Pregnancy & Leading Up to the Birth
I found out I was pregnant only one week after moving into our new house in Michigan. I remember feeling really nauseous and telling a neighbor that I felt like I was pregnant, at the time I didn't think that it was a real possibility because we had been unsuccessfully trying for a year. When I saw the pregnancy test I was so excited that we were going to have another baby but I also felt nervous because I had just moved away from family and I didn't know anybody and knew that pregnancy would bring sickness.
My eyes begin to tear up just thinking about the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, they were very difficult. I remember feeling alone, helpless and sick. The daily struggle to try to keep hydrated and take care of myself was difficult. I wanted to get to know neighbors and ward members and wanted to help my kids adjust and make friends but every effort seemed helpless as I ended up spending the whole time at events in the bathroom throwing up. I did okay in the day but evenings were very difficult. Joe did most of the cooking and I eventually started going to bed at 7pm to keep myself from vomiting all night long. Emotionally I felt like I was failing, I wanted to do more for my family but I physically couldn't and it was all falling on Joe. The first 20 weeks of pregnancy were very difficult but I learned to rely on my husband, children and Heavenly Father. The extra things that once seemed to be so important no longer were. Despite the hard moments I felt so blessed to be pregnant and knew the struggle was worth it and that it would end.
At 20 weeks we found out we were going to be having a baby GIRL! About that time I stopped throwing up on a regular basis and we started back into a normal routine for which I am so grateful! I felt really nervous that I would be put on bed rest with this baby because I was with my previous pregnancy but I never had to be put on bed rest. I was just told to "take it easy, put my feet up and avoid anything that might cause me to go into labor." I did have a lot of contractions from about 28 weeks on and the worry and emotional fear of having the baby come early was real especially since Joe was traveling.
I wrote this poem and took this picture around 36 weeks:
I reflect on the past full of moments so hard:
nauseousness, weight gain, dehydration and scares,
the silent prayers that brought me this far.
Constantly reminded that I am not alone:
tiny hands, a rounded knee
remind me of the miracle growing within me.
I wait in anticipation to see her sweet face,
to kiss her soft cheeks and give a warm embrace.
Moments so hard and others sweet,
a reminder of the blessing this baby will be
and the joy she will bring to our family.
At about 36 weeks I started having regular contractions and labor pain and felt like I was going to go into labor about everyday leading up to the birth. I would have regular contractions 5 minutes apart anywhere from 3-8 hours then they would stop...it was an emotional roller coaster for me.
The night of Thursday the 17th I woke up with intense pains thinking I was in labor then the contractions stopped. When I woke up the next morning I was having strong contractions again and I was determined to keep them coming so I spent the whole day on my feet. I cleaned our basement, vacuumed the house and mopped the floor. I started timing contractions that evening around 4. They were coming about every 3 minutes and I was having a lot of pain in my back. I sent the kids to the pool with Joe and stayed behind to back my hospital bag still half thinking they might stop. When the kids returned from the pool I was still having contractions and we called our OB to let him know we would be coming to the hospital.
We checked into our room and got settled around 10 pm. The nurse did an ultrasound to check baby and checked to see if I was dilated, I about died when the nurse checked me and told me that I was only at a 1 1/2. With all my other pregnancies I didn't feel a lot of labor and when we checked in I had dilated to at least a 6. I looked and Joe and said: "We are going home." Our OB came in and said that my contractions were regular but they were not doing much and thought I should walk the halls and give it a little time and so we did just that. After an hour I had progressed.
The nurse gave me an IV around 11:30pm and our OB broke my water at about 1am and then we all tried to get a little bit of sleep.
It was a long night but my easiest labor. I remember being surprised that my body wasn't shaking following labor like it had with all my others kiddos. My first thought when I saw Kate was she is so small. She seemed a lot smaller to me than my other babies and was my smallest. My next thought was she has a soft cry. I nursed Kate for an hour and then Joe got to hold her. Kate nursed well initially but had unstable blood sugar levels and so we supplemented with formula.
The NameWe named our little girl Kate Nicole Palmer!
Naming our other daughters was easy for me. From the time I was a little girl I knew I wanted to name my daughter Alicen and call her Ali. Joe always really liked the name Hannah. Kate was not a name that either Joe or I really thought about until we were pregnant with our third daughter. I had a list of girl names I liked, the list included: Emma, Madison, Madelyn, Olivia, Nicole, Aubrey and Sarah. I remember looking up the meanings to each of the names and reading the name Kate and liking it, when I read the meaning I fell in love with the name. The name Kate is a Latin baby name and in Latin the meaning of the word Kate is "Pure, Clear." Nicole is my twin sister Holly's middle name.