Karson's Birth Story

Tuesday, October 30th, I still remember the cool autumn breeze that day. The first snowfall of the season actually. It didn't just begin that way though. Not there, not then. Our hearts were truly ready for you in August of 2017. We thought about you, dreamed about the idea of holding you in our arms, and spent nights talking about becoming a family. You are truly a gift from God. You were worth the wait.

Every part of that morning before you came into the world was different than I'd imagined it would be. It was 9:45AM when I woke up to normal cramps I had been feeling for weeks. It had become routine to find me on the exercise ball bouncing around to relieve some of the discomfort, but in all honestly, I did it because I knew that it would mean one step closer to you.

I hopped quietly out of bed trying not to wake your dad as the covers slid across the floor and made my way over to that oh so familiar ball. I bounced and bounced. Then bounced a little moare. My mind totally focused. Each cramp-like feeling felt just minutes apart. It was one week after your due date that day and little did I know you'd arrive that night. 

It was about 10:30 AM when your dad started to wake up. It couldn't have been more perfect timing that he was able to be home to experience this from start to finish with me. He gazed over in my direction with a smile on his face. He knew I was having "cramps" and that was always his favorite! He knew you'd be coming soon with every little ache. We both did. 

This cycle of bouncing and working through each contraction with a sway here and there went on for a few hours as we made breakfast, got changed, and readied ourselves for the day. The one that would change our lives in an instant. It was 12:30 PM when the cramps got stronger and I was beginning to have a little trouble keeping a conversation while they hit their peak. That gluten free everything bagel was not looking very appetizing anymore either, but I knew I had to eat in case this was the real thing. If we would have the privilege of meeting you today.

Your dad perked up again asking if I thought today would be it. Thousands of emotions overwhelmed me just imagining the process of labor, delivery, and this new life before I could reply. I was barley able to think outside of each contraction by then, but mustered up the energy to cry, smile, and share a sweet reply, "I think so,". "We have to call the midwife," I said. 

Your dad got on the phone to the Burlington hospital and shortly after sharing the details, we were well on our way. And so were you. Brandon kindly gathered our hospital bags and packed the car. I continued to get through each contraction, still coming every five minutes. All of a sudden it felt like the whole world around me stopped. All of my attention belonged to my body. You were at the center of my heart.

The hospital was a one hour drive since we had decided to deliver you back in the town I grew up in. The ride felt short as each contraction hit time and time again. Your dad was right there. He held my hand, affirmed me, and with each passing breath, I knew it was one step closer to meeting you. 

On the shoulder of the road about half way there, your grammy eagerly awaited. She would be present to help during the labor and delivery process. She jumped quickly in the backseat and off we went. We couldn't believe this was it. It was the moment we waited for nine months. 

As we pulled up to the hospital, it was a quick walk from the car to the check in. I remember having  one contraction away from everyone. They felt strong and so did I. It was a privilege to get the opportunity to be your mom. We shared those few seconds and the next thing I knew one of the nurses pulled up next to me. He would be the one who would assist us up seven floors. 

Upon arrival we checked in at the labor and delivery desk and yet again, another contraction. It may have been over my head, but I was hopeful to be dilated at a six. They felt so close. After settling in, the nurses confirmed my dilation at 2cm. This was discouraging, but didn't shake my confidence. I knew you were coming. I could feel it. It was now 2:00 PM.

The nurses and midwives that worked alongside of us gave me a few hours to labor privately before they would return to check for progress again. We turned on worship music, I drank water, and grabbed the essential oils packed in our bag just in case I needed them. We prayed and contraction after contraction, I spent all my time walking or leaning through each one. The back labor hit heavy. Your dad and grammy helping me every step of the way. 

By 4:00 PM, the nurse and midwife returned to check on progression. I followed their instructions with a hopeful heart. "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it," the midwife uttered. "You're a 3.5-4 cm now,". Those words compelled me. They encouraged me to keep going with everything I could. You were coming. This was the real thing. 

The next two hours were the same. Contraction, break. Contraction, break. Contraction, break. Your dad never leaving my side. He was amazing and the perfect coach. Your grammy running to my every need. She was incredible at answering all my requests. I wanted them close. It felt just right that they were near, that we were doing this together. It was all for you.

Now 6:00 PM and the sun had set. The midwife did the annual two hour check and I had progressed some more. We were now 6cm and my water broke. They had given me the go to hop in the tub and labor peacefully for a little while. I couldn't wait. Everyone was surprised how quickly this labor was going. 

Despite how thankful I was to be progressing so quickly, I'll be completely honest and confess everything wasn't perfect. Labor was hard. During some of my contractions I remember thinking to myself "I can't do this, it's too painful", but than the break would come and it would be the perfect time for me to zone in and re-focus. It's a complete battle with your mind when exhaustion and discomfort set in for a while. Every minute to me was flying by because I was in and out of contractions so quickly.

At about 7:00 PM my feet gazed the top of the warm water as I slid into the birthing tub. This was the perfect place for me in that moment. There were two midwives now assisting me through these last few hours of intense labor. Your dad still at my side, kept close in these final moments. The midwives were wonderful and helped me through every breath.  Just the ones we prayed for. Words of encouragement were flying across the room as they continually reminded me that I was doing amazing. This meant everything to me in those moments. Little did we know you were going to be here before we knew it. 

I changed into several positions in that next hour before the time came. You were coming. "I need to push," I exclaimed. All of a sudden it's like my body re-awakened. I've heard from several women you'll know when you need to push and they're not lying. I was ready. You were ready. The midwives did a quick check and told me to wait and not to push just yet. I was 8cm now and still progressing as they began draining the tub. 

Everything changed in the final stretch. Contractions got stronger and they were more difficult to go through now than ever before. I had to lean into being totally intentional on every inhale, every exhale. I mentally began preparing myself for that walk to the bed. It was a simple seven steps, but the contractions were the most extreme yet. I waited until I had a short sixty second break where I could quickly maneuver myself there. Boom, there it was and there I went.

When I toppled myself into that hospital bed, I remember the excitement and the fatigue. The midwife checked again and it was time. I was just pushes away from meeting you. With all the energy I had left, I pushed. Those next forty five minutes would challenge my body in ways I couldn't explain. Twenty minutes into pushing the midwives supplied me with some oxygen. They were concerned you might not be getting enough air because I was having a difficult time breathing. 

Your heart rate dropped and the moment I heard those words, so did mine. I was doing everything in my power to get you here and my body was taxed, but I wouldn't let up. With all I had, left I pushed. I could hear the faint conversations around me that they could see you, that you were almost here. How I was doing awesome and it wouldn't be long. Every word faded in the background as I zeroed in on every push. "Make this one really count. Do it for your baby," I heard the midwife say loud and clear. That was just enough to power threw these last few minutes. 

And there you were. Everything I could have ever imagined and more. You belted the sweetest cry I've ever heard. That's when I knew you were mine and I was yours. Every month, every week, every hour, every minute, and every second led us here. They laid you on my chest and tears of complete relief and overwhelming joy flooded my eyes. Dad too. We looked at one another and we couldn't express the love we had for you. Those minutes we shared as you entered the world are the most valuable memories we hold. October 30th at 9:11 PM. That precious moment, cherished forever.