Happy birthday, younger sister of mine. I called mom yesterday and got your birth story. Love you!
Mom and Dad went in for a doctor’s appointment 4 weeks before your due date. It was unusual, because Dad was never with her for the appointments. It was around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. The doctor told them that you were breech, which is dangerous because the umbilical cord is at risk of coming out first, which can kill the baby. Mom had already had a c-section, which meant they couldn’t rotate you (something about the scar tissue making it really dangerous). Mom was 3 centimeters dilated, which means her body had started to prepare for birth, but she wasn’t in labor yet.
The doctor decided they should take you out early, so they wheeled Mom over to the hospital next door and started prepping for surgery. You were going to be a VBAC baby (Vaginal Birth After Caesarian). They were calm because it wasn’t an emergency, but they didn’t have any of their stuff because they weren’t planning on having you that day. They called everyone and told them they were having you that day.
Mom had a really bad cold from the week before, when she took me out on Halloween. I was a ballerina (as I was every year), and being out made her sick. She was strapped down on the operating table, and she could hardly breathe, so the anesthesiologist gave her some nasal spray so she’d be more comfortable. The surgery curtain was up, and Dad was up by Mom’s head, encouraging and comforting her (though he probably needed just as much comforting).
The doctors did their thing, and then said, “Oh, look! It’s your baby! Dad, do you want to see?” Dad looked over the curtain to see you, but you were still in Mom’s body. He sat back down with Mom and said, “…I just saw your guts…” Then you were born around 7 or 8 at night. Mom never went into labor with you. You were 5 pounds, 14 ounces, and 19.5 inches long.
The doctor’s were doing their tests on you, one of which is called an Apgar test. You scored low, as do most c-section babies, so they took you to the NICU and put you in an incubator. Mom went to post-op, then immediately wanted to see you. They wheeled her over in a gurney to your incubator, and she went back to her room.
You were named Kathryn after Oma’s mom, Katherina. You were nicknamed Bug, because you were cute as a bug. They noticed right away that you were darker and bigger than me. You had olive skin and brown eyes, and were totally bald. You were slightly jaundiced (we all were), but you just need some sunlight and nursing and it goes away.
I came to the hospital to meet you the next day. They told me you were mine. You were my baby. I had to take care of my baby from heaven. For the rest of our lives, when we would fight, Dad would say “Don’t hurt your baby!” I don't remember a time in my life when you weren't there, but I know that the first time I met you, you were the most special thing I had ever seen.