Birth story of James

I feel kind of bad about how little I’ve recorded of this pregnancy considering how much information I recorded during Kellen’s gestation. I figure the least I can do is at least record the labor especially considering the current epidemic going on.
James Oliver Siems was born on May 18th, 2020 at 9:22a. He was 20″ long and as I predicted he was heavier than big brother at 7 pounds and 12 ounces. A couple of people have asked about the meaning of his name. At one time we had considered Oliver James because, like Kellen (Kellin), Oliver is also the name of a lead singer from one of the bands we listen to. There’s no real significance to James, we just thought it sounded good together and we don’t really know anyone with the name James. Anyways, I couldn’t really settle on Oliver James (and the five other names I liked that Cody hated) and so I flipped it around to James Oliver and Cody agreed with it so we stuck with that version.
When I was pregnant with Kellen everyone told me the first child is always late and the second child is always early. Since Kellen had been born a week before his due date I figured James would either be even earlier or right about 39 weeks as well. I was due on my birthday and as many know my mom’s birthday is the day after mine so I had hoped he would be born the day before my birthday but alas, May 15th came and went and James was just a snug little bug. Since I didn’t expect to make it to 40 weeks I didn’t even bother making an appointment for that week. I was supposed to be seen on the 14th but I figured I would wait the weekend and if nothing happened then I would call the doctor on Monday. Sunday night I laid in bed researching induction information so I could be prepared when I went to my appointment the next morning. Right before rolling over to go to sleep I randomly thought I should try flexing my uterine muscles just to see if that would do anything (mind you, I had already tried all other natural induction methods at this point so I was trying to get creative).
As I drifted off I suddenly got that knee-jerk reaction like when you feel like you’re falling in your sleep and somehow I just knew my water had broke. I didn’t feel or hear anything it was just an instinct. So when I shifted to check things out I definitely felt a gush and laughed. I reached over and jostled Cody but he was dead to the world. I had to shake him fairly violently before he finally acknowledged me to go get a towel. “What’s the towel for?” he asked. “Did you not hear me say my water broke?” I responded. He just said “oh” and went back to bed.
I wasn’t having any contractions at this point so I just grabbed a new towel after soaking the first and went and sat in the nursery. I was a little disheartened when I was reading blogs and Facebook post about mom’s who had been in similar situations (water breaking before contractions) because most of them said they didn’t end up having the baby for another 12-72 hours. There was no way I would be able to go back to sleep like this so I just hoped I would start having my contractions soon. Sure enough, I began having light contractions about 6 minutes apart. My water had broken at 1:45a and an hour later I called my doctor. She asked me a few basic questions and decided it wouldn’t hurt to get there sooner rather than later just in case things progressed quickly. I called my mom and told her she better come over since it would take her about 45 minutes to get to our house.
I woke Cody up for real and told him what was going on and started giving him tasks to get ready. I tried helping but I kept finding myself in the bathroom switching out my pad because the amniotic fluid was just flowing every time I took a step. Once my mom arrived we gave her instructions and headed out. My contractions were still pretty light at this point so we weren’t really rushing but as soon as we got into the car and hit the bumpy road things began progressing a little quicker.
Due to covid, we had to be screened at the entrance before going in. We were asked a few questions, had our temperatures checked, and then we were given masks. Once we were up in labor and delivery and checked into a room we were able to remove our masks.
The nurse began with hooking me up to a contraction scanner and a fetal doppler to begin tracking my progress. When she checked my cervix I was only 3cm dilated but since my water had broken they were going to go ahead and keep me. After they established a good heart rate for the baby they detached me from the monitors so I could get up and move around. I absolutely refused to be kept in the bed this time because last time I felt really restrained and stressed (with Kellen). The nurse brought me a birthing ball and I spent most of labor on it until my contractions started picking up and actually hurting. Before I had come into the hospital I had drunk three bottles of water and then drank another 25 ounces during early labor at the hospital so in between contractions I was peeing almost every twenty minutes.
After being on the birthing ball for awhile my contractions began picking up and became more intense so I moved over to the pull out couch where Cody was trying to sleep. For about an hour or so I was in the hands and knees position rocking back and forth during contractions and alternated that with leaning against Cody so he could hold me up (laying down hurt more but I was exhausted). Cody had apparently remembered some advice from our chiropractor and began pushing my hips together when I contracted and, wow, what a relief; the pressure he was applying actually helped counteract some of the pain. At this time, I decided I wanted to go ahead and receive a shot of fentanyl since I again was opting out of an epidural. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a heplock in place yet because I was trying to put it off as long as possible (stubborn Jacobsen), so the nurses were trying to insert the needle between my two-minute contractions. Before they started they checked my cervix again and estimated I was only four in a half centimeters. I internally groaned thinking labor was going so slowly and it already hurt so much.
The first nurse who tried inserting the heplock busted my vein so she got a different nurse who was apparently better who also busted two more veins. The third try was in the top of my hand and hurt more than my current contractions so I waved them off and told them we would try later. I wasn’t even sure I wanted the fentanyl anymore but I knew they wanted a heplock on me anyways in case they needed to push pitocin later (in case of hemorrhaging). After about thirty minutes I had gotten myself into a comfortable laying down position and allowed them to bring in a third nurse to try for a fourth time to get a heplock started. The nurse remembered us from when Kellen was born and apparently was also from Glenwood. She was preparing to insert the needle and told me to take a deep breath and that it was going to hurt but I didn’t even feel a thing and she was able to get it in no problem. I said, “you should have done it the first time.”
So then I got really drunk off fentanyl for like ten minutes and then was back to immense pain. Unfortunately, all the fentanyl did was make me feel like I had just taken eight shots of patron and then fell off a roof.
Right around eight o’clock, my midwife arrived. Somehow I’ve been really lucky where I show up in the middle of the night and my babies hold off until my actual provider arrives haha. My contractions started feeling different and I instantly knew things were going to start progressing. I felt like my insides were ripping when I had a contraction and I told Cody I felt like James was moving down the canal. Out of nowhere I got the urge to push and couldn’t stop it, it was so intense and weird feeling my body just take over. I had a few more contractions with a couple of pushes with every other one, and then my midwife decided to check me again.
“Do you want to have this baby on the couch? Because he’s coming out now,” she said.
“Yup. I’m staying here.”
There was no way I was getting back in that bed and honestly, I didn’t think I would be able to walk over there anyway. Everyone jumped into action and started getting their gear on, pulled off my super attractive mesh underwear from the hospital, got my personal bedding out of the way, and then I grabbed the nurses hands who had been next to me for the last hour because she had cold hands and they felt great lol.
“Do you want to take your shirt off?” my midwife asked.
“No. That’s her birthing shirt,” Cody answered for me.
When I was in labor with Kellen I told Cody to just grab me something comfortable to wear to the hospital and he grabbed this purple Kool-Aid shirt of his that had a picture of the Kool-Aid man holding a blunt. I thought it was so funny I decided next time I had a baby I would make sure to wear the same shirt and make it a tradition. So here I was, pantless with my purple blunt-smoking Kool-Aid man shirt, giving birth on the pull-out couch. I pushed two more times and could hear my midwife talking about how she could see all his hair and if I really beared down on this next push I could probably get him out. So I did. Obviously, it hurt but the thing that bothered me more was feeling like when I pushed he was right at the opening and then would slide back in so I thought to myself “this is it. I’m pushing him completely out with this next contraction. I’m done. I don’t want to feel that again,” and I pushed that sucker out. I felt his head pop out but then it literally felt like he had three sets of shoulders because it felt like I kept pushing out more ligaments.
Cody said his cord was wrapped around his shoulders and chest and once I saw him he was dark purple. My midwife handed James to me up through my legs (because I was still on my hands and knees) and I talked to him and messed with his face until he finally let out his first cry. Everyone helped me get turned around and situated onto my back with six pillows propping me up so I could try to get James to breastfeed to encourage my placenta to come out on its own. Cody cut the cord and my midwife gently tugged my placenta out and even showed me what it looked like. For those that don’t know me very well, I love looking at gross bodily things. I was the kid that would twist my loose teeth 180 degrees just to freak people out, and wanted to see the mass they removed from my neck when I was like eight. So I thought it was pretty cool of my midwife to show off the placenta and pull it out of the bucket to show me where it had torn and everything.
My little breastfeeding champion had latched on perfectly and then ate for forty-five minutes, so once he was done Cody and the nurse took him to check his vitals and measurements. Originally I thought I heard the nurse say he was 7#4oz which surprised me but then later she corrected me with his actual weight of 7#12oz which somehow surprised me more even though I guessed he would be around that weight.
After we had gotten situated and notified our family of the news Cody went to pick up Kellen and I had to spend the night alone. I moved all my sheets and pillows back to the couch because it was more comfortable than the bed and then slid the table and bassinet next to me. Every time a new nurse came in to do my vitals I had to wave at them because they couldn’t see me in my little fort. It was actually kind of funny watching them panic a little bit when they first walked in, and then during shift changes, they started informing the next nurses of my accommodations.
The next day I was so stir crazy. I was bored out of my mind, had no one to talk to since I couldn’t have visitors due to Covid, and just wanted to go home, but I wasn’t being released until the next day. Since I hadn’t done the gestational diabetes test they wanted to check James’ blood sugar every four hours for the first twelve hours, and since I had rejected the GBS test and antibiotics during labor they wanted to keep James for forty-eight hours to make sure he didn’t develop early-onset GBS.
My sister offered to have Kellen stay the night at her house so Cody could come to stay with me the last night because honestly if I had to stay one more night by myself I might have literally lost my mind. Surprisingly, Kellen did really well at his first sleepover and even fell asleep in an actual bed instead of on the floor like he does at home.
The next morning all we had to do was the PKU blood test and test his hemoglobin before we could go home. The PKU test was excruciating to watch. If you don’t know what the PKU test is, they have to prick the baby’s heel and then fill 4-5 circles on this piece of paper with blood. James wasn’t gushing blood so it was taking a long time to fill the circles and the tech was squeezing his foot to get more blood but James kept kicking his hand so he kept losing the drips. Let me tell you, I’ve never had to hold my tongue so hard. I was about to freak out on this tech. I mean it literally took five minutes to fill the first circle and he had to fill four more and poor little James was just screaming his head off. Either I wasn’t there when Kellen had his test done or the last tech had better luck because I don’t remember Kellen going through this traumatizing experience. When we got the results back for the hemoglobin he was right on the line for jaundice but our pediatrician okay’d it and said he trusted us to take him home.
We were finally released and instead of loading our new baby into a tiny little Mustang we actually had a nice big SUV with four doors this time. Cody dropped me and James off at home and then went to pick up Kellen. When Kellen walked in the door it was like he had been a big brother his whole life. He was super interested in James and was very gentle with him like he was a professional big brother or something. Now he loves holding James alllll the time and will try to console him when he’s crying. It just melts my heart seeing these two together.
We just had a two week follow up appointment for James and he weighs a whopping 9#2oz! Generally, babies lose a little bit of weight and by two weeks they’re supposed to be back up to birth weight. I asked Cody what he thought James would weigh and he had guessed 8#2oz so both of us, along with the nurse and doctor, were really surprised by his weight gain. I told my mom about how some of my old coworkers would joke about my small boobs and say “Where are you even gonna hold milk?” Well look who’s laughing now 😛 my pediatrician said, “You must be making breast cream instead of milk.”

*6 weeks later because I suck at timeliness*
Kellen has been adjusting really well! We had one week of him being especially naughty and otherwise, he’s been really sweet to James. He loves holding James and he will pat James when James is crying. My favorite is when Kellen comes up to James and says “HI!” and sometimes he’ll nuzzle James 🙂
We’re slowly adjusting to sleepless nights and our little family of four. We can’t wait to see all the trouble these two will get in together 😛

Merry Christmas!

I’m a little behind on Kellen’s update.. woops. He had his 4 month check up and weighed almost 15#! My little chunky monkey skipped right over 3-6mo and is wearing 6-9mo for the most part.

He has been grabbing onto toys and bringing them to his mouth. He looooooves his giraffe lovey so we bought him another one for Christmas.

Lately he’s really been recognizing faces. Every time Cody gets home Kellen just loves looking at him. He stares at me all the time too.

We still can’t get him to take a bottle BUT he will drink out of a cup lol.

Two nights ago Kellen started sleeping through the night so I got a much needed 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Soon we’ll be starting table food with him. Updates to come.

3 months old!

Kellen is 3 months old today! Not sure how much he weighs (because I broke our scale ?) but he has been growing like crazy! He has almost outgrown 3mo clothes!
He loves gnawing on his fist and he has started grabbing on to toys. He likes to sit and stand but can’t quite sit up on his own yet.

He likes to mimic sounds and will smile at people. He’s also becoming more playful.

Kellen has slept in his bed in his room a couple times and he did pretty good but he’s mostly been sleeping in our room. I’m not quite ready for my baby to be so far away even though Cody is ready ?.

We’ve all fallen into a pretty consistent schedule now. Cody still works nights so I pick him up at around 1am then sometime between 1:30-2:30a Kellen goes to sleep, and besides when he wakes up to eat he stays asleep until roughly 2-3p. I’ve been working mornings here and there so I don’t get much sleep but amazingly I can survive pretty well on 5 hours of sleep.

Lately Kellen has refused to take a bottle or pacifier so I can only work short shifts but today we’re gonna work on different tactics to try to break him of his stubbornness. I bought a new bottle today and even bought a sippy cup because who knows it might just work but Kellen is going to be really mad at me today so it’ll probably be a rough night for both of us.

2 months!

Kellen is 2 months old today! He went to his 2 month appointment a little early at 6 weeks and was weighing 9 pounds and 6 ounces and 21.6 inches long. I’m pretty sure he has gained a couple pounds since then though because it seems like he has just shot up in the last couple of weeks. He is officially out of newborn clothes. I wish I had a picture of the newborn outfit I tried on him Friday. It was pretty comical ?

He has been way more social in the last week. He has started cooing and smiling back at people when they talk to him. He loves looking in mirrors! He has started self soothing himself with his fist on a regular basis and once he even had his thumb in his mouth.

All in all he’s a happy baby and doesn’t really fuss a lot. He’s pretty much on our schedule so Cody and I have been getting pretty good sleep even with him waking up every 3 hours.

1 month!

Kellen is 1 month old! He has been working on tummy time the last couple of weeks and he’s already pretty good at lifting his head up. He has started smiling a lot! I think he’s finally starting to recognize familiar faces.
He had his 2 week appointment and is right on track. He passed his birth weight which is what he needed to be back to by this appointment. His next appointment is in 2 weeks.
I feel like he is already so big! He is constantly eating (hello cluster feeding) so I’m sure he had a growth spurt. His eyes are starting to lighten so we might be able to see an eye color soon. I initially thought they would be hazel but it’s possible they could be blue.

I finally finished the nursery (just need to put a curtain rod up). The cats seem to think the room is for them. They are constantly hanging out in there.

Katana pretty much stays away from Kellen but Asuna likes to be all up in his business haha. I usually have to push her away because she doesn’t understand she can’t step on him like she steps on me.

We’re starting to get use to our new family situation. Sleep is hard to come by but my house is cleaner than its been all year ?
I have to go back to work in 4 weeks. I was thinking about going back sooner if my doctor okay’s it but just once a week to start off. I’m probably going to cry my whole shift ?‍♀️

Week 1! AKA my due date.

I meant to post yesterday but I got a little distracted. Woops.
Yesterday was my due date and also Kellen’s first week. My little boy has been doing great! He had his first doctor’s appointment on Monday with Dr. Shawn Jones. He only lost 4oz of weight which impressed the doctor since I’m a first time breastfeeding mom. Kellen has no issues latching and is eating allllll the time. Our goal is to be back up to birth weight by next Wednesday which I don’t think will be an issue.
We also took Kellen to his first chiropractor appointment yesterday and he did wonderful! You’re probably wondering, “why does a baby need to go to the chiropractor?” Well, our doctor explained to us that when they are coming out of the birth canal the spine can become misaligned due to the twisting and the slight pulling of the doctor so its best to have the baby adjusted after birth to realign the spine. Our doctor put very little pressure on Kellen and he actually seemed to calm down after he was adjusted (he wasn’t happy about being on his back).

Cody and I have been really surprised with Kellen’s development so far. He has pretty good head control for being a newborn and loves to roll onto his side. He finally found his thumb and will occasionally suck on that.
We’ve slowly been getting use to our new schedule. We were pretty sleep deprived up until the last couple of days. We decided to go back to our old routine of staying up until 4am and sleeping all day. This has helped immensely considering Kellen cluster feeds up until about 4ish and then after that he usually sleeps for a few hours at a time. Cody said he definitely feels more rested now that we’ve started that.
Yesterday I took Kellen out shopping with me so we both could get some activity and sunlight. He had his first Target run and we only bought things we actually went to Target for ? plus mommy got some much needed Starbucks finally.
I was hoping to have nursery pictures by now but I’m still working on some decor ? that will have to be my goal for the week.

Week 39! He’s here!

Kellen Clay Siems was born at 8:08 this morning! He weighed 7 pounds and 5 ounces and was 20 inches long.
It’s been a long 24 hours. Yesterday I started having contractions at around 4pm but figured it was just fake contractions again so I continued my shopping at Hobby Lobby ?. When I got to Kohl’s I was feeling pretty crappy so I decided to just go home and take it easy. At around 7ish my contractions had stopped for a full hour and then around 8pm I was getting contractions every 5-7 minutes. I called the hospital and asked if I should start thinking about coming in but since it was my first pregnancy they told me it was up to me. Around 11pm my contractions were every 3 minutes so I went to pick up Cody from work and we went to the hospital. I was only dilated to 2cm and after a couple hours of observation they sent me home. 30 minutes after we got home my contractions were unbearable and I was pretty sure my water broke so we went back. I was checked again, and definitely lost my water at that point, and I was dilated to 6cm. At about 5am I started getting the urge to push and was pushing for 2 1/2 hours before my doctor showed up and really got me into gear. She had Kellen out within 30 minutes and thank goodness because I was exhausted and ready to throw in the towel. I didn’t have an epidural and I only got half a dose of fentanyl before the pushing started. I don’t know how I did it but somehow I pushed through.
Since I was GBS positive they’ve been monitoring Kellen every 4 hours but he’s been perfect with no issues. Everyone is healthy and slowly recovering from pulling an all nighter. I think out of everyone, Cody is scarred the most ?. He watched everything including Kellen emerging and he said he’ll never be the same.
My doctor said I’ll probably be good to go tomorrow but they’ll more than likely want to keep Kellen until Friday to monitor any possible GBS symptoms.

36 weeks! Maternity pictures!

We’re nearing the end! Baby Siems will be here before we know it. He has already been making it clear that he’s preparing his entrance by giving me plenty of braxton hicks.
At my last appointment my doctor checked my progress and I’m at 1cm dilation which she said is pretty normal for how far along I am. I was also tested for GBS (Group B Strep) and the results came back positive ?. I’m pretty irritated about that because I was hoping to be IV-free during labor and that’s a no-go now.
We had an ultrasound but baby was covering his face so it just looks like a blob. He’s weighing in at about 5 pounds which is on the smaller side but momma’s been measuring smaller too so doctor’s not super concerned. He always has a strong heart beat at every appointment and likes to wiggle for the doctor.
I’ve been doing better. My blood pressure has consistently been over 100 for about 2 months now. Still having trouble with protein so I’ve been eating lots of peanut butter and protein shakes.

My wonderful husband was kind enough to take maternity pictures of me ? we did milk bath photos which I recently discovered and if you haven’t heard of them before I highly reccomend looking them up because they are amazing!

Speaking of my wonderful husband: he had some vacation days he needed to use so he starts vacation tomorrow. He plans on painting the baby room and working on other projects around the house and I’m sure just enjoying some solitude in general before the baby arrives ?

This will probably be my last maternity post depending on when baby decides to arrive. I have a feeling he’s going to come sooner than later, but I guess we’ll see.

34 weeks!

Baby is the size of a butternut squash! And running out of room! He’s rolling around a lot but having trouble since he’s so big. Next week I’m finally having another ultrasound so I’ll know how big he is and I’ll have some pictures ?
I think it’s finally starting to set in for Cody. He likes to listen to my belly but he won’t talk to my belly because he thinks it’s weird ?
We went to a birth class on Sunday and Cody got to see a lot of birth videos. He’s only slightly traumatized ? we also toured the labor floor and got to see a newborn baby who was sooooo tiny! To think that in about 6 weeks we’ll have our own tiny human.
At my last appointment I was measuring right on track. My doctor had to measure my stomach on the right side instead of down the middle because baby has been favoring the right side so my stomach is lopsided. He finally realized that there’s a left side to my stomach this week.
My blood pressure has been more stable as well. I was sitting at about 90 but now I’ve been more consistently at 100. Hoping I continue to stay over 100.
This last weekend I had a baby shower and everyone predicted baby’s stats. Cody and I are the bottom predictions (we’re not naming him Melvin).

31 weeks!

The procrastination is real haha. The weeks just keep flying by!
Baby is the size of asparagus. He likes to move a lot especially when the doctor is trying to get his heartbeat lol. His favorite spot is my ribcage ?
The doctor said I’m measuring just a little small but I’m also a small person to begin with so she’s not concerned yet. I’ve been having a little bit of heartburn and indigestion so baby might be growing some hair. My meat aversion has come back so I’m back to protein shakes, otherwise I’m constantly eating. Donuts are my go to right now ?
I did have the glucose test done and surprisingly I passed. I thought I would for sure have gestational diabetes with all the sugar I eat.
Blood pressure has still been low at my last 3-4 appointments so I’ve been trying really hard to amp up the water/liquids. I found a sparkling water that has hardly any sugar in it and also has biotin so I’ve been trying to drink those to break up the monotony of water.
I still haven’t finished the nursery. The only thing ready is the bed. The nursery use to be my “I don’t want to deal with this stuff right now” room so it’s been really hard cleaning it out and deciding where to put everything.
My next appointment is July 2nd and I’m really hoping we’ll get an ultrasound because we haven’t had one since we found out the gender ☹