July 31, 2013
Our priest did come shortly after the last post. He sat with us until my sister,mom, dad, Juliana, Grayson, and Maddie got there to give me the sacrament of the anointing of the sick. It was very nice to visit with my family and especially see Jules, I missed her so very much overnight. I just kept imaging her waking up without Ryan and I there for her. I knew she was in good hands with my family but still it made me sad.
The cervadil came out and I was allowed some breakfast! Yahoo! Savoring the sweet crunch of granola and yogurt knowing it would be “my last supper” for awhile. Angie, my daytime nurse started the pitocin, which is supposed to stimulate contractions. Over the next several hours we walked the halls, visited with the McElheney’s, and started watching “Hunger Games.” Picture this… me standing most of the movie dancing around the room! You may think I’m kidding, NO! I was seriously doing lunges, squats, and trying to jog in place. Just before Angie was telling me its not uncommon for women to have several rounds of cervadil (at 12 hours a piece) and there was even slight mention that going home was not out of the question! I was determined!!! I came to play! Which explains the dancing…If you know “dancing Kate” it either involves an air guitar or the pointing of the fingers in the air-I feel pretty sure those did not occur but I can’t make any promises.
Dr. W comes in for a check and asks if I’m feeling more contractions. I simply reply “I don’t know but I’ve been doing this!” As I demonstrate my moves…He chuckles and says he doesn’t think I look too uncomfortable. Low and behold after the worst examination of my entire life, he reports “well your a good 1 cm dilated, we will be able to break your water” For this I rejoice! The dancing has paid off. Angie tells me I can get something prior to him breaking my water, Thank you God!
Angie gives me “nu bain” (I’m sure I spelled it wrong) IV and Dr. W breaks my water and reports now 2 cm dilated! For the next hour and half or so I literally had never felt so good! Angie says that drug is like having a couple margaritas. Honestly, I was able to really chill out and relax! However I could not taste the salt…hmmm.
My friend Gretchen came for a visit. At this point we are thinking we are hours and hours away from delivery. We’ve sent the priest home, told the photographer, Julie, and our families it would likely be in the middle of the night. Gretchen offers a foot massage and I accept! My nurses come in to check on me and switch shifts so bye to Angie for the day and Hello! to Lisa. One the first things I say to Lisa is “well looks like you will be the delivering nurse!” She acknowledges and is ready! Lisa asks if I’m doing okay and anything she can get me…nope doing fine thanks!
The contractions are getting much more intense and I say to Gretchen if the next one is this bad I will need to call the nurse in. So the doing fine was very short lived…maybe only 15 mins. Ryan hits the button to call the nurse and I yell into it “I need Lisa now!”
Lisa comes in and quite frankly seems a little confused…15 mins ago you were okay? “yea and I’m not now, its bad!” She checks me and we discover I’m 5 cm dilated! Lisa recommends I get the epidural…Yes please! In the next 30 mins I really cannot account accurately what goes on, because all I’m thinking is that they will have to kill me, there is no way I can get relief. The contractions were coming fast and Ryan says only 30 sec rest in between with 2 contractions coming at the same time. In the back ground I can hear Lisa saying “I called Dr. W…Dr. W is on his way…get a cart in here…” I remember thinking wow whats going on? it sounds serious.
The epidural man arrives and he is no joke! He is ordering the group into position. Ryan here. Lisa there. Table up higher. relax my shoulders. scoot to the right more. (yea right I wasn’t scooting anywhere) breathe. little stick. he gave a play by play of the epidural being administered- I vaguely recall. I start to hyperventilate and the group has to lay me down. Again, I sorta hear all the background words…She’s gonna pass out. lay her down quick. get a cuff on her. get a pulse ox. Kate slow your breathing. (I remember thinking that poor woman, she sounds like she is really not doing well. and man would I hate to be the therapist working with her, hope she doesn’t pass out or fall) I guess your “job brain” is always unconsciously with you?
Somehow…with God’s hand I stabilize and become comfortable enough to want to just hold off on any pushing just yet. My team wasn’t there yet (my priest, photographer, Dr. W, and my family. ) One of the nurses made the calls that Ryan couldn’t because I had to be holding one of his hands constantly. I was sorta “high maintenance” requiring Ryan and either Lisa or Harley(OB tech, who was great at her job) to hold the other. So let’s take a 20 sec time out…to define “hand holding” this night hand holding was more of a finger nail piercing grip as opposed to a gentle hand in hand manner. Okay times up!
My team arrives… I’m decently comfortable…
Dr. W was at dinner so I feel the need to know what he had for dessert, he says key lime pie! Pretty much my favorite dessert out there. And he didn’t save me a piece! Can you believe that? He says there were none left, likely story. As much as I wanted to relax and hang out Dr. W insists we need to start pushing…boo:(
I do a trial push, Lisa walks me through the breathing, pulling my legs to chest and when to relax. At this time Dr. W calmly tells me Ellie is breach! She flipped again!!! I literally say “are you kidding me?” He replies simply, “No”. I say, “what does that mean?” He says “we deliver the baby breach, more pushing at the end than in the beginning.” That sounds easy enough, right? This girl just threw it in reverse, butt first!
After the first round of pushing I can actually see her body, at which time Ryan tells me to keep my eyes closed. What I didn’t know was Ryan had just seen Dr. W and Kathleen shaking their heads to each other “no.” Dr. W could tell by feeling the umbilical cord that Ellie was not alive. This is a true testimony of my loving husband that he was able to continue to count my breaths, offer encouragement, and support to me all the while knowing Ellie had passed. He knew I didn’t want to know that during delivery.
Ellie was born and
Ellie’s heart had stopped…
5 pounds, 21 inches long
not sure when she passed because I elected not to have fetal monitors during labor. Kathleen also reports that Ellie’s jaw/chin was very difficult to open and Kathleen couldn’t get her finger in Ellie’s mouth. Therefore even if her heart had continue to beat its very likely that breathing and eating would have been extremely difficult for her to sustain life. She went peacefully, no pain, just love.
Julie took pictures constantly, 468 she said! Fr. Don came to my bedside to baptized Ellie, my sister, then mom, then Jules and my dad came in to meet Ellie. We got some beautiful pictures of our family of four. Juliana was a gem! Could not have asked for a better performance from her (especially after she had only been asleep for an hour) It seemed as though Juliana was being coached, she was so loving to her little sister. She was touching her button nose, and forehead, inspecting her spindly long fingers and toes. She told Ryan when she left to keep holding Ellie….and that he did! Ryan stayed up till 2:30 am holding, caressing, loving, and talking to Ellie. Ellie stayed in our room overnight and in the morning. The three of us cuddled in bed…I sang her “my” bedtime song “Hush little baby don’t say a word” and Ryan told her “his” bedtime story of “The Three Bears” These are our routines when putting Juliana to bed. Then we knew it was time to hand her to the caring arms of our nurse, Angie.
We left the hospital and were home within fourteen hours of delivery.
We are extremely thankful for the support we received from the employees of Christ Hospital. Ryan described one of the most profound moments was after Ellie was handed to me. He looked up and saw the staff lined up at the end of the bed with tears in their eyes. While they displayed superhero- like patience and professionalism, they were still mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers who can relate to the sadness of the moment.