Thursday, May 1, 2008
A Precious Tale of Birth…
authored by God,
told by Andrew
This is a story all about how
Our life got flip-turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute just sittin right here
And tell you how we became the proud parents of our little Kella dear
The Fun Begins
To tell the whole story, we will have to begin at the very beginning--Sunday April 27, 2008 at about 8 AM. Sonya and I had just gotten up J and had breakfast. She felt a few contractions come and go and was wondering if this was for real or not. Could it really be labor? Did she and Nana’s 4 hours of walking really work? They felt different than any that had come so far and it just made sense that this was it. After about an hour of having contractions every 5-7 minutes and lasting 60-90 seconds, we decided that this must be the beginning of activ labor. Around 10 AM,I called Colleen, our wonderful midwife, and told her our status. She said we should plan on meeting her around 11:30 at The Baby Place, our birthing center. So, we decided to take some time to be distracted. We got ready for the day, took a walk to the park and around the neighborhood, and talked about how excited we were. Sonya said that it was exciting because by that night we would have a baby!! Little did we know…
At 11:00 AM, we called Colleen and decided we would stay home until contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. After our long walk, we came home and ate lunch and decided to watch a movie to distract ourselves and our minds. We watched my childhood favorite, “Pete’s Dragon”. Sonya fell asleep for about an hour and was able to sleep through the contractions. When she woke up the movie was finishing, and the contractions continued. They were about 3-5 minutes apart, lasting 60-90 seconds still. After another hour of this, we called Colleen and decided to meet at The Baby Place at 3:00 PM. We got there expecting to have dilated to at least 4 cm. She checked Sonya and told her that there had been no progress since our last appointment 6 days previous. Sonya was still dilated to 3 cm and 40% effaced. Sonya was extremely angry, frustrated, extremely quiet and defensive in the car. I was a little surprised and thought, “If this isn’t active labor, I don’t want to know what is!”
The Ride Home (Part 1)
When we got home, Sonya went straight upstairs and put in the movie “Candleshoe”. I came upstairs about 10 minutes later and tried to comfort Sonya, though she was on a different couch. Sonya was reluctant to accept and unable to express her frustration. After the movie we went downstairs to eat dinner and do a few things. Sonya went upstairs by herself and I stayed down thinking it best to give her some alone time. The contractions had moved closer together and even stronger than before. Sonya leaned on the bed and tried to move through the contractions. After 15 minutes of this she called down to me feeling very emotional and abandoned. She really wanted me to be there and help her through it. I was on the phone with Tyler wishing him a Happy Birthday when Sonya yelled from upstairs, “Andrew, what are you doing?” I replied, “I’m on the phone with Tyler. Hold on.” Then the bedroom door slammed and I hung up immediately and went upstairs to find a locked door and an irate wife. I tried to open the door and Sonya yelled, “If you don’t want to be here you can stay the hell out.” Now you’ve got to understand how badly these contractions were hurting her and how angry she felt. I broke in with a butter knife and found Sonya in prayer position next to the bed. I thought she was praying but she was just moving through contractions. Then the fun began…
What we thought was “active labor”
7 PM. The next eight hours are the stage of this story we call “hell.” I explained to Doug Richens, my good friend, the following day, that this is exactly what hell must be like and said I would never sin again cause I didn’t want to go there. These hours were filled with the most painful contractions of the labor. Sonya said nothing compared except for the very last 15 minutes of labor. We knew for sure that this had to be active labor and that the cervix must have been dilating. The contractions were double peaking, lasting from 2-4 minutes, 5 being the longest. During each contraction I held Sonya’s hand and offered a pleading prayer for help. We tried to lie in bed as Sonya was so exhausted. We also stood through some and spent a few hours in the bath tub. After every contraction Sonya went to the bathroom and stayed through another contraction or two. She found a lot of comfort having me there with her, holding her hand. She felt great support and strength knowing he was there. After a really tough contraction on the toilet, I offered to give her a blessing. This was very much so needed. She took each contraction one at a time and breathed through each one. I helped remind her to keep the moans lower pitched to help open every thing up. During all this bliss, Sonya threw up at one point and even passed out for a few moments. At 2 AM Monday morning, exhausted and ready to deliver this baby, we called Jerusha and I told her that they both needed some labor support and couldn’t do it alone. At 2:30 AM we arrived and after 2 contractions made it into the room where she would be checked. I left the room to go and talk to Jerusha while Sonya sat on the bed. I told her to please affirm Sonya’s pain even if she hadn’t progressed (we don’t think she quite understood). Jerusha checked Sonya and found she was still at 3 cm and now 60% effaced, but not yet in active labor.
The Ride Home (Part 2)
On the drive home Sonya was scared that if this was pre-labor, she couldn’t do active labor. She felt like she absolutely couldn’t do it anymore and the hospital’s epidural and pitocin were sounding awfully inviting. But, her desire to not have it and allow this baby to come naturally was stronger than anything else. That car ride was total silence and I felt like this was an impossible feat. Jerusha suggested that we take some Benadryl when we got home and try to get some rest. We got home at 3 AM, took the medicine, lied down, and tried our best to sleep. Sonya slept for the couple of minutes between contractions all night long. I leaned over and held her hand each time. That night was not exactly sleep.
A New Day
When we got up Monday morning Sonya prayed for a break. We had breakfast and made plans of how to distract ourselves for the day. The contractions weren’t as intense and about 10-15 minutes apart (answer to prayer). We were thinking we had another day of pre-labor before us. That day we went to Costco and did some shopping. We even went to lunch at The Olive Garden and Sonya stayed pretty quiet during contractions. She didn’t want to mention the pain, embarrassed that she was weak during this assumed “pre-labor”. We got home at 3:30 PM, tired and grateful to have been out and able to keep busy. We started watching “Batman Begins” (the least oxytocin promoting movie ever) and spent the next 3 and a half hours pausing the movie, walking or kneeling through contractions, going to the bathroom, going through another contraction, and then returning to the exercise ball or couch to continue the movie. This “pre-labor” wasn’t as bad as the night before. The contractions lasted 60-90 seconds and were movie closer to 5 minutes apart. Sonya had a dinner of cold cereal (Special K) and she took 2 Benadryl at 8 PM, hoping for some sleep between contractions like the night before. We got in bed around 9 PM and tried to sleep but found no relief. At 11:30 she took 2 more but no help came. During this time Sonya’s mind was very focused inward and not aware of her surroundings. She found strength in telling herself, “This is involuntary. Let it open. Let go. Breathe. Open. It’s stretching. This is involuntary. You don’t have any control. Let it open…” The self-talk was great, but not enough to keep the vomit down. We labored in the bed, over the bed, over the bathroom counter, on the toilet, and in the tub. Sonya got out of the tub at 3:40 AM and the contractions were hard and 1-2 min. apart. They weren’t any worse than the ones the night before, which confused us. She told me, “There’s just so much pressure. I feel like I have to go to the bathroom but I know I can’t cause I’ve tried.” At this point she pushed through a couple of contractions and it took a bit of pain away. “This must be active labor!” they both told themselves. With a phone call to Colleen they were on their way to The Baby Place for the third time. Sonya mentally prepared herself to be told that she was at 5 cm and that she probably had another 12 hours to go.
Gone in 60 seconds
Sonya got dressed and worked her way down the stairs and to the car between contractions. She was in a dazed trance praying that it was active labor. I prayed for the same. I grabbed the Costco muffins and the trash can for the car. The garage opened at 4:01 AM and Sonya kneeled hugging the passenger seat, breathing through contractions. I was careful to drive through the neighborhood and pulled out on State St. cautiously. Then I looked at her and heard her pain. There was no guilt in driving 70-90 mph down State and Linder Rd. There were 3 or 4 contractions before they pulled up to The Baby Place at 4:11 AM.
The Baby Place
A few more came before she got to the room. They had her get up on the bed, which was almost impossible. Sonya was hoping and praying that she was at least 5 cm dilated and in active labor. As I saw her struggle to get up on the bed I cried, wishing she didn’t have to go through this. She made it and before being checked moaned, “If I’m not in active labor I don’t think I can do this.” Colleen replied, “Oh this is active labor.” “Yeah, you’re in active labor,” Jerusha added. “Oh yeah honey, you’re a 10. You’re complete. You’re done. I need you to push,” Colleen said. Sonya, overwhelmingly cried, “Thank you…” and the tears continued. “You want me to push?” she said, absolutely shocked. Those two contractions on the bed while on her back were the worst and hardest yet. She later said that it would have been impossible to labor on her back (so grateful we weren’t at the hospital). She pushed through both. Jerusha was running around getting everything ready for this little girl to come. We helped her off the bed and onto the birthing stool and took off her shirt. Colleen told us that there was a small lip on the cervix and that she was going to hold it back as Sonya pushed. Neither Sonya nor I really knew what she was talking about. We just let her do her thing. Once on the stool Sonya just kept thinking that this was impossible and didn’t know how it was going to work. As she started to push through the contraction she felt very uncomfortable and feared to continue pushing. She breathed short quick breaths and slowly pushed the head until it crowned. I saw it and thought, “That’s weird. What is that?” I was expecting to see a pink head and what I saw was anything but that. Colleen asked Sonya to feel the head and as she did so she didn’t want to anymore. It distracted her from focusing on pushing. The excitement of it hit everybody. I also felt the head and still wasn’t quite sure what it was. After 3 contractions on the stool the baby’s head was out and Sonya testifies that the ring of fire is very real and painful. After the head came out the rest of the body quickly followed and Colleen caught her. They immediately put this sweet angel into Sonya’s arms and onto her chest. We put the baby to the nipple and let her discover it. The baby didn’t cry, opened her eyes and looked around, and was as peaceful as can be. Sonya’s first interaction with her was one of complete shock. She couldn’t believe that she was finally here. When I saw her the only word that could match my feelings was “perfect”. Sonya said that was the same word that came to her. She wasn’t too small, too big, or funny looking. She was precious, perfect and beautiful. Within a minute Jerusha clamped the cord and Colleen asked Sonya if she could hold the baby while I cut the cord. After that Sonya took her back in her arms and Colleen said, “Ok Sonya I want you to give me one big push.” That push delivered the placenta two minutes after the baby was born (4:31 AM). Sonya described it “as a crazy feeling. It was like a huge gush of blood clot.” Andrew saw it and thought, “That’s huge. It looks like a heart or some other organ.” It had veins and was full of blood. They covered Sonya’s bum and had her get up on the bed. They handed our little angel to her and she fed her immediately. We marveled at her beautiful olive-colored skin, just like Mommy’s. She had long, brown hair that naturally spiked up into a mohawk. All her features were just perfect. Mommy said that her lips were just like mine. No birthmarks, only small bruises between her eyes from the birth canal. Our precious angel never cried, never grimaced, just opened her big, gorgeous eyes and looked around, very alert. It was like she’d done this before and knew what to expect. She was a pro! The midwives cleaned up a bit and left us to be alone with our new addition. They checked on us from time to time but mostly we got to spend a good hour together as our princess and discovered this new world of sights, sounds, smells and love. I offered a prayer of gratitude, while Mommy held my hand, for the perfect miracle which had just taken place
This long ordeal made Mommy and I very hungry. We had packed some food with cereal included. So Mommy ate a poppy-seed muffin while I ran to the Jackson’s on the corner (our car was blocked in) to get some milk. While gone, Colleen came in and said to Sonya, “I can’t believe you came in at a 10, you show-off.” Jerusha also made us eggs and toast. After a good meal we just stared at their perfect little angel and held her and loved her. Jerusha helped us give her a bath and we weighed and measured her—7lbs., 4 oz. and 20 in. long…just perfect! Sonya got to take a bath and get cleaned up with some fresh, clean clothes. By 8 AM Nana and Papa Ramsey, Jason and Stacey and their three kids, and Grandma and Grandpa Anderson all came to visit. They all were amazed by how beautiful this newborn baby was. It was so much fun to have all our loved ones there. Isaac said a cute comment, “It’s pretty crazy that she was born with all that hair.” Grandpa Anderson made sure everyone put hand sanitizer on before holding her. After everyone left we spent a few more minutes alone with our baby and then decided we were ready to go take this little one to her new home. Jerusha pricked and took a little bit of blood from the baby’s big toe and we signed a few documents. No name yet. No shots, no immunizations, no vitamins, just Mommy’s colostrum.
The Ride Home (Part 3)
We changed her into her going home outfit, tucked her cozily into her car seat, and headed on home. I, strangely enough, wanted to go the seminary building to show off our new pride and joy to the students and teachers. Sonya kindly agreed and came in. Doug Richens, upon seeing us said, “What are you guys doing here!?! You’re crazy! Get out of this germ-infested building!” I showed her off to my 2nd hour class who oooed and awwwed over her. Brother Mitchell said to his class, “Keep moving. Don”t breathe. Just look and keep on moving!” It was really funny. Ten minutes later we were back in the car and headed home—for real this time. The little baby girl, sweet as can be, didn’t cry at all. She had just gone through a miraculous birth where no one was hurt. Everyone left in one piece. Heavenly Father had granted the desires of Mom and Dad. He heard our prayers. It truly was a precious, perfect birth.
Kella Michelle Anderson began her mortal journey in the most kind, gentle, and loving way. She is a true joy and blessing to all who see her!!!
She is loved. She is important. She is needed.