Look who’s finally ready to meet you!
I’m thrilled to introduce you to my baby boy, Kai John Joseph Krilla. Kai was born on October 2nd, sharing a birthday with my father. He fooled everyone weighing in at a whopping 7 pounds 14 ounces.
Birth was…well…like nothing I could have ever imagined.
The same goes for living with a newborn. I’ll write more on that in a future post as I move through these initial postpartum weeks! It has been a lot of ups and downs. No one tells you that along with the love and joy also comes feelings of extreme doubt and isolation.
Before going into labor, I chose not to write a birth plan because I knew that birth wouldn’t be within my control.
However, I was hoping to have a natural water birth free of pain medication. They say that birth can be a healing experience so I pictured candles, soft music, lots of deep breathing and the overall experience being a spiritual transformation.
I downloaded a hypnobirthing audio that walks you through affirmations and breathing techniques to take you through the contractions. Oh, except they don’t call them contractions, but riding a wave or something like that.
As my due date approached, I couldn’t wait to meet the little guy! Everyone warned me that first time moms rarely have their babies on or before their due date. That was a bummer. The only way I can describe it is waiting for Christmas to come all year long only for someone to tell you “the presents are under the tree, but you can’t unwrap them yet, in fact, Christmas may not even come until some time in January.”
So I tried to stay in a positive space and I felt great. I went for long walks, read books, and swam almost daily.
The morning of my due date, September 30th, I woke up with mild contractions. I didn’t know if I was going into labor, but my husband stayed home from work just in case. The contractions faded away so I decided to still go to my acupuncture appointment. I told her that I had experienced some contractions and to get this show on the road!
If I had known that I wouldn’t get more than 2 hours of sleep per night for the next 6 weeks I might have thought differently.
But let me tell you…acupuncture is the real deal.
By 6 pm the evening of September 30th I was having mild contractions again. They weren’t painful so I enjoyed a nice dinner on the porch with Peter and even had a small glass of red wine.
By 9 pm…holy sh-t!!! The contractions were ROCKIN’.
What am I supposed to be doing? Riding a wave? Breathing? Screw that all I can do is land on my hands and knees and try to stay upright until it’s over.
I called the midwives and asked when I should come into the hospital. They told me to start timing my contractions and come if they’re a few minutes apart for an hour. So I sent Peter to bed to get a little sleep while I rode the contractions for a while on my own.
Around 1:30 am they were definitely a few minutes apart for at least a minute each. I woke Peter up to leave for the hospital. After a very traumatic car ride, I was wheeled up to the labor and delivery floor to be told I was only 1 cm dilated and this could be false labor.
I still don’t understand exactly what false labor is but I was going to be very mad if I had it! They sent me home and said to call back at noon the next day if I was still having contractions.
I took a hot bath at home which slowed down the contractions just enough for me to get a few minutes of rest in between. My dog, Pono, was sweet enough to lay with me as I rested.
By noon on October 1st my contractions were still in full swing so I called the hospital again and told them I wasn’t doing so well. They had me come back in for therapeutic rest, which is essentially giving you morphine and fluids in an IV so you can sleep and hope that moves your labor along. I had the most blessed 8 hours of rest in my life. I was exhausted, and thankful.
I should note that the reason my labor was taking so long is because Kai was turned in the wrong position facing up. Therefore, the back of his head was resting on my spine. This keeps labor from progressing and also gives you back labor. So with each contraction rather than only feeling it in my abdomen, I had the worst back pain I have ever experienced.
By 3 am October 2nd I was still in full labor (not false labor thank God), and they talked to me about my options.
As much as I would have loved to tell them to bring the labor tub in and try for a natural water birth, I didn’t have it in me. I just needed this to be over. So they gave me an epidural and twisted me in crazy positions with the hopes of turning Kai around.
Considering how things had been going I figured I’d give birth to my baby some time the next day. But after a few hours I started feeling a strange urge to push. I had Peter fetch the midwives to come check on me. To their surprise, Kai had flipped himself around and I was now fully dilated! Yay! Time to push!
This was actually the fun part (did I just say that?).
With a renewed spirit, I pushed with the last reserves of energy I could muster. As Kai was beginning to make his appearance, he was squirming around so much that they actually instructed me to stop pushing to see what would happen.
Kai literally crawled out on his own with a hand up in front of his face as if saying “hello, world!”
The midwife almost cried at how beautiful of a birth it was. In all her years of practice she had only seen a baby birth themselves in this way once.
They immediately threw him onto my chest where I got to cradle him in my arms for the first time. We spent the next 24 hours with our baby in the hospital before getting ready to go home.
I’m going to share with you in this post some very real and raw photos from my birth. Normally I’d be wary of sharing these as I’m sweaty and tired and have no makeup on, and Kai isn’t cleaned up yet in some of them. So if you’re squemish…may not be the post for you. But birth isn’t glamorous. It’s real and raw and gritty and amazing.
I will say that even though my birth didn’t turn out exactly how I imagined, I can’t say enough about the hospital and the midwives. They were so kind, knowledgeable and compassionate. They didn’t rush me and did everything in their power to avoid a C-Section.
Now, 5 weeks later, I am more tired than I have ever been in my life but my heart is full. It is a mixture of emotions…don’t let anyone tell you differently or make you feel bad if having a baby is nothing like you imagined.
Someone told me that with every contraction there is expansion. This is not only true in birth but in life, too. And during my bad days I cling to that thought. This is a time of both contraction in my life and expansion.
Post traumatic stress, life events, and post partum can lead us into opportunity or despair. We all need someone to hold that vision of opportunity for us when going through the hard times. Life is a mixture. There is so much expansion out there when you allow it! For a bit of inspiration, download my free guide.
More on that soon. But for now, below are some pictures of us in our first month together 🙂 And as always, leave a comment below if anything in this post resonated with you, or if there is something you’d like to share!
Minutes After Birth
Kai Getting Weighed
First Day in the Maternity Ward
Sweet Sweet Baby Love Nugget 🙂
First Day with Dad
“Motherhood is My Muse” Badass Shirt