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Labor, Jesus and Sarah. A thank you to my labor and delivery nurse.

Labor, Jesus and Sarah. A thank you to my labor and delivery nurse.

On the evening of January 18th, 2017 I checked into the hospital. Baby #2 was on her way.

During labor for baby #1 a labor and delivery nurse told me, “Each baby has their own way of getting here.” She told me she thought we, (as laboring women), would have an easier time if we didn’t clutch onto our expectations for dear life. So the second time around, I heeded her advice.

At 7pm the hospital staff had a shift change and so my first nurse, Dala who was considerate and made sure to give me every comfort she could – even through the pokes and pricks – said goodbye and Sarah said hello.

Sarah and Dala

Sarah and Dala

I labored without meds for 2 hours, got an epidural, labored for two more hours and pushed for FOUR minutes. Lightning fast compared to my first labor.

As soon as I pushed her out, they whisked the baby away from me because she was blue and purple because she had sucked in a lot of amniotic fluid. They worked on getting her risk free. I didn’t get to see her or hold her for a while.

At 12:53 am I gave birth to a healthy baby girl — and by 1:30 or so — a cloud started to loom over my hospital room.

While the baby was being taken care of, the doctors and nurses realized my placenta was not coming out and more severe measures were going to have to be taken.

The doctor explained the 2 or 3 procedures they would try before resorting to a C-section. I was losing blood and my placenta needed to come out. And for safety reasons, they needed to move me to an operating room just in case things went south.

So while my husband held our minutes old daughter, they transferred me onto a gurney and away I went.

As they rolled me out of the room – I locked eyes with my husband and told him I loved him and that I would be okay.

Sometime after delivering the baby and before I was wheeled away – I brought God close and I started to hum one of my favorite church songs. No words, just humming.

There is power in the name of Jesus

There is power in the name of Jesus

There is power in the name of Jesus

To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain

To break every chain, break every chain, break every chain

As they transferred me I hummed, as they wheeled me into the operating room, I hummed, as they took off my bra (for the just in case) — as they strapped my legs to stirrups, as they connected IVs to my arms, I hummed.

What actually happened in the O.R. is hazy. I remember the brighter than bright fluorescent lights and I remember seeing a large digital clock with red numbers. And I remember catching glimpses of the symphony of nurses, but I couldn’t see much else.

During the procedures they had my chest and torso WEIGHTED down with 20 pounds of white cotton blankets because my body was convulsing. It was like someone had unzipped my skin and the insides of my body were exposed to the icy temperature of the operating room.

Half way through the procedures, (one of which included a doctor sticking her entire forearm into me and rooting around for pieces of my placenta,) the doctor said, “It’s stuck, we’re going to have to try something else.” She reached for a serrated spoon and started to scrape this insides of my uterus.

She said, “This will cause fertility issues later.” “If this doesn’t work, we’ll get the hose.”

I said, “I’m losing blood, I can feel it.”

And I continued humming.

There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in the name of Jesus.

“Yes you are and more blood is on the way for you.”

Minutes later I heard the doctor ask the nurse, “Where’s the blood?”

“We have someone at the door waiting for the blood – it’ll be right up.”

I knew I was losing blood because my vision started to go grey and I could feel my brain shutting down.

“Nope, no more energy for that.”

“Or that.”

“Or that.”

And then my eyes closed.

The doctors gave me a blood transfusion, scraped out my placenta and took me back to my original room. I convulsed for three hours in shock. My body could not stop shaking, trembling, my teeth chattering incessantly.

Once the convulsing stopped, I was transferred back to the bed I was in before. I was desperately thirsty, and someone brought me a plastic pink jar full of ice chips. I used the mirror directly in front of my bed and stared at myself eating ice chips until the ice chips were gone. I’m not sure where my mind went, but I was somewhere far away.

And a few hours after that, they brought in the baby to nurse. Because even though I had just been through major trauma, the baby needed to eat.

The next morning the doctors explained to me that I had hemorrhaged 50% of my blood.

The next day.

The next day.

Sarah, my labor and delivery nurse, was absolutely my guardian angel that night.

Sarah! <3

Sarah! <3

I met her around 7:30pm. She walked in professional and kind. She asked what kind of labor we were shooting for – and she was open to all of it. We explained how we wanted a minimally invasive labor. And I told her that during my first labor I had staked my pride on not having an epidural — but that I was wiser now. (ha!)

During my four-hour labor Sarah watch intently, joked with me, helped me through contractions and was ultra-supportive.

And when things started to get serious – when I was wheeled into the OR- Sarah was the only person I “knew.” And even though I had only interacted with Sarah for 4 hours – she KNEW ME. She had seen me go from casual to in pain to in excruciating labor pain – she had seen me and helped me push a human out of my body AND she had seen things take a turn for the worse.

Sarah walked with me through the hospital halls from my labor room to the OR – she held my left hand the entire time and never left my side. 

For as long as I had the energy – I hummed, There is power in the name of Jesus.

And at the point that I stopped humming because I just couldn’t anymore– Sarah leaned in and asked, “What song are you humming?” The only response I could muster was, “a church song.”

And then…

She took over humming for me.

I could feel her – holding my hand – giving me warmth – literally and figuratively.

I didn’t have the energy to hum with her but I could hear the hymn and in the midst of the chaos – I felt peaceful.

To Sarah, my labor and delivery nurse, thank you for investing in me and the life of my baby, thank you for your boundless heart, thank you for giving me strength and grace. I see how hard you work and what you do reverberates WELL beyond the moment – maybe even a lifetime, and I appreciate you. Sarah, during one of the holiest moments of my life – you were there with me – guiding me with ease – and for that, I thank you.

And to all labor and delivery nurses – we more than see you – we appreciate you and honor you and we thank you for pouring your hearts into our labors and our families. You change the world for the better.

Parts of this Blog were originally published on Austin Moms Blog

Hi friend!

I'm Catia, a woman, wife, mama, sister, sister friend, you know -- I wear a million hats just like you.

One of my biggest whys is that I want people to feel good about ALL of who they are. Including you.

The threads running through all my work (I’m an author - The Courage to Become, I’m a motivational speaker - TEDx, Choose Joy or Die , I am a private coach ) are hope, joy and empowerment.

If I could choose ten words that best describe me I would say: honest, welcoming, giving, curious, loving, earnest, empathetic, spiritual, playful, and sassy. Let's add: adventurous. That's 11.

Nice to meet you!

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