I wasn’t sure how much of this I would share but after a lot of requests and several questions about labor and delivery, here we are! Overall, the entire process was extremely positive and one of the most incredible and amazing experiences of my life. I do want to give fair warning that this post is very lengthy because I wanted to answer as many questions as possible all in one place for yall. Also sharing some fun, candid pics from that day and the first few hours of her life. All the pictures we have were taken by Michael or family members, so they’re very raw and personal. Enjoy.
Rewinding back to the beginning of September... my doctor had told us that although we had a date picked and planned for induction, if need be, he thought baby was going to come all on her own and a couple weeks early at that. Around 35.5 weeks, there was a little dip in my amniotic fluid, which resulted in us both being monitored closely for a few days. Luckily all of that resolved on its own but we were on high alert moving forward, knowing that she could really come at any time. Our goal was to make it to 37 weeks and avoid preterm labor if possible.
Hitting 37 weeks (on September 27th) felt like a huge accomplishment and I was much more at peace with her coming at any point after that. That weekend we had planned a date night for Saturday thinking it might be one of our last. I had been having contractions since about 33 weeks but they had started to pick up the days leading up to this weekend and Saturday I was starting to get a little more uncomfortable. I just kept praying for us to get through dinner and then we could go to the hospital haha. Our dinner ended up being delicious and a very sweet time for the two of us (and yes, our last date night before her arrival).
After getting into bed that night I basically looked at Michael and said “I think labor might be starting and I’m not sure we will get through the night but I’m going to try and sleep for a bit”... I ended up waking up around 4am to strong contractions and just couldn’t sleep through them any longer, so I went ahead and got out of bed to start timing them. At one point Michael realized I wasn’t in bed and came to see what was going on but I told him to keep resting and I’d wake him when things picked up.
I think it was maybe around 7 when I went back into our room to tell Michael he probably wanted to wake up, shower and just sort of be ready for whenever I thought we should head out. My contractions were picking up and getting closer together, so I was pretty confident this was the real deal. I decided to get in the shower to see if that would help the pain I was starting to feel (which it did!) before getting myself ready as well. At 8:45 we packed our bags into the car, took a couple selfies with Remi and left our house for the last time without a baby!
The most memorable part of the drive to the hospital was that a bald eagle flew over our car, which if you know my husband, you know this was an amazing and patriotic sign for the day to come haha. After getting to the hospital and checked out in triage first, they determined I was dilated to 4.5-5cm already and officially admitted us into labor and delivery. Once we were in our room and settled in, around 11:30am, we called our families to tell them the exciting news.
We were certain we had time on our side and told our parents and siblings to TAKE THEIR TIME getting up there, as there wasn’t going to be anything to do, but they all of course rushed right up haha. Michael joked that his mom was there 2 minutes after we called and my mom was so frazzled and excited that she (wrongly) told my dad that my water had broken and they needed to get there immediately. We all had quite a few laughs about everyone’s reactions but needless to say, there was a lot of excitement!
The afternoon was pretty uneventful and we basically just hung out, watched Sunday football, and visited with our families a bit. My doctor popped in at one point and told us his thoughts for the day, which included a plan to break my water around dinner time if it didn’t rupture on its own. I had fully planned on getting an epidural (no shame here!) and wanted it before my water was broken but did want to wait it out until I really felt I needed it. Around 3 or 4p, I started getting pretty uncomfortable and decided it would be nice to have some drugs at that point haha.
I will say that the process of getting the epidural was probably my least favorite thing about labor and delivery. It wasn’t painful by any means but felt VERY strange and just not very pleasant while they were putting it in. However, once I was all hooked up and laying back down again, whoa. Amazing! Haha.
I had made it to 7cm on my own before the epidural and after receiving it, they let me rest for a few hours before finally breaking my water after 8pm. I was somewhere between 8 and 9cm at that point, so I was given a low dose of pitocin to try and help me get the rest of the way, while keeping my contractions strong and consistent.
After another nap, popsicle, and some time with a peanut ball, my nurses had me labor down and didn’t check me for a good hour or more. I was certain I had to be complete when they finally did check me and sure enough, it was go time! I should also mention that I hadn’t hit my epidural meds in a while because although I was feeling a bit more physically again, my nurses reassured me that having some of that feeling might actually be helpful when it came time to push. Turns out they were right, of course. After about 10 pushes and maybe 30 minutes, our perfect little angel was born at 12:23am on Monday October 1st. She really had us guessing down to the wire on which month she’d be born in. :)
I was very adamant about having skin-to-skin and trying to breastfeed her right away, while giving Michael and I a few minutes alone before bringing our families in. The moments after her delivery and me getting all fixed up were all a bit chaotic, but after a good check up for Kennedy, we got that very much treasured alone time as a new family of three. Our families were absolute troopers and stayed all day and night to be able to meet her, which finally happened around 1:30 or 2 o’clock in the morning. It was so sweet and special to introduce her to our parents and siblings and we were just so thankful for everyone’s patience hanging out all day to wait and meet her.
Once they all left and the craziness of her being born settled down, the hard part began. The few hours after her birth and the beginning of my postpartum recovery were by far the hardest and most horrible hours of the entire experience. As the epidural completely wore off and I got up and moving around, the pain I experienced was pretty awful but (thankfully) is kind of a blur now. We finally made it to a recovery room around 5am and attempted some rest, which is next to impossible when you’ve just had a baby and everyone and their mom needs to come check you for one thing or another haha. After spending two more nights in the hospital and a bout with jaundice for our little one, we finally made it home on Wednesday evening with our girl.
The one other very popular question has been about her name and where it comes from. We have had the name Kennedy picked out for years, so when finding out we were having a girl, that was for sure the easiest decision we had to make. Kennedy is a family name from Michael’s side and we’ve always loved it for a little girl. Her middle name, Marie, comes from my side of the family and makes her the fourth generation with this as her middle name. We think it’s a perfect name for our perfect girl.
If you made it all the way to the end of this story, way to go! Thanks for reading and for all your love and excitement over our new bundle. She has been an absolute treasure since day one and I’m happy to report that both mom and baby recovered well and are doing great six weeks later. Time is flying and we just couldn’t be more in love with her.