(Quick disclaimer on our limited photos... I find myself really regretting that I didn't remember to grab my Dad's pictures from him and Kerry being here. So, we may end up posting more pictures later that cover the same time period as this blog.)
That being said. SHE'S HERE!
Meet Kassidy Noelle Bennett.
Now, to start from the beginning. Once again, this may be more information than some people want, but this is my journal for Kassidy's birth story, so oh well...
Thursday April 24th I went in for my 37 week appointment after feeling crampy and like I'd maybe had some small contractions. My doctor agreed he should check me, and we were blown away to find out I wasn't feeling any real contractions yet but was already at 4 cm! It took 2 days of terrible back labor and my water breaking with Mckayla to get to a 4, so we were beyond surprised. He had me come back that afternoon and said I was 75% effaced, at a -3, but was definitely more dilated than that morning, around a 4., so he sent us to the hospital. There we were monitored for a couple hours and the nurses said I wasn't progressing, since I couldn't feel my contractions every 6-7 minutes, so they discharged us. Apparently being 37 weeks put us pre-term, so they wouldn't do anything to progress labor until I was actively having the baby or hit 39 weeks. No problem. We were fine waiting, especially since I wasn't feeling anything yet really. However, my doctor said he thought I'd be having the baby in the next day or two, and then the nurse told us that being at 75% and a -3 we could be there for a week before we ended up having the baby. Ok....
So, we told my parents who had come to stay with the girls that we were waiting for a baby that weekend and they went back home to wait for our next call to come watch our soon to be big sisters.
Then we waited. We didn't do anything to push things until Saturday when I was officially term at 38 weeks, and then just did some walking and normal activities, not wanting to push our baby girl to arrive before she was ready. And then we waited. And waited. It was so strange to not be in a hurry to have a baby and yet now be so impatient because we had to wrap our minds (really suddenly) around the fact that this surreal pregnancy was going to bring a real baby any day now, and then she didn't arrive. So anti-climatic....
Well, nothing happened that weekend, and Monday I called my doctor (as a nurse suggested I may want to) to make sure I was good to wait till my next appointment or if I needed to come in before Thursday. The doctor had me come in again and told me that I was still at 75%, still at a -3, but was now at 5 cm. The other doctor at the practice just shook his head and laughed at me as I left. But, I still couldn't feel my contractions, so I didn't feel too bad about us progressing without pain. Our only real concern was that as soon as I could feel regular or strong contractions I could progress really rapidly and so we were ordered to go to the hospital if I could feel my contractions regularly.
Tuesday morning I woke up feeling crampy again and then started feeling some contractions. Every once in a while I had one that made me stop, so I called my cousin Dayna to come stay with the girls while my folks drove the 2.5 hours here and Steve and I went to the hospital. Where my contractions became irregular and I stopped feeling them much again... We were still at a 5, but after a few hours of being watched and 45 minutes of walking, we were sent home to wait until my contractions became stronger and more regular.
Later that night we spent time with my parents and then got the girls to bed. I was having irregular contractions still, so we decided to go walk around at 11:00 at night - which meant walking laps around Walmart for an hour. My contractions were getting more regular, but still 10-15 minutes apart. We headed home to see if the contractions would keep up even when I wasn't actively pushing myself. We figured that things would calm down and we'd head to bed, but instead my contractions started getting stronger and more regular although still about 10 minutes apart.
At about 2:00 AM we decided we'd take yet another shot at the hospital even though I felt stupid getting sent home, just in case I was progressing so we wouldn't end up getting to the hospital too late for my epidural. We arrived at the hospital and were observed for a little while and told we were now at a 6. We got checked in as the contractions started to really hit me hard. I was already wondering how long till my epidural. Thankfully, my nurses told me they had already called the anesthesiologist and he would be coming soon. I was now at a 7 and could barely get through the contractions which were coming fast and hard. I was rubbing my fists across my forehead over and over trying to get through the contractions since I tend to deal with pain inwardly. (My forehead was really sore Wednesday...)
After one blown IV, one good IV, and some excruciating time, the anesthesiologist arrived and I was done with my epidural around 4:15 or 4:30. My doctor broke my water, put us on a little pitocin, said we should all get some sleep and that he'd plan to see us again in 2-5 hours since it usually takes around that much time to progress from a 7.
Twenty minutes later, I woke up with increasing pain in my left side. I hit my button for more pain medication, but it didn't help. I told my nurse, and she had me hit the button again, but still no help. I started feeling every contraction just in my left side, and the nurse called the anesthesiologist to give me a "boulson" whatever that is. I know it was another shot of drugs in my epidural, and it didn't help. I was laying on my left side hoping to numb that side, holding to my bed crying through every contraction.
My nurse then told me that sometimes if the epidural doesn't touch the pain it's because the baby has moved down already and is causing too much pressure. She checked me and then asked me if I just wanted to have a baby instead of trying anything else for the pain. She told Steve at about 5:30 it was time to put the bed up to have a baby and went for the doctor. Apparently if you get your epidural and then progress that quickly and are that close to the birth, then it can't always keep up. AWFUL. But, at least we just had to push through enough contractions to get the baby out. Needless to say, Steve and I were VERY glad we didn't wait longer to come to the hospital!
When Dr. Logstan arrived my boulson (however that's spelled) finally started to numb the left side, and he said he could already see her head without our having done anything yet. They told me when I was having my first contraction and I pushed once, twice, and her head was out. One more small push and our girl was born on April 30th, 2014 at 5:53 AM.
Fun fact, she probably goes in the record books for messiest birth. She was wrapped in the cord a bit and had some back pressure behind her, so as soon as she came out she squirted blood and fluid all around the room. She hit Steve, the doctor, nurse, me, and several feet around us all across the room. The nurse later recommended I not drink my juice that was surrounded by blood splatter... Gross, but highly entertaining to Steve and I on about an hour or less of sleep in the last day and a half.
I had some minimal stitches, so Steve is 3 for 3 when getting to spend time with our girls first when they are born. Kassidy was 7 lbs 15.8 oz, so basically 8 lbs, and 20 inches long. She was really cheesy with vernix, and had a full head of hair. She seems so tiny to us after Mckayla!
Steve and I took turns taking short catnaps and then finally got down to discussing her name. I had a strong impression where the name Kassidy popped into my head on our way to our gender ultrasound. After finding out we were having another girl, I mentioned the name to Steve and we both really liked it, so we were fairly sure that was going to be her name. We spent as much time working on middle names as we did back-up first names. We really liked Kassidy Noelle going into the hospital, but based on our previous naming experiences, were surprised that we ended up using it.
That evening Steve went home and brought my Dad, Kerry, Ellie, and Mckayla to come meet our newest family member. Ellie and Mckayla were both really excited to see her and Ellie loves calling her "Kassidy Noelle" whenever she says her name. Mckayla is excited to constantly say "baby!" whenever she sees or hears her.
You could tell the girls were a bit stressed out by the whole thing though as Ellie cried and cried when it came time for Steve to take them home. Ellie is a total Daddy's girl, but she was clinging to me crying about leaving, and when Mckayla gave me hugs goodbye she got tighter and tighter each time someone tried to come get her. I cried as I heard Ellie yell "Mommy!" out in the hallway as they left. Most loved and yet one of the worst feelings I have had as a mother. I love our girls.
Ellie keeps saying that she has two babies now, Mckayla and Kassidy. There are times when Mckayla seems so big to us, but I have to admit, there are a lot of times where I think Ellie is dead on - we have two babies now. Here is our old baby holding our new baby.
Kassidy followed in her older sisters' footsteps of being a great sleeper who we had to wake up to feed in the hospital, and still sleeps a lot at home.
We were released Thursday after lunch to come home and are now working on settling into the routine of having 3 kids. It has been wonderful to be back to some normal mom duties at home and to spend time with the older girls as we hopefully send them the message that they are still just as loved as ever. I admit I am hormonal, tired, and everything else that comes with that territory, but Steve and I were both pretty emotional being home and seeing the excitement and joy of our older girls that first night with our whole family together at home again. I am grateful we've had and will continue to have help keeping them busy over the next several days, and look forward to Steve being home for this summer, but it's also been nice that I have been much higher functioning and less beat up this time than after past deliveries.