May 7, 2010
(Make sure you read the "Labor begins..."post before reading this post.)
The morning actually passed pretty quickly. I wasn’t able to eat anything after midnight or drink anything after 9 am, so I got to really quick at 8:45 have 2 popsicles! They were pretty tasty, and they held me over for the next 12 hours! Bert and Erika came and visited in the morning. Erika stayed with me so that Cody could go and shower and get ready for the day. Erika was such a great help. She shopped for an outfit for Baby W to wear in some pictures, brought us food, and got me some essential things that I of course, forgot. We just chatted all morning while they pumped me full of more fluids and medications, checking my contractions every once in a while, which would start to escalate then go back to every 4 minutes when new drugs were given.
Around 10 Dr. R. and Dr. W. came in to talk with us. It was a very sad talk, but necessary. Cody and I had to make a decision on whether or not we would like the NICU team in the Operating Room ready to try and help our son live. The Dr.’s informed us that Baby W would probably only live for minutes, maybe an hour. We could give our baby to the NICU Dr.’s to have him poked and proded and put through pain, which would not help our baby’s chance of survival much at all; or, we could be given our sweet Baby W and spend as much time with him as possible, holding him and showing him our love. We didn’t want to see him go through pain for nothing, we knew his odds were slim, so we decided to just spend as much time with him as we could. If by some miracle he was crying when he was born, NICU Dr.’s could be there extremely quickly to help him. We didn’t feel upset about our decision, just comfort. We now know that the decision that we made was the perfect one.
My parents got into Omaha at noon, it was so good to see them! We felt so glad that at least Cody’s dad and my parents would be there to meet Baby W. They decided to go get some lunch, drop stuff off at our house, and a few other things before Baby W made his appearance. Cody and I just relaxed and waited for 4 pm to come. Honestly, there were still barely any tears, just comfort and understanding that whatever came our way in the next few hours we could handle.
At about 2:45 I got extremely tired and decided to rest for just a half hour or so before they started to prep me for surgery. At 3:00 on the dot I was abruptly woken up because I was PEEING my pants! I was so embarrassed I told Cody to turn the other way because I was peeing my pants…I couldn’t believe that I could not control my bladder! So much went through my head, maybe it was because of all the fluids being pumped into me…ahhh! I was seriously shocked that I couldn’t stop…then about 30 seconds later I realized that my water had broke. Seriously, my water broke?! That wasn’t supposed to happen, I was having a c-section in an hour, why would my water break?! Well, I guess someone was watching out for us. It was no big deal that Baby W decided to come right then and there because all parents were in town or on their way. Good thing that my Dr.’s were listening to their instincts, I can’t imagine how much worse this whole experience would have been if I had to have an emergency c-section, none of our family was there and we were left to do this very hard thing all on our own. I can’t thank them enough for having the intuition, the intelligence, the prompting to schedule my c-section and get family here asap, before Baby W tried to come on his own. I am also SOOO glad that I was in a hospital bed when literally 4 buckets of water (I thought 3, my nurse thought 4!) started pouring out of me. I would DIE if that happened in Wal-Mart!! Speaking of my nurse, she was amazing, out of this world, couldn’t have done this without her. Her name was Jodi, she seriously rocked. She was my day nurse the 7th, 8th, and 9th. She did everything for us from hunting down a photographer for the birth (it seriously took her all day), to arranging things with funeral homes, to waiting on me hand and foot. I can’t believe how awesome she was. Even our parents couldn’t believe how great she was. We will never forget Jodi, that is for sure.
From the time my water broke to surgery time it was a little crazy. They switched us rooms so that we would be in a room 3x the size of a normal room after the delivery. We wanted to make sure all family could fit with us and that I could be recovered in the same room so that we could spend as much time with Baby W as possible. Cody called my parents and his, and found out that his mom had landed 15 minutes early! Everything worked in our favor, I can’t believe how perfect everything was going. Cody, my mom and dad changed into scrubs (everyone got into scrubs so that they could stand outside the OR. We wanted to make sure that they saw Baby W alive and they couldn’t, except Cody, come in the OR, so that was the best option). Aaron, Erika and Will came into the room next and got into their scrubs. Erika was prepped and ready with her camera, and I am so glad that she was! She got some amazing pictures which we will cherish forever. The photographer that Jodi found for us got there at 3:30, she worked with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. This organization is amazing! I know that our photographer got some amazing pictures, and I can’t wait to see them. She asked Cody to fill out a permission slip quickly before we went into surgery. On the permission slip it asked for the baby’s name. We had been calling him Barrett for months, but the past few weeks I hadn’t loved it. I have been pushing for Warner (Cody’s middle name, his mom’s maiden name) ever since we have wanted a baby. We did know that his middle name would be Nathan, after my brother. He didn’t even ask me, he just named him Warner Nathan Winterholler. After he filled out the sheet and gave it back to her, he came up to me and said, “I named our son.” I got a big smile and laughed, “Really?! What is his name?!” I didn’t even care at all! I was just excited that he had a name that we could call him right when he was born. Anyway, the photographer was able to come in the OR and spent 1.5 hours with us after Warner was born. I am so anxious to see her work, I know it will be beautiful.
Dr. W. came into my room, and it began. They rolled me down the hall with Cody right by me, and our entire family following. I am sure that was a sight to see. We stopped at the door of the OR and Bert and Laurel came out (they weren’t in the room with everyone else, they changed in a room near the OR.) Anyway, parents hugged and kissed us and into the OR we went.
Cody was by me the entire time, which made the uncontrollable shaking much more bearable. (They give you drugs that seriously make you shake like you are in Antarctica without a coat for HOURS.) Okay, he made every part of this more bearable. What an amazing husband I have…I could never ask for anyone better to go through this with. He is strong when he needs to be, sad when he needs to be, always in perspective, strengthens me in every way; amazing.
The surgery began and Cody just held me and talked to me; tried to distract me a little; but let’s be honest, he was feeling exactly what I was. We knew Warner wasn’t going to make it long, and just wanted to meet him. Just wanted to hold him, to see what he looked like. We didn’t have any tears, there really was overwhelming comfort in the room. After only about 10 minutes, we got to meet Warner. They came quick and showed him to us, what a beautiful moment that was. They then rushed him to the table and checked his heart rate…it was 80 bpm, in the womb it was much higher. We knew we only had a few minutes with our sweet son. They brought him back to Cody and he held him while they began to stitch me. It was so amazing to see Cody as a daddy! He was so great with him, even as I could see Cody was so sad for his son. Warner was having extremely labored breathing, we could see him trying so hard to take a breath and not being able to. It really ripped your heart out to know that as earthly parents we could do nothing to help him. We would see the area between his ribs and his abdominal cavity contract for a few seconds, then helplessly let back out. He would only try to breath once every couple of minutes. They loosened my arms and I was able to hold Warner, it was such a special moment! I did feel the tiniest bit sad, but I was 99% happy to be meeting my son! I talked with him about maybe staying here on earth a little longer, about the good work that he was going to do up in Heaven, about meeting his cousin David and them playing. I really had sweet conversation with him as I tried to study his every curve and feature. After about 10 minutes, I wanted Cody to show him to our family so that they could see him alive. They all came to the door of the OR and Cody held him while they looked at his precious face. It was hard for Cody, I could tell, but we wanted the Grandparents to meet little Warner so bad. Cody came back in, and they checked Warner’s heart rate once more. He still had one! It was lowered to a 40 but he was still with us. They switched me to a rolling bed, (Yes, they were already done stitching me up…15 minutes and done! My doctors were awesome! Before the surgery started the Dr. said, “Chelsea’s goal is to be on this operating table as little time as possible, let’s go.” They definitely accomplished that and let me spend as much time with Warner as was possible.) gave me Warner, and I was off to a large recovery room that all of our family could join us in. I loved holding my son as we were pushed down the hall, I felt like a proud mother to be holding such a perfect being. I felt so good to hold him and cuddle him.
Once in the room Cody and I continued to hold and love Warner, pictures were taken like crazy (which I am absolutely elated about!), and all of our family had the opportunity to hold him. No one was really crying uncontrollably; Warner brought such a calm, comforting spirit with him saying, “All is well”. We got to examine his sweet head that was covered with dark, CURLY hair! It was amazing how beautiful his hair was, everyone went crazy when we took off the beanie he was wearing. After 25 more minutes of loving our son, Dr. R. needed to check his heart rate. He no longer had one, but had lived for 40 precious minutes here on earth. What a perfect being that we were able to hold in our arms. I can’t wait to meet our little man again in just 80 short years! I know he is doing work that needs to be done and loving every minute of it. I know he is sad when we cry because he is happy where he is now. I am so comforted every moment of every day know that he is in safe arms, knowing that we will see his sweet face again, knowing that he, Cody, and I will always be together in eternity. All is well.
Words cannot express the love that we have felt in the past months and especially the past couple of weeks of our lives. We have so many dear friends and family members who have shown us more love than we could have ever expected. We wish that we could thank each of you, but if you only knew how many of you there were! We love you all and thank you a million times over for your prayers in the past as well as for your continued prayers of comfort for us and our family.
(We will have many more photos to post of our beautiful baby boy in about 6 weeks, when we get them back from the photographer, so check in to see how handsome he is!)