Thursday, July 24, 2008

Birthday Eve

Happy Birthday to my dear sweet Kathryn!
I wanted to take some time tonight to think about how I felt this time last year on the eve of Kathryn's birthday. Of course this time last year I didn't know that tomorrow would be her birthday. What I felt was extreme pain, a throb in my head that sounded like someone pounding on a drum, a thump in my heart that felt like someone jumping up and down, and the buzz of several nurses and family members when my blood pressure elevated so much that they were concerned I would have a stroke. Throughout the night, the doctors and nurses monitored me constantly. I was fairly knocked out on pain medication. Over the next 24 hours we experienced God's grace and the prayers of many friends and family.

The next morning, July 25th, 2007, they started my magnesium sulfate (or mag sulfate to my fellow pre-eclampsia mothers) around mid morning. The first thing I told Greg when they mentioned the drug was that they must be considering delivery because that was what I had received prior to Madelyn's birth as well. He assured me that it must be precautionary, but my worst fears were that they were preparing us for Kathryn’s birth. I say worst fears because our meetings with the neonatologists up to that point had been very grim. I mean it’s their job to inform us that babies born this early have very strong possibilities of brain hemorrhages, feeding concerns, lung concerns, and fear of infection. So, as bullet proof as I wanted to feel, I was terrified!

Greg later told me that he knew early that day when they started the mag that they were planning for delivery later that afternoon, but that he couldn’t worry me. I spent the afternoon in pain, anticipation, and fear and then at 3:00, Dr. Kennedy said that she could no longer wait to deliver or it would endanger both of us.

Around 4:45 they took me back to the delivery room and prepared for delivery and a few minutes before they started Greg came in to the Operating Room. I remember feeling so helpless, but I also remember feeling like I was floating. I think that I knew that feeling was the prayers that were surrounding our family of three, soon to be four.

Kathryn Bryan Ellis was born at 5:01 pm on Wednesday July 25, 2007 at 14 ounces and she was beautiful. Greg said she was moving and she made a small cry before they bagged her and then rushed her to the NICU. I’ll never forget the first time I visited her in the NICU as they wheeled me in still lying in my hospital bed. I was amazed at how tiny she was.

On the eve of Kathryn’s first birthday, I can’t believe the last year of our lives. We have experienced a miracle. Madelyn and Kathryn adore each other. Greg and I have grown stronger in our marriage and the four of us have a bond that is untouchable. We thank everyone who has prayed for us!


Andrew and Lauren Hess said...


In this post you mentioned something that I just read last night in a book a friend gave me in the weeks following my son's passing. It's called Hope and it is meant to explain finding hope after a tragedy through God. Something at times I have a very hard time doing. You mentioned experiencing God's grace on the day Katryn was born. My book talked about God's grace would be enough to get me through the pain I am dealing with and will always deal with. Anyway, sorry for the massive message. It just hit home for me to read this post and see that you mentioned that specific thing. I already posted above, but give Kathryn a big birthday hug from Carson and family ( who all check in on you guys, even from New Zealand!).

Kate said...

Brought me to tears Kelly! It also brought back memories of Aiden's birth. I don't see a preemie anymore when I look at him, so it is always nice to have a little reminder every once in a while. I am so grateful to be a part (albeit a very small, tiny, eensy, weensy part) of her life. Her story has given hope and encouragement to all who hear it!