Thursday, June 7, 2012

Kendall's Wonderful Birthday

We got out of bed yesterday at 6am to take showers and get out the door by 7am and be at the hospital by 7:30am. That night's sleep was better for Kirk than it was for me, as I woke up every 2 hours, but went back to sleep. Anxious, having to use the bathroom and just uncomfortable with all my fluid.

When getting to the hospital, we were greeted with a large support group praying for us. I told them I felt like a celebrity. It was nice to see everyone and we still were smiling at this point. The lady at the check in desk asked if I knew the crew, and I was happy to tell her that they were all here for our family. I got to stop and talk to everyone for a minute before I was taken back to a room. This room is where we still are. It's a fairly new hospital still and we're in a huge L&D room. 2 couches, rocking chair, jetted tub for birthing moms.... and lots of room for family! They prepped me here, went to the OR, and brought me back to this same room, where our family had the huge room next to us, while being shuffled back and forth for a while.Only one other person on this hall. Other moms go upstairs.

Got my IV, but the epidural wasn't till 9am. Family was building up around 8:30, and once everyone was here Pastor Bob said a prayer for us all. Had to shoe everyone out for the epidural, and let the awful shaking begin. Right before taking us to the OR, Pastor Bob came back one more time to pray with just Kirk and me. The nurses were trying to take a good BP, but had trouble while I shook. The only peaceful moment of non shaking was while Bob was praying, so calm. Emotions didn't hit till they started the epidural. Up until then, we were all chatting it up and starting the party. The epidural just hit me back into reality.

"Ready" to be wheeled down the hall. This is where we just had to give it all to God, like we already had been doing this whole time. Not knowing what was to come in the next few minutes... The surgery went well, but seemed a little longer than Drew's. Kendall was born at 9:57am, 3 lbs 10oz, 16.5" long. Kendall took a few slow breaths but had a slow heart rate, and was quiet. Kirk held her her entire wonderful life, till I was able. Not surprised by how beautiful she is. She has little hair, blue eyes, big hands and feet. We think she would have been Kristen's mini-me.

Everyone wants to know about the fluid. I'm not sure how much was actually in there, but they collected it by the bucket full. And it was a HUGE release of pressure and a wonderful feeling to get rid of. Knowing that Kendall couldn't hold on too long after she was born, gave me more of a peace about which day we chose. She might not have made it much more within me. And we're happy she was born alive.

While Kirk held sweet Kendall, he held her close to me, so I could kiss her as much as possible. I finally got to hold her when they were done sewing me up and I could sit up, right before being wheeled out. 15-20 minutes had passed by this time. And finally being able to hold her, I cried for a little bit till I was back in my room. That moment was quick, but powerful. The kids were coming in next with a few family members. As everyone came in by groups, eventually everyone was in the room again. Those comfortable with Kendall go to hold her and have their moments.

During our first family time, everyone (except me on my liquid diet, till today) had a piece of birthday cake and we sang Happy Birthday to Kendall with the kids. 

I was worried a little bit on how Kristen was going to react. Her first glimpse was just being curious, while we took some family pictures. But once she was able to hold her, and she wanted to, it was a beautiful moment and all my fears on that went away. She loved holding her sister. She kissed her on her own and spoke about how tiny she looked. How she looked like a doll, and she said how beautiful Kendall was. Throughout the rest of the day while coming and going to lunch and home, she would want to hold her while she Kristen was here, as much as possible. She even asked to come back, when we thought she wouldn't be able to, just to hold Kendall. 

Drew is only 21 months now, but his journey was just as sweet. He would look at Kendall, point and say baby. Each time the kids left and Kristen would kiss Kendall goodbye, he acted like he wanted to as well. But when we leaned him over, he didn't follow through, which was fine. The last time they came back, Kendall was in a cute basket that the hospital gave us. And as everyone left he seemed like he wanted to give Kendall one more chance for a hug. And he did. Drew hugged Kendall's basket while she was laying in it. I was so excited to see that moment for him. 

The hospital has been wonderful. And the nurses took their time while capturing her hand and foot prints in the afternoon. And a big thank you to Robyn, working with NILMDTS, for taking our pictures!

The family was gone for dinner, and only Kirk came back. We had a few close friends visit afterwards till almost 10pm, which was when we decided for the funeral home to come pick Kendall up. Kirk sat in bed with me, as we had our final moments with her. We both kissed her one more time before she left. We had 12 calm hours to spend with her and share her with everyone, even though she was already in Heaven.

We slept decently, but when I woke up this morning, I wished to see a baby in the room. I think all moms complain/grumble a little when they don't sleep the first few nights while having to feed a baby every 2-3 hours and nurses coming in and out. I think my body remembered, and I was a little awake every 2 hours anyway, but not grumbling. I'm doing pretty good emotionally. The last 15+ weeks gave me a lot of time to start grieving. Please keep Kirk in your prayers as it is different for him. And maybe he'll post soon.

A friend last night had mentioned how wonderful it was to see all the FB posts, all the love, and how quickly they came rolling in... just as a nurse (not mine) poked her head in and said there was a man from our church looking for us. I didn't really know him, but recognized the name. I let him in, and he told us how he was just at church and the Wednesday night group that was there all prayed for us. He didn't stay long, and I looked up at my friend and said, "just like that?" We smiled. It's nice to have been able to share our journey so far. Not to educate anyone on anything, but to show God's love, our love for Kendall, and have the support we needed to continue our long ride. Thank you everyone.

Today is a new day, a new us, and a new journey. Not sure what to expect again. We have one friend coming this morning, and  probably family coming back this late this afternoon. We're up to have visitors, friends. Please give us a call and we'll let you know which room. 

Funeral arrangements will be made once we're out of the hospital. But they said the date we have is free on the calendar now. We hope to have a visitation, most likely closed casket, on Friday night, June 15th and our church memorial service the following morning, June 16th.

Happy Birthday Kendall! We love you!


  1. She is beautiful!
    Wishing you tons of peace and comfort in the coming days, weeks, and months. <3

  2. I'm so glad you got to meet your beautiful baby girl. I'm praying for your family.

  3. We love you Kendall and I am so blessed to have been able to hold her and spend time with her. Praying for you guys all day today.

  4. My friend talked with you last night at the hospital. I am her friend she was talking about that is giving north in just a few short weeks to our angel. Thank you for sharing. God does have a plan and that is what we are following. Thank you for believing in it too. We are praying for y'all. Love in Christ, DeDe and Brad Crider