June 2, 2021
I can hardly believe that in just a few days, on June 7, my oldest will turn 10 years old!! We’re now a family entering the two-digit birthdays! How is this possible!? Kaylen has grown so much the last few years. She has developed into a quiet yet independent individual. She loves being home, loves dates with mom, and loves creating art. I asked her a few days ago, “What’s the one thing you want to do this summer?”
Kaylen will join the Fergus Falls Flyers swimmers at Kennedy Secondary School this next Monday on her birthday, and we plan to spend a LOT of time on the lake this year! She has a heart for stories, dragons, and legos, and church is one of her very favorite places. I love this girl so much, and I’ll never forget the day she was born.
Kaylen Audrey Larson, born June 7, 2011
Kaylen, I smile when I think of your story. I was so new to this pregnancy thing and had no idea what my body was going to do. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. Truthfully, I was scared of pain and wanted that epidural!
The weekend before you were born, I thought I was having contractions. They were somewhat regular, stronger, but not really all that painful. The hospital said to come in anyway, so we did. They hooked me up to a monitor so I could listen to your heartbeat and they monitored my contractions to see what they would do. I was really hoping to stay, really hoping to have you! But, they let me go and sent me home since I had a regular doctor’s appointment the following Tuesday.
That Tuesday, Daddy and I went in for our regular checkup. This was to be our 40 week checkup, and this was your due date! My contractions had all but disappeared. I figured the doctor was going to tell me that nothing was happening and that I’d simply have to wait. It is common for first-time mothers to go later than their due date, so I was already disappointed. I was expecting to have to go home.
By this point, I’d been seeing the doctor weekly. He checked me every week to see if I was dilating (meaning, progressing towards birth). When the nurse checked me over the weekend I’d hardly dilated at all (maybe .5 cm). The doctor was surprised to see that I was already 5 cm dilated. I was shocked, and so was he! He said, “Are you having any pain?” And I said, “No, not at all!” He told Daddy and me to head up to OB and get ready to have you! I said, “Should we go home and get our things first?” He thought I was crazy and said, “No…I think you’d better let Caleb do that.” Ha!
They offered to take me up to OB in a wheelchair, but I declined. I was in NO PAIN. I walked up myself. So, since I wasn’t really contracting, they gave me pitocin (a special medicine to make the contractions regular). I asked right away how soon I could get the epidural. They sent for the anesthesiologist right away but it took him awhile to come. By the time he arrived (with a student anesthesiologist), my contractions had gotten stronger and faster because the doctor had already broken my water. I still knew I hadn’t hit the worst, but it was getting more uncomfortable to lay, sit, or stand. I even barked at Daddy once. Oops. He just smiled and said, “Ok.” I don’t even remember what I said!
In order to give me the epidural, I had to sit on the edge of the bed with a nurse holding me up. The anesthesiologist had to instruct his student how to do everything since he was learning how to do it for himself. This meant that it took forever! I don’t mind needles at all. It was painless to get the epidural, but I was so tired of sitting there.
My neck and back hurt, and I had to lean against the nurse. The contractions would come and go quite strongly, too, so it made it hard to sit still. But, we got it done! They had to kick Dad out for this since it’s something that can cause dads to faint. By the time they laid me back down again on the bed, the contractions were already much easier and I was starting to lose feeling in much of my body. HEAVEN. Such great relief!
I laid there for awhile. Once in awhile, the nurse would come in and check my progress (to see how much I’d dilated). At one point, I was talking to Daddy and something felt different. Something significantly changed. I told him to go get a nurse. She came in and checked me and said, “This baby is almost here.” They called the doctor! I couldn’t tell, of course, because I couldn’t feel anything, but there were a lot of nurses running around. Before I knew it, the doctor was there and they had nearly transformed my room into something else: bright lights, baby warmer ready, everything.
But we had one problem. When the doctor broke my water, he noted that the fluid was green. This meant that you had pooped inside of me! This can sometimes happen when a baby is in distress. So, because they knew this, they had to have YOUR doctor (Dr. Alan Magnusson) on hand with his team. If you had any of that icky stuff in your mouth, they’d need to suck it out before you took a breath so it didn’t get into your lungs. This could cause a serious infection. So, we had MANY people in that room at one time just waiting for you to be born.
Then, they told me I could push! Which…I couldn’t feel. But I must have done something right, because Dr. Norgard said, “Sarah, you’re doing exactly what you should be doing.” And in only a few short minutes, you were here! The only thing that made me sad is that I didn’t get to hold you right away, and I didn’t hear you cry. You went straight to Dr. Magnusson and his team who sucked all the icky stuff out of you. They cleaned you off, checked your vitals, and made sure that you were healthy! And you were! By the time you came back to me you, had a little pink hat on and hadn’t even cried! You were so amazed at the world and everything in it.
And I am and always will be amazed by you.
Special note: One of my high school teachers (Mr. Undseth) has a wife that was training on the OB floor. She is a dear person and I even had her daughter Julianna in my class. She was training and needed to observe, and so she got to see you born! Also, I had a bedside nurse (I don’t remember her name). I had just directed the Hillcrest junior high play that spring while pregnant with you, and her son was in it. How special to have these connections and these special people present for your birth!
Kaylen, you are a treasure. You are first of our four rainbow babies, and I hope and pray with all my heart that you will always love Jesus. He has SO many amazing plans for you!!