My baby turned two years-old today and I am reminded once again that his life is a miracle.
I was quite happy to be lying in a hospital bed not feeling sharp pains yet, but the doctor knew a stalled labor would be dangerous for both the baby and me if we waited much longer. After what seemed like 2 hours of Petocin hell, I was far enough along to get an epidural. I headed over for a hot shower with the idea that it would be a lovely way to welcome the needle that would take away the pain…that is when everything went south.
“Something is wrong”
I felt dizzy, disoriented, and weak all at once. My husband and the nurse carried me back to the bed and the doctor, a delightful woman with a normally sing-song voice, had an utterly urgent tone as she had me move into different positions to determine if the 80-count heartbeat was mine or that of my baby. Seconds later she called for an emergency C-section. That was my ER moment and since I’ve never watched the show I had no idea what to expect.
“No time for hats!”
The nurses pulled the bed out of the wall and told my husband he couldn’t go with me. How excruciating it was for him to see me wheeled off in such a hurry and not know any details. The operation doors flung open and I saw about 20 people ready to operate on me. The man pushing me said to the doctor, “what about our hats?” to which she exclaimed, “No time for hats!” The male nurse nearest to me was waiting for his cues from the team while also being very aware that I was awake and scared. He gently said, “it’s OK sweetie, it’s going to be OK.” That was really comforting and was the last thing I heard before blacking out from the drugs.
“He’s a fighter”
Hours passed and I finally woke up and learned that our baby had been born not breathing and would remain in an incubator in NICU for 3 days. My husband told me that our baby was healthy and really cute, and came with me to meet him. The NICU doctor kept saying what a fighter he was to have survived the birth and to be doing so well. Grateful for the reassurance, I reached out and held my baby’s tiny fingers in awe. My sister was at the hospital as well as my mom who would later say that she almost didn’t recognize me…I had just come out of a near death experience.
The purpose of the emergency C-section was to save our baby. What the doctor didn’t realize until the operation was that I had been hemorrhaging and had lost a staggering 2 liters of blood. It’s called a Placental Abruption, an uncommon and serious complication of pregnancy that deprives the baby of oxygen and nutrients, causes heavy bleeding in the mother, and can result in a stillborn child. It occurs in 1% of pregnancies world wide with a fetal mortality rate of 20–40% depending on the degree of separation. Placental abruption is also a significant contributor to maternal mortality. Even if the child and mother survive there can be physical and mental damage.
By the grace of God
Though the operation and blood transfusion were a success, my blood was not clotting properly following the procedure which put me at an extra risk of death — they almost lost me three times on the operating table. I am so thankful to all the wonderful nurses and doctors who worked on me (and to those who give blood!), but even more so for the grace of God who spared me from dying on that operation table. It seemed that everyone in Labor and Delivery knew about my experience. I was approached by doctors who told me that I was very lucky to be alive. When I began walking the halls a few days later, one of the nurses came up to me with tears streaming down her face to say that she had watched my operation on her screen and was so happy that I had pulled through. Another nurse told me what I already knew in my heart, “God spared you — He wanted you to live!”
Life is precious
What a miracle it is that I’m here today and that my baby is a healthy and very smart little boy! By the time we left the hospital he had made a total recovery. It’s almost hard to put into words what a blessing our son is to us. He fit into our family perfectly, uniting us all in such a way that we didn’t know was possible. The joy he has brought to our lives with his sweetness and big personality is immeasurable, and I would do it all again for him. When I see him running around, talking, dancing, laughing, and figuring out the world I am reminded that it could have turned out so differently and I feel so much thankfulness.