Getting pregnant with Cash took a little longer than we were used to. We knew last summer that we were ready for another little baby, but it didn’t happen immediately. We had taken a pregnancy test together on our last vacation of the summer and got a negative, so the next pregnancy test I took, I decided to take alone. I had plans with a friend that day and knew I couldn’t go another day without knowing and I couldn’t wait for McKay to get home either. So I took the test and tried not to look at at and mentally prepare myself for the negative. I think after about twenty seconds I looked, and the word “pregnant” was already faintly appearing. It didn’t feel real. I just cried alone in my bathroom and said prayer after prayer of gratitude. When McKay got home from work that day and I told him, I could tell he was a little bummed that I hadn’t waited for him. This was the first “big” thing that I had done alone, without telling him. But those minutes in the bathroom when I was completely alone are some of the most sacred and special I have ever had. From that moment, I felt like Cash and I had a private and special connection. Those very first minutes with my baby boy were ones I will never forget.
My pregnancy went fast. It seems like it was last week that I was hanging pictures from our ultrasound on the fridge, and they are still there! The pregnancy test is still in the kitchen drawer too.. haha. But everything just flew! I wasn’t as sick this time. Actually, I don’t think I ever really threw up like real puke. My mom made dinners a few times and I was super super tired. But by the time I was 38 weeks, I couldn’t believe I was there already. At 37 weeks I had taken a test and tested positive for Group B Strep. It was the first “not normal” thing that had happened to me during a pregnancy, so I was worried. And of course, I had gone home and googled it, so I was really worried. I knew I needed four hours of antibiotics during labor and I was worried I wouldn’t get there in time. Jonah came really fast and I thought that this baby would probably be faster.
The Friday night before Cash was born, I was having the pressure contractions about every seven minutes. It felt like what I felt with Jonah, so we decided to just go to the hospital to be safe. We brought Jax and Jonah because I knew that whatever happened would take a while, but I kind of thought they would have me stay. They checked me and I was at a three, 70% effaced. The nurse had me walk for an hour and after no progression, sent me home. It was kind of bittersweet. I wanted my baby so bad, but we had left the house a total DISASTER. There was stuff everywhere! We had gotten a new microwave and so our old was was like on the floor but we hadn’t installed a new one. There were dishes in the sink and I hadn’t really packed a hospital bag- just thrown a bunch of stuff in a garbage bag! I just wanted to be more ready. So we went home, and spent that Saturday getting everything done. We went to IKEA and got a dresser, and went on a date to Azul. It was the perfect getting-ready-for-our-baby Saturday!
That night we went to sleep, thinking the next morning we would be going to Tanner’s mission farewell. My contractions had been the irregular pressure contractions, so I was kind of thinking I would make it to my Tuesday appointment, then I would be admitted that day. But in the middle of the night (around 3am) I woke up with a painful contraction. I didn’t completely recognize what it was at first. I walked to the bathroom and back to our bed a couple times, and then at about 3:30 decided to just start recording my contractions. I got out my phone as I was lying next to sleeping McKay, and typed out “3:31.” After that, they were anywhere from 7-14 minutes apart, but they were painful. After about an hour, I was in the bathroom with the light on, and I think that kind of woke up McKay, then Jonah came into our room. I told McKay what was going on, and he probably said something like “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!” And I told him if I had one more, I was calling my mom to come stay with the boys. Then I had another one and I think still didn’t call her. I said the same thing again, and when I had another one, I called her! She was over within about two minutes (maybe one!) and we left for the hospital.
When we had gone Friday night I was rushing McKay the entire time. I made him illegally pass a car on the boulevard and drop me off at the front and park by himself- but this time I didn’t rush. I felt happy and excited and really calm, but this time it felt right. This time it felt like we were going to have a baby! I was still worried about the four hours of antibiotics. McKay had actually given me a blessing the week before because I had been so worried and in the blessing told me to trust doctors and family. I had talked to Bishop Lindstrom and my doctor, Dr. Dau. Dr. Sharmaud even called me from Utah. All of them telling me there was nothing to worry about. But I was still pretty worried.
They got me checked into triage and in a bed fast. The nurse that took me back was a little…different. I was kind of worried and McKay and I kind of looked at each other like uhh… but I tried to just trust her, UNTIL she talked to me about triage stories and her neice and other random stuff that you don’t care AT ALL about when you are in labor and took a good 20 minutes (plus the time that it took her to put on and re-put on her glove) to check me. Finally she did, and she looked me right in the face and goes “OH WOW. THE BABY’S HEAD IS RIGHT THERE. YOU ARE AT AN 8 TO A 9.” And at that point I just calmly just exhaled and said, okay, can I have my epidural now please? At that point, I was worried about the pain, but I was mostly worried because I knew that if I didn’t get the epidural, there was nooo way I would make it four more hours. So I needed the epidural so I could get the full dose of antibiotics. The nurse responded with, “I don’t know if you’ll getting an epidural, but we’ll try.” And I looked at McKay and he went into to husband-with-wife-in-labor-mode. He left the room and told pretty much every person he saw “MY WIFE NEEDS AN EPIDURAL. NOW.” They wheeled me in my bed to the room and I noticed the little bassinet right away. I remember feeling so excited, and like I could not believe this was it. I couldn’t wait to hold my baby, but I was so worried I wouldn’t get the antibiotics so he would be safe. Some emergency had happened, so the anesthesiologist was really busy. McKay kept going into the hall to try to get things going faster, and I remember looking at him and knowing he was worried but didn’t want to worry me. He just smiled and said that things would be fine. I was just praying my water wouldn’t break. And when everyone left the room McKay came over by my bed and we held hands and said a quiet prayer together that things would work out and that I would make it four hours. Soon after that, the anesthesiologist came in. I remember just telling her I loved her, like ten times. And I was really excited about “the button” because I had never known it was there before, and I was really excited I could keep giving myself drugs!
For the next four hours, we updated friends and family and talked and tried (but couldn’t because I was too excited) to sleep. After four hours, they gave me the second dose of Penecillin, and broke my water. I gave the button a couple clicks because I was worried breaking my water would make contractions a lot harder. With Jax and Jonah, even though I had had an epidural, I was still in a ton of pain by the end, so this time I wanted to really experience a full epidural haha. A couple girls had told me that they hated my doctor during labor because he had been so slow. So after he broke my water and said, “just have them page me when you think you’re ready to push,” I was like well, I think I can push now. So the dr and the nurse said “okay!” And we started pushing! I could feel his head and that burning pain started to come right at the end, but I was so excited, because I knew how close we were. I remember looking at the clock and thinking I need to have him before 10:35. I can’t make it to 10:35. And during one of the pauses, Dr. Dau asked if I would like to “help deliver” my baby, to which I responded, No! I am good! You can do it! But thank you! And after four contractions, he was out! At 10:35.
They put him right on my chest and I just couldn’t stop crying. He was so perfect and snuggled right into my neck. He cried right when he came out, and then stopped right when we were skin-to-skin. I just held him and no one even tried to take him. We tried to nurse and he didn’t really want to, so we just kept cuddling.
The nurse kept pushing on my stomach like they normally do, and I just kept snuggling my baby. After a few times though, she started to get worried because there was a lot of blood and it wasn’t stopping. At first I was kind of oblivious to it being a big deal at all, but then my doctor kept coming in and checking things and pretty soon there were a lot of worried-looking nurses, a doctor, and an anesthesiologist back in the room. They tried a couple different things in my IV to get the bleeding to stop, but neither of them had worked. McKay and I both realized that things were kind of getting serious, so I handed the baby to McKay and they put him in the bassinett under the warming light. I’m not sure if he needed it, but I think they just made up a reason to get him out of my arms so they could figure everything out. One of the nurses was trying to prep my arm for a (I think) port, so they could do a blood transfusion if they had to, but my veins kept blowing and it didn’t work. They weren’t telling us much, but were talking about doing a D&C to figure out what was causing all the bleeding and/or a transfusion. They put another medicine in the IV which made me puke like an entire bag. Things got bad and scary and stressful fast. I remember looking at McKay sitting on the couch and he just had this frozen scared-but-trying-to-be-string smile and I just felt so bad for him. And I remember looking over at the bassinett and seeing my baby’s little feet and arms moving in the air and just thinking that this was not what I had pictured. I just wanted to hold my baby. We said lots and lots of prayers and so did my family who were getting updates from McKay. After a while, the nurse started getting slightly less frantic. There was still a lot of blood, but it was less. So they held off on doing anything else. My dad was on his way to give me a blessing, and at that point, the bleeding had slowed down a lot more. I remember the nurse pushing on my stomach with the dr and McKay right by her, and when a lot less blood came out, they all cheered. Then my dad got there and he and McKay gave me a blessing.
It was one of the most special blessings I remember ever receiving. It was so specific and inspired and it felt good to have a blessing from my dad. It was really comforting. One of the things he said was that because of the way I had taken care of my body during my life, that it would respond the way it needed to, and that it would heal. And it made me so grateful for the Word of Wisdom. There are so many commandments we follow that I don’t always consider the blessings of. It was just a testimony to me of the numerous ways we are so blessed because of simple, seemingly small commandments we are taught and follow from the time we are born. Things we sometimes mindlessly do because we were always taught to, and don’t think about it much further than that. We know these commandments will affect our lives in the obvious ways, but don’t always realize that they will bless us in a hospital room, when we’re praying to have a quiet, peaceful moment with our brand new newborn in the midst of worry and chaos. But they do. They bring about huge, insurmountable blessings. I am grateful for a healthy body that can heal itself fast.
My dad was the first one to hold Cash, and then soon after that, Jax and Jonah came with my mom and sisters. Everyone was excited and smiling and loving on our new baby (who still didn’t have a name! We were 90% sure it was going to be Tagg).
When everyone left, they moved me to a new room. I was sore and pretty weak and in annoying pain because of the stupid catheter they made me keep in, but I was so happy to be worry-free and in a room alone with McKay and my baby. We talked and rested and ate and then later grandma and grandpa came to visit. After they left, I had pretty much had it with the catheter. We had a sweet little Asian nurse who was probably in her 60’s and I remember thinking I could talk her into taking my catheter out. I usually don’t do stuff like that, but I was pretty determined so I pretty much begged her to take it out, and she smiled kind of nervously and said she would ask my doctor and came back into the room after a while and took it out. It was SOOOOO AMAZING. We slept that night cuddling (Cash slept so well!) and I remember being up all night because I was so excited and I just wanted to make sure he was safe. I don’t know why they give us a basinett. None of our newborns ever sleep in it haha. When the sun came up I was just waiting for McKay to wake up because I was still so excited and couldn’t sleep. We talked about a name. I had had Tagg in my head and kept calling the baby that. McKay was fine with it and wanted to post a picture for all his friends to see with our baby’s name. He was about to post it, but I told him to wait. I was kind of worried about the name Tagg. Kind of worried about what kids would rhyme it with in middle school- and just didn’t know if it felt totally right. And I knew that McKay wasn’t in love with it (and it turned out none of our family or friends were either haha). Cash had been in our mind, but was never the frontrunner. We started thinking about a middle name IF we were to use Cash. We were going to use Lee with the name Tagg, but it didn’t sound right with Cash. We started thinking about all the people we love and look up to, and I was sitting in the bed, and suddenly thought of McKay’s mission president, President Robison- who we have always really loved and who McKay has a special relationship with. His first name is Reid, so I asked McKay about using that for the middle name. McKay smiled and looked at me and we both said “Cash Reid” a couple times, and we knew that was the name.
We got to go home that afternoon, so most of the day was spent with checks and screenings and getting everything ready to go. I loved my nurse in delivery and I loved my nurse who was with me most of Monday. She made sure everything was smooth and was just really careful and meticulous and on-top of everything. She made me read two sections in the pamphlet about When to Call Your Doctor (which I don’t think I have ever read before), and I read something about “call your doctor if you have any pain in your leg, especially your calf.” And I had had a sore calf all day. I googled it (I HATE GOOGLE) and read about blood clots, so then I started to worry again. She checked my leg and said she thought it was okay. But I still worried. Then before we left I got a headache that went away when I laid down, so I was really worried it was a spinal headache. All in all, I was just worried about a lot of stuff, and I felt like I had been worrying about random things for a long time. And it was really frustrating, because I just wanted to feel completely at peace and be able to snuggle my newborn and only think about that. We got discharged at the same time as another family. The lady who just had a baby was walking to her car, holding her two-year-old and talking about the soccer game they were going to that weekend. I kind of wanted to just die. I was in a wheelchair, holding my baby in his carseat and lying my head against it because it hurt so bad. It was just not ideal. Hahaha.
We got home and I cuddled with Cash in my bed. I was still too excited lying next to him, so McKay came upstairs and forced me to take Tylenol and drink water, and took Cash away and told me to go to sleep. I fell asleep for at least an hour and woke up feeling so much better. My headache went away (which I think was just from exhaustion and loosing so much blood) and within the next few days I got an ultrasound on my leg- and no blood clot. It took a few days, but I finally finally was not worried about my baby, or myself. Just completely at peace. Jax and Jonah spent the night at my moms for a few nights and then that Friday, McKay took the boys to the father-son campout. That night my mom brought me my second cheesecake that week. Haha. Since then, every day has just gotten sweeter. Jax and Jonah’s adjustment was fast. Cash is a good sleeper. I feel a special and individual connection to each of my boys- something I didn’t think would come so easy. I haven’t had as hard of a time with splitting myself three ways as I thought I would. Jax and Jonah are so in love with Cash, and so are we. We put the older boys to bed every night, and take Cash down to the couch and just stare at him and talk about how perfect he is. He’s starting to get cheeks this week. We fall more and more in love with him every single day. There was one point in the hospital when I was worrying about so many things, and trying to sleep off my headache and I remember having this sweet, peaceful feeling that everything was going to be fine. That I needed to trust counsel I had been given in blessings and stop worrying. That nothing else I had read or heard was as reliable and sure as that. I had been worrying at times that the Lord was going to make me go through a hard trial to be humbled or taught something. But in that moment I remember feeling like maybe that’s not the way He always teaches us. Maybe we can learn some things by just trusting in what has already been brought to our knowledge because He loves us. That we will trust in a peaceful answer we have already been given. That one of the ways He teaches us is just through a feeling of continual love and peace. The lesson comes through trusting in that. And aside from a perfect newborn boy, that is what I am so grateful to have taken away from Cash’s birth. The knowledge that I am not alone, and that I can trust in someone who has more power and knowledge and love for me and my family than anyone ever could on earth.