Kendall's World » 365 days of kendall project | by marie masse

Michigan Lifestyle Photographer | Levi’s Birth Story Part 3 | 09.11.13

During this whole plan, there was really only one thing I was afraid of: the catheter. When I had Kendall, it was the only thing that really made me miserable – not the spinal, not the recovery. I’m not sure why my body is extra sensitive to this (apparently, some people think they aren’t bad at all!), but it literally feels like a burning ring of fire poking into my bladder making for THE WORLD’S WORST bladder infection.


Our day started out at 6:25 a.m. with the insertion of the catheter. I cried & cried from 6:25 a.m. til 7 a.m. It was comforting to know my family was waiting for me in the waiting room, but I was so miserable that I didn’t want to see anyone – I even told Dave to sit there & DO NOT TALK TO ME. That’s just how I am when I’m in pain- I want to be left alone.

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^^ cleary, photography is therapeutic to me. maybe a little too muchicon wink Michigan Lifestyle Photographer | Levi’s Birth Story Part 3 | 09.11.13

We headed to Interventional Radiology. I thought this procedure was really cool. Dave could not be in here for this, so he waited outside. By this time, the catheter discomfort had subsided a little. They switched me from my transfer bed to their operation bed. I couldn’t count everyone, but there were at least 9 people in the room. Being pregnant, I could only get local anesthesia for this procedure – they typically give patients a bit more. My right side felt incredible pain, so they had to give me more & more of the numbing shots. My left side hardly felt a thing. I thought that was odd. Once numbed, I mostly just felt pressure as they inserted the balloon catheters into my arteries. The next step was to add the dye. It felt like I peed myself – a very warm sensation in my groin to my toes. It didn’t hurt at all, but this is when I got emotional… a giant camera over me & I could see the screen of (what appeared to be) x-rays of my arteries. I could see a large artery inside of Levi that also got some of the dye, so when I felt the surprise of the warm dye, I could only imagine how it must have surprised him. And I cried, again. But this time, it was my motherly instinct wishing I could comfort my baby & tell him it was going to be okay.

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So back onto the transfer bed I went & I was then wheeled to the O.R. prep room. There had to be an easy 20 people in here. It was insane! Dave got to stay hang out with me too. I had to sign my consent forms, drink the nasty anesthesia stuff, & said a little prayer with my husband before they wheeled me back & he remained there to wait.

Now I was transfered onto the O.R. table (so I have officially switched beds four times by now with the stupid catheter poking at me with every bit of movement!). It was cold. I would love to know the actual count of all of the people involved, because there were A LOT. I could see the clock was 8:43 a.m. They strapped my arms down & gave me catheters in each wrist. It didn’t hurt nearly as bad as it sounds. They prepped everything & double checked they had everything they needed. Once they started putting dye in my bladder (so they could see it), I whaled. It was a good thing I was strapped down, because my whole body was involuntarily trying to break free as I screamed. It hurt so bad. And a few seconds later, I was out…

I woke up in the recovery room with no nausea or discomfort at all. I had a zillion questions running through my brain – did Levi do ok? How is he? Do I have a uterus?


When my doctor made her incision & got inside of my uterus, she did not see the baby. She saw placenta. She told me later it got very scary, because she needed to get him out quickly & she had a hard time due to his position. They had to cut my placenta – which is his blood supply – and pull him out via a vacuum. Because he lost a little bit of blood, he was kind of out of it & very pale. She believes Levi is very strong, because it could have been worse.

Once he was out, she tried to get the placenta out, but where the accreta was, it was too deep & too dark in there for her to see well. I started to bleed. Thankfully they didn’t have to inflate the balloon catheters in my groin & urology wasn’t needed. But taking out my uterus & cervix were necessary.

While I was in recovery, Dr. Ram came out to tell Dave & my family that we are very lucky that we caught the placenta accreta beforehand. She said she could have easily lost us both between Levi being in a weird position & the extra bleeding from the accreta. She also told us Levi was born naturally circumcised (without the foreskin!)- isn’t that weird?! I never knew that was possible.


Dave was able to come into the recovery room to say hi, kiss me, & show me photos of our son on my phone. It was close to 2 p.m. when I made it up to my room – Room 514. My parents & Dave’s parents were there & stayed for awhile. I started to get uncomfortable and that flipped to in some serious pain very quickly. The most painful thing was my groin – where the balloon catheters had been. The nurse gave me a dose of my pain meds & I finally had a little relief. It started up again about 4 hours later. They did another shot & I felt relief again. I was very frustrated, because they had me receiving a small, continuous dose of pain medication via I.V., but every 10 minutes I could push a button to get a little more. I thought it was the most annoying thing to have to remember to push a button – especially while trying to rest!

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About 10 p.m. I was finally wheeled to the NICU to meet Levi. There was no better feeling in the world to see his sweet face after all we have been through! He was doing awesome. He had a little trouble holding his temperature & had a slight case of jaundice. My heart melted when I saw him for the first time. I was so groggy & out of it, but my heart was so full of love. In his 3D ultrasound photos, he looked like a grumpy old man. When I saw his little face, he just looked perfect. I wanted to stay there with him all night, but of course I had to go back to my room. I knew he was in good hands, but leaving him behind with another woman wasn’t fun. I already was feeling like he doesn’t know who is mama is. I have been very thankful that Dave has been able to be by his side!

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Megan Lizbinski - September 13, 2013 - 10:00 pm

Big hugs to you all! He’s beautiful,

michelle - September 19, 2013 - 10:18 pm

Marie..You are so brave. My heart is overjoyed for you. I have to say..the self portrait..It’s amazing. I totally did not have to ready another word. TRUE PHOTOGRAPHER you are. <3

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