Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Warrior Princess is born!

I haven't written about the night Katie was born. No where. It has been coming up for me. I am going to write about it now.

November 2, 2014 my water broke at 24 weeks 3 days pregnancy. The events of that evening are a story of their own. I relay it to give a short backdrop. Waverly hospital and Dr. Lau sent me by ambulance to UIHC. There, I was told I would stay until I either started labor or took infection and they would take my baby by C-section.. The goal? 10 weeks. Make it to 34 weeks with a dried up uterus and deliver by C-section a baby that would go to NICU until she could go home. That is not how they described it to me. That is how I was thinking of it. I made it 12 days. 26 weeks 1 day pregnant. The morning before Katie was born, I finally expressed to the team of wonderful doctors, my fear of a C-section and spinal/epidural and what the plan is IF I didn't make it another 8 weeks. Bennett's birth was very traumatic to me. I had been dreading the actual birth of our daughter ever since I peed on a stick and it showed positive. Understand, I welcomed the life I would bring into the world. I didn't welcome the process. Looking back, it is amazing how we just know stuff, isn't it? I'll never forget the somber tone the room took after asking the doctors. It was as though, they had been waiting for me to bring it up. Up til that morning, by the time rounds happened every morning by 8AM, I was showered, dressed, oiled-up and make-up, "game face" on waiting for them. I started crying and the High Risk OB {there were always 5 staff that entered my room every morning} looked me square in the face, "Your uterus is a topic of our discussion several times a day." As I remember it, I felt relieved and also reminded that this was a big deal.

The next day, November 14. I had no idea Katie would be born by the end of that day. We were closing on a house we sold in Independence. Our realtor was coming to my hospital room where Steve and I would close that chapter. Kari came and we enjoyed our closing, between contractions. I had no idea they were contractions. They didn't feel like contractions because ....I'd never had contractions with no water in a uterus. Honestly? I was sitting there, in great discomfort, quickly transitioning to pain, thinking, "Beth get yourself together because she is growing in there and there is no buoyancy for her to shift and move ...so this is going to hurt more as she grows over the next 8 weeks." I went on like this until I felt chilled. I knew what a fever felt like. I called the nurse, and quickly my angel nurse practitioner Lastascia entered. She sat on the side of my bed, held my hand and assured me all would be well and that we'd have our Katie in an hour. I almost made it to the 3rd trimester. We called our boys. I called my parents. To be honest? I trusted the baby would come out ok....but I didn't know how my body would take a 5th abdominal procedure and was sort of preparing to say goodbye just in case. I was tired and it was so overwhelming. I had been in denial and then everything changed so rapidly.
It was closing in on 6pm when prep started. I walked to operating room and there....was my angel doctor...Dr. Wernimont. Her shift was almost done and she was coming in with me when she was 37 weeks pregnant. Remembering her sweet face and Lastascia - make me emotional. SO emotional. They are the best at their job. They don't treat it like a job. They love their patients. They are passionate. I truly love them. I still have days where I wish I was in the hospital just to feel that reinforcement. Mommies at UIHC are so blessed to have the best attention and support and reinforcement. Dr. Wernimont came in the OR to hold my hands and help me concentrate while I got the epidural. She took every bit of squeezing of those hands I gave her. She reminded me to keep my breath slow as the anesthesiologist couldn't get the catheter fed through my spine in the first port and had to put a second one in. I wanted to die. I can still feel where they fed both those lines through in my back. I will never understand women that want a hole poked in their back to feed a line through to avoid child birth pain. I don't judge. I simply do not understand. INVASIVE! Also...how in the world then does one lie on their back with a thing stuck in their back? Too late....will never know the particulars because I am over spinals. I told Steve that I will never have another one, ever again, for anything ...ever. I can't imagine what else would come up to require one, but never again.

Steve brought my headphones. After Bennett's birth and when we learned we were expecting again...I knew I would not want to hear the operation chatter. I had hoped to have a play list made of inspirational songs...My playlist ended  up being one song, on repeat.  I decided I was tuning the rest of the world out. Even Steve. I needed him to sit there with me and play with my hair while I listened and sang, 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman. https://youtu.be/DXDGE_lRI0E Katie Beth was a promise to me after Levi died. We weren't trying to get pregnant. Lordy....not to be TMI...but it was a "dry season" if you catch my drift. As the table shook with them using their tools and tugging and pulling on my skin and organs, I knew I wanted this sweet baby to come into her world hearing praise being sung by her mama to God. Remember that song, "Praise You in the Storm" which was my theme after Levi? I know this mode. I think about the Israelites, battle after battle with all their color and pageantry and instruments and songs, ahead of the soldiers. In some bible stories, this action struck fear in their enemy's hearts merely by singing praise to their God. The bible says, "God inhabits the praises of his people." I knew that night - I wanted his presence in the room our 14 week early daughter would enter. I sang and sang. I sang until it was too tight across my chest. I sang while I shook from the anesthesia. I sang when Steve would lift the ear buds from my ears to ask me a question or tell me something. I shouted to stick the ear buds back in my ears when the doctors and nurses wanted to ask me a question. I wouldn't take the risk anything they may say, could reach my ears, strike fear, doubt or anxiety and begin to chink away at my faith.  I couldn't have possibly been in the right key or sang my best - and I didn't care. I was in battle mode. When I am myself and singing I am nervous to sound anything less than terrific. Not this night. I don't care how poor I sounded. I believe in a principle, "Avert focus to my Maker when I am scared and He shows up." He's never really not there, worshipping Him, reveals Him.

At 6:29pm, Katharine "Katie" Beth was born. I asked how much she weighed. The doctor said, in a tone quite different than I heard for our boys, "1 pound 11oz." She was in an incubator and wheeled over for us to see her. I pretended I could see her, but I couldn't. I was in shock at how tiny she was. I was expecting to hear 3lbs. and something. I mean, that was what the ticker on Baby Center showed for 26 weeks pregnant. At that point, I knew this adventure had only just begun. We were in for a bigger battle. Also, it was a several days later, I surrendered. I surrendered because there wasn't a thing I could do except get out of the way. There's a difference between surrendering and quitting. But that's for another post. We had no formula. We had no idea what in the heck we were doing. But God did. And just look at what a gift He gave us!

Just after she was born....1 lb. 11 oz and 13 inches long.

She is teething. 8 months actual, 5 adjusted. She loves life! She just couldn't wait to start living it!

I love this picture. Last night, Jacob fed her a bottle. It was his first time. She thought he did a fabulous job.



  1. She is a miracle and praise the Lord for the science and wonderful doctors that helped her survive! I want to see her and squeeze her chubbers!!

    1. For some reason, I am just now seeing these comments. <3 Pieces of me are now forever at UIHC for the wonderful treatment with Levi and Katie. <3

  2. Beth
    You are such a blessing to your family!

    1. Joellen, I just now saw this comment. Thank you for leaving it. Thank you for the blessing you were in getting my mom to me and home again while I lived at Ronald McDonald House. <3