Kinsley Elizabeth Peterson: Birth Story
Our precious little daughter, Kinsley Elizabeth Peterson is here! She was born on Friday, March 16th, 2018 at 7:28pm. Thankfully, she was born ON her due date and not 9 days late like her older brother Griffin was! She weighed 7 lbs 10 oz (we were so surprised she weighed more than Griffin did when he was born!), and was 19 inches long. My goal going into labor this time around was the same as the first time – Healthy baby, healthy mama! I wanted to do it all-natural/drug-free again like I did with Griffin’s labor (click HERE to read his birth story), but I knew that every labor is different. Anyways, here’s the story!
Thursday, March 8th
Had my 39-week Midwife appointment – Dilated to 1 cm, 60% effaced. This made me somewhat excited since I was already further along than I was at this point with Griffin.
Monday, March 12th
I was feeling crampy off and on all day. I had a chiropractor appointment, so I got a normal adjustment and ended up getting acupuncture! I was a little skeptical to get acupuncture since I’ve never had it before, but it was way better than I was expecting. I just laid on a comfy bed in a room with dim lights and soft music. For inducing labor, they put the needles in your feet, hands, & head. I hardly felt the needles at all, and it was actually very relaxing to lay there for 15-20 minutes and rest. My chiropractor told me not to be surprised if I started having contractions while I was laying there, but I never did.
Wednesday, March 14th
I think I may have started losing my mucous plug on Tuesday, March 13th, but by Wednesday I knew I definitely was, along with what they call the “bloody show.” I was also feeling crampy off and on all day on Tuesday and Wednesday. I knew labor was coming soon.
Thursday, March 15th
I started having contractions around 4:45am, but they were only lasting about 10 seconds, weren’t consistent or very strong at all, and only felt like small menstrual cramps. I had some more very light contractions later that evening, but still nothing too exciting.
Friday, March 16th (DUE DATE!)
I woke up around 4:30am with contractions a little stronger than they were on Thursday. I started timing them on my app on my phone, and they were still coming, but still not very strong. I didn’t wake Mike up since I knew it would still be a while. I wasn’t able to sleep anymore with the contractions, so I sat on the exercise ball next to our bed. Once Mike woke up and I told him about my contractions, he called his dad to come pick Griffin up so he wasn’t there as a distraction (sorry kid, you’ll understand when you’re older!) Since I was so dehydrated and lacked energy with Griffin’s labor, I was determined to eat a little and drink water throughout this labor. I actually ate a pretty big breakfast that morning because I knew I would need my energy for later! I was supposed to have my 40-week Midwife appointment that morning, but I wasn’t going to go given the obvious reasons, so Mike called the clinic to let them know, and they were going to call the midwife on-call to tell them I was in labor. The next few hours I walked around the house, sat on the exercise ball, and somewhat “got ready.” I knew things were progressing when I had to stop and lean over the table or counter (or wherever I was), and slowly breathe through the contraction. I wanted to labor at home as long as possible, but I think Mike was just worried that things could go way faster this time, and he didn’t want to have our baby in our mudroom (I’m not joking, someone in our neighborhood had their baby in their mudroom earlier this year!). So around 1:45pm, we decided to go to the hospital. Having contractions in the car is THE WORST, especially when you’re going over bumps and train tracks. I was so thankful we only live 15 minutes from our hospital, and it’s not in a direction with much traffic…or any traffic actually.
2:00pm Got to hospital & checked into triage. I was dilated to a 3 ½ or 4 (she called it a tight 4), and about 80% effaced. I had been praying that I was dilated to at least a 4, so this was good. I knew I still had 6 cm to go, but I also knew that it could (and hopefully would) go faster this time. The midwife that was on-call came in shortly after (thankfully it was one of the midwives that I really like, Leah. I like them all, but I definitely have my favorites haha), and talked with us briefly about everything. She said we would definitely be having this baby today! Not that I really doubted it, but I just didn’t know how long this labor would be. We got into our labor/delivery room and started bouncing/sitting on the exercise ball almost right away. The lady giving birth next door was literally SCREAMING, so it was a little distracting right away (it’s funny to me now, but at the time, I was annoyed and didn’t want to hear another lady screaming in labor, especially a high-pitch, loud scream). My nurse was even surprised that we could hear it, since she said normally you can’t hear anything between the rooms. She must have had the baby shortly after, since thankfully it stopped. My nurse filled up the tub for me, and I labored in there for about an hour. I was open to having a water birth, but wasn’t set on it. One of the many awesome things about my hospital is that each room has a large tub with jets in the bathroom, and since I had a midwife, I had the option of having a water birth if I wanted to. My midwife asked me at this point if I wanted to deliver in the tub, but I still didn’t know. (I told her no later).
4:30pm I got out of the tub and my Midwife checked me and I was dilated to 6cm. As I labored more, I walked around the room, stood by the bed, laid in bed, and bounced on the ball.
6:00pm My midwife checked me again and I was dilated to an 8-9cm, 100% effaced, and baby was at 0 station. I laid in bed on my side and fell asleep between contractions (still surprises me that I could actually fall asleep between contractions, but I’ve heard that from other women too), and also bounced on the ball more and stood at the edge of the bed. One of the things that surprised me about this labor was how loud I was while I was having a contraction! I don’t remember making much noise while I was laboring with Griffin, but this time the contractions felt way more intense and I couldn’t help but moan & groan while still trying to breathe through the contractions. There were definitely times that I wanted to give up and just get an epidural or some other drugs to help with the pain, but I just kept pushing through and remembering that there was purpose in the pain, to breathe slowly for the baby, and that I would soon be holding our precious little girl in my arms. At one point, I had a SUPER intense contraction while I was standing on the edge of the bed and I felt SO much pressure. I told my midwife that I felt like I needed to poop (this sounds funny to me now, but it’s the only way I knew how to describe how it felt at that time), and she told me that was definitely the baby getting ready to come out. She told me to lay down in bed so she could check my cervix quick. After that super intense contraction, I remember getting into bed and saying something like, “She better be cute because that was pretty painful!” Everyone just sort of chuckled. My midwife checked me and I was dilated to a 9 ½. She kept her hand in while I had my next contraction, and basically “helped” me get to 10cm.
7:07pm I started pushing. I pushed a couple times while laying on my side, but I didn’t really like that, so I turned on my back. My midwife had asked me earlier in the day if I wanted her to break my water, but since I knew that it would make my contractions more intense (even though it would make things go faster), I said I would wait till later. Well, now was later, and my water still hadn’t broken. I felt something trickle down my leg at this point, so I thought it was my water, and my midwife did too, but on my next push, she realized it wasn’t. We all figured it would still break while I was pushing at some point, but she said it would be so cool if the baby was born En Caul (in the amniotic sac). I had heard about this and seen photos online of babies born En Caul, but I knew it was super rare, so I really didn’t think it would happen. If you don’t know what this looks like, google it and look at the images – it’s amazing! Apparently, only about 1 in 80,000 babies are born En Caul. I pushed for about 21 minutes total and then…
7:28pm Kinsley was born En Caul!! I didn’t get to see it since my eyes were closed while I was pushing, but Mike, my midwife, and the 2 nurses were all amazed! Apparently the amniotic sac ruptured right when she came out, so Mike said it happened so fast, but that it looked like she was in a balloon. When my midwife had told us 20 minutes earlier that it was possible our baby could be born En Caul, Mike had contemplated taking a video with his phone, but he didn’t know if I would want him to and he didn’t want to ask me since I was a little preoccupied already with focusing on pushing & breathing, so unfortunately, we didn’t get any photos or video. I told him later that I would have said yes, but then we realized we probably would not have shown anyone the pictures or video anyways, so it’s ok that he didn’t. Since she was born in the sac, she came out perfectly clean. Seriously. No blood, no vernix, nothing. They immediately laid her on my chest and I remember thinking, “Here is our precious little girl! She’s finally here! And she looks so much like Griffin did when he was born!” I also remember seeing her long fingers and cute fingernails right away, and telling her that we would go get manis/pedis someday when she was older 😊 Mike got to cut the cord after a little while and I delivered the placenta in 1 or 2 pushes. That dang placenta is so weird looking (yes, I wanted to see it both times). Shortly after, I tried nursing, and thankfully she latched right away. It’s amazing how God designed all that! I only had a 1st degree tear (Griffin’s birth was a lot worse, especially since I needed an episiotomy with him as well), so my midwife got me all stitched up while I continued to nurse Kinsley and Mike took some photos of her and we both just stared at her.
Overall, this labor & delivery went very well! I was so happy that I did it all-natural/drug-free again, and didn’t even need an IV with fluids at all. I had a great experience with my midwife and the nurses. My midwife was in the room with us almost the whole time I was laboring, which I found to be very helpful since she helped encourage/coach me, and would sometimes rub my lower back/hips if Mike couldn’t (since a lot of the time I had him sitting/standing next to me and I squeezed his hand or leg while I was having contractions). I think he was very thankful to have more of an “active” role this time around, since my labor with Griffin, I only wanted his presence – I didn’t want him to touch me, talk to me, look at me, or even breathe on me haha. Sorry babe 😉 But this time around, I actually wanted him to encourage me, help me breathe through contractions, and rub my very low back, as well as let me squeeze his hand or leg. Another thing that I liked about having my midwife in the room with us while I was laboring, was that we could chat in between contractions. I don’t exactly remember what we talked about, but it was nice to get my mind off the pain for at least a little while until the next contraction came!
We stayed in the hospital for two nights, and we came home Sunday early afternoon. We are now adjusting to life with two kids! Griffin is definitely taking it the hardest out of any of us, as he’s realizing that he’s no longer the king of the house. He’s been super whiny, full of tantrums, wants to be held a lot, and even crawled out of his crib for the first time a few days ago (we got a little monkey on our hands)! But I know it’s all normal as he processes through all the changes, especially only being 18 months old. Thankfully, he’s been pretty sweet around his little sister. He goes up to her and pets her, and he loves to blow her kisses. Needless to say, we are all just enthralled with our little princess, Kinsley Elizabeth Peterson!