Monday, April 7, 2008

Four Years Ago Today...

Happy Birthday Anna Kate!!!

I was at a normal check-up (well, as normal as weekly NST's with ultrasounds beginning at 17 weeks are), when my doctor told me we needed to do an amnio to check the validity of the baby's lungs. My ultrasound results stated that Anna Kate had not grown at all since the last ultrasound, which was concerning since I only had the space of half a uterus. (I had been on bed rest since 17 weeks for preterm labor and every week we made it through was a true miracle.) So my doctor said he would meet me across the street at the hospital in 45 minutes to perform the procedure and off we went. My mother-in-law still says to this day that she took one look at me and knew I was going to have Anna Kate that day. Apparently I didn't look so hot ;) We left the office with me crying as I was only 32.5 weeks and according to the ultrasound, it appeared Anna Kate weighed less than 4 pounds. I was scared to death!

We got to the hospital and after being admitted, the nurses began 'prepping' me. I knew something was up when they started an IV. It was shortly after that that m.a.j.o.r contractions started. From all the action at the doctor's office, I had missed my dose of Brethine (a drug to stop contractions. I took it every 4 hours, 24 hours a day starting at 17 weeks.) Missing that one dose threw me into labor. Seriously, within 15 minutes, the contractions were on the pain scale of 8!!! Five minutes later Dr. Waller walked in and was dressed out in full scrubs, mask, hat and booties on his shoes. He told me that he had conferred with a specialist at UAB and had come to the agreement that we need not wait. We were to bypass the amnio altogether and go straight for the emergency c-section. (Given my history of miscarriages (3), preterm labor, the fact that Anna Kate was frank breech and running out of room and the distress she was in - it was just time.) Let me say that we had nothing with us. My doctor and the hospital were 89 miles from our house, so we couldn't just run to the house and grab our bags. We had 30 minutes to get our thoughts in order. My parents lived in the same town as we do, so we called them and had them go to our house to get our stuff. Jeff's mom lived in the same town as the hospital, so at least we had a family member with us when all the chaos started.

From here, I'll fast forward to 3:32 pm on Wednesday, April 7th, 2004. That's when our lives changed forever. Little Anna Kate weighed in at 5 lbs 12 oz and 19" long. She was absolutely perfect. She did need some oxygen to get her started breathing (she was blue when they pulled her out), but other than that.......PERFECT! According to my doctor, it was an extremely difficult delivery. I had to be cut vertically and horizontally in order to pull her out from under my breast bone. She was lodged up there and it was risky to pull her out without doing damage to her neck. Amniotic fluid - well it measured great on the ultrasound, however it was not so great. In fact, I had none. I mean, I was bone dry. Nonetheless, our precious little girl was thriving and was gorgeous.

My parents did manage to make it to the hospital before she was born, but missed me before I went back. Jeff & I had previously requested 15 minutes alone with Anna Kate when they brought her back to the room. We didn't want anyone else in the room except for us three...our new family. Those were the best and most beautiful 15 minutes of our lives. The next three days in the hospital seemed like a dream. We kept commenting that it felt like we were just borrowing someone else's baby. It all seemed so unreal. Like it wasn't happening to us. But after seven L..O..N..G years of multiple miscarriages, infertility, surgeries, needles, medicines and heartache, it really was happening to us!!!

Now, that precious, tiny baby is a happy, healthy, active, free-spirited, loving, sometimes-difficult, beautiful 4 YEAR OLD GIRL! She is such a special little girl...she's our miracle baby. Literally. Anna Kathleen, you are our pride and joy, as well as our reason for living. We truly, unconditionally love you, our 'punkin'/'boo-boo'/'spunky monkey'! :) Happy 4th Birthday!


Melissa April 7, 2008 at 2:26 PM  

What a blessing!!

Since you'd had the history of m/c's and preterm labor, did you see Dr. L for your whole pgcy? Just curious.

She really is a sweetheart - God works His blessings in such perfect ways!!

Katie April 7, 2008 at 2:34 PM  


No. I saw Dr. L and my perionatologist together until I was 22 weeks and then was released to my perionatologist for the remainder of the pregnancy.