At 5:37pm on September 18, 2009, God blessed us our family with another life to love – Luke Timothy.
His arrival was certainly drama filled, much like the pregnancy, but there’s just not enough thankfulness to go around on this one.
First off, my apologies for being so out of touch since Friday. It’s been a whirlwind folks and I’m going to do my best to get everyone up to speed, and keep you that way as the days progress.
Friday morning at 0600, we arrived at the hospital and after a quick history, the nurse began my pitocin. Not much happened until 11am when the contractions started getting stronger and after some urging from my college roomie, Felish (an OB in the same practice as mine), I decided to page the anesthesiologist. Dr. D got the epidural going, but something just didn’t feel right. It didn’t feel like the others. Remember that bit o’ information.
For some reason, I was just anxious all day. Something didn’t feel right, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. A good friend of ours and the Godmomma, spent most of the day with us. Thank God she did. Bit of information #2 to remember.
Around 2, Dr. W. came in and broke my bag of water to get things going. Typically, with the water broken and epidural, I progress to pushing within the hour. After an hour, we checked and I had only gone from 2 to 3 cm. It was then that I knew this delivery was not going to go the way we envisioned.
So, at 3, the contractions were getting super strong, and I was feeling them. The joys of labor all came back to me. We paged a second anes and he redid the epidural. Yeah, that was fun. Again, the anxiety continued to increase and I’ll admit that worry began to creep in. With all my others we were done by now and with Baby W I was nowhere close.
At 4:30, the decision came. Dr. W came in and we watched the baby’s heartrate decrease a notable amount with each contraction. It was fish or cut bait time. We could wait an hour or we could start prepping for a c-section. The decision came out of my mouth before I could stop it.
There was no doubt in my mind it was the right thing to do. However, admitting that the delivery had entered into unknown and scary took its toll. From 5 to Luke’s arrival at 5:37 was a fast-paced, emotional 37 minutes. Scott and I took a few moments for the news to set in. It’s not that I felt like I had failed as a mom or that I was even disappointed in not delivering normally, I was scared about what the c-section meant. It meant that we were truly, honestly, a high-risk delivery with the potential for a myriad of complications. Reality came down on me like a ton of bricks.
Melanie has had four c-sections and she kept telling me, “Kathryn, you can do this. You have to do this. This baby needs you to be strong.”
So, she and Scott stayed behind in the room while he donned his sterile surgical gear and I was whisked off to the OR. That was the scariest few minutes of my life. There were bright lights, a ton of people (10 or so), shaving, more drugs, lots of shaking (the drugs were making me shake uncontrollably), tears and a whole lot of fear. I’m pretty sure those minutes were filled with prayer as I jumped from “God I cannot do this” to “God help me do this” to “God let’s do this”.
I remember seeing both Dr. W and her partner Dr. S in the room, feeling the touch of the anesthesiologists hand as he stroked my forehead, the reassurance from my three nurses and Scott’s face and the anticipation it held. He plopped down beside me just as Dr. W said, “Ok, Kathryn. We’re making the incision.” And then I heard cries…screams of joy from our OB, Scott and the nurses and Master Luke. He came out wailing. Praise God! They held him up for me to see, and he was whisked out of the room by neonatology. They came back in a minute later so I could kiss him and the tears just leaked one right after the other from my eyes. I had just kissed a living, breathing miracle.
There was tugging, stitching, lots of blood loss (that’s another post!) and me telling Scott to go be with Luke. The medical staff at Seton could not have been more amazing. They knew I was scared out of my wits and they just stepped in like pros. If I could’ve come off that table and kissed and hugged everyone of them I would have. The gift they gave to Scott and I on Friday can never fully be recognized. In a word? Amazing.
We found out shortly afterward that Luke was a dainty 3lbs. 9.4 oz. and 16.5 inches long. His lungs worked – evidently – and he was off to neonatolgy, the NICU, to fully assess his health. I spent that time in recovery trying to stop shaking and just put my brain around what had just happened. I’m sure that will be a scene I’ll replay in my mind for years to come. So many lessons to be learned, so many reasons to be thankful.
As it turns out, my uterus just wasn’t getting the job done. It was not contracting the way we had hoped and the cord was indeed, wrapped around Luke’s head and neck, causing his heartrate to dip with every contraction.
I shudder to think what might’ve happened if we had labored longer or opted to do the c-section at a later time. Life isn’t about regrets, it’s about grace. I want to share with you that your prayers enabled me to say “c-section” so confidently. Your prayers allowed those doctors to work so efficiently and give birth to Luke. Your prayers are sustaining us as our days unfold in the NICU.
Speaking of the NICU. I’m hoping to get my first post up on that tonight. I want to share all of this with you, probably more for my own therapy, and to remember what these days are like. Because someday I know the drama will fade, but I want Luke to know just how precious his life is…as is our other children. They’re gifts and we’re most honored to have them for a short while.
Some of you asked about his name. Luke has been a contender of ours for many babies. I think we were just searching for all the wrong names, when the right one was in front of us all along. We had lots of options for the middle name, but it wasn’t until Scott pulled out his Magnificat and read the readings of the day – both from Luke and Timothy. And, we had seriously considered naming our baby after our perinatologist, if we had a boy. Providential, I’d say.
Luke Timothy – happy birthday buddy. It’s an honor to be your mom.