On Friday the 13th my son was born. Early. And totally unexpected at 35 weeks to the day. It’s my hope that sharing my story will be both therapeutic for me and educational for my readers.
*I should preface this with the important detail that Brad was out of town. Believe it or not he had 3 consecutive days off work (which has never happened FYI) so I encouraged him to take advantage of it and go visit his best friend in Florida, especially since he won’t get the chance for a very long time. We bought the tickets about a week before Kent was born.*
A little background info: my pregnancy was picture perfect. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I slept perfect. I rarely had aches or pains. My energy was rarely compromised. My mood was great. And I was able to exercise up until the day I had him. For that, I am thankful.
Here’s the breakdown of where my picture perfect pregnancy took a turn…
7:00am: Friday morning I woke up for work. Did my usual and headed off for a 1.5 hour drive to attend the most boring training of my life. Seriously. I really have never been so bored in my life than listening to this training. I’ll thank this boring ass training later.
8:00am: As I drank my morning coffee on the way to the training I remember feeling a few kicks here and there. The usual.
9:00am: About 10 minutes into this training the baby made a huge movement. I remember because it was so dramatic that I tapped my colleague next to me to witness the huge bump of a baby that moved across my body. It was a little strange but nothing alarming. No idea what that was but I can tell you, that was the last time I felt him move.
12:00pm: Lunch. I ate a huge lunch. Including two cookies. The training resumed shortly after and due to the training being so unbelievably boring I was thinking about the baby a lot. All the things I still needed to get done before his arrival. And then it occurred to me, I don’t think the baby has been moving much today. I’m sure he’s just asleep.
1:00pm: I spend the next 30 minutes pushing and poking my stomach to try to get some response. Still nothing. The girl next to me says “Feeling the baby move?” and I respond “Actually, no. He hasn’t moved lately.” She encourages me to text my husband. I’ll give it 30 more minutes before I text Brad. I didn’t want to freak him out.
1:30pm – 2:30pm Texts with Brad
Me: The baby hasn’t moved today. It’s making me nervous.
B: You should count. If you need to, call the OB.
Me: I’ll wait another 20 minutes and then maybe I’ll call. I’m pushing on my stomach and still nothing.
B: Don’t hesitate to call honey. They’ll just do a non stress test for baby to make sure everything is OK.
Me: I don’t want to be dramatic
B: Well you don’t want to NOT take action when needed either.
Me: I’ll call after 30 minutes if still nothing.
3:00pm – Still nothing. I paged the doctor. She told me to leave the training immediately and come in for an NST (non stress test). I still wasn’t overly concerned because I figured he was just sleeping. I read that they do that and as you get bigger you might feel the baby move less. I actually felt like I was so bored in this training that I was just paying more attention than usual. Which is no doubt true. But regardless, I headed on the 1.5 hour drive back home to “stop by” the hospital.
5:00pm – arrived at the hospital. Began the NST immediately.
6:45pm – The NST and a 1.5 hour ultrasound growth scan confirmed there was still nothing moving. Not the hands. Not the feet. Nothing. NOTHING. This was a long ass scan. And the tech doing the scan can’t report anything. I had no information other than the baby wasn’t moving. Not very comforting.
At this point Brad knew enough information to be utterly afraid. I was a bit in denial thinking things were going to be okay. He told me he already looked for flights to come home ASAP but there weren’t anymore flights for the night. He was stuck in Florida.
7:00pm – 7:30pm: The nurse informed me I had been having contractions about every 15 minutes. Although, I couldn’t feel them so this was news to me. As I waited for the OB on the floor to review the scans, my sister (the only family member in the same state as me) was on her way to the hospital. Fortunately, she wasn’t far.
7:45pm: The nurse came back into my room and said words I’ll never forget and will probably bring tears to my eyes every time I think about them, “We are going to do an emergency C-section right now.” A team of about 8 nurses came rushing in to help me get prepped for surgery. I have never felt such shock. I couldn’t move. I distinctly remember feeling like this was a dream and I was about to wake up. I remember the nurse repeating “please take your shirt off so we can get your gown on.” But I couldn’t move. I finally came-to enough to think to call Brad. I did my best to sound calm. I don’t think I cried. But we were both devastated and terrified.
I called my parents. They were already on their way from Iowa. My dad was able to give me a quick pep talk as I began to freak out. I remember crying to him “I don’t want to do this. It’s too early. I don’t want to do this. Brad isn’t here.”
My sister arrived shortly after. Thank God. She was able to keep Brad, my parents, and my other sister all up to speed on things. Not to mention, hold my hand. This was so scary.
This was also the time the doctor informed us that the biophysical profile (the ultrasound that took 1.5 hours) resulted in 2/10. Which basically means this baby was failing. And failing fast.
It still makes my heart hurt how bad Brad was hurting at this time. He knew about the Biophysical profile score – and being a doctor himself he is well aware this was terrible and there was a good chance this baby is not going to make it.
I was taken into surgery with my sister by my side. I remember repeating “It’s going to be okay. Everything is going to be okay.” And taking big deep breaths. I wanted to protect this baby as much as I could. Deep breath.
I observed the urgency of the medical team. They were all hustling. It made me nervous. As they began to open me up my sister was right next to me. She remained calm. Bless her soul. The procedure was very fast. I could feel them digging in me. It was kind of a sickening feeling.
About 10 minutes after they started I heard my baby cry.
My sister announced the gender. It’s a boy! This moment I’ve imagined forever to experience… finding out the gender… was here.
My sister called Brad. She gave him the update second by second. He could hear our baby crying in the background. Relief. The medical team performed an immediate APGAR score. 8/9. The baby is fine. He’s saved. He’s going to be okay. I knew everyone was crying. My sister was crying, Brad was crying… I think I was still in too much of shock to cry. I still can’t believe this all happened.
Kent Matthew was born 8:41pm. With my beautiful sister by my side. My husband on the phone. And everyone is fine.
It absolutely devastates me that after all our infertility and then a picture perfect pregnancy that my baby was delivered at 35 weeks without my husband by my side. I cry every time I think about it. Not only because I wanted him there… duh, but because his experience of this day was horrible. He was so far away. He was helpless. All he wanted to do was come home and he couldn’t. I’ve never missed him so much.
Brad switched his flight to arrive as early as he possibly could the following day… 4:30pm. But when he got there it’s a moment I’ll never forget my entire life. We’ve never hugged each other to tight. He’s my rock. Near or far. We are in this together. And with this beautiful baby boy next to us now.
This is not how I imagined my baby would land in my arms. But no matter how it happened, I don’t care now. He’s here. And I’m eagerly looking forward to my hormones to calm the F down so I can stop crying every time I think about this day.
The following few days were the hardest. Between processing what the hell just happened and monitoring Kent’s progress… it was a lot. Kent thrived in the hospital. He never needed oxygen. Nothing. He started breastfeeding about 24 hours after he was delivered and latched on immediately with no problem. By the time we left the hospital he had already started to gain weight. He’s going to be perfectly fine.
As I conclude this post, I am staring across my living room at the most beautiful sight. My husband rocking my two week old baby to sleep.
I can’t wait to continue to share my life was it unfolds with you all. Stay tuned. This life just keeps getting better.