We woke up on July 14th at UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham), and we were exhausted. Dan and I had been in the hospital for 6 days straight. We were in Auburn for 5 days until we were transferred to UAB. I was 34 weeks pregnant, so I was in the safe range to deliver, but the doctors were monitoring me and MAC closely to try to keep her in as long as they could. She was doing great, but she would have random decelerations in her heart rate. The “decels”, as they called them, were something to be concerned about, but nothing else was going on, so they keep thinking they would just keep letting her rock along until something showed them they needed to deliver her.
The doctors decided to do a stress test mid afternoon, where they would give me small doses of pitocin (a medicine that starts contractions), and they could monitor Mary Anna and see how she would react to the contractions. If she showed any signs of being in stress, then it would alert them to deliver. They started the medicine through my I.V. as Dan and I patiently distracted ourselves by watching Ice Age on the T.V. The test seemed to be going well, and it wasn’t painful at all (for those of you women out there wondering).
One of the OBGYN’s walked in and told the nurse to stop the medicine, and then she left the room. The room was awkwardly quiet for a little bit until the doctor came back in and said that they saw signs that they needed to deliver. She gave me the option to try an induction or go ahead with the cesarean. Dan and I agreed with all that was going on that we did not want to put any unneeded stress on Mary Anna and agreed to have a c-section. Things started moving very quickly. They threw paper scrubs at Dan (side note for those of you who know D, he played college football so the paper scrubs did not fit, so the sweet nurses gave him some UAB scrubs to wear instead… it gave us a good laugh in the midst of being stressed!), and he called my parents to say “it’s happening”, so they ran in and grabbed our things and gave me a kiss. The nurses put me in the wheel chair and within about 20 minutes, we are heading into the operating room.
Before they let Dan into the O.R., they make sure that the spinal worked on me, so these were a few pictures of D patiently waiting on me, and then him walking down the hall to go into the O.R. with me.
I was so ready to meet my baby girl that the c-section did not scare me. Once Dan got into the room and sat next to me all my fears were calmed, and I knew that we could do it. He kept looking at me saying, “you’re doing so good baby.” He was such an encourager, but even after 10 years together, in that moment there were no words to be said.
In emergency situations, the pediatricians take the baby to a room right behind the O.R. and make sure the baby is o.k. before they show the mom. Dan and I sat there as they walked off with our baby and a few minutes later, I heard one of the doctors say, “mom did you hear that cry?”. I listened and there she was, my Mary Anna, it was the best noise that I had ever heard. The pediatrician came and grabbed Dan, so he could be with her. A few minutes later Dan comes back and shows me this picture:
Mary Anna Caldwell
July 14, 2013
2 pounds 10 ounces
15 inches long
my baby girl
He told me she was doing great and breathing good, and that she was perfect. My heart melted. He was the happiest, proudest dad that I had ever seen, and I was complete. She was healthy, breathing room air, and doing good. Dan sent a quick text to my dad, and this was him showing off his first granddaughter.
Dan runs back to be with her, and then a few minutes later while they are finishing up on me, they walk in and briefly hold up Mary Anna and let me see her. There is no way to describe what I felt in that moment. It was my baby girl, and I loved her little body more than I had ever loved anything else in this world.
I could see Dan almost doing a tap dance in the corner of my eye, and he said, “can I go with her.. I mean.. uh.. I don’t want to leave you.. but… “, and I giggled and said, please go with her. He smiled the biggest smile that I had ever seen and kept looking at me and then looking at her and said, “I LOVE YOU”. As he left the room, he looked at me and again said, “you did so good”. As Dan and Mary Anna left with the team of doctors and I laid there waiting for them to sew me up I thought that I was complete. Finally, she was here, healthy, and breathing good, and all we had to do was put some weight on that girl, and we would be out of there.
Little did we know that we were going to have to chose to Keep Walking without our baby girl too soon.