Jericho David "Sammich" Huskey

 I don't know for sure that I even announced my most recent pregnancy here on my blog. I'm taking some time out however to tell my birth story. It' a good one! Sort of.

I had a normal, most uneventful pregnancy. I was anemic, I felt like crap. Everyone blamed me being older and already having four children. That wasn't the problem though. I was just due for a more typical pregnancy like typical women experience... since mine had been way too easy so far.
We were getting prenatal care at the birth center where we panned to have our baby, and as per our insurance stipulations, we were in Juneau in a motel at 37 weeks.

Juneau, AK 3/17/15

We spent almost four full weeks in the motel, my husband and I and our four kiddos. It was just awful and we were waiting and waiting for the baby to come so we could finally go home.
I was having intermittent contractions and at my 40 week appointment, my midwife informed me that I was dilated to 3 and it shouldn't be long. I had another appointment on the 16th, a few days later, and was 5cm. Still no active labor.
 After several days of prodromal labor, the real thing started happening on March 17th when my water broke very early in the morning... The contractions kept up (along with losing mucous and bloody show, which was strange for me) and I finally met my midwife at the birth center. I had been dilating for days with contractions 7-10 minutes apart and tolerable, so there was no doubt I was still making progress.
We had a nice, calm time in the birthing room with my kids and midwives. Things were slow going since my contractions did not get closer together, but nonetheless, I was progressing. It was so serene and amazing. It was the labor that every woman prays for (but few get to experience). Things finally picked up and my midwife broke my water fully and I was 9 cm fairly quickly.
Things started to slow down quite a bit here. Normally, 9cm plus broken water would mean about five minutes and then time to push. But things stopped progressing normally.
Baby's heart rate, which had been absolutely beautifully perfect even through contractions, was dropping. I know that decels are normal during labor to some degree. My baby was dropping to around 90. And my midwife did not hesitate to get me lying down for a few contractions after checking my cervix for a cord prolapse. Laying down did not help. Every contraction brought his heart rate down below the comfortable level. My midwife immediately called in transport to the hospital.
I have to be honest; I was not scared for my baby. I don't know why. I guess I just felt like we would get in and get it taken care of and everything would be fine. At this point, I was also stuck in transition. My body was done with labor and desperately trying to expel a baby that would not be coming out. I remember telling Josh that I just needed something for pain now.
The E.M.T.s came while I was laying there in my underwear and using an oxygen mask. Even in my pain I was mortified. They lifted me onto the stretcher and I remember mostly just closing my eyes and focusing on breathing as they wheeled me outside uncovered and put me in the ambulance.
It was kind of a blur going into the hospital since I was laying down when it happened. I had no sense of direction and I more or less just appeared in room with tons of nurses and probably a doctor around me. They kept trying to get me to change positions and it was excruciating. I could hardly even think through the pain. I kept thinking that they needed to just do the C-section and get it over with. At one point they forced me onto my back and shoved my legs apart to give me a catheter while I screamed. Fun times! They finally gave me terbutaline to stop the contractions and got me in a position that bought us some time, and the pain from transition subsided with a few more really intense contractions.
They wheeled me back into the O.R. and got me sitting up and hunched over for the epidural. I was really relieved that it was almost over, despite all my hopes and prayers that I would never need a C-section. I knew that this was a true emergency though - I was not being buffaloed into an unnecessary procedure under the guise of "emergency."
As soon as I was laying flat and was numb, Josh came back in and was there by my side. I could feel them cutting me open and pulling the baby out. I waited anxiously for the sound of my baby.
I found out several details of the surgery later. They had not cut far enough, and his shoulders were stuck. They had to really yank him out. The cord was wrapped tightly around his neck twice. He also wasn't breathing when they got him out, and his heart wasn't beating. His first apgar score was 1. He had to be resuscitated by nurses.

Jericho David "Sammich" Huskey
Born 3/17/15 weighing 8lbs 9oz and 21inches long

After a few minutes of awkward and frightening silence, we heard him crying and I knew he was okay. I didn't find out until much, much later what had happened. His second apgar score, taken at five minutes, was 9.
They brought him over to my face and I was able to see him for just a few minutes before they took me back to my room for recovery.
I only remember being there for a few minutes before I started getting really dizzy. They gave me oxygen and I was losing my vision. I felt like I was just fading away. I looked at Josh and he looked worried. He has really never looked worried - he always keeps calm in these situations. The nurses started bustling around me and panicking saying my blood pressure was dropping and they thought I was bleeding internally. I turned to Josh and told him he doesn't get to look nervous, because if he was nervous, I was going to lose it. I barely remember saying it.
They started wheeling me back into the O.R. which was again, a total blur. I was just breathing as deliberately as I could into my oxygen mask thinking that I had to make an effort not to die, because this is what that is. I knew they were putting me completely under too, which has probably always been my greatest fear in life.
I don't remember how they did it (they probably put something in my IV), I just remember waking up. I couldn't open my eyes, but I could hear people in the room talking about me. I finally managed to force my eyes open but it only lasted a few seconds. I was so heavily sedated still; I just couldn't make any part of my body do what I wanted. My throat hurt more than I ever imagined it could. I could hardly breathe and swallowing was horrible. When I tried to talk, my voice would not come out. Just raspy throat sounds.
It took a while before I could open me eyes all the way, and even then, it was only for a few minutes before I fell back asleep. The whole time I was there was like little bits and pieces that I have to fuse together in my mind. But it felt like that while it was happening, too.
Eventually I got my eyes open and was frightened when I saw according to the sign on the wall that I was in the ICU. I don't know why, but it made me feel scared. Didn't I have a baby somewhere? And a husband? For the first time since the E.M.T.s were called, I realized that my other four children had to be somewhere as well.
A nurse came in with my baby after a while and asked if I was breastfeeding. I was full of IVs and God knows what else, and unable to lift the top half of my body still. The nurse literally pulled out my boob and held the baby to me so he could nurse. That might sound weird to some people but I can't even describe how grateful I was that she did. I think it's amazing that they have such a level of dedication to breastfeeding. She (and other nurses) continued to bring him to me every few hours while I was there.
Josh made it in to see me and told me that the midwives had taken the kids back to the birth center and ate pizza with them during my C-section and that he and the baby were in an O.B. room in the hospital. I missed the children meeting their brother. And I still had not had a chance to hold my baby. Eventually he was able to bring each of the kids in to see me for roughly 2-3 minutes each.
That night (I'm assuming it was night because I hadn't seen Josh in a long time) I had nurses rush in and ask me if I was feeling dizzy again. As if on cue, things started getting blurry. I had started bleeding internally again.
I think they just gave me more blood, but I don't remember. Once I started feeling normal (ha!) I fell back asleep. I woke up barely several hours later and heard a doctor talking on a phone. He said something about a hysterectomy. No one said anything about it to me.
The next day when a nurse came in I told her what I had heard and asked if they were talking about me - they were.
Once Josh came in again, if I remember correctly, he has told me that Cheyenne (who had been watching our house for the last four weeks) was coming over to Juneau from Hoonah. I saw the kids again, and soon was alone again with my aching throat and an inability to stay awake.
The doctor came in that morning and said they wanted me in Seattle. Basically, I was still bleeding and they couldn't risk keeping me in Juneau. I had lost 4 litres of blood total, and they had given me 9 units plus plasma. There was nothing left there to give me. And there were no more procedures, short of a hysterectomy that probably wouldn't work. I asked them to get Josh because I couldn't even think clearly.
When he came in we went over all the information again and started making plans for the Medivac team to take me to seattle. I have always been terrified of flying and I almost told Josh I didn't want to go. But we decided (obviously) that in the best interest of keeping my uterus (and not dying) I should probably go. I got to see the kids for a few brief moments and Cheyenne when she got there, and we were able to quickly inform Josh's parents and my parents and sister - all of whom were in Oregon - that we would be in Seattle.
The Medivac team came in and started asking me questions and getting prepped to leave. They wanted to know everything about what had happened over the last 24 hours. They were very nice, and I may have acted a little silly since I was on.. well, I don't actually know what I was on at that point. I had a button that I was supposed to push and I just pushed it every time I could, and it did nothing.
Josh just informed me that it was delaudid...whatever that means.
I talked to the medivac team and informed them that I was terrified of flying, and they said they could give me something for the flight.
It took less than two hours for them to prep everything and throw me on a stretcher and begin to evacuate me from the hospital. Everyone involved seemed to forget that I had had abdominal surgery because they kept bumping my stomach, throwing me from one stretcher to another (which continued at the next hospital) and laying their papers and clipboards on me.
Josh had a few moments to grab a bag with stuff for the baby. He was able to grab some disposable diapers and from the hospital and they gave him some baby outfits. He grabbed a few outfits out of our diaper bag before meeting me at the airport. I was still wearing nothing but a hospital gown and had absolutely nothing of my own in my possession.
They gave me half a dose of Ativan in my IV and it calmed me down immediately. But once we were on the flight, which I had been told was a jet but was still absolutely tiny, I started freaking out. They gave me another half dose.
Apparently, they also gave me Fentanyl, for whatever reason, and once the plane took off I started to hallucinate. I was in and out of sleep and seeing all sorts of weird hilarious things that startled me and made my head jerk around. I would think the Medivac lady would have been weirded out except that I'm sure she's seen it all before.

Again, I didn't realize a lot of the details until much later. I found out that the midwives, when I went in for my Csection, that the midwives from the birth center, who had followed us to the hospital, nabbed my four children and took them back to the birth center and ordered pizza and kept them entertained for us. My husband also had all five children with him in an birth recovery room alone. The hospital called in an extra nurse just to sit with the kids or the baby when he wanted to come visit me in the ICU. I also found out later that one of the nurses handed Josh $100 before we took off, just to help us out. I also found out that the Best Western motel staff was rude to him about needing to get our stuff out of our room, despite Josh telling them what our situation was. I guess they just wanted their room free so they could rent it out.

Seattle, WA  3/18/15  

We landed in Seattle around 5 or 6 p.m. and they handed me off to a new team..who kindly threw my poor half sedated body from one stretcher to another and set their crap directly on my incision.
Josh had a taxi lined up and was meeting us in the hospital while I rode in the ambulance.
It's really uncomfortable and you feel very vulnerable being wheeled around on your back through the Emergency Room doors. But that's neither here nor there. Once I arrived in my room, it was a shift change and so there were twice as many nurses. I'm guessing they were probably also hanging around just in case. As they were reading things out loud off of my chart, it was obvious that in the chaos, each medical professional had gone retarded and forgotten how to take down information. They thought I was coming in in critical condition even though I had been stable for almost 24 hours. They also had information regarding the birth - that I was 6 cm when I came in and the baby had shoulder dystocia. Neither were remotely accurate.
One nurse was very rude. She needed to check my fundal height (which is fine) but she came in and admittedly pushed as hard as she could to hurt me and assess what my bleeding was like. That, and they of course tossed me from the stretcher to the bed. And on top of that, in order to get the pad beneath me, they forcefully rolled me onto each side. I don't know why, but it was excruciating. I think all of these things contributed to the bruising and why I feel like two weeks later, I still need to be on medication for pain.
After the extra nurses left, things settled down greatly. Josh helped me hold Jericho by myself for the first time and nurse him. It was REALLY difficult because I had so many IVs and a blood pressure cuff over one of them. And I still couldn't sit up really. Somehow though we made it work.
Josh's parents showed up that night,and it was lovely. It made me feel a MILLION times better to have family there for support. We had the pleasure (not really...) of going through the whole account again for them. I was finally becoming less groggy enough to actually speak - despite the fact that I could still feel extreme pain and discomfort from the intubation during my surgery.

I asked Josh to snap a pic of the Medivac flight.


The next morning they told me my platelets were still dropping. This meant I still had a slow bleed happening. In Juneau, this would have meant a hysterectomy because they had no blood left to give me. In Seattle, they took me into interventive radiology for a procedure called Uterine Artery Embolization.  The nurse at this point noticed that I didn't even have hospital panties. Which was both hilarious and depressing. They finally allowed me to maneuver myself to the new bed to wheel me away (no more painful throwing!) and Josh got to come in as far as the pre-op consultation. Basically, they put a catheter through my groin and injected me with ink to see where the bleed was. And then they put in a coil to stop it. It was successful and fairly quick - I was out before 1 p.m. The worst part was at the end of the procedure, the doctor had to put pressure on the area for ten minutes. Putting pressure apparently means that he was going to painfully dig his knuckle into my groin for eternity.

*smooching my baby*

Later that same day, my parents and my sister's family showed up. It suddenly felt like everything was going to be okay. Although I started to notice how badly my body was falling apart. I had not yet gotten up out of bed. My arms were sore from lifting my body weight (now over 206 with all the fluids they gave me) around in the hospital bed. I had numerous hep locks that were taped in place cause rashes and itching and hindering my breastfeeding. My milk had not come in yet and baby was having trouble latching. I had one IV right where my blood pressure cuff sat, and it was so irritated that the tape square it was secured with was constantly filling up with blood. My throat hurt so badly I couldn't swallow food properly and kept choking. I had a break out of hives (or something) on my butt from sitting in the hospital bed. I had bruises in places I should not have. I was so puffy it was scary. My oxygen was at 80 and I couldn't take a deep breath because of the pain. My catheter was still in place and I was getting so uncomfortable with it.
That night they wanted me to try to get up and move from my bed to a chair. I didn't feel ready, but they wanted to move me to another room with a better bed for Josh. So I gave it a try and managed to accomplish what they wanted to see despite being dizzy and short of breath.
We got moved to the new room and it seemed so much more peaceful. Josh got to sleep in a decent bed, and my bed was much more comfortable. I was starting to be able to eat really soft foods a little throughout the day, and I got my catheter removed (if I remember right). I lost a lot of the water weight. I was also being given tons of medication and vitamins. The nurse seemed to have something new every time she came in. Calcium, stool softener, milk of magnesia, percocet (we finally found something that helped with pain and didn't make me loopy or groggy), prilosec...
I spent the next few days just recovering. All the random things they were taking blood for constantly were looking better and better, and little by little they took the IVs out. On 3/21 they took out my staples a replaced them with steri-strips.

Removing my staples

 Josh had to go to Target and buy me an outfit because I had nothing. He couldn't get me any shoes though because my feet were too puffy. One of the days I tried really hard to get up and move around more, I ended up swelling horribly in my legs and belly to the point that I couldn't even walk anymore. After that I chose to spend more time sitting and lying down. Other than that, it was relaxing and peaceful just being around family and bonding with my baby knowing I was in good hands.

I'm puffy and bruised.


They finally bid us farewell and we were discharged to a Hotel until our commercial flight the following day. I had to leave the hospital in those fluffy hospital socks. It was raining outside so I had to get in the cab with soaking wet socks. To add insult to injury (injury meaning all the ridiculous stuff that had happened so far) I got three huge cold sores the day I left the hospital.

Jericho's second time leaving the hospital

When we checked into the Hotel, we left the baby with Josh's mom and we went over to the mall that was about a block away. I chose to go barefoot rather than in wet socks. We eventually found a pair of slip-on shoes and after we got back to the Hotel Nexus, we used our Medicaid food vouchers and ate at Saffron Grill. It's not all that related to the birth story, but for dinner I had hot Chai tea (which is delicious when it is authentic!) and a lava cake. I was still not able to eat much solids at this point. But it was also awesomely close to the Hotel so I could easily hobble over.

Sipping specialty coffee and Sassafrass or whatever it was called.


The final stretch was another misadventure as we left for the airport. We had to get up in time to drive across Seattle and check in for a 6 a.m. flight, having no ID for me or the baby. But at this point I was just glad to be going home in clothes. They actually got us through security and TSA let me off easy when we explained to them why I had no idea. I was in a wheelchair holding a newborn so I think it was obvious. He warned me to keep my arms in my lap if they frisked me, and I asked if they coul be gentle because I just had two abdominal surgeries. He ended up swabbing my hands quickly and letting me through. We were allowed to pre-board which is always awesome. I wasn't as nervous as usual so I was trying to avoid taking the two Ativan the doctor gave me for the flight. As it was, the percocet helped me feel more relaxed than I would normally be on an airplane. I fell asleep leaning on Josh.
About two hours later the pilot announced that we would be rolling back into station, because there was an issue with the landing gear. We ended up having to get off and transfer to another plane, which meant a wheelchair trip across the entire airport. We boarded the next plane and when the time came to take off, I absolutely lost it. I instantly had a severe panic attack and all but screamed at Josh to give me my pill for that. I am not proud of it.
From there on out, I was in and out of sleep. We were already three hours behind, and we hadn't slept the night before. I was on percocet and now ativan too, and I couldn't keep my eyes open. Unfortunately, we were on THE MILK RUN. Everyone in Southeast Alaska knows what this means. This is the flight that stops in every stupid place possible. We landed first in ketchikan, then Wrangell, then Petersberg before getting to Juneau. The funny part is, my least favorite part of flying is the take off. Which I now had to do five times instead of twice. And two of the towns we landed in had tiny, tiny runways which meant that landing entailed absolutely slamming to a stop and taking off entailed gaining speed as quickly as possible and going up at an alarming angle. Yay!
We got to Juneau eventually and Josh was able to get to our van and get our diaper bag with all our cloth diapers and baby stuff. Too bad the van had to be left behind until we could arrange to get it on a ferry.
I was starving and so we went to a little bar upstairs and were about to spend our last $12 on something quick to eat. I grabbed a little wrap and a soda and the man there rang it up as $10. I threw it back at him and said never mind, and got a $2 banana instead. I started crying as we walked out. I was so done with everything at this point and apparently I was emotional at the injustice of prices in Alaska. Also the guy was kind of a jerk.
Anyways, we got our flight home and made it back. It was amazing to see my kids in the parking lot as we landed, although it was crappy that I couldn't bend down to hug to them.

The bruising is healing up after a week

We've been home for a week now and I still start randomly crying sometimes when I think about what we went through. It's scary to think that we almost didn't make it here. We still don't have our van, but that's okay. We've had so much help from everyone around us since Josh wasn't able to work for six weeks. We have had donations of food, money, and baby items. It's been wonderful. God has really provided through all of this.

On top of everything that has happened, I've had several people ask me if we are going to stop having children now. That's really grossly inappropriate to ask considering what we all just went through. But I'll answer anyways. Josh and I are praying about it. I don't think this changes our commitment to Christ and trusting our fertility to Him. He can still open and close the womb. If I need a season without being pregnant in order to heal, that's what I will get. Because that's what we will pray for in His will. 

My amazing family started a GoFundMe account to help us get on our feet after all this. The help and support of friends, family, and community has been overwhelming.


  1. Abby, you are a tough woman for going through all of this and coming back from it. Jericho is a fighter too. Im very proud of both of you. I don't think Iv'e ever been so scared in my entire life when I realized that I could actually lose one of my kids and or grand baby. I have always known you girls were tough but I didn't realize how tough you really were. I'm so happy that your both ok. Things could have easily turned out so different. I will always beleive this was not one but two miracles from above. I love you both.

  2. I loved reding this. It made me cry,laugh,smile and it made me ever so greatful that our God is good! I prayed for you often throughout your journey, and was so scared for you after reading a post on your facebook page. I only know you through CMLTLD but i cant imagine a life without you. Rachel

  3. I met you on baby center boards a couple babies ago. I've been following your blog since then. With my third, I was rushed to the hospital (from a home birth) for a post partum hemorrhage. Got a few units of blood. I remember feeling thing fading away before the paramedics arrived. Not as traumatic as your story! But family and friends had the same response. Are you done now? It's just hard. Hard to face that and come against scoffers instead of support. I hear ya.


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