Sunday, November 18, 2012

Our Blessed Birth Story: Justin Kix Knuth

Bear with me (I'm wrote this over the span of three weeks! And there's probably tons of grammatical errors!)
Let's start at the beginning because that's the best place to start any story.

I had mentioned before, I had grown tired of being pregnant. I was worn out and knew my time was coming.  Maybe I grew tired of pregnancy because instead of the fun days of doing all the 'inducing' of labor--this pregnancy, I was trying to make it to my scheduled date of the c-section.

Which meant, BED REST. My last days were spent on the sofa, the couch or keeping playtime on the floor.  Needless to say, I felt like I was a boring mom. I wanted to DO more.
And with every contraction I had...
it just reminded me that time was coming--
and I couldn't prevent it.

Maybe that sounds good to near-the-end pregnant mom, but to a mom whose family is SIX hours away--and has a toddler that needs to be looked after,
--I desperately needed to stay on the planned schedule.
You know, the one that meant my mom would be in town a day before the surgery, so she could be with my toddler while me and the husband were in surgery.  

You know the scheduled that called for fasting for 12 hours before surgery so I wouldn't get sick on the operating table...

Yes, that schedule.

Well Monday arrived, October 22nd--I had my 37 and some odd day appointment.
The doctor reassured me I once again would not be going into labor.
 I then called and reassured my Mom that I wouldn't be either. (She had taken the time off months in advance since I was having a scheduled c-section.)
Well the days passed and I grew more and more tired.
And the contractions only worsened.

But these were different then what I experienced with Kie. They hurt me constantly.
 I realized I may be having back labor and spent the majority of Thursday and Friday laying on a heating pad.

You can't time back labor, it's just a constant pain. 

I woke up Friday and I felt different. 
I was at peace.
I remembered what my Granny had said a few days before--(she's my prayer warrior!)
She said, "This is the day that the Lord has made...let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Well, on the 26th that was the verse I had in my head that morning.
I prayed to God that if it was His will to have Kix today then I could do it.
I finally was at peace .
Sure, I was sill nervous but--I knew God would be there with me regardless.

Well, the contractions were still hurting me and I didn't even bother trying to time them.
I ate breakfast, spent my day with Kie and ate a small, light lunch.

I decided that since I was still having this back labor pain I shouldn't eat anymore after 12:00---just in case I'd be having a baby. (C-section/fasting fun.)

Around 2pm, I warned Justin that we may need to go to the doctor if this pain didn't let up.
Well, it didn't let up.

So around 4:30 pm, I called the nurse in my doctors office to ask if this was indeed back labor. Since I couldn't time it, I wasn't sure what to do?

She said since it was nearly 5pm and they offices would be closing soon- therefore, I could head up to Labor and Delivery to see if I was in labor or even having contractions.
(Luckily, I live ONE mile from the hospital.)
I called Justin and my family to inform them I'd be going into Labor and Delivery--but I thought I'd be sent home after having some iv fluid. (Since I stopped drinking water earlier that day for the fasting--and dehydration can bring about contractions.)

After all, I had seen my doctor a few days ago and he had checked me. I had no change and he knew I would definitely make it another week or more.

Once Justin got home, he showered and we cleaned the already cleaned house ::this is OCD Halley at her finest::
--I also showered got dressed and put on makeup (this time I did not wash and blow dry out my hair like I did with Kie, instead I dry shampooed.)
I also spent a few more minutes packing last minute things like the camera, the chargers, my tablet and other random items.

We also called our back up babysitter and friend, Chelsea-to come over. She was our stand in-in case I went into labor early.

Of course, when we needed her we were asking her to drive across town on a FRIDAY in RUSH HOUR.  If you know Austin, then getting from north Austin to south Austin on a Friday after 3pm meant at least an hour or more sitting in traffic.

I told her not to worry that this may be nothing, but if she could--to head this way.
(Chelsea had also been on call for us the past two weeks in case I went into early labor.)
Also, coincidence--Carter, my little brother, was on his way into town and was meeting Chelsea.
So they decided they'd come together to the hospital.

Once Justin, Kie and I got to the hospital--and walked the 10 miles to the labor and delivery wing (we came in the back door.)
I was taken into a room to be checked. I had been in this room a few times with Kie--and I was really quite sure they'd be letting me go home. I just was WAY too calm to be in labor.

I also found out, my lovely doctor, was on call. Thank you, Lord. (One of the many signs that Jesus was by my side the entire time.)

The nurse came in, checked my vitals, hooked me up to the monitors and told me I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes apart.
She also started an IV.
We chatted about our kids and c-sections.
 Fun times.

I was still relatively calm. 
(I think I was in denial that I was indeed in labor.)

My doctor came in (without his white surgery coat) and just his scrubs--and I noted his very strong arms. He must of been working out a lot and hiding his arms very well under his coat.
It made me think he probably would be good at getting babies out of tight spots.
And for some reasons, seeing a strong doctor also made me feel at peace.
Anyway, he checked me and informed me I was dilated to 3 1/2-4cm.

If this was a normal vaginal delivery, I could easily ask for an epidural now.

But this wasn't.

He clapped his hands and then announced,
We're doing this! We're having a baby tonight!

I burst into tears.
Maybe I was partially relieved.
But mainly I was overwhelmed.
All those days, weeks and months were leading to this moment.
With Kie, it was so fast--
and rushed.
And here I was again,
it was happening so fast.
And once again earlier than expected.
12 days to be exact.

I was in a tiny room, with my toddler and husband.
My family seemed so far away.
And then I realized, this is my family.
Justin is my support group.
We can do this.
I can do this.

Yet again, I'd be having a baby without my mom by my side. But it was going to be fine.
I was happy to know Justin could be there with me.
All we had to do was get Kie squared away.

My doctor then told me we would be going into surgery as soon as possible.
He asked where my babysitter was for Kie--and I informed him they'd be here soon. They were stuck in traffic.

He said I needed to go into surgery quick because I was dilating so fast---and he didn't want my labor to progress me too far.

Regardless, he agreed to wait on them.
(Another reason I love my doctor.)
I was informed after my surgery that most doctors do NOT wait on patients.
They'd instead make the husband sit out of the OR with the kids....and the wife would go on alone.

About 45 minutes passed, they finally arrived.
Justin was in the parking lot with Kie waiting for Chelsea and Carter.
So there I sat, alone in the bed---waiting...and thinking.
But mainly praying.

While I waited, I met my anesthesiologist.
I informed him I was worried and anxious.
I'm the nervous type.
I also said I did not like surgeries and/or being in a hospital.
And that I didn't want to throw up STRAPPED to an operating table--for some reason that was a major fear of mine.
I mean, who likes to throw up?
Much less, laying down, with your arms strapped and with your stomach cut into?
Not ideal.
::I believe in being upfront and honest with your doctors::

Anyway, he seemed very nice. He had a long name but told me his name was Drake.
(Dr. Drake, easy enough.)
He even saw me waddling in to the hospital a bit earlier.
In fact, I noted him giving me the once over look.
This look to me was the doctor assessing the patient look.
My good nurse friends have told me they can tell by looking at a patient to know if they're indeed in labor or not.
He didn't think I was in labor. I could tell by his face.
Heck, I didn't think I was.
(I do have a high tolerance for pain.)

Anyway, after telling him how I was crazy, OCD and that I had a need for control,
he laughed and said he'd see me soon.
I told him he needed to be my best friend.

Once Justin arrived,
my doctor returned to get me ready.
He told me he would walk me to OR.
Walk me to the OR?
That just seemed so surreal.
I burst into tears again.

I was clinging on to an old ragged piece of paper that I had written some verses on.
It was the only thing I brought into the hospital, because I really didn't think I'd be having a baby that night. (The rest of my stuff we left in the car.)

Well, my doctor asked what it was...
I informed him it was some of my favorite "peace" giving verses.
He asked to see it.
It now had blood smeared on it from the IV that the nurse messed up on.
I wrote a couple of verses two weeks back when I was on bed rest.
I would read them when I would get anxious and couldn't sleep at night.
Needless to say, those long days in bed had me crippled in fear of my surgery.
It's amazing how Satan can take over our minds when we're scared.

My doctor then begin reading them.
Once he read a few, I asked him,
"Are you a Christian man?"
He replied,
I realize it was strange to ask, but not many people probably question their doctors about their spirituality.  
I told him I knew then that everything would be okay.
It was in God's hands.
And in his.

He then said,
"No...It's all in God's hands."

Peace washed over me.
They checked me once more before getting out the bed and in 45 minutes I had dilated to 6cm already!
It was go time.
I got up out of the bed.
The nurse, pushing my IV and my doctor on both sides of me, walked me slowly to the OR.
Justin was also there with me, reassuring me all would be fine.
I was in pain from the contractions.

The OR room seemed forever away.
Justin and my doctor went to change.
Justin put on a blue scrub suit and scrub hat.
My doctor went to wash up.
I held on to the nurse...
shaking from my nerves,
shaking from the pain.

Walking into the operating room without Justin felt like being in my own horror movie.
There in the middle of the room was the shiny metal table.
All was cold and sterile.
And soon I'd be cut into.
But I kept praying.

I sat on the table.
Got prepped for the spinal.
Dr. Drake was a miracle worker.
The worse pain was actually being done by the nurse, because she made me keep my chin pressed against my chest.
(This was to get my spine curved for the needle.)
I wasn't worried about the spinal because it was going to make me feel better.
I clung on to my sweet nurse and I literally didn't hurt much from the needle.
::there was a slight sting::

My back was already in some pain from the laboring.
I was waiting for the medicine to relive me of it.
It took seconds.
And all of a sudden I felt warm.
He said I took the needle like a champ.
My only concern was my already low blood pressure.
I knew the spinal would make it drop suddenly and I didn't want to pass out.
They laid me down,
and my legs begin to get heavy.
SO heavy.
My chest also seemed heavy, but I concentrated on my breathing so I wouldn't freak out.

I felt them pull open my gown and I was exposed for all to see.
I remember looking around the room to note who was all there.
My doctor had come in during the spinal to reassure me I was doing fine.
There was a nurse or two..
some other people, I think maybe some were pediatricians and nurses, a surgeon tech.
Then the other OB came in.
She came and introduced herself.
She was my Doctor's wife.
She was also an OB/GYN.
I felt reassured again.

A husband/wife duo!
I knew I was in great hands.
The rest of the surgery was sorta a blur.
It went slower than Kie's, I do know that.
I remember asking Dr. Grimes how she met my Dr.
And she began telling me how they met in residency.

Justin also was great, he kept me distracted from all the noises and sounds by talking to me about Kie.
And what him and Kie were doing down in the lobby of the hospital while waiting on Carter and Chelsea.

I felt sick numerous times and kept informing the anesthesiologist.
He countered it with Zofran.
I also kept asking about my blood pressure.
I didn't want to look at the monitor and freak out.
Another thing I did that helped was get alcohol wipes (Justin held them in front of my nose) so I didn't smell them burning my flesh.

It worked wonders.
Basically, I kept my eyes squeezed closed and sniffed alcohol to keep me from passing out or puking.
Sometime during the surgery I asked the anesthesiologist to hold my hand.
Yep, I held hands with him.
He informed me that he charges extra for this.
(I haven't gotten the bill yet, but I believe him.)

While they were doing the surgery they did comment a few times how I had a small pelvis.
This is something we discovered with Kie, nearly two years ago to the day.
I am physically not able to have babies vaginally.

Kix was also lodged into my ribs so there was also a lot of pushing and pulling.
These are all things you can feel during a c-section, but with minor pain and discomfort.

I did inform my Doctor I could feel him sometimes--but it was mainly the tugging that I felt.
Both Doctors kept telling me it was normal...which I knew but in those moments you kinda are in a heightened state of fear and anxiety.

Anxious for the baby, 
anxious about being awake during surgery.

I did have 'pain displacement' which is when the pain from the incision goes to another part of your body. It went to my right shoulder! I mentioned it to the doctors and they said that this was a 'textbook' csection.

Apparently, this sharp pain was normal.

After what seemed like forever until I heard the loudest, sweetest cry.
I had told my doctor I would be overwhelmed so I needed some medicines to help with my anxiety.
Yes, I was overwhelmed with happiness--joy--excitement and worry.

You see, two years ago--when Kie was born and taken away from me I went into a panic mode.
I knew Kix would also be 'whisked' away and I couldn't have him right away.
And my body does weird things when I have zero control over it.
And since I was strapped to a table, numb from the chest down I asked for some anxiety meds STAT!
The anesthesiologist gave me something to help feel less overwhelmed.
I just didn't want to have that panic attack hit me when I was trying to enjoy the first minutes of my son's arrival.

Kix continued to cry and the doctors said they loved having a loud, feisty baby because it meant he was healthy and had a good pair of lungs.
After cleaning him (at my request) and checking him over, they showed me my baby.
I had already started crying when I kissed him.

I do remember thinking he didn't look like Kie.
Or, me.
But I was just so happy he was finally here.
And he was healthy.
No rushing off to the NICU.
No being transferred to another hospital.
He was just going down the hall to the nursery and soon I'd be with him.

Justin left with Kix to be further washed up and weighed.
The next 20-30 minutes seemed to drag on.
They had an issue with a 'beserk' vein--(that's what the referred to it as)
and apparently it gushed blood all over everyone in the room.
Thankfully, I kept my eyes closed and they all knew to say very little because I was uneasy.
I did hear one of the surgeons tell a nurse she had blood on her shoulders.

After the doctors stapled everything close...
I was left with the nurses to be bandaged up.

The nurses were angels.
I wish I could remember their names.

I was then transferred onto a comfy, brand-new hospital bed (seriously was SO comfy and warm compared to the cold surgery table) and I was placed into recovery for an hour.
I couldn't have the baby because I lost so much blood they needed to make sure I got more fluids then normal and to monitor my blood count.
I also was having a reaction to the spinal and couldn't stop shaking.
And I developed a lovely rash!
::I don't do good with meds--and later I'd have even worse issues::

After I was able to sit up I was taken into my recovery room.
There waiting for me was my beautiful sons Kix, Kie and my husband.
And Carter and Chelsea.
It was all sort of blur.
A blessed blur.

I remember a lot more than I did with Kie.
It was a blur because it was fast.
But, overall it was calm.
Calm for me being so far in labor,
calm for going into a surgery and being awake.

It's a surreal thing.
Even when you've done it before.

Anyway, I knew right after that c-section I'd have another baby if it would be as smooth as this one.
The reading of the Bible verses by my doctor beforehand really helped.
Basically,  I focused a lot on my verses, on God, on my son and praying.

I truly felt Jesus with me at all times.
It was as though he was holding my hand (and not the random anesthesiologist!)

Justin was also a wonderful support person.
He was there with me, holding my (other) hand, talking to me and cheering me on.
Oh and holding that alcohol swab up to my nose!  Ha!

Overall, it was a beautiful birth and my heart could not be more full!
We spent Friday through Monday in the hospital.
We celebrated Justin's birthday there as well!
And watched our beloved Broncos play.
The evenings I spent with Kix and the days Kie would stay with us.
My mom and Justin would alternate nights with me so they could get good rest.
Obviously, staying in a hospital is not that relaxing because they check in on you every few hours to give pain meds.

I did get to spend a lot of time learning about Kix and his signals.
There was a lot of bonding and nursing.
I felt like a first time mom, because the first time I gave birth I spent my time alone with no child.
Since Kie was in another hospital I couldn't even go visit him in the NICU.
So, it truly was a new experience for me.

(I even had a nurse from Kie's birth there--She was so sweet. In fact, all my nurses were God sent!)

As for Kie adjusting--he was not your typical 2 year old.
He loved his brother immediately!
He has yet to be aggressive or mean.
In fact, he always runs to him when he cries.
And he is so intrigued by him.
And everyday he asks to hold him.

I really am lucky all away around.
I have THREE beautiful boys and so very grateful for everything!
I have all these blessings because of God so everyday I give thanks!

Justin Kix Knuth
7lbs, 5oz and 19"

Kie first meeting Kix

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