The Crazy Story of Katee’s Birth

Katee's birth was a wild time and I have wanted to write about it so I wouldn't forget. I wish I hadn't waited a year before doing it, but better late than never, and I'm sure that Katrina can help me fill in the details that I may have forgotten.

Katee is our second child and, because of a rough experience, I was still carrying the anxiety of the birth of our first. Halle's birth was probably the worst experience in my life. After she finally came it was wonderful, of course, but the process of her coming was terrible – even to the point of calling my mom and crying over the phone (and I really dislike crying). She took forever to come out, the hospital was over crowded, my wife was totally delusional with pain, and, to top it off, the baby had her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck. But, praise God, everybody was ok.

So, we were towards the end of our second pregnancy and Katrina has decided not to try the natural child birth thing this time and just get an epidermal first thing. She started experencing labor pains on [this day] and so we went ahead to Gainesville to the hospital. When we got there, she was not far along enough to be admitted. They told us to come back in a few hours, so we decided to go to the mall and walk, etc. We went back the second time and were told again that she was not far enough along. Since we are both cheap and since we didn't have a lot of money, and since we didn't want to drive and hour home and have to come back, we decided to spend the night in the van. Yeah, I know, a pregnant woman sleeping in a van – I'm not sure what I was thinking, but she thought it was a good idea, too.

We went to Walmart to buy a couple of pillows and began to drive back to the hospital parking garage, where we were staying. I was about to make a u-turn when the van started driving really strange. It only took me a second that to realize that we had a flat tire. We had a spare donut. I changed it in a gas station parking lot. It was raining.

Katrina slept well in the van, but I never sleep well in cars. I woke up early from the little bit of sleep that I got and found a Panera Bread Company store open where we decided to get some breakfast. Katrina and I sat in one spot, but there were no power plugs for the computer so we moved to another. I can't remember what we were discussing as we sat there, but I do remember that we were talking about the Lord. A man at the table next to us was by himself on his computer, and, after a few minutes, got up and came to our table to speak with us. He mentioned that he heard us talking about the Lord and that he was a pastor. He was a young guy, probably 30 somethings. We told him that we were from Live Oak and that we were here trying to have a baby, and how we had a flat tire and slept in the van, etc.

Hearing our plight, he invited us over to his house! His name is Anthony Gratto. I have him as a friend on twitter still.

We took him up on his offer.

I had to drop my van off to get a new tire. He was kind enough to pick us up from the tire place and bring us to his house. He had a nice house. We met his wife and kids. They had a nice spare bedroom. We both took a shower and took a mid-day nap. They left us alone at the house while they did other things. I very thankful for what Anthony did for us. That nap at his house helped us greatly.

In the process of time, we got the van back, fumbled around Gainesville for a while, hoping that labor would progress. After walking around the mall for Lord knows how long, we finally decided to head back home. It was about nine o'clock.

An hour later we arrived at the house. I was tired. Yes, we had the little nap earlier in the day, but the night before I didn't sleep at all. I was looking forward to a good nights sleep. I wasn't going to get it.

At that moment, when you first fall asleep (you know the moment when you hate getting woken up), my wife woke me up. And I'm sure you can guess why… Her water had broke. Now we for-sure had to go to the hospital. We jumped in the car.

I remember thinking to myself how bad this was. I was so tired. Memories of the awful labor experience of our first child was haunting me. I thought for sure that it would be another 24 hours of misery…

Katrina's labor pains came on quickly. So quickly that I remember immediately beginning to pray and to experience anxiety. Her contractions were intense and close together. She was sure to transfer as much of that pain as she could into my arm as I was driving.

I decided that I would call the hospital to see if it would be a problem for me to take her to a closer hospital. They told me that if I felt I could not make it to Gainesville that I should.

I prayed, not sure what I should do.

I remember that I felt impressed of The Lord to continue to Gainesville. It was a long drive… The dramatic scene of a labor room was happening in the front seat of my van, but there were no nurses, no pain meds, and no beds. More than a few times she cried out, “The baby is coming!” I would reply, “Keep her in there!”

I ran some red lights, sounded my horn at slow drivers, and sped to the hospital. The told me to come right to the emergency room, but I didn't know were it was (they had moved it). So I parked at the hospital entrance, found a wheelchair and wheeled her up to the sixth floor, using the stairs (just kidding I used the elevator).

I wheeled her into triage.

For some reason the nurse was concerned about where I was parked. I told her at the front. She told me that if I didn't move it then I'd be towed.

I ran downstairs (elevator actually) and parked the van, and ran back to triage – no wife. The bed wasn't even there. I franticed around to find her, asking one of the nurses if she knew where she might be. She pointed me down the hall. I entered the room where a troop of nurses and a doctor were present to see her delivered. I made it just in time!

Katrina asked the doctor if she get an epidural or some pain medication, but the doctor told her that there was no time – she need to push now. It was the greatest thing ever, because after two or three pushes, we had a baby!

Oh, I was so happy! I'm not sure if I was happier about the baby, or the fact that the whole process went so fast! It was so wonderful. I would gladly repeat such an experience for every child we have.

It was a good experience for Katrina, as well. With our first child she desire to have the baby naturally, but it just didn't work out that way. With this child, because of the fact that we had no time, she did have the baby naturally. It wasn't as bad as she thought it would be, and so it gave her the confidence to have our third child naturally.

Our third child was an interesting story in itself – this time we had to have the baby in the triage room, because there were no labor rooms available! But even in the triage room, Katrina was a trooper and did everything naturally. It wasn't a quick as Katee, but it was good.

(I started writing this blog on May 2, 2012. I wrote about half of it then, and finished the other half on July 25, 2013.)