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Peachtree City, Gerogia, 30269






Katherine Romrell

Leonardo Atlas Romrell • Born June 20th at 7:40am • 8lbs/ 1oz/ 20 Inches Long
Labored for 28 hours + a C-Section.

We are officially parents!
I am so excited to share Leo's birth story with you and answer all your questions! CAUTION:
I am not sure what counts as TMI on labor & delivery subject, so just know, you might run into some TMI! 

This whole day started on Father's Day!
I was exactly 39 weeks and it was 3am ish and I woke up because my water broke! I ran to the bathroom and I wasn't sure if it was my water or pee but after it happened again within a couple of seconds, I just knew it was my water. I ran back into our room, and I said to Chris, "Babe my water broke" and though he was dead asleep, this woke him right up and he asked "Really?!" and I was like "Yup" ! We both started giggling frantically! We were so excited!

In my prenatal class, our coach suggested that once you go into labor, to labor as much as you can at home cause your first time could take anywhere from 12-18 hours or more and it is 100 times more comfortable and faster to labor at home. In this case, if your water breaks, you are supposed to head to the hospital right away. My coach also suggested to have a somewhat light meal, cause once you are admitted, they don't let you eat. You CAN'T eat meanwhile you are putting your BODY THROUGH THE WORST STRESS OF LIFE! INSANE! ....So I had cereal before we left to the hospital. I wish I would have had a burger!

We got to the hospital at about 5am and I had maybe 3 contractions on the way there. Once I was admitted, I stopped having contractions and was only a finger tip dilated. At around 7am, my doctor came in and put me on pitocin because I was literally not having any contractions  and had only progressed to 1cm dilated.  The pitocin definitely gave me contractions!!!! I labored as much as I could and for several hours without an epidural. I tried to sleep a little and even had a warm bath provided in my labor room.  This made the pain a bit more bearable. Once my contractions were 3 minutes apart, my doctor came in again and asked me why in the world I would not take an epidural?!// In my prenatal class, we learned that an epidural would slow down labor and since I was already moving at the speed of a turtle, I didn't want to delay it even more.// My doctor explained that, it would only delay it if I was progressing on my own but I wasn't. So I was like.... "What are we waiting for? Bring me that epidural!" After the epidural, I was able to get real sleep and then it was all a waiting game from there! Our parents and siblings filtered in and out the whole day. It was really nice to have them keep us company and keep us distracted.

At around midnight, I had dilated to a 4. It only took 21 hours and the maximum dose of pitocin! TWICE!  At around 3 am the next morning, I had dilated to a 6 and started getting a fever. So the nurses did everything they could to bring my fever down. I stayed at a 6 for 4 more hours ...So 27 hours after my water broke. At around 7am, my doctor came in the room again and said it was birthday time and that a C-section was the way to go. They said they would come back for me in an hour but they came back in 20 minutes and prepped me immediately. 

I was DEVASTATED! I started crying! I was way crushed. This was not the way I pictured one of the biggest days of my life and No amount of Grey's Anatomy binge-watching prepared me for this turn of events. I wanted to experience vaginal birth more than anything and more than anything I am scared of surgeries.

They took me in the OR and as soon as we entered the OR I started having a panic attack so they put me on oxygen. Chris came in the room shortly after and right as they took the baby out. Somehow the nurses thought he was in the room until I asked, "Where is my husband?" and then someone ran out to get him. Close call !!! 

Once they took Leo out, the doctor showed me Leo! I will never ever forget the first time I saw that cute little face and those big dark blue eyes! He was scrunched up like newborns do, his head tucked in the doctor's chest, his little hands already in his mouth, and he was looking up from the side and I saw his beautiful face and his beautiful eyes. Just thinking about it now makes me tear up! They wrapped him up and put him in my arms. The whole time I was holding him I kept thinking;
                   "We made you, you are ours"! 

I was surprised at how big Leo was! And even though Leo was born through C-section, he had a cone head! The doctor said that Leo was obviously in the birth canal for a very long time, and his size is what made me stopped dilating! Doc said, "By the size of you vurses the size of your baby, there was no way he was going to come out any other way"! 

Unfortunately, I couldn't hold him for long because I started shaking uncontrollably from head to toe. The anesthesiology informed me that he would give me morphine and that It would make me shake a little but my body lost control. Soon the shaking made EVERY MUSCLE in my body hurt! Chris was trying to comfort me by kissing me but I kept telling him to just hold me really tight and use his body weight to hold me down so that I could stop shaking. Im pretty sure that at one point I yelled at a nurse to let me have water cause I was so dehydrated, it felt like I was choking. This made me go into panic mode again and started hyper-ventilating so they had to put me on oxygen again. The nurse gave me a 3rd set of drugs for the shaking and then I was out. I don't remember much after, just being transferred to the Mother & Baby recovery room! 

Once we were in the Mom & Baby wing, the chaos slowed down a bit. We stayed in the hospital for a week because I got a really bad cold which delayed all the milestones of progression my doctor wanted to see before he sent us home.  At one point, I weighted more than during pregnancy cause I had to have an IV on me the whole time.  

We are still a work in progress here and recovery has been.... not what I expected. But we are so so so incredibly in love with our little boy and we feel so changed. Having a baby introduces you to a new kind of love and I don't care to know what life without him would be like. We are so blessed with Leo and so thankful with everyone's love and support!

PS: Shout out to my sister-in-law, Rachel! She was our photographer and she stuck with us the whole time and even slept in a chair to make sure she would capture one of the most important days of our lives! I love her!



Where did you deliver?
American Fork Hospital. I definitely recommend this hospital if it's close to you! Such great staff and service!

Were you able to snack?
Kind of. I was able to have water, broth, light soda, juice, jello, and Italian Ice. And it doesn't matter how much you try to bribe the nurses, they wont give you real food.

What does water breaking feel like?
It literally feels like water is coming out. It does not come out the same place from where you urinate. It comes out from where your monthly comes out of. At the end of my pregnancy, I wondered a couple of times if my water had been leaking or breaking. Know that if you are wondering, it's probably not it, cause once it happens, you will have no doubt. Also, know that only 1 in 10 women experience their water break on their own. It's not a rule like what you see in movies. 

What do contractions feel like?
They feel like my period, only timed, but I have endomitriosis.

Are contractions and endomitriosis cramps really similar?
Yes. For me they absolutely were. The only difference was that during labor, the cramp/contractions were closer together and non-stop. 

Did you feel anything with an epidural? Nope. My legs went absolutely numb and I could feel pressure when I had a contraction but no pain. It wasn't till the very end that the epidural started to loose its effect, but I was on it for almost a whole day so it's to be expected that the epidural starts to loose effect no matter how many times you click that little button. 

Did you feel anything during the C-section?
I felt lots of pressure and I felt things being moved around, but you do not feel pain. 

How much weight did you gain?
I started at 112 lbs.  
The last week of pregnancy ( Week 39) I weighted 156 lbs. 
During my postpartum stay at the hospital, I went up to 162 lbs because of a weeks worth of IV fluids.  So 44-50 lbs!
3 weeks postpartum, I weigh 131 lbs.  

Did you get stretch marks?
Luckily I did not. I used Vaseline Coco Butter Lotion AND Coconut oil: Twice a day-Religiously-Throughout my entire pregnancy-From beginning to end. 

How big is your scar?
Big enough to make me cry. It really isn't big and it's super low. I would have to be wearing a toddler size-low ridding bikini for it to show, but I've never even had stitches and even though my incision was closed with surgical glue,  the look of it terrifies me!

What did you end up packing in your hospital bag?
I am writing a whole blog post on this just for you ;)