Sunday, April 6, 2014

Kolter's Birth

In honor of Kolter's original due date I thought it would be appropriate to write out his birth story. 

Just when you think you have the labor and delivery experience figured out the 3rd one throws you through a loop!

In the weeks leading up to Kolter's birth there were several days I thought I may go into labor based on the number of contractions and the aches and pains I was experiencing. However, when week 38 rolled around much of the discomfort and contractions literally ceased overnight.

As week 38 progressed I continued to check those last minute items off my list. The very last item was pack my hospital bag, but I kept procrastinating because it required me to do a load of laundry :) However on Wednesday (March 26) I figured I better get it started...

That evening the kids and I put together our new vacuum and gave it a test run then I talked to my dad and assured him labor was not imminent. Kyle had a guys night out and once he got home we put the kids down and went to bed ourselves. At 1 am I suddenly awoke to water gushing down my leg. I quickly ran to the bathroom as it continued to pour. Kyle awoke during the commotion and came rushing in. My water had never broken naturally so we just stared in disbelief as we debated whether this was my water breaking. As the water continued to drip I of course Googled water breakage and confirmed our suspicions :)

I knew once my water broke that meant I needed to go the hospital. However, I also knew from my previous labors that I had some time because the contractions were not yet regular or intense. So I made the executive decision to shower and get ready. Plus I still needed to finish packing and pack a bag for the kids. Also the house was a disaster... Anyway as I got ready Kyle did some of the household chores. As he said that night, in this situation I could literally get him to do anything :) Since I had been meaning to cut his hair all week I took advantage of his declaration and insisted that he cut his hair before going to the hospital.  He willingly obliged.

By the time we finished getting ready it was 3 am and Uncle Cliff arrived to stay with the kids. As we were giving him instructions my water continued to rupture. And as we drove the 5 minutes to the hospital still more water was expelled. I had no idea the amount of water! But I can assure you by the time they got me back to triage everything from my shirt to my socks was drenched. The nurse in triage was going to check and make sure my water broke before sending me to labor and delivery, but when she walked in the room and saw the puddle she declared my water had obviously broken and started getting me registered for delivery. During that time I learned something new. Once your water breaks they literally won't let you do anything. I had to beg to use the restroom. They insisted I couldn't walk and had to be wheeled in my bed. For fear the baby would fall out! I was pretty confident the baby was not going to fall out, but up until this point I had not been checked for dilation at all during the entire pregnancy.
one last pregnancy photo, in the middle of the night, ready for a nap...that didn't happen
Kyle, the ever dutiful husband, was tracking my contractions at every 3-4 minutes. The doctor checked for dilation and I was 4.5 cm. Once I got to labor and delivery around 4:30 am things started to move very quickly. I typically hold off on the epidural so I can be mobile and let gravity do its job, but since I was bed ridden the contractions were much more difficult to endure. Also, I began to have the shakes and shivers very badly. After a short conversation Kyle and I decided since I couldn't get out of bed I might as well get the epidural. We decided to get the epidural earlier than anticipated in hopes that we could get a few hours of sleep. Ha, that was a little naive...In my previous epidural experiences I had a very strong reaction to the meds meaning I literally could not feel a thing; I was completely numb. I couldn't even feel when to push or if I was pushing. As is the theme with this labor that was not the case this time. Instead the epidural quickly took effect on the left side of my body, but it had zero effect on my right side. This made things very interesting! My contractions were becoming much more intense. I was still shaking violently. I was about 7-8 cm dilated. And when a contraction hit there was no relief because since one side of my body was numb I couldn't move to ease the stress on the other side of my body. Lets just say they next 30 minutes of labor were my most difficult yet.
Mommies first look
Thankfully the nurse was with me the whole time and could tell the contractions were really intensifying. So she called the anesthesiologist for a second dose. As we waited I mentioned I was feeling more pressure. The nurse mentioned the way I was shaking and shivering might indicate that I was dilating at a fast rate. With those 2 things in mind she decided to check me. She didn't say anything during the exam but quickly grabbed her phone and called the doctor to tell her I was fully dilated with a very thin cervix, which meant it was pushing time.

While the epidural was certainly cutting the pain I could still feel everything so I knew when it was time to push and after about 5 pushing sessions he emerged into the world. He was tiny and perfect!

Our precious little blessing, Kolter Howard! After about .5 seconds Kyle and I declared he looked just like Sawyer when he was born. And this proved to be very true! Sawyer and Kolter both arrived 10 days early. Sawyer weighed 6 lbs. 7.5 oz while Kolter weighed 6 lbs. 8 oz. Sawyer was 18.5 inches long and Kolter was 18 inches long. Only time will tell if this trend continues and whether they have similar personalities. But at this point their features and birth measurements are nearly identical.

All in all it was a very good birth experience! I experienced many new scenarios and I am super thankful for an attentive nurse who knew what was going on and took charge when I was unsure of myself. And the best part was the safe and healthy arrival of Kolter!


  1. Thanks for sharing the birth story - was curious how it went down! :) My water broke with both births, but each time was different. The second one was a gusher just like you experienced with Kolter....and I did the same thing in taking a shower, picking up the house, etc before grandma came to get Mackie.

    He's so precious, Kristen. Congrats to you all on your new addition - praying for you as you transition to a family of five!


  2. Loved hearing the story again. Kudos to Kyle he did a really good job taking pictures. Shower always made me feel my best during labor well looking as best as I could....Can't wait to meet him in person.