Colin and Shire's birth story, Part 3

Part 3: Delivery Day!

Here are Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them.

The morning of October 29, (34wks pregnant), was like any other day in the hospital. Judy, my angel, was assigned to me. She let me finish my breakfast before coming in to start the non stress test. She got the monitors in place over the babies fairly easily, and after an hour or so of continual contracting, she became concerned. She asked, “Are you feeling these contractions?” “No” I said. “Well you should be. They are quite strong. I am going to go ahead and call for the doctor to examine you”. Having never gone through labor before I didn’t know what to expect, but if this nurse said that these contractions were “strong”, then I felt like I must be superhuman because I did not feel any pain or discomfort at all, and I was not on any pain medication. The doctor came in, did a quick examination and said very matter of factly, “You are 3cm so we'll go ahead and get the babies out via c-section today”.
Just like that?!

I turned to Judy, one of the few people I trusted in this place, and told her it wasn’t time. She stroked my hair and told me it would be okay. I pleaded with the doctor to let the babies stay in. I wasn’t in any discomfort, and according to the monitors that were measuring my babies heartbeats, they were happy as clams themselves. Somewhere in my head I recalled hearing that it can take a woman a looong time to dilate fully. I figured that it took 4 full weeks for me to go from 1 – 3cm, so why not wait another few weeks??? I called my husband, I called my Mom and Dad. They came. Matt was with me when they took me down to Labor and Delivery. We were briefed on what would happen in the delivery room. I wasn't nervous. The Lord gave me a peaceful, calming strength in those moments.

The delivery room was peaceful in an eery way. It was all white and had bright 'walmart' lighting. Everyone was chatting casually as they prepped for the c-section surgery, (some of the nurses were talking about the options for breakfast in the cafeteria that morning). It was weird. My whole world and life were about to change tremendously and I was listening to chit chat so casual I thought I was standing by a water cooler. But, it was kind of relaxing…was that on purpose? Maybe that’s their secret trick J
When they told me everything was ready, I asked the doctor if they would please lower the sheet , (that blocked my view of what I can only imagine looked like a horror scene from a movie), when they pulled the babies out so I could see them right away. That was my only request. I had no others. Matt sat next to my head and we held hands, waiting anxiously to see our babies.

Colin Joshua was first as he was on the bottom. It had been that way from the very beginning. Shire was practically doing jumping jacks on his poor bottom. It was a matter of seconds between when they told me they were starting to cut to when he was out. Amazing! I heard his cry, but no one lowered the sheet. I heard someone say “Here he is!” I had my eyes focused at the top of the sheet that was the wall between my son and me. I was trying hard to see him. They tried to lift him up but it wasn’t high enough for me to see anything. Finally I saw his tiny bloody hand which briefly flopped over the side of the sheet and then he was whisked away to be examined, cleaned, etc.

It took them a bit longer to get Shire Grace. She had made her home up by my ribs so they had to really ‘search’ for her. When she came out she did not cry, but not because she couldn't. She was quiet and ready for this moment. They lifted her up, not much higher than Colin, but this time I saw her little, tiny face peering over the sheet. Her eyes were open, just like that. She was ready to be born. She stared right at me for a brief second before she, too, was whisked away.

It seemed like a long time to me between when they took them away to be checked and when they brought them over to us. Understandable. They were premature at 34 weeks, so the team wanted to make sure they were okay. When they brought them over they were completely swaddled with tiny little hats on. We had our first family photos :)

We were told both babies scored 10s on their Apgar test, and that they were going to be taken down to the NICU for some further monitoring. 10s on their Apgar. “Great!!!” I thought. Surely we’d be able to take them home in a few days when I was discharged from the hospital. I was so encouraged! Matt went with the kids to take some pictures and I chatted with the staff about hospital food as they closed me up.

Turns out, it would be more than a few days until the kids would come home and while there are children born every day in far, far, worse circumstances, these circumstances were very difficult for us.
Coming up - life in the NICU and coming home with empty arms. But don't worry, there's a happy 'ending' ahead :)