Birth Story… Alexis

Alexis has an interesting school assignment. She needs to write the story of her birth.. but in first person, in her point of view. So I had to tell her the story of her birth. Then I thought I’d share it here. Now I need to write Karissa’s birth story.

This was the email I sent Alexis since I thought it would be easier to write:

Once upon a time, there was a little redhead. No, really…

I was pregnant with you for 8 months. Your dad was in Iraq, so your sister and I moved to California from Oklahoma to stay with your grandparents in February 2003. Your due date was to be at the end of April to the first week of May. You had other plans. My parents were getting new floors done at their house and felt it would be easier for me and Karissa to stay at your aunt Charmaine’s house for a few weeks. Around the last week of February, Charmaine decided to take Karissa and me to the mall. Most people would go to the mall for an hour or so and call it a day. When your aunt says she wants to go shopping, she really goes shopping. She had us walking around the mall for six hours. The Antelope Valley Mall. You have seen that mall. It doesn’t take six hours to walk around that place! That night I was feeling a bit weird. It was that same feeling I had before I had your sister. I went to the bathroom and noticed I was bleeding slightly. It was around 10pm and I called up your grandma. I told her that I needed to go to the hospital because I may be in labor. My mom said that it isn’t time yet for you to come, I then told her that she needed to tell you that.

I went to the Antelope Valley Hospital, where they told me that I was 32 weeks along and three centimeters dialated. It was much too early for you to be born because your lungs were not fully developed yet and the earliest they can have you be born was at 36 weeks. So they gave me magnesium sulfate to stop the contractions and I was put on bed rest at the hospital for 3 and a half weeks. They would not let me out of bed. I couldn’t walk around and I wasn’t even allowed to get up and go to the bathroom for fear that gravity would work and you’d be born. It was kind of boring in the hospital. I signed your papers for your birth certificate. Played around with the spelling of your middle name. I didn’t want to mess with your first name because that is the name you will, for the most part, always use, so I decided to give ‘Jaimie’ an unusual spelling. That and I couldn’t decide which spelling to use, so I put them both together.

Monday, March 24, I was exactly 36 weeks and they decided to take me off the magnesium sulfate and allow the contractions to start back up. I didn’t feel contractions until I was 10 centimeters, given that, I was not given any drugs during your birth. I started feeling contractions at around 5:20pm and you were born at 5:58pm at 6 pounds even. The doctor cleaned you up and I held you for a few minutes. Then they took you to do tests to make sure you were healthy and there were no problems. The nurses prepped me to go back to my room, that’s when I learned that you weren’t coming to my room with me. Your lungs were still not fully developed so they sent you to the NICU. You were in an incubator with oxygen and some tubes and wires. I couldn’t hold you while you were in the higher level NICU. You were there for two weeks. You were agitated if anyone touched you. The nurses wanted to keep you calm. After a few weeks you were sent to a lower level NICU. There, you were allowed to have some company, of my choosing. I pumped breast milk and sent them to you and gave you sponge baths to keep you clean.. which you hated, by the way. Oh, you were born with brown hair with blonde tips. It looked like you had frosted tips. Your eyes were a very dark blue. I didn’t know what color your eyes were until about 2 weeks after you were born because you’d never open your eyes. You were sleeping much of the time. Also, after two weeks, all your hair just turned red. I came to visit you and the brown hair was gone and you had red hair. I thought it was strange how it changed that quickly, or that I hadn’t noticed it was changing color before. After a while your eyes changed color as well. It seems to change from blue to green to gray. Though mostly it’s green. After another week, the nurses took you off oxygen and you somehow “forgot” to breathe, so they had to put you back on the oxygen and you were stuck in the NICU for another few weeks. After 5 weeks they said you can leave and I brought you home. Oh, you were the biggest baby in the NICU at 6 pounds and 22 inches long.

You were a collicky baby. It took some time to figure how to calm you down. Especially when you did not care for the pacifier or to be swaddled. You loved blankets to cuddle with. For the first few months I did all your feeding, round the clock, with an energetic three year old I might add, because everyone was afraid to feed you since you had to use oxygen when feeding. We didn’t go out of the house for the first few months that you were home. Your dad was still in Iraq and lugging your oxygen tank, you and your sister around wasn’t easy. Especially since you had colic. You did have a hole in your heart, much like your sister did, though yours fixed itself within a month. Your dad came home from the war when you were 8 months old. You didn’t warm up to people easily, your dad was so happy when you finally crawled to him. He passed away two weeks after your first birthday.

Let’s see. You had to go to the ER when you were a year old for a breathing treatment. From 1 to 4 years, your lungs were still…not the greatest. You had a very quiet cry. A few times your lungs would not be giving you enough oxygen and your lips would turn blue and we’d have to take you to the ER. I had a humidifier and an air purifier in your bedroom. Everyday I dusted and cleaned so you wouldn’t have trouble breathing. When you turned 4, you didn’t have any trouble with your lungs and breathing. Your colic went away when you were a baby.. though, you are still stubborn and persistent. 🙂

I hope I gave you all the info you need. Of course, any questions, just ask. Love you!

I am doing this in between the hockey periods… watching the playoffs. Doing this on my phone isn’t the easiest. I will have Karissa’s birth story soon.