October 10, 2018 will forever go down in my own history book as the most memorable day of my life. I can’t lie and say it was completely unexpected or a surprise by any means, but what I can say of this day was that it was a complete whirlwind. A whirlwind of a day with the most magical, fairytale ending, of course!
I went in for my routine MFM appointment at 36 weeks to get a sonogram to check out the baby’s development and routinely check for hydrops. Everything was looking great as far as development and we noticed that Kinsley’s head was very low. Like, lower than it had ever been…let’s just say crossing my legs just wasn’t even in the cards for me at this point. After the sonogram, I went to to discuss everything with the doctor.
She noticed that I had been in the labor & delivery (L&D) unit on 3 separate occasions (my two preterm labor scares and the preeclampsia symptoms). She started asking me a bunch of questions related to preeclampsia that allowed her to analyze my symptoms at a deeper level. As we continued talking, she concluded that I needed to be sent back to L&D because of her concerns about my preeclampsia symptoms. My blood work kept coming back normal and there didn’t seem to be any indication in my urine samples, but her gut was telling her to not overlook this and to be safe. She explained that there is a good chance I could be induced anywhere between today and next Wednesday (where I would be 37 weeks).
I left the office and headed straight upstairs for my 4th visit to L&D. As I walked in, all the nurses that had taken care of me before were there and recognized me, so we were just joked about me being a “frequent flyer.” They took me back to a room and started by taking some blood and giving me a steroid shot. This steroid shot was important to speed up lung development for Kinsley. It is a 2-part shot where the shots are administered 24 hours apart. I had the first one around 10am and they planned to give me the second one the next day at 10am followed by pitocin to induce labor.
Following the steroid injection, I was given an IV, and had my cervix checked. At that time, my cervix was hard and I was only dilated a centimeter, which is where I had been for at least 6 weeks at this point. The doctors wanted to begin softening my cervix to prepare for potential labor that would most likely take place the next day. The nurse inserted what looked like a quarter of a pill behind my cervix. About 10-15 minutes later, I felt as though I was peeing the bed. Straight peeing, but without the peeing sensation. I was laughing, yet panicking when I had Kyle call the nurse into the room.
It was confirmed- my water broke.
I asked the nurse if the pill is what would cause my water to break and she said that it doesn’t normally happen that way and the pill is simply used to begin the softening process of my cervix. So…I like to think my water broke naturally and Kinsley was just ready to make her grand entrance!
From there- everything was grand. Grand as in BIG…and fast.
I began having contractions. And yes, I had a million people tell me how painful contractions get when you’re in labor, but there are no words to describe the feeling or explain the amount of pain they put your body through. I remember squeezing Kyle’s hand through each contraction (which were about 30 second apart at this point) and trying to breathe when my breath was simply taken away each time. I cried because I didn’t think I could endure any more pain and I immediately asked for an epidural.
Kyle’s favorite memory of my contractions is when he was trying to help by calmly reminding me to breathe and my response was to shush him. Haha! Go figure. I didn’t want noise or any distractions while trying to survive those contractions. Poor guy just wanted to help me. (Ladies- have your men take some tips from Kyle. He was seriously so naturally supportive and helpful. Just another reason I am so grateful to have him!)
For all you natural birth mommas out there- you ROCK! Holy cow, I could hardly make it through a handful on contractions before I thought my life was ending.
The nurse checked my cervix at this time and realized I was about 8cm dilated at this point. That was within about 15-20 minutes after my water breaking. Things were moving quick. I got an epidural, which was the most seamless process of this entire day and about 15 minutes later my doctor came in to check my cervix and I was at 10 centimeters. He called his team and the NICU team into the room and told me I’d have a baby in just a matter of minutes.
I just remember feeling this urge to push, so the doctor told me to go for it. It felt like running a marathon. Well, I’ve never ran a marathon or anything beyond the required 1 mile run in high school P.E. class, but it’s what I would imagine I’d feel like after running a marathon. My doctor was talking me through it so calmly that it really helped ease my anxiety and nerves. Then I had all my cheerleaders surrounding his calmness and excitedly telling me to push. Kyle may have thought he was cheering for a Bears touchdown at this point because he was encouraging the pushing part to the extreme, haha! It was super cute, though.
I did rounds of 3 pushes and then a breathing break. At each contraction I would push again. 15 total pushes later, I had a sweet little girl laying on my chest. It was beyond magical.
The NICU took her to the back of my delivery room to do their assessments. A couple minutes later, the NICU doctor came over to my doctor and me to explain her findings. Her words were seriously like a song, “I don’t need to take her- she’s a perfectly healthy little girl.” Even just typing that makes me cry. I couldn’t believe it. All the worrying. All the panicking. All the tears. All the fear. And here she was- as healthy as can be at 36 weeks.
After about 2 hours of labor, Kinsley Jo Kniss entered the world at 4:56pm on October 10, 2018. She weighed 6lbs 8oz and was 19 ¼ inches long. Perfect. Just absolutely perfect.