It has been a little over 4 months since I last wrote. Busy lives, school, and pregnancy called for much needed rest and less blogging or social media. But now, the time has come…and my return to writing begins with the birth story of our third child, Kaycee Grey Davidson.
(CAUTION: This is not for weak stomachs or those offended by labor and delivery details…oh, and it’s long. Ok? Caution given.)
To my dear Kaycee,
You are two weeks old today, our precious Kaycee Grey, and it’s time for me to sit down, reflect, and write the story of your birth.
We learned of your conception in early October 2012. Your first few months inside Mommy’s womb were times of turmoil and difficulty within our home. I was fearful that my emotions and anxiety would have a negative impact on your growth and development. I was concerned that we would be bringing you into a world of dysfunction and chaos. I continued to pray that the Lord would protect you and bring peace.
Slowly throughout the months of my pregnancy, peace and some clarity were restored to our home. The Davidsons were on the mend and we began more intently to prepare for your arrival. We had agreed with the doctor that you, like your sister Dani, would be a natural vaginal birth. We had a lovely baby shower at CiCi’s Pizza with friends and family from all around. Daddy built your crib in the girl’s room, and Mommy began to organize your clothes. We also bought the wood for your bassinet and Daddy began to build.
At the beginning of June my hands and feet began to swell. I was worried that I might be developing pre-eclampsia, so I cut salt from my diet and began to walk more. The feet and hand swelling continued, in addition to increased pain in my sciatica and nausea and diarrhea. I was overwhelmed and decided that you could not come soon enough. This had been a tough pregnancy, much harder than my first two, and I was ready for the joys of delivery—yes, even the pain of childbirth seemed better than the actual pregnancy. But as the days progressed, I learned to trust that the Lord’s plan and timing were perfect. You would come in his time and in his way.
On Sunday, June 2, I started to feel you drop. My hips were being stretched apart and the pressure began on my pelvis and lower back. Was it possible you would be coming early? We spent this day and the following week making sure we were ready for your arrival—bags packed for the hospital, cleaning the house, and preparing for my departure at work.
On Wednesday, June 5, your Daddy and I went in for a regularly scheduled check-up with the doctor. My vitals were good. Your vitals were good. And then, as the doctor placed the ultrasound machine on my tummy, we soon learned that you were not head down as we had hoped. You were breech. And my suspicions of having your head tucked under my rib were confirmed. Yes, butt down and head up—great advice for playing volleyball, but not so good with birth. The doctor explained that there were no doctors within the Kaiser system who were trained enough to deliver a breech baby. So, here were our options: (1) Agree to an external cephalic version procedure where the doctor would turn the baby; (2) Attempt natural methods at home of turning the baby; or (3) schedule a c-section.
After a little bit of research, and watching some videos of a version procedure that seemed quite painful, I decided to rely on prayer and natural methods. For almost a week I took Pulsatilla, lied upside down, rocked on my hands and knees, and increased meat and dairy. It never felt as though you were flipping, but the tightening, stiffness, and pain of pending childbirth was continuing.
On Tuesday, June 11, Mommy turned 30 years old, and the Braxton Hicks began to increase. Pressure continued. Daddy said it was time for me to be done at work and to start resting my body more intently for labor. I became very emotional over the next few days, fearful that you would remain breech. I wanted to attempt a breech delivery, but the doctors refused. I was angry. I was emotional. And I didn’t understand. So many questions and concerns filled my head. I knew I needed to let go.
So, I agreed to the version procedure. On Friday, June 14, Daddy and Grandma took me to the hospital where I was admitted for the procedure. We prayed that you would flip easily without any complications and would stay head down. The doctors assured me that this would not be painful and would be very quick. They gave me a medicine to relax my uterus in order to give you more room to move. And here we went…WOAH!!!! I started to yell and cry. Not painful?!?!? This was totally painful. I cried and tried to relax, and within just a few short minutes you were head down! Praise the Lord! We celebrated with lunch at the Lucky Greek and Mommy continued to celebrate throughout the week as I felt you kick me in the ribs for the first time!
Mild contractions began to occur on June 17. A few nights I thought for certain you would arrive soon, and yet after a few hours the contractions would calm down and I would finally fall to sleep. I became anxious for you to be here. To go through labor, be done, have your name, and have you resting in my arms. I was tired. No, I was exhausted. And to top it off, I had developed a nasty sinus infection. Now, I couldn’t sleep AND I couldn’t breath. The Lord worked in my heart during this time of anxiety and irritation. He reminded me to trust in his steadfast love and his sovereign plan. Oh how difficult this was. But I was becoming a better mother for it.
On Sunday morning, June 23, the Lord brought me to the perfect place in my devotion through the Psalms. Yes, it just so happened that on this morning, I came to Psalm 139. Praising the Lord—for you and I both were fearfully and wonderfully made by God. The Lord had knitted me together for this perfect purpose and with a heart change, I was ready.
Shortly thereafter, contractions began with consistency and continued with mild intensity into the night. We were certain labor would soon intensify and so we called MeMe to make the drive down from Fresno. She arrived late in the night and greeted us just as the contractions started to fade and I drifted to sleep.
On Monday morning, around 5:00 am, I awoke startled, concerned that the contractions had come to an end and I wasn’t feeling any movement from you. I drank some juice and went outside for some fresh air. I became more concerned and called Kaiser Labor & Delivery for some advice. As I spoke with the nurse, I began to slowly feel movement from you, and she assured me that I was going to be fine.
Well, I was not very pleased that the contractions had died down, and now MeMe had driven all this way to see you born. You needed to come now. So, it was walking time! MeMe and I went for a walk with the girls down the street and I had jalapeno poppers for lunch—walking, spicy food, whatever it took. Then later in the afternoon I went for another walk by myself. The contractions picked up every so often, but now they were inconsistent in intensity and frequency. Some six minutes apart while others were ten to fifteen minutes apart. I felt like I couldn’t win.
The evening came and I was exhausted. I knew I needed to rest or I would be too exhausted for labor. Before lying down for the night, around 9:00 pm, I decided to use the restroom. And then it came…the gush of water. The water never stopped. I tried to wipe it all up and pretend this wasn’t happening. I didn’t want to go to the hospital because the contractions were too far apart, but the doctor said I needed to come in with the breaking of my water due to high risk. I lied down and tried to relax, but the gush continued. I got in the shower and tried to relax, but the gush continued. Kris tried to encourage me to stay at home, but now I was moving into panic mode. What if there was meconium? What if there was a problem with the umbilical cord? I needed to know you were ok. So, we agreed to head to the hospital.
Kris called Grandma and she came over right away. MeMe and Grandma began to help us pack the car, while Kris and I continued to slowly get ready, clean up the house a bit, and make sure the girls were packed to go to Nicole’s. Finally in the car, Grandma took Sadie Rose and Dani to Nicole’s, and Daddy drove me to the hospital.
We got to the hospital around 11:30 pm and I was 3 cm dilated. We made ourselves comfortable in the beautiful labor and delivery room and settled in for the night. Contractions began to die down and I remained at 3 cm from midnight to noon. I felt as though I was in a time warp of some kind—falling asleep and feeling as though I had been asleep for hours, only to realize just a few minutes had passed. Then on the reverse, feeling like it was still the middle of the night and we had just arrived, only to figure out that it was the middle of the day on Tuesday. No windows in the room only helped to perpetuate this confusion. Karen brought lunch to Grandma, MeMe, and Daddy. I enjoyed orange jello and chicken broth. David also stopped by to say hi. With no real progress, it was easy to welcome visitors.
Midday on Tuesday, June 25th, I took a hot shower and tried nipple stimulation to increase contractions and help progress labor, but to no avail. At 2:30 pm, we finally agreed to Pitocin—a labor inducer creating oxytocin in the body. With the Pitocin, I also had to agree to an internal uterus pressure catheter. This was to measure the intensity of the contractions so I did not have any problems (given my C-section history).
The contractions intensified but there was still very little progress. MeMe and Grandma left the room to give Kris and I some time together. In that moment, I began to feel very weak. He coached me to get out of bed, get moving, and get this baby down and out. So, up I came. Squatting, sitting on the birthing ball, using a step ladder, and walking in place. We were determined. About an hour into this “workout” and the nurse came in to let us know that your heart rate was going down. I quickly lied back down to make sure that you were safe. The Pitocin was reduced and your heart rate slowly returned to normal.
This scare was too much for me. I was exhausted. And now I couldn’t move. As I lied in bed, I became more and more weak. The Pitocin was increased once again and the contractions continued with intensity and frequency. But by 11:00 pm, I was still only 70% effaced, 4 cm dilated and the contractions were still 6 minutes apart. Now, at the 24 hour mark since my water broke, my body was at risk of developing an infection. Fearful of infection, nervous about your heart rate, and beginning to feel sharp pains internally in the same location as the catheter, I knew that something was wrong. The midwife assured me that your vitals were good and so were mine. I had the choice to keep going.
But I knew this wasn’t really an option. I was horribly exhausted and almost certain I would not have the energy to push you out. But a C-section? I wrestled with this decision in my head and heart for quite some time. Was I giving up? No. I truly believed the time had come for you to come out of Mommy. Something inside of me told me it was time. Told me it was time to let go of my pride for a natural VBAC and let God be God. The same God I trusted to be fully sovereign over my VBAC was the same God who is fully sovereign over a C-section as well. I had become so limited in my thinking and now it was time to let go. I had labored for almost three days and it was time to be done. I also knew that it would be much safer and healthier for both of us if you came out of Mommy while your vitals were still good instead of waiting for a crash C-section. By midnight, I asked Kris to get the midwife, and I agreed to a C-section.
Daddy, although present for all of labor, lovingly, but honestly, shared with me that he could not be in the room for the C-section. It was just too difficult to go through this procedure again and see his wife on the operating table. But he would be right outside the door, ready to care for me as soon as it was over, and ready to greet you as you entered the world. We both agreed that it would be good to have Grandma come in for the procedure. And so, as I was prepped for the C-section, Grandma was handed her own pair of blue scrubs.
Into the operating room, I met Jason—the anesthesiologist and my new best friend. I was prepped quickly by a great team and within seconds felt nothing from my chest down. Grandma came in and sat at my head, and soon the procedure began. I felt only slight tugging and began to sing, “Everlasting, your light will shine when all else fades. Never ending, your glory goes beyond all fame, and the cry of my heart is to bring you praise. From the inside out, Lord my soul cries out to you.” Yes, Mommy sings when she gives birth…even through a c-section. In that moment, I didn’t know how you would come out of Mommy, nor did I know how I would recover. But in any case, no matter the circumstance, I wanted to sing praises to God.
I barely finished the chorus when we heard your strong and healthy cry!! Praise the Lord!! There were no complications and no problems with Mommy or baby. We were healthy. And we were ready to greet the world. Grandma went with you outside the operating room while Mommy was stitched up. Daddy met her outside and took you to the nursery where you were given a full check up and vaccinations. Then a few minutes later, you joined me in the recovery room. There, you nursed for the first time as I held you close for over 40 minutes.
Here you were. Born at 1:46 am on June 26th, only two hours after your due date. You were 7 lbs, 13 oz, and measured 22.5 inches long. You were perfect—round head, rosy cheeks, red skin, brown hair, and blue eyes (at least I’m hoping they will stay blue). No regrets. No concerns. You came in God’s perfect timing and in his perfect way. Our precious little girl.
And now for your name…
Only a few short days before you were born, your Daddy reminded me that you might be our last baby, and with that comes the honor of being named after a long Davidson tradition—K.G. And so we set off to find a “K” name that we liked for our little girl. When you were born, we still didn’t have a name that fit or that we agreed upon. For two days, you were nameless. And then we finally found a winner—Kaycee. We loved the name, and we loved the characteristics and qualities demonstrated by the only Kaycee we knew—Kaycee Cannon.
Kaycee Cannon, a young adult at Palm Baptist Church, has continually demonstrated an incredible servants heart and a desire to reach the lost. She has traveled to South Asia twice in the last two years to share the gospel message with the poor, hurting, and lost. Last year, while visiting a particular slum, Kaycee embraced the opportunity to share the Gospel, and shared the first Bible story this people group had ever heard. She is a courageous and willing servant of the Lord, willing to step out of her comfort zone and into the grey, fully obedient to the Lord’s calling.
And so we have named you…Kaycee Grey Davidson. May you to be a willing and courageous servant of the Lord, dedicated to praising him with your life.