Kailee Riches

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Nashville Birth Photography | Kodi

From Kelsey:

On Wednesday January 6th, three weeks before my due date, I woke up and got ready for work just like any given day. Despite having fairly consistent contractions for about 4 days before that, I did not have a single contraction that entire work day. I had my weekly checkup that afternoon, so after work I met my mom so she could make the hour long drive with me. After picking her up, I began having contractions 2-3 minutes apart the entire way to the doctor's office. I didn't really think much of it, and at the most I expected to be dilated maybe a few centimeters and be sent home to keep playing the waiting game.

The doctor completed my exam, and to my surprise the next words I heard were, "well, I am going to go ahead and have you admitted to the hospital." Wait, what?! I was dilated to 6 at that point and was in active labor. I was so stunned, and well honestly, I was totally freaking out that it was actually time to have a baby! But I was excited! The gender was a surprise, and we were finally about to meet this sweet baby that we had wondered so much about.

We made our way to the hospital (after a detour to Chick-Fil-A and then missing the turn to get back to the hospital and accidentally getting on the interstate...oops!) I checked in and got hooked up to the dreaded IV and all the monitors. My husband was still at home trying to pack up the things that hadn't yet made it into the hospital bags, and he was going to bring our son to visit before the new baby arrived. After a couple of hours they finally made it to the hospital and I was dilated to 7.

My previous labor was all natural which is what I had planned for this one too. So to try to get things progressing a bit more, I walked the halls for about 30 minutes then spent about 10 minutes on an exercise ball before my nurse (who was absolutely wonderful by the way!!) had to hook me back up for monitoring again. As she was hooking me back up I saw this funny look on her face and she had me turn to my left side then to my right side. She then hit the call button and asked another nurse to come in the room. At this point, I was extremely worried because I could tell she wasn't finding the baby's heartbeat. I was trying my best to stay calm as they cranked up my IV fluids and put an oxygen mask on me, but I just knew they were about to rush me away to the OR for a c-section and my plan for a natural labor was out the window.

Then, I heard a very slow and very faint heartbeat. It gradually got stronger and stronger and although this seemed to last forever, the baby's heart rate was back up in just a few minutes. Of course despite my goals for labor, my ultimate goal was a healthy baby, so I was going to do whatever was necessary to keep this baby safe until it was ready to make its grand entrance, and for the time being staying in bed to hopefully prevent the heart rate from dropping again was what had to be done.

A couple more hours passed by and I was dilated to 8, and the contractions were really starting to become intense. Fighting through the contractions while being confined to the bed was very difficult, but my husband and mother were great supporters and helped me through each contraction. Midnight rolled around (it was now my birthday!), and my nurse came in to check on me and wish me a happy birthday at 12:00 on the dot! She came back just a few minutes later to see if I had progressed at all, and I was dilated to 9 cm. It was almost officially baby time.

Before she left the room I decided I better get up and use the bathroom one last time. My mom and the nurse helped me get into the restroom, and as I sat down, the baby shot down and was about to make his/her entrance if we were ready or not. My nurse yanked the call button and nurses came running in and they basically threw me in bed before the baby ended up in the toilet or on the floor. Luckily, the doctor heard the commotion and came into the room just after they got me into the bed. After an extremely quick prep and two pushes I had a precious baby on my chest! It all happened so fast I was in a state of shock and hadn't really comprehended that this child I had carried for 37 weeks was finally here. They quickly took the baby away to be checked, and I still had no idea if it was a boy or girl. 

My husband leaned down to kiss me on the forehead and with the biggest grin on his face he said, "You just had a baby girl! We have a daughter!" With tear filled eyes I looked over as they were bringing this beautiful, healthy baby GIRL back to me. As we laid there doing skin to skin bonding, she stared up at me, studying my face and I studied her's. I was so overwhelmed with love for this precious miracle in my arms. Although we had just met, I already couldn't imagine our lives without her. 

 This is my birth story. A beautiful chaos that God had so perfectly orchestrated to bring us such a precious gift. "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalms 139: 13-14