Our Labor & Delivery Story

We made it. We finally made it. I’m sitting here, nursing my beautiful baby girl, typing up my labor and delivery story…this moment is something I’ve dreamt of for a long, long time. God answers our prayers in magnificent ways and I could not be more grateful for the difficult journey that got me right here.

I was made to be Everly’s mama…it was meant to be.

Why We Had To Induce

Let’s jump right into the story of how our Everly Avenue Rain came into this world. (Keep in mind that we didn’t find out the sex!) I was 35 weeks and I felt like my belly growth and weight had hit a standstill. I made it clear to my doctor that this was worrisome to me, considering our twin boys were constantly measuring smaller and smaller. We got an ultrasound around 37 weeks and the doctor confirmed that we did in fact have a tiny baby, measuring around 5 pounds, but based on our genetics, it was completely normal. Wyatt was born 5 pounds and I was born around 6 pounds. Our doctor didn’t want me to go past 39 weeks because baby was just maxed out. Evie wasn’t really receiving any nutrients and she was ready to have mama’s milk. She asked us if we were ready to set an induction date that was just two days away and Wyatt and I looked at each other in shock. We both weren’t ready to make that kind of decision so we told her that we needed a day or two to think about when we wanted to induce.

Setting An Induction Date

We were so excited that the conversation was FINALLY here. We wanted to meet this baby more than anything but we had a hard time choosing her birthday because we felt like only God could make that choice. In the end, we knew in our hearts that both my body and baby were ready. We decided that we would get induced the following Monday, May 14th. It was a VERY eventful weekend that kept our minds busy. Wyatt’s birthday was Saturday, May 12th and Mothers Day was on Sunday. Our little one wanted to join the party that’s for sure. I’m gonna love the month of May for the rest of my life! We did everything we could that weekend to go into labor naturally–walks, bouncing on a exercise ball, eating spicy foods…we tried it all but no luck.

INDUCTION DAY! 

We didn’t get a minute of sleep that night. Our nerves were out of this world because we knew we were about to meet our rainbow baby! We arrived at the hospital at 7:15 A.M. with our hospital bag in hand and a whole lot of love in our hearts. We were ready.

They set us up in Room 7 which is Wyatt’s favorite number. I got in my hospital gown, said a prayer and got comfortable because I was going to be there awhile. We met with our doctor and tried to plan the unplanned. We started out with a very small dose of Cytotec around 8:05 A.M and from there was A LOT OF WAITING! I started to feel stronger contractions pretty soon after. I contracted for most of my pregnancy so it wasn’t news to me. I should mention that I had been 1cm dilated since 34 weeks. It was around 11AM that I started to feel contractions that made me stop in my tracks. I really had to breathe through these ones but they weren’t unmanageable by any means. Fast forward to 2 A.M. and I was in SO MUCH PAIN but lets not get ahead of ourselves. My doctor checked my cervix at noon and I was still 1 cm dilated. More waiting. We tried to stay busy by walking the hallways, eating a lot of food, watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S, and sleeping when we could. Around 4PM, I was checked again and was measuring around 2cm. Even more waiting. There’s not much to update between 4PM and 7PM.

MY WATER BROKE!

Around 7:45pm my water broke while I was bouncing on an exercise ball. I freaked out. “WYATT, MY WATER BROKE! MY WATER BROKE!” He said, “No it didn’t.” He picked up my gown and didnt see anything at first and said again, “No, it didn’t, I’m sure you just peed.” (Major eye roll.)
I just continued panicking and saying over and over again “My water broke! My water broke!” Wyatt finally saw the fluid and ran to tell our nurse. It was progress and I was thankful. They say it takes the longest to get from 1cm to 5cm but from 5cm to 10cm it’s much easier. That was absolutely the case for me. After my water broke, my contractions really started to get painful but I was still only dilated to a 2.

PAIN MANAGEMENT & Dilating to 10CM

I can’t rememeber exactly what happened next because I was in so much pain. Everything from here on out until the birth is kind of a blur. I asked for Fentanyl to take the edge off around 830pm and finally got my epidural around 10:30pm. It provided relief immediately but didn’t last forever. I still felt my contractions on my left side the majority of the time and HOLY MOLY!!!! They hurt like a mother. Somewhere around this time I got a small dose of Pitosin to help me dilate more. Wyatt and I tried to sleep through what we could. Again, everything was a blur but around 3AM they checked me and I was only a 3. My contractions from here on out were absolutely awful and it makes sense because when my nurse checked me again just two hours later she said “Oh, it’s time to have baby!” I was dilated to a 10! Unreal. That was so fast and I was not prepared. I had a photographer and sister-in-law that I needed to notify when I was around 6cm dilated but we skipped past that way too fast. I said to my mom “Plug in the curling iron!” and said to Wyatt,” Call Kayle and Whitney!” My nurse laughed at my initial reaction but there was no way in heck that my photographer and video girl were going to miss this. No. My photographer was 30 minutes away and my sister-in-law was about 45 minutes out. My nurse said we could wait on pushing for about 20 minutes but after that we needed to get baby down further in the birth canal.

TIME TO HAVE A BABY!

Around 5:20AM we started the first phase of pushing. Wyatt, my mom and our amazing nurse were the only ones in the room and we had worship music blasting. Kayle, my out of this world photographer, ran in. She literally rolled out of bed in the middle of the night to take my photos and I’m so grateful for her. Soon after, my sis-in-law arrived and she was so relieved she made it in time. I’m thankful she was in the room and got to experience the birth of her baby brothers daughter. It was special to have her there and to record it all for us! After a handful of pushes, baby was ready to come out. My doctor came in (ironically the same one that saw me right after I delivered my twins boys) got set up and it was go time. I started really pushing around 5:40 A.M. and the entire process was incredibly peaceful. I was lucky enough to have a near perfect pregnancy, which I thought was deserving considering what I had been through in the past, and my delivery absolutely matched. It was beautiful and calm, everything that I had asked God for. Between pushes, Wyatt would give me some water because my mouth and lips were so dry and there wasn’t a whole lot of talking..everyone was focused and ready to meet this baby.

We all listened to Hillsong worship music and I think the entire room–doctor, nurses, family and all–knew how special this moment was about to be. Everyone knew the pain Wyatt and I had endured and how everything felt like dejavu. We’ve done this before. We’ve been here before but this time we didn’t have to say goodbye to our baby…No. We were keeping this baby. All I could think about while pushing my life away was that we were about to finally meet the baby that healed our hearts and saved our lives.

Welcome Home Everly

At 6:01 A.M, our beautiful rainbow was born. There was not a dry eye in the room. The moment took my breath away and it’s something that I’ll hold very close to heart for the rest of my days. We were all so happy and on cloud nine that EVERYONE forgot about the sex of the baby! Two minutes later I said “WAIT! WHAT IS IT!” Everyone laughed and Wyatt picked up Evie’s leg and screamed, “IT’S A GIIIIRRRRLLLL!” As if I wasn’t already sobbing, I began to like REALLY ugly cry…like bad. I wanted a girl so bad but never spoke it into the universe. I was positive, this entire pregnancy, that it was a boy. All of the old wives tales lead me to believe it was a boy. I bought boy clothes, I decorated everything with more of a boyish theme–it was supposed to be a boy! Or so I thought. It’s just funny, magical and oh so beautiful how much God knows my heart. I asked and he answered.

Evie was a tiny little thing. She weighed 5 pounds, 12 Ounces and was 19 inches long. She’s nothing but legs that girl. She came out looking JUST like her daddy and it blows me away every time I look at them. Wyatt knew this whole time in his heart it was a girl. He didn’t even need to work hard to connect with her. Their bond was instantly unbreakable. It’s been absolutely incredible to see him as a father to our little girl. He leaves me breathless with how much he loves and cares for her. I’m one lucky baby mama.

Baby girl and mama were as healthy as can be. We all continued to cuddle and kiss on our sweet girl at the hospital until the next day we finally got to go home and the rest is history. We’ve loved every minute with her. I truly don’t remember life before her.

Everly Avenue Rain, thank you for picking us to be your mama and daddy. We are going to spend the rest of our lives teaching you about Jesus, giggling and playing dress up, telling you about your brothers in heaven and loving you beyond words. If you read this someday, please know that you brought happiness and a little bit of heaven with you. You brought us peace.

We love you beyond what our hearts could ever hold.

Our Happily EVERLY After.

 

With love,

Karissa Marie

P.S.

Jesus. He makes all things new. He took what was once broken and made it whole. He alone I owe all the glory. I thank him for Everly and I thank him for her brothers.

This mama is so happy… so so happy.

Photos: Wegher Photo + Film

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Loving Your Body After Miscarriage

This is a hard topic. Encouraging a woman that has lost her child to love her body again: Impossible, almost. I can’t say that I’m there yet either but I’m fighting hard to see the beauty in my body again, as difficult as it may be. I could write a novel about all the horrific things women physically and mentally go through after miscarriage or stillbirth and how tough it is to look at your body with grace. This short and sweet post is just the beginning. I feel compelled to share my miscarriage journey with you. I can’t go through what I went through and remain mute. Asa and Armie meant too much to me to do that.

I owe this voice to them and to the women all around the world that suffer in silence every.single.day.

◊◊◊

I COULD look at my new curves and only see the pain I endured. I COULD look at my body in a harsh light, thinking that it failed to give life to my precious boys. I COULD look at my weight gain and think it was all for nothing. Instead I’ve learned to look at my mommy curves and see beauty. I look at this body that endured SO MUCH in the last couple of months and smile. I delivered two BEAUTIFUL little boys that no, I didn’t get to keep on this earth but I get to keep in my heart. I’m thankful for that short amount of time that my womb provided for my babies. I really am.

After the delivery, my milk came in. This was by far one of the most difficult things that I experienced through my miscarriage. My breasts were supposed to feed my babies. I was so excited for this part of motherhood and there I was, completely engorged with no babies to feed. The physical pain didn’t even compare to the emotional agony that this put me through. No one told me how difficult this part would be. My body thought that there was a baby in my life to feed and there wasn’t.

Some women choose to pump because it makes them feel connected to their heavenly babies. I completely understand that. I chose to wait it out and just suffer through it so that my breasts would feel normal again sooner without having to continuously pump. It took about two weeks for the swelling to come down but even now, a month later, I still leak. My doctor said that I’ll probably continue to leak for awhile, even through my next pregnancy because my hormones are still very much active after miscarriage. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want this leaking to end because it’s a reminder that I am a mommy and I once had life in my womb. It’s a silly thing to confess, I know, but you would be surprised how many women want to express this but don’t. It’s completely normal.

Let’s talk body image. We all know the sacrifice that women make to carry and deliver their babies but what some people don’t know is the sacrifice AND torment that women go through after a miscarriage. We gain all this weight for a baby and when the baby doesn’t live, we’re stuck looking at our thicker bodies in the mirror completely missing our child while also feeling nothing like ourselves. This combo is difficult to explain and impossible to forget. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror for over a week. I was so angry at myself and even angrier at my body. I blamed myself. I still don’t understand why I had to lose my boys but one thing I know for sure is that it was not my fault. It was NOT your fault. Please repeat this over and over to yourself. “It was not my fault. It was not my fault.” Sooner or later you will begin to believe it. Feed your mind and and mask your thoughts in positivity. You will heal faster and stronger when you take care of your mind, body and soul. We may never know what really happened to our babies. This is something that’s hard to swallow, I know. But please trust me when I say that Jesus has my babies and the rest of the world’s unborn babies wrapped safe and sound in his arms.

It’s not every day that I hold my strength. I’ll admit that there are moments I’m so bitter towards my body. Why couldn’t it work like it was supposed to? I sometimes DO look at my stomach, my breasts and everything else that doesn’t look the same as it did and think “Failure” and “It was all for nothing.” It’s so easy to give up on yourself isn’t it? It’s easy to see yourself as less worthy, less important and less loved after miscarriage. I’m here to tell you that you ARE worthy, you ARE important and you ARE loved.

You ARE a mother. 

Take your time. There is no rush, whatsoever, to feel normal again. Grieve for as long you need to. Be mad at your body, its therapeutic, but don’t forget to give your body a little credit too.

One other piece of advice I’d love to share through my miscarriage is this:

DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE. No matter how far along you were when you miscarried, whether it was 5 weeks or 39 weeks, your voice matters, your hurt MATTERS. Speak your mind and give away your pain, please.

God Bless you my sweet mommies.

Learn to love YOU again.

©Karissa Marie