Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Where Did Three Years Go?

Where Did Three Years Go???

It seems almost impossible to grasp that three years ago at this very moment, our family of four was driving to the hospital to become a family of five. It was 9:30pm Saturday night, June 28th. Jeff was sleeping on the couch, & Jessie was sitting next to him watching TV. I was sitting in Jeff's recliner, and as I reached over to grab a magazine off the coffee table, my water broke. Oh no...was this really IT? I woke up Jeff, and after he realized what I had said..."Jeff, I think my water broke. water broke!"...he was awake and it was a flurry of phone calls to the OBGYN, packing my hospital bag the rest of the way (Reese was 10 days early!), and getting Austen & Jessie some things to take with us to the hospital.

As we drove to the hospital, I could hardly believe it was time for Baby Reese to come into the world! I was so glad that Jeff was in town & not traveling for work (it was Saturday!) and that Austen and Jessie were with us & going to the hospital...just the way I had wanted it to work out. We parked the car near the Emergency Room entrance because it was after hours, and all casually walked into the hospital...I walked up to the reception desk & said "My water broke & I'm in labor." Did those words just come out of my mouth??? The nurse made me sit in a wheel chair (hey, I felt great, no contractions...but she said it was hospital policy) and I remember her walking VERY quickly down the hallway with me and Jeff & the kids racing to catch up. Turns out it was a blessing that she was very expedicious, because we never could have expected the scary turn Reese's birth would take.

Once we get into the Labor & Delivery room, Austen & Jessie play on the hospital bed and find some cartoons on the TV while I change into the hospital gown. The nurse tells me to get into the bed so she can check if I had dialated yet or not. As she's saying "I'm not sure what I'm feeling" over and over (EXCUSE me?), they slap a monitor on my belly & notice that Reese's heart rate is dropping into the 80s. From there, it is somewhat a blur of events.

I know Reese's heart rate rose again & was OK, and that the nurse still wasn't sure what she was "feeling" when she checked me. I had not yet met with the anesthiologist, so I had no epidural at this point, but was in no pain because I had only felt 1 weak contraction so far. Just as Dr. Fleidner, my OBGYN, walked in the room & began to check me, Reese's heart rate dropped again into the 80s, Dr. Fleidner said "We have a prolapsed umbilical cord. C-Section, NOW." I panicked....

Jeff called Denise to come & pick up Austen and Jessie, and this was absolutely NOT the wonderful birth experience I had planned for. I had totally skipped ANY C-section reading because it just never in a million years occurred to me that I would be in an emergency situation. I remember asking Jeff to call my parents, and Heather Mootz. Then they told me he would not be allowed in the operating room, because I would be put under general anesthesia since I had no epidural yet. More deep panic set in...and I am raced down the hallway in the hospital bed into the operating room.

All I remember from there is having my arms strapped down, and a mask put on my face. I didn't realize it, but I was having a panic attack of sorts & I was breathing so hard & fast that the mask was sucking into my face. I repeatedly told the nurse that I couldn't breathe...there was not enough air in the mask. I was absolutely terrified. Laid out naked on the operating table, told my husband was not allowed in the room, recognizing NOBODY around me. I thank God that my OBGYN, Dr. Fleidner was on call that night, because once I saw his face in the operating room, I focused on him. It was the ONLY familiar thing in the world at that point. Then I was out....

When I woke up, Jeff was in the room, and Heather had made it to the hospital as well. Mom & Dad were on the road to Flower Mound in the middle of the night...what a crazy rollercoaster ride. Jeff was allowed to see Reese in the NICU soon after his birth, and luckily Heather followed behind him, ignoring the hospital policy of "family only" (she's family...gimme a break!) and snapped photos of Daddy giving Reese his first kiss...and bringing the digital camera back to the recovery room once I woke from the drugs...I was able to see photos of our baby.

The ending of this story is happy, of course. I guess Reese just had to make his BIG entrance into the world, and at 10:54 tonight, I am sneaking in to kiss my growing boy while he sleeps. I am so thankful for modern medicine, because without fast intervention in the birth, Reese would have died. I can never thank Dr. Fleidner enough for bringing Reese into the world quickly & safely.

The pictures above are a glimpse into the past. The first is when Reese was 10 days old, and Daddy had just returned from his first week away out of town. If you look closely, Reese has a smile on his face...I should have known then that he would be a Daddy's Boy! The 2nd picture is Reese's first bath in a real bathtub...he would just relax & stare at Daddy while Jeff held him, floating. It seems like I blinked and now he's 3....I can't imagine him being as old as Austen or Jessie...time goes WAY too fast sometimes...

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