Originally posted at Blogger in January 2012
Today my baby girl celebrates 26 years of life, which her Dad and I decided to give to her. She was the only child we TRIED to get pregnant with. It took us 3 months to achieve Halie in my womb. The two boys, while unexpected, have been just as important and just as well-loved (they all might tell you differently, but don’t believe it), however the other day as Keith and I were talking about “working” to get pregnant with Halie, Keith said those 3 months trying to get pregnant were the best days of HIS life, hmmmmmm. I’m sure he didn’t quite mean it the way it sounded.
Halie’s joyful, if not long entry into this world was surrounded by sadness. She brought much-needed light with her when she arrived. My Grandpa Emmett had died just the year before on January 17th, and my Grandma Isabelle, died when I was about 4 or 5 months pregnant with Halie. My Aunt snapped a picture of Keith and me at Grandma’s funeral, me in a straight black and white dress with the “Halie belly” protruding. It was our first anniversary and not a very happy day.
Halie was due January 4th, but as each day passed and she made no effort to join us on the outside we got closer and closer to the 17th. My Grandmother did NOT want her to be born on that sad day. The pressure was on. Just a few days before her birth, Keith’s Grandpa Leo died. Three grandparent’s lost in a year’s time.
While it really was not unexpected, Leo’s death came at the one time when Keith felt he shouldn’t leave me to attend the funeral in Iowa. It was a very hard decision for him to make, but as we had gone so far past the due date we knew our first-born child could arrive any day. My Mother-in-Law, Carolyn entrusted us with caring for our young niece Nicky while she and Keith’s brothers went to Iowa for her Father’s funeral. Keith’s Grandfather was buried on January 15th, his wife’s, Keith’s Grandma Carrie’s birthday. I went into labor that very morning at about 5am. I would remain in labor for 39 hours before under Halie’s protest my Doctor decided to remove her by Cesarean section. But I’m jumping ahead.
Keith and I had decided not to tell anyone that I had gone into labor, but this became a difficult decision later in the day when the Contractions finally started getting closer together. Carolyn and the brothers were due back, but this was before Cell phones (hard to imagine I know) so we had no idea what time they would get back and we couldn’t very well take our 5-year-old niece to the hospital with us (of course now days no one would question that). I did let the 5-year-old walk out to get my mail, while I watched her all the way there and back from the living room window. It was a little hike to the road and when I was 5 I would have felt like I was on an adventure. I had sent Keith off to work that day, knowing I would call him if it was time. I don’t remember the exact time, it was dark for January, so somewhere after 5pm we made the decision to call my cousin Cozette to come over and stay with Nicky while we went to the hospital. I don’t remember why, but she had to get a ride from a friend, Rodger, to get over to our house. These two were now the only two that knew I was in labor. When Cozette and Rodger arrived, wouldn’t you know it my Mother-in-law and brother-in-laws arrived back from Leo’s funeral, to pick up Nicky. Of course none of them knew I was in labor, so they started in talking and telling Keith about his Grandpa’s funeral. It was difficult for Keith, I know. This man he loved, he could not be there to say his last goodbyes to. I remember his Mom telling him how one of his cousin’s wanted to know why he wasn’t there and saying he SHOULD have been there. This was the first time I ever saw my husband cry. He was so torn up about it. Love can tear us up inside can’t it? He stayed by my side, because he loved me and this little child we were bringing into the world. He loved his Grandpa.
Carolyn and the brothers finally left with Nicky in tow and it was no longer necessary for my cousin Cozette to stay, so off she went, the bearer of the secret. Off we went to the old Hospital; my third child would be born in the new hospital, a large span of time passing between the first child and the last. I don’t recall what time we arrived but I was admitted.
Most people know this time was not much fun. I wasn’t up for playing a card game and it only got worse. Keith and I had taken the Lamaze classes and once I had to start using it I stayed with the first breathing technique. I can’t remember how many steps there are in the breathing as this was the only time I needed it. My boys were scheduled C-sections. Needless to say by the following morning our child had not been born. The hours for the most part all mesh together and I can’t remember what happened when but that morning they decided to send Keith home to get some sleep and they gave me meds to relax. It seems I was having cramping in between the contractions that was keeping me in a lot of constant pain with no relief so they thought this would help. Needless to say Keith didn’t get much sleep at home and I didn’t get much rest at the hospital. By 11am they had called Keith to come back, thinking maybe we were getting close. After he arrived the nurses examined me, I was dilated at 3 or 4. It had been at 1 when we arrived the night before and needed to get to 10! Oh it’s going to be a long day isn’t it? I was so miserable I told Keith to keep a lookout for any nurses and I went in and laid down on the cold bathroom floor trying to get some relief. I knew I had to be feeling pretty bad to lay down on what I’m sure was a germ infested bathroom floor, but the cold tile felt good on my overheated body.
At some point it was decided to physically break my water to see if this would get Halie moving. I remember being scared when I saw the green tinged water. We had heard something about that in Lamaze and it meant the baby was in some distress. A while later the nurses decided I could go ahead and start pushing. I pushed for something like 2 hours, yes 2 hours! The Doctor returned to the hospital from home, examined me and told me I should NOT be pushing. Now some women may understand this, it is nearly impossible once you’ve started pushing to stop pushing a baby out of your swollen belly! I had still been, up to this time, in the first Lamaze breathing pattern. Keith stepped out of the room to talk to the nurses and when he came back a few seconds later, I was pushing up on the bars of the bed and in the very last breathing pattern of short bursts of breath. He ever so calmly informed me I had jumped all the other steps. I don’t recall what I said to him, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t very nice, and I stayed in that pattern.
Keith was gentle and attentive through the whole process, which is pretty amazing because he’s the hysterical one in a crisis. He would try to do what they had taught him in Lamaze, taking a cool wash cloth to my forehead which I would brush him and it away. I hurt so bad I couldn’t talk AND tell him the simple step of the brushing the washcloth across my forehead hurt. Somewhere in the madness, the Doctor examined me and discovered Halie was turned wrong. Her head was down, but she was facing the wrong direction. My Doctor looked at me and said we had two options, he could try to turn the baby……….(I had heard the woman down the hall from me having this done to her and listening to her scream convinced me I wasn’t the slightest interested in that option). I just gave my Doctor the worst I’m going to kill you when this is all over look I could muster and very quickly he said, “orwecandoaCsectionIthinkwe’lldothecsection.” Once the decision was made for the C-section, things became very rushed. As I was being prepared; the Doctor informed Keith he wouldn’t be able to go in with me, because he didn’t have the “proper” paperwork from the Lamaze class. Are you kidding me? After everything we have been through together? Not just in these last couple days, but this last year of grief and darkness?
Story to be continued.
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