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.

early_may_37 early_may_47

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!
  • early_may_34

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!

early_may_49 brax_4brax_12

Stay tuned for Brax’s full birth story soon!

Kinsie’s Newborn Photo Session

I am so lucky that my sister, Krista, offered to do our maternity photos AND Kinsie’s newborn photos. She has done such an amazing job on all of them! She also took pictures of our birth experience, which as you saw in my previous post, are amazing as well! Krista is 35 weeks pregnant with her second child, is in the process of moving into a new house, and has an almost 2 year old son, so needless to say, she has been VERY busy…yet she still made the time to take these pictures for us, and did so with a smile and a loving heart! ┬áTHANK YOU Krista for being so wonderful and helping me with so much throughout my pregnancy and as a new mom!

Although newborn pictures look so sweet and peaceful, they are usually much more stressful to actually take! Between trying to keep them asleep and happy, maneuvering them to the positions you want, and having them pee or poop on the blankets and baskets, it is quite a task! During our photo session, Kinsie mainly just wanted her pacifier the entire time and would wake up and get mad if we tried to take it from her. She also has this obsession with putting her hands on her face, so we had to hold her hands down quite a bit. Other than that, she was a winner! Here are her newborn photos…

Kinsie Newborn-1

Cousin Briggs picking out a good book to read to his baby Kinsie

Kinsie Newborn-5 Kinsie Newborn-6 Kinsie Newborn-7

Admiring his baby bousin

Kinsie Newborn-9 Kinsie Newborn-11 Kinsie Newborn-12 Kinsie Newborn-13 Kinsie Newborn-14 Kinsie Newborn-15 Kinsie Newborn-18 Kinsie Newborn-20 Kinsie Newborn-23

Kinsie Newborn-24

Kinsie Newborn-25 Kinsie Newborn-26 Kinsie Newborn-28 Kinsie Newborn-30

Kinsie Newborn-31

Kinsie Newborn-35 Kinsie Newborn-37

Kinsie Newborn-40 Kinsie Newborn-41 Kinsie Newborn-42 Kinsie Newborn-44 Kinsie Newborn-46 Kinsie Newborn-47Kinsie Newborn-49