Friday, December 31, 2010

Bringing In The New Year With A BANG!

Monday, December 27, 2010.
8:00 a.m.

I am scraping the thin layer of ice from the windows on our car. As usual, I am running late for my 8:00 a.m. doctor's visit. As I slide into the driver's seat my right foot slips a bit on the driveway. It's a slick one this morning, I think to myself.

8:50 a.m.

I am done with my 37 week doctor's visit and making an appointment to come back again next week. He has already agreed to induce me at 39 weeks - on January 11th. 1/11/11, I think to myself. Now that's a birthday I can remember!

9:10 a.m.

I pull into the driveway, ready to crawl back into bed. I notice that the trash truck has already been by and decide to pull the trash can up to the house. The second I exit the car my feet start to slip... and I go back and forth between sliding on the driveway, losing and then regaining my balance, until suddenly my right foot rolls the wrong way and I fall into the gutter with a snap! sound. I almost immediately know that my ankle is broken.

9:15 a.m.

I try calling Allen on my cell phone but, as luck would have it, my battery is all but dead. A sweet older gentleman is out walking his dog and he hurries over to ask how he can help. "I live in this house," I tell him, pointing. "Please go get my husband. I think I broke my ankle."

9:30 a.m.

Allen and Coolister have carried me into the house and called 9-1-1. The pain is excruciating. The paramedics come. I am reminding them over and over that I am 37 weeks pregnant and do not want any medications that could even possibly harm the baby. They stabilize my foot and load me in to the back of their ambulance for transport to the hospital.

9:45 a.m.

I am wheeled into a room in the ER where the damage is assessed by x-ray. I am hoping for a dislocation and yes, it is dislocated, but also broken. In two places. The tibia has a part of the end broken off, the fibula is a more obvious break. I am told they will set the ankle where it is dislocated and then the on-call orthopedic surgeon will come in to talk with me about the breaks.

10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

This time period is something of a blur because the ER doctor has given me a medication that keeps me awake through the setting procedure but helps me forget what exactly has gone on. Is that confusing? It was for me. For example, one minute they are putting something in my IV and not long after I notice my ankle is bandaged up. I ask Allen when that happened and he tells me it was wrapped when it was set. I had no idea they had set my ankle already although he says I was very vocal about letting them know "my ankle hurts really bad" as they were doing it.

11:00 a.m.

My OB (that's my baby doctor for those who don't know) comes to visit us in the E.R. He reassures me that all will be well and that he and the surgeon are going to consult & let me know what will be the best plan of action.

11:30 a.m.

Word comes that they want to induce the baby ASAP and then perform surgery on my ankle. I am a bit incredulous that I am going to have my baby that day. I ask all of the typical questions - are his lungs well enough developed? Will he be more likely to have jaundice? Do we need to do an ultrasound to check that everything's fine before inducing labor? My OB tells me that 37 weeks is considered full term and that everything will be fine. All I can think of as we wait to be wheeled up to labor and delivery is the fact that we have not decided on a name for this baby yet. We did not bring a camera - unless you count the ones on our phones. I have not shopped for Princess' birthday on January 1st. I have not found Princess a dress to wear after her baptism this Saturday. We have not yet moved Little O out of the pack-and-play bed he has slept in his entire life - which will be the new baby's bed once we get him home. I have not clipped my toenails or shaved my legs. Plus... how do I deliver a baby with a broken foot?! I have never felt so unprepared in my life.

12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The Hospital Waiting Game. (This is not a fun game.) We use this time to talk some more about baby names.

2:10 p.m.

We arrive in Labor & Delivery. I am prepped for induction as the staff awaits instructions from my OB. I am already dilated to a 4 before induction begins - this gives me some hope that my baby may actually be ready to come.

2:30 p.m.

Pitocin (the labor-inducing drug) is administered through my IV.

2:45 p.m.

The orthopedic surgeon's PA (physician's assistant?) comes and tells me what to expect in surgery tomorrow. The time is yet to be determined... but I will have screws and a plate put in. I will have a soft cast for 10 days, then a hard cast for 5 weeks following. I will not be able to bear any weight on my ankle for 6 weeks. Allen and I discuss options for making this work. We can make it work.

3:00 p.m.

Contractions are painful enough that I am ready for an epidural. BONUS: The epidural takes away the pain in my foot. The doctor who administers the epidural is magical in that I do not feel any needle pricks or pain in the process of getting the epidural working.

4:00 p.m.

Not much progress. My OB breaks my water and chats with us for a bit while he watches my contractions.

4:45 p.m.

I tell my nurse that I'm feeling ready. She checks. I'm ready. They call the doctor back into the room.

4:55 p.m.

One push. They tell me not to push any more.

4:57 p.m.

Our baby is delivered and I am amazed at how well things have worked out. I am a mother for the 10th time. It is surreal. This beautiful little bundle of chub and squealy cries is mine. We look at him and decide on a name. It is perfect. He is 8 pounds, 4 ounces. 19 1/2 inches long. Not bad for 3 weeks early.

7:00 p.m.

Allen accompanies the nurses and our sweet little baby to the nursery while I am moved to the Mother/Baby floor. I have been fasting all day (unless you count the apple I ate on my way to the doctor's office this morning at 8:00 a.m.) but they order me dinner so that I'll have something to eat before I have to start my next fast at midnight. I will have surgery on my ankle in the morning but the time has not yet been determined. I am told it will likely be sometime between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., but maybe at 7:00 a.m. Well, okay then.

8:00 p.m.

Dinner. Hospital food is awesome - I'm totally not kidding.

9:00 p.m.

We await word on surgery and continue to work with the nurses to attempt to control the pain in my ankle.

10:00 p.m.

I order more food (crackers, cookies and pudding) to fill myself up before fasting again from midnight until who-knows-when. My kids come to visit. I have never heard the words, "Awww!" and "cute!" said so many times in a 45 minute period of time. They are all in love with their little brother, even Curly who, when asked, "What do you think about your little brother?" answers, "Fine. Can I have a cookie?"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010
12:00 a.m.

The fasting begins.

7:00 a.m.

After a night full of baby feedings and checking of vital signs and controlling pain and uncomfortable hospital bedding, I am ready to get this surgery over with. We ask the nurses if they have a time yet. No word, but they'll let us know ASAP.

7:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

The Hospital Waiting Game. I can't help but think about how much we are paying to sit around in this room and do nothing while waiting for surgery.

1:30 p.m.

I ask my nurses, trying not to sound annoyed, when my surgery will be. They call the surgeon but he is unavailable. They call the surgeon's office but they are not helpful. They call the Operating Room and ask when I am on the schedule - I'm not. We are all becoming even more frustrated when word comes - they are ready for me.

2:00 p.m.

I am wheeled down to the OR waiting room. Allen bids me farewell and good luck as I head through the doors. As soon as he leaves my side I am nervous & anxious. I just want this over with. The reality of all that has happened in just over 24 hours is overwhelming and I find myself emotional. I sing the words to "Particle Man" over and over in my head as an attempt at distraction. I do not want to cry in front of all these strangers.

2:15 p.m.

I talk with the anesthesiologist about what's going to happen during surgery. He offers more options than I want to think about. I tell him that I want to be completely asleep during the procedure and that's all I care about. He goes on and on giving me details on why I should opt for a spinal block, etc. and have some pump put in my sciatic nerve to control the pain after. I already told him what I wanted and I just want him to leave now. He finally does.

2:45 p.m.

Still no sign of my surgeon. I sit and watch as person after person is brought in, meets with their surgeon and anesthesiologist and is taken to the OR for surgery. I try to fall asleep so that I can be distracted from thoughts of crying.

3:30 p.m.

WHERE IS MY SURGEON?! Another anesthesiologist comes and asks me to sign a consent form. I tell him that I have already signed one. He asks if I was told that he was my new anesthesiologist. No, I was not told. He apologizes, excuses himself for a moment (to go chew someone out?) and comes back. I actually like him better than the first guy - he's easy-going and down to earth.

3:45 p.m.

My surgeon shows up. I want to chew him out for making me lay there in the OR waiting area for AN HOUR AND FORTY FIVE MINUTES but I figure it's best to keep things amiable since he's about to cut my leg open and put some screws and plates in there. I just try not to cry and nod my head when he asks me questions. To his benefit, he IS being very sweet.

4:00 p.m.

The anesthesiologist puts something into my IV, says he'll see me later, and I start to feel tingly as I fall asleep to his singing of some classic rock.

7:20 p.m.

I wake up in the recovery room and immediately ask if anyone has called Allen. They tell me he should be in the waiting area. I tell them to call him. They say they will once we get to my room. I am starting to get frantic again. I somehow feel like everything will be fine if Allen is with me and I need him there NOW. As we walk outside the OR, he is there, waiting. I breathe a sigh of relief.

The details from here on out are insubstantial. So now, here I am at home, my humongously casted ankle resting on my bed in front of me, my 5 day old baby resting to my right, and my life is good.

There are so many tender mercies that have occurred in our lives over the last 5 days. Some things much too personal to share, some details which are overwhelming evidence of how blessed we are.

I love how my kids will sneak into my room just for a chance to hold their new baby brother. I am amazed by each tiny feature and contented half-grin on my newborn baby boy. Broken ankle? Sure, it's inconvenient. And a literal pain. But in the end, all is well.

Seriously, look at that face.

I am so, so blessed.

Happy New Year, everyone.


dalene said...

Oh my goodness. I'm so sorry (about the ankle). But congratulations on that beautiful baby! He's perfect! And is there anything I can do to help?

Rory, Chocolate Hair/Vanilla Care said...

wow, gerberta, congratulations! praying your recovery is quick and painfree, but one of the most amazing birth stories ever! :-)

Nance said...

You. Are. Amazing!!!

I just read this, and then read it out loud to my husband.

Your sweet baby boy is adorable, god thing he was born at 37 weeks, huh! He is huge! Congrats!! I hope and pray that your ankle will heal quickly and perfectly!!

Thank you for sharing!!

Miss Griffiths said...

Glad everything turned out OK. Congrats on a beautiful baby and a.... not so beautiful cast. (:

Anonymous said...

Hi, I don't know if to commiserate with or congratulate you!

If you will be spending more time with your computer while you are off your leg I wonder if you would have the time to give us some feedback on our product & website?

I fell and broke my arm just over a year ago and my desperate need to co-ordinate my cast to what I was wearing was the spur for starting the business.

I read in your blog that you love socks ( that was a great pic of the new ones!)well, if you are not able to get your socks on the cast we may have something in our covers that would match up with one of your favourites!

I look forward to following your progress, and hearing your feedback, if you get the time.

All the best

Marion Bignell
Cover My Cast

Darlene Strickland said...

Although I hate your inhury I love how you told your story. It might not seem like it but you are truly blessed and I hope your New Year is full of joy! Praying your recovery is fast and painfree!

Anaise said...

What a story! And now I am so very hungry to know his name . . . will you email it to me?

He's beautiful! And I guess the broken ankle is a sort of mixed blessing in that you really, really, really can't do anything but stay very still and hold the baby!

I hope you heal easily. I hope your newest little man stays happy and healthy. I hope Little O doesn't begrudge the baby his bed. :)

Kristin said...

Gerb! What a delivery story! Congratulations on your beautiful baby! Hope you heal quickly!!

Teddi said...

Gerb! Congratulations on your beautiful bundle! I am so sorry about your ankle - I broke mine a year ago and your story made me relive every moment...and ache for you! My advice is to let others serve, enjoy the forced rest and take it easy so you will have a full and speedy recovery! I learned what 4-year olds CAN do to help when I was laid up. Such a blessing to have the wonderful kids you do, they will be a great help! Hugs and prayers going up for you!

Katie said...

Wow! Never without a story! Your little one is so stinkin cute! Congrats and sorry about the ankle. At least it's a good story to tell! :)

PattiH05k said...

Lovely blog entry, and lovely baby. I let Jenny know about it. She's due with #10 in not too many weeks now too!

Richard & Natalie said...

Gerb, Wow...I don't even know what to say, but first, CONGRATULATIONS!!! That little bundle of blue is handsome, handsome, handsome. Second, condolences on the leg, but take advantage of being laid up to enjoy every minute of that beautiful new boy of yours.

Shannon said...

This is the absolute most perfect thing I could have read in greeting the New Year this morning. You, beautiful Gerb, are my hero. Congratulations on a gorgeous baby boy and all of the tender mercies that you've been blessed with. I part from this comment box in tears of joy and sheer gratefulness. Much love to you and your family.

Darin Eckton said...

Wednesday night at a youth activity where I found myself talking to Thumbelina, I asked if she was looking forward to the birth of a new sibling. She looked at me as if I was being silly (with that beautiful smile of hers) and said, "he's already here. He was born on Monday." I asked the name of her brother. She proceeded to tell me. I asked if mom and baby were doing well and she said they were. . . But that's it!

I guess in her mind (I'll chalk it up to humility and not wanting to call attention to herself or the family) either she thought I knew the details or the details were not important to share. Thanks for your blog post and filling in some of the details. I guess mom and baby are indeed doing just fine. :-) Congratulations and well wishes to a speedy recovery.


Linn said...

Oh my word, CONGRATULATIONS on that sweet boy and UNCONGRATULATIONS on that broken ankle! YOu are incredible and although I can't imagine the stress and pain and emotion, I'm so glad he is here and well and your surgery is over.

So happy for all of you! And I need to sneak over and hold that sweet thing. Boston is close to Utah right?

Rachel said...

Wow Gerb!! When you do it, you do it good! :D

Congratuations on that sweet little bundle. My mommy aching heart just had it's strings pulled and I got all stingy nose and sniffly.

As for the leg... well.... so much for fab socks. I say let the kids go to it with markers and make you a fab cast! :D Colorful. Like your beautiful blessed life.

Happy New Year!!!

Brown Thumb Mama said...

Oh Gerb! I'm so sorry about your ankle. What an adorable lovebug! I hope your ankle heals quickly and you're sporting your new socks soon.

All our love to you and the whole family!

Gina said...

Barrrrraaaaahhhhhhaggg!!!!!!! Only you could come through this with silver linings and blessings and mercies. I am DYING for you. You, once again, prove to be the strongest person I know (not to mention the coolest--this because you were singing the lyrics to "Particle Man" in your head while preparing for ankle surgery). LOVE YOU!!

So, now to this little baby. I love his cheeks. I love his soft skin. I love that he gets to lie next to you all day (minus the 10 other distractions in the house that want some of his time). I am so happy that he is healthy and you were able to come home with him.

And to the final...WHAT IS HIS NAME? Come on girl. Don't hold out on us.

Oh, and the more final...Hugs and more hugs.

Holly Auman said...

Happy New Year to you Gerberta and to your family !

Congratulations on your new addition to the family ! He is darling !

Sorry about your ankle ! Hope it heals fast !

We're going to our grandson's blessing today. He's 3 mo. already!! (1st grandson - Eric's baby)

Take care and rest while you can! :) luv, HollyAnn

Steph said...

Gerb, what a beautiful baby and yet another crazy Gerb story. You never cease to amaze me. Did you drop FB, btw? or just drop me?

mommeeof10 said...

You poor dear! That sounds extremely painful.

My sister broke her ankle landing a Judo throw wrong 10+ years ago and still has a plate in her ankle/lower leg. She has to show the guards her scar when she sets off metal detectors.

Michelle said...

Jimminie Christmas!
I didn't even know you had the baby until yesterday when my sister told me she had read this on your blog, and let alone the story to go along with it. Wow!

And congratulations! He's a cutie! I'm so glad he was healthy and ready to come. And I hope that your ankle feels better soon. Do you have a name yet?

Amy Long said...

What a crazy story! I'm so glad you and your sweet baby boy are okay, but what a big pain about the ankle. Quite the unique birth story, my friend, but I guess when it's your 10th time you need to keep it interesting:). Best wishes to you and your beautiful family!

Annette said...

8lbs 6oz?! Just imagine if you had gone "full term". Although, too bad cause 1/11/11 would have been sooooo cool! At least you get a nice tax write off!:) He is adorable! So glad you have Allen and older children to help out. Just having a baby is hard enough. On top of that, having several other little ones and medium ones to mother. And add to that, 6 weeks of ankle recovery! Please call if you need/want anything! Seriously. I'll be checking on you! (BTW- what did you say was your favorite donut? :)

Annette said...

PS. That hospital food IS really good- I agree!

Annette said...

If I'm remembering correctly, this means that Coolister was correct. The baby came early so now you have 10 kids each born in a different month...very cool!

PS: He's a very handsome little guy!

Just SO said...

Oh my goodness! Congratulations on the beautiful baby boy! 8 pounds at 37 weeks!! That's one healthy boy.

I hope you heal quickly.

Kara said...

Wow! Congratulations and I hope your leg heals well. I guess this is a way to insure you have some down time to enjoy this last newborn.

I know you have a lot of help but if you need anything-food, someone to watch the youngsters during the day, a grocery run(you get the idea)let me know.

GaeLynn said...

Baby boy is beautiful and I love the HUGE cast and walking apparatus. BIG HUG!!!!!

Dia said...


Kristi said...

You had me in tears! Congrats on the new little man and good luck with the ankle. So Not fun!

Angela said...

Oh Gerb I didnt know you had fell that is so sad and the waiting for so long at the hospital. I just couldnt believe the whole story and all you went threw. Your little one is so special hes a real cutie

Chandler's said...

Congrats to you and your family! What a blessing to be able to have so many joys in your life! You're are a super trooper girl for sure! I totally see a new skit comin outta this one in our future! Can't wait to see all the fun baby pictures! I wish you the best!

Your friend,

olivia said...

wow. wow. wow. wow.

story of a lifetime.

you'd think that baby #10 would risk the chance of a boring birth-day since you've been through it 9 times already. silly me for thinking there could be anything boring about a birth.

you are my example to the end! especially his name! why didn't i think of that!? oh yes, because you always think of the best names first. anyway... just had my 37 wk appt last week. thank goodness there was no ice...

love you!

Gerb said...

EVERYONE- Thanks so much for your well-wishes and words of love, support and encouragement. I have the best family, friends & neighbors on this planet.

Today's Gift said...

What a day! Congratulations on the baby, he is adorable! I hope you're feeling better.

Teresa said...

Gerberta - that's quite the story. I thought I had a great New Year's story with moving over that weekend in the freezing cold and NO help! I think you have me beat!!

Congratulations though - he's a beautiful baby!! Thanks for sharing! :)

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