Sunday, March 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Kellen!

I won’t bore you to tears by recounting every single detail of my delivery of Kellen. (But you know I have to at least hit the highlights, right?) :)

Everything went fine, no drama. Despite the all-night application of the cervical gel, and the all-day administration of Pitocin (the contraction-causing hormone used to induce labor) my body still wasn’t ready to deliver him. But (explanation for Angela -- the placenta can only hold out so long, then it starts to break down, which is what was happening to me. Hence the reason my doctor wanted to move forward with the delivery.) That day, March 25, 1998 (nine years ago today) I dilated to a “9” and stayed there for almost eight hours without making any further progress. I hadn’t slept well at home on Monday night, hadn’t slept at ALL at the hospital on Tuesday night, and by 7pm Wednesday night, it was obvious the baby still had no intention of being born anytime soon. He gets all sulky and pouty and drags his feet like that now, too. I remember my doctor coming in that evening and giving me two choices …. Either turn off the pitocin, try and get some sleep, and start again in the morning, or just give up and have a c-section. I responded with “I don’t care if you pull this kid out of my NOSE, I’m pooped and I want it over with so I can get some rest.” His reply? “Good, because I have tickets to the Lakers game tonight and to be honest, you’re messing up my evening.” (Actually, that made me smile.)

So, forty-five minutes later, Kellen was born via a calm, orderly c-section. Weighing in at 8 lb, 13 oz, it’s probably just as good that I never got around to pushing. I’m sure my vagina thanks me.

What I remember about that day:

*Worrying about Brayden and if she was ok with the girlfriend who was babysitting her, especially since we hadn’t planned on her being there anywhere near that long.

*Thinking that the man who invented epidurals should be sainted.

*That the air conditioner in my room wasn’t working and despite maintenance coming in to work on it, while I was in labor, it still felt like a sauna. I was relieved to get to the cool atmosphere of the operating room, even if it meant that oh holy crap, I was fixing to be cut open and a live baby was going to be pulled out of me, like a rabbit out of a hat!

*Vomiting on Blaine when they increased the meds for the section. (I’m fairly confident that is NOT one of his favorite memories.)

*Blaine looking at me during the delivery, with a mixture of disgust and horrified fascination on his face, and saying to me, “Oh my GOD, your guts are laying all over your stomach.” Ooh, that’s nice.

* That after the c-section, and then all the other junk they do before sewing you back up (I’m assuming they put all my guts back where they belong? Just a guess.) and then they take you to recovery, and take the baby away to clean him up and get his apgar scores and prick his heel and put drops in his eyes and play canasta or whatever it is they actually DO with newborn babies, it was after midnight before I got back in my sauna room. I hadn’t slept for approximately 60 hours, had gone through all the stages of labor, right up to the pushing part, and had just had my middle section sliced open. I. WAS. EXHAUSTED. Blaine had left, finally, and I was alone in my room, unable to pull myself into a sitting position, stuck like a turtle on her back in the bed, and this chipper, too-happy, perky little baby nurse brought Kellen to me and asked, in an annoying cheerful voice, “Are you ready to breastfeed your baby?” I almost cried. In fact, I think I might have cried. Yes, I definitely cried.

*Choking on my dry eggs at breakfast the next morning and having to cough, and thinking I was going to rip open that incision and the staples from my c-section would probably shoot out and poke someone in the eye and blind them and that my guts would be all over the place again from the forcefulness of the coughing. Gosh, that hurt. You have NO IDEA the number of times each day you use your stomach muscles (even someone with stomach muscles as flabby as mine) until they’ve been cut open. Coughing, laughing, sitting up, laying down, getting out of bed, getting into bed, talking, breathing, watching tv …. It all hurts. Every single bit of it.

But of course, like all women everywhere who’ve suffered through the physical pains of delivery, no matter the method, it was worth every single twinge and second of discomfort. Take one look at this smooshed up little face and tell me it wasn’t worth it:

Although, this picture makes me laugh every time I see it because I was still in my “What do you mean I can’t lift anything over ten pounds with a c-section? The baby by **himself** is almost ten pounds!” phase and I asked Blaine to dress Kellen in the outfit I brought for the Obligatory Ugly Hospital Photo (OUHP). Not only did Blaine put his hat on backwards, as evidenced by the seam going right up the front of his head, he also had his ear all flopped down and didn’t notice. So really, it’s funny. Even if my baby does look like an orphan already.

Almost as funny as the fact Brayden was flipping all of us off in her OUHP.

Can I just say that the first pictures I got of them together make me smile even more?

Brayden, meeting Kellen for the first time:

And I knew, instantly, that despite the fact none of this had gone as planned, and the pregnancy certainly caught us by surprise, that it wasn’t going to ruin Brayden’s life. I smile now when I remember how on the day before I was induced with Kellen, I sat in the middle of the living room floor, holding her on my lap, tearing up and apologizing to her for what was about to happen. Oh, sure, there are days now when he’s annoying the crap out of her and they’re fighting like cats and dogs that I’m sure she wishes he’d been swapped for a life-size Barbie in the hospital, but overall, they’ve loved each other since day one.

And if the very long labor wasn’t enough to convince you he is my child, let me tell you what he said after soccer practice yesterday. After the games, the parents normally trot out on the field and make two lines facing each other. We hold our hands up and make a tunnel for the kids to run through, as we yell congratulations to both teams. It’s just a fun, silly little ritual they do in our soccer league and probably in every league across the country. This is Kellen’s first season in the older kids league, though, and the first game the parents didn’t do the tunnel. I was a little sad, thinking how they must not do it for the older kids. And thinking about how basically Kellen and the other kids must be too old to enjoy it, and soon he would be shaving and driving and dating and then some little bimbo in a tight skirt would break his heart and I’d have to squash her like a bug …..

Anyway, back to the tunnel.

After Saturday’s game, I heard some of the kids on the team yelling, “Hey, where’s the tunnel?” and then I heard the coach holler, “You parents didn’t do the tunnel the first game … do one this time!” and I felt so happy, and even got a little misty-eyed, thinking about the tradition of the tunnel and how my baby, my sweet, precious little baby is still TOO young enough to enjoy the tunnel. Then, from across the field, as loud and clear as anything, came Kellen’s voice, for all to hear: “Who cares about the tunnel? Where are the SNACKS???”

Ah, yes. He definitely sprung from THESE loins. We do have our priorities.

In the meantime, happy birthday Kellen, my nine-year old boy. I love you more than life itself, and will never let you live down the fact it practically took a stick of dynamite and a load-lifter to get you to come out on the day you were born. And I’ve adored you every moment since.


Anonymous said...

If only all the babies in the world were loved as much as yours, life would be perfect!

Happy Birthday, lucky guy!


kim said...

Yup, sure enough, precious, beatiful, cute Child #2! Loved the photos of the first meeting between Brayden and Kellen--awwww! I have a question, maybe a little too much on the personal side, so I understand if you don't want to answer, but I'm askin' anyway...have all of your deliveries been c-section? Even though I said it once, it bears repeating. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KELLEN!

p.s. YAY--I'm first! And so mature.

kim said...

Darn! Oh well. YAY--I'm second. And still mature.

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Hope you enjoyed your snacks after the tunnel!

Anonymous said...

LOL @ Kim. You wanna cut??


Staci said...

Happy Birthday Kellen!!

I was scheduled to be induced on my due date since my midwife predicted that my son's head was large. (woohoo) Anyway, they set up my cervadil/pitocin schedule and thankfully i went into labor 2 days before my induction!! .. anyway.. the weekend before i gave birth i came down with a terrible cough.. one of those juicy ones that grosses everyone out when you do it. Let me just tell you that after vaginally delivering a 8.4 pounder and having a bad cough and a second degree tear.. well... lets just say that you cough with "those" muscles too..

I hope it was a very wonderful "Birthday" for you both!!!

Staci in NJ

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for continuing with the story! Now when you're done telling us about how you had all of your kids you'll have to backtrack and write about how you met Blaine. (How is he doing, by the way?) Happy bday, Kellen!

kathy in alaska said...

I just don't know how you continue to top your own previous stories? Please consider writing a book. You are soooo freaking talented. This was great and I loved seeing the pics. Did you bake a cake for Kellen today?

Yes, do tell how you met Blaine.

Anonymous said...

Dear Kristie,
OK, thanks, I didn't know that you would fall to bits if the baby wasn't delivered quickly! My children (twins) were C - section, I really would have preferred a normal delivery but one of the babies was in distress, her heart was beating too fast so it was unplanned emergency, four weeks early. It turned out that my son's big head was butting her in the but, they told me after the delivery, that was the cause of her distress!! They are 22 years old now and he is much bigger than her! I remember those muscles when coughing, laughing etc, that really hurt! They were born in Germany and they kept me in hospital for 10 days, It improved my German language no end!!
Hope Kellen enjoyed his birthday!

Take care,
Love Angela

Amy from St.Pete said...

My first labor was somewhat like your's except I didn't have a c-section. I was also 10 days overdue. They did an ultrasound at the doctors office and were alarmed with his kidney. They thought he only had one kidney and it was way to big. So I got sent straight to the hospital and had that lovely gel all night. Like you, it didn't help at all so on to the Pitocin. That stuff was not fun at all!! My doctor was an ass and said no drugs until I got to 3cm, then it was 4cm. Well it took 12 hours to get to 3cm then my doctor said he was going out to lunch and that it would be at least 6 hours before the baby was born. Right after he left the nurse let me sit in the chair in my room. Once I got in that chair I felt like I had to go to the bathroom, I mean really go!! My cousin was with me and she ran to get the nurse because she knew what that meant! I had went from 3cm to giving birth in a half hour! Needless to say I never got ANY drugs until after the birth, and my doctor didn't make it for the birth! Thank God he was only 8lbs. 1oz. I had to take him (Austin Michael) to Riley Children's Hospital (Indiana) when he was 10 days old to find out about his kidney, It turns out that he has both kidneys, they are just both on the right side. He still gets an ultrasound once a year to make sure they are ok.
I'm sure you didn't really want to hear my 'baby store' but I told you anyways!!
I can hardly wait for the next chapter!!

linda ringwood said...

happy birthday Kellen and thank you so much for sharing such a compassionate moment of ur life with us...have a look at my blog ans start planning up for ur toddler's birthday from now on...I have some cool tips for u...have a good day :)

Renee' said...

Happy Birthday, Kellen. Glad you have your priorities straight - go for the SNACK! Have a fun day!
We miss you guys!

Jen from WI said...

Happy Birthday Kellen!

Kathi said...


Hey Kristie - I forgot how close Kellen and Kristina were in age (she'll be 9 on 4/30). I'm enjoying your blog, and glad that you've continued your writing on another format.

Heading to clinic today for Melanie's 'every six month visit' - can you believe after August she only has to be seen once a year? It's amazing how fast time is going.

Give Kendrie a big hug from us!


Jeanette, Will, Lauren and Ronny Drew said...

Happy birthday Kellen!! We all hope you had a great day.

Briana said...

First of all, happy belated birthday to Kellen!

I really enjoyed reading about Kellen's birth, because it took me back to the memories of Dalton's birth. Madison had come a week early and was small (6 lb 10 oz). The doctor could tell Dalton would be big, so she didn't want me going past my due date. Two days later, when Dalton still had not come, they induced me. Luckily for me, the induction did it's trick and five hours later I had a baby boy. One that weighed exactly the same as Kellen - 8 lb 13 oz!

Sue said...

Happy 9th Birthday, Kellen!

Kristie, I never had a C-section, but I had laproscopic surgery for an ectopic pregnancy. That was a teeny tiny incision to the stomach muscles, and I couldn't get into a sitting position or just roll over for at least a week! I can only imagine how much worse it would be with a C-section incision! I'm glad your back and continuing with your baby story!


Anonymous said...

Wow...I am way behind on comments. First and most important, Happy Birthday Kellen. We can't wait to celebrate the big 9's together in a few short days!

Secondly, I think that we should include a mandatory 15 minutes a day in the sun at all future scrap booking weekends! From the looks of those pictures, we - me most of all -were in a serious state of Vitamin D deficiency! I know why Renee kept saying I was looking pale! Not pretty on my side!

And thirdly...can I tell you how much I am looking forward to my third c-section after reading today. All the joys just came rushing back...the coughing most of all. Could you not have added just a little about having to poop, again, and the fun and happiness that entails?! Did you not experience any of the amnesia that is mandatory for these awful deliveries? So glad one of us remembered it in such shining clarity. :)

Wish you guys were going to be here tomorrow, the one day it will be in the 80's. Don't look at the forcast, just bring your warm clothes, jackets, rain coats and extra shoes. :( Apparently, someone did not get our request for GA style weather for our wimpy friends. But who cares, we will have fun anyway! Can't wait! :) Kim

liz from sumner said...

Okay, you guys with the stomach muscle stories are all weenies and I can top them all: in my twenties (just a *cough, cough* little while ago), I had liposuction on my lower abdomen. The surgeon - in Seattle - was named Tucker, so all of my Boeing co-workers had great fun calling him Dr. Tummy Tucker.....anyway, it was a surgery with general anesthetic so I was out cold and don't remember anything EXCEPT waking up in recovery, wearing the panty girdle that I had been required to bring with me, and in a total state of embarassment wondering how the HECK they got it on my while I was out cold (doesn't conjure pretty pictures, now does it??)!!!! On top of that, I had to wear it constantly for six weeks post-op, so the surgeon had been kind enough to cut the entire crotch out so that I could "use the facilities, etc. (although I was too sore to opt for the etc.)" whilst recuperating. Now, all they had told me was "bring a new girdle", so you can imagine my **surprise** at how it actually ended up! As for sore - well, no muscles were cut, only bruised. The morphine cocktail helped, but sadly wore off, much too quickly as far as I was concerned. My throat was too sore from the intubation (that they also didn't tell me about beforehand) to cough much, but the pain lasted for quite a while! So, do I win??
As for baby stories - my son was also 2 weeks late and induced and stubborn - it took 23 hours and 40 minutes, but he finally vacated the premises (3-17-1994) and was polite enough to only weigh 7 lbs. 2 oz.!! So, I also feel that whoever invented the epidural should be given sainthood - the last 12 hours were much more comfortable than the first! Happy Birthday Kellen!!

Simply Jenn said...

Oh sure, thanks alot. My 11 year old needs to shave and I was doing just fine in denial-land, but NOW you have forced me to see that he's growing up. Why did you do that to me 1 day before he turns 12?

Just kidding (mostly!). Happy birthday to Kellen, I hope he had a wonderful day!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Kellen!

I must say I never really understood the C-section pain seeing as all 3 of my children were vaginal deliveries, but, I just had a total hysterectomy, 8 inch incision and OMG, I thought I was gonna die! I didn't get staples, I got glued(now that scares you shitless when you have to sneeze or cough!) I would hold the incision when I did anything. Imagine telling your youngest who is 3 that you can't hold Anyway, didn't mean to bore you to death.
I hope Kellen had a great day!

D said...



As usual, LOL. We waited so long to have our daughter, and when the time finally came, she refused to come. I was on pitocin forever, and when the dr. asked me if I wanted a c-section, I had no doubt that I did. I too didn't sleep the whole time in the hospital. My poor husband made the mistake of trying to nap while I was in pitocin misery. It didn't matter that he was sleep deprived before going to the hospital because he had to get everything in order for the "vacation" he would take. Doggone it, if I had to be in misery, then he did too. The nurse who walked in and caught me cursing and throwing ice at him must have thought I was a nut.

JoAnn said...

Awwww.... your entry makes me smile. Children are life's greatest blessing-even when you want to rip your hair out because of them:) Happy Birthday Kellen!! And I am so with you- bring on the SNACKS!!!!!!!!

Tracey said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Kellen!

You were a gorgeous baby and you continue to grow more handsome every day (even if Dad DID screw up your OUHP! Dad's NEVER will understand our anal need for everything to be PERFECT!*sigh*)
You are both a very special younger bro, as well as a great big bro!

Kristie, on another note, I howled with laughter when I saw you use the 'fugly' word re: the argyle sweaters...we started using that word in Grade 10 when we were 15 and I had not seen it used in YEARS, got a big kick out of that!!

My3kids said...

Los Angeles isn't that bad, after all we have, um, and uh, well... never mind.

Alice said...

Happy Birthday to Kellen!

And I want to throw my vote in for hearing how you and Blaine met and fell in love. You are a marvelous storyteller. I look forward to the new "chapter" everyday!

Donna said...

Who let you in to my c-section??? We are a pair in that department. #1 son was 8 days late, no thinning, no dilating, no contractions. So we go for the cervix softening. Got us all the way to 2 cm. Turn on the pit. All the way to 4 with rockin' contractions. Turn on the epi--WHEE! Break the water in hopes of speeding things up. Meconium in the fluid, off to the OR we go. DH was so freaked he couldn't even go in. The best OB nurse EVER stayed with me even after her shift ended and took pictures for DH and me.

And the first time they brought him in to eat from his exhausted mommy who was full of hormones and with an iv in the back of her left hand... I cried. But like you said--wouldn't trade any of it for anything.

We must be slacker soccer parents. All the other teams do the tunnel. We don't. Not sure why. Sometimes our kids run through the other team's tunnel. We are so mean.

Anonymous said...

Happy Belate Birthday Kellen. Hope you had a fabulous day full of SNACKS!!! We miss you all
Rena' and gang

Natalie said...

Ah, yes, the c-section. At 9 lbs. and 10 oz., and breach, I was most happy to endure a c-section with Declan (and again with Finn). Even though I still can't do sit ups. It's not my fault, right?! Back me up here. . .