Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Aveya's birth story

Jonathan is so good at writing in his journal. He wrote down Aveya's birth story on the day she was born. He got most of the story recorded, so I'm going to have him tell us the story in his own words. Anything italicized are notes I added. 

Monday, February 13, 2017
Today is Aveya’s birthday! Melissa was having contractions about 20 minutes apart for most of the day yesterday. Around dinner time, they were 5 minutes apart for about an hour but they didn't feel too intense. When she called the midwives, they told her to take a bath. The bath helped things slow down, so we thought that it was just a false alarm. About two hours after we (I) went to sleep (thankfully, it was uncharacteristically early), Melissa woke me and said that we needed to go, and that she was in active labor. I never slept. We were in bed by 9:30, but Aveya was SO ACTIVE, so I couldn't relax. Then when she started calming down the contractions started coming hard! I called the midwife again and told her they were intense. She told me to come in. So I called a friend who has seriously been such a life-saver. I had asked them beforehand if her and her husband could stay the night if I went into labor at night (I had someone planned for a middle-of-the-night call, but this was so early in the night that i just asked them because I was texting them around dinner asking them to put the kids to bed if we had to go in) I am so grateful for Morgan and Kristen Ruesch, and their willingness and cheerfulness to come over and stay at our place for the night. It was such a blessing. (Kristen had helped me at least half a dozen times in the last month and a half or so, so the kids were very familiar with her)
me and my BIG bump!

 I am grateful that the kids slept through the night for them and that Corbin didn't freak out too much like we were worried he might (apparently Cambria helped comfort him, so sweet.) I am also grateful for the priesthood. Melissa asked for a priesthood blessing before we left. Morgan and I administered to her. In the blessing, I blessed her body that it could do what it was designed to do. I blessed her mind that it could be strong and that it had been prepared by her preparation. I also blessed her with peace. In the blessing, I also said that everything would be ok. Although it may have sounded like we would have a vaginal birth that we wanted, that wasn’t necessarily what I felt. We got to the hospital around midnight. The midwife checked and Aveya was still sideways and I was dilated to a 6.5 and fully effaced. We were both disappointed, especially Melissa. We were both blessed with peace though. I am grateful for c-sections and that they can help babies and moms in otherwise dangerous situations have a healthy, safe birth. Melissa was wheeled to the OR, and I joined her shortly later. It turns out that Aveya had even turned again, and was completely feet first when they pulled her out. They said she was kicking even as they took her out. 

My experience with pain meds in labor: I hadn't ever had them before, but oh man! I can understand why people get them. I didn't feel as prepared for this birth as I was with the others (oddly enough, even though Corbin's was so early, I still felt very ready for labor with him). And as soon as I found out that I needed to have a c-section, I wasn't welcoming the contractions like I usually do. I kind of got more and more frustrated that I had to feel another one as each one came. If I was going to get a spinal, then I wanted one NOW. They told me that as soon as the medication kicked in, I would probably feel tired, considering the time of night we were there. When I got in the OR, I got a little nervous. One of the reasons why I haven't ever gotten an epidural before is because I'm so nervous to have someone stick a huge needle in my spine and potentially paralyze me. The anesthesiologist was amazing though, he talked me through everything, and told me how I was going to feel before I felt it, which eased my mind significantly. As soon as he had the spinal in, I felt like I was on cloud 9! It was amazing :). I did feel nauseous several times, not fun, but he just upped my anti nausea medicine and I felt better. The rest of the time was a blur, I was trying not to listen to the doctors on the other side of the curtain, the idea of them right there, cutting me open wasn't something I liked thinking about. Then it hit me like a load of bricks, I was tired and I physically couldn't keep my eyes open. I didn't try to keep my eyes open until I heard that Aveya was out. I heard her cry and that was the weirdest, most amazing combination of emotions and feelings. I had the same feeling I had with the other babies I've had, the pure, instant love. The desire to see her and feel her skin to skin. But at the same time I couldn't help but think "is that it? I didn't do anything! There was no work on my part to bring her here, but she's here!"

Aveya Leanne Kershaw was born at 1:52 am. She weighed 6lbs 10 oz, and was about 18.5 inches long. It was special that she was born on Danae Gough’s birthday. for those who don't know, Danae is my cousin who was killed in a car accident about a year before Cambria was born. Nae is such a special girl, and I feel like it was a tender mercy that my contractions didn't come till closer to midnight, considering how fast everything happened so that she could share Nae's birthday. Cambria shares her middle name, and now Aveya shares her birthday.
It is hard to describe the feeling after seeing her for the first time. I just couldn’t stop smiling. I was so happy that she was with us, and so grateful that everyone did so well. I actually cried when I saw her (something that I hadn't done before) but I felt the same emotions with her as with the other kids (just in awe at how beautiful and perfect and how in love I was with her). I am grateful for the medical staff, and for their expertise, professionalism, kindness, and understanding bed-side manner. I am grateful that Aveya seems to be a strong nurser. I am grateful that I was able to rest a little last night and during the day, although I’m not sure if sleep ever really came. I am grateful for the quiet moments that Melissa and I got to spend together just with our new, beautiful baby. I am grateful for the feelings I have when I hold her and see her eyes. I am grateful that Melissa is doing well physically and emotionally. It was so special to see the kids see and hold Aveya. Cambria especially was so loving and tender and she held and looked at Aveya. It was so sweet. Corbin also was gentle and loving. I am grateful for the miracle of life and the role of families in the plan of salvation.

for you viewing pleasure... 
look at that tired momma. Tired but so happy!!

Corbin meeting his little sister for the first time.

Look at that smile! I have a feeling they are going to be bff's 
"all the girls!"

first pic as a family of 5!!!

She posed herself

going home from the hospital!

I love newborn smiles!


  1. Beautiful story!! More beautiful family!!! :)

  2. Aww! We love this so much! Thanks for sharing it with us! She's seriously beautiful, but then so is the rest of the family. ~R&R

  3. Great article!, I sure love you and that sweet darling girl!!