This is a story of God’s faithfulness, grace, and unfailing love. This is a story of my baby girl, Kate. She is my little miracle. When I had her brother, Emmett, two years ago, I was left lucky to be alive after the complications I faced post delivery. Not only that but to correct what had happened to me it almost always requires the surgeon to perform a hysterectomy. It is literally a miracle I did not have to have one while they repaired my uterus. There should have been no way for me to have another child but by God’s grace I am able to and we have Kate. That is why I call her a miracle baby and here is her story.
On Thursday, April 7th I was feeling crampy all day but I wasn’t thinking that it would really turn into active labor. Our good friends, the Blombergs, offered to watch Emmett while Barry and I went out on one last dinner date before baby girl arrived. I thought it would be a good way to take my mind off wishing I was in labor so we took them up on their offer. We had a wonderful dinner, just the two of us, we picked up Emmett and went home. After putting Emmett to bed and watching some tv I still had no real indication that I would go into labor that night.
Around 9:30 we climbed into bed but I had a hard time falling asleep. I couldn’t get comfortable and I just didn’t feel right. I tossed and turned till about 10:30 when I thought I felt my first contraction. Since I was awake anyway, I decided to watch the clock and see if I had anymore. I had two more mild contractions that hour. I had a feeling labor would be starting soon. At 11:30 I got up to use the bathroom and as I stood up I thought it felt like my water broke. I still wasn’t 100% certain that I was in labor because I wasn’t having strong regular contractions yet. So, I went to the bathroom and then climbed back in bed to wait and see if my contractions would get stronger and more regular.
By 12:30 my contractions were consistent enough and lasting long enough that Barry suggested we start packing the car to go to the hospital. My contractions grew stronger and closer together as we got our stuff together to leave. When we woke Emmett up he was happy and alert. He asked us “Airplane?!?” because the last time we woke him up and got him dressed in the middle of the night was when we were traveling to California to see our family. Once we explained that we were not going on an airplane but baby sister was coming he got it and kept saying “Baby out! Baby out!” We loaded him up in the car and were on our way.
At home and in the car my contractions were not extremely regular so it was hard to gauge how quickly I was progressing. They were averaging 2-4 minutes apart and about 45 seconds long. We quickly dropped Emmett off at my sister in law’s house and then went to the hospital. We got checked in and settled into our room. The nurse asked some questions and checked my progress around 2:30 AM. I was 4 cm and 80% effaced. That sounded like good normal progression to me since I was 3 cm and 50% effaced the day before at my doctor’s appointment. I asked the nurse to call for my epidural. I figured it would take about an hour or so for the anesthesiologist to come and administer it and by then I would probably be at 5 cm which is what I wanted to make it to before I got the epidural.
The nurse informed me that because I was strep group B positive, she would first have to set up my iv and then she would be able to call and order my epidural. So she got started getting the iv set up and by the time she was finished, which felt like forever, I was so ready for my epidural. My contractions had quickly become more and more intense. Since I had to be hooked up to the iv, I was stuck in the hospital bed which did not make laboring any easier. As the contractions got much worse I was wondering where in the world my anesthesiologist was and that was when I realized I felt like I had to push.
It was a little after 3:00 AM, not even an hour after my first check, I told my nurse that I think I have to start pushing. She checked me and instead of telling me how far progressed I was she quickly said we have to call the doctor. It was in that moment I realized I am having this baby right now, without an epidural. I kind of lost it mentally. My first thoughts were, “No! no! no! I can’t do this naturally! That was not the plan. I cannot do this!” but I knew that at that point I had no choice, I had to. She was coming and she was coming now.
I was ready to push but the doctor was not at the hospital yet. They had me try to wait and control my breathing so he could get there in time to deliver the baby but my body wasn’t waiting. I was in a lot of pain, to say the least. I think everyone in the birthing center could hear my screaming. My nurse looked me in the eyes and reeled me in. She helped me focus and get through each contraction. The nurse and Barry helped me get through it without completely losing it.
As I was controlling my breathing and trying to stall my pushing the nurse said, “She has lots of hair!”. At that point, I knew I was so close to delivering but the doctor still wasn’t there. I asked where he was and they said he was in the parking lot and will be in soon. He got to my room and quickly put his gown on. The nurse told me to stop screaming and focus all my energy into pushing through my legs. This was the hardest part of the entire natural birth. When you have an epidural there is no pain so it is a lot easier to focus on effective pushing. Without the epidural, my mind just kept focusing on the pain. It took a lot of intentional effort to redirect my attention and really focus on effectively pushing. But I did it. I pushed 3 or 4 times and she was born. I just remember being in shock that I just did that. I was so relieved it was over and that she was here and healthy.
Next came the scary part, the part I feared most. This is where my complications started last time, the placenta delivery. I probably asked the doctor 4 times if I was bleeding and how the placenta was doing. He patiently reassured me that everything was going just fine. He did a great job delivering it without any problems. After he was all finished and said everything was good a huge wave of relief washed over me. I was so happy and thankful to have a labor and delivery that went so well without any complications.
Recovery has been much easier this time around. I felt good right away. I could get up, walk, hold her, and feed her right away. All things I was unable to do with Emmett for days if not weeks. We are so thankful to God for how He brought this sweet little girl into our lives. Great is thy faithfulness.
*Fresh48 Photos by my lovely friend Alison Kundratic