Sunday, February 3 –Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
“Chase, where are they?” Sarina questions, trying to listen to his instructions. “I can’t do this!” He then continues to rub her leg, holding her close to him.
“Deep breathes, please…” He practically begs, as he locks eyes on her. “Focus on me. Deep breathes. In….out…in….out….” She tries to follow the instructions as requested, though it practically seemed like forever as they sat there together.
In what seemed like an eternity – but had only been a matter of mere minutes, they watch a couple emergency vehicles roll up to where they sat, with a couple paramedics walking up together.
“We got a distress together about pains, possible contractions, and pregnancy?” The one paramedic asks, earning a pair of nods in return. Wasn’t that obvious. “How far along are you?”
“She’s 29 weeks,” Chase took the liberty of speaking, preferring that Sarina stay focused on his instructions for deep breathes. He watches as they begin to check her vitals.
“When did the pains begin? Are the contractions evenly spaced out, and how far apart?” it was now Chase’s turn to take his own deep breath as he tried to focus on the questions being thrown at him.
“She was feeling discomfort this morning, but we pushed it off as nothing. The pains then began about 15 minutes ago I want to say while I went to check in after landing. I came back to find her in pain and having called for help. The contractions – I have no idea to be honest. I’ve been just trying to keep her calm.” The paramedic nods her head, understanding as she looks between them.
“Is this your first baby?” Chase nods his head. “So my partner is going to check over her vitals, and we’ll get her moved into the ambulance and head over to the hospital.”
“Okay.” Chase easily takes another deep breath, knowing the information was necessary. “I just want to let you know there were concerns with the pregnancy due to possibly not being able to carry full-term as a result of an irregular shaped cervix. There was also gestational diabetes as brought up by her doctor.” On that mention, Chase also almost wanted to snatch his phone out and dial up Dr. Grayson, as that was supposed to be on the ‘labor checklist’.
“Okay, thank you…” She then looks over at the other paramedic, who was making notes. “Are we ready to move forward?” The simple nod was all they needed to know.
“I can’t do this today….” Sarina lets out as she looks between the paramedics and Chase, fear written all over her face.
“It’s going to be okay,” Chase tells her once again, sneaking in a quick kiss.
“Lots of babies are born earlier than they’re supposed to be and turn out amazing,” the paramedic informs her. “You’re going to be fine, miss.”
They then helped out of the cabin of plane, loading her on a stretcher and into the ambulance. Chase easily followed her, slowly pulling out his phone. He knew he couldn’t do this himself, and knew the one person that he wanted there in moments like this.
He just hoped with the traffic in Georgia today that it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle for them, or his parents, getting to the hospital in a timely matter.
Sunday, February 3 – Northeast Georgia Medical Center
Surprisingly, despite traffic seeming like a nightmare right now with the Superbowl, they were able to make their way there in a timely matter.
There were some comfort along the way, as they had allowed both Sarina and Chase to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Despite being early and every single fear shifting through her mind, it was steady, and just like the previous appointments. Perhaps everything would indeed work out as planned.
Once they arrived at the hospital, they quickly wheeled her into a room, with the nurse entering quickly after her.
“Can I have something for the pain, please?” Sarina practically demanded as the nurse hooked up an IV with fluids. She didn’t know how much longer she could take the pain that she was in.
“We need to check you out first,” the nurse tells her, which just brought a simple sigh from Sarina. However, her eyes never left the nurse as she checked over her vitas, followed by widening her legs apart to check on the baby’s location.
“I need something, please….” Chase tries to rub her hand, just like he had been rubbing her leg earlier, hoping that it brought any sort of comfort. He hated to see her in this much pain; it almost brought tears to his eyes.
“Please…..” Chase adds to the begging, as they watch a doctor come in. They watch the pair of them trade glances, followed by the doctor taking a look herself to see where the baby was. The fact that the doctor was now also looking and they hadn’t been told a single thing wasn’t helping either of their nerves. “If something is wrong, we’d like to know.”
“Well we usually like to do c-sections for pre-term babies, there is no chance of that happening right now,” the doctor informs them as she finally looks up at the pair. Chase and Sarina trade another nervous glance. What was happening? “You’re already dilated – four inches. You need to push – no drugs, just push. It’s time for the baby to come.”
“But what about the fact that she’s early?” Sarina asks, the fear bringing another layer of tears to her eyes to match those already there for the pain she was experiencing.
“We will do everything that we can.” The message wasn’t the most comforting for Chase or Sarina, however they didn’t have much other choice. If she was coming, what could they do to stop it?
“It was meant to be – it’s going to be okay,” Chase repeats the familiar words once again as he continues to rub her hand. “You can do this. We can do this. She can do this.”
Over the next several minutes, things almost became like a blur with Sarina not even sure if she could keep going at times, unable to tolerate the pain that she was enduring. The pain ripped through her, from shoulders through her legs. She couldn’t take the pain and pressure that pushing a baby out of her was putting on her.
“You can do thi-” Chase tried to coach her mid-way through the process.
“Shut up!” She immediately yells, clenching his hand as tightly as she could. She wanted to completely focus on getting this child out of her and over with, and he wasn’t helping those matters right now.
“Your husband is right, though….” The doctor tries to emphasis, while shedding a caring glance towards Chase. Obviously, the comment, or hand squeeze for that matter, weren’t meant to be personal.
“Not trying to be rude, but you need to shut up, too!” Sarina then focuses back on taking deep breathes, knowing that she needed to get this done and over with before she couldn’t do it. She needed to focus. It was just like the final laps of a race when you were chasing down the leader – mark your target and get him. However, weakness was coming over her quicker than warranted. “I can’t do this….”
“You can do this though,” Chase tells her once again, continuing to hold her hand tightly despite everything inside of him telling him to let go as he knew another squeeze like before would hurt a ton. “I believe in you. You’re strong enough to do this.”
“Push now, sweetheart,” the doctor instructs. Just as Chase predicted, he got another really tight hand squeeze, as she grabbed the hand rail with the other hand, pushing as hard as she could in hopes of being done. “That was a good push…”
“How much of the baby can you see?” Sarina wonders, hoping that they were almost done.
“Well, none.” Sarina immediately flops back in bed, feeling as though all the energy was being wasted. She was feeling every bit of tiredness and yet there was no sign of a baby. How was that possible?
Taking a deep breath, she pushed with all bit of her might that she had, feeling as though a big bubble had come out of her crotch, before flopping back once again. After a couple seconds of relaxation to get her wits about her, she pushed with every bit she had once again. She felt a bumpy feeling through her opening, thinking it was possibly the spine.
Either way, those pushes were all it took as the pressure was immediately relived that she was feeling, along with a couple small cries. She was watched a fury of activity as the doctor handed the baby over to another doctor, who immediately got her hooked up in the incubator with a breathing.
“We’re going to take her down to the NICU,” the doctor. “You can come down and see her after.” She then watched her baby be wheeled out of the room, looking at Chase with a mix of fear and panic.
“My baby…” She lets out as Chase wipes her hair out of her face.
“They’re going to take care of her,” he assures her. “She’s going to be fine. Remember – it was meant to be, and I’m proud of you.” He then leans down, giving her a kiss.
“You did a wonderful job, sweetheart,” the nurse tells her. “I know there may be some lingering pain so I’ve given you a bit of morphine. I also know that you’re tired so why don’t you get some rest? Then maybe later, we can get you up and you can head down to see your baby.” The nurse then leaves the room.
“I just want to see my baby…” Sarina lets out as she lays back, trying to relax. She didn’t want to worry, but that was all she could do.
“You will – soon enough,” Chase tells her. “Just try to relax. You need to take care of yourself, too.” Sarina then looks over at Chase.
“They’re going to take care of her, right? She’s going to be okay, right?” He nods his head, feeling every bit in their gut that she would be okay despite every nerve that he was feeling. “She will get through this. She has to get through this, Chase.”
“She will get through this. She’s a combination of us together and has every bit of strength that you have. She’ll get through this.” They both then glance towards the door, seeing the nurse had returned with a monitor in hand.
“We offer this for parents of babies in the NICU that can’t always be there with them,” the nurse starts. “I immediately went and looked into it as I know it’d give you comfort.” She then turns on the monitor, which showed a video of their daughter in the incubator. “That’ll be there 24/7, and live, so you can watch your daughter all the time no matter where you are and make sure that she’s okay.”
“My baby…” Sarina says as she stares in awe at the baby. “She’s so tiny…”
“Tiny, but absolutely beautiful,” Chase adds.
“So far, according to the doctors, everything is going okay,” the nurse continues. “Obviously the first week is critical in making sure that she continues to fight, and grow as she would’ve inside the womb. But so far, she’s doing well. We just don’t know what to call her. Did you have a name picked out?” Sarina and Chase look towards each other, smiling as they remember the discussion completely.
“Abigail Victor Casey Elliott…” The nurse immediately smiles as she writes down the name on the file.
“That’s a very sweet name. congratulations to both of you, once again. Don’t hesitate to buzz the desk if you want anything.” The nurse then leaves the room as Sarina shifts a little in the bed.
“Are you okay?” Sarina nods her head as she lays it against the pillow, eyes focused on the screen before her.
“I’m tired, but I’m happy,” she replies. “I’m thankful, too.” She then lets out a yawn.
“Get some rest,” Chase tells her as he runs his hands through her hair. “You’re going to have forever to cuddle and spend time with her. Get some rest.” He then glances at the screen himself, smiling, “And you, Abigail, you keep growing so you can see your momma.”
After what seemed like forever, his parents both arrived.
While Chase insisted he stay with Sarina as she had just finally fallen asleep to get some much needed rest, he requested his parents go check on Abigail in the NICU for him. It was one thing to see her on the screen, but it was another to have someone see the baby for actuality. That was a request that was easily accepted, because of course Bill and Cindy wanted to come see their grandbaby.
The nighttime would see another pair of visitors, with Kyle and Samantha making their way into the room after attending the Superbowl.
“Why don’t you go down and see your daughter?” Bill suggested. “We’ll stay here with Sarina.” Chase had wanted to go see Abigail himself, but didn’t want to leave Sarina. Besides, he wanted them to see her together.
“Go, please,” Sarina encouraged as she shifted a little in the bed. “I don’t think there’s a chance of me moving today and our daughter should have one of us down there.” She was still feeling very tired, not wanting to move around much as she was surprised how much the birth took out of her. “Take Kyle and Samantha with you. They deserve to meet their goddaughter.”
“Goddaughter?” Samantha asks, surprise written over her face as Sarina nods her head.
“Chase and I want you to be her godparents. If it wasn’t for you both…” Sarina then takes a careful deep breath, feeling the emotions all over again. “You helped us so much through the rough patches, from the miscarriage in January, to the appointments and doctor opinions. You also helped us from the moment you knew I was pregnant with questions and looking out for us, and were accommodating. I honestly don’t think I would’ve had the courage to do this if it wasn’t for you and Kyle. So will you?” Samantha felt the emotions coming to her eyes, immediately nodding her head to accept.
“We’d be honored,” Kyle tells her, both sharing hugs with her.
“Are you sure you’ll be fine?” Chase questions, earning a nod from Sarina.
“I have your parents to take care of me,” she answers.
Chase gives her a kiss, before making his way out of the room with Kyle and Samantha in toe. It was a short walk down to the NICU, where they began to look through the window at the various babies. The nurse caught their eyes immediately, opening the door.
“Do you know which is yours?” The nurse asks and Chase nods his head, having found her on the far right. He recognized her from the video feed that he had been focused on for hours, as well as reading the name written on the folder at the front of the unit. “So you can’t hold her yet as we can’t have her out of there for even a few minutes. You also can’t open the side doors yet, as we need to keep everything regulated. However, if the next 48 hours go smoothly, we can welcome both you and mommy in here to open the side doors of the incubator and touch her.”
“But she’s doing well right now?” He questions, earning a nod from the nurse. “Thank you.” They then watch the nurse slowly walk away as Samantha wraps an arm around his shoulders.
“She’s adorable,” Samantha answers. “She’s already the perfect combination of you and Sarina together.” Chase smiles, as his eyes focus towards her little fingers. “This is much better than the football game.”
“Really?” Kyle questions as Samantha shrugs her shoulders.
“Absolutely. Maroon 5 sucked, Adam could’ve jumped off a cliff, and the game was just boring – even if your patriots won. Sorry.” Kyle then looks at the baby.
“Actually, I think you’re right.” He then glances down at the name card. “Abigail Victor Casey Elliott. That’s fitting, perfect actually.” Chase takes a quick glance over at him.
“Sarina thought of it, and I couldn’t argue with her as it just sounded right,” he comments. “I just hope that she makes it through this. I keep telling Sarina that over and over, but yet sometimes I wonder…”
“She will,” Samantha tells him as she rubs his back. “She will, Chase. You and Sarina are both very strong people in everything you’ve fought through to get to this part. Abigail is combination of you both, so I can almost guarantee that you’ll be holding her in victory lane this year at some point.”
“Just a couple times though,” Kyle adds, earning a chuckle from Chase.
“Hey now – I didn’t say it was going from a race he won. It could be from a race that Sarina won that you weren’t running, babes.” Chase then glances between them, shaking his head as he chuckles.
“I see how it is now…” He then takes a deep breath as he focuses his eyes back on her. “I just wonder how am I going to leave her and head to Daytona?”