Kohen James // A Birth Story

It's been on my to-do list for quite some time now to sit down and write out Kohen's birth story. I knew I wanted to write it out so I had it documented while it was still fresh in my mind. So here it goes, Kohen James' birth story. 

On December 31st at 38 weeks pregnant, I had my last wedding to photograph before baby. In the week approaching the wedding, I was having a few Braxton Hicks here and there but nothing consistent. At my weekly appointment, I was already measuring 2cm and 40% effaced. I felt like baby boy was going to arrive any day. My body felt tired and I was feeling lots of pressure. I said lots of prayers to make it through my last wedding and for baby to come any day after that. I photographed the wedding and although VERY tired and sore the next day, no baby. 

On January 4th, I had my next appointment and measured 3cm, and 40% effaced. I was feeling excited and thinking we would have a baby any day considering my water broke with my first at just 1cm dilated. I had my doctor strip my membranes to see if we could get the ball rolling. The weekend rolled around and still, no baby. Other than some cramping and a few Braxton Hicks, still no major signs of labor. I was starting to think he was going to be stubborn and wait until his due date of January 13th. (See also, FRIDAY THE 13TH.) 

Another week had passed and I was due for another appointment on Tuesday, January 10th. Dr. Moeller checked me again and I had slightly progressed to 3cm and 60%. She again stripped my membranes and also informed me she was going to be out of town Saturday and wouldn't be back until Wednesday. She assured me she didn't think I would make it to the weekend and to be sure not to take my time coming in since I so far dilated already and only labored with 12 hours with Micah. 

By the time his due date came around that Friday, we were still without a baby with no real changes. I was starting to be convinced he wasn't going to come out on his own and I was going to have to be induced the following week. Tony and I joked that if he did come before then it would be while our doctor was out of town since that is what big brother Micah did as well. To add more stress to the situation we were set to have a major ice storm hit on Sunday into Monday, making travel not advised. With us having to drive 20 miles to our hospital, you can see how this added some extra stress. The storm came in on Sunday night and we waited it out and prayed he would stay in until it passed.

Monday evening as we went to sleep I felt lots of back pain and some cramping but was relieved the ice storm had passed and we didn't have that to worry about. I didn't want to get my hopes up as I had countless times before so I didn't even mention it to Tony. I was up most of the night with pretty strong back pains and cramping but no contractions that I could actually tell when they started/stopped or time. Tony left for work that morning and I still didn't think much was happening. I dropped off Micah at daycare and had sent my Mom a text letting her know I was having some pretty intense back pain and that things might be starting but I would keep her posted. She told me she thought I should at least call into the hospital and see if they want me to come in since I was now 4 days overdue and dilated to 3cm already. I decided she was probably right and called Tony to give him an update and let him know I was going to call in. I called the hospital and talked to the on floor nurse and she said I should come in and be checked just to be sure. I told Tony he should just stay at work since I didn't think much was happening and figured they would probably just send me home. 

Orange City Area Health System

When I arrived at the hospital around 11am on Tuesday, January 17th they got me settled into a room to monitor me for a few hours. My nurse checked me and I was STILL only 3cm dilated and 60% effaced. I was annoyed at this point. I was ready to meet my sweet boy! She told me to walk the halls and be back in 45 minutes to be hooked up the monitors again. When I returned from walking the halls, I was having some slight contractions but nothing consistent at this point. They sent me out to walk again. I love doctoring at a small hospital but walking the halls gets pretty boring real quick. The next time I returned she hooked me up and my contractions were picking up but still about 6-8 minutes apart and not super consistent. Again, I walked the halls. This time when I returned she hooked me up to the monitors and I was starting to feel some tightening with contractions and they were getting a bit closer and more regular. At 2:30pm my nurse decided to also check me and update Dr. Pals (since Dr. Moeller was now out of town). My nurse laid my bed back and went to grab gloves, as she walked away I felt some fluids. I said "I think my water just broke." She checked and sure enough it had! I was still just 3cm and 40% effaced but she was confident things would start progressing. I called Tony so he could come to the hospital and also let my friend Kate know that things were moving as she was coming from Sioux Falls to photograph the birth for us. 

Tony arrived around 3:30pm and things we starting to pick up by then. I was still able to breathe through my contractions and walking around the room but they were getting more frequent and intensifying. I continued bouncing on the birth ball and over the next hour things definitely picked up. By about 5 o'clock my contractions were around 3-5 minutes apart and it was beginning to get harder to breathe through them as I rocked back and forth on the ball. My nurse, Lauren suggested trying the bathtub since that had helped me progress and relax when I delivered Micah.She began to fill the tub and by the time it was ready around 5:20pm I was really needing it to relax. My contractions were getting much closer together, only around 1-3 minutes apart.

contraction print out with clock
laboring in bathtub
birthing in bathtub holding hands with husband

At 5:55pm at got out of the tub and was feeling like I needed to call for the epidural. I asked Lauren to check me and see how far I was dilated. I was only 6cm. She hooked me back up to the monitors to check on baby and watch my contractions and vitals. Lauren then stepped out to the hall to call for my epidural and call Dr. Pals to give her an update. While she was doing that I had a REALLY intense contraction that was so painful and I could feel him moving down further into my pelvis. Tony was rubbing my back as I had the contraction and he could even feel it in my back! 

laboring through birth in floral robe
laboring through intense contractions in hospital bed
husband rubbing back while laboring through contraction
Husband supporting wife during labor

Immediately after that I felt the need to push. Lauren told me not to push as we needed to wait for Dr. Pals to arrive. I told her I couldn't wait, I NEEDED to push. I had another contraction and was crowning. He was coming whether Dr. Pals was there or not! 

intense birth labor
birth photo pushing baby out

I remember hearing Lauren call out to another nurse to call Dr. Kamstra (the on-call doctor). Another intense contraction and his head was out. and one more and he was out! Kohen James was born at 6:16pm. As he let out his first cry I was immediately relieved. It was worth ALL the intense pain! Minutes after, Dr. Kamstra walked in and checked to make sure I was good. Right after, Dr. Pals arrived. She finished delivering the placenta and stitched me up. Around 6:25pm the anesthesiologist arrived, a little late! ;) 

baby boy being delivered by nurse
baby on mom's chest celebrating his birth
Baby boy crying on mom's chest after birth
baby boy crying on mom's chest mom and dad kissing after bith

The nurses and Dr. Pals checked him over and took his measurements, he weighed 8lbs. 12oz. and was 20 inches long. He was perfect and we were SO in love already. Our sweet boy, Kohen James Bonestroo. Big brother Micah was very curious about him but a little unsure. He did much better the following day when I had a chance to shower a look a bit more like myself. We are so thankful to our fabulous nurse, Lauren, Dr. Pals, and Orange City Area Health system. We had a wonderful experience!

Baby being checked by doctor after birth
baby boy right after birth
Doctor checking baby's eyes after birth
baby getting footprints done
big brother meeting his new sibling

A huge thank you to my dear friend, Kate Jones of Kate Jones Studios for capturing all these moments for us. We are so thankful to have these images to look back on! I love knowing I have these images just like I provide my own birth clients with. They are simply irreplaceable and mean so much.