Mama was 33 weeks 5 days pregnant (33 +5) when we left for the family camping trip in Coos Bay. Daddy’s family was meeting us there, it would be an annual reunion of sorts. On Tuesday, Mama saw the OB and he gave his approval for us to go. We’d be about two hours away and there were no signs that you’d arrive early.
On Wednesday and Thursday, Mama felt a little off. Not in any specific way, but there were several periods of what is best described as vertigo or a dizzy feeling. Mama’s blood sugar was super (93 post meal) and blood pressure was also spectacular at 100/60. So, no reason there for the weird feelings. We put a call in to the OB Thursday morning before leaving just to run this feeling by them. . . they chalked it up to pregnancy and said have a good trip.
Thursday arrived and it took us a little longer than planned to get out of the house. That’s okay, and very typical for this family. Mama was a bit irritable. . . but there were some behavior issues going on with the other kids and the stress of trying to get everything ready. We had several stops as we headed out of town and Mama noted as she was walking into the bank that she had to move slower- there was just this feeling of heaviness. . . and we assumed it was because I was very pregnant and you were sitting on my bladder. :-) The two and half hour drive was uneventful. . . we made two stops on the way, once for the bathroom and once at the grocery store just before camp.
Upon arriving at camp, we got the RV hooked up and dinner going. After dinner, your brothers and sisters were off playing with the cousins and then we all headed over to Papa and Nana’s camping site to make s’mores since Papa had the roaring fire going already. Mama only had one s’more. . . she wanted more but just wasn’t feeling great. Once again, that’s normal for being eight months pregnant.
Sister Kelsey was being naughty so a little before 9pm, Daddy took her (kicking and screaming) back to our RV to get into bed. The other kids and Mama stayed a bit longer playing “Beat The Parents” with the rest of the family. Mama had a feeling of really needing to go the bathroom and so we cleaned up and headed back to our camp site. As we were walking, Mama felt a gush of fluid and thought, “Oh, please tell me I just pee’d myself”. But I knew. . . it was different. . . it just didn’t feel like a pee leak (which happens when you are pregnant).
Back at camp, I gathered my things for a quick shower and took the older girls with me to the bathroom. While they were getting ready for bed, I decided a quick shower was a good idea because I was filthy from walking around the camp. By the time I got in the shower, I was convinced my water had broken, it was pouring down my legs in small gushes and was obviously clear and didn’t smell like urine. I started crying for a moment as I toweled off because it was too soon and I was scared what this would mean for you. I wrapped the towel around myself and went to the bathroom door to call your sisters from the other side (the toilets were on one side and the showers on the other). Kaylee came over and I asked her to calmly go back to camp and get Daddy. . . that my water broke and I needed him. I couldn’t even figure out how I was going to walk back to camp because your amniotic fluid kept running down my legs. When Daddy arrived at the bathroom door I tried putting my bath towel between my legs but I couldn’t walk that way. . . so finally I folded my tank top and held it there while we wobbled back to camp. . . thankfully I had a night gown on so I was covered.
Once we got back to the RV I started trying to figure out what the plan was and Daddy ran over to get Papa and Nana from their RV so they could come stay with your brothers and sisters. All the kids got a little scared, because this wasn’t the plan. . . you were suppose to arrive via planned c-section 5 1/2 weeks away.
We drove to the local hospital and they decided right away that yes, my water had broken and no, I wasn’t just peeing myself. The decision was made to transport us to Eugene where we could be taken care of properly. While waiting for the ambulance transport, Mama received a shot of steroids in my booty to help your lungs and an IV was started (yuck- they didn’t do a good job!) so that I could be given antibiotics to make sure we didn’t get an infection. Daddy ran back to camp to let everyone know what was going on and trade cars so that Papa and Nana would have our big van to transport your brothers and sisters in. You and I were taken with flashing lights and sirens. . . along with a special OB nurse and two paramedics. They joked that Mama was to “keep your legs crossed the whole trip to Eugene” so that you wouldn’t be born on the drive. I didn’t want you arriving on the trip anymore than they did.
Thankfully, we arrived in Eugene about 2:30 am on Friday morning, having made great time and Daddy arrived about 10 minutes after us. We saw lots of people in those first few hours and we were monitored constantly. Mama continued on antibiotics- oral and IV to help keep you safe. The Dr on call did a quick ultrasound to make sure you were head down in case my labor progressed so we could try to deliver you via VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). You still had lots of water around you despite the on going gushing leaks.
We went into wait and watch mode. We didn’t know if labor would start on its own or not, but we did know that your time left in the womb was limited because there was a very real danger of infection with each day you were inside with ruptured membranes.
On Friday, it was decided that we would deliver you on Saturday, if labor didn’t start that would mean a c-section around noon. (The decision for VBAC was only if I labored on my own, I didn’t want a Pitocin induction with VBAC because the risk of uterine rupture is higher). Friday night at midnight, Mama got the second shot of steroids for your lungs. At 12:30 PM on Saturday, August 3rd, you entered this world. . . thankfully with a feisty set of lungs. Dr. C told Daddy to look and tell us what gender you were- Daddy looked over the sterile drape and said, “I can’t tell. . . wait, is that a girl?” Your Apgar scores were 8 & 9 which was just lovely! You appeared in great shape despite being a sprite at 4lbs 0oz (1820 grams) and 16 3/4 inches long. Mama even got to cuddle you on my chest for a moment in the OR before you were whisked off (you were doing some grunt breathing so the Neonatologist wanted to get you to the NICU and make sure you were stable). Daddy followed you off while Mama was closed up and rolled out of surgery. It was a couple hours before Mama was rolled into the NICU on the gurney to see you again.
Our Julia Lynn, you didn’t enter this world as planned– throwing your OCD mama for a loop. But I’m so glad you are here. Now, I just need you to learn to breastfeed so you can come home! Today marks your 7th day of life. What a joy and a blessing you are to us! In your short time on earth, we’ve been blessed by receiving anointing of the sick prior to your birth with Fr. Ron, and then then after you arrived, Fr. Bryce came in and anointed you and Mommy. We’ve had several Eucharistic ministers come in and pray with us as well! And Daddy’s minister and friends from church have also come to pray with us. You truly are a well loved and blessed baby girl!
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” – Psalm 127: 3-5