|Your Grammie Ruth Ann thought you were so |
clever to already be waving at us in-utero!
We arrived at the hospital before 7:00 on our 3rd wedding anniversary. They put the hormone strip on my cervix and then I thought I'd be able to go home or at least meander around the hospital but they insisted I be monitored by a belt and machine regularly so I had to stay quite close to our room. I was an outpatient because they didn't know if it would work and I had a roommate because I wasn't in labor. Yet.
Throughout the day I noticed contractions that were quite strong and lasted for exactly 45 seconds. It got to the point where I would be talking to Rod or playing a game of cards and I would hold up my finger as my cue to him that I couldn't talk and I would literally watch the clock. I knew that in 45 seconds the uncomfortable feeling would pass and that I could talk again. These contractions continued throughout the day and even got closer and closer together from 5 minutes to 4 minutes to 3 etc. I told the nurses who were in and out of my room all day checking the machine attached to the belt around my waist. They insisted that I was most definitely NOT in labor. They didn't understand why my doctor had done this to me. And they said that my uterus was extremely irritated. Ok. I believed them. They were the professionals!
Around 5:00 I was walking around with Rod and having contractions so badly that I had to stand against a wall and breath deeply before moving on. Still not in labor. Wow, I thought, if this isn't labor, what the hell is labor actually going to feel like? I didn't squeeze Rod's hand, I didn't use lavender lotion to calm me down, I didn't suck on the lollipops I had packed in my birthing bag. I was not in labor so therefor I did not call on any laboring tricks to get me through.
At one point I felt like I was on an episode of Friends when they wheeled a meal past my roommate who had just arrived an hour before. My previous roommate had already left to have her baby. Must be nice I thought! They apologized to my new roommate and told her that she would not be getting a meal because she would most likely be having her baby that night or the following morning. They then wheeled the tray over to me and said "Here is your dinner Mrs. MacLeod." I almost lost it. I had been there for over 10 hours yet my roommate who had just arrived was going to have her baby before me?! I had no desire to eat. The tray sat in the corner.
At that point I was done. I'd had enough. I told the next nurse that checked on me that I wanted to go home. If this wasn't working and if I wasn't going to have my baby today then I wanted to spend at least part of my anniversary NOT in a hospital. I would go home and come back the following day to be induced. They called my doctor who said "But Kari doesn't want to be induced, have you checked her to see how far she has progressed?" They said they hadn't because I was not in labor. She insisted they check me before sending me home.
When one of the nurses checked me she said "I can't feel your cervix!" Me, being in a completely frustrated state of mind thought, "Well then get a nurse that can!!" Rod, who apparently paid more attention than I did in birthing class knew that meant I was completely effaced and about to have our first baby!
Mind you I was an outpatient in a room with a roommate not even in the birthing wing! The nurse got extremely anxious and said she'd never delivered a baby before, ran out of the room and came back with a wheelchair and literally ran down the hall with me to the birthing wing with Rod in close pursuit. They called my doctor back and apprised her of the situation and she asked them to have me try not to push while she drove to the hospital as fast as she could. She literally ran in the room around 6:00 and Kelsey, our first child, a girl!! , was born at 6:08. The heat lamp was not on in the room because the room hadn't been prepared for a delivery. I was bleeding a lot so they rushed Kelsey out of the room and to the nursery to warm her up. There she sprawled full length unlike all the babies in their burritos or curled in the fetal position. She stretched out those long limbs and was so content to sprawl.
|Every other baby was wrapped up like a burrito and this was Kelsey, all stretched out!|
When my dad arrived I was in shock, and kept repeating, "But I wasn't in labor, how could she be here?" I wasn't in labor!" I must have said it ten or twenty times. He insisted I had been very much in labor, they had just told me I wasn't. But I didn't use anything in my bag of tricks! Rod didn't get a single death squeeze to the hand! Our baby wasn't even in the room with us for me to see her and hold her and realize this was all a reality. When she finally came back to us there were lots of pictures to be taken and lots of holding to be done.
|Happy & Proud Grandparents!|
The next day we had lots of visitors. We still looked tired but it was nice to be able to show off our new baby! I insisted she stay in the room with us all night. I did not want to be separated from her again!
|With her Grammie Ruth Ann who Kelsey Anne was named after!|
|With dear friends Laurie and baby Lucy and Stephanie!|
|The bassinet that Aunt Sue, Uncle Rob, dad and many other|
relatives slept in. But not Kelsey!
|Kelsey's favorite sleeping spot!|
Kelsey has always been a healthy active girl. And while I realize her birth was uneventful and required no medicine or induction I also realized after the fact that her birthing experience was something I did not want to repeat. I was going to do that very differently the next time! I moved on to midwives at The Birthing Center in Wellesley where I had a much more positive birthing experience. I never did complain to the hospital where she was born. It was too close to home when it happened and then I was too busy with my new born to contact them. I hope those nurses learned their lesson that day. To listen to their patients, to watch their faces, and to monitor their pain levels and experience not just look at the machines. Most importantly, to pay attention to their patients!
Ever since she was a tiny baby people have always commented on Kelsey's beauty. As her mother I have the honor of knowing that her true beauty is really on the inside! She is so much more than a pretty face! Since that first night she has never stopped surprising us! Always an explorer. Always adventurous. No fears of going on amusement park rides all alone because her sisters were too little to join her and I had to stay with them. She is an avid dancer but she took a turn as a "soccerina"- a soccer playing ballerina as well. She has legs for days and knows how to use them. That sprawling and spreading out that first night should have been a sign as to what was to come. She is giving and loving and "mostly" a great big sister! She is smart and funny and so kind and actually a pretty easy teenager. On a recent visit to a new doctor they asked how it was with two teenage and one pre-teen daughter and I said "So much easier when they were little!" He joked and laughed and asked what I was doing wrong.
|Happy baby! Always always smiling!|
|Content and happy to play by herself. But more content being held!|
|Always exploring the world!|
|Always on a stage, dressing up, or dressing down...|
dancing, singing, performing!
Kelsey, Thanks for being the greatest anniversary present ever! You were the one that made us parents and that is the best gift we have ever received. I feel so blessed to be your mom. I am so proud of the person you have become and the joy you bring to our family. We look forward to continue watching you grow, explore and leap through life. Always stretching yourself to new limits and reaching for the stars in everything you do!