We had our FOURTH baby on Sunday! I definitely still haven’t gotten used to the fact that I’m a mom of FOUR. Crazy.
Before time totally gets away from me, I wanted to take a few minutes to document how this little man came into the world.
Okay, where to start…
Last week Wednesday I went in for my 38 week appointment and found out that I was dilated to three centimeters. The week before I’d been at a one, so my body was progressing! After my appointment I started freaking out a little bit because I felt like the baby had dropped a ton, and because of a few other signs my body had given me, I felt like labor was going to happen sooner rather than later.
My main concern was figuring out plans and back-up plans of who would take care of the kids when I went into labor. The plan was to call my mom to come up as soon as we knew it was the real deal, but she lives four hours away, so we needed to have people in place to watch the kids until she got there. We had plenty of people who graciously offered to help, and I know it would have been fine, but knowing how quickly my labors have gone in the past, I was still a little nervous thinking that I might have to wait to go to the hospital until childcare arrived.
I voiced my concerns to my mom, and because she’s one of the most selfless people I know, she dropped everything she had going on and drove up on Wednesday evening to stay with us. Jake had to be out of town overnight the following night for business, so it was a blessing she was there in case anything happened. We made it through Thursday night and Jake returned home on Friday. Later on Friday evening my dad and some good family friends came up to spend the weekend with us. We’d been planning on them coming and had been looking forward to it all summer.
One of the things we wanted to do together was head over to the Minnesota State Fair. So on Saturday morning we got the kids ready and headed to the fairgrounds. We walked all over, ate the delicious greasy fair food, then headed back home for the afternoon to get the kids down for naps.
All the while I couldn’t help but think it would be the perfect weekend to have a baby. Tim and Laurie, our family friends, always jump in to help my parents take care of the kids when they’re staying at the farm, so they know their routine, the kids are comfortable around them, and they are just such a blessing to us. Knowing that there would be four caring adults to watch the kids if we went to the hospital was so reassuring.
Saturday evening Jake and I were sent out on a date, while they all offered to take care of the kiddos. Before we got ready, we went for a run, because you know, just in case my body was ready to go into labor, we thought we’d help it along a little. Then we showered up and headed out to dinner.
On the way I kept praying, “Lord, this seems like the perfect night to have this baby. At least I think so. Will you please help me surrender this to you? Let your will be done!”
Toward the end of dinner, I started to feel mild contractions and proceeded to make a few trips to the bathroom. I was hopeful that something was starting, but tried not to get too excited. We got home, and I was still have mild contractions, but nothing different than what I’d been having the past few days.
Then about a half an hour later we were on the couch watching a football game, and all of the sudden I felt much more of a “real” contraction. It didn’t totally stop me dead in my tracks, but it was definitely more intense than before. We started tracking them, and they started coming every 5 – 7 minutes or so. But then I’d have one three minutes later, and we soon realized that my contraction pattern wasn’t consistent. I figured they’d probably stop in a little while. But they didn’t. They kept going, but kept their irregular pattern.
We didn’t know if we should go to the hospital or not, because they weren’t the “I can’t walk or talk” kind of contractions, but they also were a far cry from Braxton Hicks. During my appointment my doctor had told me that the minute I go into labor I need to rush to the hospital, given my history of only being in labor for a total of 4 hours with the twins. Having that in the back of my mind, we decided to go in and get checked out.
We arrived, and my contractions had gotten slightly worse, but again I wasn’t stopping in my tracks. They checked me, and I was still at a three. At that point, they wanted to monitor me for a while longer to see if the contractions were doing anything. After an hour, I was checked again and still no progress.
I was majorly bummed out, and pretty frustrated because I’ve been in labor before and I knew the type of contractions I was having felt like they were on the way to the real deal. The nurse said they could send me home with some medicine to make me sleep, or they could keep me until 7am, check me again and see if I’d progressed. At that point it was about 1:30am, and I was totally confused and completely exhausted. We were in a tiny triage room, not ideal for being in pain of any kind, and the thought of being cooped up in there until morning was horrifying. I decided I’d rather wait it out at home and see what happened. We walked out to the car, and I continued to have contractions, and they were getting worse. By the time we got home, I was so discouraged. Labor continued to progress, and the contractions were now in full force. They were the can’t walk or talk contractions. But at the same time I was a little scared to return to the hospital, only to be turned away and feel silly again. But we really had no other choice but to go back.
This time they checked me in right away and got me to a room. I had dilated another few centimeters, and it was confirmed that this baby WAS coming! Phew. Thankfully I’d gotten there in time to get an epidural, so after a half an hour of fluids, the anesthesiologist came in and just like my other deliveries, became my instant best friend. Interestingly, my contractions never did get consistent. They followed an irregular pattern, some coming every two minutes, some coming four or seven minutes later, for another hour until I was completely dilated.
Then I felt the pressure to push. The doctor came in, and after pushing through only three contractions, out came baby Case! He was crying already when he was halfway out! I got to snuggle him immediately and do lots of skin to skin. I LOVED that about the hospital I delivered at. They let me have as much time with him as I wanted. In fact, they didn’t take him to get weighed or anything until a couple hours later. It was such a laid back and therapeutic atmosphere. I delivered in the same room we stayed in, which was a beautiful suite, and as soon as possible after delivery they got me soaking in the huge bathtub in my bathroom. It was definitely spa like treatment!
Case Bry Kuiper was officially born on August 31, 2014 at 6:18am. He weighed 6 lbs 10 oz, making him my biggest baby! We named him Case because we fell in love with the name a couple years ago and had prayed that we’d get to have another boy to use it on. We chose Bry for the middle name, after my dad Brian, who pours unconditional love into us and our kids. We pray that Case will have a humble heart and generous spirit just like his Papa.
It was certainly a weekend to remember. So many highs and memories we’ll treasure forever. From wonderful friends and family supporting us, to meeting our fourth baby, to seeing the sweet expressions on the other kids’ faces when they got to meet Baby Case, it was all so special.
So I guess all that back and forth to the hospital was worth it after all! As was everything else I tried to do to induce labor that day, including the pineapple and glass of wine! 😉
It’s true, I was pretty determined to have this baby last weekend, but I obviously know the Lord knew the timing long before I did. I’m just glad we were on the same page. 🙂
Thank you for all your prayers, support, and kind words as we transition to a family of four. Things are going so well so far, and I know it’s only because of God’s grace and the prayers from all of you. So far Case is a great eater and sleeper and the other kids are SO sweet to him – we’re hoping it sticks!
Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow!