18 months ago I was induced with Kaden. It’s taken me this long to write it out because I have felt so robbed and cheated and tricked. I couldn’t even process how I went from finally holding him to empty arms.
I was determined to have a natural birth – I mean natural besides the induction. That I didn’t have much of an option in. I’d been on the blood thinner Lovenox, and the Dr found I was dialted 4 inches when she took the cerclage out. So letting me go home was a big risk.
I planned to do hypnobirthing, and shared a lot about it on Babble. Even my therapist got into it a bit with me, and we practiced some of the techniques like breathing and focusing in our sessions.
I had the coolest doula. Ever. Emily is still one of my best friends although we barely knew each other back then. Thanks for being ok with seeing me naked and screaming at you Emily – then sticking around after too. 😉
Sam was there. My mom was on the way. We’d hired a birth photographer to take pics (“From the stomach up,” I told her. “Nothing down there, I don’t even want to see that.”).
When my water broke, I covered my face with my hands on the hospital bed and bawled, because it flashed me back to being on the bathroom floor, towel between my legs, praying to God that I wasn’t going to lose the twins.
Then the hard part. Labor. At first, I was like, “I can do this. This isn’t too bad. Why did I think this was so bad when I had Bella? This is fine. Painful – Doable.”
I was offered an epidural like – 27 million times. Emily kept gently refusing, as I’d asked her to, saying I really wanted to do this without one. It wasn’t a competition thing. I didn’t feel I needed to prove anything. But I wanted a healing, empowering birth after what happened with the twins.
The hospital staff was super nervous about letting me out of bed. I had all kinds of rules I had to follow to use my birth ball, to squat – basically any position but flat on my back they frowned on. We had two newer, younger nurses that were awesome about letting me get up and walk/bounce. Emily snuck me food and water when, 12 hours in, I thought I might pass out from hunger.
Then it hit me. And oh, the pain. THE PAIN. I thought of all my hypnobirthing podcasts about a flower unfolding and focusing on breathing and all I could do was grit my teeth and hang on to the side of the hospital bed for dear life. I wanted to murder everyone – including the hypnobirth lady. Had she ever BIRTHED a child?
I sobbed out, “I think I want an epidural,” and Emily said, “Are you sure because I don’t think you really do…”
So I waited.
My OB had gone home, assuring us it would be a while. Emily began to ask the staff about calling her. “She’s fine,” they told her. “She’s like at a 6.”
“But she has to push,” Emily said. “She’s saying she needs to push.”
They rolled eyes and checked me and SURPRISE there was a baby’s head and I reeeeeeallly wanted to push. So then they told me, “Don’t push! Keep your legs shut (8 months too late) and the doctor will be here soon!”
Finally I yelled at them, “I need to push. NEED. I’m going to push now.”
And they called in the stand by anesthesiologist to help.
My OB didn’t make it in time.
Then Kaden was there. Blinking, perfect, a little cry. They tried to take him to the warmer but Emily intervened and said that one of my wishes was immediate skin to skin. So I had him. He was so tiny and wonderful, looking around at us quietly. I couldn’t believe he was here.
I was able to see him later that evening, in an isolette. I sat by his bed and sobbed and sobbed. I headed to my room, Sam and my mom waiting. I cried the whole night.
In the days that passed, whenever I made a remark about how much I wanted him home, some people would chide me saying, “He’ll be home soon, just relax, don’t stress about it.”
“AT LEAST HE’S HEALTHY.”
I tried not to worry. But the morning he passed his car seat check, and we went to get him, I was a mess. I snapped at my mom, Sam, and burst into tears when he asked what on earth was the matter with me. I told him I just felt like something more was going to be wrong and they’d keep him longer, and he said,
“The only reason they can keep him now is if something is really wrong – and it’s not. We’ll be home with him soon.”
And in a few hours, we sat in the room I’d nursed him for the last time in, hearing a cardiologist say the words, “Life threatening, valves not pumping, amazing he’s even alive right now.”
“Kaden has a very, very sick heart.”
I kept frantically repeating over and over, “But we just did this, we just had two of our babies die…” As if somehow, that protected us from anything else.
They called Dallas Children’s to come get him. I might be able to go with, they said. Sam would come the next day. Pack light.
18 months and it hurts as much as the day they took him out of my arms.
Sweet boy. You are so missed and so loved – and I can’t believe you’re not here with us. Keep your brothers close until we come home to you one day.