Since yesterday my mind has been filled with memories of my youngest baby, who is one year old today. I have felt sad that he is growing up so fast. I have also felt excitement about celebrating this wonderful milestone today. Mostly, though, I have felt an overwhelming gratitude to my Heavenly Father for the miracles surrounding Kamren’s birth. I know from that experience, and others, that God knows me. He loves me. He is aware of me. I also know that sometimes we go through trials so He can remind us of His presence in our lives, if we only turn to Him.
Happy birthday to my beautiful baby, and much love and gratitude to my Heavenly Father for this miracles He has bestowed to me and my family.
To my cousin earlier in April I said: “Lisa, don’t you want to wait until closer to the time Kamren is due to come visit? If you come the weekend of the 4th, he won’t be born yet.”
To my Relief Society President, Lisa Hagan, around 8:30 PM on May 4 I said: “No, I haven’t had the baby yet. Thanks for checking up on me, though. I am doing fine.”
No, I never in a million years expected what was going to happen to me a few hours after going to bed the night of Saturday, May 4. I went to bed tired, but it had been a very productive day of yard-saleing, spending time with family at the Hibachi Buffet and then at my house, having barbeque ribs at our neighbors’ house, and even taking a walk before putting the kids to bed.
Before we said our personal prayers for the night, Jad said he hadn’t been able to think of a good personal reason to fast for Fast Sunday the next day. I told him that it would be a good idea, since Kamren would be born sometime this month, for him to fast that Kamren would have a safe and healthy delivery and birth. Nothing could have been more appropriate and important to fast for that night.
We went to bed around 11 or so, just a little while after my cousin, Lisa, got to our house. After just a few short hours of sleep, I awoke sometime between 1:30 and 2 AM. I felt terrible, like I had awful indigestion. I told Jad how I was
feeling, and he immediately turned on the light and asked if we were going to have a baby tonight. I reassured him that no, that wasn’t going to happen, and asked him to get me some Tums.
I took the Tums and drank some water, thinking I would feel better. I tried to go back to sleep, but then I felt what seemed to be a contraction. I asked for my phone, and Jad again asked me if we needed to go to the hospital. I didn’t want to come to any rash conclusions, so I said I didn’t think so, but I had a contraction and wanted to time any others that came. I felt another two contractions, and they were a minute or less apart. If you know anything about
labor, you know that when contractions are that close together, the baby is coming pretty soon.
I must have still been in denial though, because I did not feel a need to freak out or tell Jad how far apart they were.
I focused instead on how I still felt I needed to go to the bathroom. I tried to go, and this time I felt my water break, but it was weird because it was almost like the water was pouring down around something, rather than in a gush
straight down. Jad noticed blood in the water, and I finally decided it was time to call the midwife pager.
The midwife, Stephanie, called back in a minute or so (around 2:10). I told her what had happened and she told us to come on to the hospital. Time was going in slow motion for me and I had a very hard time making decisions. I knew I wanted to take a shower. I was a lot less hurried than Jad, who got dressed in seconds and was ready to go.
I suddenly felt an incredibly strong urge to go to the bathroom, and in a high pitched, frantic voice, I told Jad to leave so I could do so, and that I couldn’t go to the hospital until I did.
Jad left the room like I asked and went to ask Lisa about staying with the children while we went to the hospital. When Jad was with Lisa, I felt like I had no control over my bowels and that I had to push hard. I did so, and I started to scream loudly I am sure because of pain, but mostly because I felt something very large start to emerge from my body. It scared me to death.
Immediately reacting to my scream, Jad ran into the bathroom. I didn’t know this at the time, but he saw the crown of Kamren’s head, with all its dark hair. While I was continuing to scream loudly enough to wake the neighbors, he started to run the bath water. I remember wondering why he felt the need to do that. He later said it was because he thought I might be able to have the baby in the bathtub.
As I was screaming, I continued to push because that was all my body wanted to do, and Jad started to yell for my cousin to come help us. She told us later she was really scared and didn’t know what to do at first. She heard Rigel wake up and decided to calm him down as she determined she could do the most good with him.
Very soon, Jad saw Kamren’s head in its entirety. At this point, I knew for a fact I was going to have my baby right then in my bathroom. I was so afraid, and I kept crying out ‘’My baby, my baby.” I really had no idea what would happen to him or me once he was born.
At this point, Jad, who was also quite scared, came to me as he was calling my mom, who didn’t answer. It turns out that my mom’s phone got a voicemail with me screaming ‘My baby, my baby.’ She didn’t notice it until later. I am kind of afraid to listen to it even now.
Though I have no recollection of how often I pushed, I apparently pushed one more time, and once Jad saw the beginning of his shoulder, the baby fell quickly out of my body at 2:15 AM. (To get some perspective, everything that happened after the midwife called up until the birth happened in only five minutes.)
In an instant I saw my baby’s head looking up at me in between my legs in the bloody toilet bowl. He let out a little cry and I lost it. I think I was nearly hyperventilating as I screamed over and over again, “Oh my God.” I had to pray
to Heavenly Father later to apologize for using his name in vain.
You may wonder how the baby ended up head up in the toilet, rather than head down. Jad said when he came out, his body slid up the contour of the bowl and then the bottom half of his body fell in the water.
While I was freaking out, Jad immediately took Kamren out of the bowl. He noticed that the umbilical cord was tugging at his belly button, and realized the placenta had also emerged already. He lifted up the placenta out of the toilet and placed it on top of the baby. He took Kamren, along with the placenta to the bathtub to clean up his eyes and nose. Blood was dripping all over the place, so much so that we later compared our bathroom to a murder scene.
I screamed out that we needed to call 911. Jad did so, but soon got frustrated and said the call wasn’t going through. He said, “I’m dialing 919. Why isn’t it working!?” Though that seems funny now, it wasn’t at the time, and I frantically said, “No, it’s 911!”
I ended up dialing 911 while Jad called my mom and told her to dial 911 and tell the operator that the baby was here. I found out later she had no idea the baby was born (she just thought I was in labor), but found out from the operator upon dialing 911.
When the 911 operator answered my call, I worriedly told her that I had just had a baby in my house and didn’t know what to do.
She asked for my address and then said to clean the baby’s nose and mouth, which Jad had already done. Then she told us to wrap him in a clean, dry towel. I momentarily inwardly panicked because I didn’t have a clean dry towel near me and going out to the linen closet would be a messy ordeal. So, I chose my towel since I figured it was cleaner than Jad’s. We wrapped the baby in it and Jad cleaned off his nose and mouth again.
The operator asked about the placenta and if I had delivered it yet. Since I had, she asked that it be wrapped up as well. Jad grabbed my nightgown off the floor without hesitation and wrapped the bloody glob in it.
Next she told Jad to find a shoelace to tie around the umbilical cord, about six inches from the baby’s belly button. She said not to pull on the placenta. Luckily, our closet was right by the bathroom. Jad handed me the baby for the first time and then grabbed a shoelace out of one of his nice church shoes.
The operator told me to stay on the line with her until the ambulance came. At this point, Rigel had calmed down, so Lisa decided to come over to the bathroom to see if we needed help. She said as she walked into our bedroom, she could smell the blood and expected a mess to say the least. I don’t remember us saying much, just kind of looking at each other with little, weak smiles. I’m glad she didn’t look freaked out. She actually thought I looked great for just having had a baby and that she felt comfort that all would be well with us.
Jad asked Lisa to unlock the door so the EMTs could come in when they arrived.
A couple minutes later, two men walked into my bathroom. Imagine how you would react seeing a bathroom covered in blood. I thought of that and apologized for the mess, also being embarrassed about being mostly naked sitting on a toilet seat. One of them said it was okay and that these things happen. I think I felt a little better after that.
Just then, a couple women came with a wheelchair and other equipment. They asked me to sit down in the chair. They understood my embarrassment at standing up without pants, so they had a blanket ready to wrap around me, thank goodness. I gave Kamren back to Jad, which I am sure I didn’t like doing, and sat in the chair. I was wheeled down the hall and carried down the stairs. That was kind of scary.
On the front porch was a stretcher. Somehow I was put on it and rolled to the ambulance, but all I remember thinking was, are my neighbors peeking out their windows looking at me right now? At the time, it seemed like there was more than one ambulance, but Jad told me later there was only one, just that the red light was reflecting off the truck. I must have been really out of it.
I didn’t know this, but Jad told me that they put an oxygen mask on Kamren as Jad carried him to the ambulance.
When I was put in the ambulance, I told the EMTs we needed our bags. I am glad I said that or otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten any pictures of the beginning of Kamren’s life. While all this was happening, my mom, brother and sister had hopped in the car and driven to Mebane. They followed the ambulance from Sheetz to the hospital.
On the way to UNC Hospital, I held Kamren close while one of the male EMTs rubbed him vigorously with warm towels. I remember being worried about him. He was so blue/gray and not moving much. I was glad whenever he let out a little cry.
The EMTs monitored my baby’s little heart and took my blood pressure. One of them tried to put an IV in my hand, which hurt terribly, but then after all that, he was unsuccessful. I was irritated about that. I wish he had just asked me where a good vein was.
Other than that moment of slight annoyance, I think I was pretty much in a daze. Jad said he was feeling really happy everything was okay. He actually videotaped our trip to the hospital.
When we got there, I was rolled to a room. I remember feeling very unsafe on the stretcher and held on very tightly to my baby.
When we got to the room, a nurse took Kamren and put him under a warming lamp. I was given the task of moving from the stretcher to the hospital bed, which was actually very difficult.
I was in a lot of pain, especially in my back and my lower abdomen. It also hurt terribly to get sewn up, even after getting numbed with the huge needle. I don’t think the numbing process even helped. I said “ow” way more than I wanted to. This was the first time I felt myself being sewn up after having a baby.
During this whole experience, I am sure I wanted to cry. I never did, though, until after I was already in the hospital. I don’t remember exactly when it was, but I know it was during a time when it was quiet and Jad, my wonderful husband and hero, was standing next to me.
It was so nice of my mom, brother and sister to come to the hospital to make sure Kamren and I were all right. They stayed for a little while to get some details about the birth and to see the baby.
After I was put in my recovery room, Jad left for a while. His clothes were all bloody and he wanted to clean the bathroom (and other effected areas) and take a shower.
Jad was in the middle of cleaning vigorously when Casey woke up that morning. Lisa had a note ready for him saying I had had the baby. She spoke to him about it, and he didn’t believe Kamren was here because in Casey’s mind he was supposed to be born the following Sunday. It took some convincing, but finally he believed Lisa. I am sure he was excited, because when he first met Kamren, and held him, he was totally in love with him. It was so sweet to see them together.
After the adventure I had early Sunday morning, my two days in the hospital were pretty normal. I enjoyed ordering as much hospital food as I wanted (the milkshakes were fabulous); I visited with family; I cuddled and nurtured my little one, who was safe and mostly healthy; and I reflected often on the blessings of the whole experience:
Jad was home for the labor. Many of you know that he works out of town three days a week. Had he not been home for the delivery, I don’t know how I would have made the appropriate phone calls, and done all the procedures while holding the baby, especially since I had just had a very traumatic experience.
My cousin, Lisa was there. Because she was at my house, we didn’t have to worry about what to do with the
children. She was able to take care of them for us, for which we will always be grateful.
Casey didn’t wake up when I was screaming. I think he would have been traumatized had he heard me, and even more so had he come to the bathroom and seen anything. Rigel did wake up, but Lisa was able to get to him and calm him down so he didn’t know what had happened.
My labor was short. Because it was so short, my pain was also short. I think because of not having an epidural, my recovery has also been much faster this go around.
We did not rush to the car. It was a great blessing I was a little indecisive about whether to go to the hospital,
or what to do, because if we had rushed, I would have had the baby in the car.
I felt birth for the first time. I got an epidural with my other two boys, and though I probably would do so again
if I had the choice, I feel blessed that I was able to experience natural childbirth.
I don’t remember the pain. I remember how it felt to push him out. I remember the shock and fear of it all. I do not remember how painful it was. I know it was excruciating because of how loud my screams were, but I do not remember feeling the pain.
Kamren didn’t fall head first into the toilet. It didn’t make sense that he didn’t go head first since he was
delivered head first. I believe that this was not an accident, but divine hands led him safely out.
We made it to the hospital. I am so glad the ambulance came so quickly and that Kamren and I were able to be
transported safely and healthy enough.
Kamren didn’t have any really bad injuries. He did have a large bump on his head from the pressure, very
bloodshot eyes from ruptured blood vessels (again from the pressure), bruising on his face, and some jaundice, but he had no broken bones or anything that caused the pediatrician major concern.
Jad and I got this new respect and love for each other. We looked at each other with so much love after we made it to the hospital. To me, he was a hero, and to him I was. I love my husband so much and I am so glad that he and I were able to share this miracle together.
We will always have a very special memory, one of love, survival and faith. Kamren will always be our miracle.
“God was with you that day,” said my friend, Maria. She was right. I know that, just as I know He is with us every day. It was only refreshed in my mind from that experience. I was in the less than 1% of women who have unplanned home births. Why me? I don’t know, but I will always be grateful.