I started writing this the day before your birthday, trying to remember where I was at that time. So, its 12:00 here in SC as I write this, meaning it is 9am California time. I remember waking up around 5am on June 1st, because my back hurt a lot and I felt like I had major cramps. I didn’t want to wake your dad up, so I went to take a bath. That helped some to just lay there in the warm water.
Around 10am though, I decided to wake him up, and we went to the hospital after picking up our friend Jenn. Honestly, I don’t remember a ton from that evening. I remember snippets, but I think that a lot of it I blocked out of my mind, or I was unconscious for. There were things I didn’t learn about until after I had you – like how they had to ask your dad who he wanted the doctors to save if it came to that. This was after our heart rates bottomed out to zero several times. I remember throwing up, because they insisted I eat before they admitted me. We ate McDonalds chicken nuggets in the basement of the Naval Hospital. I couldn’t eat nuggets for a long time after that. I remember how your dad had to leave when the anesthesiologist came to do the epidural. He told me later that seeing a woman shaking while aiming a giant needle at his wife’s back was more than he could handle.
I faintly remember there being a lot of people. At one point, there were 3 doctors, 1 cardiologist, 3 nurses and a handful of other staff in the room. There wasn’t much room to move. I remember someone dropping a tray of instruments because it woke me up. I later learned this was one of the many times I was drifting in and out of consciousness. I remember ripping the mask off my face when they kept trying to give me oxygen. I tried to throw it, but it was attached to the bed so it just sort of whipped back at me after I tried to throw it.
All of the pain, the sheer terror and well, lets say it again – pain..lead me to you (even if they had to pull you out with what was essentially, a giant pair of salad tongs). My beautiful baby girl, my first born. My life felt complete, and what we had waited 9 long months for was finally in my arms. You were born at 2:46 am on June 2, 2001. Our family was so far away, but we as military families often do – celebrated with the family we had made there – our friends Brittin, Liz, Jenn, James, Laurie & Will.
I know we butt heads, but you will always and forever be my baby. I love you Katie Leeann.