You found the hidden text! Did you know... One single drop of a mother's colostrum has nearly 1 million white blood cells in it! True amazing power we hold as human mothers to heal. "Every Drop Counts!" - Summer

Xavier’s Birth

On March 23, 2009 at 5:32 p.m. my friend sent the following text: Caitlin says you are having the baby at 10:32 tonight. Better get busy! I laughed out loud. At 39 weeks and 2 days my third pregnancy had lasted the longest and I thought there was no end in sight. The baby seemed perfectly content to stretch my body to previously unknown lengths and everyday I would wake-up and dare to hope that we would finally have our baby. It didn’t seem to me that March 23 would be that day.

That evening 10:32 came and went with no baby. No contractions. No water breaking. No inkling that our baby had any intention of coming out. Ever. Five minutes later, while we were in bed my water broke. I laughed and rejoiced because finally, finally, finally my pregnancy was nearly over.

As with my second child nothing happened following the water breaking for quite sometime. I hadn’t showered that day so I hopped in to wash my hair. Afterwards I packed my bag and made sure our older children were ready to stay with my parents for a few days. I updated my Facebook status to the agreed upon “code” update so a few friends would know I was in labor. We called my mom to come pick them up, loaded up our 6-year old and 4-year old in her van and then we waited…and waited…and waited.

Around midnight the contractions began- mild at first but within a few minutes they were fairly intense and about three minutes apart. Labor with my second child progressed rapidly and this labor seemed to be following a similar pattern. Not wanting to transition in the car, I grudgingly told my husband we needed to head to the hospital.

As I suspected my labor began to pick up in both speed and intensity. The five-minute drive seemed to take forever. I’d no idea that I-35 was so bumpy until that night and then I was hyper aware of every jostle and variation of the pavement.

When we arrived at Shawnee Mission Donnie wanted to drop me off at the door but I refused and instead elected to walk in with him. It seemed that the contractions were coming about every two minutes and during one contraction I looked down and realized we were standing in the middle of the road in the crosswalk. I remember thinking the cars could just go around because I sure as hell had no intention of moving! I briefly (and irrationally) wondered if a bus would be able to maneuver around us and decided it didn’t matter. They would have to wait.

Once in the room, after being monitored for the requisite 20-minutes, I jumped at the opportunity to labor in the tub. I was handling things well enough in bed but I was tired and thought I might be able to catnap if the water could help take the edge off the contractions. I was wrong.

Shortly after climbing in the tub my labor began to change. I could feel the baby moving inside me and with the next contraction my uterus not only tightened but I felt like my back would explode. The pain was unbelievable. I’d endured 8-hours on pitocin with my first baby and thought that was hell on earth. No way. That was a cakewalk compared to the horrific pain of the back labor I was experiencing. If that wasn’t enough the contractions began to speed up even more until it seemed that they were coming every 60 seconds and lasting for a couple minutes. I tried every position imaginable- on my side, on all fours, on my knees. Donnie and our doula, Jill, worked with me, tried to talk me down and tried to ease the pain. I was on a ledge, just barely holding onto my grip of reality. I couldn’t stand to have them touch me during contractions because it made the pain worse. I tried to focus on breathing but the pain was overwhelming. I just couldn’t see past it. If that weren’t enough the baby would kick me and move during contractions, which just made everything worse. I began yelling, “Make it stop moving. Make it stop moving!”

I was peculiarly aware of my behavior. It was as if one tiny corner of my mind had maintained its grip on sanity. With my other children I didn’t yell. Or scream. Or struggle not to tell the entire world to fuck off and mean it. I was calm. Quiet. Silent. I was lucid and sane and human. This time, though, I felt like an animal that had lost its mind. At one point a nurse came and informed me I needed to get back in bed so they could check me. I ignored her. Jill gently repeated it. I ignored her. Donnie too. I ignored him. The nurse told me again saying that she thought the baby was close and they needed to check. “No you don’t,” I thought. “I don’t feel like pushing. The baby is moving. Everything is fine and there’s no way I’m getting out of this tub!” I continued to ignore her until she began to really irritate me. Then I looked up, opened my eyes and screamed, “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!” She left me alone after that.

Somehow, someway someone managed to convince me to get up and move and somehow, someway I found myself back in bed. The pain was just as overwhelmingly appalling there as it was in the tub. The contractions were coming one right on top of the other. A nurse checked me and I was at 7 cm. I wasn’t sure what time it was or how long I’d been in labor. I only knew I was exhausted, in a tremendous amount of pain, unable to find any respite and had 3 more centimeters to go, plus pushing before it was all over.

At that point Jill and Donnie were helplessly watching me and only offering up verbal encouragement because their touch, no matter how gentle or well intentioned, seemed to intensify the pain. They kept trying to find ways to physically comfort me until I begged them to stop. I was horribly overwhelmed by the pain. “I can’t do this,” I told Jill. “Yes you can,” she soothed me, “you’re doing so good and you’re almost there. Yes you can.” She was right. Of course she was right. I could do it but the new question in my mind was whether or not I really wanted to. A few more contractions went by and the answer was no. “I don’t want to do this anymore,” I told Jill, “please, I want to stop now.” She and Donnie both questioned me- did I really want to stop? “Yes. I’m so tired. It hurts so much. Please make it stop.” The nurses who had been supportive of my desires and wishes to labor naturally began making the arrangements to have an epidural administered. Knowing that relief was in sight and absolutely what I wanted I began to beg. “Please,” I whimpered, “I’ll do anything you want just give me the epidural right now. Please.” I realized that I sounded completely pathetic but I didn’t care. I wanted drugs.

The anesthesiologist came and, bless her heart, let me lie on my side while she poked and prodded with the line. The epidural began working and I thanked her profusely and even called her a princess. I apologized to the nurses for being mean. I apologized to Donnie and Jill for not making it to the end (they assured me I’d done great and that the loved me all the same) and while I felt disappointed for not successfully giving birth without drugs, I didn’t regret it.

At that point it was around 3 a.m. Jill and I drifted off to sleep while Donnie, too excited to rest, pulled out his laptop and caught up on work e-mails. Around 6 a.m. the midwife came in, surprised that I wasn’t ready to push. She checked me and I was fully dilated, 100% effaced and the baby was “right there.” She thought it might be a good idea to try pushing. I declined her offer. I didn’t feel like pushing and wanted to go back to sleep. She asked if I would just try, just to see what would happen. I reluctantly agreed and pushed a few times. I pushed on and off for about 30-minutes until my regular doctor came in for the delivery. After two hours of pushing on and off (I was appalled- with my other two I pushed for no more than 40 minutes) we were going to meet our baby.

Before the baby was born there was much ado about how much hair it had. “Head’s out!” Dr. Schlichter told me. I pushed a bit more and after some maneuvering the baby’s shoulders emerged. “Another little push, Kellie,” she told me. Out came the baby’s abdomen. I kept waiting for it to just slide on out like my older children had but it wasn’t happening. “I need you to push the baby’s hips out, Kellie,” she said. Weird, I thought. So I pushed again. The vague pressure I’d felt through the delivery was gone and we heard a huge sploosh as the rest of the fluid in my uterus followed the baby out. It was 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2009.

“It’s a boy! I think it’s a boy,” Donnie shouted. His voice was a mixture of elation, awe, glee and love. “It’s a boy!” Dr. Schlichter confirmed. “It’s a big boy!” When she placed him on my chest he felt…heavy. As I was marveling over my beautiful baby I heard a nurse say, “Oh, he’s at least 9 lbs!” That seemed probable. “I think he’s closer to 10,” Dr. Schlichter said. Wait, what? “No way,” said another nurse, “he’s closer to 11.” Um, really? That just seemed a little extreme to me- but she was right.

Xavier Charles Gillespie weighed 10 lbs., 14 oz. and measured 20 1/2 inches long. He had a head full of thick, dark hair and wonderfully chubby cheeks. He was utterly perfect. Our short-term goal- a drug free birth- didn’t materialize but the ultimate goal- a healthy, happy baby and mom were absolutely achieved.