Chloe Anne | Birth Story

One of my favorite things to document and write about are my children's birth stories (you can read Micah's birth story here and Hannah's birth story here). Giving birth is such a miraculous, euphoric experience. Each one, so very special and unique. The anticipation at the end of pregnancy is unreal - every twinge begs the question, "Is this IT?!" 

Until one day, it is.

Chloe's birth story, for me, begins on Friday morning, December 1st. It was my 37 week doctor appointment and my first "cervical check" to see how my body was progressing. After two pregnancies with early dilation, I wasn't surprised to hear the doctor say that I was already 3-4cm and 75% effaced! I was surprised to hear her say that I needed to be at the hospital within 30 minutes of the next contraction I had. My other two labors were very short, 5 hours with Micah and 3 hours with Hannah, so they didn't want me to risk having this baby at home or in the car. I personally know of several super moms that have done this - but I wasn't sure I wanted to be one of them!

After I walked out of that appointment, Josh and I started getting everything prepared and ready to rush to the hospital at a moment's notice. We had friends on call to help take care of Micah and Hannah. And since everything in Jacksonville is about a 20 minute drive, Josh didn't want to risk being too far away from me and never left my side. 

I started having definite signs of impending labor after my appointment. I know those cervical checks can "aggravate" things a little, so I expected them to go away by the next day. But all weekend long, the signs kept pointing to labor coming soon. I tried to stay busy to keep my mind occupied - and that probably progressed things a little more.

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On Monday, December 4th, I woke up around 1am with mild cramping. It was the same feeling I had when I went into labor naturally with Hannah (I was induced with Micah) and I remember thinking, "This could be it." After looking at the clock and realizing it was only 1am, I tried to go back to sleep. While laying there, I began to feel consistent contractions. I got out my handy, little contraction timer app - and was shocked when I realized they were only 1-2 minutes apart! My head started spinning with thoughts of what the doctor had said at my last appointment. 

Do I head to the hospital now?! I'm not in too much pain yet. Surely, I still have time. These contractions will have to get a lot worse before I am walking into that hospital!

I was torn between knowing that I wasn't yet in active labor, but not knowing when and how fast active labor would come. I laid there for about two hours. No sleep. Just waiting for the really painful contractions to hit. They were uncomfortable and I knew it was more than Braxton Hicks, so I decided to call our children's ministry leader, Sarah, who offered to come any time of the night to watch the kids. I called her around 2:30am and asked if she wouldn't mind coming to sleep on the couch just in case this turned into the real thing. Thankfully, she answered and was gracious enough to come right away! I felt better knowing she was there, and told her to get some rest and we would just wait to see what happened.

Now, even though this is my third baby - when it comes to labor, it is so unpredictable that you really don't feel like you can trust your own instincts! So, I turned to Google. I laid there, contractions still coming, and searched, "How long til active labor begins after consistent contractions?" As it turns out, Google doesn't have a definite answer on this either. But I did read a few "my contractions weren't very painful and then I was ready to push 10 minutes later!" stories that scared me enough to wake up Josh as soon as one, semi-painful, stronger contraction hit!

At 4:30am, we were at the hospital. I was honestly prepared for them to check me and send me home, since I still wasn't in too much pain. To my surprise, the nurse said, "You are 4-5cm and 90%... yes girl, you are having this baby TODAY." It was a relief to hear her say!

Throughout my entire pregnancy, I saw close to eight different doctors at my all-female OBGYN practice. They were all nice, but one stood out to me as my favorite. I guess I put her down as my "preferred doctor" at one of my appointments, because the nurse told me, "Guess what? Looks like your preferred doctor is about to switch over and be the on-call doctor at shift change!" I knew after she said that, that this was the right day to have Chloe. It was one of those confirmation moments that only the Lord can give you peace in. 

They were monitoring my contractions, and I was still having them every two minutes or so. While we waited for the doctor to come and check on my progress, I asked if I could walk the halls and try to pick up the intensity of the contractions a little. Josh and I walked for about 45 minutes with little change. I went back to our room and we turned on the Hillsong Christmas album, The Peace Project (one of my favorites this season!), and waited for the doctor to arrive. When she came, she said that my water was cushioning the contractions and that she could break my water to get things moving. She also said that if I was considering an epidural I would need to go ahead and get one, since things would intensify quickly after that.

I have always had such positive experiences with the epidural relaxing my body and helping me progress quickly, so I went ahead with it. Turns out, this epidural was my favorite so far! I had full control of my legs and could feel every contraction that came - just as I had been before they broke my water. The nurse told me that this meant it was a "good epidural," since I would still have the ability to feel when and where to push.  

After the epidural, they broke my water and gave me a low dosage of pitocin to kick my body into full gear. A couple of peaceful hours later, and Chloe was ready to meet us! 

I had texted my sister earlier to let her know we were at the hospital and had the spontaneous idea to ask her if she'd like to be in the room when Chloe was born! She got there just as I was about ready to push. My sister and I were only 7 weeks apart during our pregnancies and she had planned on having an all-natural birth, but found out at 39 weeks that her little girl was breech and would need to be delivered via c-section. My sister has always been fascinated with things that most people can't stomach to watch, so I knew she'd be able to handle it. It was so special to have her there and she was also able to capture some sweet photos for us! 

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At 2:18pm, Chloe Anne Robinson was born. 7lbs 14oz and 19in long. She was our tiniest baby yet, but came out with the most hair! She was also covered in vernix, which let me know she was probably still a little early. But thankfully, was completely healthy and had no issues at birth!

As I was being wheeled out of the hospital, the nurse asked if we planned on having any more children (yes, she did). And the truth is, we don't know. It makes me sad to think of never being pregnant, giving birth and meeting a sweet new soul again. So I never feel right completely shutting that door. And if you know our story, you know that we had some trouble getting pregnant the first time and it's a privilege I never take for granted. 

All I can say for sure, is every child is a gift. And nothing else compares to these smiles, these snuggles, these tear-your-heart-out moments of witnessing life on life happen before your eyes. In five years, we have been blessed with three children. I never could have imagined or planned this for myself.

But God knew.
He knew each one by name.
And I am so honored to be called their mama.

merry + bright

Each year, I find myself getting more and more excited about celebrating the holidays with my children! This will be our sixth Christmas with Micah, our fourth with Hannah and, hoping she comes on time, our very first with Chloe! It almost doesn't seem real that I'll be a mom of three soon. Life seems to speed by as soon as children come into the picture, and I find myself reminding single friends and couples of that all the time (I'm definitely going to be that grandma!)

But I also believe the sentiment, "time flies when you're having fun!" And if there's one thing we try and do everyday - it's have a little bit of FUN! (in-between the meltdowns and chaos, of course)

This year, Micah and Hannah have been more eager than ever to help "decorate." And since I'm at that point in pregnancy when bending over and lifting is getting harder and harder, I've been more than happy to hand over the reigns! We added a little "blue" to our tree this year to help tie it in with the rest of our home, and today we finished putting the last touches around the house.

Pictured: Hannah giving out directions on who was going to do "what," Micah building a train track around the tree and both of them hug-attacking Heidi (our dog) when it was all said and done.

Not Pictured: a bruised chin while pretending to "sled" down the hallway, stepping in dog poo while barefoot in the backyard, and a 37-week-pregnant mama cleaning up after all of it. You're welcome.

35 weeks | Chloe Anne

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Well, here we are in the final month of pregnancy and I am FINALLY able to sit down and give a little update on our sweet Chloe Anne! As I was preparing to write this blog, I went back and read some of my previous pregnancy updates with Micah and Hannah. I used to update so often back then! Time is a funny thing. You never seem to realize how much of it you have, until you realize you don't have enough. I used to think I was busy back then. And I was, just in different ways. Now, blogging is not quite as much a priority as it used to be - but I still try and make time to do it, because of the value I find in remembering the details. 

As I was reading Micah's 37 week update and Hannah's 35 week update - this pregnancy is definitely aligning somewhere in-between the two. I am not as swollen or uncomfortable as I was with Micah, but definitely more swollen and uncomfortable than I was with Hannah! I think the time of year has a lot to do with it - Micah was born in the middle of the heat of summer and Hannah in the spring following a cooler winter. All of them are Florida babies, so there is just no avoiding the heat. But I have definitely been thankful for some cooler days lately. :)

This week was also special, because we took some maternity photos! I will share below some of my favorites. We were blessed to have the sweet and special Sarah Lacognata come take them for us again! She always does a great job. And as a photographer, I have a hard time releasing control to someone - but she is truly talented and our kids love her so much that we just pretend like we're all hanging out in the woods and it makes the process a lot easier. ;)  

Previous pregnancy updates: 20 weeks | 13 weeks

HOW FAR ALONG:


35 weeks, 5 days based on original due date of December 17th! However, Chloe has been measuring a week and half ahead (just like her big sis!) pretty consistently on ultrasounds, so I have a feeling that she may come earlier than her due date (just like her big sis!). Wishful thinking? Maybe so. Because you just never know with babies! :)

SIZE OF BABY: 


The last ultrasound I had at 30 weeks said she was measuring 3.5lbs. And based on the average weight gain of .5lb a week, that would put Chloe around 6lbs right now! She's looking to be on her way to catch up to her siblings at 8.1lbs (Micah) and 8.5lbs (Hannah). 

TOTAL WEIGHT GAIN: 


+27lbs according to the doctor. But I'm still counting the extra 5-10lbs I put on as soon as I got that positive pregnancy test! And with Thanksgiving coming next week, I think I'm just going to stop counting all together. Ha! ;)

MATERNITY CLOTHES: 


Leggings and t-shirts are what I pretty much live in! I still wear maternity tops and dresses when I need to look a little more put-together, but the maternity jeans are getting really uncomfortable. My one pair of hole-y maternity jeans have a bigger hole than I think was intended. Hahaha.

GENDER: 

All four (or five?) ultrasounds have confirmed that she is indeed still a girl! We had to have a few extra ultrasounds because of a placenta-issue that has been corrected and also, checking on her heart development because of big brother's history. I love getting peeks at her cute face, but it still doesn't take away the anticipation of finally being able to hold her in my arms soon!

MOVEMENT: 

She moves ALL the time and let's me know she is quite low, low, LOW in my pelvis. 

SLEEP:  

Sleep is getting more and more uncomfortable these days. Rolling over is the equivalent of a middle of the night feeding at this point - getting up to pee, adjusting pillows, switching sides then repeating it all again in a couple hours. I think I'll actually enjoy the middle of the night feedings/snuggles a little more though. ;)
 

WHAT I MISS: 

I always appreciate pregnancy for the miracle it is, so I try not to dwell on what I miss too much! But since this is a question, I do want to answer honestly. As a mom of two already, I miss picking up my other babies and being fully-functional. I feel like this pregnancy has been the hardest on my body - and already having two that are so active, I just want to be able to keep up! I try to remind myself that moms have been doing this for years, and have had children even closer together, etc. etc. Our bodies are built for this! And my doctors have assured me that everything I'm feeling is completely normal for a third pregnancy. 
 

CRAVINGS: 

Most of this pregnancy I have craved spicy foods. Like, straight up, jalapeños. And my heartburn hasn't been that bad, surprisingly! But now that I am running out of room, I don't want to risk it too much. So I've cut back on the spicy foods and have really been trying to eat lighter in general. I am also wanting ICE water (but mostly the ice) all. day. long.
 

SYMPTOMS: 

I have already had some early labor signs and symptoms, which always gets me excited that things are progressing! But I have been trying to take it easier, because I definitely want to make it to full term next week! 
 

BEST MOMENT THIS WEEK: 

Taking maternity photos with my family! I am so thankful that my sweet friend, Sarah, drove up and took these for us! It was an overcast and dreary day, so we ended up going out around 3pm to hopefully catch some of whatever daylight we could. I actually really love the "moody" feel we got because of it. Wearing black for maternity photos was not what I had originally planned, but I'm so thankful for how these turned out!