Kyle Henderson was born at 9:47pm on January 10, 2016 weighing in at 7lb 5.6oz and 20.5″ long ❤
It’s hard to know where to begin with Kyle’s birth story, so I’ll start at the very beginning. At 33w I mentioned how I was in zero rush to bring him into the world as I was soaking up what might very well be our last pregnancy, enjoying my giant belly and utilizing every last moment I had with my 2 big boys before their world was rocked upside down.
At 35w I had my first weekly OB appt which included my first cervical check. To our surprise I was already 100% effaced, Kyle was at a -1 station and I was 1 fingertip (1/2cm) dilated. I left the appointment feeling completely confused. I knew the progress could mean he could come at any time but also that I could go 5 weeks or longer and he might still be baking away. I felt ready but scared that he’d come early. I desperately wanted to avoid having another baby go to NICU, wanted the best chance for him to be completely healthy and for him to come when he was ready. But as the days ticked by I was more and more uncomfortable. He was so low that by the end of the day I could barely walk without wincing in pain from the pressure of him. It hurt to put on socks, shoes, pants. As each day went by I was able to do less and less with the boys as well. I physically couldn’t chase them, I was nervous about venturing out too far from home in case I went into labor, etc. My biggest fear was that I’d go into labor and by the time Bry would be able to leave the job site and meet me at the hospital, Kyle would have arrived. Each day Bry and I were on pins and needles wondering if this was THE day.
On Wednesday the 6th Bry got home from work early. Around 3:30pm I started having contractions. I’d had Braxton hicks here and there for a few weeks but this was different. They kept coming, were getting stronger and closer together and wouldn’t stop with movement. We went out to get Reubens for dinner and when Jax asked to sit down to eat at the restaurant, we decided to go for it. All through dinner the waves continued and by the time we got home I thought for sure this was it. We did bedtime routine and then I decided to try to get some sleep. If it was true labor I’d need the energy and if it wasn’t, we’d need the sleep for work the next day. I was restless most of the night but finally fell asleep. I woke up Thursday morning feeling totally normal and totally defeated. (Dr. Google said I had prodromal labor).
Thursday a few more contractions came and went. By Friday I was feeling pretty convinced that Kyle was playing a cruel joke on us and would actually go past his due date. Friday night I felt crampy but it was Bry’s work party and I told him to go. I knew he could leave at any time if true contractions developed and my heart told me it wasn’t time. And it wasn’t. I went to bed still feeling the cramps and waves and woke up feeling completely normal again.
Saturday morning we got bagel sandwiches at our favorite place in DC and hung out at home. I bounced on my stability ball forever and after naps when the rain cleared a bit we took a family walk. I did circles on the basketball court at the playground while the boys dug for worms with dad. By that night I was feeling sore and a ton of pressure, per usual but no contractions. We went ahead and went on our anniversary date night we’d planned. After dinner at Founding Farmers, we went to pick up cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and walked around the mall for awhile. We came home and watched the newest episode of Blacklist on DVR, then went to bed. A couple hours later I started feeling contractions. By midnight they were strong enough to wake me up. I wasn’t sure if they were real but woke up Bry who thought we should go to L&D just to be safe. Everyone kept warning us the 3rd babe comes fast, though I had my doubts as Jackson took 19.5 hours and Andrew took 22!
Around 1am we checked into labor and delivery. I was hooked up to monitors for an hour and checked. I was 1.5-2cm dilated but my contractions were showing as an irritable uterus not real contractions, so we were sent home. The nurse casually said she wouldn’t be surprised if we were back later that day, but I knew enough to brush her off and not get my hopes up. We crawled into bed at 3am, exhausted and not looking forward to an early morning wake up from our boys.
They slept til 6 and after pancakes for breakfast we decided to bundle up and go for a long walk on our favorite trail and let the boys go puddle jumping. We went 2 miles on the same route we covered on the day we went into labor with both other boys. The boys had a blast jumping in the puddles, getting soaked with mud and doing what boys were made to do. It was such a wonderful morning and I walk/waddle/jogged along. When we stopped I’d do some squats to open things up. By the end we were all thoroughly exhausted and Bry and I looked at each other, grateful that we had this morning with our boys. That we hadn’t actually gone into labor the night before.
We bathed the boys, got back into pjs and watched a movie before naptime. We also skyped with Bry’s parents and had 4c of red raspberry leaf tea, which is thought to help the uterus prepare for labor and make contractions more effective once labor begins. I laid down when the boys did, still recuperating from the night before. But at 12:38, just 30 minutes after lying down, something woke me up. I rolled over and felt kind of wet down there but didn’t think anything of it. I watched netflix in bed and after feeling a couple of contractions decided to go to the living room. I ate some trail mix and at 12:55 sat on the couch with a pen and paper to time my contractions. One at 12:55. One at 1:02. One at 1:04!!? By the 5th contraction that came every 2 minutes I started to freak out and told Bryan what was happening. He looked at me and got the biggest smile. He “knew” it was time as my face showed the contractions were stronger than I’d ever experienced.
I went to shower to see if they’d go away with movement, and to have one last shower in case this was the real thing. By 1:30 they were still coming fast and strong so I called my mom to see if she could come watch the boys just in case. She got to the house 15 minutes later and the contractions were still coming strong and steady every 2 minutes. The hospital had told us to come in if I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes for an hour and I was almost there. I was in total disbelief that labor was progressing so fast! We threw a few last minute things into our bag again and headed for the door.
Right before we left Jax woke up from his nap and I was able to give him hugs and kisses. We explained we were heading to the hospital to have Kyle, but that we might be back home if I wasn’t in real labor. He was completely sweet and loving and seemed to understand, as much as an almost 3.5 year old can, what was going on. I went into the nursery and watched Andrew sleep soundly. I gave him a kiss and told him I loved him, mentally willing him to wake up so I could selfishly hug him. He kept sleeping and Bry and I left for the hospital. For the first time in weeks, Jax didn’t cry when I left the house. He just told us he loved us and “good luck”.
At 2pm we checked into labor and delivery. I was fairly certain we’d be sent home again but was hopeful. We were sent to triage where I was again hooked to monitors. They asked a ton of questions including if my water had broken. I mentioned the wet feeling I’d felt earlier though I didn’t really think it was anything. 30 minutes later the resident came in to check me. I was 4cm dilated, contracting every 2 minutes and the test to see if my water had broken showed a tiny bit of ferning. We were staying!! We immediately called my mom so she knew she was on big baby duty and then walked over to labor and delivery. On the walk over people kept wishing us good luck and smiling at us. It felt totally surreal.
At 3:50 we were in our room and ready for however long it’d take. We had two nurses but our main one was Bridgett. She kept asking if I wanted an epidural yet and I said no. I could feel the contractions but they barely felt like anything. She started setting up everything for Kyle’s arrival and by the 6th time she asked if I wanted the epi, Bry asked her if there was a point when I wouldn’t be able to get one. She said yes if I got to 10cm and he was right there. He then asked how long she thought it’d take and she showed us my contractions. They were coming every minute and were the highest level the machine monitored. Bridgett told us everyone outside kept asking if I’d had the baby yet based on my contractions alone.
At 7pm I decided to go for the epi. I still wasn’t in any pain. I was laughing and joking and generally just excited. I didn’t have fear of childbirth medication free, it’s the aftermath that I didn’t want to feel (if you tear they stitch you, and I didn’t want to feel that!) After the epi was administered I was checked again. It took Bridgett, a new nurse, almost 10 minutes to complete the check and it was not a delicate experience. I’d never had anyone do it like that and I was really glad I was numb for it as I still felt a lot of it. She said I was still at 4.
Dr. Mian came in and finished rupturing my bag of waters and then they started pitocin. I was @ 1 miliunit and at 8pm they bumped me up to 3. We wondered if Kyle was going to be born that night or the next morning and as the time ticked by, we got more and more excited. I had 2 shot bloks around 7:30 as I hadn’t eaten in 7 hours but with all the meds I was on I started to feel extremely sick. (I was GBS positive this pregnancy so in addition to the epi and pitocin i was on antibiotics for that). At 8 I asked for something for the nausea and got zofran. I felt really hot, like I did with Andrew, and generally felt like hell. I had ice packs behind my neck but I still felt very nauseous, dizzy and out of it. I tried to close my eyes and get some sleep before I started puking.
At 8:45pm the new nurse, Malina, came in and flipped me to my side. I immediately felt a ton of pressure on my right side and she said it was because all the epidural was moving to the left side, that I was lying on. The pressure was actually Kyle, who’d dropped but she didn’t check me until 9:15pm when I told her the pressure was still there. Her eyes got wide as she realized I was complete. 10cm, completely effaced and Kyle was at a +1. The other nurse seemed doubtful so she checked me as well and agreed. It was go time. They called for my OB and I began to labor down.
Both nurses ended up leaving the room. Bry and I were alone and started joking that we’d have to birth Kyle on our own. He started telling him to stay in because he didn’t know what to do and I laughed hard which made Bry freak out that I’d have Kyle from laughing too hard. Finally the doctor arrived and was less than thrilled to find us alone. He paged the nurses and then got onto them when they came back about never leaving a patient alone who’s complete. Finally at 9:45, my legs were put in the stirrups and we were set to go. Dr. Mian told me to take a deep breath and push. And push I did. With that single breath, I felt our littlest man enter the world and my heart literally shattered into a million pieces as tears rolled down my face at the sound of his first cries. “What color’s his hair?” I asked Bry. “Dark brown!” I watched Bry for the next few moments while they cut the cord and wiped Kyle off a bit. I couldn’t see him but I could see the love and amazement on my husbands face, and my heart felt full. They put him on my chest and I melted all over again. I could hardly catch my breath I was in such disbelief. Everything happened so fast, it still felt surreal. After just 9 hours of labor, our sweet baby boy was here. He waited until he was perfectly cooked at 37 weeks, waited for daddy to enjoy his work party and mommy and daddy to get one last early anniversary date night, let us have an incredible morning puddle jumping as a family of 4 and then perfectly and wonderfully came into our lives and our hearts, filling them both to the brim.
As I sit here typing up everything that happened with our 4 day old breathing softly on my chest, I wonder how we ever got so lucky. This life we’ve created, this family we are so blessed to call our own, is nothing short of miraculous. Were excited to embark on our new life as a family of 5, with all the chaos, love and insanity that will surely go along with it.