Our sweet Keilah Faith made her way into the world and we couldn’t be any more in love with her. I’m sharing all about her first week of life, her birth, her name, how my other kids are adjusting and how I’m feeling!
Our sweet Keilah Faith made her way into the world on her due date (February 4th), and we couldn’t be any more in love with her. I’m excited to share all about her first week of life, and give you all the scoop on her birth, her name, how my other kids are adjusting and how I’m feeling!
Birth Story: Worth the wait
This sweet baby girl was born exactly on her due date! Marking the longest pregnancy I have had to date. I can’t say I enjoyed the waiting while I was having to do it…but it turned out to be my best labor and recovery yet. My mom had been here for almost a week already and I was feeling antsy about Keilah being born because I wanted plenty of time with her help after our baby’s arrival.
I never thought I would still be pregnant on Super Bowl Sunday (the day before my due date). I never thought I’d be going to church that Sunday. I always expected I’d be snuggling a sweet newborn and trying to steal at much sleep as possible. Saturday night as we were putting the kids to bed Bethany even prayed, “Dear God, please let mommy go into labor tonight so she doesn’t have to go to church tomorrow.” LOL!! Ritch and I cracked up because she was asking God to get me out of going to church! Too funny.
That week there were two times when I was almost certain I was in labor. But after contracting pretty steadily for a few hours the contractions let up and I realized it wasn’t the real thing. I was so disappointed but glad that I didn’t try to go to the hospital or get ready for Keilah’s arrival just yet.
Well the Super Bowl came and went, and I had a little (ok pretty massive) meltdown about making chili for dinner – which involved throwing a kitchen utensil after burning my arm, then some deep, uncontrollable sobbing on the bathroom floor. I was just so ready to have this baby I couldn’t stand it.
I had been contracting that day but not in a steady pattern with no increase in intensity. I went to bed pretty certain I’d wake up on Monday to another normal day, still pregnant, and head into my 40 week doctor’s appointment (something I had never made it to before).
We went to bed early and I woke up around at 11:45 to a contraction and realized my water had broken. I tapped Ritch and said, “My water broke, it’s time to go.” With my first three babies I went from broken water to holding them in my arms all within an hour, so I knew we didn’t have time to wait.
We rushed out the door and in the car I could tell I was very much in labor. My contractions started at 5 minutes apart and after 10 minutes in the car they were coming in steady in 2-3 minute increments. We made it to the hospital by 12:10 and I told the nurses at the front desk that I was pretty sure my labor would be very fast, so they admitted me right away and started the check-in process.
I was a 5 when they checked me, which was very encouraging to me because with broken water and 5 cm dilated I knew this baby would be here soon (I went from a 5-10 in 45 minutes with my first three).
The nurse asked me all the necessary questions which I actually liked because it distracted me from the contractions. Ritch and I laughed a lot together as he pretended HE was in pain because I was squeezing his hand. LOL I am so grateful to have an amazing husband and partner in Ritch. He always knows how to lighten the mood without making light of a situation. He is so encouraging especially during labor.
Since I was in transition pretty much my entire labor, my body shook a lot this time around, which was probably the most tiring part of the process for me. But as things started picking up the on call doctor from my practice came into the room. I was so excited because she delivered Naomi, and if I couldn’t have my own OB (who I absolutely 1000% adore in every way) then I was grateful it was her.
At one point the nurse said to me, “Man your uterus knows what to do. Seriously, if you were on Pitocin I would turn it off right now that’s how much you’re contracting.” I laughed and was grateful my body was doing exactly what it needed to to bring our baby girl into this world.
Well, once I started feeling like pushing I told the nurse and they said the doctor just went into another room where there was an unmedicated birth going on as well but that patient was high risk. The other backup doctor was in the middle of a c-section, so the resident was called into my room. I initially protested and said I wanted a doctor, but they said she was the only one available for the birth, and the baby was coming now.
I apologized to the resident (she was about to have my whole world in her hands) and said that I was grateful she was there and that I was ready for her to check me. Sure enough I was a 10 and it was go time. The contractions actually slowed down at this point. I think it happens so that we get enough rest time between pushing contractions to gather our strength and give it another go. It was frustrating waiting for the right contraction, but when it came we all knew it and it and Keilah started making her entrance!
Once her head came out her shoulder got stuck and I heard the whole room getting really serious telling me to push (which I never stopped doing LOL, but their tone and volume made me realized I had to give it literally everything I had). I even heard the nurse call for backup over the intercom and they adjusted the delivery table so my head was lower than my feet. According to Ritch, one nurse came over and pushed on the outside of my stomach which made Keilah’s shoulder pop out and along with it, the rest of her. The whole thing lasted for maybe 15 seconds, but it was something I’ll remember for sure.
So there she was, at 2:06 AM…less than two hours after arriving at the hospital! The crazy thing is, the baby in the room next door was born at exactly the same time. My OB came to see me the next day and said that in their entire 15 years that their practice has been in operation that has never happened before!
They put her directly on my chest and it took her a while to cry. But once she did it was the best sound ever. Ritch clipped the cord and they let me just snuggle and nurse my sweet baby girl for almost an hour as they took care of me and then gave us alone time to get to know her. This time I only needed one stitch, which was the least I have ever torn eve though she was my biggest baby, weighing in at 8 lbs 4 oz!
I seriously couldn’t imagine a better birthing experience than this. It was so fast and natural and beautiful I am so grateful for all of it that it was definitely worth waiting for.
We spent one night in the hospital, and headed home at lunchtime the next day. We were grateful to get home to our other kids and to bring Keilah into our family.
Her Name: Keilah Faith
Keilah (pronounced KAY-luh) means “strong fortress” in Hebrew. I found this name one night when I was reading the bible with the kids. It was a rare night when Ritch wasn’t home for bedtime, and Bethany was reading the bible story from 1 Samuel 23 when she got to the word “Keilah,” which is a city outside of Judah, and asked me how to pronounce it. I guessed “Kay-LUH” or “K-eye-LUH”.
This was before we knew if we were having a boy or a girl, but I texted Ritch and asked what he thought of Keilah as a girls’ name. We both agreed we liked it (and we were pretty much fresh out of girls’ names by #4) and decided that if she was a girl that we’d name her Keilah! It was so great having the stress of picking a name off of our minds, and when we did find out she was a girl it made it so much better knowing we knew her name (because I cried countless tears for months over naming Mara LOL)! All we weren’t sure about was how we would pronounce the name.
I loved the idea of naming her Kay-LUH because there is a special person in my life whose name is Kayla and I liked the idea of naming her the same name with a different spelling. So even though up until a couple days before she was born we talked about using the pronunciation “K-eye-LUH” I always knew deep down she was a Kay-LUH. 😉
I also love that Keilah is a city, and so is Bethany. Meaning our first and last baby girls both have Hebrew city names. Choosing her middle name was easy, since our other three girls’ middle names are Joy, Grace, and Hope, we knew we wanted Keilah’s to be Faith. Plus I love the idea of her being a “Strong Fortress of Faith.” Our prayer for her is that she is strong and steadfast in her faith in the Lord all the days of her life.
Ritch and I keep referring to Keilah as our angel baby! She is seriously so amazing I can’t even tell you. She only cries when she’s hungry at night and needs to wake me up, and that’s it. She is so calm when her siblings hold her and loves looking around and exploring her surroundings.
We think Keilah is the most like Bethany was as a baby. Just happy to go with the flow and be held by whoever whenever. I’m so grateful for such a sweet baby!
You’d think that by baby #5 we would have experienced it all in the baby department. But we had two new experiences with Keilah that we didn’t have with our other kids.
- Spitting up amniotic fluid. Ok moms this was the scariest experience I have had with a newborn. Later, on the morning she was born, Keilah spit up a ton of liquid and couldn’t breathe. We’re talking she wasn’t crying, couldn’t get air and started turning purple. I freaked out, we pushed the call button and yelled for a nurse saying ,”My baby can’t breathe!” They rushed in and sucked fluid out of her nose/mouth and she gasped for air. But that was the longest, scariest moment. Then throughout the next two days she would have episodes of spitting up fluid, which they told me was normal. We just used the blue bulb sucker to get the fluid out of her mouth and watched her really carefully.
- Lip/tongue tie. Also for the first time ever breastfeeding was extremely painful for me. If this was my first baby I might have thought it was normal, but since it’s not my first rodeo I knew something was off. A lactation consultant told me she had a lip/tongue tie which was causing the pain. We took Keilah to a pediatric dentist to get it revised and while nursing is definitely better now, I am still on the fence about if it was the best choice. She is acting fine and nursing well, but I feel so bad…like I hurt my baby girl. I think I would definitely fix the lip tie again, but her tongue looks so painful and hurt that I would likely wait to fix it until she was older.
Our other kids
Every morning for the last week or so of this pregnancy, Bethany would come up the stairs and exclaim, “Aw man you’re still here!” Because me being here in the morning meant her baby sister didn’t come! So needless to say the day she arrived they were all SO excited.
My mom took a video of them singing happy birthday to Keliah, and we Facetimed them as soon as we could that morning. We told them they could come visit after lunch, and they asked my mom to eat lunch before 11 AM so that they could finish and get out the door! LOL!
When they came to meet her it was the sweetest thing. Mara really wasn’t sure what was going on. She just kept saying “Baby.” They all got a turn holding her and it was so sweet watching them embrace their new baby sister. Here are a bunch of photos of them getting to meet her!
We told Naomi she could be the first kid to get to hold Keilah. Because let’s face it she is #3 out of 5 kids, and will likely suffer from middle child syndrome no matter how much love we give her. So we wanted her to feel extra special and get to be the first to hold her new little sister!
Since we brought Keilah home Naomi is the second least interested in her, but still asks to hold her every day. She seems pretty unaffected by the changes a new baby has brought…so far.
Gabe is the sweetest big brother. He always asks to hold her and wants a “really long turn.” He talks so sweet to Keilah and is so gentle. Unfortunately for him, he had a cold her first few days home from the hospital, so he couldn’t hold her as much as he’d like. But he’s feeling better now and will get to make up for lost time.
As expected, Bethany is a total rockstar of a big sister. It’s so amazing having an 8 year old who can actually help! I trust her to hold Keilah while I am showering, making lunch, etc. etc. She wants to hold her all the time and loves her so much. I have to remind her to not forget about Mara, and that Mara still needs her big sister too.
Oh Mara. I don’t think she’s as big of a fan of having another baby around. But I totally expected that. She has been acting out quite a bit, but she still loves holding the baby (for a short time).
I’m trying to be intentional to still give Mara all the snuggles she got before Keilah was born. It will be much harder once my mom leaves, but I don’t want her to feel replaced!
How I’m feeling
Physically I am feeling pretty good. Since I only had one stitch recovery has been really great this time around. I still make sure to soak in hot water once a day (read this Postpartum post for all my tips for thriving after having a baby).
Emotionally is another story. I’m glad my mom was here to help wrangle the other kids for two weeks (before and after birth). I have unashamedly spent most of my days snuggling my baby. But I am super nervous about handling 5 kids all by myself.
I’m grateful my husband has a flexible schedule and can work from home so I can slowly transition to living life without him around and being responsible for five sweet kids solo. I am in the phase postpartum where I cry a LOT, feel tried and honestly a little lonely! Ritch is usually taking care of the other four kids and I haven’t left the house since Keilah was born, and I’m starting to miss adult conversation!
Things I’m loving postpartum:
Again, head to this post about Thriving Postpartum for all my thoughts and experiences about enjoying the newborn phase….because mommas it’s meant to be enjoyed, not just survived! But here are a few things I absolutely couldn’t live without after having a baby:
- Belly Bandit. I mentioned this so many times, but I literally am in love with the belly bandit. I have worn it immediately after delivery with all five of my kids, and rarely take it off for the first month postpartum…including sleeping. It helps with the painful postpartum nursing contractions, gives great back support, and helps hold everything nice and tight after delivery.
- PRUNES. Eat them. You will thank me later. 😉
- Nursing Bras. I live in these nursing bras postpartum for a week or two. And I sleep in them for the entire time I am nursing. I recommend sizing up so they’re not too tight or restricting!
Here we are as a family of 7!
“Be at rest one more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” Psalm 116:7
Well that’s all she wrote (I think)! Please let me know below if you have any questions I didn’t address in this post!
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