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Five long days, a birth story

We checked into the hospital on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. We checked out on Monday, May 16 - my due date. In between, on Friday, May 13, we were given the gift of a beautiful baby girl.

The story of Kenlee's birth includes some of the best and worst moments of my life. The experience overall was joyous, but it didn't come without some struggle.

The short version: I was induced for high blood pressure and after 39 hours was given a c-section because Kenlee's heart rate dropped quite a bit during my labor.

The long version is here:

Wednesday started off as just another day being pregnant. I wore my baby shower dress because the weather was nice and because I wanted to feel a little pretty. Kyle met me at the doctor's office for my weekly appointment (as usual), but it wasn't a usual experience. After checking twice, the nurse found my blood pressure was 136/113 - definitely too high.

Dr. Ressler (who is a great doctor, if I haven't mentioned that before) said we were heading to the hospital for observation, and we could likely count on staying there for the long haul. Immediately, I freaked out. I was nervous, excited, anxious, and any other emotion you could think of. When I got out of my car, I looked at the car seat in the back and thought "When I get out of here, we may have a baby." Cue the flood of tears as we walked in and headed to the admissions desk.

Once in our room, I was hooked up to the monitors for another non-stress test. At this point, Kenlee and I were pros at these since we'd been coming twice a week. However, my blood pressure wasn't really dropping. Around 6 p.m., Dr. Ressler called and said we were going to start the induction process, but we were going to take things slow.

I was given my first dose of cytotec shortly after to help start dialating my cervix, which at that point was completely closed, but soft. Around 8 or 9 p.m., Dr. Ressler stopped by and found I had dialated to a fingertip. Not much, but I was happy for progress. At midnight, I was given a second dose of cytotec to keep things moving.

Now cue the pain.

The first dose of the drug just made me really crampy. I had contractions too, but nothing I couldn't handle. The second dose turned those cramps into high gear and my contractions were piling on top of each other. Luckily, the nurse noticed and I was given lots of fluids to try and space things out. It helped a little, but I soon realized that my hope for a natural birth was pretty much out the window. I couldn't sleep at all and I was exhausted because I didn't get a break from the pain.

At 6 a.m. Thursday morning, I was only dialated 1 centimeter, but it was decided I could stop getting that nasty cytotec. Instead, it was time to start a pitocin party to give me regular contractions.

The contractions were more regular, but also more painful. I could tolerate them and even sleep when I got to lay on my side. However, we couldn't get the monitors to stay in a good spot to watch Kenlee's heart rate and my contractions. So I unfortunately I had to lie on my back most of the time. I should note that lying on your back while having contractions is pretty much the worst position ever. Also, the beds at the hospital really suck so I was in a lot of misery at this point.

By about 4 p.m., the nurses said Dr. Ressler was coming back in the evening to probably break my water and get things REALLY moving. So I gave in and asked for drugs. They say nubain doesn't take away your pain, but it makes you care less about it. I say, they are totally right. I loved that stuff.

Around 8 p.m. Thursday, Dr. Ressler reappeared and broke my water as promised. I may have broke Kyle's hand while she did it. She also placed internal monitors and attempted to insert a catheter to get me dialated more. However, after my water broke I dialated right away to almost 4 centimeters! Woot! We were all hopefully that things would REALLY go fast from there. I asked for an epidural, and they gladly called for one. While I waited, I my fourth or fifth round of fluids and another shot of nubain.

When the man came to place my epidural, I thought the pain was over.


After the first attempt of inserting the catheter in my back, nothing happened. I didn't feel numbness or tingling or anything I should have felt. All I felt were more contractions.

So we tried again. And it took a couple of shots and some shooting pain in my spine, but that lovely epidural finally worked. And I sent a thank you up to the Lord when it did. Whew!

At that point, Dr. Ressler thought she might be back sometime in the early morning to help me deliver. Heck, we all did. Our moms and my sister decided to hang out for the night to see what happened. I feel so bad that they stayed, because nothing happened. At all.

As the nurses tried to up my pitocin and give me more productive contractions, Kenlee's heart rate would drop a little bit. They had to keep dropping the pitocin, moving me around, or giving me oxygen to keep her happy. I got to sleep a little through all of this, but when I realized nothing was happening, my nerves were on edge.

Around 6 a.m., Dr. Ressler returned and found I hadn't made any progress. She was concerned with Kenlee's heart rate too. She assured me that we could keep trying as long as possible to give me a vaginal birth, but if things didn't shape up, we would have to consider a c-section.

Cue big fat ugly tears of frustration.

Just a few hours later, I knew in my heart that things just weren't going to change. And with another bad contraction, Dr. Ressler returned with a concerned look on her face. I heard her tell the nurse, "I don't know if I should just call it." I took off my oxygen mask and said, "I'd rather you call it now then wait and still end up with a c-section later."

And that's all it took. I told her I accepted the idea of a c-section earlier, and she said it was probably a good idea I did. Just 40 minutes later, I was wheeled back to the operating room.

The procedure itself wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Of course, I cried some more as they were prepping me. But the nurses and others in the room were really great at talking to me and helping calm me down. Kyle came in just as they were starting and he held my hand the whole time.

I felt a lot of tugging and pulling, but no pain. Apparently Kenlee had really lodged herself in me, so it took a lot of effort to get her out. But then, finally, we heard her first cry.

Cue huge happy tears.

After they checked her over, Kyle got to hold her and put her next to my face so I could see her and touch her a little. Then he followed her out of the OR and back to our room. When I was done a little bit later, I joined them for our first dose of family time.

I was amazing to finally hold my daughter. Kyle and I just stared at her, stared at each other, and cried more big happy tears.

She was finally here. And she was perfect. And she was ours.

So tonight, as I type this with Kenlee napping just a few feet away, I know that all the struggle and all the pain was worth it. We have good days and we have bad days as new parents, but Kyle and I have created a miracle.

And I didn't get that picture-perfect birth I wanted, but I really believe I somehow knew all along it wasn't going to happen. In the end, we are all happy and healthy, so that's all that matters. It's cliche, I know, but it's true.


  1. I love the blog and I love this post!!!! You are going to be an amazing mother!!


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