Four pregnancy tests later throughout the weekend, different brands of course, I was convinced that God had made me fruitful.
“Fast forward to April 14, 2017, 10:00 PM. I am lying in bed, waiting for sleep to take hold of me, and I get this cramping sensation in my tummy. I did not even have to question it- my first contraction. I left my husband sleeping and worked through the contractions every hour that night. That morning, April 15, my contractions worked up to every 30 minutes apart. “This is the real deal,” I thought and told my husband we were in labor. I decided to give Alex a heads up. Call me crazy but that morning we went grocery shopping and even dropped items at the church for the Easter cook out all amidst contractions!
“Finally that afternoon, my husband convinced me that it was time to put the dogs in the pet hotel. I agreed. The contractions were consistently coming and getting stronger. At 5:30 pm, we dropped our beloved Labradors at the pet hotel. As I was getting ready to say good-bye, I felt a sudden gush of warm fluid. I tried to keep my composure and politely asked for a restroom. I waddled to that restroom and sat on the toilet as the rest of the fluid gushed out of me. Quietly, I waddled back to my husband, said good-bye to my labs, and walked out of the pet hotel. Back at the truck, I told my husband that my water broke. I also texted Alex. Labor up to this point was peaches and cream!
“Once we got back to our apartment, the contractions were consistently 5 minutes apart and getting stronger. I helped my husband cook dinner, periodically stopping to breathe through a contraction. At this point, our doula arrived and shortly after Alex arrived to check on me. When Alex checked me, I was already 6 cm dilated! Holy wow, I had gotten this far all by myself! And, of course the wonderful encouraging support of my husband.
"From here, most everything is a whirlwind of events to me. I could not tell you times of when things happened or in what order things happened. I thank Jesus that we were able to get our beloved photographer and not miss those moments when we could not remember them.
“I do remember sitting on my ball with my husband behind me, supporting me, talking me through the strong contractions that I thought I would never live through. I remember the beautiful ladies surrounding me, talking me through things, supporting me in every way possible. Encouraging me.
"Amidst all of this, my “doula kitty”, as she was named, was keeping everyone entertained playing with my affirmation cards that had been laid on the floor in front of me. I do remember attempting to go for a walk to help labor along; we made it around the corner of our neighbor’s apartment.
"I remember getting in the shower with my loving husband to help ease my contractions and just standing under the warm water being held in his strong arms, knowing that those strong arms would soon be holding our daughter. This is where I transitioned.
“I remember Alex asking me to try to go to the restroom to make sure my bladder was empty, because I had been drinking fluids throughout the evening. I tried, but had the contraction to end all contractions, and I was done. Someone needed to get me off that blasted toilet and get me some drugs. My husband was finally able to peel me off that stupid thing (why do they have to make toilets so low to the ground?) and our daughter quietly slipped into my birth canal. “Baby’s coming!” was all I could say or think, except that now I am in my bathroom, stuck in a half squatting position. Now everyone is in my bedroom and Alex is trying to get to me to see what is going on. She cannot; the bathroom is too small. “I need you to come out of the bathroom, I can’t get in.” Horror, complete horror. How is this woman expecting me to walk with my baby between my legs? One step at a time is how!
“Between Alex and my husband they got me to the side of our bed where she was able to check me and see what was going on. No visible baby yet. Check baby’s heart rate, it is dropping. Time to switch positions.
"At this point I have my eyes closed, concentrating on my breathing, letting them take me over and tell me what to do. My daughter is in jeopardy and my whole trust is in these ladies and God. They get me onto the bed, half on my side, half on my back and check again. Heart rate is coming back up.
"Contraction- push. No one has to tell me to do so, my body is doing what it was designed to do. My doula is whispering in my ear, encouraging, telling me what is happening. She is already crowning!
"Contraction- push. My mind is resounding, you need to get this baby out so she does not get stuck in the canal. It seems forever until the next contraction hits; I lay there waiting. Finally, contraction! Push!
“My beautiful daughter, Kaylee, was born April 15, 2017 at 11:46 pm. After 17.5 hours of labor, 6 hours of active labor, and 8 minutes of pushing, my daughter was finally here!
"As I sit here writing this, with her sucking and licking on my arm, I am so grateful God blessed us with a beautiful family, a beautiful midwife, and a beautiful team of people that supported me and encouraged me being a first time mom taking on the challenge of a home birth. And, especially for God’s gift of a wonderful, strong husband who supported me all through my pregnancy, all through my labor, and was there to catch our daughter into his strong, supportive hands. And, yes, I would do it all over again and plan to!” ~Kasandra P.