Two shots in my rump and now we were ready to meet our baby bird! I have been jokingly calling her the grand finale for months now. Well, this girl really knows how to make an entrance! This is quite a lot of commotion she has created in just under a week. However, we think she is pretty special despite not having met her yet.
How many little girls can say they saved their mama’s life before they even left the womb?
The doctors told me that my tumor is not hormone driven, but it grew to such a massive size so quickly right when my milk started to come in. This may be too much information for you but when I began to leak at 32 weeks (roughly the same time I did with my previous daughter) this tumor accumulated fluid (20 ml worth based on the first ultrasound) making it very noticeable.
I have dense breasts anyway, and I would have never noticed a small lump, and pregnant bodies are so strange anyway, I probably would’ve assumed it was pregnancy related.
So, being pregnant with Robbyn at this time allowed the tumor to grow to such a noticeable size so quickly for some reason.
I believe this was another one of God’s magnificent blessings to our family. We were able to find this mass before it had spread anywhere else in my body.
Saturday afternoon, we dropped the kids off for a fun weekend with Jordan’s parents, and I met up with my sister for our ceremonial pre-delivery pedicure. Heaven forbid anyone in our family pushes a baby out without having professionally polished toes at the ends of our very swollen legs. Holly’s method of comfort usually involves pedicures, retail therapy, and ice cream, so we had to make a few stops before meeting up with Jordan.
I’m sure you have heard of love languages, and all of this is Holly’s love language and an afternoon of escape was just what I needed after this week. I’m not usually good at doing these sorts of things, I’m more task driven, but Holly has always had a way of forcing me to have fun.
After being properly pampered, we met Jordan for an extremely greasy burger and fries since I didn’t want hospital food for dinner, and I would be cut off entirely at midnight.
Jordan and I carried our bags into the hospital. It’s always a strange feeling walking in not knowing the next time you will be outdoors. Jordan held my hand, but honestly, I wasn’t even nervous about this impending delivery. I was just so excited to be doing something instead of sitting and waiting.
I was genuinely surprised I hadn’t gone into stress-induced labor earlier that week. Robbyn definitely could tell something was not right I had been having pain and contractions all week.
I had Cervadil that evening and had to be on a fetal monitor through the night. Miss Robbyn decided to roll around all night, and we kept losing her on the monitor.
*That means the nurse was in every 30 minutes to try and find the runaway baby again. *
Not the most conducive environment for sleep.
Not that I was in the mood to sleep anyway.
The next morning the nurse came in to start my Pitocin, and we were off to the races!
I prayed to God early that morning
I wanted that day to be a joyful occasion. I didn’t want to think about my cancer. As I said in my prayer, I wanted to enjoy the blessing that Robbyn was to us. Ecclesiastes 3 says “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
Today was a time to be born and celebrate.
I did not have an epidural with my other two children. I am a cheapskate and didn’t want to have to pay for it, but we met our deductible 3 times over in just over a week; so what the heck!
I also knew there was a possibility I could start chemo that week, and I didn’t want to be utterly worn-out from labor so I thought I would give the epidural a shot. It was a strange feeling or rather unfeeling. And the “laboring” continued.
The nurse, being a good patient advocate tried to get my mom, dad, sister, and Jordan to stop talking so much so I could rest, but that is my family.
We are loud.
There are always four different conversations going on, and everyone just keeps talking louder. It was calming to me to hear the chatter.
I much prefer the soothing sounds of my chaotic family to the numbing silence.
While they chattered away, I laid with my eyes closed convinced I was not progressing because I wasn’t feeling anything.
My sweet nurse kept asking if I was feeling any pressure.
No pressure. No real pain. Nothing.
Holly and I forced Jordan to go to the cafeteria and grab something to eat since we had no idea how much longer I might be laboring, and Robbyn was almost promised a stay in the NICU.
Our nurse took that opportunity to go ahead and drain my bladder since it had been a few hours. I swear she emptied a 5-gallon bucket from my bladder. That’s when I started to feel a little uncomfortable.
Nothing terrible just slightly uncomfortable.
She said she wanted to check me, but I told her I KNEW it was not anywhere near show time. Well, she is the labor and delivery nurse and not me for a good reason.
She proceeded to check me and said, “You’re a 10, we are going to have a baby.”
She started rushing around, moving in tables, calling the doctor and the NICU. Holly called Jordan and told him he better hustle back because Robbyn was coming quickly.
I just sat there in disbelief.
The doctor was gowned and seated at the foot of the bed, and I was in the “ready” position when Jordan finally rushed into the room.
The doctor said, “Ok Kari, on this next contraction you are going to push.”
I looked up at the nurse and said, ” You are going to have to tell me when.”
She said, “Now!”
I said, “Now?!”
I seriously couldn’t feel anything.
Three or so pushes, and we could hear our angry little girl screaming!
She was here, and she was mad about it.
An excellent sign when we were worried that she would come out with difficulty breathing.
The NICU checked her out and packed up and left, leaving Robbyn on my chest! She was doing so well we were able to hold her for about an hour before she had to make her journey up to the NICU.
As she lay on my chest, I could hardly believe she was really here. I literally had not even broken a sweat during labor. I was not expecting her for at least six more weeks. And here she was; all whopping 4 pounds 15 ounces of her!
We had our ecclesiastical time to dance!
Now that she had made her arrival and was safe, our gears had to shift.
It was now time for war.
I was raised in a very military-minded family. Our vacations always revolved around which battleship or military museum we could visit. My dad is a retired chaplain, my brother is an army ranger, and my sister is a former Army ICU nurse. (I am clearly the slacker in the family.) So it was no surprise when Adam texted me this:
“I was going to tell you today; I think these next 16 weeks are going to be your “deployment.” You might not get to see your kids as much and do the things you want to do with them, but you are fighting for something far more important, and only for a season. This is “a time for war” (Ecclesiastes). Phase one complete. Robbyn is out and safe. On to phase two: destroy the enemy. So stand in the face of fear and let God win the day. He is able. 2 Chronicles 20, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s. You will not need to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD who is with you.
This battle is not mine, but God’s and our battle is just beginning.