birth story

I’ve been looking forward to writing Hudson’s birth story so I can hold onto it as I’m sure my memory will fade over time.  So I wanted to write it while it was still fresh!

I’ll admit, I went into his birth with little to no expectations.  Every woman’s experience is different, our bodies and babies are so different.  Our next child’s birth could be completely unique and nothing like our first!  So I had a three step birth plan:  have the baby in a hospital, get the epidural and have a healthy baby however that may happen.  I really love the hospital and doctors we chose.  I completely trusted them to do what was best for the baby and myself.

After praying the baby would come early and be healthy (as probably all 9 month pregnant women do!), at 2:30AM on Friday, 11/22, I woke up with some lower abdominal cramping.  I thought it could stick around or go away, so I tried to drink some water, reposition and get comfortable.  I quickly realized there was no getting comfortable and at 3:00AM I got out of bed to walk around the house.

Around 3:30AM I used an app called Contraction Timer (recommended by my brother’s wife and so helpful) to start timing what I was feeling.  I started to realize this could really be it.  So I finished packing up my things, organized the pets food, ate some leftover pasta at 4:30AM and got dressed.  I tried to let Christian sleep until 5AM as I knew he had been really tired the night before (I feel I now deserve a gold star sticker for this).

At 5AM, I woke Christian up.  I told him I thought I was in labor and after timing my contractions they were consistent.  He asked if I wanted to call my doctor first and my response was, “no, I don’t want to wake her up if it’s a false alarm.”  Which is hilarious to me – typical daughter and wife of doctors.  I never want to be the cause of waking anyone up!

Christian calmly got up, finished packing a few things and we hopped in the car by 5:20AM.

When we rolled into the ER, they asked if I wanted a wheelchair, and I said I preferred to walk.  I would periodically stop to breathe through a contraction as we made our way up to the third floor.  Then I was checked by a nurse… only to find out I was already between 8 and 9cm dilated.  As in, we were almost ready to push.

That’s when I started to get anxious.  I thought I had more time!  What about the epidural!?  That was literally one of the only puzzle pieces to my “birth plan!”  Christian could see my face start to shift once we heard we were much further along than we thought, and he stepped in to give me a little pep talk.  He said that if I could be this calm without medicine this far into labor, that I would be tough enough to push without the epidural if it was too late.

While I appreciated his vote of confidence… having a natural birth is just not something I felt ready to do.  I absolutely respect and admire anyone who does, but personally I am grateful to modern medicine and welcome it.

The nurse swiftly rolled me straight to labor and delivery and within minutes I was surrounded by wonderful nurses (who were all at the end of their long shift no less) taking blood and filling out paperwork.  They were moving as fast as they could to gather all the information and testing necessary before I could hopefully be seen by the anesthesiologist.

They made it happen, and an anesthesiologist walked in the room with 10 minutes to spare before a scheduled c-section.  He got me fixed up real nice, and all was well in the world in minutes.

From there we debated even calling our families and thought we could just let them know after the baby had been born since things were moving so quickly.  But the epidural slowed things down a little bit.  We had a few hours of downtime before it was time to push, so we called our parents.

You never know if your actual doctor will be available to deliver your baby, and I was so happy to see my doctor walk into the room.  Everyone at the practice is great, but I felt so lucky that she was there to help these newbies, as she is exceptional.

In what felt like no time, we were ready to push.  There were just four of us in the room – Christian, myself, my wonderful doctor and an amazing nurse.  The energy was so relaxed, so calm and happy.  After an hour of pushing during contractions, I felt this wave come over my lower body as our son was born.  I can’t describe it as accurately as it deserves to be described, but it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.  I hope I never forget it.

Christian actually recorded the audio of Hudson’s arrival and it’s saved in the “CBL Bebe” saved stories on Instagram, but every time I listen to it I have tears in my eyes.  I had no idea that labor and delivery could be so wonderful, so zen, so joyous.

We were between two names for the entire pregnancy.  However once we met our boy with his head full of dark hair and inquisitive blue-gray eyes, I felt that his name was Hudson all along.

He is named after Christian and his maternal side as well as my maternal side, our Hudson Alexander Barnes.

baby birth storyyumi kim robe

robe | photos by Christian Barnes

We spent two nights in the hospital.  The nurses were absolutely amazing and took such great care of us.  When it was time leave I was ready to be in our own space again, but I knew recovering without those ladies was going to be a buzzkill.

Did I cry the first night home because I felt overwhelmed?  Sure.  But now, two weeks later we have a little bit of a rhythm.  Christian’s parents, my parents and my sister have met the baby.  We have an amazing NICU technician helping us a few days a week so I can get some work done.  I’m able to both learn from her and have a few time blocks of independence.  Hudson is a great eater and sleeper so far, and we are all just adjusting to life with him on the outside!

I wanted to share this story because I felt like during my pregnancy, women were so quick to tell me scary or stressful stories of pregnancy, labor, delivery and recovery.  I know everyone’s journey is different, but I have been amazed at how pleasant and happy the process has been.  And I know there is every kind of story out there.  But to anyone who is a little anxious or nervous about becoming a mom and the path required to get there, I hope this story will be reassuring and comforting.  Know that you could absolutely have a totally mellow, calm experience.  Those exist too!

Thank you so much for reading, for all of your kindness, love and encouragement.  December has been pretty busy for all of us, but I am hoping to slow down in January and really enjoy some downtime with my boy.  Having a newborn around the holidays has just been really, really special.  Gratitude to the max.  Love you guys and thank you for so kindly welcoming our Hudson to the CBL fam – XO –

48 Comments|See Comments

48 thoughts on “Hudson’s Birth Story

  1. My daughter will become a Mom in less than a month and is very anxious about the delivery. Thank you for sharing your story as I plan to pass it along to her in hopes it will allay some of her fears.

  2. Lovely! My best friend had her baby the same day in the room next to yours! We joked the whole time saying, there’s a celeb next door! Congrats on that beautiful baby boy!!! xoxo

  3. Thank you for this!! I’m due in 13 weeks and it seems like every person I talk to has a horror story. I’m praying I have a delivery as smooth as yours!!

  4. Thank you for sharing! I too had a calm relaxed birth story for my son Jackson. Not scary at all. Some of us need to know that it’s not like in the movies which is what I thought going. As long as you have a trusted team of doctors and you’re ready to see that amazing little face, you got this.

  5. That was a beautiful story! Childbirth is such a beautiful thing. A memory that you will never forget. I remember mine vividly and my son is almost 7. Daughter is 8 months and I remember both so well I think because it is a life changing experience that that memory just won’t go away. Good luck mama! Motherhood is so special.

  6. Thanks for sharing your sweet story! This is definitely comforting to me because I’m due in March with my first child & I’m feeling all of the anxious emotions thinking about labor & delivery. Congrats to your precious family!

  7. what a wonderful story and pleasant birth experience! I am due next week and this gives me hope that it is possible to have a good experience, I’m really glad you shared it as the only stories I feel like I hear/read are awful and it has been worrying me a lot! Thank you so much and enjoy your time with the sweetest boy!

  8. This is the sweetest story I have ever read, Kathleen! So so happy for you and Christian. Hudson is the luckiest little guy! You’re so right, people are quick to talk about how scary / intense labor and delivery can be and I SO appreciate you sharing how joyous and peaceful it can be as well. Thank you for sharing with us! xx A

  9. What a wonderful story! My son was born Dec. 4 (2015) and I have to tell you, you will grow to love the holidays even more because of your baby’s birthday. Congratulations to you and your family!

  10. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful story! I had a baby in March and had a similarly wonderful experience, but I have to say I was so surprised by how many women told me scary and stressful birth stories- to the point where up front I had to tell people that I didn’t want to hear it because I can’t undo what I’ve done! Congratulations and enjoy every second!

  11. This made me so happy to read! I’m glad you had an amazing labor. Mine was so happy and pleasant too. I always try to tell friends my story because people only told me horrific ones and made comments like “oh god, get ready, you’re going to hate it.” Or something to that effect. It made me so scared, but the actual experience was the opposite.

    Then again, I went on a whole diatribe to a friend about this and she ended up having a horrible experience with an emergency C-section, sooooo yeah.

    BUT I’m glad Hudson had such a happy entrance into the world! Love you, Kat!

  12. Thank you so much for this. I am due in about 6 weeks, and it seems like every single thing I have read about anything- labor and delivery, motherhood, marriage after a baby, going back to work etc. are all so negative. I am trying so hard to keep a positive mindset and this was a much needed breath of fresh air and push in the right direction. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy.

  13. This is so beautiful! I’m 30 weeks and agree, everyone tells your horror birth stories, it’s so refreshing to hear how relaxed and zen tours was. I do think it’s a testament to your personality and overall how you seemed through the entire pregnancy was very relaxed. Girlfriend you are giving me hope for a smooth, relaxed and enjoyable delivery! Congratulations to you and your new family!

  14. Congratulations on your sweet boy! Thank you so much for sharing a great experience! I am 25 weeks pregnant with my first baby and agree that people have felt the need to share all these stressful and scary labor stories with me (as if I wasn’t already nervous and scared). Your post has given me the hope and prayer for a good labor and peaceful labor experience come March. I am also having a baby boy and love seeing all your cute Hudson posts. It makes me so excited to think of holding my boy!

  15. What a beautiful story! thank you for sharing, and for sharing your pregnancy journey! It has been so helpful! Congratulations to your beautiful family!!! Cant wait to read all about Hudson’s growth and journey!

  16. Love this! I had my son maybe a week after you, and while it was a little different (I got an epidural early and they ended up turning it off while pushing because my pushed weren’t effective), I absolutely think more of the good stories need to be shared! We also had a wonderful experience, and even though it definitely hurt without the meds, it is totally doable and so worth it. We are totally in love with our little guy, as I know you are with Hudson. So excited to enjoy the holidays with our baby! Hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas.

  17. I have followed you for a long time and I just adore your content. I was so excited when you announced your pregnancy, knowing you would be amazing parents. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for a few months now and reading this brought tears to my eyes. Such a sweet story of Hudson’s birth. Congratulations to your sweet sweet family.

    The Stovers

  18. I’m not sure why I cried during this, but I did. I’m SO happy you had such an amazing birth story. Honestly, it seemed so YOU (as weird as that is). Sending you guys all of the positive vibes as you adjust to life with Hudson!!! x

    Dana | The Champagne Edit 

  19. Congratulations and thank you for sharing! I also had a very wonderful birth experience. It was super calm and enjoyable and there just aren’t many of those out there. Everyone is so quick to prepare moms-to-bo for the worst and I think it’s nice to be prepared for the best too! Since you have such a wonderful platform, keep mamas updated on life postpartum too. That was something that no one seemed to talk about.

  20. What a beautiful birth story. I was excited to read this post. I’m due with my first in April and with that due date fast approaching my nerves have been increasing as well. I agree that there are so many horror stories out there so it is nice to be reminded that one similar to yours is possible too! Thank you so much for sharing your pregnancy, birth, and now life as a new parent. Happy Holidays to your beautiful little family.

  21. Thank you so much for sharing such a positive story about labor & delivery. This mama-to-be truly appreciates it ♥️

  22. Love this! Due with my first baby in March and this really helped me…reading such a positive perspective on birth/motherhood is so refreshing!

  23. Congratulations Kathleen! I am so happy you had such a relatively peaceful labor. I’m expecting! Baby due in May, and my birth plan sounds a bit similar however I want to plan it all natural. I hope to have a story like yours. Merry Christmas and enjoy your new little miracle!

  24. I had a wonderful home birth with my second and I am always quick to share my story, not to brag but because when I told people I was planning a home birth I heard the WORST scary stories and all the things people thought could go wrong.

    Like “what if the baby stops breathing??” Like what an awful thing to tell a pregnant lady!

    Anyways birth doesn’t have to be scary or awful, it can be calm and wonderful.

    Congrats on Hudson, hes beautiful, I am a mom to two boys and I totally love being a boy mom (especially after growing up with 4 sisters).

  25. I have almost the exact same birth story!! You are so right everyone was so quick to relate their horror stories so it’s great for you to share your wonderful experience. So glad it was great. Congrats mama! Hudson is beautiful!!

  26. THANK YOU!
    I am 19 weeks pregnant expecting a girl and I feel like I hear the horror stories! I’ve enjoyed your positive outlook on your journey. I’ve had mothers tell me I’ll never sleep again and then someone today tell me I really popped and still have so far to go! my goal is to be positive and calm like you! God bless and hope you enjoy every moment!

  27. This is so wonderful to hear . Sending these positive vibes into the universe for my own labor/delivery!

  28. Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience! I’m currently 22 weeks with my first, and overwhelmed at the thought of labor and delivery. This gives me such hope it can be smooth and sweet!

  29. This is literally how I felt after having my first, and subsequently, my second and third. With my first, I went into it with an open mind…labored throughout the night and eventually opted to go with the epidural. Once I did, the rest of my labor was so peaceful and calm. In between pushes, my husband, my amazing doctor and I were discussing movies and books. It was the best experience and paved the way for #2 and #3. I’m thankful everyday for modern medicine and feel blessed! Your sweet boy is just precious.

  30. Thank you for your HAPPY birth story. I had a baby 9 mos ago and was blown away by how my own birthing experience compared to all of the “horror stories”. I know I was fortunate, but giving birth was pretty dang enjoyable and dare I say kinda easy (shout out to God for modern medicine). I enjoyed every bit of it and wish we heard more happy stories instead of the crazy ones that can sometimes terrify first t time mommas. Congrats!

  31. Thank you so much for this. We have come to the point in our marriage where we are seriously talking about having a child, and I can’t help but feel anxious and scared and nervous about what will happen. I’ve really admired how calm you have been throughout your pregnancy and being a new mom (or at least how you’ve presented yourself as being! Lol). It’s really made an impact on me and my thinking of how the whole process will be. Of course everyone is different and my situation won’t necessarily be like yours, but it’s comforting to hear a positive story versus the horror stories people seem so willing to share!! Congratulations on the newest member of the Barnes family ❤️

  32. Congratulations on baby Hudson! Can’t wait to follow along as he grows and your journey of motherhood!

  33. Random side note not sure if it matters but makes me chuckle. I was born oct 22 and I am on the “cusp” of Libra and Scorpio. I don’t even care about astrology or follow at all but with instagram and seeing memes I feel like I know all about them without caring but also a little bit caring because I wanna see what all the fuss is about lol. Anyways i notice he’s another CUSPy like me. But more than being a CUSPY is that he is dead on the date on nov 22 and there are astrology sites and books that claim it’s the 21st or 22nd (I remember never knowing if I was a libra or Scorpio in middle school and at Barnes and Nobles Seeing two books say one is the other. Anyways I just think it’s funny because it’s more than being a Cuspy it’s like your both. Random babble I know but you think he’s more of a Scorpio or a sag with his personality now?

  34. God bless you all, sweet girl. I feel as if I know you and am so happy for you and Christian. Your beautiful Hudson will light up your lives, and your hearts will swell; happiness and health to you all!♥️

  35. I love this post. I’m 28 weeks and this positive story is just what I needed. Thank you! ❤️

  36. Beautifully written and sounds like it was such a positive experience for you.
    I’m 27 weeks and all I’ve heard is pretty horrific stories of birth so this one is really great to read about. Thank you for sharing it. Seems like you’re doing such a great job as a new mom. He’s adorable x

  37. This is such an inspiring story! Legit exactly what i hope and pray will be my outcome. I do not want to go to the hospital too early just to be turned away, so i am determined to stay home for much of the beginning portion. I am due 12/21… first baby so I’ve got all the feelings anxious, excited etc. i was just curious and i hope this isn’t too personal but did your water break? Also i do want to add I’m so happy you are settled and content in your new town and house!!! I’m an SF girl who moved to the burbs a few years ago, i was sad to hear your transition to SF was a rough one.. It’s a lot and my husband also had your same sentiments. He wasn’t a huge fan. You seem so much happier, which is great!!!! Happy holidays! Xo G

  38. So refreshing to read! I knew before I ever even met my husband I was having an epidural! I had the same experience as you, so chilled and lovely. My second child arrived in a major hurry and there was no time for an epidural. The good news is that it was totally doable without (and so much quicker), but I still prefer the experience with the epidural as it was more relaxed and calm.

  39. My water broke at 2:30am! You and I had a very similar birth experience with the exception of my son coming 5 weeks early after my water broke!

  40. Currently 35 weeks pregnant and this post is the first thing I’ve read in months that made me feel like I can really do this. Thank you <3

  41. Thank you so much for this story! It feels like when people talk about birth they try to out scary one another or freak you out and then say “good luck”. Haha so happy for you and your little fam. Happy holidays love!

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