One of my joys as an Alabama Maternity Photographer is to facilitate the sharing of amazing birth stories. I didn’t set out to make this a weekly feature, but Alabama moms are built different and I have so many stories flooding in! The story being featured this week is shared by a native Alabama mom but takes place overseas in South Korea. I was on the edge of my seat reading this and I can’t wait for you to read it too. I’ll let Kerrie take over:
A Birth Story | Alabama Maternity Photographer
Kimberlyn’s Birth Story – January 21, 2019 at Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital (S. Korea)
My husband and I were expecting our first child; a little baby girl. We were over the moon! We were also living a lot of firsts. It was our first time living in an Asian country, our first pregnancy, and first time having a baby at a foreign hospital… one that did not speak a lot of English!
Our day started off like any normal January day in South Korea… COLD! There was snow all over the ground. (real snow, not Alabama snow) It was almost 12º outside and I woke up that morning with a fever of 102.5º and feeling horrible. So we headed to head to the hospital to check and make sure that the baby and I were ok. I was 39 weeks along so we had already had our hospital bags packed and ready to go, just in case.
A Birth Story | Alabama Maternity Photographer
The hospital we had been going to was a University hospital in Dongtan similar to UAB. They had an international division with staff that spoke a little English. Every appointment would begin with us checking in at the international department so they could follow us around and help translate.
This morning, January 21st, 2019; we checked in to the doctors office and they took a look at me and determined that I had the flu and sent me home with Tamaflu and told me to rest… never once checked on the baby. So we headed home to let me rest the rest of the day. My husband stayed home with me and decided he wanted to nap also. Around 10:30 am I couldn’t get comfortable. I kept rolling around trying desperately not to wake my husband. So I decided to get out of bed and clean our house. Dishes, sweeping, mopping, etc…
Fast forward to around 2:30 and I start feeling a lot of pain. I go to my husband (who had kept telling me to come lay down but I refused) and told him in a very calm voice that I thought I might be in labor. My husband jumps out of bed and starts running around the house getting dressed and panicking. I remember my friend telling me that labor feels like really bad cramps, so that’s what I thought I was feeling. My husband pulls out his phone and starts to time my contractions…. I told him the start and stop of the first two and he just looks at me like he had seen a ghost. He said, “are you sure, Kerrie?” “Pretty sure.”, I said. We time it again just to confirm.
They were 3 mins apart! I started trying to change and get ready but my husband insisted that we get out the door as quickly as possible. He carried me to the car and we started our 40 minute drive to the hospital. On the way my contractions went from 3 mins to 2 mins and I really stared to feel the pain. I was grabbing his arm and telling him to please hurry but don’t get in a car crash!
Alabama Maternity Photographer | A Birth Story
We pulled up to the emergency department and by this point I could only take about 2-3 steps without doubling over in pain. We rushed to the front desk to check in and realize that they don’t understand English….I’m clearly in labor so I assumed they would get the hint, right? WRONG! They began to ask me “When last census?” And “Where is pain?”. I just looked at them dumbfounded and began gesturing to my lady parts and screamed “baby coming!”.
They were not in a rush to get me seen… instead because I kept grabbing my back (due to back labor) they sent me to X-ray to have some images taken while I was in active labor and obviously in pain!! My husband was cussing everyone out at this point (which was fine because no one understood us anyway). They then had me change into a hospital gown. I asked them about starting an IV for pain meds but it was no use as they did not understand me.
After spending almost an hour in the ER they finally sent me to the OBGYN clinic to see my doctor. During this time we realized that the international department staff members had gone home for the day so they were having to call someone to come in so that we could properly communicate. We finally made it up to the OBGYN clinic and they rushed me into ultrasound on a stretcher.
Now, this ultrasound room is VERY small. Maybe a 6’x6’. In addition to my pregnant self there were 3 doctors and about 4 nurses in there… its cramped! In all the rush I had not gone to the bathroom since we checked in to the ER. I asked if I could get up and go to the bathroom and instead they brought me a bed pan. I was unable to go but felt like I was about to explode. In the midst of all the chaos my husband was in the hall talking with the translator that had finally shown up. They begin to perform an ultrasound on me and my heart drops. I do not see my daughter on the ultrasound…..”
to be continued…..
Alabama Maternity Photographer | A birth story
Are you not on the edge of your seat? Part two will be coming soon. In the meantime you might enjoy reading:
If you are looking for an Alabama Maternity Photographer don’t hesitate to contact me! I would love to chat with you about a session. You can click HERE for more information about the Maternity Session Experience or you can click HERE to contact me.