Birth stories. I absolutely love them. I’m fascinated by them. They are one of my favorite parts of doing in hospital newborn photos because if you book a newborn session with me, be prepared… I will most likely ask you about your birth 🙂 . I love how different each story is… from how your labor started to how long it lasted to how your baby arrived. But, no matter how different they all are, I have found there to be one thing that’s pretty consistent. NOTHING goes the way you planned.
Baby Delta’s birth story is a prime example of how true this is… I asked Kristine to share Delta’s birth story with us today because I know there are so many moms just like her out there. Moms who didn’t have their “storybook” birth story. Moms who may have had (or still have) feelings of inadequacy and disappointment about the way their baby entered this world. I want you to know that it’s completely OK and normal to have those feelings. You are allowed to feel these things and grieve the birth experience you thought you were going to have. BUT, I also want you to know that no matter how baby arrived… you did not fail. You thrived in the face of adversity! You were strong and you made it through and you welcomed a beautiful baby into this world. And there is no one that can take your experience and your strength away from you – You have EARNED that battle scar and passed your first test of motherhood with flying colors… And if you are an expecting mom reading this, I don’t share this to scare you – I share this so you go into your own labor knowing that the ONLY thing that matters is that you and your baby are healthy. In the words of Kristine “every time I look at Delta I know it doesn’t matter how she got here, it only matters that she is here and healthy. Now, I sort of like my scar, my battle wound, my first motherhood test.”
Here is the rest of Delta’s birth story in Kristine’s own words (and don’t miss the beautiful photos at the end!):
At my last scheduled doctor’s appointment, I was still not dilated at all. We scheduled an induction at 41 weeks.
May 5th, the day of the induction, when Aaron got home from work, I had a pot pie in the oven for him. We did some last minute packing and cleaning and got a call from a nurse saying that we could come in at anytime. It was 7pm when they called, we were scheduled for 8pm. We hurried to get in early.
On the ride to the hospital, I remember it feeling surreal & normal. I couldn’t comprehend that the next time I’d be home, I’d be coming back with a baby. Once at the hospital, I put the gown on and the nurses started putting the bands on me to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions. Dr. Hahn came in and gave me the medicine to soften my cervix. It was painful, awkward, & uncomfortable. He had me hold my legs close to my chest to help me open up. He did a quick ultrasound to make sure the baby was in position, etc. Right after, the nurse tried adjusting the bands on my belly because she couldn’t find a heartbeat anymore. Dr. Hahn said something like “Baby didn’t like my ultrasound?” Everyone still seemed calm. The nurse kept trying. Dr. Hahn, who previously seemed ready to leave the room, stood waiting. He pulled the ultrasound machine closer and tried himself to find the heartbeat. He found nothing.The energy in the room had changed. My hospital bed started being rolled to the door and I heard them tell Aaron to stay and that “she has to have an emergency c-section right now!”. I looked back toward him and told him a few times to call my parents and let them know what was happening. Aaron looked shocked and worried but I remember him saying something reassuring in a calm voice.
The ride through the hallway was short but it was one of my strongest memories. I looked up at the florescent lights and had many thoughts. Worry. I was worried about the baby, and what I was about to go through. Fear. I was so fearful I’d leave the hospital without a sweet babe. Guilt. I thought that since the heartbeat was lost soon after the medicine was administered, maybe the induction had caused a problem. And I wanted the baby out and had requested the earliest induction date possible. Doubt. I knew I could not do this. This was not how I was supposed to have this baby. I can’t do it. I wanted to tell the people pushing the bed to stop, I can’t. But I knew they were doing what was best for baby. This was my first motherhood test. I had to do this for my baby. Lack of control, giving it all over. I prayed. I reminded myself the baby wasn’t mine and had always belonged to the Lord.
The OR was bright and suddenly there were many people surrounding me. The anesnteiologist is who I remember best during this time. He asked me to move unto the table. I started adjusting and he exclaimed that my IV was trapped between my bed and the table. They moved the bed a bit and I was free to adjust. I laid down on the table and it seemed a person was assigned to every inch of me. I was strapped down in the shape of a cross. I felt very exposed.
The anesthesiologist took the oxygen mask off my face and put on the medicine mask. As things happened around me, he told me what was happening. He seemed calm. He started instructing a nurse to push on my neck and hold the mask. I heard her ask a question and he exclaimed “Do you not know how to do your job?!” She timidly replied and he frustratedly answered. She held the medicine mask much further than he had and it was tipped to the side. I heard the doctor say they were ready and the anesthesiologist said “She is still awake!” He had also been screaming for a nurse to be at his side. I was simply grateful that I was being put out for this. I had worried up to this point I would be wide awake without any drugs for the baby’s sake. I had been bracing myself for horrible pain. I lifted my face so the mask covered my nose and mouth. I quickly felt myself getting drowsy and I breathed in deeply.
I started waking up and could tell I was in a different room. There were people buzzing all around and the anesthesiologist was the first person I recognized. He said something simple like “You’re waking up.” I knew I was in the C-section recovery room, I remembered it from the maternity tour a few weeks earlier. I repeated, “It hurts, It hurts a lot” The anesthesiologist explained that it would because I hadn’t been given the normal pain meds c-section patients get. The nurse told me they were going to get me hooked up to meds. At some point I was told I had a healthy baby. Everything was so fuzzy. I asked for Aaron and was told he was with the baby but they could go get him. I told them no, I wanted someone to be with the baby. I assumed they were lying a bit about the baby’s health since the baby was no where in sight and I was still recovering. I kept asking if the baby was ok and they kept assuring me that nothing seemed wrong, the baby was being monitored.
I couldn’t stop shaking or moving. It seemed like forever for them to hook up the meds. They said they could ask my mom to come keep me company and I said yes. She came back, looking worried and relieved. She told me I had a girl. I repeated many times, “It hurts, I have a girl, It really hurts, Is she ok?” I remember feeling so much joy finding out I had a girl. My heart had wanted a girl so badly. It was the best moment in all the chaos. I had a girl! I was so excited to tell my mom her name was “Delta Renee Borns.” We had named the baby after my mom. I started asking for my baby. They assured me she’d be in in about 15 minutes. I checked the clock. It was late, I’m not sure what time 10 or 11. They had told me her stats but I could barely comprehend what was being said. I remember thinking “She was born less than 30 minutes to us checking into the hospital?!”
I was told that Aaron had a picture on his phone and they could bring it to me if I wanted to see my baby. I said yes. They brought me his phone and I thought she was beautiful. It made me sad to see her on a screen and know I had not held her yet. She was already a few hours old. They finally brought Delta in, much later than the 15 minutes I was told. I got to hold her finally and I barely remember. We took some pictures and I am so glad we did since those moments are foggy to me. The nurse came and told me I would do kangaroo care for a while, an hour or two, I don’t remember. They put Delta on me, along with many warm blankets on top of us. Next to finding out I had had a girl, this was my happiest moment. I had Aaron take a cell phone picture. This was truly a bonding experience. I loved holding my sweet little girl. I was very hot and exhausted. I struggled to stay awake like I had been instructed. I dozed off a few times but would jerk back awake. They put her back in her basket after a little while. It was wonderful to hold her for so long. I felt I didn’t have quite the bonding experience I wanted through labor, so these moments were precious.
The first day or so, I was bed ridden. Delta’s basket was a little too high for me to reach from my bed. I alternated between calling for nurses to hand me Delta and waking Aaron up to hand me Delta. I was able to start changing her diapers in bed, but had no where to put them so I stuffed them in the space between her basket and the linen drawer. The nurses helped throw them out later. When nurses asked to take her to the nursery, I asked that she stay with me. I felt enough had been taken from the experience, I wanted her by my side.
I felt inadequate having my baby this way. It wasn’t how it was supposed to happen, in my head, but it was exactly as God planned. I tried to look for the positives, the silver linings throughout the experience. And there were plenty. I didn’t have to push. It didn’t take long. I was put to sleep. I HAD A GIRL. We were both healthy and resting by the end of the night. Still, in the weeks after my c-section I felt like I had missed the experience of labor. But every time I look at Delta I know it doesn’t matter how she got here, it only matters that she is here and healthy. Now, I sort of like my scar, my battle wound, my first motherhood test.
Thank you so much, Kristine, for sharing the story and the strength of you, Aaron, and baby Delta with us today! You are all amazing and I am so glad we got to capture these beautiful photos of your first days as a family of three!
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