Much has happened in the last two months since I posted on this blog...the most important being that we delivered our precious little miracle boy into this world on April 12, 2013 at 10:13 PM via what I've been terming my "sort of emergency c-section." Our new boy weighed 6 lbs, 2 oz and was 20.5 in. long! His nickname which I will use on this blog and that we call him a lot in real life is "Squeaker!" He squeaks all the time and it's pretty sweet.
|Mommy, Daddy & Squeaker :)|
|Dr. L, me & Squeaker and Dr. F|
In mid-March I had some preterm labor at 33 weeks and 6 days and was hospitalized for one night while I took medication to stop the labor. It was such an interesting time of wondering if we'd have a tiny little preemie, hoping that he'd be alive and okay and also soul searching. While I was laying in that bed really medicated, I had so much time to think. I really had a lot of peace and knew that God was very much with me and my little boy. Thankfully even though a test showed that I might have this baby very soon, I didn't and I was able to go home and continue the waiting game.
Truly I was almost shocked that I made it to 37 weeks and 3 days! That was the day he came into our world...
It started like any other of my sort of normal days where I got my Bug onto the school bus, dropped my Buzz at preschool and then headed off to the coffee shop to get something tasty to drink. Only on this day, I had brought along with me some reading materials and some things that I wanted to study. The night before I had been chatting with a dear friend who lost two baby girls. She was encouraging me to memorize some key Bi_ble verses that could stick with me during these days of waiting and during my upcoming labor...verses that I could rely on to come to the forefront of my mind...verses that could dispel the fear and anxiety which had been overwhelming me on most days. Little did that precious friend and I know just how perfect the timing was for that bit of encouragement. While I was at the coffee shop, I ran into a friend from college who said that he would be praying for me. And then I went to sit down to drink my yummy beverage and pulled out some verse cards that I had saved from a Bi_ble study that I did a few years ago. I had started going over the verses the night before, but right there in the coffee shop I poured over them several times just soaking in the truth therein and hoping that I could remember some of it...
At my dr. appt. that morning, the ultra_sound technician apparently noticed the umbil_ical cord around Baby's neck but at that time I guess it was okay. She didn't tell me about the cord because she knew my history and knew that I would freak out. But she did tell my dr. who was then very aware. Then I had my regular N_S_T (non-st_ress test) during which I noticed the way the heart rate was very erratic and decelerating in ways that were concerning to me, the untrained yet all too aware mama bear who has now seen a whole lot of those test tracings. My dr. came to me and said that I should go into the hospital for some extra monitoring that afternoon - that she wasn't worried and didn't want me to worry but she just wanted me to have some extra reassurance. I gladly went into the hospital for this extra monitoring, and things were looking fine for awhile. I even texted one of my friends who works at the hospital to say that I'd love for her to come over for a visit if she had time, and she came - thanks A.H.! It was great to have you there with me.
Right after A came, I had a really strong contraction and Baby's heart rate decelerated rapidly into dangerous territory for two minutes. I don't even know how low it went...they never told me and they turned the monitor down and away from me so I couldn't see. Several nurses rushed into the room and shortly thereafter my Dr. came. I was in a ton of pain with the contraction and could hardly breathe because I was so worried that I would lose my baby. They quickly got me some oxygen which helped immediately to calm me down...as well as the reminder that I had to breathe. It felt like a repeat of what happened with Solveig - I really thought we were losing this precious boy and I could hardly handle the thought of that. I was paralyzed with fear in that moment. But then God's peace washed over me and I knew that no matter what I had to trust Him.
Thankfully, things stabilized. But my Dr. came to me and said that I would not be going home that night - that indeed we would figure out a plan and I would be delivered. I was so glad to know that something was finally going to happen. A little while later, my two favorite Dr.'s that I've seen during this pregnancy came in to talk to us - Dr. A & Dr. L. They said that I had two options - I could go ahead with a regular delivery if I wanted to and they would very closely monitor me. If things got out of control, I could always have an emergency c-section...but they acknowledged that it might make me too anxious, and they said that they were worried that Baby wouldn't be able to tolerate the contractions since they knew that there was cord around his neck. It was also revealed to me at this time that indeed the tracing I saw in the clinic earlier that day had been what they call a "cordy tracing," and they could very easily see that the cord was in the way and being compromised. They said that I could do a planned c-section and then I wouldn't have to worry if my baby could tolerate the contractions or worry that the cord would get worse - they could just take him out in a matter of a couple of minutes. Erik and I had some time to think about it and pray about it. It didn't take much to know and realize that we had to do the c-section - we just couldn't risk losing our precious son. We wanted him out safe and sound. (I want to write more about the c-section and the aftermath in another post.)
Everything felt so quick, even though we had some time to wait and process things. It took a few hours from the time the dr. told us that we'd have the surgery until it happened. But prior to the surgery, my sweet Dr. L who is a Chri_stian came into our room where she laid hands on us and prayed over us. Tears of hope and peace washed over me, and I just knew that God was with us and would go with us into that operating room and beyond. Thank you so much, Dr. L. You have been a most amazing blessing to me and I'll always be grateful for you.
When it came time to go into the operating room, I had to walk down there alone without Erik and just with my nurse M. Thanks M - you were just the person I needed that day - you calmed me down and also made me laugh. When we got into the room, I had to sit on the end of the table and curl into a little ball as best I could for my spinal block procedure to begin. I was petrified and began to cry. M comforted me. I was then asked to lay down on the table and put my arms out "like Jesus on the cross - just put your arms out and lay there and do nothing." I don't know where this came from, but in that moment I ended up having the wherewithal to respond with "well actually, Jesus did a whole lot on the cross because He died for our sins." Nothing was said after that, and well, I doubt that person who said that will ever say it again! It was such an interesting moment, and I'm glad that I could share my faith in that way.
I laid down on that table and while I couldn't feel anything from the chest down, I all the sudden had such an amazing sense of peace and the presence of God. I couldn't go anywhere - I was totally at the mercy of my medical team and the Lord's covering over me. It's such a vulnerable thing to be in a surgery such as that. My verses that I had memorized came to me and I was thinking over and over, "the spirit of the sovereign Lord is upon me," and "do not fear, for the Lord your God is with you!" (Thank you dear friend who encouraged me to memorize scriptures...that was such a wonderful blessing!)
Erik came in after I was all medicated, covered in his gown and mask. The big surgical sheet covering my lower half was there and he was on the side with me and my head. It didn't take long and they told me that they were taking Baby out. Right after he came out and they sucked the goop out of his mouth, I could hear him scream and immediately I felt such great relief and joy! I kept saying over and over, "he's alive! he's alive! I can't believe he's alive!" I really didn't know how I would respond in that moment, but it was incredible and truly one of the most amazing and joyous moments of my life. After just a short bit, my little guy was in my arms. Erik and I sang lullabies and hymns to him while my dr.'s were sewing me up. It was so amazing too because Dr. L was there doing the surgery as well as Dr. F who had helped with Solveig's delivery last year. Both later told me that they had never had anyone sing during a c-section and they didn't want it to stop! It was so sweet of them. :) I felt like I could barely phonate at all as I was singing through my tears...but it felt so good to sing to my new little love. Erik even got to watch some of my post delivery surgery while the dr.'s were sewing me back up. I assured them that he was trained as an EMT so he would be fine and they said it was okay. He was so fascinated with it all and loved watching the surgery.
So that is the story of how our little man came into the world. We are so incredibly grateful for his life and treasure him so deeply. More tales of his life and his big brother and sister will come...