Friday, September 20, 2013

A Baby Story

     I'm nervous to write this post because I want it to be perfect. I don't want to forget any details...but...oh my gosh. It's safe to say I'm in love with this perfect 7 pound baby girl. But we'll get to her later. And let me forewarn you, the hospital room was a little dark so all of my iPhone photos are a leeeeetle grainy and I apologize but you know what if this was like 5 years ago it would be even worse because I didn't have a good camera phone back then so really you should be thanking me especially for this run on sentence ok let's do it to it.

     My sister started having contractions around 5am on Thursday, and she got to the hospital around 7am. I have no idea how she was able to wait over five hours before telling anyone she was at the hospital, but that was probably a smart idea on her part because it kept her from having throngs of people trying to watch her deal with contractions. When she texted me at 12:31 and told me that the baby was getting ready to make her grand appearance I almost lost my cool and drove down to the hospital right away. But I listened to Kathrene and sat at work grinning like a fool proud about-to-be aunt and waited, and waited, and waited some more. Then, since I'd already waited so long, I went home and washed my greasy hair and put on a pink sweater because hello, baby GIRL.

     I was able to see Kathrene before the baby came, and she was doing great. She'd had a rough day and finally asked for the epidural, which ended up being a total God-thing. I think it was a mix of the epidural and the Pitocin that made her agree to this photo. She'd kill me if she knew it was on the internet. Hooray secret blog!

     Around 730 a nurse came in and was explaining what would happen if for some reason they had to do a C-section. "But don't worry, it's not looking like that will have to happen," she assured us. L-I-A-R. A short while later the doctor came in to check her progress and I was banished to the hallway for that process. It was taking longer than it normally would, and I heard serious talking in hushed tones, so I eavesdropped but sucked at it. John texted and said I wouldn't be able to come back in the room so I went  back to the waiting area with the 9 other people who were there for this precious baby girl, and let my mind race with all kinds of ideas about what could be wrong. That wasn't smart, but at least I kept it to myself and didn't Google "what can go wrong with childbirth."

So we waited. And waited. And waited some more.

     It turned out that Kathrene would have to have a C-section, but we weren't clear on the details. I do know that it was good she'd had the epidural earlier, but I'm a little fuzzy on the why of that. I think that enabled her to have the C-section sooner, but I could be off base. We weren't able to ask the doctors or nurses what was going on, which was annoying. You know how in the movies the doctors come out and update the family? That only happens in movies. In real life you just have to sit and wait and hope that you have enough cell phone battery to get you through all the waiting. Kathrene and John were able to text us a bit prior to the C-section (I swear Kathrene was texting up until they cut her open), and we heard something about "her head," so of course assumed the baby's head was too big to come out naturally. This prompted lots of jokes in my dad's direction because apparently he has a larger-than-average sized head....? I don't think so but it was fun to joke about it while we waited.

     Let me be honest: I was scared. When we first heard about the C-section my dad (who is a pastor, I don't think you know that) led us in prayer for the baby, her parents, and the medical team, and that was the first time I cried. Even though I knew things like this happen all the time, it was still scary not knowing all the details and thinking about your sister being cut open so a baby could come out. It was scary, and I was nervous. Especially because no one was updating us

     And I felt bad for Kathrene, too. Obviously no one knows quite what to expect during childbirth, but this was the exact opposite of what she was hoping for. The entire day she had been told that everything was fine, and then all of a sudden everything switched and a team was being called in for a C-section. I can't imagine how she (and John) must have been feeling. Especially Kathrene, with all the drugs and horomones and everything...but the whole time she was only concerned about the baby. Whenever the nurses said anything Kathrene would ask, "But the baby's ok, right?" or they would tell her to roll over and they'd ask if she was uncomfortable and she would say, "I'm fine, is this better for the baby? I just want to do whatever's best for her. I'm fine." She went in for the C-section around 9:15, and finally around 10 (?) John sent a text saying, "she's here and everyone is good." THANKS FOR THE CRYPTIC UNINFORMATIVE TEXT, BROTHER-IN-LAW. 

     Doctors and nurses kept walking by and we kept asking them what was going on but none of them knew anything because they weren't Kathrene's team of doctors. They all said, "Are you all here for the same baby? Oh, she's the first? That explains why there are so many of you so late at night." News flash: we will all be here if they have more babies, so get used to the crowd!! Finally, finally, at 11:30pm, Kathrene's nurse came out and told us we could all go in but please don't pass the baby around because we don't want her to catch anything and oh bee tee dubs you can only stay for twenty minutes. And you know what? Even though it was only 20 minutes and only the four grandparents held her it was the best 20 minutes of my life. She is perfection and I can't get enough of her.

Baby Kate
(Name has been removed)
September 19, 2013
9:27 p.m.
7lbs 0oz.
I don't know how many inches.
Probably 19 or 20?

Her name is a combination of the girls' names on Kathrene's side of the family.
Update: Name has been removed: Kat for Kathrene, and Lynne because that's my mom's and my middle name. (I knew she'd be named after me!) <--joke .="" i="">
Middle name (has been removed): My other sister's middle name, and my mom's grandma's maiden name.

September 19th is special because (other than the obvious):
My dad's mom's mom's birthday (that made sense, right?).
The Dodger's clinched the NL West.
National Talk Like a Pirate Day.

She screams a lot. A LOT. But her daddy was able to get her to sleep within 30 seconds...he's a natural.

     Once again, I'm sorry for the grainy pictures. She's even better in person. She has loads of dark hair and such long fingers! And her fingernails are long too, I wasn't expecting that.

     When we walked into the room Kathrene was holding her baby against her chest and bouncing her softly and just staring, and I cried. Everyone cried (especially Baby Kate). They told us her name and we cried some more. Kathrene told us about the C-section, "She cried immediately after they took her out, which was good, but I hardly got to see my baby! I kept saying, 'How's my baby?'" Hearing Kathrene say "my baby" made me cry. Let's be honest: everything made me cry! She and John are so natural as parents, and it was surreal seeing Baby Kate after we've been waiting for what seems like forever!

     I am so proud of John and Kathrene. Though the pregnancy itself wasn't difficult, they went through several life changes in the last 9 months. They had to live in a hotel and at John's parents house for three months (mold), Kathrene switched from working weekends to working nights to working days, and some other general life stuff. Through everything I never heard them complain even once, and I am SO thrilled for them! Baby Kate is 7 pounds of perfection and I can't describe the emotions that last night held. It was so very special for all 13 of us to be crowded in that little room listening to the precious baby's cries and for all of us to see John and Kathrene become parents...I'll never forget it. We all prayed together before we had to leave and that was so special. It's safe to say there wasn't a dry eye in room 6 last night. There was so much promise in the air. So much anticipation in the hospital. So much joy.

     Thank you all for sharing in my excitement over my niece! I'll do my best to not make this a mommy blog a Baby Kate blog, but I'll probably sneak a picture or seventeen in a post every now and then. And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go look at pictures of the most perfect angel ever.
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  1. AHHHHHHH!! i can't even handle the cuteness. like not at all! congrats aunty J!

  2. She is so precious. Newborns are the cutest thing ever! Congrats lady being an aunt is awesome!

  3. Oh don't ever hold back on niece pictures!! I sure as hell don't!!

  4. congratulations on your brand new niece!!! great pictures and lovely story :)

  5. What a precious little gem! Congratulations, Auntie J! Now GO BUY ALL THE THINGS FOR HER! She will steal your heart. And one day you will ask her to be your flower girl and she will say "no." Prepare yourself.

  6. AUNTIE JAY!! She is perfect. I am so happy for you, Boo. You're going to be the best Auntie evaaaa.

  7. I had a C-Section and it went nothing like this, of course it probably felt like ages to my mom and my sister in the waiting room. As soon as my girl was born one of the nurses said she was going to tell my mom and my sister my daughter was here, so I made her take the camera with her so they could look at pictures before they got to see the real thing.

    The only thing that really sucked about a c-section was not being able to hold my baby as soon as she was born. They gave her to Tyson who left the room with her and I didn't get to hold her until later. That still makes me mad, I did all the work I should have gotten the first cuddles!

  8. ahhhh so exciting and she's precious! Congrats Auntie Juliette!

  9. She probably wasn't dilating fast enough. From the sound of it, she was laboring for quite some time so that would be my educated guess. If the baby has descended far enough but mommy isn't dilating they will usually perform a cesarean so baby doesn't get trapped in the birth canal!

    Sososo happy that both mommy and baby are okay and that you got to meet your niece and now on every birthday you can really annoy her by talking like a pirate all day.

  10. She probably wasn't dilating fast enough. From the sound of it, she was laboring for quite some time so that would be my educated guess. If the baby has descended far enough but mommy isn't dilating they will usually perform a cesarean so baby doesn't get trapped in the birth canal!

    Sososo happy that both mommy and baby are okay and that you got to meet your niece and now on every birthday you can really annoy her by talking like a pirate all day.

  11. This is so beautiful and heartwarming! Congrats to your family :)

  12. congrats auntie j!

    i love her tilted skully haha

  13. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAY She's here!! PS guess what other baby is named Katelynne? I'll give you a few hints. It's not spelled that way. She has an aunt named Boo AND she has an extra thumb to grab cheese balls with.

    But ps. your Katelynne is SO much better than her. and her monogram.. kHr.. I die

  14. Perfectly written. Glad everyone is doing well. Congrats to you Auntie!!

  15. she's beautiful!

  16. Aw love that little face and love you! So happy for you and it sounds like an awesome family experience!! You are SO going to be the cool aunt.

  17. I'm sooooo happy for you. I was praying like a crazy lady yesterday! she's so beautiful!

  18. YAY! congrats! she's beautiful! and it's pretty common for a woman to be going through the process of having the baby vaginally and then suddenly switch to a c-section...the doctor's main concern is the baby and sometimes it's the best way to make sure the baby is born safely.

    kudos to your sis for trying to hold out on the epidural; when i went into labour, i called triage and was like: yo, i'm coming in; tell the anesthesiologist to get that needle ready because imma backing this thang up!

    Vodka and Soda

  19. Congratulations on your niece! She's beautiful and I love her name.

    You don't know how many inches she was? What kind of aunt are you? ;]

    Also, your sister's name: pronounced like Kathryn? Yes?

  20. That actually made me cry! It reminded me of my own niece being born and it was almost exactly the same thing.. my poor sister in-law went through 10 hours of labor and was fully dilated but the baby just wouldn't fix her head in the birth canal and they had to do a c-section at the last second! The wait was frustrating and horrible, but totally worth it.. and all the tears? totally, totally worth it! Enjoy being an aunt, it's the best!!

  21. Congrats on being an AUNT!! You are going to be amazing! :)