Lucy + Isaiah: A Twin Birth Story

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Look at me, really keeping up with this blog! Last entry was Chloe's birth story, almost three years ago. But hey, we've been a bit busy over here and this blog is not at all on my priority list. I do love coming back and reading the birth stories of each of my kiddos (Aiden, Emerson and Chloe), so of course I have to document the twinsies!

Ok, we can start at the beginning. Adam and I found out we were pregnant with twins in July... surprise of a lifetime! Maybe I'll go back and document that fun chapter at some point, but for now I'll fast forward to their birth stories.

I was thankful for a "boring" pregnancy, as our MFM (Maternal-Fetal Medicine doctor) called it. Babies always measured great and I had no complications (except lots of discomfort as we got to the end). I continued to see midwives at the OB office and my visits there were par for the course, and they were wonderful advocating on my behalf. I really wanted to have a vaginal delivery, but was at the mercy of the babies' positions and which doctor was on call when I went to deliver. I really appreciated that I felt heard by my whole care team, and also tried to be very open-handed during the whole pregnancy. Yes, I'd LOVE an easy peasy vaginal birth, but I also knew twins were a whole new ballgame and was open to whatever had to happen for the babies to arrive healthy. I know that I serve a God who cares about all the details and leaves nothing to chance, and was thankful to feel at peace about all the things during pregnancy. 

Dr. Nathan, our MFM, wanted me to deliver between 37-38 weeks, not going past the 38 week mark. He said the risk of stillbirth goes up at 38 weeks, and by 37 weeks their lungs are about 98% mature. His words were "You don't have much to gain, but you have a lot to lose by going any further." I've never been induced before and was really hoping the twins would show up beforehand, but was also very at peace with Dr. Nathan's recommendation for induction. It was bizarre having a literal eviction date. Except the annoyance of "maybe you'll get in, maybe you won't" with inductions.

Ok, fast forward to 36 weeks. I went in for my final MFM appointment on Monday, Feb 6 and Isaiah had flipped breech! The twins were transverse for a good bit of the pregnancy, but Lucy went head down around 30ish weeks, and Isaiah stayed kind of sideways/head down. And then, of course, turns breech one week before his eviction notice. Adam thought I was panicking, but I really wasn't. As "Baby B", I knew his starting position really didn't matter. Head down would be awesome, but I knew there was a chance he could flip anyway once Baby A (Lucy) was delivered. Still, I prayed and prayed he would flip back around so he would be in the best place when it was go time. Side note: We really liked Dr. Nathan. We always felt heard by him and he was also on board for a vaginal delivery. Seems silly to be appreciative of someone agreeing with our birth plan of having the babies come out the way nature intended, but I was also shocked at the things I heard with how many people immediately opt for a c-section or how many doctors won't even attempt vaginal deliveries with twins. Don't get me wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with a c-section, we definitely just felt like we were in the minority for wanting a vaginal birth. At our last appointment he said, "Alright, you've had 3 vaginal births - let's make it 5!".

The next day, Tuesday, February 7, was my OB appointment. And wouldn't you know it - Isaiah was back to head down! Thank you, Jesus. I was able to see Rachel for this appointment, which was just the kindness of God. She only works 1-2 days/month at that office and I missed her so much this pregnancy. (She delivered Emerson and Chloe.) She was so kind to still put up with all of my texts this time around. :) She said it was probably a good sign that Isaiah was flipping around so easily, because it may mean he'd be easy to flip if things got weird during delivery (ha! more on that later). Since I was being induced the next week(!), she went ahead and checked me. I was 3cm and 50% effaced, so I consumed all the dates, red raspberry leaf and evening primrose oil in hopes to get my cervix ready to roll for the induction. (Update, I was the exact same when I showed up for my induction, so that stuff seemed to do... nothing.) 

The two doctors at my practice who are comfortable trying to flip a breech Baby B or delivering a breech Baby B were on call Monday, February 13 and Tuesday, February 14. Again, God and His attention to detail! We tried to get scheduled for Monday, with the hopes that if the labor took awhile I'd have a 48 hour period to get one of those doctors. I got the call on Wednesday, February 8 that I was all set for Monday! (Although, there's no real confirmation. It all depends on how busy L&D is, whether or not they can fit you in. Fun times!) 

Fast forward to Monday morning, February 13th - I had my final OB appointment at 8:15am. Rachel was hopeful that I could just walk over to L&D after that appointment, if they hadn't called me in yet. The babies looked great on the ultrasound, and Adam asked the sonographer if she could tell the midwife there was something " wrong" so they could go ahead and admit me. (Classic Adam.) She didn't, but the midwife Marilee, went to bat for us and called over to L&D to try to get us in. The charge nurse apparently wasn't very pleasant, but Marilee was able to get us in at noon! Adam and I had a great morning together: breakfast at Waffle House and then exploring the third floor of Macy's since the mall didn't open until 11am. Then we did some mall walking and made our way back to the hospital! Eeeek! (Another God note... since my delivery I've seen quite a few women on some local Facebook groups complaining that they were supposed to be induced on X date and they'd been sitting around for DAYS waiting to finally get a call. God is so kind. So involved in all the details.)

Final prego picture... in the Macy's bathroom!

It was so weird arriving to the hospital and not being in labor. At all. We parked the car and I turned around thinking, "The next time I see this car we'll have two babies in car seats." We got checked in at noon and sat in the waiting area until 12:57 when we got called back (another big shoutout to Adam for taking amazing notes during this labor and delivery!). Jude was our first nurse, and she was so great. I got all hooked up and then met with Olga, the midwife on call. She got me started on Pitocin around 2:30pm. She started me at a 2 and said they would increase it every 30 minutes or so until things really started happening. The max was 20 and then they'd have to re-evaluate. Olga said she was confident she'd see our babies before she left (at 7:30am the next morning). 

Speaking of going to bat for us, Olga and Dr. Webb tried to get permission for us to deliver in our labor and delivery room, but hospital policy is that twins have to be delivered in the OR regardless of how they're being delivered. Again, I was so thankful for a team that seemed to really respect our wishes and advocate for us.

Back to the induction... oof. I was still 3cm dilated and 50% effaced when I arrived, but assumed once they plugged in that Pitocin these babies would come flying out. (Throwback to Chloe's birth, which was about 5 hours total.) Well, that wasn't the case. At around 3:30pm, the Pitocin was at a 6 and I started feeling some tightening. Nothing painful or uncomfortable at all, but at least something was starting to happen. At 6:00pm, I was at 10 on the Pitocin, but contractions were still very mild. They decided not to increase the Pitocin for awhile since my contractions were consistently 2 minutes apart. (Of course I was like, "Crank that bad boy up! Let's get going!" Thankfully, I was not in charge.) I got out of the bed to stand up and sit on a yoga ball, and the contractions seemed to stop altogether. It was pretty annoying that I had to be stuck to the monitors the whole time - THREE monitors (one for contractions and one for each baby). Our nurse changed to Nic around 7:30pm. She was so wonderful and full of great insight. She had been a L&D nurse for 19 years, and specifically at Kennestone for 11 years. 

I was really starting to get discouraged in the evening. It felt like nothing was happening! Nic and Olga both kept reassuring me that I was doing great and the babies were handling the induction beautifully, but I had a really bad attitude (and I was hungry) and could not shake it. I kept having to boss my brain around, reminding myself how at peace I had felt about this induction and that God is in all the details. But that was quite the battle! In addition to the Pitocin, I tested positive for Group B Strep so had to be on antibiotics. I just hated sitting around getting pumped full of drugs. I really missed the kids and honestly just wanted to rip out my IV and go home. I also had this thought in the back of my mind that they were going to just send me home anyway because I wasn't making enough progress. (I'm not dramatic, AT ALL.) Of course, Adam was just the greatest and so patient and encouraging. 

At 9:00pm they increased the Pitocin to 14, and I moved back to the bed with my bad attitude for the next few hours. The contractions still weren't painful, but they were annoying enough that I couldn't sleep. Plus my head was SO itchy. I swear it was a side effect from the Group B Strep antibiotics, but Nic didn't seem to think so. It was so bizarre and finally passed, but being annoyed PLUS being itchy? Goodbye. I didn't feel like watching TV so I just sat there and complained for hours. Adam is the luckiest! (Random side note: Adam was getting coffee in the hall and ran into a friend of ours from church. His wife was also in labor! Their daughter was born about 3 hours before the twins.) 

At 12:30am (Happy Valentine's Day!) Olga asked if she could break Lucy's water. Um, yes please. And downnnnn came the river! So. Much. Fluid. It kept coming and coming, and I felt like I was sitting in a lake. Olga also checked me and I was 4cm. I didn't think I'd made much progress, so that wasn't surprising. Luckily, breaking her water sped things up. Contractions started getting uncomfortable around 1:00am and by 2:00am I was in full on eyes-closed-"ooommm-ing" mode. I got the epidural at 3:00am (with the same anesthesiologist who did Chloe's - which was the best! Another sweet gift from God.) and then hung out on the bed with the peanut ball. I was finally in a better mood because I knew things were happening! (God's patience blows me away. Truly. Daily. I am so undeserving.) When I got the epidural, the doctor asked how dilated I was. Nic said "We're going to say a 6." She checked me after I got the epidural and wouldn't you know it - I was at 6cm. 

At 4:30am they turned off the Pitocin because my body was contracting too much. Nic thought it may be because I was dehydrated, which made sense because I had barely drank any water to avoid having to make too many trips to the bathroom with my 27 cords. I started chugging water and the contractions chilled out and my body finally got the memo and labor progressed without anymore Pitocin. Hooray! Nic said she guessed the babies would be here between 6:00-7:00am.

Nic came in around 5:00am asking if I felt "pushy", because my contractions looked like I was ready to push. I said nope and had no interest in pushing until necessary. About 5:45am I told Adam to go get Nic because my lady parts felt weird. (Full disclosure, it felt like a head was just sitting in my vagina.) Nic checked me and immediately felt Lucy's head. I was at a +3 station... it was time to head to the OR!

Nic called Olga and Adam put on his scrubs. Nic said "This is the part where you meet all my friends!" She wasn't kidding, that OR was packed! Olga, Dr. Webb, Nic, anesthesiologist, a team for each baby, more nurses for me. It was a party. I was wheeled into the OR and everyone took a couple minutes to get everything set. It was surreal seeing TWO warming beds for the babies! (Fun and obvious fact about an operating table, it's not meant to be used to push out a baby. They were able to rig it so I was at a bit of an incline, because I was like "Uh, I can't push laying flat on my back.")

It was go time! I pushed three times through one contraction and out came Lucy at 6:05am! (Shoutout to Nic for accurately guessing their arrival time.) Olga put her on my belly and I was able to get some snuggles and kisses, and Adam was able to cut the cord. She was still covered in vernix caseosa (or as Adam called it, white gross stuff), but was the cutest little peanut. I remember looking at her and thinking, "You don't look like any of the kids!" In the weeks since, we think she favors Aiden. Then the nurses took her to the warming table and I looked down to see Dr. Webb shoulder deep in my uterus. (Literally. He was wearing one of those long cow insemination gloves.) I knew something was up, because - well, THAT was happening. But also because Olga had delivered Lucy and I knew Dr. Webb was only in there for backup if something weird happened with Isaiah. Well, something weird happened with Isaiah. He flipped transverse after Lucy came out. (Olga said Lucy used him as a spring board.) It was a stressful few minutes as Dr. Webb tried to flip him by doing who knows what inside me while simultaneously using his other arm to try to turn him from the outside. Adam said he overheard him with his arm up there saying "That's not what I'm supposed to be feeling." He was in the zone. Nurses were asking him questions and he didn't even respond to anyone. I'm grateful for his experience, confidence and diligence in those moments! I'm not really sure what happened next, but he said "push!" Adam said he looked down and saw Dr. Webb holding Isaiah's feet in one hand, with the other hand still up inside me and looked like he was trying to start a lawn mower.

Isaiah made his debut at 6:12am and they put him on my belly. He was completely gray with his eyes wide open and just looked lifeless. As quickly as they put him on my belly, they grabbed him and took him to the warming table and cut his umbilical cord on the way over. I just kept asking "Is he ok? Is he ok?" I'll never forget how limp his body looked as they rushed him over to the table. He honestly looked dead. It was terrifying. Olga kept saying "He's fine, he's just stunned." but we could feel panic in the room for what felt like a million years (probably ten seconds). They had to give him CPR and put a mask on him, and called in a NICU nurse who came running in. Then we heard them say "We have a heartrate" and Adam saw his pulse on the screen. It felt like the whole room exhaled and we could tell the nurses were no longer concerned (even though Adam and I were!). They kept reassuring us he was fine and he was getting more pink. I remember looking over at Lucy, just laying on her warming table with one nurse, while Isaiah's warming table had about 7 people crammed around it. Once he was a bit more stable, they invited brought Adam over to see his son. I finally exhaled when I heard his little whimper. I think those few moments shortened my life by 10 years. He ended up breaking his clavicle, but Praise God it didn't seem to cause him any pain and healed on it's own in about two weeks.

A quick recap in Adam's words: I was so torn, standing right in the middle of the triangle, trying to be 3 places at once - loving on my new baby girl, comforting Lizzie and telling her it will all be ok and Isaiah will be ok, and trying to see/find out what is happening with him. Finally a nurse brought me over and told me he was fine, and his stats are all good. She said that they were a little worried that he might have broken some bones since he was manhandled and pulled out, but things are looking normal.  

I will say, I always felt confident he was going to be ok. My friend, Katie, at The HOPE Center told me something when I was in my early second trimester. There had been a lot of sad baby news around us: Kay's twin grandson passed away at 6 weeks old after his mama fought and fought for him and his brother during pregnancy, Laura's niece had a stillborn daughter two days before her scheduled c-section, Suzy was dealing with scary stuff with her twin pregnancy - just a lot. I'm usually good at separating myself from that kind of stuff, but it was really starting to weigh on me. I still couldn't feel the twins moving at that point in the pregnancy, which heightened my anxiousness. Katie, who was one of our ultrasound techs, came to me one morning at work when I was feeling especially anxious. (I was actually going to ask her to scan the babies for reassurance, but was fighting myself on that. I didn't want to look for quick reassurance every time I felt panicky. I wanted to rely on and trust in God and His goodness.) She said, "I never do this and this is awkward, but I felt God wanted me to tell you that your babies are going to be a-ok. And I'm sorry if that's not even on your mind and now I just freaked you out, but He told me to tell you." GUYS. The kindness of God. There are no words. Fast forward to the delivery room, and that moment came rushing back. I kept staring at the team working on Isaiah and reminding myself of God's promise, that my babies were going to be a-ok.

Once Isaiah got the jump start he needed, he was great! I was able to have both of my babies on me before we even left the OR. Two babies. The whole pregnancy the thought of twins felt so surreal. I would tell people it would probably feel real once they were actually here. But then they arrived and I had my son and daughter on my chest and I still couldn't believe it!

Dr. Webb was amazing. I'm so thankful he (and his years and years of experience) were there to deliver Isaiah. He came to our room after delivery and told us we made the right choice delivering vaginally and that he could tell Isaiah would be fine. He also said, "I assumed by his name that you're believers, so I said a prayer for him while he was on the table." Amazing. He came to visit us again before we were discharged and told me I was a great pusher. Haha. 

After delivery, the hospital stay was pretty chill! My mom's neighbor is a Mother/Baby nurse and was able to reserve us the "best" room, which was so sweet. I was so glad the big girls got to come meet them in the hospital! Because of COVID, they couldn't do that with Chloe. (Chloe didn't come to the hospital because she had a stomach bug. Goodness gracious. Let's just say by the end of the week, I felt like the twins' delivery was the least eventful part of our week.) They were born Tuesday morning and we were home by Wednesday evening. 

And here we are, almost 7 weeks later with our Valentine's babies and we have all survived! Two babies is a LOT, but we are so thankful that they're here and they're healthy... and that we have the greatest support system of all time to help out!

Praise God who is in all the details and leaves nothing to chance!

Lucy Elizabeth
February 14, 2023
20 inches

Isaiah David
February 14, 2023
5lbs 15oz
19.75 inches

The Baker Twins! Pinch me.

Our first moments together!

Together for the first time outside the womb!

Big sissies!

You know what's better than a new baby on your chest? TWO new babies on your chest!

Chloe meeting the babies after getting home from her own trip from the hospital. Ay caramba.

We've been overwhelmed by our incredible support system. Grandma & Grandpa, Nonna & Papa - and so many other family and friends who have loved on us in so many ways!

Thank you, God. For all the things.

Chloe Kaye: A Birth Story

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Here I am, writing my third birth story. And our third GIRL birth story! What a gift. I actually already wrote most of this, and then it didn't save. COOL. Needless to say, life is hectic and I'm honestly shocked I got this done before she turns one month old on June 25. (Haha, wishful thinking! Here we are on June 27... close!) I also wrote Aiden's and Emerson's birth stories, which I love to go back and re-read. Congratulations to Chloe for winning favorite labor and birth!

Let's start at the very beginning... a very good place to start. And when referencing pregnancy and birth, most places in the story can be a little TMI for the average Joe. I warned you in advance!

I'll start with my prayers during this pregnancy. For starters, the 6-8 weeks prior to Chloe's arrival were mentally tough. We were dealing with gross (but not harmful) kid stuff and I thought my mind was going to explode. Not to mention the COVID19 pandemic taking over the world. (Honestly, this really didn't stress me out a ton, but I'm sure subconsciously it was affecting me.) I have so much more empathy for people with actual anxiety now. I have never felt so out of control of my own thoughts and emotions, even when I spent so much of my day praying. Ay caramba. Adam was a wonderful support, but I'm sure even he thought I was going a bit nuts. And then I felt totally guilty, because I hadn't spent much time or energy praying over the sweet baby growing in my belly! (A big part of me didn't even want to include this bummer part, because I don't want to relive it! But it's part of the story.) Anyway, back to my basic prayer requests... I wanted her to be healthy (duh); a quick, vaginal birth; and for her to be delivered by Rachel or Dani. (They delivered Emerson and I changed practices with Chloe to follow them! It was even written in my chart that one of them was to be called when I arrived in labor so they could come in and deliver. I was so grateful for that personal touch.) I don’t pray for personality traits for my kids, because I know God has already crafted them into their own perfect little people. I did, however, pray that this chick would be a snuggler and a good sleeper!

I guess I'll start with our fun trip to triage. On Saturday, May 9 we were planning to go to my parents' for brunch to celebrate Mother's Day. I hadn't really been feeling Chloe much that morning. I still felt her, but her movements seemed a lot more muted. I wasn't super concerned because I did in fact feel her, but something felt off. I texted Rachel, my bestie midwife, just to fill her in. She was actually on call, so she called me and asked me to come in to have everything checked out. Conveniently, we were already on the way to my parents', who live approximately 2 miles from the hospital. We picked up brunch, dropped it off with the girls and then headed to the hospital. After being checked into triage and hooked up to the machines for awhile, she still wasn't being super active, so they gave me some cran-grape juice (this will always taste like the hospital to me!) to get her moving. She still wasn't as active as they'd like (and apparently I was having contractions every 2 minutes), so Rachel said they wanted to do a biophysical profile ultrasound. Chloe needed to score an 8 or we would be induced. Well, the ultrasound took forever and she ended up scoring a 6. The ultrasound tech didn't say anything about it (she was chatty and great!), but Adam and I saw the score and were like "Uh oh. Are we about to have a baby??" Rachel came back in and said even though Chloe scored a 6, she was confident all was well. She then said "So you can either head home or you can stay here to be induced. It's up to you." Adam and I were like "What?? No. We're going home." Not that it was part of our decision making process, but we honestly hadn't even packed our bags. I was scheduled for a follow-up ultrasound in the office on Monday and was told if Chloe pulled this stunt again I would need to be induced. She looked great on Monday (praise God!), so the waiting continued. Crazy to think it took her more than two weeks from that triage visit to finally arrive. Oof. Adam and I also think about what would have happened if we had said yes to the induction. She obviously was not ready to arrive. I'm glad we decided (and had the option!) to let my body go into labor.

Ok, I'll jump back in at my 40 week appointment on Wednesday, May 20. I was 40 weeks 1 day and OVER being pregnant. (True story, I cried in the parking garage before I even went in.) At this point, I hadn't had any contractions at all in two days (after having them for weeks). I saw Rachel that day who could empathize because her third was ten days late. (I almost cried when she reminded me.) Chloe was measuring 38/39 weeks and I was 1cm dilated, 30% effaced and -3 station. I didn't get checked prior, but since I was past my due date she needed to see where I was. Honestly, I didn't care. I don't think my body really does anything until I'm in labor. With Aiden, I was only 3cm after laboring for a solid 24 hours. With Emerson, I was only 2cm about 10 hours after my water broke. Rachel stripped my membranes, and again I didn't think much of it. I don't think I know anyone who had that work? She said it would kick my body into gear IF my body was ready to go into labor. Basically the straw that broke the camel's back. We scheduled an induction for the next week - Wednesday, May 27. My other favorite midwife, Dani, would be on call. I felt a brief moment of peace that I would NOT make it to my next appointment (Tuesday, May 26) or the induction. I believed and prayed for that to be true up until home girl finally made her appearance, but obviously had some panicked moments in the days leading up to her birth. (SHE'S NEVER COMING OUTTTTT.)

As expected, stripping my membranes didn't put me into labor, but I did lose a lot more of mucus plug the following days. (I had already lost some of it wayyy back on May 4. Why do I keep track of all these ridiculous details??)

I had more contractions on and off starting Saturday (May 23). They were especially annoying, because they didn’t go anywhere and I was four days overdue. The Bakers were kind enough to take the girls on Sunday (May 24), so Adam and I had a day to ourselves. We walked around the neighborhood, walked the Leita Thompson trail, walked around the neighborhood again, grabbed a couple smoothies and went home to relax. I actually took four walks that day - desperation. We decided to watch Black Panther and I had contractions every 3-7 minutes throughout most of the movie. I knew they were Braxton Hicks, because they didn't hurt, they weren't consistent and they stopped as soon as I stood up. (Coolio!) We went to dinner at the Bakers, which was a wonderful distraction from the fact that I STILL HADN'T HAD THIS BABY. We went to bed and I woke up with a few contractions between 3am - 6am. Honestly, I was angry. I had been woken up the night before with contractions that didn't go anywhere either and I was just over it.

I woke up on Monday morning (May 25) and saw a little bit of blood. I texted Rachel and she said it was normal and just meant my body was trying to get something started. Sigh, the wait continued. I was up before the rest of the family and took a long walk by myself to re-center myself with Jesus. I was just so frustrated that I was frustrated. I knew she’d eventually show up. This was my third kid, for goodness' sake. Still, the enemy kept trying to convince me that my body was failing me. I loudly declared that God is not a lazy engineer! He doesn’t create babies through this miraculous process and then forget to take them out. ANYWAY. So yeah, I walked about 3 miles. Cried for a bit of it. Ya know. Normal end of pregnancy crazy. I went to the pond across the street and just sat there for a bit (Adam didn't know where I was and when he did 'Find My Friends' it looked like I was sitting in the middle of the lake. He texted me "Did you go for a swim??"). I really needed the alone time to center myself with God, and take the focus off of myself and my situation.

The fam was awake when I got back. I didn't have much of an appetite, but forced myself to eat some strawberries while they ate breakfast. We went to Dupree Park as a family and did a fun little nature walk. When we got home, I went to the grocery store. We had approximately no food in the house and even though I was boycotting the grocery store until after the baby arrived, I guess I needed to feed the rest of my family. I was really uncomfortable at the grocery store. I wasn't having contractions or anything, just uncomfortable. I came home and ate a banana (still not much of an appetite) and then took a bath around 12:30pm to see if I could get more comfortable while Adam and the girls played. I had one contraction in the bathtub, but didn't think anything of it since I HAD BEEN HAVING THEM FOR TEN YEARS.

I got out of the tub and went downstairs to watch a show with the girls around 1:30pm. I lay down with them, had one really strong contraction and felt the pop of my water break. I stood up and Adam looked at me funny. I said “Um, either my water just broke or it was bath water.” To which Adam replied with “Bath water?? What does that even mean??” Adam wanted me to text Rachel (who happened to be on call - God is so kind) to see if bath water was even a real answer. I told him it didn't really matter - if it was my water, it would keep coming and contractions would eventually start. Plus, we would labor at home for awhile anyway. I promised him I would reach out to her if nothing happened in the next few hours. Well, that water kept coming and the contractions started quickly after.

It was my dad's birthday, so initially we thought we'd just see how the afternoon went... maybe go over to my parents' after Emerson woke up from her nap, maybe drop the girls off there and then head to the hospital, maybe hang out for dinner - the options were endless. But then the contractions kept coming.. fast. They were pretty mild, but consistently coming every 2-4 minutes. Adam decided to call my mom at 2:26pm (shout out to Adam for taking specific notes again!) who was at the grocery store. He told her to take her time, but to plan to come to our house because this was clearly happening. But then contractions REALLY got intense so fast and I needed Adam to help me through them. (He proudly reigns as BEST BIRTH COACH OF ALL TIME.) Adam called my mom back 8 minutes later (haha) and told her to come now. Bless her heart, she dropped her grocery cart and headed right over.

We called Rachel and she answered by saying "Are we having a baby today??" (Love her.) Based on when my water broke, she told me to come in by 9pm. I responded with "Yeah, we're heading in pretty soon."

I made it upstairs at one point, because I was still wearing the clothes my water broke in. (Except I had changed my underwear about three times at that point.) I had no idea what to wear and just stood in the bathroom working through contractions. I ended up throwing on the same dress I wore to the hospital with both Aiden and Emerson. What a weird tradition I kept alive!

By this point, Emerson was napping and Aiden was watching TV while Adam was trying to get the final things together in between helping me through contractions. Man, I wish I could have been a fly on the wall. He would help me through a contraction then sprint upstairs to do something. Then I'd call for him and he'd run down and the cycle would continue. I'm sure it was hilarious!

I went and gave Emerson a kiss on her sweaty sleepy forehead while she napped and shed a little tear. My crazy baby was about to become a big sister! I told Aiden we were getting ready to go to the hospital to have Chloe - she was so excited, but you could tell apprehensive as she watched me and Adam work through a few contractions. I think, like me, she settled with the fact that this baby was just never coming out.

Mom arrived around 3:30pm and we immediately left for the hospital. I told Adam to leave the yoga ball because I was getting the epidural the moment I arrived. He left the yoga ball.. and his wallet. At this point, contractions were every 2 minutes and HARD. I was nervous about getting in the car for 20 minutes, but I said a prayer and somehow got in. Adam killed the coaching, God was kind to clear the roads and we made it to the hospital around 4pm. There was a point while we were in the car where I thought "I don't want to have this baby in the car!". I had a really intense contraction and could feel Chloe drop down during it. It was bizarre.

Again, I wasn't sure how I was going to get from the car all the way through the parking garage, into the elevator, through the building and up the elevator to triage. (In hindsight, I guess Adam could have dropped me off, but I couldn't not have him with me.) Well, we ran into our first road block when we made it to the hospital door and it was LOCKED. Oh my gosh, I could have died. The sign told us to go to another entrance on the other side of the hospital (nope). Adam dropped everything and started to run to the other entrance, but I yelled at him to just call Rachel. Then I heard him say something in a relieved voice (my eyes were closed 99% of the time once we got in the car). A random man, who I will endearingly call JESUS, happened to walk by and let us in. Adam ran to get me a wheelchair, but with COVID I assumed he wouldn't find one so I just attempted to walk. He found me sitting in a chair further down the hallway... with our bags and everything still back at the door. Priorities, people.

We got up to triage and I said I wanted the epidural ASAP. I was working through a few contractions standing next to the bed and they told me I had to get in the bed so they could pump me with saline in prep for the epidural. You better believe I found a way to get my booty on that bed. Rachel checked me and I was 6cm. Adam said "Did you hear that?? You're 6cm!" That was exciting, because with the other girls I was barely dilated when I got to the hospital. We were in there for about 40 minutes or so while they monitored baby girl and got me hooked up to the IV of saline. (Side note: I was in the triage room right next to the check-in area. I opened my eyes at one point when we first got in there and the door was open while I was standing next to the bed, completely naked. Cool, cool.) They asked me if I wanted the COVID test and I loudly said "NO". As they opened up the door to roll me to a L&D room I opened my eyes and saw a doctor standing there and he said “We’re all set up in the room, I’ll just follow you down there.” It was the anesthesiologist! I could have cried tears of joy.

As soon as we got in the room, they moved me into the bed to immediately get the epidural around 4:45pm. (The anesthesiologist kept telling me I was doing a great job controlling my contractions before he got to work. I'm sure he says that to everyone, but of course in hindsight it made me think... "Could I have gone natural?" Adam gets so annoyed when I say that. haha.) I didn't love my epidural with Aiden - I couldn't feel anything from the waist down. I loved the epidural with Emerson because I could still feel pressure, but no pain. The whole time this anesthesiologist was working on me, I kept praying that God would guide his hands and let it set up correctly. Well, God over-delivered. It was glorious. I could still fully move both my legs and feel pressure. Best epidural of all time.

When I finally opened my eyes, I said "Hi everyone, nice to meet you!" One of the nurses getting me hooked up looked super familiar. I said "Where did you go to high school?" She said "Yeah, we know each other!" Such a small world, she went to high school with my friend Lindsay and was good friends with Adam's freshman year college roommate.

So then I just got to hang with Rachel and Adam for awhile. I lay on my side and they put a peanut ball between my legs to encourage dilation. I remember they did it with Emerson, too. Rachel went to go do her job after awhile and Adam and I got some time together to soak in that we were going to meet Chloe soon!

I told our sweet nurse, Margaret Ann, I was feeling some pressure about an hour after got to the room, around 5:55pm. (Well, I told Adam who then told the nurse. He made fun of me because basically my only job was to let them know when I felt pressure. I turned to Adam and said "I think I've been feeling some pressure." He was like "What? Tell them!") She said she'd call Rachel to have her come check me, but then decided to check me herself. Margaret Ann was having a tough time tracking Chloe on the monitor because she kept dropping lower and lower. She checked me and said “Oh, yep. There’s her head. You’re complete.” Adam and I looked at each other and I said “What does that mean?” She said, "You're 10cm. It’s time to have a baby!"

She called Rachel up and I said I wasn’t really in a rush to start pushing. I’d rather wait for Chloe to come down a bit on her own. I pushed 1.5 hours with the other girls and didn’t really want to do that again if I could avoid it. At 6:10pm, Rachel said we’d try a couple pushes and if I wasn’t really making progress we’d stop and try again later. As soon as I put my feet in the stirrups, she said “Oh, you’re having a baby in the next 10 minutes.”

I pushed through one contraction and Rachel got suited up... COVID-style. I pushed through the next contraction and then Chloe just kind of slid out on her own. I couldn't really see over my belly, but Adam looked at me and said "She's coming out!" I looked at him and just said "What??" The next thing I know I feel a baby sliding right out of me. Rachel told me to reach down and pull her up to my chest. At 6:16pm, she was here! It was just Adam, Rachel, Margaret Ann and I in the room. (Well, and Chloe.) We had a window in our room and the sun was shining in. It was so peaceful and intimate... it was honestly kind of magical. It felt like we were the only ones in the hospital. Adam prayed over us and I was able to have her on my chest for that amazing golden hour. It was surreal how quickly she came and just so wonderful. I'm sure she cried when she was born, but I look back and just remember this totally zen time meeting our girl.

Introducing our daughter, Chloe Kaye Baker
May 25, 2020
6 pounds 10 ounces
20 inches

There's nothing quite like watching this guy meet his girls for the first time.

Our midwife, Rachel. I was so, so thrilled she got to deliver Chloe.

For anyone wondering, the answer is yes. A baby on your chest is STILL the greatest feeling in the world.

Other random notes from Chloe's birth / hospital stay

She was so little! I can still picture her little booty as I lifted her up to my chest. Rachel thought she may even be under 6 pounds, but she surprised us all at 6lbs 10oz. Being so little, she immediately reminded me of Aiden, but she quickly made some little Emerson pouts. I think she looks like her own little self, but also has hints of her sisters. She definitely has Emerson's nose!

Her umbilical cord was around her neck and foot when she came out, but I didn't even notice. Thanks to Rachel for doing some weird magic to untangle her as she was coming out. And thank you Jesus that she was totally fine! I had no tearing or stitches, which was a fun first and led to an incredibly simple physical recovery.

When the baby nurse arrived, she was rubbing Chloe's back trying to make her angry (rude). Most babies take more time coming down the birth canal, so their chest is compressed and they are able to work out all the gunk in their lungs. Since Chloe came so quickly, she didn't. During our hospital stay, she was constantly trying to work up the fluid in her lungs. It was kind of scary sometimes and GROSS. It was red and brown and would come up in alarming amounts. It's so fascinating to me how the nurses man-handle little babies! But whatever they do seems to work.

She nursed pretty quickly after delivery and has been a pro since. Something I'm so thankful for!

Since we're living in the times of COVID, no visitors were allowed. After hearing the horror stories in some other states of women not even allowed to have their spouses with them, I was just thankful that Adam was with me the whole time! Even so, I was bummed that the girls didn't get to come meet her in the hospital. We FaceTimed the girls shortly after she was born, but I honestly don’t really remember it? It was a pretty boring hospital stay without the revolving door of family.

Speaking of COVID, I initially declined the test in triage, but once we got to our mother/baby room we changed our minds. Since we declined the test, they treated us as if we were positive which meant: if Chloe had to go to the NICU we couldn't go see her until I tested negative; we were quarantined to our room; they wouldn't do the hearing test in the hospital; and all staff had to put on these hazmat suits to enter our room. I decided to get the test, because I knew I wouldn't eat the hospital tray food and knew I needed to get some food in my system for multiple reasons; and we felt bad for our nurses who spent a solid 5 minutes getting dressed and undressed each time they came in. Adam volunteered to get the test, but they said they only test the mom and just assume the dad has the same results. That felt so silly since it was Adam who was leaving the room to go get me food. I was already quarantined in there just being a new mom! This means I had the luxury of getting stabbed in the brain with a q-tip after pushing out a baby. Joy! Thank you, Jesus - I was negative.

We did a fun pool for Chloe, like we did with the other girls. With her due date being May 19, the latest anyone guessed was May 22. I remember thinking they were MONSTERS, yet home girl didn't even arrive for three more days!

Ok, I think I covered all the bases. Chloe girl, we love you more than life. We are, once again, overwhelmed by the kindness of God and His good gifts. I'm honored to experience the magic of another baby. Three girls... pinch me!

P.S. Sorry, Chloe girl. Don't expect monthly updates on this blog. Mama can barely get breakfast on the table before noon at this point.

P. P. S. I do not have early babies. Aiden showed up at 41 weeks, Emerson at 40 weeks 5 days and Chloe at 40 weeks 6 days. Geeze, girls. 

Emerson: A Letter to my one year old

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


You are officially ONE! (Plus one week, because I didn't send this on time.) Emerson Charlotte, you are a force to be reckoned with. You have made it clear since the moment you arrived that you are your own person. I wasn't sure how my heart could grow to love another child, but man did it ever! The moment you arrived - before I even knew you were a girl - I couldn't believe God had given me another perfect little human to mother. You arrived a full two pounds heavier than you sister, with blonde hair and dark eyes (which quickly turned blue). I think the first thing I said was "You don't look like Aiden!" And you have been making it clear since that moment that you are NOT you sister.

I love everything about you. You have the best giggle and when you smile, you smile with your entire face. You are strong-willed and I pray that God guides me on how to help nurture that strong-willed nature into His will. You have wanted to be on the move since the moment you were born and you sure have somewhere to go! (Although none of us, including you, know where exactly you're headed when you take off.) You love your sister and it's so fun to watch you guys really play together recently. It makes my heart want to explode that I have two little girls. I pray that you two are always the best of friends.You are a daddy's girl and I'm pretty jealous of all the great snuggles you give him. 

Emers, you are such a gift. One that I do not take for granted. It is my greatest honor to be your mom. I tell both of you girls this all the time, but I love you because you're MINE! I will always love you more than you will ever know. I pray that you always feel an overwhelming amount of love in your life, and that you know it comes only from God. We love because He first loved us. You were fearfully and wonderfully made by our perfect Father. Everything about you is exactly the way it should be, because He does not make mistakes. 

Happy first birthday, my love. I am overwhelmed with love when I look at you, and can't believe I get to keep celebrating you every September 18. A gift, indeed.


Emerson: One Year

Well, we made it! You are one year old. What a year it has been, little lamb. This month has reminded me how much FUN this age is.

  • She's trying to talk, saying mama, daddy, ba ba (bottle), bubboo (bubble), abba (Abba Father, when we pray she folds her little hands...sometimes), hi
  • She is a daddy's girl and he LOVES it.
  • She took her first beach trip! She loved the sand for about 10 minutes and then was OVER. IT. Daddy got to spend some quality time with her in the pool.
  • She loves to just walk around, especially outside.
  • As with any one year old, she loves to put everything in her mouth. Except vegetables. How convenient.
  • She thinks it's hilarious to pat people on the stomach.
  • If you ask her where her belly is, she'll pat her own belly. SO CUTE.
  • She fake coughs if you ask her if she's sick
  • She loves her baby doll.
  • She loves to play with her toys phones - she'll "answer them" and walk around.
  • Honestly, her favorite toy is whatever big sister is playing with. Neither one of them love sharing, which consistently leads to ear-piercing screams from Emerson and fits from Aiden. YAY.
  • She loves to come over to me when I'm laying down and sit on my stomach and bounce. She thinks it's hilarious. She also loves peek-a-boo, lady ride and patty cake.
  • She's as strong-willed as ever! 
  • She's coming in at 30.5" tall (89%) and weighs 21 lbs 8 oz (74%). 

Emerson, we love you! You are getting more fun and interactive by the day and we can't wait to watch you continue to grow into a little lady. I cannot believe you are already ONE!

Aiden, you are 3

Aiden Grace,

I've been putting this off, because I really don't understand how I'm supposed to sum everything up into a blog post. At this moment, I just wrapped up some work and you're currently playing "mommy and baby" alone in the bathtub with a water bottle. I believe the cap of the water bottle is the baby. I want to laugh and cry at the same time. Laugh because... what in the world?? And cry because witnessing your imagination come to life makes my heart want to explode.

You are pure JOY. You are the sweetest little girl with the most tender heart. I want to bottle up your little voice and play it on repeat. You love your sister (Ems!), even when she's not doing a great job learning how to share. You do the cutest little finger dance when you're excited about something. (For example, when you know you're about to get some M&Ms.) You could spend all day dancing and singing to just about any Disney Princess song, but especially "Let It Go" from Frozen. You always want to see yourself in the rear-view mirror in the car, and I have to remind you that's not exactly its purpose. You love "dips" - ranch (or as you call it, branch), salsa (my girl!), sour cream... I guess anything to make my cooking taste better? You love baby dolls and are the cutest little mommy. You are shy when you first meet someone, but if you're comfortable with them you are so silly. You are the most hilarious person I know (my current favorite statement of yours... "oh, gosh."). You keep us laughing all day (Tonight on the drive home, you were playing with your hair, which you just got cut today. "Mom, my hair is being crazy. Make my hair stop! My hair is being funny."). You can be cautious about some things, but are typically very brave. I'm always trying to talk to you about Jesus and I love to hear your sweet little voice recite the bible verses you're learning in church. Since you've turned 3 (literally the past month), you have started to throw whiny temper tantrums which are driving me crazy. But oh does the good outweigh those frustrating, teachable moments.

It is my greatest honor to be your mom. I think I tell you about a thousand times a day how much I love you. And why do I love you? Because you're MINE. There's nothing you could ever do, say or think that could change that. It's that simple. I will always love you, because God was kind enough to trust me to be your mom. You are such a gift and I thank God every day for finding me worthy to be your mom. But that's how God works. His grace is unending. He loves to give His children good gifts, simply because you are His.

Well, I guess I'll wrap this up because I don't know how to end this. YOU ARE AMAZING, CHILD.

(Now you're out of the bath, running around my room and shutting the blinds yelling "It's too sunny!")

A few quick highlights from your birthday. We celebrated with family and your neighbor friends donut-style a few weeks later.

Nonna and Papa stopped by with your birthday present before they headed off to Europe.

Morning fun with Anna Kate and Lainey.


Uncle Mitch surprised you and bought Skye some fun outfits.

Fun cake by Daddy!

Happy birthday, my angel.

We celebrated with the Baker fam at the beach the next week!

Your dreams came true! Grandma and Grandpa bought you a Cinderella dress.

For future reference, at your 3 year appointment you were 30 lbs (50%) and 39.25" tall (95%).

Emerson: Eleven Months

Monday, August 27, 2018

One more month of wrangling this wild child for her monthly photo! Eleven months, my Emers. Can't even believe it!

  • She's a nut. A NUT! We found her trying to climb over the baby gate on the stairs this month. Ay caramba.
  • She's officially walking! Took her first steps on July 20 and there has been no stopping her since.
  • She loves to go outside and just walk, walk, walk, walk, walk.
  • She does this funny head banging thing all the time. Not really sure what's she doing? But it's funny.
  • She loves to zerbert EVERYTHING. The floor, her arms, anyone else's body parts. 
  • She can blow kisses and clap.
  • She says "uh oh" and "dada", which is just adorable.
  • She thinks it's hilarious when you stick your tongue out at her, and she'll stick hers back out at you.
  • She is a daddy's girl! He gets all the good snuggles. And he loves it. 
  • She has a crazy temper. She lets out the same insane, high-pitched scream that sounds like she got her foot cut off, even if she's just mildly annoyed at something.
  • Sharing with sissy is going really well. No, it's not. 
  • I forgot how cute little baby squats are.
  • I think she's about to drop her morning nap! Mixed emotions: Yay for not being confined to one hour excursions. Boo for obvious reasons.
New videos this month!
Baker's Bakery

We love you, silly baby!!!

Emerson: Ten Months

Monday, July 23, 2018

Ten months! I remember this being one of my favorite ages with Aiden, and Emerson has not disappointed. Sweet baby, let me make it clear that you have NEVER disappointed us! You are pure joy.

Fun fact: This is the first picture in her whole life where I think she looks like Aiden.

  • I'm going to just go ahead and lead the remaining "monthly updates" with a friendly reminder that this child is never NOT moving!
  • She snorts when she laughs.
  • She loves the pool and really loves crawling around outside of the pool (convenient...).
  • She does this funny little downward dog pose.
  • Sometimes when I'm holding her, she'll throw her head back so I can tickle her neck.
  • She loves to dance, blow zerberts, push anything that moves (including pieces of paper) and pull dish towels off the oven.
  • She looks so cute when she sits on her knees while she's playing - like a little kid.
  • She makes all sorts of silly sounds.
  • She could spend all day playing with the Little Tikes car - either pushing it in circles or climbing in and out. And in and out. And in and out.
  • She loves to sit on this pony toy and just jump up and down.
  • She's taken one of two steps by accident. 
  • She's finally able to "play" with her sister! Their favorite game is to take all of the cushions off the couch and run/crawl back and forth.
  • She has 8 chompers.
  • Consistently sleeping through the night (all the praise hands!).
  • Girl has a temmmmper! She screams bloody murder if any minor detail doesn't go her way.
Fun videos from the month:
We love this girl! She gets more fun by the day!