Sunday, September 29, 2013

the girl who cried labor

...and the long birthing story of baby J.

I have had a few episodes of braxton hicks. (false contractions)
I also was ready to squish the person who had been squishing me for so long. I was desperate enough that I did witchcraft to try to get him out. You know, the kind of witchcraft where you hold one leg up to your chest (as well as a pregnant lady can) and jump up and down on the other leg long enough to realize that what you are doing is absolutely useless and makes you look more uncoordinated than Bambi's first attempt at walking on ice.

After my oh-so-creative workout was unsuccessful, I had convinced myself that my child would never come out. EVER. I had this idea in my mind that my doctor would let me stay pregnant until 2014, and quite possibly all the way until this kid was an adult. When I finally told my husband why I was sobbing uncontrollably, he told me I was crazy. Then he told me that regardless of whether he was naturally birthed or cut out, this baby would be coming out before Christmas, and possibly quite sooner (seeing as I was due in October).

I felt better. Kind of.

Then I got sick. I thought I had the flu. Because the first thing any normal lady should think while having contractions is, "Darn it, I have the flu." 

I was up dealing with my lovely friend Braxton Hicks when things started going farther than I would have liked. Good ol' Braxton was not backing off, and I began to feel uncomfortable. I mean, who is this guy? Advancing uterine activity without permission? Perv. I woke husband up at about 4AM to let him know that if they got worse I'd want to go to the hospital for peace of mind and quite possibly some pain management. He agreed but didn't believe me. I didn't even believe me. This had happened before. The scare of braxton hicks convinced me I was in labor. Husband was tired of getting his hopes up, especially because we were still 2 weeks away.

This time, however, I actually made him take me to the hospital.
Halfway there, I started to feel better.

Well, this is embarrassing. I am so exhausted from pulling an all-nighter that I convinced myself to go to the hospital. Now we get to pay two hundred dollars for them to tell us to go home.

As we got there, my contractions came back but less frequently. I was prepared to go home. Aaaand then they admitted me.

WHAT?! A baby. We're having a baby. TODAY. Well, that was unexpected. Except that it wasn't, because we came to the hospital. Oh my gosh. I think we're having a baby.

The party got started. The kind of party where you are put into a hospital gown, poked with various needles, and have strangers check the size of your cervix every so often. I love having strangers all up in my business. Whatevs.

Contractions built, and I decided to call the local drug lord to help me deal with it. He stabbed me in the back (drug lords will do that to you). The good news is, he stabbed me with an anesthetic, so things weren't nearly as bad. My legs started to go numb, and the world became hilarious. My husband was convinced the drugs skipped my legs and went straight to my brain.

I took a lovely nap and woke up extremely uncomfortable. I needed to switch sides. I asked Husband for help. He sat me up, and my blood pressure dropped significantly. My vision went black, my ears started ringing, and I couldn't function.

My husband doesn't help me up anymore.

After the low blood pressure got fixed, we realized the anesthetic was wearing off. They added more. My legs turned into blubbery dead weight, but my uterus was dodging every numbing agent coming her way. It sucked. I cried. Life went on.

Five hours from the moment I had dilated to a five, I hadn't advanced at all. I knew it. I'm going to be in labor until 2014. Five hours seemed like a terribly long time not to have made any progress whatsoever.

Twenty minutes into my pity party, the doctor came in to see how I was doing. We told him I hadn't progressed. He stuck his hand up there anyway. Then he asked me to push.

Are you crazy? You can't just stick your hands up places and boss people around. You must be crazy.

He wasn't crazy. Within twenty minutes I had gone from a five to a ten, and this kid was ready to be birthed. So I pushed. And at 6:59PM, he was birthed.

A sweet, warm little body was put on my chest for about 8 seconds. And then my life was turned upside down.

My baby was whisked away, and my husbands face grew pale. I was still working on delivering the placenta. I was only half paying attention.

"He is secreting large amounts of fluid."
"No heart beat."
"No respirations."
"Begin CPR."

I looked at my husband as he leaned against the wall and sank to the floor. He looked completely defeated.

Dozens of medically trained professionals made their way into the delivery room and started shouting out stats. Twelve minutes later, my child still had no heart beat or respirations. I could no longer see my husbands face, but his shoulders were bouncing up and down to his uncontrollable sobs. My heart shattered.

"Is my baby going to be okay?" I asked over and over. They only told me he had a lot of really good doctors working on him, doing their best with the situation.

That was not enough for me.
I cried.

My baby's heart beat eventually came back, and he was put on a respirator. Life flight was called, and he was taken out of my room. He was alive, but only just.

We were told he was to be life flighted to Primary Children's where they would evaluate what happened and care for him. Family came to be with me so Husband could go be with the newest member of our family. I was a mess. This was not how it was supposed to happen.

A nurse came in to gather information.
"And the baby's name?"
"... I don't know. We were waiting until we saw him..." my voice faltered as I began choking on my own tears, "But... I never got to see him. I don't know what his name is. I haven't even seen my baby."

I was moved to a recovery room to wait for Husband to come back from seeing our son. I wanted to get out of there as soon as possible, but was told I would not be released until the following evening. My husband called and I listened as he gave our baby boy a blessing. I will forever be grateful for the church I belong to and the power of the priesthood my husband holds.

Friends & family were informed and asked to pray for baby J. Never have I been so grateful for the power of prayer. I have incredible friends and family.

As of now, our baby is recovering quite well. There is no explanation as to what happened or why it happened. But our son is healthy. He is off the ventilators, has kept his heart rate up, and even began crying. As soon as he is finished with his round of antibiotics and can eat/gain weight, our little boy will be coming home with us.

I have no words to describe the feeling that came over me the moment I was allowed to see and hold my son. I cannot describe how blessed I feel each and every time I look at him or cuddle him. My heart is filled with gratitude for this incredible miracle in my life.

Thank you to any and all for your support and prayers.


  1. Anonymous9/30/2013

    Allie. I cried when I read your account of your child's birth. I lost my first-born, so I can relate totally.
    Thank you for sharing such a personal and powerful experience.
    God bless you and Taylor, and above all, that miracle child. Gr Gr cox

  2. I don't know you well but I am a friend of a lot of your friends and my best friend is Cami healy. I just wanted to tell you that you have the cutest way of saying things and it's hilarious to read. Congrats on your little one! So glad things turned out okay!

    1. oops**Cami Healy Petersen

    2. Thank you, thank you! Hopefully I can keep up the whole blogging thing while figuring out this mommy thing!

  3. Allie, you are such an amazing person! Thank you so much for your wonderful example to me. Happy parenting! he is beautiful, you did good.

  4. Allie,

    The comment you left on my blog was so kind! I hope you know how much I appreciate your support. I don't know how I've never come across your blog before (yes, I'm a blog stalker!) but I just read this post. You must have been terrified! One thing I (thankfully) never had to experience was being separated from Eli while he was in the hospital. That must have been awful! Your little man is absolutely adorable and I'm so happy he's healthy! I'm looking forward to keeping up with your cute family from now on :)