One Crazy May

The last few months have been absolute insanity. And when I think that things can’t possibly get any crazier, they do. May turned out to be extremely exhausting and emotional, but also amazing since our sweet baby boy was born!

Here is a recap of our crazy month…

Brax’s 4th Birthday

Our boy Brax turned 4 this month!! Even before the pandemic, we knew that his birthday would have to be low-key because we knew that I would either be super pregnant, or have a newborn. Luckily we had a beautiful day to work with, so we filled our sweet boy’s day with lots of fun right from home!


My sister and her family wanted to surprise Brax with donuts in the morning, so they called and ordered them at a nearby donut shop and my mom picked them up. He loved the surprise from his aunt, uncle and cousins!


Brax was thrilled to get a new bike for his birthday from us! He spent a good portion of his day practicing riding it. We also had a picnic lunch in our front yard, a water balloon fight with Daddy, and sprinkler and pool fun.


After we came inside, we ordered his favorite dinner, pizza. After pizza, we called our families for a Zoom birthday song and cake. He loved getting to see everyone even though they all couldn’t be there.


Even though we never left the house, our boy seemed to have a great 4th birthday! And I was thrilled that Brax would still have his own birthday…I was genuinely nervous that the baby would come that day. Luckily (and surprisingly), he didn’t come for another couple weeks!


While we packed…

We had a LOT of work to do before we moved at the end of the month. My mom started packing whenever she could, and I spent half the month as a beached whale who could hardly roll over, so the most I could help was sitting with my mom and telling her what to pack and where. It was super frustrating because I felt useless. Anyway, one of the hardest parts about packing is entertaining your kids. They are usually good about entertaining themselves, but when they are watching you pack all of their toys, it often causes some issues! They spent some time dressing up, making forts, and drawing lots and lots of pictures. Kinsie recently discovered a YouTube Channel that teaches you how to draw hundreds of different animals and characters. She spent countless hours drawing during the moving process!


It rained a lot this May, but we would still try to get the kids outside whenever we could so they wouldn’t kill each other. They came up with obstacle courses, random games, and drew lots of PinkFong creations with sidewalk chalk.


Lots of walks trying to help get baby out…

I had been physically miserable for quite some time at this point. I was shocked that the baby hadn’t come sooner based on how I felt. I was so desperate to get him out, and tried to do whatever I could to help the process…mainly lots and lots of walks. We obviously couldn’t take long walks because my feet would get too swollen, but we took as many short walks as we could. One of our favorite walks was at a different lake in our town, closer to the kids’ school. There’s a giant swan that lives at that lake, so the kids call it “Swan Lake.” It was a beautiful walk with lots of wildlife, including the swan, a family of ducks, turtles, and fish. The kids loved it and could have spent hours following the duck family!


We also walked around the lake by our house. We always looked for wildlife to keep the kids entertained. During one of our walks, Ryan found a speckled king snake and PICKED IT UP. He is crazy. This particular type of snake is docile, and he had a good hold of it and Kinsie even touched it. Later on this same walk, we found a turtle, which Kinsie fell in love with and would have taken home if we let her!


We did the swan lake walk on Mother’s Day as well. Ryan was off for paternity leave at this point, so he was able to join us for a Subway picnic and more wildlife watching. This was the first Mother’s Day that I’ve gotten to spend with my mom since we moved here. I not only loved spending Mother’s Day with her, but I was beyond grateful for the time she spent with us in Arkansas. She was absolutely crucial to us this month with everything that went down and I am so blessed to have her love and support.


Last Day of School…Quarantine Style

Obviously the kids’ school year did not end the way we expected it to end, and we all had our moments of grief with this fact. However, I am so impressed with my kids on how they handled everything. They were still excited to take “Last Day of School” pictures. I always love seeing how much they’ve grown during a school year!


Graduations and End of Year Parades

Since the pandemic caused all school and events to be cancelled, Kinsie’s school decided to have a drive-through Kindergarten graduation ceremony. It was SO precious and she got her certificates and got to say goodbye to her teacher. Brax’s school also had a drive-through farewell parade. Unfortunately, I was not able to be there because I was still in the hospital with the baby (I’ll tell the whole story in his birth story coming soon), but Ryan and my mom recorded both events and took pictures for me.


Here is the video Ryan took with his Go-Pro of Kinsie’s graduation


Introducing Brody Ryan Matthews!

The biggest and most anticipated event of our month…the birth of our precious baby boy, Brody Ryan Matthews. He was born on May 17 at 10:24am. He was 7 lbs, 14 oz. and 21 inches long. He is the absolute sweetest baby and we are all so obsessed with him. We ended up spending about a week in the hospital due to high bilirubin levels, which I will explain in full detail in his upcoming birth story. Luckily now, he is doing much better and we’ve enjoyed welcoming him home into our family!




Lots of love for Brody

Brody only got to live in Arkansas for about 2 weeks before we moved. While we continued packing our house, the kids spent most of their time fighting over who got to hold Brody. The love playing with him on his playmat and reading lots of books to him!


Brody’s First Walk

Before we moved, I really wanted to take Brody on a walk around our favorite park. Even though he slept the whole time, we all enjoyed our first and last walk at our park as a family of five.


Brody’s First Bath

Kinsie was thrilled to get to help with Brody’s first sponge bath!


Moving Day!

Brody and I were only home for about a week before we had to load up the moving trucks and hit the road to Indiana! My dad and Ryan’s parents came down to help us load up and drive. It was a crazy, exhausting, busy few days but we made it! Ryan even drove one of the UHAUL trucks, helped us get settled, then flew back down to Little Rock to finish out his month. This definitely wasn’t the way we wanted to finish our time in Arkansas, but we are already planning a trip in the future to come back and visit our friends and our favorite places.



My mom helped drive with me and my kids. It took us about 12 hours since we had to stop every few hours to feed the baby. He did amazing on his first road trip!


RV’s for MD’s

Since we had to be out of our house on May 30 and Ryan still had to finish his contract, he needed a place to live for the month of June. He thought about staying with a friend, but most of his closest friends had new babies, and he didn’t want to impose on a family or cause potential exposure. My friend told me about a Facebook group called “RV’s for MD’s” where people who own RV’s offer to let frontline workers live in their RV so they don’t expose their families to the coronavirus. I joined the group and we were able to find the nicest family in Little Rock who had a huge, full-sized RV. They made dure the RV was clean and fully-stocked and they even gave us a baby gift! We worked it out to park it at the RV Park in downtown Little Rock right by the river. It is such a neat program and we were so grateful that Ryan had a safe place to live!


May was exhausting, and I’m glad it is over. However, it will be a month I will never forget for the rest of my life because I had a baby and moved across the country within 2 weeks! The kids and I are staying with my parents for the month of June, then when Ryan is finished, he’ll come to Indiana and we will live in a rental house while our house is being built. Things are still crazy trying to get settled and dealing with 2 kids and a newborn, but I am just so grateful for a healthy baby and the fact that we are closer to home!

Stay tuned for Brody’s full birth story and more summer fun in the upcoming months!

Here is our May 1 Second Everyday…enjoy!


Brax’s Birth Story

I have been wanting to sit down and type out Brax’s birth story since we’ve been home from the hospital, but my carpal tunnel syndrome, and just the craziness of life with a toddler and a newborn, have prevented me from sharing his birth story with you sooner. I love reading and hearing birth stories. I love hearing everyone’s unique experience having a child. Even if other people aren’t as interested in my children’s birth stories, at least I will always have them documented so I can remember the details and someday share the stories with them on how they entered the world.

When I went into labor with Kinsie, I was 5 days early, and it is pretty common for women in my family to go into labor early, so I was expected and VERY hopeful that I would be early with this one too. If you had read my pregnancy update posts, you’d know that I was large and miserable the last few weeks of my pregnancy. Even though I was still 2 weeks away from my due date, I was ready in every way to have this baby. Every time I had a contraction, I just kept hoping that they’d continue stronger and more consistent. There were a few times that I thought it could possibly be early labor, but the contractions wouldn’t remain consistent. I kept joking that I just wanted my water to break so I knew for sure that I was in labor. Well, God sure has a sense of humor!

On Sunday evening of May 1, we were at home watching our evening shows and getting mentally ready to start a new work week. I had a pretty uneventful day as far as contractions or other labor signs. I was in a very “nesting” mood all day, so I did a lot of cleaning. That evening, we had a pretty severe thunderstorm, and there were even tornado warnings in the area. My mom texted me that night in the midst of the storm saying she hopes the baby didn’t decide to come tonight since the weather was so bad! Since I hadn’t had any signs of labor that night, I had already come to terms that it wasn’t going to happen that night. I went to bed around 10:15 and Ryan stayed out in the living room to finish watching the Pacer game. I was in bed and almost asleep when I heard a “pop” and then felt a gush. As soon as I realized what was happening, I jumped out of bed so I wouldn’t ruin the mattress, and I yelled for Ryan. When he answered, I yelled back “My water just broke!” Later he told me that when I yelled for him, he just thought I was yelling for him to come to bed. When I thought my water breaking was over, I quickly changed into dry clothes and we called our families, packed up our last minute hospital items, and waited for Ryan’s mom to get to our house to stay with Kinsie. Well, the more I moved, the more I leaked! Ryan made fun of me because I kept changing clothes because I didn’t want to be in wet pants for the 40 minute drive to the hospital. I put a towel in my seat in the car and as soon as Ryan’s mom was there, we were off to the hospital. My contractions started soon into our car ride, and they were intense right off the bat. Even though I knew I was in labor, I timed my contractions so we could get somewhat of an idea of how far along in the labor process I was. The contractions got increasingly stronger each time, and every time I would have a contraction, I leaked even more. I couldn’t believe so much liquid could be held in my uterus! Ryan drove as quickly as he could, until we got behind a police car on the interstate. Mid-contraction, Ryan says, “Here’s a conundrum for you…should I stay behind it so we won’t get pulled over but prolong us getting to the hospital, or risk it and pass them?” If my contractions were closer together than they currently were, he would have definitely risked it…and probably would have been pulled over! As we got closer, my contractions were about 3.5 to 4 minutes apart and extremely strong. There was construction that we weren’t aware of as we got close to the hospital, so Ryan wasn’t sure how to get around it. He was trying to drive, get directions on his GPS, and let me squeeze his hand through my contractions at the same time! When we finally got to the hospital, Ryan dropped me off at the door where I stood there continuing to leak amniotic fluid onto the concrete while I waited for him to park the car. We walked up to the labor and delivery floor, where they immediately got us into a room and helped me change into my hospital gown. I still kept leaking, so until I got into the bed, we had to keep drying the floor. My family was on their way to the hospital and my sister texted me telling me to give her two words to describe how I was feeling at the moment…so I said, “Excited and wet…I can’t stop leaking!”(seriously though…water breaking in real life is SO different than in the movies!)

My contractions were so intense at this point that I started to worry that if we waited much longer, I wouldn’t be able to get an epidural. They checked my cervix soon after we arrived, and I was surprisingly only 3 cm dilated. I thought for sure that I was farther than that because of the intensity of my contractions. I told them I was ready for my epidural, and the anesthesiologist came in shortly. When I was in labor with Kinsie, they made Ryan leave the room when I got my epidural and I cried…so this time, I asked if Ryan could stay, and I prefaced it with telling the doctor that my husband was a medical student so I know he won’t pass out or anything! The anesthesiologist said he could stay as long as he stayed up by my face. Getting my epidural was more uncomfortable than I remember, but it was nothing compared to the contractions. It took about 10 minutes for my epidural to kick in and once it did I felt SO much better. At that point, it was 12:30 am and the nurse told me to rest the best I could and she’d be back in to check me in a couple hours. I did try to rest, but between the excitement/anxiety of being in labor, the sounds of all the monitors I was hooked up to, and my blood pressure machine squeezing my arm every few minutes, I really didn’t sleep. The nurse came back in around 2:15 am, and I was dilated 6 cm. She left and came back again about 30 minutes later, and I was dilated 8 cm. This was happening SO much faster than I expected. The nurse went to get the doctor and I woke Ryan up and called for my mom and my sister to come in the room. I was so anxious at this point that I was shaking. I kept having fears that the baby would be too big for me to push out and I’d have to have an emergency C-section. The doctor came in a little after 3 am, checked my cervix and said, “Yep, there he is! Let’s start pushing!”

I got into position and started pushing. Since I had an epidural, I couldn’t feel a whole lot, but I could tell when I was having a contraction and when I felt that I needed to push. Even with an epidural, pushing is still tough and exhausting. As I was pushing, I know the doctor and nurse were saying things to me, encouraging me to keep pushing a little longer, but the only thing I focused on was Ryan because he was counting down for me on each push. This helped me know how much longer I needed to push each time, which was calming and reassuring. After only 3 or 4 pushes, there he was! A beautiful baby boy with a round head full of hair! Ryan cut the cord, and then the doctor placed him on my chest for a minute, then took him to get cleaned off and warmed up. This process seemed to take FOREVER. All I wanted to do was hold my baby boy in my arms and I had to wait. I probably only waited 5 minutes, but those 5 minutes seemed to last an eternity. He weighed a whopping 7 lbs, 15 oz and was 21 inches long…no wonder I was miserable! I was 2 weeks early and gave birth to an almost 8 pound baby! I finally got to hold my boy and admire the sweet face that I’d been imagining for 9 months. I was almost in shock that just 5 hours earlier, I thought I was going to bed like any other night, when really, my life was about to change completely with the birth of my first son.







By the time I got to my postpartum room, I was delirious. I hadn’t really slept that night and just went through the physical exertion of giving birth, so saying I was exhausted was an understatement. My postpartum nurse was talking to me about paperwork and such, and I could hardly comprehend what she was saying. I finally got to rest for about an hour, then the nurse came back in to check my vitals, etc. I felt a little better after I ate something, and then I was starting to get really anxious to see Kinsie. Bev texted me when she woke up, and they were soon on their way to the hospital, along with Ryan’s dad and sister. We were really lucky that Brax came when he did, because my sister’s family and Ryan’s parents were both out of town the week before, and then Ryan’s dad had to leave again that day for a work trip. Luckily, he got to come to the hospital and meet his grandson before heading to the airport. When Kinsie walked in the room, she looked a little nervous, but she was excited to see us. She was a little hesitant with the baby, and thought he was cool and everything, but wasn’t interested in holding him. Then we gave her a gift from her baby brother. (by the way, any mom having their second child, I highly recommend doing this!) It was a dinosaur action figure and she was pumped! She spent a good 20 minutes playing with the toy and we kept saying how nice it was for her brother to give her that toy, and once that sank in, she was ALL about her brother! A dinosaur toy was the way to her heart, and she’s been hooked ever since! She then wanted to hold him, kiss him, see his toes, etc. We all hung out a while longer together, then Ryan’s family took Kinsie home to eat lunch so we could rest. Mission accomplished…Kinsie liked her new baby brother! My family came back later that evening with my niece and nephew, and Bev brought Kinsie back too and we had a mini birthday party for baby Braxton. We sang “Happy Birthday” to him, and the kids were so excited to hold their new cousin.









It seemed that we were in the hospital longer than the 2 days because we technically spent 3 nights there since we had the baby in the middle of the night. We were so ready to leave the hospital that Wednesday and be home together as a family. Kinsie was waiting for us at home with Bev, and she was so excited to have her brother (and mommy and daddy) home!




So here we are now, almost 3 weeks later and still getting acclimated to this new life as a family of four. Sleep is rare and emotions get the best of all of us from time to time, but we are all working together to adjust to our new lives. We adore our sweet little Brax. He fits perfectly into our family. I can’t wait to watch him grow up and see his personality and his relationship with his sister develop. God has blessed us with two beautiful, healthy children and I couldn’t be more grateful!

Now excuse me while I go back to snuggling my sweet little boy…

Introducing Braxton Robert Matthews!

Our precious boy, Braxton Robert Matthews, made his entrance into the world on Monday, May 2 at 3:21 am! My water broke at 10:30pm on May 1, and he was born not even 5 hours later. He was 2 weeks early, but was a whopping 7 pounds and 15 ounces, and 21 inches long. It makes perfect sense as to why I was so miserable near the end of my pregnancy! His sweet face is completely worth every second of discomfort that I went through during the last 9 months.


Brax is the perfect addition to our family. He is such a good baby, and is absolutely adored by all of us…especially his big sister! My biggest worry was that Kinsie wouldn’t adjust well to having a new baby in the house, and, knock on wood, but so far she has been awesome as a big sister. She is constantly wanting to hug, kiss and hold him. She wants to share all her toys with him and she gets stressed out when he cries and reassures him, “It’s ok, baby…mama will feed you soon!” She is the sweetest sister to him, and I just pray that it continues.

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What we know about Brax so far:

  • He may not be completely aware yet that he is out of the womb. You can tell that he didn’t have much space in there, because even now he is always scrunched into a ball. We try to get him to stretch out, but he always ends up back in a ball!early_may_24
  • He grunts and squeals often in his sleep.
  • He doesn’t look like Kinsie did as a newborn, but more like his cousins, Briggs.
  • He has quite an appetite. He eats about every 2 hours, sometimes more often than that. Sometimes, nursing is the only way he can be comforted. I’m flattered, but exhausted!
  • He has some impressive leg strength…but I learned that early on in my pregnancy!
  • He loves to snuggle!
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How I’m feeling:

I honestly have felt great the last 2 weeks. Even the day after I gave birth, I felt like I could have walked circles around the hospital. I felt so much relief after carrying an almost 8 pounder in my short little torso. The biggest issue I’ve had is with my carpal tunnel syndrome. I was hoping that it would get better after delivery, but it only got worse. It’s been so bad, I haven’t even been able to change my own baby’s diapers or burp him without being in horrible pain. Luckily, Ryan was given a whole week off from his rotation when the baby was born, so he was very hands-on with both Kinsie and Brax during that first week, which was a huge help…but I hated not being able to take care of my kids the way I needed to. I went to a Sports Medicine doctor the other day and got cortisone injections in both wrists, and now I’m slowly starting to feel some relief (which is why it has taken 2 weeks to post this)! Of course I’m also exhausted as every new mom is. Having a toddler who doesn’t nap is really throwing me for a loop when I’m not getting adequate sleep at night, but luckily I’ve had a lot of help between Ryan and our family to watch Kinsie for a couple hours here and there so I can get a little nap in during the day. Ryan says he can always tell by my mood in the evenings if I took a nap that day…just like our toddler!

This little boy has been in this world for less than 2 weeks, and already I don’t remember what my world was like without him. I feel like I’ve had a Braxton-sized hole in my heart my whole life and it has finally been filled. God knew that we needed him, and that he belonged to our family. He is already teaching me to be more patient and enjoy him and his sister while they are still so little. My favorite time with him is after I’ve nursed him when he snuggles right up to me in his milk coma…and while sometimes that snuggle session doesn’t last as long as I want it to because Kinsie needs me or something else needs done, I still catch myself staring at him just admiring this beautiful little creation that God has blessed me with. My heart is more full than I ever thought possible. My grandma (who is the mother of 7 children) always said, “Love multiplies, it doesn’t divide,” and she is absolutely right. My love has only grown, not only for Brax, but for Kinsie and Ryan too. I love them more and in different ways now that Brax is born. It’s been 2.5 years since I’ve seen Ryan hold a newborn baby, and I have fallen in love with him all over again watching him hold and love on our baby boy. I have seen more kindness and compassion in Kinsie in the last 2 weeks than I ever knew she had, and it makes me even more proud of the little girl that she is becoming. God has blessed me beyond what I could ever deserve, and I just pray that I can keep raising my kids to know and love the Lord, who is so good to us!

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Stay tuned for Brax’s full birth story soon!

Beautiful Things

I wanted to share one of the best gifts I received this Christmas. It was from my sister, Krista. She created a video of Kinsie’s birth day, the greatest day of our lives. I had asked Krista and my mom to be in the delivery room when Kinsie was born, and I wanted my sister to capture Kinsie’s first breath on camera. She took it a step further and made this amazing video. I still cry every time I watch it! 

For those of you who are pregnant now, or will be someday, this video also shows how peaceful and non-dramatic my birth  experience was…with the help of an epidural! Don’t get me wrong, I praise those women who go natural, but I will be the first to admit that I couldn’t handle it! It was my preference to have an epidural, and I was very happy with my decision because I was able to enjoy the experience and REST, which was essential considering I went into labor around 11pm and never went to bed that night. 

Although this is a birth video, don’t worry, it is completely “G” rated! 🙂 Enjoy!


Thank you, my beautiful sister for this wonderful gift. I will cherish it for the rest of my life!

Introducing Kinsie Kay Matthews!

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I want to apologize ahead of time for the lengthy post…but its hard to condense the best and most important day of my life, the day my child was born!

Our beautiful daughter, Kinsie Kay Matthews, was born on September 21, 2013 at 3:34pm. She was 6 pounds, 10 ounces, 21 inches long. Kinsie’s birth was a long awaited moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. Here is the story…

Near the end of my pregnancy, of course I was extremely uncomfortable, especially while teaching all day, but I was also very anxious to meet my baby girl. It got to the point where it was literally all I could think about. I couldn’t focus at work, and I had to keep myself busy at home so I wouldn’t drive myself crazy. Every woman in my family had delivered early, so I was trying not to count on that, but I was really hoping that it would happen to me too. For several weeks, I was having clear symptoms of approaching labor, such as loose joints and hips, ligament pain, and constant Braxton Hicks contractions. Of course I was ready any day for my little girl to enter the world, but I was also praying that she would decide to come on a weekend, when Ryan would be home from Muncie. As a medical student, he doesn’t exactly have the most flexible schedule, but he came home every weekend, and I really wanted him to be there with me and experience every second with me. I had no control over when she would come though, so I just had to pray for patience and trust God’s timing. Every day I would wake up in the morning hoping that today would be the day. My sister described it perfectly…I felt like a child on Christmas Eve, excited and anxious for Christmas morning, except you didn’t know exactly when it would come.

On Friday, September 13, I started having regular contractions after school, and they were consistently 10 minutes apart. As the night went on, they became closer together, and eventually they were 5 minutes apart for 1 minute each for over 1 hour…which was the clear “5-1-1” rule that they tell you to follow on when to go to the hospital. I thought this was it, only my contractions were not painful, just uncomfortable. I knew that when it was time for the real thing, contractions were supposed to increase in frequency and intensity. However, every woman’s labor is different, so we thought it still could be the time, and we didn’t want to risk it. We decided to make the 40-minute trip to the hospital to get checked out. When we got there, we quickly found out that I was no more dilated than I was earlier that week. My contractions were indeed consistent and regular, but were not strong enough to be productive. The doctor sent us home, very disappointed. Throughout the next week, I tried really hard to not be down in the dumps and just focus on other things. I had to remember that even though she wasn’t here yet, her arrival was coming soon and I just needed to soak up my last few days or weeks before I became a mother.

Friday, September 20 was my last day of work. My teaching partner, Kristin Sesslar, and my students threw me a diaper party at school, and really helped me enjoy my last day before I went on maternity leave. That night, Ryan studied and I put away all of the diapers we received at my party. When I finally sat down to relax, I had a very intense contraction. I didn’t think much of it, since I had contractions all day every day at this point. Ryan finished his studying, and we decided to watch the movie “Bridesmaids,” since it was on TV and Ryan had never seen it. As we watched, I continued to have somewhat painful contractions. They mainly hurt in my lower back and hips. After about 4 or 5 contractions, I decided to time them using an app I had on my phone. We kept track of the contractions throughout the movie, and they seemed to be about 8-10 minutes apart, and were getting closer. They were also getting MUCH more intense. The pain started in my hips and completely wrapped around my body. It got to the point where I had to squeeze Ryan’s hand and use the breathing techniques just to get through them. Ryan was starting to get excited, but I told him not to get his hopes up, because it could still be false labor again. I didn’t know what to do because I did not want to make the trip to the hospital, only to be told again that this wasn’t the real thing. I continued to labor at home while Ryan timed the contractions. He could tell how intense they were just by the look on my face and how hard I was squeezing his hand. Around 2a.m., I decided to call my sister, Krista and see what she thought I should do. She said that by the way I described it, it was labor pain, and to see if I could talk through a contraction. If I couldn’t talk through one, then it was probably real labor. When I tried to talk during the next contraction, it was extremely difficult, so we decided to go to the hospital. I continued to have extremely painful contractions all the way to the hospital, while Ryan held my hand and drove 80 mph. He figured he has a pretty good excuse if he gets pulled over. He was proud of his personal best time – 30 minutes to get to IU North Hospital. When we got into the triage room, we had the same nurse that we had when we came the week before. She said I definitely looked like I was in more pain than last time. When she checked my cervix, I was only 2 centimeters. I was happy that I was more dilated than last time, but disappointed and surprised that I wasn’t dilated more with the contractions I was having. Although the nurse said it sure seemed like I was in labor, we still weren’t sure that we were there to stay. We waited in the triage room for a couple more hours while I contracted away. The pain was becoming so unbelievably intense, that I would have been extremely surprised if this wasn’t the real thing. Ryan tried to talk to me and show me videos on his phone to help keep my mind off of the pain while we waited. The nurse checked me again a couple hours later, and I was dilated to 3 centimeters…still not much progress but better than nothing. The doctor wanted me to go home since I was not very far along, but the nurse convinced her to let me stay since I was clearly in labor, and we lived 40 minutes away and would just have to drive all the way back a few hours later. I am still so grateful for that nurse!

Around 5a.m., we went to our labor and delivery room, which is where we made our phone calls to our families that we were there to stay. My sister and my mom were on their way right away, while my dad, my brother-in-law Ryan, and my nephew Briggs had to finish moving the last few things out of their house (they were in the process of moving and had to be out of the house by that day – thank goodness the baby decided to come once they were almost finished!) and then they would be on their way too. Ryan called his mom, told her we were at the hospital, with which she responded, “Oh my gosh, did she have the baby?” He also called his sister Megan and left her a voicemail saying, “Meg. Answer your phone. You have a niece on the way. Bye.” Clearly everyone was a little groggy since it was so early in the morning! Ryan continued to coach me through my contractions while the nurse started my IV and helped get me comfortable. Finally, I asked her, “Can I get my epidural yet?” She laughed and said that she’d page the anesthesiologist. He came in around 6 a.m., asked me a bunch of questions, then asked Ryan to step out while he did the procedure. Right away, I started crying and asked, “Does he have to?” The doctor said yes, and that they have a protocol at the hospital, even though I know for a fact that it is up to each doctor, because my brother-in-law got to be in the room when my sister had hers. I know I was sleep deprived and over-emotional, but I was not happy about the fact that Ryan had to leave me for a few minutes. He had been so amazing helping me get through this, that I didn’t want him to leave my sight. While the anesthesiologist did the procedure, he asked me what Ryan did for a living, and when I said he was a med student, he seemed to feel bad that he didn’t let him stay in the room, knowing he obviously could have handled it without freaking out like some dads. The procedure itself really did not hurt at all considering it was nothing compared to the contractions I’d been having for hours. From then on, each contraction hurt less and less, until I could not feel them at all. It was a dream! I cannot even imagine having to go through the entire labor process with that pain, and I praise the women who go all natural! When we were finished, Ryan came back in the room with my mom and sister, and I was so happy to see them, I cried again. (I was very emotional throughout this entire experience!) It was pretty obvious that Ryan and I needed to get some sleep since we never went to bed the night before, and now that I had my epidural, I was actually able to rest. I slept on and off for a few hours while I waited to be checked by the doctor. Dr. Fried was the doctor on call that night, which I was fine with because she was extremely pleasant every time I met with her throughout my pregnancy. She told me that my cervix was dilating, but not as quickly as she wanted, so she wanted to give me Pitocin. I was fine with this, as long as I wasn’t able to feel the contractions!

By around 11 a.m., my family and Ryan’s were all at the hospital. We just had to wait. And wait. And wait. The day seemed to drag on. We watched several movies and took several naps. I had to be tortured as everyone else in the room ate their lunch and I had to stick with ice chips. When I reached about 6 centimeters, the doctor was supposed to come in and break my water, but it took her a few hours because she was delivering a baby in the room next door. By that point I was getting so impatient, I started to cry again. I was sick of waiting and I just wanted to see my baby. Ryan kept having to reassure me that it would be soon and all the waiting would be worth it once we met our baby girl. It also felt like my epidural was wearing off because I started feeling a lot of pressure in my hips with each contraction. The nurse said that was normal, and it showed that the baby was very low and almost ready to arrive. As 3:00 p.m. rolled around, the nurse checked me again, and said I was 8.5 centimeters, and I wasn’t able to dilated anymore until they broke my water. They said it was bulging and as soon as they broke it, I should dilate to 10 immediately, which I did! Dr. Fried broke my water, then had to run and do something and said she’d be right back to deliver my baby! I was beyond excited, but I was also nervous that I wouldn’t be able to push very well since I couldn’t feel much from the waste down. The nurse said the baby was ready any moment, and her head was at +3 station. While we waited for Dr. Fried, she wanted me to do a few practice pushes to make sure I knew how to do them correctly, so after I did one, she made me stop because I could have the baby at any push, and she wanted the doctor to deliver the baby, not her!

As soon as Dr. Fried got back, we all got ready for the big moment. Ryan was to my left holding my hand and rubbing my shoulders. My mom and Krista were each behind me taking pictures and video. My mom and I got to be in the delivery room when Krista had Briggs, and the pictures and video were incredible and I wanted the same thing. Seeing Briggs born was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and I wanted my sister to get to experience it as well. Dr. Fried and the nurse were at my feet ready to guide the baby out. As I pushed with each contraction, it felt like nothing was happening because I couldn’t feel it, but Dr. Fried kept saying that the baby was right there and it would take only a few more pushes. At one point, in between contractions, she had me feel my baby’s head as she was crowning! I could feel the round shape of her head and lots of hair! I never would have thought to do that, but it was incredible. I knew that I was just moments away from meeting my daughter. I think I only pushed twice more before it happened…my baby girl was born and was placed right on top of my chest. Words cannot even describe the emotions I felt during this moment. She was here. After 9 long months, this moment was here, and I was staring at my beautiful daughter face-to-face. It was the most beautiful face I had ever seen in my life, she was absolutely perfect! I just sat there and cried while I stared at her, and Ryan was completely speechless, which is the first time I had ever witnessed that happening. Dr. Fried asked me what her name was, and with tears streaming down my face, I told her, “Kinsie Kay Matthews.”

After a few minutes, they took Kinsie to weigh and measure her. Ryan went with her to watch and he just stood there and cried, also not a common thing for him! My baby girl was 6 pounds and 10 ounces, and 21 inches long. Such a tiny little thing! They wrapped her up and gave her to Ryan, and he brought her over to me. We both just stared at her and admired our beautiful daughter. It was such an amazing moment, the first time we were together as a family of three. I had never felt that kind of love until that moment. I was overwhelmed with joy and love, and couldn’t remember what life was like before this beautiful angel entered our lives.

After the nurse cleaned me up, the rest of our families came in to see our new addition. Everyone took turns holding and admiring our sweet baby, and everyone was immediately in love with her. Even Briggs was excited to meet his new cousin. We spent the next few hours just taking in the moment and gazing at the gorgeous baby girl that we created. Although it was a long and exhausting day, it was by far the best day of my life. I thank the Lord every day not only because he blessed us with this beautiful little miracle, but that my husband and our families got to be with me through all of it. This was proof that God’s timing really is perfect and that we should always have faith that He will provide!


My last day of work…I went into labor that night. I was a whale!


Getting some rest while we waited.

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The moment I met my daughter…you can’t fake that kind of emotion!


Ryan admiring his baby girl.

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Our new family of three.


Unexplainable love.


Grandpa and Grandma Vargas


Grandpa and Grandma Matthews


Briggs meeting his baby cousin.


Uncle Nate and Aunt Megan


Our sweet baby girl

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Getting ready to go home

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