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Alexander Calvary's Birth Story

Catherine Zuperku

Written to my love, Zander
Born on November 21st, 2014

The day started out pretty normal, I woke with contractions, which was nothing serious since I had been having contractions since the last week of October. I was even put on modified bed rest for a week in early November because of the intensity, in the end the Dr.’s let me go back to work.

Work was typical, I had a meeting with the CCO of Kohl's, I was the only person eating her chocolates in her gorgeous office. Ya know, this type of stuff happens to me every day at work - lol ;0). In any case, I didn't want to miss that meeting. Plus, I talked you up when I was chatting with her, I even mentioned your Christmas Day due date. After that big meeting I left for my weekly NST test at the Dr.’s office.

As I was hooked up to the monitor the nurse noticed I was having bad contractions every 4 minutes. I clued her in on how that was typical and I wasn’t worried because it always subsides after an hour. She still wanted to check to see if I was dilated and then she would feel better sending me home.

As she checked my cervix she told me I was dilated one centimeter, and I asked her if she thought I could be dilated a centimeter for a week or so since I’ve had friends who were dilated for a couple weeks before their water broke. She said it was a possibility but that they would still send me to triage. Which at this point I didn’t want to do because to be honest I went to triage 2 weeks before and I knew some big bills were coming, yikes. Before I went down to triage Dr. Rashmi Kaul gave me a quick ultrasound and confirmed that you were still breeched.

At this point I thought it wise to call your daddy and give him an update. As your daddy arrived at he hospital, the Dr. came back in and wanted to check to see if anything had changed with my cervix. As she checked, she told us in a confident tone that I was now dilated 2 centimeters and that the best plan of action would have us meeting you within the hour via C-section to avoid my water breaking and birthing you breeched!

My heart immediately went out to you as the situation became real, you were going to arrive 5 weeks early. I had been trying to calm myself the whole time telling myself “these contractions were nothing.” As I thought of you I started to cry uncontrollably. My mind went from you being born within the hour, to your health, to thoughts of a C-section, to the fact that your daddy and I weren’t ready for you (we missed the labor and delivery class because I was on bed rest that week) and ultimately wanting so much to actually hold you when you were born and to know you were healthy. Dr. Rashmi held me as I was sobbing uncontrollably saying that you were going to be fine and that it would be better to get you out than to leave you in any longer.

My one request for Dr. Rashmi and the nurse was that they try and let me hold you if you were healthy enough. They informed your daddy and I that if we heard you cry as they took you from me that typically meant babies were healthy and things would be starting out good for you.

As they went to prepare the room for the C-section, your daddy and I prayed for you and your health and your future. I kissed your daddy with a couple tears running down my cheek and hugged him ever so tightly before being wheeled into the operating room. He would join later after they had everything in the room prepped.

I remember sitting on the operating table and whispering to myself that this memory would be a moment in time soon and that it would pass as they stuck me with 3 huge needles in my back sedating the lower half of me. I couldn’t stop shaking; it was a mixture of pure chills and anxious emotions. The nurse was so kind and told me everything would be fine but that didn’t stop my chills. They even asked if I wanted music during the procedure. My mind couldn’t think of any particular music - I only answered, “something calming.”

After they put up the sheet separating my eyes from the actual procedure they started asking me if I could feel this and if I could feel that. I could definitely feel things but if felt faint. Finally, your daddy walked in the room and sat beside me. Holding my hand and smiling at me, he told me he loved me.

And then they started… I couldn’t tell you how long the whole procedure lasted all I do remember is being able to feel tons of prodding on all sorts of innards that never had so much pain in my life. And then I started to feel a ton of pain and your daddy and I heard all sorts of weird sounds from the other side of the sheet. The nurse asked me if I wanted to go completely under because of all the pain I was feeling, but I didn’t. I wanted to hear your first cry; I wanted to see you as soon as I could. With that answer there was about one more minute of horrible pain and then… WE HEARD YOUR CRY! It was the most beautiful sound in the entire world. And of course it followed with comments from Dr. Rashmi and the nurses saying that you were beautiful and that you had hair.

The next thing I knew, your daddy was away from my side and cutting your umbilical cord. After a couple minutes went by, we then met for the first time and I was in love more than words can describe. You looked exactly like the nickname we gave you, “gummy bear.” You were all snug like a bug in a rug in your swaddling blanket and your fingers were in your mouth like your ultrasounds often showed. From that moment, I have never felt so much responsibility in my life but was also never more thankful for the amazing gift of you that God gave your daddy and I. You truly were made for a purpose and designed by the Master’s hand.

There is of course more to this story as you were then handed to the good hands in the NICU department and I then had the most un-restful night of my life as I battled un-ending nausea, the worst numbness in my legs that made it feel like I was in a straight jacket and the most intense and horrible pain that came from the incision (but you were worth every moment and every pain – I would do it again in a heart-beat if that meant I would get you). I didn’t sleep a wink until I could see you again the next day where I held you in my arms for finally more than a minute.

And as you’re still in the NICU as I write this, I will try to be patient and wait for you to gain your strength, to eat on your own, so you can then come home. The song, “Home for the Holidays” has more meaning this year. We heard some good news today, so we're hopeful we'll all be under one roof soon.

Your daddy and I love you more than words can express and am so thankful for a little "zuper-dude" like you.

With unconditional love, Your mama