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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Our Rainbow Baby Maternity Photos || Winsome + Wright

This moment right here. Being pregnant with our sweet rainbow baby brings me such a joy that it could ONLY be created by God himself. I am so in love with this family that we created, both in heaven and here Earth side. If I could bundle up my emotions and express to you all of my feelings into this one blog post, it would end up being a novel. Losing our twin boys was, without a doubt, the hardest moment in our lives but what sweet sweet love Jesus has for us to give us a rainbow in the middle of our storm. How incredible is He to never give up on us, to have a perfect plan for our lives. I told myself that before I turned 24, I would be married with about three kids. How miraculous that it came true. I’m a mama to three, not in the way I had expected it to be but in a way that God knew it would be. His way hasn’t been the easiest ON me but it’s the best FOR me. After losing my babies I thought I would have a heart of coal but oh how opposite that came to be. MY heart is FILLED with the love of the Holy Spirit. I look at things more beautiful than I did before, brighter than I did before. It took some time, these feelings didn’t happen overnight by any means. I had to walk through a valley of darkness, hand in hand with the devil himself to get to the top of the mountain where I currently reside. This rocky path to becoming a mother was HARD. The moments of complete defeat and isolation smothered me. I was certain that God forgot about me, forgot about my dreams of becoming a mother. He KNEW the kind of mother I needed to be and knew what it had to take to get me there. HE answered prayers I didn’t even know I had.

 

Thank you Jesus for all the moments it took to get me right here. The good, the bad, the heartbreaking….just Thank you for loving me the way that you do. Thank you for my husband Wyatt and our heavenly boys , Asa and Armie and for our rainbow baby. I LOVE this family of mine.

 

BIG THANK YOU to Winsome + Wright for always capturing the sweetest moments of my life. I love our friendship more than words.

 

With love,

Karissa Marie

A Layering Game

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Styling your wardrobe in a climate like New York City during winter time is nothing but a layering game. Sometimes there’s no choice left but throw on this and throw on that just so you can stay warm. I miss my southwestern winters because the dry weather made life a little more simple. Here in NYC the weather is consistently wet, windy and cold which just forces me to leave me behind my fashionista logic and instead grab my warmest leggings and pullover sweater along with my sociably forbidden UGG boots. That’s my life right now. On top of being pregnant and battling my morning sickness, the very last thing on my mind is looking cute for the world. I decided to photograph my outfit on the one occasion I decided to dress up and look like a girl. Go me. I was also hiding my little baby bump with this gorgeous swing dress. Warning: The dress runs ridiculously wide, so much so that I had to take it in significantly on sides. I would honestly go a size or two down.

With love,

©Karissa Marie

Dress. Jeans. Faux Fur Jacket. Necklace. Hat

Foundation. Lipstick “Ruby Woo”

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We’re Having A Baby!

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Cupid Got Us A BABY! 

Wyatt and I are absolutely over-the-moon and could not be more ready for this next chapter of our lives. We are thanking God every second of everyday for gifting us with this precious child. We really cannot form into words how much we love our baby already. I’m so happy that the word is officially out and I can finally share with you my pregnancy journey so far: From how we found out, to the juicy morning sickness details and unwanted weight gain. I’m happy to share my experience to those that want to hear it! Hold on tight folks because things are just getting started. 

Becoming A Mom

I’ve wanted to be a mom since WAY before I should have ever thought about becoming a mom, and not just a regular mom but a cool mom. (I had to throw in a little “Mean Girls” quote.) You know when you’re just destined to do something, to be someone? Ya. Well that’s me and motherhood. We are like to Mac and cheese. There’s no denying it. There’s no saying no to it. You just end up eating the entire bowl. Mmm… Mac and cheese. I lost track. Where was I? Oh ya. I’m going to be a mom.

I’m loving every second so far except for the occasional throw up sesh in the middle of the subway station. My morning sickness aka morning, evening AND night sickness has FINALLY subsided, well kind of. I really thought I wouldn’t be able to make it to the other side but I did. Oh man. Morning sickness is NO JOKE. It hit me like a ton of bricks just when I thought that I was one of the lucky ones. Nope. I’ve never felt nausea like that in my entire life. I’ll still occasionally vomit at random but it’s much better than being bed-ridden all day long. Besides the typical aches and weird food aversions I’m feeling much better heading into my second trimester. Look at me… Talking all pregnant and stuff. 

My Growing Belly

I’ve gained nearly 10 pounds which I’m really proud about. I honestly cannot tell if I have a bump right now or if I’m just eating too much icecream but either way this bigger and rounder stomach is loved and appreciated. I can’t believe how aware I am of my body. It’s so hard to explain but even though its too early to actually feel the baby kick, I can feel the baby inside of me. Even when he/she was just the size of a raspberry, I could feel its presence. It’s the most incredible feeling and I’m so grateful to experience the magic of pregnancy. One morning I woke up around the tenth week and felt the baby much heavier than the day before. It’s like the little nugget grew overnight!

Finding Out We Were Pregnant

We found out on December 20th via Pregnancy Pee Test. I had this feeling for a couple of days but didn’t want to jinx anything so I never said a word to Wyatt about it. I had been getting my usual pre-menstrual cramps which was very discouraging and made this all very confusing. My intuition was stronger. I was having these dreams and visions all day long. I just KNEW in my heart that I was pregnant. That was the longest work day of my life. I ran home as fast as I could because I knew we had one pregnancy test left. I got home and Wyatt had just gotten off of work, he was hanging out on the couch with Finley. I threw my jacket and things down ran to the restroom to take the pregnancy test. As it was deciding our fate, I went over and propped the camera up and hit record because I just knew our lives were about to change and I wanted it to be documented. I went to the bathroom and saw those TWO PINK LINES saying that I was p-r-e-g-n-a-n-t !!!!! I was shaking uncontrollably when I screamed “WE’RE HAVING A BABY!” Wyatt’s first words were “No, no, no. You’re lying to me.” I won’t ever forget that. We cried together, laughed together. I’m so happy I caught it all on camera. (Might even upload it to YouTube.) 

Our Very First Ultrasound

Our first ultrasound was one of the best days of my life. Aside from marrying Wyatt, hearing our baby’s heartbeat was seriously the most incredible moment EVER. We had been awaiting this day for what it seemed like forever. Most doctors won’t accept you until you’re around your 8th week. We walked into the office, both nervous as ever. I couldn’t concentrate when filling out my medical forms. I even turned and asked Wyatt, “Hey, What’s my birthday?” I was THAT out of it. The hospital and the staff that we chose were out of this world amazing. They were the nicest group of women. I felt so safe and I confidently know that my baby and I will be WELL taken care of. Once we got settled into our room I knew what was coming. I made sure to do my research beforehand so I wasn’t too overwhelmed. 

The first Prenatal Appointment is a hefty one. Things to expect: 

  1. Urine Test
  2. Pelvic Exam including a Pap Smear
  3. Breast Examination 
  4. Transvaginal Scans (The Ultrasound for early stages.) 
  5. Health/ Medical/ Family history. 
  6. Blood tests. (And a lot of them.) 
  7. A pregnancy safe flu shot. (My doctor recommended it.)                                      

Wyatt was my rock through all of this. That day I knew I had picked the right guy to marry and to raise a family with. (I always knew but this really reinsured me.) He held my hand SO TIGHT and did not let go. He made sure I knew he was right there as I was getting these quite uncomfortable tests done, most that I had never done before. I could not have asked for a better partner. Thinking back to that day brings me to tears. He sure made me proud. Speaking of crying, Wyatt and I were immediately in tears when we saw our tiny little peanut on the ultrasound screen. I couldn’t help but sob because there OUR BABY was. It’s like I was meeting my best friend for the very first time. After 8 months of trying to conceive, we had our little miracle. Our sweet bundle of joy. Words cannot express how happy we were in that moment.

God is so good isn’t he. The day we found out we were pregnant was also the day we were going to a fertility clinic to run some tests just to triple check that everything was functioning okay… We never showed up to that appointment. God heard our prayers loud and clear and gifted us with LIFE on His timing, not ours. 

I just have three words left to say: 

Thank you Jesus. 

Photography: Stephanie Sunderland Photography