Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Kendra's Birth

Well we persuaded the doctors to let us out of the hospital a day early. So for those of you who have been wondering what we have been up to for the last few days, here you go.

DAY 1: Admission and preparation

Since Kendra had gone beyond her due date and had already measured quite large, we requested a labor induction. Amazingly, despite all of the weird feelings Ashley had in the days preceding our hospital visit, it turned out that she was not dilated or effaced at all and Kendra had not even descended. So Sunday evening they put a chemical in her that is supposed to cause her to dilate and efface. We let it simmer overnight and then were going to induce on Monday morning.

Well, Monday morning came around and they checked her change. Apparently her body did not respond at all to the preparatory chemical. So they inserted some kind of balloon in her cervix and started dripping pitocin, which is supposed to start her contractions. It turns out it wasn't that comfortable.

DAY 2: More Preparation

So she spent the day having contractions and getting ready for birth. When evening came around she was still not as dilated as they expected and Kendra had not descended at all. So they ramped up the pitocin and let Kendra become basically a battering ram. This is a picture of Ashley trying to smile during a really tough contraction.

Somehow we were still hoping to have Kendra that evening (we had not slept to speak of the night before) but we were thwarted. Labor took a long time. So Ashley was able to enjoy contractions like this all night long. Actually around 2:30 AM the pain got so bad that we got her an epidural, which was a really good decision.

DAY 3: Delivery

Finally early Tuesday morning, the doctor said Ashley had hit 10 cm and was ready to go into labor, except that Kendra still had not descended. This was rather frustrating for all since it seems like most babies descend significantly before their mothers even go to the hospital. We experienced quite a bit of distress over it.

Anyway, there were some medical details which we shall skip, but Kendra finally descended about 9:00 AM and Ashley began labor in force. Ashley's pain was swallowed up in the joy of birth later, but I am still traumatized from watching my beloved wife writhe in the pains of labor (which, by the way, is a very appropriate word for it). For two hours she pushed as hard as she could every time she had a contraction, which was like once a minute. Oh my goodness.

Ashley did so well, and finally Kendra emerged, slowly but surely, at 10:58 AM. I can't even tell you how happy Ashley and I were when Kendra finally arrived. It was the biggest and best moment of our lives, after 25 hours of hard labor and nine months of anticipation.

Kendra arrived a whopping 8 pound 8 ounces and very well prepared for this world. This picture was literally taken within a minute or two of her birth, before any cleaning up. They put her on this scale and weighed her and then handed her back to Ashley wrapped up.

Because Kendra didn't spend much time descended, she didn't get the cone-head that many children do, and she was large and well developed, which is also why labor took so long. She looked a lot less newborn than most newborns do, and so beautiful. We were fully prepared for her to look all wrinkled and ugly, as well as covered in nasty stuff, but she was just lovely in every way from the moment of her birth.

These pictures were taken when she first came out, before they actually cleaned her up

And then they cleaned her up and put a cute little hat on her (and some weird stuff in her eyes)

DAY 4: Blissful Return

They intended to keep us in the hospital where they could watch the health of mother and baby until Thursday, but Ashley was recovering very well from labor (no episiotomy) and Kendra is a a very strong and healthy nurser, so they let us out a day early.

We put on some warm baby clothes, some of which look a little large for her

We put her in our car seat and drove home.

Welcome, Kendra, to the family. We couldn't be more pleased about the way you came, and we are deeply grateful that we are blessed to have you.


Kathleen said...

Congratulations!!!! She is beautiful!

Danielle said...

And to think-- it just gets better and better every day. :)

Kristina said...

I love how that snowsuit is eating her alive! 8 lbs is bigger than 6 but it's still so small! We are so happy for you guys and so happy for Ashley. Now you finally get to start reaping the rewards of all that hard work :)

Did Seth mention that I only had about 30 seconds between contractions while pushing. I'm super jealous of everyone who had so much more time to rest :P

Amanda said...

I can't believe how clean she is. She's so big. Ashley, you're my hero!

Laura said...

Oh, sooooo beautiful. She looks aDORable in the huge outfit. :) I'm so happy, but I wish I was there. Enjoy. This "newborn" stage (though sleep depriving) is so amazing precious. The veil doesn't seem to have closed yet and they are adult spirits in a tender, completely dependent body.

Laura said...

By the way - Feb 17th is a great day for celebrations! We'll always remember that our anniversary was the day Kendra was finally born. :)

Archie said...

What a beautiful baby! Looks like it was worth it! Love you guys.

Dad F.

Lybi said...

Awwwww. AWWWWW! She is so beautiful! I can't believe how great she looks for having just been a battering ram for so many hours! And look at those little rolls on her legs! CUTE!

Oh Ashley, what a trooper! You have that sweet toughness that women sometimes have if they are exceedingly awesome. GREAT JOB!

Thanks for the details, Grant! I love you. You are such a sweet daddy and hubby!

P.S. I'm so glad Ashley got an epidural. I could almost feel the spirit when I got my epidural with Joey (probably because I stopped driving it away by swearing). ;)

Seth said...

OH my goodness! What a cute newborn little girl. Like Kristina I agree that she is SOOO cute in those huge outfits you put her in.

Gonna call you right now and try to video chat.

amoebakate said...

She is SO beautiful!! Congratulations, I can't wait to see her in person! : )

Sorry I missed you while I was there, but hey, this was definitely worth it. Love ya hon and congrats again!!

The Harmon's said...

Yea! Congrats Ashley!!! She is absolutely beautiful. She doesn't even look like a newborn. She's flawless. By the way, when you have child number 2 it will go much quicker and you won't have to push nearly as long! Many people had told me that, but I didn't truly believe it until I experienced it on my own. It's almost like that first baby breaks your body in and then it's just so much easier with the next.

Scott and Kel said...

Good job Ash!! She is seriously so beautiful! I'm not dissin' my baby girl, but after 28 hrs labor with her SLOWLY dropping, a "cone head" was an under statement...we had a gnome! Thanks for the quick post-we're thinking about you guys!!

Michelle said...

Congrats!! She's so cute!! I love babies. Call/e-mail me if you have any questions about nursing, not only am I a La Leche League Leader, but I'm also 2 hours behind you, so those 1 a.m. feedings are only 11 p.m. out here, and I'm probably still awake!

Kent said...

Wow! She is CUTE!! I'm glad you shot video. Adorable is definitely a good word for her! Congratulations.

Ashley said...

AHHH! I knew I was going to miss it, but I kept forgetting to check the blog! Congratulations!!! She is BEAUTIFUL! :D

~Ashley W

Grandma Beanie said...

Congratulations! She is absolutely adorable. What a lucky little girl to come to such dear parents who love her deeply.
Aunt Geneen