Well, Ryan’s arrival coming up so very soon.. I find myself reminising on my last few weeks of my pregnancy with Kaylen. Right now, I’m close to 32 weeks with Ryan. At this time with Kaylen I was showing my first sign of preclampsia and in two weeks – 34 weeks she was born. I am a whirlwind of emotions right now… scared, worried, excited…. I went back looking for this post and felt I needed to repost it.
The Miracle & Birth of Kaylen
The Miracle & Birth of Kaylen – Orginally Composed in late September 08
It seems odd to say we are officially parents now. In a blink of an eye, our lives changed forever. We neither knew nor could really anticipate what it would be like to really be a parent. Now, being a parent, I don’t think it’s something you can understand or appreciate until you are one yourself. It’s hard to put it all into words. In my mind, I just can’t believe how fast our pregnancy went by. It just seems like yesterday that we were just finding out that we were going to be parents. Jeff and I married young and kids, at times, were something we were not sure we were ever going to really want to have. We always knew it would mean a lot of work and sacrifice and we just weren’t really ever sure if we would ever be ready for all that. During brief moments in our early marriage when we did talk about kids, we at one time did decide that we would start trying when he was 28 as that would be our ideal age. We always figured by then, we would be ready to settle down and start a family. So it is interesting to see, that although we didn’t exactly plan it that way, Jeff was 28 when he became a Dad. It really wasn’t until a couple of years ago that we both had the desire to have kids. It seems to be one of those God things that happened. Although there had been times throughout our marriage, I would ask Jeff if he wanted to have kids, I was never really serious. I often just wanted to see where he stood with the whole kid thing. He always made it abundantly clear he didn’t want to have kids at those times. So, one of the last times I asked, I had really been considering having kids and I was really serious about it this time. I was wondering how I was going to bring up the subject and how I was going to convince him that maybe it was time. I had been thinking about it for awhile, when one night out of the blue, I asked him what he was thinking about and he said he thought we were ready to be parents. I was totally shocked, but felt joy and relief that we both felt the same way. It was like God has put the desire into both of our hearts at the same time. While it was nice that we did feel the same way, at the time, I was struggling with some health issues that really prevented us from even considering going any further. Well, fast forward several months ahead, without really discussing it in much detail, we happened into a situation that allowed us or gave us a chance to conceive Kaylen, but we must admit we didn’t think we would actually conceive her at the time and it was only a matter of days that her conception was possible. One of my doctors told me I needed to wait another year or so before we even started trying so that put the brakes on trying to conceive and we just thought at the time that was that and we would try again later. The only reason why I feel this is important in the miracle and birth of Kaylen is because I really feel that she was a gift of God and because there was such a small window given, I just feel in my heart of hearts that God blessed us at the time and it was only through Him, she was possible. So now that God had given us the gift of Kaylen, it was just a matter of time for me to realize that I was pregnant.
I was about six weeks along before I realized that I might be pregnant. One night we had a bunco night with our church group and I felt really nauseous after eating and I realized that I had been feeling nauseous when eating for a few days now. So, on the car ride home, I told Jeff that I think I might be pregnant. He dismissed the idea just saying I was being paranoid again. So the following Monday, I went and got a pregnancy test, but I didn’t tell him. When I got home, I took the test. I watched the test and I felt my jaw hit the floor when I saw the line appear showing that I was pregnant. I stayed in the bathroom a few minutes afterwards not sure what really to think or exactly how I was going to tell Jeff that he was going to be a Dad. Suffice it to say, I was really in shock. Like I said, we really didn’t think that I would get pregnant. With thoughts whirling, I made my way to the living room, kind of hiding the pregnancy test in my hand, and kind of peering around the corner at Jeff. He was reading a book and I just looked at him and called his name. He just looked at me and asked me what I wanted. For some reason, I just couldn’t get the words out of my mouth that I was pregnant. It was like I was frozen. Due to the look on my face and the fact that I wasn’t responding to his questions, Jeff became worried really fast and starting yelling at me what was wrong. As I could see him get really worried, I just blurted out “I’m pregnant” and showed him the test. He got this goofy smile on his face, one that I have seen several times now since he has become a dad and he gave me a hug. The next day, all the doctor appointments started, and in a couple of days we had the confirmed blood test showing I was indeed pregnant. Once we got the blood test results, we decided to start sharing the news with family. We took a picture of the two lines of the pregnancy test and texted it to our family asking them to guess was it was. The women in the family knew right away, but the men gave some funny answers (like a pill and a leveler). But then all the excitement began and everyone was happy that we would have a new addition to our family.
I thoroughly enjoyed being pregnant, although there were many hardships along the way. The hardest thing we had to endure was almost miscarrying her when I was 11 weeks along. It was a heart wrenching experience and one that I would never wish on my worst enemy. To say the least, it is one of the most traumatic experiences I have in my life. I ended up going to the ER and the doctor gave us a 50/50 chance that the pregnancy would make it. I believe through the power of prayer and God’s protection, He saw us through this trying time. It also gave me a greater appreciation of going through the pregnancy and for the life I was carrying inside of me. You come to realize very fast how fragile life really is. Beside this experience, the pregnancy went pretty well. I just had some bad sciatic nerve pain for a little over month that made it quite unbearable to walk around. It never really bothered me too much, but any pain I was happy to bear as long as I knew she was okay inside of me. I wouldn’t say that I had an easy pregnancy by any means but wasn’t bad either, but it was easy for me to bear any of the discomfort because I was just so happy to have to her and to be honest, I had a great husband who took great care of me and always did make sure I was as comfortable as possible when I was at home. This was considered a high risk pregnancy because of my health issues, so we just relied on and knew that God would see us through this no matter what. The greatest thing about being pregnant was feeling Kaylen move daily. There is nothing that compares to what it felt like to feel her move inside of me. It was a very comforting and reassuring feeling.
So while I was enjoying all the highs and lows of being pregnant, the last few weeks of my pregnancy became more difficult. In the end, I had what is called pregnancy induced hypertension or preeclampsia. They aren’t sure what causes it, but it happens most often in first time pregnancies. It was describe as your body being allergic to pregnancy and your body just not being able to handle the stresses of being pregnant. When I was about 32 weeks along, I had a doctor visit where I gained a substantial amount of weight in a two week period. My blood pressure was also a lot higher than normal. My doctor had me do fetal monitoring sessions twice a week to make sure the baby was okay. While the baby was doing okay, my symptoms began getting worse. On Friday, August 22nd, I woke up and while I had some swelling over the past week, I knew that the swelling was really bad that day. I decided to call in sick to work, just thinking that if I got some bed rest, the swelling would go down and I would probably be okay. The day before I had a fetal monitoring session, where some of my numbers were high, so they did some lab work to make sure everything was okay. I called in the mid morning for the results, where some of the results were high, so over the weekend they wanted me to do an at home test, so they asked me to come in and get the materials so I could complete the test at home. By the time I made it into the doctor office, I was feeling pretty horrible. It was hot that day and the swelling was bad and I just felt very uncomfortable. After expressing my discomfort to the receptionist, they decided to get the doctor to see me. He review my record and they did some more tests, which my numbers were still coming back high. He was not my OB/GYN but he did tell me he thought that they might need to deliver me that day, but the decision would lie with my doctor. He called her and they decided to send me over to the hospital where she would come and visit me later and make a decision at the time. This was about 4 pm when they told me to go the hospital. Although he had said it was a possibility that I might deliver, there was a part of me that thought that I wouldn’t actually be delivered. I just thought she would see me and put me on bed rest until the end of my pregnancy. At the time, I was really wondering how I going to be okay missing so much work if I was put on bed rest. Jeff was working at the time, so I called him and let him know that I was on my way to the hospital and that he needed to come over. They ended up recommending us to another hospital because the one I went to was full. My doctor ended up coming to seeing me around 8 pm. After discussing my symptoms and the alternatives, she was felt was best if I were to be delivered that night by c-section. At this point, I felt like I was having an out of body experience. I couldn’t really comprehend that I was about give birth and I was really in total shock. I couldn’t believe we were about to have a baby. When we agreed to go forward with the c-section, I asked my doctor if we were going to have a couple of hours before the surgery. She is no, we are going to do it right now. This just added more to my shock. Jeff sent a text message out to our family and friends to let them know I was going to be having a c-section. We would have liked to call, but as he was texting, they started prepping me for surgery. I really just couldn’t believe everything that was happening. Probably about 20 minutes later, I was being wheeled into the OR and Jeff was putting on his scrubs. They brought me in alone to have a spinal tap done. That was really uncomfortable and I was pretty nervous at that point not really having been mentally prepared to give birth. Jeff came in a few minutes later. He also had a worried look on his face too. It was like the reality of what was happening was setting in. His daughter was about to be born and I was about to go through major surgery. He held my hand and offered as much words of comfort as possible. I just remember looking at him and trying to pull in everything that was happening. I remember smelling something burning (which was probably when they were cutting me open) and just feeling pressure and some tugging. Then, I remember the doctor saying, “Ok, where is she?” “Oh, look, she has a full head of hair!” and then the next thing I heard was our baby crying. I could only think, “Was that really my baby and did they just take her out of my belly??” I got one last look at Jeff before he scurried off to Kaylen side. We had always said that if I was going to have a c-section that I wanted him to go with her. Kaylen’s bed was behind me so as they cleaned her up and checked her out, I turned my head and just peered over and watched them and tried to hear everything they were saying. I heard her APGAR score was 8 so I knew that was good and somewhere in between I remember my doctor saying she was a good sized baby for being born at 34.5 weeks. I wanted so badly to get out of that bed and see her, but I couldn’t. They brought her over to me all bundled and swaddled up. She already had her little hospital hat on as well. I really just felt a sense of amazement and just keep thinking in my head – “Is this our baby and is she really mine?” She had been crying before they brought her to my side, but she seemed to quiet down while she was next to me. She had her eyes shut the whole time – I’m sure the lights in the OR were too bright for her. I wanted to kiss her, but I wasn’t sure if I could. So I asked the nurse if I could and she said it was okay. I gave her a small peck on her check and the nurse said it was okay to give her lots of kisses. So I kissed her several times and they hurried her off to the NICU to finish her evaluation. Little did I know at the time, it would be close to three days until I would be able to see her again and hold her for the first time. So I laid in the OR as they finished up with me and wheeled me back to my room. I knew they weren’t going to let me out of my bed for the next 12 hours and I also knew because of her prematurity, I probably wasn’t going to get to see her again until I could walk. Jeff was still in the NICU with her and for the first time, I realized I wasn’t pregnant anymore. All the joy I had felt at feeling Kaylen move inside of me was gone. I was painfully aware that my baby was gone and I couldn’t be with her. That was probably the hardest part of delivering her – not having her inside of me and not being able to hold her. I never knew how special feeling the movement was until it was no longer there. They ended up putting her and myself in isolation for the next three days due to some health concerns. So during that time, Jeff would take videos and pictures of her and bring them back to my room so I could see what she looked like. I know I was irritating the nursing staff asking them several times of day when I could see her. I probably can’t describe accurately in words what it was like to see her and hold her for the first time. I just couldn’t believe God had given us such a precious gift and I just couldn’t believe she was ours. It was a mix of very overwhelming emotions, but there was nothing like holding her for the first. I suppose it’s a love and a joy that only a parent really knows. Although the bond to her was instantaneous, each passing day I fall more in love her and just am ever so thankful to God for her.
Kaylen ended up spending two weeks in the NICU. Although she was premature, she did very well. The only major concern was her jaundice. Jaundice occurs when there is too much bilirubin being produced for the liver to remove from the blood. Most babies are somewhat jaundice when born, but she was little more jaundice because we had ABO incompatibility – where our blood types and antibodies caused her to have more of a reaction and not be able to process the bilirubin quickly. Jaundice tends to make babies get sleepy and lazy which prolonged her stay because she was not eating as well as she needed to. It was a day by day progression and we were not ever really sure when she was coming home until the day the released her. We are thankful that has been her only complication. They warned us that she might have to stay in the hospital until her original due date depending on what her complications were, so we know how lucky she was to only have the jaundice as a concern. While she was in the hospital, we made two trips to see her every day when I was no longer in the hospital. I was released on Tuesday, so I spent four days in the hospital. I relished those trips every day and couldn’t wait to hold her, changer her diaper, and feed her. These first two weeks while she was in hospital was a very emotionally overwhelming time for me. It was very hard to be away from her, but in part it was also a Godsend because it gave us time to get our home ready for her. It was very hard to leave her the first night – not that it every got any easier, because it didn’t, but the first night was the hardest. When they finally released her, it was great joy to know I could have her all day long and finally be a real mother to her.
It has now been over five weeks since she has been born. I’m not sure where all the time has gone by. It has gone by very fast and in a haze. She has gotten so big in such a little time and she has done amazing well. At first, she was getting up every two to three hours which made for a very exhausted mommy and daddy. Well, we are still exhausted, but we are now more adjusted to the schedule and she will sleep for four hours at time every now and again. The best words I have to describe the first few weeks are tired elation. I love seeing her grow and become more alert. At first, I wasn’t sure how these whole parenting things was going to work out. It seemed somewhat overwhelming and I just wondered how everything was going to get done, but now, I have a great sense of peace and calm and am I so glad that we are parents now and we can look forward to watching her grow and teaching her about the world. Looking back over the past five weeks, it’s amazing how much has changed. I’m probably not a very different person, but it seems like two different worlds when I think about life before her and life now. I know it more that my focus and motivation in life now comes from a new source – Kaylen.
Kaylen is our little miracle from God. From a point in our life thinking that maybe we didn’t want children, to wondering if we would be able to have children of own, to God giving her to us – it has just been a testimony to how God has been faithful to us. Out of everything, this journey and this experience how shown me just how much God loves us. It has given me a new perspective on how He can love us despite of everything we do wrong. It has shown me that if you just trust in God, He will provide. I can’t say how many times throughout this journey how everything in the end worked our perfectly. I know that it worked out perfectly through His provision. He has taken care of me and my family and I can’t say enough how thankful I really am.
As I close this, I really hope that one day as Kaylen grows older that she will know just how much she is loved and cherished. I hope the journey of growing up and becoming a teenager will never jade her so much that she will not know or realized how love she is. I hope that no matter what the future holds for her that she will come to know God as her loving father and Jesus as her savior. I hope that Jeff and I will be able to teach her and grow her into all the things that God has destined her for. I hope that one day when Jeff and I stand before our Lord that he will be pleased with how we raised one of His children that He chose for us to love while she is on this earth.