kathleen barnes family

It’s taken me a while to write this out, but I didn’t want to miss the chance to share Theo’s birth story after sharing Hudson’s here. I love reading other women’s experiences of how their children entered the world, so it feels both tender and therapeutic to write it out.

Theo’s due date was 3/19. Hudson arrived on his own 4 days early, so I was hopeful that baby #2 might do the same. However, I am usually on board to house babies until I’m 40 weeks on the nose. After that, I refuse to put in any additional time because a) I’m so uncomfortable and b) I get anxious about delivering a really big baby.

Based on that, we decided it would be most practical to schedule an induction on 3/16 (my brother’s birthday!). I thought it was close enough to the due date that we would give the baby a little more time to possibly come on their own. My brother was very excited to have a birthday buddy, and it felt realistic to try to arrange things around Christian’s schedule and childcare for Hudson.

On the morning of 3/15, I woke up around 6AM with some light cramping. Nothing too painful, but short, small cramps. I didn’t feel like I was in labor, but the first time around my contractions escalated incredibly quickly. I was determined not to have a baby in the parking lot.

I talked with Christian about what I should do, and while he offered to call his office and cancel his patients, I didn’t want him to do that. What if it was a false alarm? I told him to go to work and I’d call him if it was really time. So he headed to work at 7AM. I remember seeing him walk down the sidewalk of our home to his car, and I felt this nervous/scared wave of feelings knowing I was about to have to get Hudson ready and get my stuff in the car alone while *possibly* in labor. But as I recite to myself regularly, “I can do hard things.” Millions of women before me have done the same. I can do it too.

I called my doctor’s office around 7:30AM. Personally, I would rather be sent home than risk not being able to get the epidural before it was time to push. My birth plan has always only been: have the baby in a hospital and get the epidural. I rolled into the hospital between 8-9cm dilated when I had Hudson and it was chaotic with so many nurses and doctors around me trying to get everything ready to go asap. So I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again.

I called and spoke with a nurse. Because my cramping wasn’t consistent, they initially told me to wait. But I shared that my first came incredibly quickly so this is kind of a better safe than sorry situation. She told me to go ahead and come in and they’d check me.

barnes boys

In the next hour, my plan was to get Hudson ready for school and then drive myself to the hospital. But in that next hour, the cramping turned into what I knew were definitely contractions… so time was of the essence.

I got Hudson ready for school, stopping between putting on his socks and brushing his teeth to breathe through a contraction. I remember styling his hair while having a very painful contraction… but even on his sibling’s birthday, we had to show up coifed! As we do!

I was expecting to be induced the next day so my bags were already 90% packed, thank God. But I still had to load them all into the car while waddling, breathing through contractions and asking Hudson to be a good listener because we today we were in a hurry. I dropped him at school and the teacher asked me, “no baby yet?” to which I replied, “I’m actually about to drive to the hospital now.” She nodded, wide-eyed, and let me waddle back to the car. I was so grateful no one stopped me to ask me a question because I was laser-focused.

I parked at the hospital, left my bags in the car, and entered the hospital with my purse and lots of heavy breathing. Christian had pre-registered me (again, thank God), so I had limited paperwork to sign before going in to see if it was really go time.

She checked me and told me I was 6cm dilated (hooray!!), so I texted Christian and within 10 minutes he was by my side (a photo of us from this moment below). Both of our children have arrived four days before their due date, speedily and on their own. Little did I know that when I walked into the hospital, I was only three hours away from meeting our second son, Theodore Thorne.

newborn baby boy

Each time I’ve gotten an epidural it’s taken several tries to get it right (ouch), so I was finally able to get the medicine working around 9cm. Theo was good to me because with 10-12 pushes he was in my arms. This 7 lb. 15 oz. miracle of a human, existing only because Christian and I love each other. Speechless. The moments I’ve met our babies are some of the most surreal, incredible, miraculous, and faith-confirming moments of my life.

Because I didn’t even push for 10 minutes, my recovery was a lot easier than the first time and we chose to stay one night in the hospital before coming home. My parents had always planned on coming to Georgia the day before the induction, so thankfully they were able to arrive in time to pick up Hudson from school and keep him for us until we got home.

My mom stayed for a week and a half which was really nice as Christian went back to work the following week. As I now type this, a little over a month in, I can say that I currently think the adjustment to two hasn’t been as tough as I thought it might be. Theo is an easier baby than Hudson was, and Hudson has adjusted to him quite well. I’ve even caught him handing stuffed animals to the baby “here you go, baby” while sneaking in a little kiss.

I have to close this out by sharing the Bible verse I have prayed over Theo for months before he joined us on the outside. Psalm 139: 13-18:

“You shaped me first inside, then out; You formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God – You’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration – what a creation! You know me inside and out, You know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, You watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before You. The days of my life prepared before I’d even lived one day.”

Thank you for taking the time to read this story. I am so grateful to be on the other side of pregnancy! I sure do look forward to watching these boys become playful and loyal brothers who love and look out for each other. We are getting to know little Theo more and more each day and can’t wait to see who he is.

As so many have said, when adding to your family, your love doesn’t divide, it multiplies. XO –

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11 thoughts on “Theo’s Birth Story

  1. I love your story!! I also love reading birth stories too just to see the mother’s different experience with birth. I have birth to my baby girl on March 3rd but it certainly as smooth as your delivery. But she’s here and I couldn’t be happier. Can’t wait to read more about you raising 2 boys and their relationship.

  2. This brought tears to my eyes, and I don’t even have children!!! So sweet Kathleen. I’m happy Theo came into this world safely and healthy and that you’re all adjusting. Barnes, Party of 4! Congratulations, once again.

  3. I’m in tears reading the Bible verse at the end. So beautiful! Congratulations on your newest addition!

  4. The Bible quote has me in tears as I am pregnant with my second and am so worried about my first son. I’m a ball of nerves thinking this is goin to be so hard. But like you said, we can do hard things! Thank you for this! Xoxo

  5. Congratulations!! He’s beautiful.

    Maybe you’ve left out the ugly parts, but your birth story sounds ideal. I know each woman is different, and it depends on genetics, but I would be interested in anything you did that you think helped labor and delivery!

    1. I have been fortunate to have two really easy labor and deliveries. However my struggle comes later with breastfeeding and not really enjoying the newborn phase… so I think everyone has their “thing,” if that makes sense. My sister and I did all the same prep leading up to delivery and our experiences are so different. Our bodies are wild!!

  6. Thank you for sharing!! It brought tears to my eyes (especially the Psalm), but I also laughed in relation to the story – my second was so similar! The world stopped when my labor started for the first born; the second, I also got my son ready for pre-school, got dressed for the day and sent my husband away, while driving myself to the doctors to confirm labor then to the hospital to walk it out (with my husband who had to come home from work) and with a baby in my arms 45 minutes later. Amazing how us women become seasoned laborers so quickly (ha).

  7. Here’s to praying for a complete future! Thank you for sharing your family, it gives me inspiration that mine may be able to be like yours someday. Thank you!

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