Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Campbell's Story

Campbell Caroline Kell
September 13, 2016 8:17 pm
6 lb 4 oz 19 1/2 in.

For those who don't know, we welcomed a precious GIRL into our family this past week! For all the details of her birth and the surprise of our life, see below! 

Tuesday, September 13th was our due date for baby #4, which according to our 20-week ultrasound was another little Kell boy.  Knowing this would be our last baby, part of us was really hoping for a girl, but both Kreg & I adore being boy parents and just couldn't be happier that God blessed and entrusted us with 3 amazing little boys.  Even though Westin & Tucker prayed for months for a little sister, they were so gracious and excited when we told them they were getting another little brother.  Witnessing them process that information without letting it shake their precious little faith was SUCH a blessing to me. 

I had an appointment with my midwife at noon on the 13th & when I went in she asked if I had any interest in having my cervix checked (I LOVE that this is not mandatory & that I made it all the way to 40 weeks without being checked).  I told her I was good not knowing at this point but that if I made it another week I would probably be changing my tune! She was on board with this so we moved on to checking my blood pressure and we were both a little concerned when it read 147/90...twice. We checked my urine which had a trace of protein in it & my fundal height measurement which had dropped 3 1/2 cm from the week before.  So, worried that my amniotic fluid levels were low & that my blood pressure was not where it should be, my midwife told me she thought God might be telling us it was time for this baby to be born & we should probably reconsider checking my cervix. I agreed. I don't think I'll ever forget her reaction when she checked me! I believe her exact words were "Oh, Keleigh! You're a 6 & 80% effaced, baby's head is at station 2."  This made us both feel a little better because clearly that baby wasn't staying put MUCH longer. She stripped my membranes & told me if that didn't get things going we would go with plan B the next day.  Knowing that after we did this with both Tucker & Brooks that my labor started later that evening, I gave my family a "heads up" so they could be ready & Kreg headed home for the day. 

We had a really nice afternoon!  I finished up some last minute things I wanted to get done, we walked to the park with the boys, and met my parents & Kevin & Taylor for dinner.  I even took a few minutes to crawl in bed with Brooks while he napped so I could hold him as my baby one more time. Kreg was WONDERFUL and really took the utmost care in getting our room ready.  He blew up the tub, got our whole-house stereo system playing some soothing jazz through the speakers in our room, and some soothing essential oils diffusing.  He bought us some sunflowers and those added such a happy touch to the room as well.  It really was such a nice place to have a baby!

While we were having dinner I noticed some cramping that I was trying really hard to time but it was too hard to tell when it started and stopped it was that light (this was around 6pm).  My parents & Kevin & Taylor came over after dinner & my midwife checked in at 6:50 & I sat down to try to time the cramping & decided it was about every 2 minutes but just very mild.  She decided to come on over knowing how quickly my labor with Brooks progressed. She got her things ready & was here by about 7:40.  Kreg filled the tub because he was determined to have that thing filled this time! Right about 8:00 I realized I had started bleeding a little bit so I decided to kiss my boys goodnight (thank you Kevin & Taylor for getting them ready for bed!) and get in the water.  It was lovely, but I kept telling everyone I just wasn't sure these cramps were going to do the trick.
 About 8:15 I decided this might take a while & I should probably get out of the tub & use the bathroom.  I noticed when I got out that the cramping was more intense & as I headed into the bathroom I looked at Kreg who had followed me & told him I could feel "his" head RIGHT THERE & maybe I shouldn't use the bathroom after all.  As I got back into the water, I apologized to my midwife for whatever might happen as I was NOT able to use the bathroom because I could feel his head.  In her very calming way she told me not to worry about it & as she started noting my chart I told her I was pushing... and Kreg confirmed he could see his head.  I remember my midwife throwing her iPad and heading towards me & Taylor yelling to my mom, who had stepped out to use the bathroom the same time I did that she was "missing it!" and then at 8:17 this sweet baby COVERED in vernix was here, in my arms, after one push, and practically no active labor. 
 Jessica covered "him" and I up and the boys & Kevin came in to meet our Campbell. 

 Like any new mom I decided to check my baby over-- count fingers & toes and all that... and as I was doing so I realized something wasn't quite right...I looked over at my midwife who saw what I was doing and once again, I don't think I'll be able to forget her reaction as she looked and said, "oh my gosh! It's a girl!" I'm so thankful that Kortney was videoing at that moment because even after having a week and a half to process it, I still can't completely describe that moment.  It was like all the things about having a daughter I'd spent the past several months telling myself I didn't need came rushing through my mind and it opened up the floodgates of emotions.  We were all THRILLED to add this precious girl to our family and I've spent the past week and a half thinking on all the things her sweet presence really means. If you'd like to see the video, send me a message & I'll send you the link!

 I LOVE that everyone was in the room for that moment! Everyone's reactions were absolutely priceless... among my very favorites were Westin, who burst into huge crocodile tears as he kept saying "I'm so happy, I'm so happy!," Tucker, whose grin filled his whole face as he said "God answered my prayers! I learned in Bible class that God answers our happy prayers.," and Kevin, who yelled that he KNEW it in his heart and started picking people up and hugging them.  Kreg's reaction was of course, priceless, as he jumped up & yelled & laughed-- he then came straight over and hugged me and we laughed & cried together.  We've spent several conversations since talking about how much we have to learn about being parents to a daughter.  We are so grateful for the opportunity to raise this sweet soul.  

Everyone wants to know "what happened with the ultrasound??" so here is what I know: my midwife said that this was the first time this has happened in her whole career-- it happens the other way around-- "girl" ends up being a "boy" much more often.  But we think she was just swollen enough for the ultrasound that her little girl parts looked like little boy parts. 
 After we calmed down from our surprise just a little, I nursed my little girl for the first time and was so thrilled with how she took to it right away.
 Westin & Tucker wanted to cut the umbilical cord, so after I delivered the placenta and the cord stopped pulsing, we were ready... but Tucker realized as soon as he looked that he wasn't going to be able to cut it... or even watch! He said it looked like it would hurt her-- I just love his sweet, sensitive spirit.  He decided he could hold the cord while Westin cut it so that worked out perfectly and made for a priceless photo!

 When I was ready to get out and get cleaned up, it was Kreg's turn to hold our amazing little surprise.  His face says it all, friends.

 When I was cleaned up, I needed some more baby snuggles and she was ready to nurse again so Kreg got on the phone to start relaying our exciting news to our family who couldn't be here.  Once again, HIS FACE!

She passed all her little tests with flying colors and Kreg got to dress her for the first time... in boy clothes.  I was amazed as I watched her over the next several hours and ALL  that vernix just soaked right in to moisturize and protect her precious baby skin! 

 Of course everyone there was so eager to hold her!  We passed her around a little before everyone started heading home. So thankful for all these pictures!

Drake & Morgan came over as soon as they finished buying a new car :) 
 Kreg and I didn't sleep much that first night (shocking!) so we talked quite a bit about what to do about her name.  As thrilled as I was to have a daughter, I was hung up on the fact that I bonded with Campbell over the past several months and was having a hard time letting go of that name... even though we had LOTS of other girl names on our running list that I'm sure would have suited her beautifully.  By morning Kreg was on board with Campbell and we agreed quickly on the middle name Caroline-- to honor his mom Carol-- as Kreg put it "with a twist!" He said he would call her "Cami" and we decided on the spelling of it to honor MY mom, "Tami."  This little girl doesn't know it yet but she is so very blessed with wonderful role models in both of her grandmothers and I'm so excited for her to get to know them and love them.

What fun we have had this past week and a half!  We have been so overwhelmed with everyone's excitement and generosity as you have dropped off clothes, flowers, cards, blankets, and sent your sweet messages and texts.  I have treasured up all of it in my mommy heart and can't wait to tell her her story someday.  Kreg and I enjoyed shopping for her room and I'm excited to post about the transformation from Boy Campbell's nursery to Girl Campbell's nursery once we get it complete! I have yet to buy her any clothes but you better believe I'm excited to do so!  And once again, I'm just floored with the generosity of all our friends and family who have clothed her so beautifully already without me buying one article of clothing. 

Campbell Caroline, you are so loved! We are so glad you are part of our family and are so excited to watch you grow.  If only you knew how much you have changed our world in such a short amount of time! I'm so glad God picked me to be your mommy & I am praying earnestly that He will help me be just what you need.  I can't even begin to list out all of the hopes and dreams I already have for you!  I know I'm very partial but I think you have the very best Daddy & big brothers in the whole world and I know they agree with me when I say that you are absolutely a dream come true.

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