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 kid stuff with our Patient Zero, Emerson. Pinworms, molloscum, our neighbors had lice... I thought my mind was going to explode. I have a ton more empathy for people with actual anxiety now. I have never felt so out of control, 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, 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 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. I saw my bestie midwife, Rachel, who can 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 don't typically get checked, 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 bestie 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.

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 recenter myself with Jesus. I was just so frustrated that I was frustrated. I knew she’d eventually show up. 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 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 and had one really strong contraction and felt 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 - 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. God and Adam killed the coaching 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.

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. 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. 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 he 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, 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 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 around 5:55pm. Well, I told Adam who then told the nurse. She said she'd call Rachel to have her come check me, but then decided to check me herself because she 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. We had a window and the sun was shining in. It was so peaceful and intimate... it was honestly kind of magical. I was able to have her on my chest for that amazing golden hour and Adam prayed over us. It was surreal how quickly she came and just so wonderful.

Introducing our daughter, Chloe Kaye Baker
May 25, 2020
6:16pm
6 pounds 10 ounces
20 inches









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

Ems,

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.

Love,Mommy

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.



Build-A-Bear!


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!

Emerson: Newborn Pictures

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Do you ever look at old pictures of your kids and think "Wow, I didn't even know you back then!" That's how I feel scrolling through these newborn pictures nine months later. It's surreal looking at these pictures and realizing we had no idea who this little human was! Our love for this little one grows daily - the cliches are true.

















 
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