Birth, it’s one of the most magical moments I feel that anyone can experience. There is something so powerful, raw and just beautiful about the entire process and I am so blessed to have experienced it 4 times. Each birth is so different yet beautiful in it’s own way and I try to savor every moment of it, especially this one because it was my last! (yup, already in tears writing this)
Okay let’s back up a few days…the month of May, if you are a mom, especially a mom with kids in school then you know what a stressful month it is! I’m talking preschool registration, kinder graduation, parties, awards, selling a house, building a house…I mean we couldn’t have had one more thing on our plate but let’s add a baby! No biggie right?
It was May 15th and I was heading in to my doctor before my induction which was set for may 18th. I had no plans of being induced until then, hadn’t packed a bag yet, hadn’t cleaned my house, didn’t have anything set up sitterwise for the big kids and was really just waiting for Thursday night to do all of these things I guess?? Well at about 3:00 I go in for my appointment and my doctor says “If I can get you in today do you want to go ahead and be induced?” …. Cue panic and excitement! I hesitantly told her I would have to talk to Matt and see what he thought and asked her what time she was thinking and she said “around 5:30” but she would let me know for sure if they could get me in depending on how full L&D was! Well I immediately called Matt and his exact words were “LET’S DO IT, GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD”! Easy for him to say huh?!
About an hour later I still hadn’t heard anything so I was frantically at home trying to gather stuff up, load the car, etc just in case she texted and a few minutes later around 5:30 I got the text! It was a go, we would be meeting our final baby in a matter of hours.
I called my mom and sister because they are always in the delivery room with us and told them it was baby time and they immeditaly started planning to be there. My mom is a teacher and of course her field trip was the next day so she had to make sure someone could cover for her so she could be there for the birth of her 6th grandbaby, thankfully it wasn’t an issue! I would have totally cancelled it if she wasn’t able to make it. My sister couldn’t take off work the next day so she told me I was on a time crunch and better get this baby here asap! No pressure! I felt terrible knowing she was going to be a walking zombie the next day at school but I knew if she got some baby snuggles beforehand she would probably survive 😉
Once I got showered and everything loaded in the car I kissed Matt and the kids, told the kids they would be meeting their baby brother or sister tomorrow and headed out! Matt had to stay with the kids until they were down for the night and then my mom came to the house and waited for my grandma to get there to stay the night with them. Once my mom got my grandma all set up at the house she came to the hospital! I’m telling ya, getting everyone taken care of by baby #4 is a hard scheduling task! It was so easy with #1 & #2! haha
I arrived at the hospital around 6:10 or so and waited for them to get me a room all set up. It felt so strange being there all by myself and I feel like people were feeling sorry for me that I had no one there! I was all checked in a filling out paperwork by 6:30. I met my nurse, they came in and did a final sonogram to make sure baby was head down and then we waited for orders to start the induction.
Around 7:30 I was hooked up to the IV and trying to rest. They checked me on arrival and I was 3.5cm dilated! It was the strangest thing because I was having consistent contractions every 7-10 minutes that were pretty intense on the monitor. They weren’t hurting me but I joked that maybe tonight would have been the night no matter what! Matt, my mom and sister were all there by this point and we began the waiting process. Around 9:15 is when they finally started my Pitocin. My contractions were very quick to pick up and by 11 they were every 1-2 minutes and gaining intensity!
Around 1:00 am I asked for an epidural and the doctor came in. He got everything all set up and prepped me for the insertion. This is when stuff got crazy! lol He went to put in the test dose of epinephrine and my heart rate shot from 85-160 within seconds. My vision went spotty and I felt terrible. I told him what I was eperiencing and he said it must have been in the wrong spot. He tried another test dose to be 100% certain and yup, same thing happened. It was almost like an out of body experience because my heart was racing and I could feel it in my head. He immediatley told me I was going to have to have the epidural removed and he would place it again…that’s definitely not what you want to hear as your contracting like crazy and having to be super still for an even more extended period of time! The second time worked thankfully yet another problem presented itself, my entire left side didn’t numb at all!
I told my nurse and she told the anesthesiologist and they told me to give it some time to work it’s way down but if you were here for Huxx’s birth then you know this happened that time as well. I waited it out as long as I could and by this time I was VERY uncomfortable. I could feel every contraction on my left side and they were painful. The nurse came in around this time and put in my catheter and checked me. I was 4.5 cm dilated, so not much changed since arrival! It took her awhile to put it in and I remember her telling me “That was the strangest thing, I almost couldn’t get it in because the baby’s head is so low” Wow, this was getting real. lol They then wanted me to roll to my left side to see if I could get some relief on that side so I did. Now I was beginning to shake out of control, like scary shake…Matt became very concerned because I had never felt pain like this in my life and he could tell. It was so intense and with each contraction I remember said “Oh gosh, here comes another one”….every minute! haha I didn’t open my eyes for probably 45 minutes or longer. I could hear everyone talking and shuffling around but couldn’t take my focus off trying to breath through every contraction.
In the background my sister was texting my birth photographer Monica and keeping her updated. She let her know that i was 4.5cm dilated and that we probably still had a little while! So my sister actually laid down to take a nap, little did she know…
About 30 minutes after being 4.5cm I began feeling SOOO much pressure. The medicine that used to be on my right side had now disappeared as it tried to work on my left side but was unsuccessful so now I could feel everything…like everything. I was shaking out of control, telling the nurses I need to push and freaking out because I knew my doctor wasn’t here yet, or my photgrapher. My sister woke up to lights going up, bed changing to stirrups and sheer chaos. Like I said, I never once opened my eyes, my pain was intense and I just had to stay in the moment or I knew I would crumble. I hear Monica come in and can hear here snapping pictures and I was SO thankful she made it! Poor thing was running into the hosptial to make it and fell and ripped her pants! The nurse decided to check me and as I rolled to my back the pressure was so intense. I remember her frantically saying “Get Loveless here now, we’re about to have a baby” Apparently the baby’s head was right there and would be here any second.
I remember Dr. Loveless arriving and feeling a great sense of comfort. I love her and feel so blessed to be able to be her patient! She just brings such a peace and doesn’t ever seem phased by chaos and I love that. She is so brilliant and confident and I can’t think of two more amazing qualities in a doctor who is bringing my children into this world! (PS. Funny story about her, literally 2 days before I found out I was pregnant she texted me saying ” I feel like by y’all’s timing in the past I should be seeing you pretty soon” and then….positive pregnancy test) She could tell how miserable I was and kept asking me “Are you okay, Bailey?” At this point Matt walked out of the room (didn’t even know this because my eyes were still closed) and found our nurse and asked her if there was anything they could give me and she told him not really because any pain meds would cross to the baby since he/she was so close to birth. He very firmly told her there had to be something so she talked to the anethesiologist and he was able to give me a bolus of lidocain that FINALLY gave me some relief. As soon as this was done I was able to start pushing and in 3 contractions I heard Matt say “It’s a boy”…the most intense moment that we had been waiting for since September 5th. He was immediately laid on my chest and I just soaked him in. Felt his tiny (but huge) little body against mine and welcomed him to the world with lots of tears, kisses and snuggles.
I was so glad the pain was over and my sweet final baby was here and he was perfect. He had gorgeous dark hair, the sweetest lips and an adorable little wrinkly forehead! I couldn’t stop kissing him and my heart was just bursting with love for this baby boy! Daddy got to cut the cord and then it was time to reveal his name to my mom and sister who have been so (im)patiently waiting!
We all just starred at him for the next 30 minutes and then he started rooting around and I was able to breastfeed him for about 45 minutes or so. He was a such a champ, didn’t skip a beat and was feeding like a pro! I have so much less anxiety about breastfeeding since this is my 4th but those first moments of breastfeeding are just so precious! It’s a new experience for both of us and I just prayed it would be so natural and it was!
Sway had to be suctioned quite a bit because he was very wet sounding. He came out so quickly and didn’t spend much time actively engaged in the birth canal which usually squeezes all the extra junk out of their lungs! They got lots of junk out of his nose and lungs and he was good to go! During this time Matt ran to Whataburger for me some chicken strips ( bless his soul) because I was starving! Once he got back we did all of Sway’s assessments. He was a big boy for sure, our biggest baby yet!
8lb 14oz 21.5″ of pure Heaven, he also had a large head but nothing my body couldn’t handle! I am so thankful for that because if you remember his head was measuring HUGE at 34 weeks so I guess it stopped growing for awhile 😉 thank goodness! He had to have his blood sugar checked since I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes because they are at risk for low blood sugars and not being able to maintain them properly. Thankfully my milk comes in super strong and early because when he ate he got so much colostrum and had perfect blood sugars every time in the 12 hr window they check! I mean my milk was in before he was even born, how do I know this? Because I was soaked in my gown while they were putting in the epidural….3 hrs before he was even born! ha! They want them to have at least 1 poopy diaper in the first 24 hrs and my little eating machine had 5-6!
We finally got put in a room after shift change and got all settled in. Matt had to leave to go get the big kids from my Meme so he could get them to school for half day because we wanted our birth photographer to be there for their first meeting. She couldn’t make it until around 2. We didn’t share the news with anyone about gender, name, etc because we wanted our big kids to be the first to know everything about their newest little sibling! My mom stayed up there with me while Matt was gone and we tried to get some rest. I was so anxious for my bigs to get up to the hospital and I couldn’t wait to kiss their sweet little faces!
Finally around 2:15 I heard the sweetest little feet and voices down the hall and the moment we had been waiting for was finally here! Our family was complete and we were about to let them meet for the first time and my heart was about to explode! The moment they walked in the door the faces of pure excitement were more than I could handle and Monica captured it so wonderfully. Greleigh had said from the beginning that she didn’t want me to tell her but she wanted to ask me what the baby was. So the minute she walked in she said “Mom, what is it?’ I got to tell her “come meet your baby brother” and all of their faces were so precious! They immediately came running over to the bed and started loving on him. We told them his name and all the details. To say they were in love would be an understatement! They brought him a basket full of goodies and they were so eager to show him all of his presents! We all just got to love on each other, take pictures, give the sweetest kisses and snuggle our baby Sway as a new family of 6!
Greleigh had also requested that she get to help give “the baby” his/her first bath from the beginning of my pregnancy so this was a must. We called in the nurse and all 3 big kids got to bathe Sway. It was so adorable! Greleigh was of course a pro and Kaige was the most gentle little thing I’ve ever seen, which if you know Kaige this is shocking! lol We got him smelling like a slice of Heaven, dressed him in his first outfit and got ready to take his public announcement picture! I couldn’t wait to share my BOY with the world! So many people were anxiously waiting, messaging, texting etc and we were so excited to finally let everyone know!
We ended up staying until Wednesday in the hospital due to when he was born. Our hospital requires a 24hr stay but they onviously don’t want to be discharging at 3 in the morning so we waited until Wednesday morning. Matt had to be back at work due to this being his busiest season of the year so he wasn’t able to be there with us to go home! Once again my mom came in clutch! lol Thank goodness for moms right?!
We got all settled in at home and by settled I mean we began the chaos of four kids! It is so busy you guys, like so buys but I truly love it! Sway’s birth was definitely the most painful one of the four but the pain was immediately erased from my memory the moment we met. He is the piece to our family that we were missing. I am so thankful to have experienced four healthy pregnancies with four beautiful babies. The four babies my heart longed for since before I even met Matt are here and it’s more perfect that I could have ever imagined! I was made to be a mama of four!
I honestly can’t believe this is my life! I can’t believe I get to raise four kids with the man of my dreams. We get to do life together with our babies, who will always be my babies no matter how old they get. They will never outgrow my lap and I will forever remember the moments that each of them were laid on my chest and I felt my heart grow each time. The love you have for your kids is just something indescribable until you experience it for yourself. I can’t wait to watch them grow, experience life, make memories, find love and hopefully experience the love of becoming a parent someday (If we allow them to ever date)! I have prayed over this family since I was a young girl and I am so blessed that God entrusted us with these four precious little souls! I pray they all know how loved they are by not only us but more importantly the Lord!
PS. My dear husband handles the chaos of four kids so well and I am SO beyond thankful that his heart was open to my crazy idea of having four kids. He is our rock, my helper, our provider and I could’t imagine doing this without him. People ask me all the time how I do it and honestly it’s because of him!
Also as I was going through our pictures this one right here stood out to me on a different level. I can honestly say it brought me to tears. I can see the love and feel how proud Matt is of me and our new little baby and it’s now one of my favorite pictures of him! He was so worried about me in the moment and I feel like you can just see the joy that is all over his face! His love is something that I cherish!
Read our other birth stories below!
Pictures provided by the amazing Monica Bartels Photography! I am so blessed to have her capture the most precious moments!!