Today I am so excited to share Kaiden’s birth story with you. He has been with us for two months already, I can hardly believe it! My favorite thing about this story, is that I got to see God’s protection over our family. Many of you know things didn’t go as planned, but it all worked out in the end. I’m writing this today with a joyful and thankful heart, and the most beautiful family to love forever.
It all began mid afternoon on October 17. I had this feeling that the braxton hicks I was having was (finally!) the beginning of pre-labor. I was also a bit confused, because I only had my labor experience with Haven to compare it to. With my baby girl, pre-labor was quick, and active labor began very shortly after. With Kaiden, I had been in what felt like pre-labor for four days. Constant braxton hicks, but no patterning. I was frustrated to say the least! But today was different. I didn’t know how to describe it other than unexplained certainty. I remember walking around Babies-R-Us with Haven, and praying. I was thanking God over and over for the time he had given Haven and I together. She had been my daily companion for the past twenty-two months. My best girlfriend, my constant company. It was bittersweet to think of such a beautiful season coming to a close. I was staring at her big brown eyes as I pushed her in the shopping cart, and I stopped, kissed her forehead, and let her know that I loved her so much. I talked to her about how her brother would be here soon, and she would absolutely love him.
We purchased a new outfit for her, as well as a toy, because I wanted to spoil her and make the last day of just us two as special as it could be.
Once I got home, I made sure my bags were ready to go.
Dinner time came, and since active labor hadn’t started, we headed to our community group. If you’re not familiar with what that is, it’s a time to get together with other church members and go over the message from the past Sunday. We talk, pray, and spend time in God’s word.
As community group was coming to a close, the guys and girls split up to talk and pray together. My prayer request was for a safe delivery, and that the transition from one baby to two would be smooth. Normally we just pray for one other lady in the group, but tonight was different. Every girl in our group took the time to pray over me, my precious son, and our family. I was touched that these women cared so much for me.
Soon we drove home, and during the car ride, I told Tanner how sweet it was of the girls to cover our family in prayer. It sounds silly, but during that drive home, I smiled to myself and thanked God. He was beginning to write Kaiden’s birth story, and I knew that moment would be one of the highlights.
Once we got home, active labor immediately began. I got a contraction that lasted longer than any I had so far. I mentioned it to Tanner, but he didn’t know if he could take me serious. If you read Haven’s birth story, then you know he slept during my home labor. (We laugh about that now, at the time I was a bit upset haha!) About five minutes later, I had another contraction. I waited for a few more to come before telling tanner I was certain this was it. He was so confused as to why I wasn’t freaking out, or acting like I was in pain. (We learned with Haven I have a really high pain tolerance.) I told him we had a few hours till we needed to leave. I then called my mom, and she immediately answered the phone. With a steady, yet eager voice she asked, “Taylor? Is this it? Is the baby coming?” With a huge smile on my face I answered, “Yes, this is it. Kaiden is finally on his way.” It was midnight at this point, so I let her know I’d be dropping Haven within a couple hours.
Once I was off the phone, I went to our bedroom where Haven was asleep, and with tear filled eyes, I kissed her soft little cheeks. We had only spent one night apart since the day she was born, and it hit me that it would never be just her and I again. It was a bittersweet realization. Once I gathered my thoughts, I finished straightening the house, packing Haven’s bag, and then we loaded the car. I took a deep breath as I looked around our home. I had another realization. Next time I step foot into this house, I’d have met our son. The little boy who I’ve anxiously waited for, and loved with everything in me from the moment I knew of his existence. I smiled as I hugged my husband and shared all this with him. He kissed the top of my head and said how much he was looking forward to meeting Kaiden. And just like that, we headed out and closed the chapter of a being family of three.
My parents live less than five minutes away, so it wasn’t long till I was greeted with a hug from my mom as she scooped Haven from my arms. She looked so happy! I’ll never forget the joy she was displaying. As I was getting ready to head to the hospital, my dad came downstairs. He had been sleeping, and looked so confused! He was asking if I was really in labor, and how I knew I was going to be having the baby. We just started laughing because he was so out of it! I gave him a hug and said, “I’m in labor with Kaiden, we are headed to the hospital, and I’ll see you soon.”
We drove about thirty minutes until we arrived at the hospital. It was the same hospital where Haven was delivered, and that gave me peace and joy. We walked through the empty halls, and through the doors of labor and delivery. We then checked in, and I was given a room. It was 2:30 am. My contractions weren’t patterning as well as the nurse liked, so they decided to monitor me for a bit so they could get a better idea of how far apart they were. Kaiden wasn’t moving around like he should, so they gave me juice to try and help him move more. That worked super quick! He was wiggling around within minutes of me finishing my drink. A few hours passed, and I was finally placed in the room where Kaiden would be delivered. It was six am at this point. During the walk to the delivery room, I realized my contractions were strong. I didn’t want to do anything but sit, because if I was up my contractions were practically nonstop! I talked with my nurse about the epidural. I wasn’t in unbearable pain, but I was curious if I could get sooner than later so I could be more relaxed and comfortable. My fear was it running out before I had to push. She assured me that wouldn’t happen, so I immediately asked for it. Thirty minutes later I had the epidural, and all was well in the world again! No more pain. Woo! My midwife checked to see how dilated I was at that point. I was shocked to hear I was 9 cm! I thought I was getting the epidural early, turns out I was almost ready to push! She let me know it wouldn’t be long till I would deliver him, and asked who I wanted to have in the room. I panicked a little bit as I told her I wanted my husband and mom with me, but that my mom wasn’t here yet. Tanner grabbed his phone and told my mom we didn’t have too much longer, and to head on over to the hospital. Labor was moving FAST this time. It was only 7:15 am!
Forty minutes passed, and I knew it was time to push. But my mom wasn’t here yet. I was so sad. Tanner called her and asked if she was close. Sure enough, she was in the hospital and almost to labor and delivery. She said she was running down the hall to get to our room. It seemed like a scene from a movie! Within seconds she was here. (Praise God!) I couldn’t imagine delivering Kaiden without my mom. She was such a great support system with Haven, and I envisioned her being by my side for every delivery I would have. She gave me a hug and looked relived that she had made it to the room. And just like that, it was time.
I was pushing to get this precious boy out, when I realized it was a lot harder than I remember with Haven. He felt stuck towards the end, and I realized the midwife looked a little worried. I tried to ignore it, and just focus on the doctor who was instructing me on what to do. As I tried to deliver him, the midwife grabbed my leg and pulled it out further than it was. I remember thinking this wasn’t how it was with Haven. They were telling me to push harder and finally, oh finally…relief.
I instantly burst into tears. My son. My precious baby boy. The first thing I thought was how big he was! He didn’t even look like a newborn to me. They placed him on my chest and he looked so purple. Cry, sweet boy. That’s what I remember thinking. Show me you’re breathing, and ok. Finally there it was. A strong, loud cry. That comforted me, because I knew he was breathing. He was ok.
Seconds later, the nurse took him from me. And that’s when things changed. I was given a shot for excessive bleeding, along with several other medications. I remember looking at Tanner and asking if I was ok. He forced a smile and said I was. An additional doctor was called in to look at me. I was trying not to worry, but I was so confused. What is wrong? They talked quietly amongst them selves, and I tried to focus on watching my son as they cleaned him up and took his measurements. “10.4 lbs,” they said. “Oh my goodness ten pounds Taylor,” I remember my mom saying. And then things got blurry. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t even answer basic questions about myself or my family. I kept turning to Tanner to answer for me as the doctors asked me questions. I started crying. What is happening to me? Why do I feel so strange? Why do I feel like this isn’t real life? I felt sick, weak, and delirious. They took my temperature. I had a high fever. They checked Kaiden’s. He had one too. They put ice cold cloths under my arms and on my forehead to try and cool my body down. I don’t remember what was going on with Kaiden. I knew that Tanner was holding him, and I knew that I wasn’t able to. I felt nauseous and my body was shaking uncontrollably. I was so frustrated. I just wanted to hold my baby. I wanted to feel joy, and I wanted everything to be ok. But I wasn’t. Kaiden wasn’t. And I was struggling to keep it together. Alone with my thoughts I was afraid. Why don’t I feel joy the way I did the moment Haven was born? Why don’t I feel that instant connection? I’m so afraid. But oh how I loved this little boy. The nurse decided to try and let me hold Kaiden. I was nervous. I was still sick and shaking, but I desperately wanted to hold my son. She placed him next to me, and I stroked his face and stared at him. His little eyes were shut, and he was peacefully sleeping. A few minutes later, they rechecked our temperatures. Mine was still high, and Kaiden’s was worse. It turned out whenever he was next to me, his fever went up from my body heat. I felt like a failure. I just wanted to hold him, snuggle him, kiss him,and keep him safe. Tanner decided to hold him again, and I started crying. I asked him to call my mom back into the room. To be honest I was so out of it I didn’t remember her leaving in the first place. She came within a couple minutes. She asked me what was wrong since I was visibly crying. I told her I didn’t know what was wrong with me, and that I was so afraid I didn’t have a connection with Kaiden. I had spent only a few minutes with him, even though he was a couple hours old. She reassured me everything would be ok, and to stay strong. She told me there were lots of people praying for us. That instantly gave me peace. My nurse said it was time to try and feed Kaiden. (I had tried earlier but he didn’t want to latch.) She placed him to the side of me and kept as much of him off of me as possible since I was still running a fever. She tried to help him latch but it didn’t work. I told her I didn’t want to give up. She looked at me and let me know that if he didn’t nurse within a few more minutes I would have to supplement. I instantly felt determined. We can do this Kaid. It’s just you and me. I love you. I’m going to take care of you. You’re ten pounds little guy, I know you like to eat. We are going to figure this out together. Right when I was almost out of time, he did it. He was finally nursing, and I started crying. (For what felt like the hundredth time!) I was so proud of him. And just like that, all those fears of not connecting with him subsided. I was in love with this little boy, and I would do anything for him.
His sugar levels were low, so he was tested every couple hours. In order to regulate his levels, he needed to eat. His oxygen levels weren’t where they needed to be, so we weren’t able to go to our new room till late afternoon. But finally, by God’s goodness, our health was better. My fever was gone, and so was his. His oxygen levels were normal, and his blood sugar was getting better. I stopped shaking. I wasn’t nauseous. I didn’t feel like I was going crazy. I felt peace, and I felt joy. I asked the nurse what had been wrong with me. I had wondered all afternoon, but didn’t feel coherent enough for a conversation. She explained that when I was delivering Kaiden, I had hemmoraged while pushing. They knew they needed to get him out quickly after that happened, but he repositioned his arm in a way that had him stuck. (Which explained why I felt like I couldn’t get him out.) Because of his position, I tore really badly. (So sorry if this is gross.) I told her thank you for letting me know what happened. I said it meant so much to me that she had treated me like a person and not a patient throughout my experience. (We had lots of talks about life, and our faith.) She smiled sweetly at me but then said, “Taylor, when you hemmoraged you became a patient. What happened to you was life threatening, and we needed to act quickly and efficiently.” I was shocked. I knew I hadn’t felt good since delivery, but I didn’t realize things were so bad. Praise God for His protection was all I could think. She also said that had my iron levels not gotten back to normal range I could have died. (I had severe anemia throughout my pregnancy. My levels cleared only two days before he was born.)
God was there. His hand of protection was over me and my son. I knew all too well that it was Him who kept me safe. Thank you Jesus.
I stared at my newest love with wonder. He was perfect, sweet, and everything I ever could have hoped for in a son. She wheeled me to my new room where my parents and family met him for the first time. Comfort. That’s what I felt when my family entered the room. My heart beamed as I watched them interact with Kaiden. Snuggling him, kissing him, holding him, staring at his tiny features. And then my favorite moment of that day came. We explained his full name. Kaiden Charles Krabill. We chose the name Kaiden, because it means strong warrior. I knew I wanted a name that encompassed bravery, because in his life he will be up against a lot in this world. Our prayer is that he will stand for what’s right, and love Jesus most. We chose the middle name Charles after my dad. I wrote him a letter explaining why, but to simplify the reason, it is because of the godly legacy my dad has built. He is the most genuine, kind, strong, caring, and godly man I have ever known. Sadly his dad did not leave this kind of legacy for him, but oh how this causes me to cherish this gift even more! My sister read the letter to my dad explaining Kaiden’s name. I tried not to burst into tears as she read. (I figured I cried plenty for one day.) It was the sweetest moment of that day. My dad was completely surprised and blessed.
We spent the rest of our evening in warm conversation. My brother brought me dinner from Olive Garden, and it felt so good to finally have some food in my stomach. Haven was absolutely perfect with Kaiden. She immediately said “Baby!” And kissed him when they met. My heart was overwhelmed in that moment! Having our little family all together was a surreal moment. I felt so thankful. She gazed at him, and wanted to be right by his side. To say I am blessed is an understatement. Having a loving husband, and two precious babies is a dream come true for me. I’m constantly overjoyed, because I see them all as precious gifts that I don’t want to take for granted.
We spent a few hours together before if was time for Haven to go home with Nana and Papa. To finish off the evening, my dad prayed over our family, and, (of course), baby Kaiden. It was beautiful.
This story isn’t a picture perfect delivery, but this story is ours. It’s ours to decide how we remember it. And I’m choosing to see it as a miracle. I’m choosing to see it as beautiful. It didn’t go as planned, but God is still always good. He protected us from what could have been a much worse situation. I leaned that things can change quickly. Good or bad. I am in tears as I finish writing this, because I feel nothing but a grateful heart. I have a precious family. My husband is my best friend, my rock, and forever the love of my life. My daughter is my sweetheart, and my source of joy. And my handsome son is my calm. He reminds me when I look into his bright blue eyes that God has everything under control. God uniquely designed our family, and I love seeing our different personalities interact. We all bring something different, but together it is so beautiful.
Kaiden you complete our family. God knew my heart needed you, because you have caused me to love deeper, and find peace in the midst of uncertainty. Your calm personality is precious. Your smile melts me every time. You have me wrapped around your tiny little fingers, but I wouldn’t change that for the world. “I cannot wait to see the wonderful things you’ll do someday, oh I’ll be so proud.” Welcome to the world, sweet boy. I love you so.