3:37 PM

Looking back: 1 year later

Written on: September 25, 2009
Posted on: November 21, 2009

This is an honest account of what I can recall from those first 24 hours.

The morning of Wednesday, September 24, 2008 looking back... I was.... on edge. I passed off everything on pre-baby jitters. Now, I'm attributing those feelings to a little thing called, "mother's intuition."

12:50 pm: As they we're checking us into the room I looked at the room number. No, no no this was all wrong. I don't remember exactly what it was. I could probably check but it's not important. It had a ton of 6's in it though- how stupid right? Why would a bunch of 6's make me uneasy... it's just a room number Ericka!

1:45 pm: After the nurse hooked me up to the monitor’s she showed us that I was having a few contractions on my own which was awesome news. I tried my best to keep an open mind about my birth plan. I just wanted a healthy baby and I trusted God's plan.

7:00 pm: Nightfall quickly approached and my parent's stopped by for a visit. I couldn't walk or even sit upright for hours at a time because of the medication they had to put in to induce my labor. My cervix was completely closed when the process began.

September 25, 2008

7:00 am: Four agonizing rounds of medication. One amazing sleeping pill. No progress. Dr.Grim makes the call: c-section. I found out from the nurse that Dr.Grim's brother passed away suddenly. He was leaving right after my surgery. I find it amazing that he even made the trip in for me; he kept his promise to us. I wonder if his brother hadn't passed if we would spent more time trying to induce my labor, maybe try IV medication or something. I am happy with the decision to go with the C-section, knowing how much Kaleb was struggling on the inside now

7:15 am: I started crying hysterically when they go to take me back to surgery before my sister and mom can arrive. Dr.Grim, again, saves the day and grabs some breakfast while I wait for my family. Thank God they made it in time.

7:45 am: I go back alone for my spinal. My doctor get's an A+++ for my spinal. I didn't feel a thing! They bring Brian in for the surgery. I-pod on...

8:20 am: The surgery is the most bizarre experience. I can feel tugging and pressure but nothing uncomfortable. Brian, however, is struggling. I can tell. He goes quiet for long periods; I can tell he’s praying to himself. I keep asking if he can see my "guts" yet. He doesn't find my joke funny and keeps especially quiet when a drainage bag full of my blood busts on the floor. Bless his poor heart.

He told me what he was praying for a few months later during that time. It is so unbelievably personal that I don't know if I should share the details. The guy really loves me though.

8:29 am: "Okay Ericka, you're going to feel some pressure." (This is the understatement of the century) My eyes started watering. It felt like there was a giant elephant on my chest. I can't breathe. I couldn't even get a breath to say I can't breathe. I make a few grunting noises and just like that the pain is gone. Kaleb was stretching out and he was so set on his position they had to use forceps to get him out. He was literally squishing my lungs from the inside. I'm going to have to put him in a 'timeout' spank him for that when he's a little older.

8:31 am: Kaleb makes his entrance into the world. Silence. I can still feel each heartbeat, each second that ticked by, before I heard his beautiful cries. Of course, I was sobbing by this point and then suddenly I realized it was quiet. Too quiet. I cannot see the warmer above me so I start twisting around on the table to try and get a better look.

8:35 am: The details of the next few moments are burned into my brain. When Brian returned to my side I knew immediately something wasn’t right. He said, “Don’t worry. Kaleb is fine. He is healthy but he is missing his left hand.” I felt like I was in a dream. What? His what? I couldn’t catch my breath. I grabbed Brian’s hand, “He’s healthy right? He’s okay? It’s just his hand?” I could still hear his screams behind me. “Yes, he’s fine.” I instantly felt relief, “Then who cares?! He’s healthy… go be with him!” He argued for about 15 seconds before he left my side. He told me later that is the hardest thing he's ever had to do.

8:40: It's so quiet in the room. My vision is blurry from the tears. Happy tears. I didn't need to decide that this hand thing was no big deal. I felt heavy... nauseated... I barely get the words out before I start throwing up. Doc throws some crazy cocktail into my spinal instead of the IV and I feel instant relief. Now that is service.

Dr. Grim tells me about Jim Abbott while he's closing. I drift in and out. I'm guessing doc slipped me a little something extra to help me relax. I'm thankful because I'm alone. This is why they should let two people come in with you on a c-section. Sheesh.

9:15 am: It's been almost an hour since his birth. Recovery. My sister in law, Jennifer, gets to me first. All she said was, "he's beautiful" and I lost it. It felt good to have her there. I didn't even know if they'd make it down here for the birth. I know now the waiting room was packed. She asked what I wanted, "My mom & sister please."

After my mom and sister arrived I really felt good. Dazed from the medication. My eyes start itching. I start to just rub them and after a few minutes I start to really scratch. Hello spinal side effect: itching! The nurse gives me a shot of something which knocks me loopy again.

Olivia and my mom take some pretty hilarious pictures of us during this time. My eyes aren't open in many of them but I'm making some pretty awesome faces.

11:00 am: I still haven't seen Kaleb yet except for those quick seconds at first. My bed is too big to fit in the NICU and he's too unstable to transfer. My nurse tries to tell me I can go see him when I get up to walk around 5 pm. Everyone tries to persuade me but it isn't happening. When she leaves the room I threaten everyone in it, you help me or else. I was up a few minutes later. Ah, sweet relief.

I cannot explain how life changing it is to have a child, unless you've been there yourself. It is the most pure, unselfish love I have ever experienced. I look back on that day with such wonderful memories. If I had any doubt about Brian or God or the point of living, it all changed that day. I have loved every second of his first year. I cannot wait to see what life has in store for our special little boy. He continues to amaze me each and every day.

Happy Birthday Kaleb. We love you.

Kaleb is one year old.