Kamden Brant

I know this has been a long time coming, but I think it is finally time to share Kamden’s birth story!  As with my other birth stories, I will limit the gross while doing my best to “tell it like it is.”  If you would like to read my other birth stories (and I’d be happy if you did!), you can find Ashlynn’s here and Corinne’s here and here.


Two weeks before my due date of April 15, 2013, I gave in to my husband and doctor’s demands recommendations to take the week before my due date off.  It had been a hard pregnancy and I just really needed the rest.  So on April 5th, I threw a party in my classroom and bid my students goodbye, and began looking forward to a week of chilling on the couch and spending time with Ashlynn, who would soon be the middle child.  On Sunday night, I finished all my papers and grading and actually posted to Facebook “All my teaching stuff is caught up, you can come anytime now Kamden!”

Apparently, my unborn child could read.

At about 4:00am on what would technically be Monday, I woke up feeling very nauseous.  I came downstairs to lay on the couch, because our bedroom is upstairs and the bathroom is downstairs and frankly I wasn’t moving fast enough at that point to be confident in things not getting very gross if I had to book it down the steps.

I laid on the couch for about an hour, and I had a few contractions but meh it was 4:00am and I didn’t bother timing them.  I felt better and went back to bed.  At about 6:45, I noticed that some contractions were kinda, you know, waking me up.  This is when I vaguely wondered if this was “it,” but then the girls came to officially wake me up and I headed downstairs.

Once I was really awake, I noticed that the contractions seemed pretty regular and were taking my breath away.  I started to time them and texted my husband to call me (he works midnights, 12-8).  Sure enough, they were regular.  But I still wasn’t sure this was the big day-I was an entire week early, after all!  My husband called and he was asking me how far apart and how long and all that stuff when we had one of the best phone conversations ever:

Kirk: So how long are they lasting?

Me: They last about…hang on a minute…*long pause*

Kirk: Are you having one right NOW?  Get OFF the phone and call the doctor!”

(For those of you who have never been pregnant, if you cannot talk through a contraction, it is SO the real deal.)

So my husband agreed to call in my mother in law to babysit and essentially mobilize the troops while I called the doctor’s office.  And then I got to have another one of the best pone conversations ever:

Nurse: So how far apart are they?

Me: Five minutes *pant, pant*

Nurse: Mmhhmm, yeah, ok.  And this is your first baby?

Me: No, third.

Nurse:  Oh!  OH!  Um, hold on a second! *pause* Go straight to the ER!

Off to the hospital we went, and they were seriously coming as regular as clockwork and definitely starting to hurt.  We timed them in the car, but gave up once we got to the ER, figuring their equipment was a bit more reliable than ours.  I got all hooked up to the monitors, and sure enough…contractions!  Then I had to answer the million admission questions like three times.  My favorite was a resident that read every.single.question off his note pad and wrote my answers down word for word.  It took awhile, since I stopped talking pretty frequently.

It turned out I was a very “high” two centimeters, but fully effaced.  They gave me that litte “haha you’re probably making this worse than it is” smile and told me they’d let me labor for two  hours and see if I progressed.  If not, they’d send me home.  At this point, I saw some fear dawn in Kirk’s eyes.  We both knew I was really in labor, and Kirk possesses no desire to deliver a child.  Turned out that would become a moot point anyways.

When they put you on a contraction monitor, they show up on a screen.  A peak is a contraction, and the machine displays a number showing how strong they are.  No contraction is about a 10-15.  The stronger the contraction, the higher the number.  Like this:

At this point, my contractions were 4-5 minutes a part and about a 30 on the monitor.  Every once in a while, I’d get a bonus contraction in between at like the 2 minutes mark.  We got ready to hurry up and wait for two hours, and we watched the contractions from the lady next door.  We both declared we were happy that wasn’t me, since she was hitting the 90s.

After what seemed like only a few minutes, but was really 45, my contractions were getting much closer together and more painful, so we called the nurse.  Again, we got the whole “we’ll humor you and check if you want” kind of response.  They moseyed on in and I was, suddenly and seriously, not in the mood for moseying.  I told the nurse I wanted an epidural and she seemed surprised and told me I wasn’t even admitted yet.  By this time, I WAS that lady next door.  My contractions were hitting 90, long and close together and painful.  I was also having wonderful back labor.  Ugh.  They checked and…in 45 minutes, I had gone from 2 to a 5 or 6!  Things were about to get real.

First of all, my husband morphed into THE most amazing birth coach.  I looked at him and said “You have to just help me breathe.”  And he did.  He had his eyes on mine and he held my hand and helped me take the long slow breaths I needed.  Contractions can make you hold your breath and that only makes things worse.  After they started to get really bad, I started to breathe in and then breathe out with this long ooooooooooo sound.  I probably sounded like a cow.  The nurse came in to give me my IV. (They really hadn’t been planning on admitting me!) She did something weird and ended up yanking it out of my hand after it was in.  Even in the middle of a rocking contraction, that really hurt.  Then she blamed it on me!  I could tell Kirk wanted to read her the riot act, but he stayed focused on me.  Seriously, he was and is my hero!  He had also been up almost 24 straight hours at that point.  Poor guy.

FINALLY they got me into a real room and all admitted (well mostly.  I ended up signing a lot of papers after the fact.)  By this time it was about 10:30am.  I had called my mom to tell her it was go time, and she was on her way.  Then Kirk could go bring up my hospital bag and start taking pictures.  I really wanted that epidural, and they finally came in with it!  Getting the epidural was horrible.  We had waited almost too long and my contractions were SO bad by then.  I had to sit up on the edge of the bed and hold perfectly still, even through contractions, and it was seriously so, so hard.  Later, the nurse told me that I skipped active labor altogether!  I went from early labor to transition in a flash, which is why my contractions were so hard.  Also, I was 10 cm while they gave me the epidural.  I almost did this the old fashioned way!  Thank God, though, because there was a very large part of me that was terrified to push without an epidural.

Here is where I lose some time.  I got the epidural at about 11 or so.  It didn’t completely work, and they had to mess with it to get my right side numb (not fun).  It seemed to me like only seconds later they told me Kamden was in distress, but I think I was pretty out of it and it was really about 12:45.  His heart rate was dropping quickly.  I exchanged a look with Kirk and I can only imagine the terror in my eyes.  This had happened with Corinne and we’d almost lost her.

The OB told us that the good news was that we were ready to push!  I pushed about 3 times, they used a vacuum, one more push, and at 12:56, Kamden arrived!  They popped his messy self onto my belly and he was perfect.  Coolest part?  They let me cut the umbilical cord!  Nifty!

After 17 hours with Corinne and 19 hours with Ashlynn, I was only in labor with Kamden for about 6 hours!  My mom didn’t make it in time, she had stopped to grab luch and when she got to the hospital, he was here.  We didn’t get lots of pictures, because Kirk never got the chance to get the hospital bag from the car-things happened that fast!

Welcome, Baby Kamden!

We are so glad you’re here!

April 8, 2013 12:56pm 7 lbs. 6 oz. 19 inches Our family is complete!!



Superhero Nursery-Assembled!

We wanted to re-do the nursery for our upcoming new arrival (which is only about 3 1/2 weeks away…wow and yikes and a whole lot of other interjections!)

When we found out he was a boy, we knew that it was time to change up the neutral green and yellow, since this room will remain his for life.  We chose to do it in a blue gray color (called steel blue) with dark red trim and white accents.  This can then be easily adjusted to lots of interests or themes-nautical, USA, whatever as he grows without having to repaint constantly.

When we moved furniture, we found this astonishing, tiny footprint on the wall.  I outlined it and wouldn’t let my husband paint over it.  I have no idea how an infant that tiny had such dirty feet, but I’m so glad they did!  <—-sentimental preggo woman, right here


Anyway, here is how the room looked once painted:


Cubicles courtesy of a Target sale.  Sigh.  I love Target.


Light switch plate from Walmart and my dad handmade the Batman symbol!

Now, we had to find some superhero decorations.  Wow, was that hard to do.  There is plenty of superhero stuff, but it is all for older boys.  Scary villains, overwhelming big scenes, twin sheet sets.  It was time to get creative!!

We decided we didn’t want it to be over the top superhero-he will be tiny and we just didn’t want it to be “too much” or “overdone.”  So we skipped the movie posters and the fathead stickers and all that stuff.  We also decided on a mix of DC and Marvel-no easy task.

First, we started to collect eclectic little hero figures whenever we found them.  We wanted them to be varied and different.  After painting, we hung a few white shelves and added them.  Super cute and effective.  I especially love the stuffed Wolverine…he has an Elvis sneer!


But we still wanted to feature specific superheroes and their awesome costumes, but how?

Then, I got an idea!  What if we put black and white pictures on the wall of heroes, and then painted the frames to coordinate with their costumes?  It would highlight the superheroes, go well with the colors of the room, and give a “pop” of color without being overstated.  What the hey, we figured we’d try it!  I found frames with fairly thick edges at Pat Catan’s for about $3.50 each and spent $1 a bottle on acrylic paints.  Here’s how they turned out:


Top row: Iron man-red sides, gold top and bottom and Green Lantern-hunter green with black side accents

Middle row: Wolverine-yellow with slashes and the X-men logo and Spiderman red with black webbing

Bottom row: Hulk with green sides, black top, purple bottom and Batman with black sides, yellow top and bottom, and the Bat Symbol

We were going to just google some black and white sketches of each hero, but my husband has a friend who is an excellent graphic designer, and he offered to hand-draw original sketches for the baby!  How cool is that?!  Check these bad boys out: (And they are all boys, although I plan on sneaking Wonder Woman or Storm or something in there somehow-strong female role models are nifty.)

Here’s how they looked once we had them up on the wall above our brand-spanking new crib (thanks, product recalls):


We thought things looked a little uneven over by the light switch, so we added one more Avenger to the mix…


What’s hap’n, Cap’n?

So here’s the final layout…not bad considering we spent a grand total of about $30 on the whole idea.  That’s the other thing about superhero stuff…it is pr-ice-y!!


Let me know what you think and feel free to pin, link, or re-post.  Hopefully others out there planning hero nurseries find this because I know we had a lot of trouble locating good ideas even on the big old world wide web!

Hopefully I’ll have the chance to update at least once or twice more before our little guy arrives to enjoy his awesome new room!