Happiness, Sadness, Pain, and Comfort

I know the title of this post is a little different and adverse, but you will see why. A birth mother's emotions are indescribable and very different than anything else. The only other feeling I can relate it to is when someone you love dies. But even then, it still isn't the same. When someone dies, your heart aches knowing you won't be able to see them again. It feels like you have hit a brick wall and you just want to scream because you miss them so much. With placing a baby, you have the heart ache, definitely, but when you are about to hit that brick wall, you are over come with peace and comfort because your child isn't dead, they aren't gone forever, they are still alive and are going to have the best life possible. Like a deceased person, a birthmother may not be able to hold, see, and kiss their loved one everyday, but there is light knowing that they are going to grow up happy with a whole family!

Wow- that was some introduction!

The first week without Kinley was such a whirlwind of emotions. If the emotions mentioned above weren't bad enough, I'll add I was in pain and tired from giving birth, having stitches, and being up for 48 hours strait! I was getting used to having no baby in me, trying to comprehend what happened and my hormones going wacko didn't help one bit.

We got home from the hospital at about 9 pm and all I wanted to do was fall into bed. I was so emotionally numb. I had just done the hardest thing imaginable and I was still trying to soak it all in. I was tired of crying because that's what I did the whole day. I just wanted to sleep and maybe it would go away. It all felt like such a dream. My sisters spent the night at my house for support and it was so nice- especially since I needed their help going to the bathroom still- hehe.

I woke up the next morning to the sound of a door creaking and I jumped up in bed thinking it was Kinley. But I opened my eyes and there was no baby in a cradle next to me. No baby to be seen in my arms and definitely no baby in my belly. I felt a sort of panic until I remembered I had placed my baby last night. And to that thought, I sobbed and sobbed.

I had so much time to grow this baby and all the resources to read about what exactly I had to expect when I was pregnant and giving birth. You know- morning sickness, labor, and caring for myself after birth. I had it all down like the back of my hand and I was so prepared. But I was no where prepared for what it would be like to have my baby away from me. In a sense it felt like I had her and then she was just taken from my arms and she ripped a chunk of my heart with her. It's the most indescribable feeling. It just happened so fast it seemed and it took a good week to some what catch my breath and figure out what I was feeling.

Even now- 5 months later, the feeling of loss and grief are still real and strong as ever. I always expected to maybe get over the loss and grief stage in a couple months and be able to just jump back into my life like nothing happened. Sort of like an ex boyfriend. But I was so wrong. You never 100% 'get over' your baby. You never forget or jump back into your 'old life'. You can't just pretend it never happened and be 'normal'. When you place a baby- you are placing something that is 100% yours! Kinley is a human being MY human being. She is my flesh and blood, my DNA and biology. There is no way I could just 'get over' her. She will always be there in the back if my mind. She is always in my thoughts. It's amazing how much I love her and would do ANYTHING for her. I will always miss her and feel a part of my heart is missing, but there is comfort knowing that she isn't gone forever.

I heard a quote the other day and it said- 'when you lose your child to adoption, you never quite get over it. You just slowly learn how to go on without them. But always keeping them tucked safely in your heart.'

How accurate and head on that quote is. I will always feel sad and sense of loss for the rest of my life- but I will always feel happy and sense of peace and comfort at the same time.

It sounds like birth moms are bipolar- but it's just a whirlwind of emotions. I never expected to feel this way and I don't think anyone can be 'prepared' for it, but it is what it is.

I felt the need to write this post because the more I have dove into the adoption community, I have learned so many negative views on adoption. I have heard people's opinions that birth mothers abandon their children, birth moms are forever doomed because of depression and trauma, birth moms always get the short end of the stick etc

Maybe I'm not like the rest- but I definitely don't suffer from depression or trauma. I have found my way to vent and heal by blogging and think that if more birth mothers found an out- they too would have a better outlook. I also understand other birth moms have totally different situations, but I want to help represent those who have had a great turnout. I want to help change the negative look on adoption and being a birth mom.

I do believe a lot of the times birth moms may get the 'short end of the stick' but I see it as we don't get the type of respect we deserve. Birth moms give the gift of life and sacrifice their own child to have a better life for all 3 parties and people tend to look past the birth mom, the one who made it all happen and skip right to the adoptive couple. I want to make it clear that adoptive families are amazing and they definitely have a lot of love to welcome a baby into their home and care for it. I just think that Birth Mothers don't get seen in the right light sometimes. A lot of this could be because birth mothers are just recently being heard and adoption is becoming more public. In years past- being a birth mom was unspeakable and and in this day in age, it is more open and the world I feel is a little more accepting. I tell myself all the time that I am so thankful I can be a birth mom in this decade because of the new approach of open adoptions and being open about touchy things like placing your baby.

I'm not even going to touch much on the myth that birthmothers abandon their children because it winds my up in anger and plus- I feel like all my past posts shoots that idea down in a second!

I have kind of gone to China and back with this post but I wanted to inform others. The best way to cure ignorance is to inform right? The best way for people to understand your feelings and situations is to shed some light on the matter. I hope I have informed and answered any questions about being a birthmother! I am so blessed to be one.

From God's Arms to My Arms to Yours

I titled this blog after a song by Michael Mclean. I fell in love with this song and it describes mine and I'm sure other birth mom's stories.

This part of my blog has taken me forever to write. Kinley is almost 4 months old and I'm just barely brave enough to write the placement part of my journey. Although it's been 4 months- I am still (and probably forever will be) very sensitive when I talk or think about the placement of my angel daughter.

When the clock struck 8pm- Chelsea (my case worker) came in with the recorder (she was in charge of the paperwork and all the legal documents and she made sure everything was done the right way and all that boring technical stuff). She had a huge pile of paper work. I was dreading those papers my whole pregnancy. These papers terminated my rights as the parent and guardian of Kinley. After these papers were signed and mailed off, I had no voice in behalf of her. For 48 hours I had every say for her life and well being (there wasn't a lot of things I used this power for- but still I had it) and in 45 minutes- those rights were taken away. deleted. disappeared. snatched out from under me. given to people I was entrusting my daughter's life with. The thought of this broke my heart. The recorder had 3 sets of copies of the documents- one for me, one for the adoptive couple (I think- don't hold me to it), and one for the state. I needed two witnesses to sign and prove everything was legit. My mom, sisters, and dad took turns doing the honors. I held sleeping Kinley in my arms the whole signing. I cried every single time I heard the words 'I am terminating my rights as a parent' or 'I know after all is done- I have no say in anything in behalf of Kinley' or 'After the papers are signed there is no turning back' (I am generalizing these sentences of coarse) It pulled at my heart strings to know after this was final- it was 100% final. No turning back. No 'oops I change my mind's. nothing. I cried and cried and cried after page after page after page. I knew I was doing the right thing, but it was still hard knowing I was no longer going to be Kinley's legal mother. It took forever to read and answer all the questions and sign and initial all the pages. It took almost an hour. I was so exhusted from giving birth and not sleeping! I just wanted to curl up in a ball and wake up from this horrible dream. When the signing was over- I had my last hour with Kinley. Chelsea told me to text her when I was ready to see the adoptive couple and do the actual placement.
I couldn't help but take pictures of her while i signed papers

They left the room and I cried like a baby. I let all loose and just cried. Tears falling on Kinley's face. This was it. The moment of truce. The point in my life that I had been anticipating and fearing. I had spent 6 months in counseling preparing for this moment. I was terrified. I was sacrificing the most important thing I had in my entire life. I was giving the one thing in my life that was 100% mine to a family I barely knew, but I knew they were the right people. I had prayed, pleaded on my knees, cried to the Lord in fear and worry that this moment I was about to experience would go as good as it could. I was again stepping into uncharted territory- but this time, I prepared myself and I was ready to walk into the dark and figure it out.

I had bought an outfit for Kinley a long while back that I wanted her to wear when she went home from the hospital. It was a white little romper and a white bow. I imagined her being so beautiful in it. Me and my sisters dressed her up in it and we all started bawling. She looked like an angel. She looked like a baby in heaven. She was dressed in all white. She was so pure and innocent. I looked at her and for the foist time, I realized just how much of a little miracle she was. Not only to me, but to her new family. This little 6 pounds of sweetness had changed my life in so many ways. All positive. She was a living miracle. An angel on earth. I kissed her a million times before I let everyone else have there last hugs and kisses. Jaala held her so tight and rocked her back and forth. Told her how much she loved her. Same with Charnae. She gave her niece kisses and told her she was beautiful and would always love her. My mommy held her granddaughter in her arms so lovingly. It made me think of how Heavenly mother would hold her children. She was so gentle and whispered to her how special she was. When it came time for my dad to hold her, he became silent. He looked in her eyes (she had woken up) for a moment and then started singing her You Are My Sunshine. We all were brought to tears. To see my dad so sad and almost unable to sing, made me hurt inside. It made me realize that I wasn't the only one sacrificing something. My whole family loved that little girl. It hurt for all of them to say goodbye. After my dad sang to her, he handed her back. I gave her the biggest hug! I looked into her beautiful eyes and recited her my all time favorite poem: I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be. That was the hardest thing to say to her. I loved her, still love her and will always love her.

My heart was hurting so badly. The feeling in the room was so peaceful though. I felt like I could reach out and touch heaven. God was there with us and he was helping me. I always imagined him there helping me hand Kinley to her new mommy. I felt like someone was ripping my heart out. I had never felt that much pain in my life. I had never loved someone or something so much in my life and for it to be taken from me, hurt worse than being run over by a train. I had every opportunity to tell Chelsea not to mail the papers and that I changed my mind- but I knew I was doing the right thing. Heavenly Father was holding my hand at this moment. I could sense it. He was helping me face the biggest fear of my life. I just had to remember that I was doing the right thing and that I was prepared for it. My family and I talked for a while longer and then I felt it was time to text Chelsea that I was ready.

About 5 minutes later, Nicole, Toby, Taylee, and Chelsea came in. Nicole was holding a car seat and a big present. I cried more. I wished that car seat was mine and that I was the one taking Kiney home in it. We talked a little bit and then I finally took the stage. I told Nicole how much I loved her and her family and how I looked to her as a sister. I told them how much of a blessing they were in my life. I knew I was a huge blessing in their life, but because of them, I was able to live the life I was supposed to and they were giving me that opportunity by caring for my child. We were all teary eyed and Nicole and Toby expressed their appreciation and love towards me as well. Nicole gave me the big present and asked me to open a small box inside. Inside the box was a necklace. It had two little charms on it that said "Forever in my heart" and "Kinley". It was a necklace for me that had Kinley's name on it. I cried so hard. It was perfect. There couldn't have been a more perfect gift. I put it on immediately. After a few minutes of silence, I gave Kinley the biggest kiss and I got the guts to stand up. This was it.

I stood up and gave Toby and Nicole a hug. I paused in front of Nicole and just stood there for a few seconds. I had tears rolling down my face as I placed Kinley in her arms. It didn't even feel like I was doing it. I think Heavenly Father was helping me. I placed her in her arms and at that moment- I knew, I knew it was the right thing to do. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Placing my most prized possession in the arms of a woman who so desperately needed it. The look in Nicole's eyes said it all. "Thank you" they said. I had so much pain in my heart, but at the same time, so much peace and love. I had given Toby and Nicole something they would have never been able to have if it weren't for me. I gave them the gift of life. The gift of a sweet baby girl. I felt so blessed and honored to be able to give them that gift. Although I was hurting so badly, I felt peace. I like to think that Kinley was always supposed to be Nicole and Toby's. Nicole's body just didn't function the right way, so I was the one who was supposed to grow Kinley and place her in their arms. Kinley is technically mine, but at the same time, she never was. She was supposed to be Nicole and Toby's the whole time. I was just the portal in which she got to them. Through choices- good and bad- Kinley found her way into Nicole's arms via me. God just had a better plan. I liked his plan. It enabled me to learn a big lesson and to bless lives. I loved the way Kinley looked in Nicole's arms. I loved the way the 4 of them looked together. They were a complete family. Although I didn't feel complete without my daughter, I felt happy that I caused them so much joy. They looked so happy. I stood back as they were getting pictures and they looked so so happy. Kinley is going to be a happy girl as she grows up.

My dad pulled me in and gave me a big hug. I was so grateful he was there. I was grateful that my mom and sisters were there too. I had my little support system with me when I did the hardest thing I think I'll ever do in my entire life. In my moment of hurt and sadness, my family held my hand, wiped my tears, and gave me hugs. I love my family so much. I don't know where I would be without them. I don't even want to imagine this journey without them. It would have been impossible- that's for sure. I am also so thankful for all my family that couldn't be there, my extended family, friends, ward members, etc that supported me through out my whole pregnancy! They helped my push through the hard parts of my pregnancy, my struggles, and they were an awesome cheering section.

I gave Nicole and Toby the low down on Kinley. When she needed to be fed, burped, how she liked to be held, where she liked to lay, how to wrap her up, how to sooth her etc. In that short 48 hours, I had learned so much about her and she had a lot of directions. I gathered up all my things and my family and I headed home. I couldn't wait to be in my own bed and just sleep. Sleeping cures so much.

48 Hours of Pure Happiness

Right after I was moved up into the recovery room and was all settled in my bed, my sister, Jaala arrived! I was so excited for her to come and see baby Kinley! She gave me a hug and B-lined it to hold and cuddle Kinley! A few minutes later, my good friend Robert arrived from Utah. He drove all the way that night. It was so awesome to see all these people here that loved and supported me.

Jaala fell in love with her the second she laid eyes on her!

We all stayed up until about 4am and then I kicked everyone out so we could get some sleep! Jaala stayed with me during the nights. My mom and Charnae didn't want to leave, but we reassured them that they could come back first thing in the morning. Everyone left and we were finally able to get some shut eye. I kept waking up every 15 minutes to check and make sure that there was a baby still next to me- it all still seemed like a dream!

It felt like I had slept for hours when I woke up, but it had only been about an hour and a half! That weekend in the hospital, I learned what a true power nap was. I never wanted to sleep, so I found rest in 15 minute intervals. I woke up at about 7 to a wide awake little baby girl! I fed her, I changed her diaper, cuddled her, took so many pictures of her! I loved that little girl so much! It seriously felt like Christmas all weekend!
I loved waking up to her!

I called Toby and Nicole that morning and told them that I had reserved the morning for them to come meet their baby girl for the first time in person. They were so excited and so was I- well more nervous than excited. I didn't know what to think when they came. Was I going to feel over protective of Kinley? Was it going to be hard to see them hold her? Especially since I knew they were going to be taking her tomorrow! I was so nervous and I told Jaala that I might cry! She was nervous too so we hugged and just hoped for the best when they came.

It seemed like forever before they got there, but they walked in the room with the biggest smiles on their faces. I could tell they were truly happy! Nicole was holding Taylee and I could tell Taylee didn't really know what was going on- until she saw Kinley. Taylee's little eyes opened so wide and she had the biggest little grin any little girl could have- kind of like on Christmas morning! She was pretty much jumping out of Nicole's arms in excitement! We let Taylee sit on the bed next to us and touch her fingers and pet her hair! Taylee was so obsessed with her toes! She kept asking to take off her socks so she could see Kinley's little cute toes and feet! It was so cute and comforting to me to know that Taylee was so clearly excited about having a baby sister. I let Nicole hold Kinley and her face lit up! Kinley looked perfect in her arms! Same thing when Toby held her! They held her, took some pictures, and we all chatted a bit and then Toby and Nicole left until the next evening.
Taylee seeing her little sister for the first time
Giving Kisses

Checking out her toes
Litle family
When they left, I was so surprised that I didn't feel any jealousy, over protective, anything like I had feared. I felt peace. The last thing I thought I would feel! I had a sense of happiness when they had come. Comfort that I had picked the perfect family for my baby girl.

I had a TON of visitors that day. I think we counted about 40-50 people who came to see us in the hospital! I wanted visitors, but I told them I didn't want any heart-felt comments about the adoption like "you are doing a brave thing" "I know this is hard but..." "We are so proud of you" things like that. I wanted normal things you say to a new mom like "She is so cute" "she has your lips" "You did a good job" things like THAT! I wanted my days with Kinley to be happy and as normal as could be! Everyone was respectful of my simple request and that definitely helped!

I was amazed at how many people took time out of their lives to come see me and Kinley! I felt so loved! There was a nonstop flow of people from noon until about 11pm. So many ward members, previous young women leaders, high school friends, and other supporters came and brought gifts, flowers, cards, and most importantly their bright smiles! It made me feel so good and happy! I felt so proud of Kinley! We are both so loved and I am so grateful for that! I was so tired that day! I had slept about 2 hours tops since the night before I went into labor! I didn't want to sleep ever! My mom had to make me take a nap. She pried Kinley out of my arms and demanded I take a nap. I think she just wanted to hold Kinley longer (Sneaky mom). I decided to listen to her and forced myself to get some sleep. Every little whimper or sound Kinley made, I would sit strait up make sure everything was ok- my mom would roll her eyes and say "Everything is fine. I know how to take care of a baby". about 20 mins went by and I couldn't force myself to sleep anymore so I gave up on the whole nap thing.
burping my little monkey

Sad monkey
I loved playing with her
Towards the end of that day, my little brothers, Brok and Westley came to the hospital to meet and hold Kinley! Westley (9) came in and gave me the biggest hug! We call him the baby whisperer because any and every baby LOVES him! Westley loves babies so he was in heaven when he got to hold Kinley! Brok loved her too! I was so special to see a 9 and 13 year old have so much love it heir eyes for a little baby girl they had just met! Brok had been so excited about all the ultra sounds I ever got and was so interested in them! I could tell he was glad to finally see her outside of me! Same with Wes, he was the one who would rub my big belly and listen/feel for heartbeats and talk to Kinley when she was in my belly. He had stars in his eyes when he would talk to her in person! He kept saying over and over how cute she was! After a few hours of them visiting, it was time for Brok and Westley to go back home because it was their bed time. That was the first time I experienced the heart ache of saying goodbye to my baby. The boys started to walk out of the room and I had to remind them that this was the last time they were going to see Kinley. The looks on their faces when I told them this would break anyone's hearts. They had nothing but smiles and love, and their smiles were wiped off of their faces in an instant. They looked like they had just seen a ghost. It broke my heart when little Westley had tears streaming down his face as he held Kinley's hand and gave her a kiss on the forehead. He whispered in her ear that he loved her and that he would always love her and miss her. I fell to pieces. I know Westley and Brok's hearts were hurting. Brok then came and gave Kinley a big hug as tears streamed down his face. He told her that he was her uncle Brok and she would grow up to be the prettiest girl in the world. Brok is the most awesome 13 year old brother ever. He gave me a big hug and kiss and told me he was proud of me and that he loved me. I had to double take my little brother Brok- he was 13 years old, in 7th grade and he was acting like a 25 year old man! I have the most amazing little brothers in the world! And I'm so glad that they were able to share this experience with me. After they had left, reality was sinking in more and more.
I love this picture. They love Kinley so much!

Uncle Brok

Uncle Westley. He looks so happy


precious :)

It was about 11pm by the time everyone was gone for the day and I was finally able to get some sleep. I  am so grateful to Jaala for helping me while I was at the hospital and even when I got home from the hospital. She was like what a husband was supposed to do. She helped me to the bathroom, helped me clean myself, fix my dressings and nasty mess of a- how do I put this- world war 3 down there! (sorry for the visual) I really couldn't have done it without her. I was so helpless. when I needed to go to the bathroom, she helped me, when I was so terribly tired, she would take Kinley for a bit, When I needed food, she would order it for me, she was there to cry on her shoulder, we said little prayers together, shared little moments with Kinley. When Jaala had to go somewhere, Charnae would step in and take her spot! I really grew close to my sisters those 2 days. I always loved my big sisters, but I feel we turned a whole new page in our sisterly relationship. I was very grateful that they were able and willing to spend the nights and days with me in the hospital!
She loves her auntie Charnae

This picture is one of my favorites

Changing her diaper- I think I'm using my finger as a pacifier because she was crying

All of us! Kinley is a sad monkey again

When Monday morning rolled around, I dreaded that day so much. I had been having the time of my life spending time and bonding with Kinley and knowing I would have to say goodbye to her that night, made me so anxious! I felt like time was going way too fast that day. Every time I looked at the clock I felt like it was jumping ahead by 15 minutes instead of seconds. I cherished every second I had that day. I requested that I had no visitors that day- just family. I wanted my time to bond and say my goodbyes to my baby girl. I held her, kissed her, changed her diapers, fed her, burped her. I didn't want anyone else to do it. I wanted her all to myself. It was my last day to be a mommy to my baby girl. I knew i was going to go through with everything, but I still didn't want 8pm to come around. I had lots of texts, emails, and face book messages from friends giving their sympathy and what not. I just ignored them because they were making me sad and I wanted my last day to be happy! I didn't want to feel sad until 8pm. That last day with Kinley is a day I will never forget. I couldn't stop staring at her beautiful eyes. She had the prettiest lips also. Actually- she is beautiful all over! I was so proud that I made such a cute baby! She was the only thing that was 100% mine! I took pride in the fact that she had my name apart of her and she had my last name, even though I know It is temporary, I still like to think of her as Kinley Gladden. I never wanted to leave her. She had to get a few tests done in the nursery and she had to leave the room, so I would go with her and hobble my way down to the room and sit and wait for the tests to be completed! I loved the way the nurses and doctors would smile and drool over her! It made me feel so special! In my head I was saying "yep- that's my daughter. I made her". It's the best feeling in the world to be her mommy.
I made sure I took pictures of her little features I loved! I loved her big long feet!
And her little ears that were all folded from being in my tummy

I did a comparison and me and Kinley have the same lips and nose! I'm on the right and she is on the left
Whenever she was sad or sleeping, she would fold her legs up like this! We called them her puzzle legs

I went with her to get her hearing test done. She looks like a little DJ
Touching her hair while she sleeps
I think she looks like a little lady in this one! Look at those long fingers!

Burping her again

Milk Drunk:)

A former bishop came to visit me that morning. His real job is a doctor at the hospital, so I thought maybe he came to do some tests for us to be discharged. I was so tired, I didn't even realize he was there just to visit, until about 5 minutes into him talking. It was so random, but very welcomed that he came! I always liked that guy! He asked me how I was, told me how cute Kinley was, asked me questions about what my plans were for later in life, he never once really said anything about the adoption other than he was proud of me! About halfway through his visit, tears started streaming down my face. I had forgotten that he had been called as the stake president a couple weeks before! I had totally forgotten! Wow! the Stake president took time out of his busy work schedule AND stake president schedule to come visit me! I really think it was inspired that he came! I felt so loved by my church and Heavenly Father that the stake president came to see me! I sure do love that man!

My brother in law Dayle had to go to work that afternoon, so he came and said his goodbyes that morning. He stayed for a few hours. He held Kinley, talked to her, kissed her, he even got her bottle ready so I could feed her. I have to add in that the night before, he almost puked making a bottle because he couldn't stand the smell of the baby formula- so it was cool to see him so willing to make one for her! He is going to be such a good dad! When the time came to say his goodbyes. once again we all had tears. He gave her the biggest hug and told her his goodbye. I hated that feeling. The tugging at the heart feeling as everyone said their goodbyes. I hated seeing everyone so sad and I dreaded having to say MY last goodbye. I just wanted time to stop so I didn't have to or I wished I could just fast forward through the whole placement and skip to a few weeks after. I didn't want to feel sad.

That was Dayle the night before making a bottle haha

I think Brok and Dayle are changing her diaper! What good men!

I think he's in love!
Teary goodbyes 

Unfortunately, that isn't an option in real life and I got a call from Chelsea, my case worker, saying that everything was set to go at 8pm to start signing papers. My dad texted me and asked if it would be ok if he was there when the paper signing and placing happened and of course I said yes. A couple weeks earlier, we ad gotten in kind of an argument because he didn't want to even come to hospital to see Kinley. I was very glad he had a changed mind and decided to spend pretty much all day there at the hospital with me. I was especially glad to have my daddy there when I did the hardest thing of my life. To my dismay- 8pm had finally come and it was time to get everything rolling.

D Day

On the morning of July 7th, 2012, I woke up for a typical day to get ready for work. I got out of the shower and I had my "bloody show"- TMI, I know. I panicked for a few minutes and called my mom in to help me know what was going on. I hadn't been having any contractions but to my luck, they started coming about a half hour after the "show". I texted Nicole to let her know the news and she called me right away in excitement. We were like little girls all excited about a Justin Bieber concert. I told her I would call her when I was admitted to the hospital. My mom said it would be a good idea to go to work so that time would go I got to get paid to be at work-BONUS! My mom took me to work because I didn't want to drive while I had so much excitement going through my body!

I got to work and I couldn't concentrate! I did everything right- but I was just so anxious and excited that today I could meet my baby girl!! I had only imagined this day and I couldn't believe it was actually happening! I kept thinking to myself that I wasn't really in labor and my body was just tricking me. But against what I was thinking, I REALLY was in labor! I was ringing customers up and I would have 1 or 2 contractions that would take my breath away- I'm sure the customers were thinking I was some freak! After about an hour of recording my contractions- I called my mom to come pick me up because they were coming every 4-6 minutes!

I Kept Track of My Contractions on the Back of a Coupon That Was Sitting on the Registers

I had packed my hospital bags a few days earlier so my mom was able to just put them in the car so we could head strait there -Handy! We got up to the Labor and Delivery floor and they brought me right into a room. The nurse hooked me up to a heart monitor that monitored Kinley's heart and a contraction monitor that- you guessed it- monitored my contractions. I LOVED hearing her heart beat! It made me really happy to know she was doing so well and to know she would be here any minute! The contraction monitor was cool to watch also! (Maybe it's the inner-nerd) I loved seeing how big the contractions were and sometimes I could see one coming before I actually felt it. It was kind of like a game. The contractions weren't too painful when I first got there, but they gradually got worse.

The nurse had us go down to the cafeteria to eat some dinner before they officially admitted me because  once I was admitted, I could only eat gross hospital food! My mom and I made our way down there- Me sportin' my hospital gown! We got some yummy salads and those dang contractions kept coming stronger. We would be having a conversation and every couple of minutes I had to have everything quiet so that the contraction could pass, then everything could back to normal and we would carry on with our conversations. Throughout my whole labor and delivery, I was really sensitive to sound.

I had to go to the bathroom so bad when we were eating dinner so I had to to rush to find a bathroom before I peed my pants...well gown! The first bathroom I found was locked so I literally ran (waddled) to the next closest one. I somehow managed to NOT pee myself-Miracle! I had the most painful contraction though. It literally knocked me over and I was on the floor in the stall- Thinking about it now, how gross haha. My vision went all spotty and I felt really hot. I couldn't move anything! I almost had to call my mom to come get me off the floor. I was so scared! I had never felt anything that painful in my life! I managed to stand up and walk out the pain and find my mom back in the cafeteria.

We decided to go back up to the room so that I didn't have any other falling incidences and so that I could be officially admitted and we could get this show on the road! They checked my cervix (OUCH) and the doctor admitted me. I called Nicole and Toby to tell them they could get in the car and make their trip from Salt Lake to Grand Junction. I also called my sister, Jaala because she had to make an 8 hour commute from Las Vegas! My sister, Charnae was in a wedding about 10 minutes away so when she was able to pry herself from that- she hustled right on over. My dad and bishop came to give me a blessing before the crazy labor started. It was such a surprise because I hadn't been planning to have one at all. It was calming and it comforted me to know that priesthood blessings worked even in the hospital when you are about to give birth! They gave me a blessing and left shortly after because the contractions were coming even stronger.

My Last Belly Picture I Had Taken When I Was Admitted

I had a movie on- but the sound of the movie was so annoying when I would have a contraction- so we shut that crap off very soon. My whole plan was to not get an epidural, so we had a list of ways to distract from the pain. I tried the birthing ball (an oversized bouncy ball) for a while until it was too uncomfortable. My mom gave me a back massage- which helped for about 20 minutes- but her touching me got a little annoying.  The Labor/Delivery room I was in, had a big bathtub jacuzzi that I really wanted to try. The nurse set it all up and filled it for me. (how nice). By that time- Charnae got to the hospital. It was pretty funny because she showed up in her bridesmaid dress she had worn for the wedding. So I was in a hospital gown and she was in a bridesmaid gown.

I got in the hot tub and that helped a lot! The hot water relaxed me and took the edge off of the pain. I sat in the tub for probably 45 minutes. I had to turn the jets off though, because the sound of them really irritated me.  My mom and Charnae were great support and they talked to me and were very patient with me when I told them to be quiet when a contraction came. I got too hot and I started to get back labor so I got out.

Even though I was really sensitive to sound- I always made sure I could hear Kinley's heart beat. The nurse would mute the sound, but I would always tell her to turn it back on or I would do it myself. I just always wanted to know she was doing well and the sound of her heartbeat was the closest I could get to her without her being in the world.

The contractions were getting so painful and every time one would come, my vision got a little hazy and I would toss and turn because there was no way to find comfort. I'm not one to be very dramatic so every contraction, I would get really quiet and tell everyone to be quiet. The nurse had a hard time knowing when I was having one or how painful it was. She kept asking me if I wanted an epidural but I always said no.

The contractions were really painful so I told the nurse I would be able to handle the contractions for another half hour and then I wanted to get the epidural. She said that the epidural would take about that long to be put in and working so she called the anesthesiologist in. We are friends with about 8 anesthesiologists that work at the hospital but none of them were on call that night. So a guy I didn't know was the one who put in the epidural. He had me sign a waiver, which pretty much I signed my life away. He asked me about 500 times if I read the stupid paper and me, being in so much pain, wanted to say 'YES!!! PUT THE DANG NEEDLE IN MY BACK!!' It felt like forever before he was finally putting it in me. I had REALLY painful contractions when he was putting the epidural in. I looked at the chart, and the contractions were going off the chart! I was shaking so bad because of all the adrenalin. I had never felt anything as painful as that before. I was so scared and I didn't know what to do! Luckily I had my mom there to help coach me but most importantly to hold and squeeze.  I had the urge to push and that was hard not to do. My mom probably thought I was going to break her because I was squeezing and holding her so tight. The doctor finally got the epidural in and I could feel it taking effect. When the epidural was in, I was dilated to a 9! It seriously was like a wave of relief to be able to think strait and focus on pushing this baby out. I went from hell to being able to laugh and joke again!

Epidurals Are Seriously the Best! Dilated To a 9 and My Sense of Humor Was Back:)

When my epidural was in full effect, my real doctor finally got to the hospital so he was able to check me again and see where I was. I was 100% ready to start pushing a baby out! I couldn't believe it! I had a HUGE smile on my face! I had waited 9 months for this- I was more than ready!

My mom held a mirror so that I could see what was going on down there! The doctor broke my water and within seconds I could see black hair! It was really happening! I was going to have a BABY! Yikes! It took me forever it seemed like to push her out! It was hard becauseI couldn't feel anything! My mom and Charnae held my legs and helped coach me! Finally at 11:01 pm, a cute little face popped out and I remember I looked right at Charnae with the biggest smile! They pulled Kinley the rest of the way out and my mom cut the umbilical cord and they laid her on my chest!

My Sister Caught This Kodak Moment When They Laid Kinley on My Chest

I cried like a baby when I first saw her! I gave her a million kisses! She was crying too but it was the sweetest sound! She was (and still is) perfect! She had the biggest red lips and LOTS of black thick hair! She was everything beautiful I ever imagined her to be! The love I gained for her was so overwhelming! I have never loved anything or anyone this much! I just kept looking at her and couldn't stop staring! They had to pry her from my arms so they could weigh her and measure her! She weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces and was 20 inches long! She was just a tiny thing! My mom held her and my mom was crying and staring at her! It made me so proud to know I made such a beautiful girl! Charnae held her and talked to her!

I had my first visitors about an hour after Kinley was born. My friends Colton and Sierra came together and they held Kinley and we talked a bit. When they left, My good friend, Brynna came and she was able to hold Kinley of course. She ended up staying for a few hours! They moved us up to the recovery floor to settle down for the night. I still couldn't believe I had just given birth to this baby!! My adrenaline was still pumping and I didn't want to sleep at all! I had the biggest joy in my arms and I didn't want to miss a second!