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Modern Motherhood [№16]: Kayla Otineru

Posted: Jul 27 2015

We loved reading Kayla's thoughts on motherhood and her beautiful birth story and we hope you do too! You can follow her on Instagram @kotineru and on her blog at A Darling Dream.

What is the hardest thing about being a mother?

For me the hardest part about becoming a mother is balancing my time. Everyday I struggle with tackling my to-do list, keeping the house clean, updating my blog, and getting food on the table. Every time I rock Kennedy to sleep for nap time, I tell myself that I am going to get everything done, but then I just can't bring myself to put her down. I usually end up spending my time cuddling her, kissing the top of head, and just starring at her taking it all in. I forget about everything that's on my to-do list and just enjoy her. I know that she's only going to be this little once and I don't want to miss a second of it! 



If you breastfeed your baby, what has been the biggest challenge?

Breastfeeding got off to quite a rocky start in the beginning. When I became pregnant, I knew I wanted to breast feed. I knew that I was making the best decision for my daughter. I did a lot of research online, read books, and we even took a class that our hospital offered. When Kennedy was born, she had a very difficult time latching and was what the doctors call a "snacker". It was frustrating for all of us! We tried and tried, but it wasn't working. I felt defeated, but made the decision to exclusively pump and give it to her in a bottle. All that mattered to me was that she was getting my milk and the proper nutrition. It was a very easy decision to make, but has been a very hard task to follow through with. I pump at least 8 times a day. There are many times when it's 2am and I have to pump for a half hour that I would rather be sleeping. The one thing that gets me through is knowing it's the best thing I can do for my daughter. 



What were your first thoughts when you saw your baby for the first time?

The very first thing that came out of my mouth when they placed her on my chest was "she's so cute!!!'. I couldn't believe that this miracle baby, we had dreamed about and talked about for the past 9 months, was finally here. It was such a surreal moment that seems like a dream when I look back on it. As cliche as it sounds, I felt like I had known her forever. I couldn't believe that she was finally here. Our whole life changed for the better in that one split second. I replay that moment over and over almost every day.



What do you want most for your child?

I want the world for my daughter, but above all I really hope she has a kind heart. It seems like that's very rare these days. With all the bullying that takes place at school and online, I hope she can rise above it. We are going to distill in her that you can always go further in life by being nice and not judging a book by it's cover. 

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Birth Story



The idea that I wouldn't know when and where I was going to go into labor was always exciting to me. I loved the thought that it was the ultimate surprise, and as prepared as we were, I had no control over her actual birth date. Towards the end of my pregnancy I would wake up and think "today could be the day!" With each passing day I would grow more anxious for her arrival. About a week and half before my due date, I had a normal check up with my doctor to see if I had progressed. I thought for sure she was going to tell me that I was at a 2 or 3, but sure enough baby girl was secure and cozy. We went ahead and scheduled an induction date for a week after her due date, just in case she decided to stay locked up tight.

April 29, 2015 was like any other day. Still no signs of labor and I was beyond uncomfortable! After a very laid back day spent going to breakfast with family and hanging around the pool, we were going to dinner because it was Tyler's sister's birthday. Everyone at dinner kept asking me when I thought the baby would be here and I truly thought we were going to have to wait until her induction date. I still hadn't experienced any early labor signs. No braxton hicks or bloody show! When we got home that night I had the urge to finish packing my hospital bag and make sure we had everything together in the diaper bag for Kennedy. I took a nice long bath and called it a night around 11:30.

April 30, 2015 I woke up with the intense urge to pee around 12:45 thinking nothing of it because this happened about 20 times every night! To my surprise, this was a little different than every other time. I had finally lost my mucus plug; I was so excited! This meant she would be on her way hopefully within the next couple days. I went back to bed with a huge smile on my face. It wasn't more than 15 minutes when I started having what I thought was mild contractions. Every time they came on, they felt even stronger. I was quite uncomfortable, but not wanting to wake Tyler since he had work in the morning I went in Kennedy's room to distract myself. After about 45 minutes of this I was growing more and more uncomfortable and decided to wake Tyler just in case. I told him he should get his stuff together just in case. Naturally, he thought I may be over reacting just a little and started to time my contractions. Before we knew it they were about 3-4 minutes apart. We gathered all our things, I did some quick dishes, and we were on our way.  I insisted that we stop, so I could get something to eat, because we knew how long it would be before I could eat again. Since it was about 2:00am there wasn’t many options. I had to settle with Jack in The Box. As we were waiting in the drive thru, my contractions were coming on harder and stronger leaving me silent for the duration of them. I was feeling them mostly in my hips and it was a pain like I had never felt. 

Within 25 minutes we were checking in at the hospital. They put us in a room and we waited for the doctor to come check to see where we were at. The whole time in the back of my mind, I was so afraid that they were going to send us home. I knew that if I wasn’t at a 5, this was a very high possibility. After what seemed like forever and 8 contractions later the doctor was there and telling me I was at a 2. A whooping 2?! I felt embarrassed that I was in so much pain and only a 2. She gave us our options and strongly suggested that we walk around for the next 2 hours to hopefully move things along. Since it was still very early morning we took her up on that and started our trek around the hospital. At this point my contractions were about every 2-3 minutes and came on so strong stopping me in my tracks every single time. They were still exclusively in my hips. With every lap I would stop in the restroom to throw up and then keep on with our walk. I could not get comfortable at all. I tried sitting, curling up, standing and walking through them. Nothing was working! I was beyond defeated. The doctor mentioned that if I felt it was necessary we could get put in a room and I could get something for the pain. I want to tell you, that I never take pain medicine. It just doesn’t work well with my body, but at this point I was desperate for something to help me. On our last lap, I was in tears and told Tyler I couldn’t do this anymore. I wanted to take the doctor up on her offer. We went back to the room and sure enough, I was still a 2. They started processing me and we were on our way to a room for some relief. She warned that a lot of times the medicine slows things down and I may get sent home.

As we were getting settled in, I kept telling myself don’t get your hopes up she may not come today. As they were hooking me up to an IV, about 4 nurses came into the room. They started asking me what seemed like a million questions. One of them said “looks like we are having a baby today!”. Immediately I started crying. I think a little bit of it was from being overwhelmed and the other part was because she was finally on her way! Once the medicine started doing it’s job, I felt like a new women. It calmed down in our room and we were able to call our parents and tell them the great news. My mom and Aunt were on their way down and we decided to get some rest. After a nice nap they came in to check on me again. I was at a 4. Thank goodness!! I was very happy that my body was doing it’s job and progressing. By the time my mom and aunt got there, my medicine had wore off. I had it in my birth plan to wait as long as possible to get my epidural, so I could walk the halls to move things along. I had the nurses unhook me and the four us started our little adventure around the labor and delivery floor. My contractions were back in all their glory and coming on very strong. Again they were exclusively in my hips and stopping me in my tracks! Everyone was excited and taking photos and videos, but I was trying my hardest not to cry. This went on and on for about an hour. We got settled in again and the doctor was on her way to check me. I was a 5! Slowly, but surely we were getting there. I had been in labor for about 10 hours at this point, so clearly it wasn’t moving as fast as I wanted. The doctor asked me why I was torturing myself and waiting for the epidural if I was going to get one in the long run. She explained to me that even though I was having contractions, they weren’t as strong as they’d like to see. Again, I felt like a baby, what did she mean they weren’t strong?! She told she wanted to start me on pitocin to speed things up and my contractions were going to be about 20 times more intense. I took her advice and agreed to getting the epidural. Best decision I ever made! Once it was in and working I felt great. I was able to enjoy everything that was going on and get excited. It was funny because Tyler would watch the monitor and tell me I was having a huge contraction, but I felt great! The next couple hours went by fast. They were spent hanging out and visiting with my immediate family. They came in to check me around 5:00pm and I was at a 7. The doctor then broke my water and told me she’d be back in couple hours to check again. Around this time I started feeling the contractions in my right hip again!! It ended up that my epidural only was working on my left side. They tried multiple times to fix it. It would work for a little bit, but within 15 minutes I would feel everything again on the right. Since at this point I was at a 9, I didn’t want them to have to redo my epidural. I decided that I could power through it. It wasn’t unbearable, but it did distract me again. It did cause me to get extremely nauseous and I would throw up when I had a big contraction. This had been the longest day of my life! I really wanted to get some rest before I had to push. I drifted off to Tyler watching the NFL draft anxiously waiting for the Chargers to make their pick. About an hour later I woke up in a panic feeling like I needed to go to the bathroom right this minute!! I announced to everyone in the room that I needed help because I needed to get the restroom right now. My mom and Aunt told me that meant she was on her way and they called the doctor.

The doctor was in within minutes and sure enough I was at 10 plus 2. It was baby time!! 
This is where everything kicked into high gear. About 5 nurses were in the room setting everything up. I said bye to all our family because I was only having Tyler and my mom in the room. We started pushing at 8:00pm on the dot. I pushed with all my might because I wanted her out! I remember being so thirsty the whole time. Since I was having issues with keeping water down, I had to wait to have anything. This was also motivation! When I look back on when I was pushing it was such a blur. I tuned everything out except for my mom and Tyler counting. They were the best cheerleaders. I felt so much pressure and the doctor announced that Kennedy had so much hair. Yes, all that heartburn was worth it! I pushed and pushed and at 9:00pm we heard that tiny little cry and they placed her on my chest. Through tears and kisses Tyler and I kept saying how cute she was. We spent the next two hours and everyday since loving on her. She truly is our little miracle girl and we are in absolute baby heaven.

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