THURSDAY FEBRUARY 25
KT waking up, looking at the clock "yes! JT let me sleep in! Now, let's get JT and the kids off to ballet and I can take my time getting ready before my Doctor's appointment." smiling to myself.
"man am I ready to have a baby" pouting to myself, the little pout that only JT falls for "maybe I should get the Hospital Bag ready in case they HAVE to induce me today!" smiling a little "Ok, I don't REALLY want to be induced. I just want to have this baby today!" which is weird, since I am totally NOT ready at all!
"Oh no, I am late! took to long doing my hair! At least it looks good if I go into labor!" stomach growls loudly "oh dang it, no time for breakfast" I grab a chocolate donut, one of the ones that JT considers a miracle like the fishes and the loaves because SOMEHOW whenever we run out-- more magically appear on our counter... I have got to stop this habit! "I should REALLY eat a better breakfast! If they HAVE to induce me" smiling to myself because this is so dumb "they won't let me eat- and I will need the energy! Wait! If they induce me- can I still go NATURAL?" pouting again as I realize how dumb this all sounds- even in my own head. "Katie! Just ENJOY this last week of pregnancy! JT has the kids- go shopping, do all of the things you won't be able to do with THREE kids!!" This makes me smile again and I don't mind that all I have eaten is a lousy donut. At least I can go shopping by myself!
Ultrasound Tech "Everything looks good! She is measuring 7lbs 8oz"
KT "Oh GOOD!" smiling but really thinking "Darn it! I was hoping they would say- 'she hasn't grown, we will HAVE to induce you today!!' Katie! There you go again! You DON'T want to be induced! What are you THINKING??"
Dr. Channell "Hey, Katie, I am on call tonight. You should have a baby!" she smiles.
KT "I know" there is that pouty face again! "I am feeling ready today"
Dr. Channell "Do you want me to check you today and see if you are dilated?"
"no, because if you say I am still only at a 3 I will go home crying.."
KT "OK, Sounds Great!"
Dr. Channell "Let's see if we can strip those membranes again so I can see you tonight!"
KT getting my hopes up "Yay, I actually vacuumed last night! It would be a great night to go into labor!"
"...on my own! Without being induced!"
Dr. Channell as she is checking me "NEVERMIND Katie" as she takes her hand back " You are having this baby TODAY. I am NOT going to strip your membranes" She helps me sit up "Katie, I can feel the umbilical chord. Go ahead and put your clothes on, I will be right back in. You are definitely going to have this baby today." she leaves the room.
I am getting dressed. To surprised to be excited.
"oh no, I didn't get the Bag ready!! I KNEW I should have done that! oh well, I can run home really quick and get everything done" Dr. Channell comes back in and gets on the phone to the hospital. She is telling them that she has a patient with an Umbilical Chord Prolapse and needs to send a me down. I can't hear the other end of the conversation, but I can tell they are very busy by the look on her face.
Dr. Channell "well, she needs to come down RIGHT NOW. I am sending her down." I love it when I hear her definitive voice. It makes me feel so confident and safe.
"I need to call JT! so, if I am induced can I still go NATURAL? Wait, I think she is trying to explain things to me! Katie! Pay Attention!"
Dr. Channell "so the umbilical is OVER her head, blocking the birth canal..."
"so, can I still grab something to eat?? All I had was that little donut! I am starving! oh wait! She said 'follow me' Katie, Pay Attention! What did she just tell that nurse? I need a WHEELCHAIR? I need to go to the HOSPITAL RIGHT NOW? But JT isn't here! And I didn't pack my bags! And all I ate was a donut! Wait, she is talking to me again. She said C-section! I know she is explaining it, but I can't hear this. I CAN NOT have a c-section! The LAST thing I want is surgery. This is NOT the way I planned it." I start to cry in the chair, on the way to the Hospital. "I have to call JT! His stupid phone doesn't work! Why didn't we get that fixed?"
KT "Hey Babe" talking to his Voice Mail "We are having a baby today. Call me."
I am in the Birth Center Triage. Kristen, the nurse is doing her best to comfort me. "February 25 is a great day to have a baby." "People have c-sections all the time." "All that matters is a safe, healthy baby." But I can't stop crying. JT and my dad arrive. He couldn't get a hold of me, so he called the Hospital, and they told him to come right away. I still can't stop crying. Dr. Channel comes down to see me in Triage.
Dr. Channell "You don't have to decide right now, you can talk it over with JT. But your options are to have a c-section, or to TRY to do it vaginally- but if your water breaks and the baby's head drops down on the chord, we will have to do an Emergency c-section and you would have to be put all the way under."
"Those aren't options. My choice is c-section or c-section? This is NOT how I wanted to do this! How is this happening?"
JT and my Dad give me a Priesthood Blessing. For the first time I finally feel peace. I am blessed that Soeur ("sister") Josiane from my mission will be there with me (she passed away after I got home from my mission in 2002). I am taken to a room and set up with a monitor to wait until Dr. Channell's office hours are over and she can do the c-section then. (TENDER MERCY #1)
"Dumb donut! They have to wait 8 hours to do the c-section because I ate a lousy chocolate donut at 10 am?? It didn't even fill me up. What I wouldn't give for those Heavenly ice chips. That is the way this was SUPPOSE to happen. I should be laboring in the tub (even though that grosses Tami out- but I know it is the best for contractions) listening to 'Vindicated' from the Spider Man soundtrack and Pink's 'So What', eating my delicious ice chips and doing the Hee Hee Hoo's that I practiced! But no, I am laying here unable to move in case my water breaks just waiting for them to cut me open and hand me a baby."
I start to cry again.
JT has gone home to get the Hospital Bag... that of course I didn't pack. I am alone in the room, starting to have contractions closer together. "At least I am having contractions. I know I sound crazy- but labor and delivery is my FAVORITE part. When I am sick the first few months I think about how at least I will get to be in labor at the end! When I am losing my mind during the second trimester I picture the amazing feeling of my body getting ready to have a baby! The last few months, as I am getting huge and not sleeping I remind myself that I get to be a part of delivering a baby that grew in my body! The whole thing is so amazing to me. I can't even explain WHY I love it so much. Trust me, I am not a masochist. But it seems to be the thing that I look forward to the entire pregnancy. And now I am missing my favorite part. I have felt so distracted and disconnected this whole pregnancy-- I thought this would be our chance. How will I ever feel connected to a baby that they hand me on a table? When I never experience the pushing, or the 'labor' itself? It is like going to a movie and then walking out right before the climax of the story, to have a person in the lobby tell me the ending. At least I am having contractions. I guess that will have to be enough."
I talk to Shannon, who happens to be in the Hospital that day. She makes me feel better about a c-section. She LOVED hers. She says I will still feel connected to the baby. She says as soon as I hear that little cry- it will all be fine. She is so positive and up beat that I feel myself relaxing again.
"Shannon says it will be fine. Not that I am GLAD that she is in the Hospital to talk to... but I KNOW it is a blessing that she is here to tell me it will be ok" (TENDER MERCY #2)
6:00 pm ish... as if I really know what time it is anymore
Dr. Channell "Well, let's check you again and see if the chord just happened to move on it's own"
"what? Is that even a possibility??"
Dr. Channel checks me. Not only am I now dilated to a 5-- but the chord has moved! She can't feel it at all!! She is explaining to me that there may still be some risk so it would be better to play this very safe. She suggests taking me to the O.R. and prepping me for surgery. There, they can give me an epidural and break my water. If the baby does ok, and there is still no chord in the way, they will let me come back to the room and have the baby vaginally! IF there is any distress on the baby, or the chord slips back down they can immediately turn up the epidural and perform the c-section as planned. I am in shock. I can not believe that it moved! I start to cry again. (TENDER MERCY #3)
Thank goodness for my waterproof mascara! (Can that be classified as a Tender Mercy??)
7:30 pm ish
They are wheeling me down the hall to the O.R. I am so excited I can't stop smiling!
"wouldn't it be funny to start screaming out crazy things to scare the people in the waiting room or the visitors in the hall?? or maybe just wave to everyone like I think I am Miss America in a parade and not actually in an open back hospital gown!" I realize that I am GIDDY with happiness at the idea that I MIGHT be able to still deliver vaginally. "ok, so I won't be in the tub, or pumped up to any rock music to get me going... but I also won't be in the Hospital an extra day, I won't have a cut in my tummy that will take twice as much work at the gym to get back to normal, I won't have a 6 week recovery period and best of all-- I won't miss out on the pushing! stop smiling, Katie, you are not in the clear YET."
The O.R. is like a different world! It is bright with lots of shiny tools.
"This looks NOTHING like Gray's Anatomy! Where is Mc Dreamy? Why are the lights on in here, isn't it suppose to be dark and suspenseful in an O.R.? Which of these people is having a secret affair in the on-call room?? Ok, focus Katie, you are about to have a baby!!"
The anesthesiologist gives me the epidural. He makes me lay on my side because they don't want me to sit up in case that causes my water to break. It is much worse on my side than sitting up. I am also having contractions in my lower back. I want to cry- but I can't move.
JT reminds me of the beautiful blessing. And that Sr. Josiane is by my side. I don't know what it is about her that brings me so much comfort. That could be a whole other blog. But fear leaves again- and I feel total peace. (TENDER MERCY #4)
Everything goes smoothly. It is fun (yes, I said FUN) to be in the O.R. We are all wearing dorky hats as if we are at some weird costume party. JT has on the white jumpsuit as if I am contaminated with something dangerous. All the crying, all the fears were for nothing!
They take me back to my room, we turn on the itunes, and bask in the joy of labor! The epidural is much lighter than either of the other two I have had. I have a lot of control over my body. They leave me off of the pitosin, because Dr. Channell is in surgery. "Hopefully that woman is like Shannon and LOVES to have c-sections" We fade in and out of sleep (which is the beauty of an epidural) until I wake up with a feeling that I am going to wet my pants... except I have a catheter in-- so that isn't possible. "take this catheter out so I can go pee!! I am soo uncomfortable!" But I can also feel contractions again! I am so excited! "This means the epidural is wearing off!!"
12:00 am ish
Dr. Channell "Let's just check you to see how far you are dilated and to see if you need to get on the pitosin." I am just at a 7, they start up the pitosin.
Before the nurse leaves my side he reminds me that if I feel a need to push or to have a bowel movement I need to let him know right away. I am still feeling like I need to wet my pants.
And then it happens.
"I need to push! NOW! Oh my gosh, I have never felt this with the other two! The epidurals were always strong enough that I didn't know the baby was coming until Dr. Channell said to push!! But I have to GO!"
KT "Uh, Dennis" our male nurse who we LOVED "I have to push"
He seems to not really believe me. Maybe because they just checked me and I was at a 7.
KT "Uh, like RIGHT NOW. I am feeling it! I need to push NOW. JT, I need you NOW"
Dennis calls the desk and tells them to get Dr. Channell immediately.
KT "Right Now. Dennis, is this baby going to shoot out onto the table???"
Dennis "Let's hope not" He is smiling. He has been the best nurse ever. I don't think he has any other patients tonight, even though I know the Birth Center is full. I have his undivided attention.
12:45 am ish
Dr. Channell comes back in the room- and gives me the go ahead.
"This is the most amazing feeling! I can actually feel the baby pushing down on me and wanting to come out! How is this possible? I can feel so much!" (TENDER MERCY #6)
Dr. Channell "Katie, you get ONE MORE PUSH and then I am getting the vacuum"
"What?? Why is she threatening me with the vacuum?? I have only pushed twice! Don't I get to at least try for 10 minutes?? Here comes another contraction! I can actually FEEL that! With the other babies- they had to watch the monitor and TELL me when I was having a contraction and WHEN to PUSH! But I can tell them! I am doing it!!!"
Dr. Channell "One more push, come on, or I will have to get the vacuum"
"ok, ok, Here goes. I can do this!! Is that what I think it was? I felt the head!"
KT "I felt the head!! I FELT it!"
"I can feel this! The head, the arms the legs! She is here!!" (TENDER MERCY #7)
I don't even realize that they have called in another nurse, or that they don't hand ME the baby when she comes out. I am way too excited that in spite of the epidural that was the closest to natural I have ever felt! And besides, when Riley was born she pooped so much maconium that they couldn't give her to me right away- so I guess I am use to having to wait a minute for the baby. I don't realize that they aren't weighing her or bathing her, they have oxygen over her mouth and are carefully working on her. Later, I am told that her heart rate had been dropping and that is why they threatened me with the vacuum. Not because 10 minutes was too long, but because she was in distress.
They finally hand her to me, and I cry. I feel Sr. Josiane there, and that makes me cry more.
I hardly sleep that night because I can't get over the Tender Mercies and Miracles that surrounded that day.
The next day Darcy points out that the Donut was in fact another miracle donut. That maybe had I not eaten the donut, causing them to have to wait 8 hours for the c-section, that Dr. Channell might have performed it earlier in the day. But that those 8 hours gave the chord time to move. AND in those 8 hours- I was able to be reminded again how much my Heavenly Father loves me, and the tender mercies He blesses me with.
I realize that it may not be important to anyone else HOW this baby came into the world - but it was important to me. It is a sweet reminder that WHAT is IMPORTANT to ME is IMPORTANT to my Heavenly Father as well. That doesn't mean He is going to GIVE me what I want- or HOW I want it. But He is aware. I realize through JT's blessing that Heavenly Father knows how it all will end, and may still let us endure the trial. I realize that I can't dictate how I want things to happen in my life. And that I can't assume that I always know what is best for me. But Heavenly Father really does have my best interest in mind. Only He knows what will be best for my growth.
Suddenly I realize how my labor experiences translates into SO many other areas of my life. (TENDER MERCY #8)