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!!



Ashlynn Cari

Any parent will immediately understand how blown away I am by the fact that today is my youngest daughter’s THIRD (count them…three) birthday.  If it is even possible, it seems like she’s growing faster than Corinne is.  (possibly because you run around twice as much with two children)

Since I published Corinne’s birth story here and here,  I want to share Ashlynn’s story with you as well.  I promise to try to avoid overt ickiness or TMI, but hey, it’s a birth story.

Ashlynn didn’t behave nearly as well in my belly as Corinne!  I ended up in the ER twice, once because she was a sleepy baby that didn’t move for HOURS at a time, and once because she decided to camp out on a major artery and seriously messed with my blood pressure.

As an aside, in order to save on $500 ER bills, I rented a fetal doppler monitor from Heartbeats At Home.  It was very reasonable and actually really fun since anyone (Expectant grandmothers, etc) could listen to her heartbeat!  I highly recommend it.

Towards the end of my pregnancy, I got really impatient.  I was due June 10th, and school got out June 4th, so I knew that for every day that passed after the 4th, my maternity leave got one day shorter (my job offered no paid leave at all-except summer vacations!).  My husband and I took a lot of looonnnggg walks around the neighborhood trying to get things “moving.”

Love this pic!  Even if I was thinking "Get out!"

I think what frustrated me most is that I had a TON of false labor, and every time contractions started to get regular everyone got all excited.  (Everyone watches you like a hawk when you’re ready to pop.  People call you for weird, spurious reasons just to see if you accidentally went into labor and forgot to tell them.)  But after the umpteenth time of getting all excited, my preggo attitude turned to “either come or don’t but quit teasing!”

On June 7th, I’d been having contractions off and on all day but I was refusing to acknowledge them.  My husband called and asked me to grab him his favorite take-out salad from Bob Evan’s, and I remember the waitress being annoyed because I got there at like 5 til ten and they were closing.  That was when I felt my first pretty serious contraction, but I was annoyed with all the false labor so I ignored it.

I went home and basically had the worst night ever.  When contractions weren’t waking me up, I was dreaming about going into labor (my body knew when it was go-time, even if my brain didn’t.)

When my husband woke up, I told him to call off work and take me to the ER.  Nothing was super regular yet, but I was exhausted and scared that if this kept up, I wouldn’t have any energy for actual labor or pushing.  My MIL came to watch Corinne and off we went.

The doctor told me I was on the very edge of active labor, so they admitted me and gave me a little pitocin.  Pitocin is the devil, people.  The DEVIL.  Those contractions were horrible.  The nurse came in to break my water (which usually makes labor faster but harder) and I looked at her and pointed to the pitocin and said “NO WAY until you turn THAT OFF.”  I was curled (as best as you can curl when hugely pregnant) into a ball of misery, and it was time for the epidural.

As a side note, this is the first and only time I yelled at my sweet hubby during either of my labors.  I felt a massive contraction coming and called him and he was texting and told me to hang on a second.  I was like “PUT THE PHONE DOWN AND GET OVER HERE RIGHT NOW!!”  But other than that, he was awesome 🙂

See? Best hubby EVER!!

One thing they sometimes forget to tell you about the epidural is that it can fool with your blood pressure.  Both times I’ve had one, it made me dizzy and light-headed for the first hour or so.  Just FYI.

So epidural.  Now wait, wait, wait.  Second labors are not necessarily shorter than firsts.  I went 17 hours with Corinne and almost 19 with Ashlynn.

This was an absolute textbook easy birth.  I pushed for like 10 minutes and out she came. The doctor placed her on my belly and I cried.  She was gorgeous!  She had red hair!  I spent my pregnancy thinking she would be a brunette.  I remember that was the first thing the nurse said-look at all that red hair!  I was up and walking around an hour after she was born.  It was great!

Ashlynn Cari
June 8, 2009
4:42 PM
7lbs. 12 oz
20.25 inches long

Oh, about her middle name:  my mother’s name is Cathy, and my MIL’s name is Lori.  So we took the CA from CAthy and the RI from LoRI and made Cari!  Plus, her name starts with A like mine, and my middle name is Lynn.  So really she’s named after three people!

Oh, she’s exactly as much of a stinker as she looks like!!

Corinne Nicole, Part 2

For those of you just joining us, this post is the birth story of my oldest daughter, Corinne.  She turns five years old today, and in honor of her birthday, I am commemorating her actual birth day!

The first part of this story can be found here.

So, there we were, in the delivery room, epidural working well, parents and siblings hanging out.  Weirdly enough, I remember watching Boy Meets World.  Mr. Feeny is pretty darn awesome, even in re-runs.

One thing they don’t tell you in childbirth class is that labor can be kind of boring.  After the epidural, I was just kind of chilling out.  I know my body was working super hard, but my brain really didn’t care.  They came in to check my progress and break my water (see?  didn’t happen on the furniture!) and I was just kind of like, “Yeppers!”  When they broke my water, there was meconium in the fluid.  Google it if you want details, but there would be a NICU team in the room when Corinne was born just so she wouldn’t accidentally inhale any.

A few times, Corinne’s heartbeat got a little low, but they had me shift position and it evened out.  Which was really funny, by the way-try shifting position once when you’re numb from the waist down!

Now mid-afternoon, at about 8-9 centimeters, the doctor noticed that her heart rate was seriously dropping with each contraction.  Shifting position didn’t help.  Things were starting to get hairy, and the word “C-section” was bandied about.  I did NOT want a c-section!!

Suddenly, I got the most serious urge to push.  Like “Right NOW, I need to push!”  It was just me, Kirk, and my mom in the room with a nurse, and the nurse was like “Oh, go ahead hun, first moms push forever.  It won’t be like you do anything productive.”  I hated that nurse.  One of the hardest things I ever did was look at her through the urge to push and say “NO.  I want my doctor, I want the NICU team that needs to be in here, and I want them now. Before I push.”  Best decision I ever made.

The doctor and team came in and I was ready to go.  The doctor told me I had to push and push hard and fast-her heart rate was low and we needed to get her out NOW!!  I pushed a few times and I remember saying “I can’t!”  I don’t think it was because pushing was hard-it was because the nurse would count to ten for each push and I usually ran out of breath at about 7!  But as soon as I said it, every single person in the room chorused: “Yes you can!!!”  (Kirk and my mom were helping me push, my younger sister was watching from a distance.)

We stopped for a second, and the doctor tried a vacuum.  No dice.  I had NO idea, but apparently at this point, our birth story became an emergency.  It wasn’t until later I learned that Corinne’s heart rate was so low they were fearing for her life.  It wasn’t until later that my dad (who was waiting in the hall) saw them flip an emergency switch and there were suddenly doctors and nurses waiting in line to get into my room.  It wasn’t until later that Kirk told me his dad called right in the middle of it all and he yelled “She’s pushing right now!” and hung up on him.

I was so involved in pushing that I knew none of this.  I only pushed for about 10 minutes.  As soon as her head started to emerge, the doctor (who was and remains my hero) simply yanked her out as fast as possible.  It tore me up like crazy down there (glad I had the epidural!!), but it probably saved Corinne’s life, and it definitely saved me from having the c-section we really should have had.

At 2:00pm exactly, on February 15, 2007, Corinne Nicole was born into the world, turning me into a Mommy for the first time.  She weighed 7lbs, 6oz, and she was 19 1/2 inches long. 

Her lungs were clear of meconium, and she was healthy and perfect in every way.  The complications in her delivery were probably due to an umbilical cord that was too short, but we’ll never really know.

My recovery wasn’t bad.  I had about a million stitches, and I was stuck in bed for two days and had to sit on a pillow for a few more.  They wanted me to stay an extra day, but I declined.  I was ready to take my baby home!  My husband’s grandpa asked me right after the birth if there would be more.  My answer was a resounding yes, I had loved being pregnant, and despite the craziness of the birth, it was so, so worth it to have that tiny girl placed in my arms.

So there you have it!  The story of how Corinne Nicole was born!

February 15, 2007


February 15, 2012 Still causin' trouble!


Corinne Nicole, Part I

Let’s get this straight right now.  I love birth and baby stories.  When I was pregnant, I was totally rabid for shows like “A Baby Story” and “Special Delivery” and all that.  I think part of it was pure curiosity.  I had a tiny human in me…I wanted to know the myriad ways she may wish to exit.  But I also think that the miracle of birth is just awesomeness.  Super, super cool.

And when I was pregnant, I did not have this blog, or really many blogs to read.  Although I did my fair share of searches for birth stories, I got lots of them that were incomplete, incoherent, poorly written, or just frankly disgusting.  Blech.

I wanted truth and honesty.  But I didn’t want bad grammar, cussing,and nastiness.  Well, now I have my own blog, and even though it’s five years late, I am sharing Corinne Nicole’s birth story with you.  Truth and honesty.  No nastiness!

Simon Cowell started my labor.  Ok.  Not really.  But wedged into my mind is the fact that just after he broke the last American Idol’s heart for that night’s episode, I felt a twinge in my back.  But I had just been to the doctor and he told me that our baby had more sense than the rest of the world-there was a raging blizzard outside, and she was staying put right where it was warm and cozy.  I still had several days before my due date of February 18th, anyways. 

And don’t you know first babies are always late?  Always?  DON”T YOU?  Because I totally did.  I was pregnant for the first time!  So I…knew…everything? So with that twinge, I was like…meh.

Let me just stop here and say that there were two things I didn’t want to happen when I had this baby.  I did not want my water to break on a valuable piece of furniture.  And I did not want to show up to the hospital thinking I was in labor when I wasn’t.  I was sooo going to get my wishes granted.

The rest of the night I kept getting twinges, and my belly would get hard.  But this had happened before, and whenever things would start to get time-able, they’d fade away.  So I didn’t pay attention.  Should have.  But didn’t.

Seriously people, I had no clue.  I went to bed that night and the tightening in my back and belly wouldn’t let me sleep.  Are you reading this and picking up on something here?  Even people who have never been pregnant?  Yeah.  I distinctly remember rolling over to Kirk and saying (really bitchy)  “I don’t know HOW I am supposed to wake up for work tomorrow if my back won’t quit hurting.”  He didn’t catch on either.

So I went downstairs to read.  I remember I was reading A Host of Dragons.  It was really good.  But after a while, I noticed that I couldn’t stay focused while I was reading.  And as you’ve read here, I can always stay focused while reading. I kept having to stop and close my eyes.  You know, while I was having a contraction.

Contraction?  Yup.  I did remember reading that you can’t talk through a real contraction.  Of course for me, I would realize I was in labor when I noticed I couldn’t read through a contraction.  I got a notebook and a pen and started timing them.  I had to close my eyes and count the second-hand ticks on the clock because I don’t think Iphones were invented and they were actually pretty painful.  Hmmm. 

I timed like 10.  Five minutes apart like religion.  So, because I am a perfectionist in all things, I timed five more.  Then I scared the absolute crap out of Kirk when I woke him up and got to say the phrase “I think it’s time.”  (I got to say that!  It was cool!  The contractions were not.)  We called the ob and she was like…Yeah.  Go.  Doofus.  (Doofus added.  But I bet she was thinking that.)

We got to the hospital and headed straight up to the preggo triage ward.  After we got all checked in and everything, it turned out I was five cm.  Halfway there.  No way was I in the hospital with false labor!  If anything, I waited a little too long.  We were in for the long haul.  And by now, the contractions were major.  And long.  And really, really strong.  Like hold onto the bed rail for dear life strong.  I had been toying with the idea of a natural birth.  And then I learned something really important.  When I put my mind to something, I frickin put my ALL into it.  My uterus, it has the same philosophy. 

When they told me I was all official and they were moving me to an actual room, the nurse asked if I wanted to walk.  And when I looked her dead serious in the eye and said “There is no way I see myself doing that,” I knew I was getting an epidural.  I was cool with that.  I still am.

As a first timer, I wanted to experience labor and what it felt like.  One really good, three-minute long, insanely hard contraction and I was good.  Super good.  Check it off the bucket list and move on good.

It took a while to get settled and get the anesthesiologist in there.  And I’ll admit that before labor I was worried about getting the IV because I hate the IV.  Harharhar.  I’ll tell you something-labor puts pain into a brand new perspective.  I’ve heard it compared to a lot of things.  I’ve heard people say that cramps feel like labor or this or that is worse than labor.  No. Nope.

IV in, and the anesthesiologist arrived.  Epidural administered and if you are wondering, it did not hurt at all.  I didn’t feel a thing.  You have to sit on the very edge of the bed curled around your huge belly, and by that time, the contractions hurt.  The nurse let me hang on her sleeve (really hard) and the guy waited until my contractions were over so I could hold still and it took like 2 minutes.  The worst part was that they made Kirk leave.

Let me just segway here and say that the nurses and doctors were awesome and I was nice to them.  And my husband.  I cussed no one out. 

After the epidural was in, it was the middle of the night.  (Remember this all started at 9?)  After American Idol?)  The epidural worked super fast (oh thank God), and we dozed off and on until it was a decent enough hour to call some people.  Then my mom and dad arrived, and my two sisters not much later.

Hey wow!  Looks like this will be my first two-part blog, because this is really long!  To be continued tomorrow!