I started nursing school in January and have pretty much been known as the pregnant girl. I had one teacher who warned me every time she saw me that I better not go into labor in her class because she "doesn't do babies." I always said, "Oh, if I go into labor at school, I hope it's in your class just because you're so afraid of it!" It's kind of been an ongoing joke. My original due date was June 5, but when people asked me, I would tell them that my water was going to break on the last day of finals as I walked out of the testing center (Carley came 4 weeks early so I was just hoping that I cook babies extra fast and she'd be ready by then). Everyone knew that was the "plan"...
...Well, it kind of went down that way. I had been having contractions every 3-4 minutes for about an hour before taking the final. I figured I was just dehydrated or nervous or something. I was standing with a group of friends, getting ready to take the test when *GUSH!*. My water broke. Now, when I say "gush", I don't mean a steady little stream. I'm talking a nonstop waterfall that drenched the whole bottom half of my dress and LITERALLY filled my shoes. Once my friends realized I wasn't joking, someone ran and got that particular teacher who so wished I would deliver in her classroom (not!), whose test we happened to be taking that day. She came running up and double checked to make sure I was telling the truth (unlike the time I tricked her during my clinicals).
*side note: if you are ever going to have your water break in public, do it in nursing school! They are very prepared with all the necessary towels, wheelchairs, etc...
My sister-in-law, Holly, is in nursing school with me and was right there when all this happened so she offered to take me to the hospital. We're lucky that our teacher was so awesome and told us not to worry about the final right now and that it could be made up at a different point in time.
Earlier that day, I told my doctor of my plan and told him I'd see him later that day to which he jokingly replied, "Alright. I'll be here." Needless to say, when my doctor came down to my room, we had a laugh as I begged him to please believe me when I said I did nothing on purpose to make this happen.
And thus began my Hypnobirth. I was so excited! I had studied and prepared for months and was going to prove to myself that I was capable of drug-free child birth. However, as the hours crept by and we made it into the wee hours of the night, my labor was not progressing. I stayed dilated to a 3 and 60% effaced. I walked the halls continuously, becoming very close friends with gravity. Carley took a little walk with me earlier and as we shuffled down the corridor, she reached up and grabbed my hand, looked at me and said, "Don't worry, Momma. Everything's going to be fine." I laughed at it because I'd never heard her say that before, but as I look back at that specific moment after all that's happened, what a sweet spirit she has to be able to prepare me for what was to come. That was a special moment I'll never forget.
By morning the next day, I had not progressed and finally gave in to a little Pitocin. Even though this is something naturally produced by the body so it would still count as a "drug-free" birth, I was afraid it would speed things up too quickly and my body would be unable to cope with the sudden pain instead of easing into it. I was starting to worry about infection at this point, though, so that's why I accepted it.
Contractions started coming more and more and I was doing really well focusing and breathing; however, the baby wasn't handling the transitions as well. In hindsight, we're really lucky I was drug-free because I was able to walk around which helped me pass a clot. We called the nurse and she checked me to see what it may possibly be. My alarm went off when she looked up at the other nurse and quickly told her to go get another nurse and have her come immediately. The nurse felt a pulse, which meant she was pressing on the cord which meant it was ahead of the baby (prolapsed). This is a very serious situation that needs emergent attention. They called for the doctor and he finally came in to check everything. The serious look on his face scared me, but the spirit quickly prepared me for what he was going to say. I asked what was going on and he replied, "You need a c-section right now." My first emotion was intense disappointment that Carley wasn't going to be able to watch the birth. We had been preparing so much and she was so extremely excited.
People rushed in and out of the room as Andrew started to gown up so he could go with me. He gave me a beautiful blessing. The anesthesiologist explained a spinal block to me and how things were going to happen. The doctor checked the babies stats and said, "No, we can't do a block. The baby's not doing well. She needs general anesthesia." Then he looked at Andrew. "Sorry, change of plans. We can't have you come back with her."
They wheeled me down the hall and into the operating room. I've worked in surgery long enough to know when something is an emergency. When I saw how many people were waiting in that room and how quickly they were moving, I realized just how big of a problem this was and how serious things were at the moment. I hadn't understood everything the doctor and nurses were talking about back in my room, but seeing all those bodies explained just how dangerous my situation was. I had what felt like millions of people rushing around me, all doing something to a different part of my body, from head to toe. The doctor was ready in a split second, donned in his OR attire, waiting to prep and drape me. I wanted to scream, "I'm not asleep yet! Please don't cut!" I was absolutely terrified. One of my last thoughts before going to sleep was, "I hope Andrew still names her Kira." I was so worried I wouldn't make it and neither would she!
The next thing I know, I woke up in recovery, very groggy and confused for a split second. Once I remembered what happened, I turned to my nurse and asked, "Is she okay?" The nurse assured me she was fine. After hearing that news, my concentration turned to the searing pain in my abdomen. Oh, it burned! I cried. I was so happy to see Andrew walk in from around the curtain they had pulled in front of the door. He showed me pictures of my sweet baby girl who was delivered two minutes after I was put under.
Once I had woken up a little bit more and was taken to my hospital room, the pediatrician came in and explained what was going on with Kira. My placenta was very abnormal and looked as though it had been abrupted for days/weeks. 75% of Kira's blood was circulating in mine and she was extremely anemic. It was her recommendation that she be life-flighted to Intermountain Medical Center NICU. We agreed and were told they'd stop by my room before leaving. (Later, one of the nurses told me she was surprised Kira didn't just pass away in the womb from blood loss. It's a miracle she's here!)
As many family and friends were gathered in my room, they rolled Kira in beside me and let me tell her good-bye for now. She was peacefully sleeping, but as I said her name, she opened her eyes and began to softly whine and cry--she recognized my voice. It was such a precious moment for me. We had such a connection, just her and me, even as we were surrounded by noise and commotion.
For the next 4 days, I recovered at one hospital while Kira was at IMC and Carley was being shuffled between grandparents and friends who were so willing to step up and help. I got a "leave of absence" from Alta View every day and got someone to take me to see Kira. Poor Andrew lost 8 pounds the first week as all 3 of his girls were in different places. Let me just take a moment to say how incredibly amazing my husband is. There are no words to describe how I feel about him. Somehow, he was there for all three of us, showing his concern, love and support. Under stressful circumstances, such as these, he always knows how to conquer the situation.
A couple days after being admitted into IMC, Kira received a blood transfusion because her hematocrit was so extremely low. This seemed to help a lot and get her on the path of being able to go home. After I was discharged from Alta View, I spent every day with Kira, working with her on eating, since she had to go 2 full days without having any food through her nasogastric tube. We worked hard! I even stayed a couple nights and went into her room every 3 hours so we could practice. For her to come home, she had to maintain her body temperature (which she had no problem with), eat everything by mouth, and gain weight.
On May 14th, one day after Mother's Day and our 8-year anniversary, she was able to accomplish all three of these tasks and we brought our sweet baby home with us. She had to go home with a nasal cannula and a pulse oximeter machine, but that's all. Carley was so excited she could hardly stand it. I didn't realize how stressful it can be to bring a baby home to a 3-year-old. I guess it wouldn't be that bad if Kira were full-term, but since we have to be extra cautious with her, my anxiety went through the roof at times with Carley smothering her sister with kisses and signs of affection.
How lucky we are to have this brand new spirit in our home! She almost didn't make it. With everything that happened, that just proves that Kira has a marvelous work to do here on Earth. She's supposed to be here. Difficult or frightening times seem to be the moments when you learn the most, feel the spirit stronger than usual, and sense that Heavenly Father is right beside you, guiding you through the tangled mess of confusion and despair. It's experiences like these that one not only reflects back on to use as a reference later in life, but also to use as a tool to empathize with others.
We are so grateful Kira is a part of our family and that she's home. What a whirlwind! Andrew and I are thankful that we have the privilege of raising this strong girl in the gospel and teaching her about life. Even though I am disappointed I didn't get to complete my Hypnobirthing journey, I'm grateful for the scar I'll always have to remind me of the experience and the love I have for my child.
Welcome Kira Jo Gooch
Born May 3, 2012 @ 3:20 pm
5 LBS 1 oz, 17 1/2"