her story

Thursday | August 16, 2018

Kendall Justine

2 plus years later + I am finally sharing my pregnancy/birth story with my first babe, Kenny

Let's travel back in time to 2017. Here is a quick timeline of events!

John + I started trying for a baby in November, 2017.

On December 23, 2017, I took a test + it was a big fat positive !

The first couple of months was brutal. I had horrible morning sickness. I was always throwing up. I had zero appetite. All I wanted to do was lay in bed. Nothing sounded good. I would feel hungry, but didn't know what I wanted to eat. ( yes that drove the hubby crazy). People would always ask, "how does morning sickness feel like?" I think the best example would be, the feeling of being hungover and having that nauseous, lethargic feeling all day + night. With lots of vomiting.

First trimester was rough. You are going through a rollercoaster of emotions. Your hormones are seriously out of whack. You look forward to every doctor's appointment. Having to wait every four weeks to visit your OB felt like forever. I hated always having that pit in my stomach everytime I went in for my appointment so they can check out baby's heartbeat. You just want it to be 20 weeks already so you can find out the gender of your baby. Once I hit second trimester, I felt a lot better. April 16, 2018 was the day we found out if we were having a girl or boy! John had a feeling we were having a girl my whole pregnancy. I had no idea what we were having. I would look up old wives tales online, or take quizzes online to guess the gender of our baby. And everything pointed to having a GIRL!


Fast forward to the end of May, 2019. I was around 26 weeks pregnant when I all of a sudden felt very itchy. It started with my hands and feet. Then I was intensely itching my stomach. It felt like I had red fire ants viciously biting me all over. Underneath my toenails and fingernails were so itchy. I felt like I wanted to rip them off. Me being me, immediately went on google to self diagnose myself, + I came across a condition called, Cholestasis. (I will go more in depth on a separate blog post about that condition + my experience with it.)

On top of feeling itchy, I would get these episodes where I would feel an intense, sharp stabbing pain behind my shoulder + in my lower back, or around my upper belly. Sometimes they would last an hour or two, only feeling worse overtime. No matter what position I was in, the pain never got better. My first episode was during my first trimester. I had that intense shooting pain in my back, felt very light headed and actually past out on the floor! ( so scary. luckily John was home during that time)

The second time I had the same episode was the same week where I felt itchy for the first time. The pain was so excruciating, I had to go to the ER. Doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. I called my OB, got an appointment, they ran some tests + did some bloodwork, and that is when they diagnosed me with ICP. Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy. Which basically is a liver disorder that occurs during pregnancy. They check through blood work. The flow of my bile down the bile ducts in my liver was reduced. Which causes my bile acids to leak into my bloodstream. The risks with ICP is high. There is a risk of stillbirth. Sorry to scare you like that, but it is sooo important to go get checked out if you feel itchy. So mothers who have this condition are advised to get induced by 36-37 ish weeks.

I have never heard of this condition. It freaked me out. I remember crying on the phone when my OB called me. I was paranoid + worried about Kendall. I just wanted her to be safe + healthy in my stomach. All I got out of my conversation with my OB was the word "stillbirth". This condition is very serious. If you feel itchy, trust your intuition + insist on getting your blood work done. Because the sooner you know, the safer you + your baby will be. So overall, the episodes I was feeling was all linked to my gallbladder. And those attacks that I was feeling were gallstones.

The rest of my pregnancy once I hit third trimester, was great. I felt my best. I had the "pregnancy glow ". I felt beautiful in my own skin. Clothes felt good. I didn't have to worry about sucking in. I ate whatever I wanted, and got to enjoy my pregnancy. I did have itching for the rest of my pregnancy, but I was on Ursodiol, which was medication that helped lower my bile acid levels + helped with my itching. I had to go to my OB 3x a week for NST. Which stands for nonstress test. It is used to help check on the baby's health by monitoring babes movements and to check on her heartbeat. At the time we were stationed in Sacramento, CA and the closest Military hospital we had to go to appointments for was in Fairfield, CA. So driving an hour a couple times a week was a trek + exhausting.

My induction date was planned for my 37th week. I went in at Tuesday at 3pm. I had Braxton Hicks contractions here and there. They did a cervix check and I was completely closed. I knew this was going to be a tough next couple of days. I got all settled in . The nurses then explained the different types of methods that they had planned for me, to get my cervix to open up. The first method was called Cervidil. It looks like a strip that contains medicine that will help jumpstart labor by softening my cervix, so they insert it down below. The next step was to wait 12 hours and hope for the best.

12 hours later they checked my cervix and I only progressed maybe .5 cm. I was getting very discouraged. All I wanted was to meet my baby girl. My biggest fear through all of this was that it would take days for me to open up, then they would have to give me a c-section. But John was there right next to me the whole time, encouraging me + helping me think more positive. So since the first method didn't work, the next step they wanted to take was called the Foley Bulb. Basically the doctor inserts a Foley catheter into my cervix. It is a long rubber tube with an inflatable balloon on one end. It then gets inflated inside my cervix, pushing pressure to help kickstart my hormones to get labor going. I always tell everyone, getting the Foley Bulb inserted was WORSE than labor. I cannot even explain the amount of pain that I felt that day. I remember crying + screaming so loud . I then look at Johns face, and went blank and was so pale. He then went to the bathroom and threw up. I heard it doesn't hurt for most people, but if you aren't dilated at all, like I was, then it can be very painful. So for anyone who has to get induced that way, sorry for scaring you!

The next step was to wait another 12 hours and to see what happens. After about 7 ish hours, I felt some light contractions. It felt like really painful period cramping. But it wasn't anything too crazy. The doctor checked my cervix and they said I was about 5 cm. We both looked at each other + I remember crying of excitement because I was so happy that I was progressing! My nurse then came in and asked if I wanted to get pitocin. So they started that and I took a power nap. Fast forward, it was about 11pm on wednesday. My contractions started to get closer together + it was starting to get more painful. I was dilated to about a 7 and the doctor said if I wanted to get the epidural, then it would be the perfect time since I was in active labor. I HATE getting shots. I don't even like getting my blood drawn. So I was nervous to get the epidural. Throughout my pregnancy I would watch videos of epidurals and look up pictures of how big + scary the needle was. So that didn't help lol.

The anesthesiologist came in and got everything set up. She explained everything that was going to happen and was very helpful. I remember her telling me DO NOT MOVE. I sat at the edge of the bed. One nurse holding my left hand, John holding my other hand. I sit up straight, I feel my back being wiped down, and then she counts and does her thing. I felt a sharp shocking pain, like I was getting stung by a big fat bee the size of a car. I am closing my eyes the whole time + crying. ( yes I cry a lot. Any reaction, happy or sad, a stream of tears will flow. You will start to realize that as you get to know me. Or if you already do, then this isn't news to you lol ! :) Once the epidural was all inserted and finished, it felt so weird not being able to feel my bottom half. I would touch my thighs and my skin felt like thick leather. It was a weird feeling not being able to physically move. Kind of scary at the same time!! I felt good at this time. The nurse inserted my catheter, which was also weird not being able to feel myself going pee, but it was nice not having to move to use the restroom!

This was the perfect time for me to squeeze in some z's. At this point I am emotionally and physically exhausted. Running off of 48 hours of no sleep. They tell me to rest, but really it's impossible too. All I can think about is delivering this babe and hoping that I progress enough. The nurse came in, told me to lay on my side, they put a peanut medicine ball between my legs + I finally got some rest. For my own experience, I am really glad I got the epidural. Only because once I got it, my body was able to relax a bit, and it actually did help me progress quickly in the end.

I am soooo glad I was able to take a snooze so I could gain some energy!!!Because it is now thursday morning, at about 5 45 am the doctor comes in because my contractions were super close together + frequent! I had no idea! Also my water broke in my sleep, (I was kinda bummed because I really wanted to experience my water breaking like the movies ! ) anyways I FINALLY was at a 10 cm. The nurse on that shift called my OB, and said he was on his way! Everyone started getting the room ready. All of a sudden I remember just sitting there. Shivering and my teeth chattering non stop. I then felt a rush of nausea and threw up. They say it's normal when you are close to giving birth. As all the nurses come in and out, preparing the room , John squeezes my hand so tight and tells me he loves me. (wow I can't even type this without getting a little teary eyed! ) Our world was soon about to change. We were so close to meeting our daughter! My OB comes in, everything is prepared. I look at the clock and its about 730 am. I hear the words, "Okay, It is time to push !!! " The fear in my eyes, all these emotions rushed through my head. I felt like I was in a dream and couldn't believe that it was finally happening. I waited so long for this day to arrive and it was finally here.

John had one leg. The nurse had my other leg. When it was time to push ( at every contraction) I needed to grab my legs and just push as hard as I could while they counted to 10! The first push I didn't know how hard I was pushing. I liked not being able to feel any pain. But I didn't like not being able to feel how hard I was pushing. I kept pushing, trying to breathe at the same time, while squeezing John's hand and the nurses. Everyone was motivating me. Saying " good job. Keep going" . It was so awesome! John doesn't do well when it comes to birth. He had to sit down because he felt so sick. I was worried about him the whole time pushing . But he was motivating me and counting the whole time!

Another nurse comes and takes over, another contraction comes back. Then it is time to push again. Push stop. Push stop . Repeat. After about 30 minutes of pushing, my OB says " I can see her hair. Feel!!" I remember touching her head and feeling her hair and I at that point was determined. I grabbed both my legs during my next contraction and I just pushed as hard as I can. And then feel something plop out, everyone cheering and I hear my baby girl for the first time! Her sweet little, dinosaur screeching cry! Everything happened so fast and seems like a blur. They hand her to me, I squeeze her so tight, crying, looking at John and he is crying. The three of us are huddled together, holding Kenny tight and we finally became a family of 3. That was the best moment and day of my life .

Thursday, August 16, 2018 at 8:28am our Kendall Justine was born. She was perfect. A head full of hair. Her back and tiny arms were so hairy. Her feet were so sweet, just like her ultrasound photo. She had mama's nose and lips and she was just absolutely precious. She latched on to me so fast and the feeling of her nursing is an indescribable feeling. It is crazy how babies know what to do right away!

I absolutely love being a mama. Remembering this birth story is unforgettable. It truly is an amazing experience to go through. Even though it was a very tough pregnancy and a long labor, everything was worth it. All my pain, weight gain, tears shed, everything... it was all worth it. Because Kendall made me a mama!

I love you so much Kendall Justine. You are our ray of sunshine. You are our crazy, wild, chunky, + sweet sour patch kid. You are mama + dadas biggest blessing!

*Meaning behind her name: Kendall Justine Textor. When John + I first started dating, I told him if we had a daughter I wanted to name her Kendall. And he told me , he always liked the name Russell for a boy. We both agreed and loved both names. So figuring out names was super easy for us! Justine is my sister in law's name. So her middle name is extra special to us♡*

Thank you to all you amazing nurses and doctors who do such a wonderful job taking care of your patients. I can't imagine going through what I did without the wonderful staff there. I felt so comfortable and well taken care of!! Thank you for everything that you do! I will never forget my OB and nurses who were there during my labor + delivery. They too, will always be a part of our birthing experience + story.

Mamas to be, expecting mamas or anyone reading :

Remember to keep an open mind when it comes to delivering your babe. I know you may have a birth plan, but ANYTHING can happen and can change throughout your labor. Just be open and know it will be okay if your birth plan changes. The end goal is to be able to safely deliver your baby! It will all be worth it in the end! Once you squeeze your bundle of joy, you will never want to let go :)


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