The Sunday night before he was born, my family came to see me in the hospital. Justin had brought me spaghetti, which I was so excited about. I had read somewhere that spicy food can make you go into labor and Justin was worried he made the sauce too spicy. I remember after Braden was born him saying something like, “What if it was the spaghetti?” I assured him that that wasn’t the problem. I remember having a good visit with my family and being sad when they all had to leave. At least Justin got to stay with me that night since he didn’t have to work the next day. I think we turned the lights off somewhere between 10 and 11.
I woke up at about 2 am. I remember feeling uncomfortable, but nothing too bad. I couldn’t go back to sleep however and the pain began to increase. I woke Justin up and explained to him what I was feeling. I remember him saying, “If you aren’t going to call your nurse, I will”. I knew my nurse was awake and doing her job, but subconsciously I felt bad bothering her at 2 in the morning. But the pain was pretty intense at this point so I paged my nurse. I explained to her what I was feeling, how the pain was all in my back. I don’t remember my nurse’s name, only that she was a blonde with shoulder length hair and this was the first time she had been my nurse. She wrote it off telling me I was probably constipated. I remember thinking that was highly unlikely as I had never been constipated in my life and this pain was a little intense for me just to be constipated. She called both of my doctors around 3, both of which agreed I probably just needed to go to the bathroom. I remember feeling bad that my doctors had to be bothered at 3 in the morning and felt embarrassed I was having this little episode. I was convinced I didn’t need to go to the bathroom, but told myself my doctor’s knew what they were doing so I didn’t say anything. Besides, there were no contractions happening in my uterus.
I remember trying to go to the bathroom and the exact moment I realized what was happening. I sat in the bathroom for several minutes prepping myself for what was to come. I knew what was about to happen and I seriously debated whether I wanted to even tell my nurse. Maybe if I didn’t tell her what was happening I wouldn’t have to deliver him and keep him safe inside? I mean how do you tell your nurse you are delivering your baby when you don’t want to be delivering your baby? As soon as I told her what was happening, she and another nurse both checked me, told me they felt something, but it didn’t feel like a head. I think Braden was slightly breech. They call my doctors again, having my perinatologist come deliver.
At this point they are getting me prepped and wheeled into the operating room. I would be delivering naturally, but I had to be ready for my doctor to put in the cerclage right after the birth. I remember keeping my eyes closed and covering my face as I was wheeled to the OR. I did this for a couple reasons. The lights in the hospital were very bright and I had a hard time opening my eyes and I was able to concentrate on getting through the pain with my eyes closed. But mostly I kept my eyes closed because I was embarrassed and ashamed and couldn’t stand to look into the eyes of the nurses and doctors. I couldn’t handle the looks of sadness and pity they were giving me. I just wanted to disappear. As I was in the OR with my eyes closed, I remember hearing a lot of nurses talking about my condition and what they were going to do. I had several people getting me situated at once. They drew my blood twice, took my blood pressure, told me to sign stuff or when to move a certain limb. The only time I opened my eyes was when a nurse specifically told me to look at her. Being in labor, experiencing the pain, all while being prepped for surgery was a very strange experience.
I remember briefly seeing my perinatologist before I closed my eyes again. I remember he looked tired. I am guessing it was between 5 and 6 at this point. I remember wanting to apologize to him for having to come in at this gosh awful hour and do all this.
I remember the doctor having to reach up and help get Braden moved into position and the nurses and Justin telling me to push harder. I remember wanting to say, “I don’t want to”. I didn’t want to push harder or even push at all. I didn’t want to deliver this baby. How could I push harder knowing he wouldn’t make it as soon as he was out? I remember hearing them say he was out (my eyes were still closed). The sounds I heard after he was born were depressing. There was no crying. It was eerily quiet for awhile, the nurses only talking when they had to. They said it was a boy. I remember thinking, “A boy? That’s weird.” I had only ever had a daughter; it was weird to think I had a son now as well. I didn’t know this at the time, Justin just told me a few weeks ago, but I guess the doctor just put Braden in a bowl and passed it off to one of the nurses. That nurse and Justin took him and got him all wrapped up in a blanket so they could show him to me. I continued to lay there with my eyes closed, hearing my doctor talk to some of the nurses about how he was waiting to see what my body was going to do. The plan was to put in the cerclage, but only if my body didn’t try to deliver the other two. I remember him finally saying, “Okay let’s do this”. Justin quickly brought Braden over so I could catch my first quick glance of him. My eyes were still closed though and I remember Justin saying my name, telling me to look. I remember seeing him and immediately noticing his nose and how it looked like Justin’s. I remember another male voice telling me to breathe deeply and then I was out.
I woke up later that morning completely foggy and unable to move from all the drugs that were in my system. Braden was in our room with us and I remember having Justin help to roll me on my left side and lay Braden on the bed with me up by my head so I could see him. I remember thinking how different he looked than his older sister Emily. I was still in awe that I had a son.
Looking back I feel like the couple weeks following Braden’s birth were very unfair to him. The comment was made several times that now that Braden was out and the stitch was in, the remaining two had a better chance of making it. Like he was so easily discarded. We didn’t spend much time focused on Braden because we still had two babies to worry about. I wasn’t even there for his burial. I know it was no one’s fault given the circumstances, but I still wish we could have taken more time and care with him.