Summer of 2016, I was gearing up for the birth of our fourth baby. I was so excited! We had one son and two daughters and the time, and this baby would even the count, A BOY! I was prepping to birth naturally at the hospital, and I was pretty excited for that experience. My birth, less than two years before I got an epidural at 8.5 cm, it wasn’t enough time to fully take effect but I defiantly know now that it took more than I thought it did 😉
I had decided I wanted just my husband and me in the room, as far as people outside the medical field go. I had tried to birth my daughter naturally before while a revolving door of family walked in and out of the room, talking about all kinds of stuff to each other, my husband and myself. Also Big Hero 6 was pretty popular at the time, our oldest two through each contraction would say to me “on a scale for 1-10, how would you rate your pain?”, I was pretty sure these things didn’t help me & so I made it known that no one was coming to this birth.
I had a crazy fast labor. We were over at my mom’s house for dinner with my brother and his family. I was in labor but was trying to blow it off, I don’t think anyone knew. As soon as my brother’s family left I said to my husband I was pretty sure we would need to head to the hospital. I laid on the couch at my mom’s to try to get the contractions to stop and then went home to the tub to try there. I was 35 weeks and wanted at least 2 more weeks but nothing was slowing them down. When we got to the hospital it was only about 2 hours later and he was born, before that time I had long, long labors.
I labored in the tub, this was the first time I had used a room like that, despite it being my 4th birth at that very hospital. It was such a great experience. My husband’s support through everything was so great, and although I was nervous for our son to be born early I was ok at the same time. Our oldest daughter was born at 35 weeks, she spent nearly 3 weeks in the NICU but she was over 5 lbs and we figured her rough start to life was due to placenta abruption, not just being early. I was geared up for him to be taken to NICU, but I was ok with that since we have done that once before. We all thought size wise he would be decent size, my belly was defiantly larger than any of my other babies, I now know that whole theory is a giant myth.
Kenai Christopher was born after just a few pushes, he was tiny, so tiny. When I went to pull him to my chest he barely reached the top of my thigh due to an extremely short cord. My hopes for skin to skin and delayed cord clamping were the first things to fly out the window. We tried, but he was struggling to breathe and respiratory soon cut his cord & pulled him away. I looked at my husband & said “why is he so tiny?”, at about that same moment they said 3lbs15oz. How in the world? I was in shock. They then told me they needed to take him to the unit, before they left they handed him to me for a quick love, he already had a tube down his throat.
I was kind of in a fog. I told my husband to go with them and I got cleaned up and ready to go to the NICU to meet up with them. I walked in the NICU not long after that, I remember feeling great after giving birth though. I entered room #5, surreal, this was the exact room our daughter was in. I walked up to his isolette & could barely see him, he was so covered by tubes & wires. The doctor soon entered the room. She started in quite quickly and ve
ry matter of factly about the different “surprises” he was born with. He had many issues that were never once caught before birth, and because he had more than one issue she told me they would need to seek genetic’s help and search for a syndrome. I suddenly felt like passing out, it was a whirlwind of emotions, I was physically and mentally drained. The picture I had in my head was gone, like someone had turned out the lights, just shut right off. We spent 9 weeks in the NICU, two life flights, one heart procedure in cath, PPD, many uncertain days, but we are here. 18 months later and we are living our reality, it is much different from I had pictured, but I now know that is ok. Beauty can happen everywhere. Our son, Kenai, was born missing quite a few genes off his 7th chromosome. This is extremely rare and so we don’t really know much as far as what to expect. We have learned to live day by day and not set a “picture of perfection” in our heads. Life is beautiful, and much easier if you don’t set your heart on just one picture. Unexpected water drops on a painting can still create beauty.