Becoming a Mom For the First Time: Killian Jasper’s Birth Story {with photos}

Like Most Moms Do

I was counting down the days like most moms do.  I was also frustrated after each appointment that I had no ‘progress,’ like most first time moms do. I had planned to labor naturally but I also was open to inventions if that is what I needed. The day leading up to Killian’s birth were NOTHING like I thought they would be.  AS IF it ever is for first time moms.

The weeks leading up to becoming a mommy were hard.  Each night around 1 am I would have false labor for about 2 hours.  It would start with a few small contractions and then they would progress into very strong, painful ones.  They were never in a pattern and never got closer than 6 minutes apart.

Every night for 3 weeks this was how it went.  I would end up in a warm bath with my sweet husband falling asleep in the bathroom floor until the contractions would cease and I would get some rest.

I was mentally exhausted hoping each night that our baby was on the way.

Waiting. . .

Until one night the contractions didn’t stop.  We were up all night, Alex called off work and that morning was spent on a medicine ball, with a popsicle waiting till baby was ready.

9:00 am: While sitting on the medicine ball I realized that the blanket I was sitting on was getting damp.  I went to the restroom and it looked like I had peed my pants.  I called my doctor and she suggested I come in so they could see if it was fluid or not.

A quick visit to the doctor later they said it was NOT my water breaking… (insert doubt here)

The difference between pads and panty liners..

12:00 pm: So, we went for lunch.  While, sitting at lunch I continued to leak “not fluid.”  When we were finished with lunch we decided to go looking for patio furniture.  I had asked my husband a few days before if we could get a patio set for the front porch.

1:00 ish: We found ourselves at Big Lots hoping they would have cheap patio furniture.  We walked to the first isle and it felt like I peed myself.  My water had 100% broke. Standing in the clothing isle I quickly bought some boxers and asked my husband to grab some pads and I headed to the bathroom to change.  My friend Laura was with us and was standing at the bathroom door waiting for my husband to throw her the pads so I could finish up.

He throws her a pack of pads… that weren’t pads they were panty liners (haha) so I layered those puppies in the boxers and tried to dry my pants under the hand dryer so we could make it back home (absolutely no shame in my game).  All mind you while having mild to strong contractions.

Let’s have this baby

3:00 pm: We got the green light to head to the hospital.  They put me in triage in L&D.  I had indeed lost my water and was ready to be sent to a room. I was still only sitting around 2 cm so we knew it would be a little while. 

7:00 pm: No progress.  I was so discouraged.  I was still having light contractions but nothing too painful.  They decided they would use a pill to help my cervix along.

9:00-10:00 pm: I would say contractions started to pick up intensity. We were in the room we would be in for the night.  I quickly realized all the things I brought to use from music to techniques were going out the window.

Back labor.. what’s that?  You don’t want to know.

10:00 pm- 2:30 am: In this window of time I learned what back labor was and honestly thought I was dying. We never got a remote for our TV so Alex and I sat in a dark room while he held my hand.  He watched the monitor and would help me through a contraction “It’s almost over babe, you got this.”

I was in the most pain I had ever been.  My darling husband then started telling me stories through each contractions.  Funny memories I may have forgotten about over the years to help me through the pain.

2:30 am: I threw up from the pain.  Alex looked just about as scared as I felt.  We decided it was time for the epidural.  He grabbed a nurse and they all helped me sit up to get the epidural.  I felt so lucky to be at a hospital where they could adjust my dosage.  (I am absolutely terrified of being completely numb). At this point I was told I was 4 almost 5 cm.  The doctor was confident that once my body could relax I would make some progress. I called my photographer/doula and said we weren’t very far along and that I was “fine.” (I thought I was so strong and that I didn’t need any help.  Don’t do that first time mommies asking for help doesn’t make you weak I promise).

3:30 am ish: She was correct in less than an hour I went from 5 cm to 10 cm. Nurses and doctor were checking on us more frequently and checking to see how baby was doing.

The almost accurate account of the rest of the story

(this is where I might be blurry on details)

5:00 am ?: Somewhere in this time frame nurses started setting up the room. I called my birth photographer and we started to prepare to become parents.

6:00 am: The doctor tells me that it’s time to start pushing.  Which, at this point I was totally fine with because I could feel baby low and I wanted to meet them so bad.  I was also a lot more relaxed at this point.  The doctor ask if I could give her to the count of three for a push.  I said ” I can give you 4.” We didn’t know the sex of baby and with each push I wanted to give it all I had to find out (if you haven’t already read here why we decided not to find out the gender).

I pushed for about an hour.  Alex by my side.  Talking about how we got to this point in our lives.  How we had waited for this moment for so long.

After the fact our wonderful photographer quoted me in this photograph saying “Did you ever imagine you’d be having a baby with your prom date?” (so lucky to have Stacey there to recall what we wouldn’t remember later on).

One more push after that and HE was here.

7:03 am May 2, 2017:

Killian Jasper Biggs

6 lbs 12oz -20 inches long was born making me a mommy and Alex a daddy. After almost two years of waiting, crying, injections and so much doubt we had our tiny human we had longed for.

And then, all the mushy stuff

After, he was born he latched on like a champ. Alex got to do skin to skin and loved every second of it. My heart melts every time I see this photo.Then our families practically knocked down the door trying to find out if the new member of our family was a girl or a boy.  Here were some of the reactions we got.

So much of his birth story is crazy.  As a first time mom I had no idea how it would go and I definitely didn’t except this to be our story.  BUT it is and I love every moment of it.

Did your baby’s birth go “as planned,” or do you have a wonderful crazy story to tell?  Drop me a link below to your birth story or tell me about it here.  I would love to hear all about it!!

{Beautiful photography by Cincy Birth Stories }

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Preparing to Leave Baby Overnight

“Would you and Alex like to go to Vegas with us in the spring?” This is how the conversation started.  As a mom my first thought was “But how?”  How can I leave baby overnight that many nights in a row? I guess I had never even thought about vacationing without our son but when the opportunity presented itself, we couldn’t say no. A whole week in Vegas with some of our best friends!

Once we sat down and figured out the how, I went into mom mode.  I checked all the boxes to make sure him and I would be comfortable for the time we were away.

Making the Decision is the Easy Part

Once you decide that you are leaving your little one for the first time overnight for whatever reason that is; to deliver baby two, vacation, or an extra long date night, that’s the easy part.  It’s the next part that is hard, the planning.  As mothers we will go through every. single. possible. scenario and worry ourselves to death.  So, to help with the worry I’ve decided to share with you what I did to prepare for 7 days away from our son.

Leaving Baby Overnight Takes Lots of Planning!

Whether you are leaving baby for one night or a week it takes planning.  Some of that planning was obvious for me like clothes, formula, etc.  But once I started going through every scenario I needed to prepare for, THERE WAS SO MUCH MORE!

If you are going to be leaving your baby overnight these are the basis I covered and I recommend you cover to make your time away as worry-free as it can be:

  • Make a schedule for while you’re away.
  • Pack their bag.
  • Prepare food for your time away.
  • Prepare for an emergency.

Schedules Are a Moms Best Friend

It doesn’t matter if we are at home or 2,000 miles away, there is something about a schedule that gives us a sense of calm (or is that just me, I think other moms are like this haha).  So when we made the choice to leave, the first thing I did was sit down and write schedules. I wrote schedules for:

  • meals
  • his day
  • and when I would be able to call and talk to him each day.

Meals

Meals are a huge part of a child’s day.  To write the schedule for meals try answering these questions:

  • When will your child eat? Do you have a really strict time for each meal or do you have a general time for each meal?
  • Where will your child eat? Do they eat in a high chair for meals and bottles?  Do they take a bottle to bed or wake up with one?
  • What will they eat or NOT eat? Did you prepare food for them?  Does the person who is keeping them need to cook?  If so, what foods do they like or not like?  Are they allergic to anything?

It seems like a lot of questions but once it’s wrote out it doesn’t look nearly as complicated.

For us the schedule looked like this.

Meals pic monket.jpg

 

Their Day

If you wrote out the major events of your day, what would that look like?  From the time your child gets up till they go to bed there are things that are the same most days.  When they eat, when they nap, when they go to bed.  Now, we are pretty casual parents so my son doesn’t have an exact time for each of these things but there is a round about time for most of them.

When you go to write this schedule just think about if you were watching someones child what information would you need to get through the day and overnight.

  • wake up time
  • meal times
  • nap times
  • bedtime and routine
  • when will you be able to call (is there a time difference?)

It doesn’t have to be super extensive, just enough that your child’s day looks pretty normal and all the major questions are answered.

What’s In the Barney Bag?

When you decided to leave your baby for the first time overnight, if you are anything like me then you immediately go to ‘the bag.‘  What clothes, shoes, diapers, formula, etc. will they need for an overnight away?  This is a huge part of planning especially if your child will be staying outside of your home while you are gone.

A quick check list of things that I went through were:

  • clothes, at least one outfit a day.  Then pack a few extra.
  • pajamas, again what you normal use plus at least one extra.
  • shoes
  • socks
  • diapers (average how many and then throw in extras)
  • wipes
  • a towel
  • any medications they might need
  • any comforts of home.  My son hasn’t attached to anything yet but you might want to include a blankie or Teddy if they use one.
  • formula or breast milk ( I will talk more about this in food prepping).

Food, Prep or Not to Prep?

In our household we food prep every week, so when we decided to go on this vacation I knew I would do the same for our son before we left. By food prepping the grandparents had less to worry about and I also knew what my son was eating while I was away.  If you don’t have the time or if you simply do not want to food prep then I would suggest writing a list of foods your child does like for whomever is keeping them while you’re away.

If you would like to food prep, then the next bit is for you.

To food prep you have to decide:

  1. What your child will eat while you are away?
  2. What will keep well?
  3. How will you store it?

I knew my son loved all of these foods and each meal was healthy and easy to make. I decided to make the following menu for the week:

Breakfast: fruit and banana pancakes

Lunch: Mac & cheese, cheddar, broccoli bites

Dinner: Quesadillas and peppers

big bag for food with stamp

For each day there was a bag with the day of the week and how to heat or prep the meal.

foods for each day with stamp.jpg

Once it was all prepped I tossed it all in one giant bag and put it in the freezer.  All the foods would keep in the freezer and the grandparents had to just pull out the meals for that day and heat when needed.

food for freezer

All of this probably only took an hour or so and the grandparents didn’t have to worry about cooking or what he could or couldn’t have.

Along with food you will also need to portion out breast milk or formula for your time away. We used formula so I did enough for 3-8 oz bottles a day and three or four extra bottles just in case they were needed.

(If your baby is still on puree foods read my post on meal prepping purees)

What If?

Of all the things that we did to prepare to leave our son this is the thing that made me feel the most at peace, the In Case of Emergency Envelope.

There were so many scary scenarios that went through my head leading up to our trip.  What if he got hurt, or sick or if he was in an accident? As moms we worry and this small envelope helped me ease those worries.

Before we left we made a special envelope that had anything the grandparents would need in case of an emergency. I included information they would need and things they night not remember in the moment.  Here is what we included in the  envelope:

  1. letter with permission to treat
  2. an insurance card
  3. all the information they would need to admit him to a hospital

Permission to treat

As we prepared to leave him overnight for a whole week this I googled what to include in a letter to give permission to someone other than the parents, to treat a child. The letter read something like this,

Date

We (your and your partners name),

Give permission to (name of person who will have your child) to make any and all medical decisions on behalf of (your child’s name) while we are away.

(Yours and your partner’s printed name and signature.)

 

Time is crucial in some situations and having written permission to treat can speed things up. (Also, I am by no means a lawyer or professional in any way.  This is just the information I used and I can’t confirm this is legally correct).

Insurance card

This was a duh moment when I read this online.  I NEVER thought to leave an insurance card just in case.  If you have an extra copy this is a huge must have for anyone keeping your child while you are away.

ANY and ALL information they would need

On a simple piece of paper I wrote any and all important information they would need in case of an emergency.

  • Pediatrician’s name, phone numbers and location
  • your child’s social security number (we don’t normally write this down but this envelope was kept locked up unless needed while we were gone)
  • any known allergies
  • date of birth (grandparents know this but in an emergency maybe not)
  • any medications that are being taken daily
  • parents names and date of birth
  • contact information for parents

Once all of this was together I stuck it in a normal envelope.  I told his grandparents to keep it somewhere safe but accessible.  This way if something happened they could just hand all the information to whoever needed.  All the information they could need was in one simple envelope.  They wouldn’t have to think or worry about anything if God forbid something would happen that they would have it.

Now, Enjoy Yourselves!

After, you have checked all the boxes and packed everything thing they’ll need, enjoy yourselves.  I know this is hard and not everyone will agree with me, that time away is needed but I think it is.  My husband and I had a great time and to my surprise I didn’t worry as much as I thought I would.  I knew my son was in good hands and that I had made his days as normal as I could.

Have you ever taken a vacation without your child or had to leave your little one for an extended amount of time?  What would you add to this list of things to do before you leave?

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How To: Take Baby To “That Event,” and Actually Enjoy Yourselves

I’ve only been a parent for 9 short months and there have already been several of those events. You know the ones… the ones where when you think about taking your little ones you get so excited when you think about how much fun it’ll be (especially if it’s a first for your family) and then in record time you. freak. out.

It’s going to be so much work, what if they’re cranky, should we take them…. Does this sound familiar?  I know it does for my husband and I.  We are still so new at this and there have been several events where I want to take our son and I weigh the pros and cons and decide if I should, most of the time I do.

One thing you should know about my husband and I is when we got pregnant we decided we wanted our baby to be apart of our lives.  What I mean by that is, I did not want to be a couple that stayed in and turned down plans because we had a baby (within reason of course). We wanted adventures and memories with all the good and the bad.

So when the opportunity arose to get semi season tickets to our favorite hockey team when I was 7 months pregnant we took it, knowing that our son would only be 3 months old when the season started.  There was going to be so much to figure out but it was an adventure we wanted.

So this is how we take our son to hockey games and pretty much every where and enjoy ourselves.

The plan

Most of us moms are planners or at least when it comes to our children we are.  We know when it’s time for them to eat, when they will throw that evening fit, and when they are going to get overly sleepy. Knowing these things is part of being a mom and they play a huge roll in planning a successful trip out to a big or crowded event.

Things to figure out before:
  • When will your baby need to eat.

My son was still nursing every 2-3 hours when we first started going to games so I knew I would have to feed him before we left, once we were there, during the game, and before we left.

  • Where/how will you feed your baby

We decided to do a little of both.  Sometimes I would have a bottle pumped so we would take that and save it for during the game to cut down on needing to nurse in public and other times I didn’t so I would prepare for nursing under my cover in my seat or sitting on a bench.

  • Do you need to take any medications

My son needed acid reflux medicine so we knew that it needed to be packed and easily accessible while we were at the game.

  • What kind of event will you be attending, do you need anything special (swim diaper, head phones, etc)

Hockey games are loud so we knew that we had to invest in some good headphones to protect our little ones ears.  We bought these and they have worked so well even as he has got bigger. 

  • How late will you be out, should you take pj’s to make baby comfortable

Since our hockey team plays 1.5 hour away we knew that packing Pj’s was a good idea.  We could get him settled in and comfortable making transition to bed easier when we got home.

 

After you have answered all the big questions you can move to onto the check list of things to take with you.

The Bag

Going to the hockey games meant seats that were close together so we opted to take a small draw string bag instead of our diaper bag.  So we went down our plan and figured out what we would need to make sure baby was happy and content without packing everything but the kitchen sink.

Basic:

  • Diapers (how many)
  • Wipes
  • Food (breast milk or formula)
  • Medications
  • Headphones
  • Pj’s
  • Blanket
  • Nursing cover
  • Binky and clip

The Event

 

How To: Take Baby To "That Event," and Actually Enjoy Yourselves

It was here, our first hockey game as a family of 3.  To say we were nervous and stressed would be an understatement.  I stuck to the plan of nursing right before we left ( to keep baby somewhat content on the drive), we loaded the car with our condensed diaper bag and headed off to our first big outing.  When we arrived I nursed again in the car ( I know I can nurse in public but I always felt more comfortable in the car).  We parked and walk to the game.  When we got to the arena we changed his diaper and found our seats.

During the game we had our plan.  The baby would eat once during the game and then again when we left.  I located the nearest restroom just in case and we settled in.  We had a blast!!!  Once we were in our seat my son (who was SUPER difficult his first 6 months) did amazing.  He got his medicine on time, I nursed in my seat and he had his head phones so he could enjoy the game.  The bag we brought fit perfectly under my seat making it easy to grab but not in the way and when he got cranky he had his binky or I could walk him up the aisle.

After the game we changed him and learned about ‘Family Restrooms!’ (we were really excited about this haha),  took him back to the car changed him into his pj’s and headed home with an amazing night of memories.

He did so well.  As a family we had so much fun.  Was it different?  Of course.  Was it a little difficult?  YES.   Was it worth it?  ABSOLUTELY

As new parents we were probably a bit naive and we probably still are.  But who isn’t??  And if a small touch of ignorance gives us memories… well then it’s worth it.

Comment below and let me know what events you have been brave enough or naive enough to take your little ones to.

 

 

 

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