It’s been a long time since I’ve updated, and we’ve been through a lot as a family.
I woke up at 3:27 am with contractions. I pulled out my phone and started timing contractions. I didn’t wake my husband because I wasn’t convinced I would be giving birth anytime soon. By 6 the contractions were coming every 7-8 minutes. My husband was up getting ready so I decided to take a shower. While in the shower, my husband decided to start timing my contractions because he said I was moaning pretty close to 5 minutes apart. As I showered, the contractions started coming every 2-3 minutes. I was told at my previous appointment that I should call when they were 5 minutes apart, lasting longer than 1 minute, for at least an hour. By the time an hour had passed, I they went back to 8 minutes apart. I called the doctor and they told me to lay down drink some water and take it easy. Things continued every 6-8 minutes for the rest of the day. My husband decided to stay home just in case, but at this point I still wasn’t convinced I’d be having him anytime soon. At around 7 pm the contractions started to get pretty intense. They were 5-6 minutes apart but they were lasting about 90 seconds. I called the doctor around 8 and was told to go ahead and come in.
We left around 9 and we made it to the hospital around 9:30. We made it to the delivery floor and a nurse checked me. She asked me if I had dialated any at my last appointment and I let her know I was 1 cm a few days before. She then told me I was 2 cm (she later told me I was really only 1 cm, but she didn’t want to discourage me as I seemed to be in a lot of pain). I was so upset to hear 2 cm. After being in pain all day I had made no progress. When she saw my disappoinment she let me know that I was completely effaced so the pain wasn’t in vain. She decided to have the on call doctor check on me and see if I needed to be admitted. So we waited about 30 minutes for the doctor and the contractions kept coming. At this point they were coming every 2 minutes and they were really intense. I didn’t know how much longer I could make it if I had gone all day and only made it to 2 cm. When the doctor finally came in, she checked me and I was 4.5 – 5 cm. So we were definitely making progress to go 2.5-3 cm in 30 minutes. So I was admitted and we waited things out. After another 90 minutes, I couldn’t take it and asked for the epidural. I got the epidural about 10 minutes after I asked for it. The doctor checked me again and I was 8 cm. So things were going quickly and at this point I was just hoping that the epidural wouldn’t slow things down. That’s when things started to change.
My son’s heart rate was dropping with each contraction. They had me roll to my left side, then my right side, then all fours. His heart rate dropped to 50 something and by now there were a ton of nurses in the room. The doctor came in and either broke my bag of waters or my bag of waters broke on its own. The doctor informed me that there was meconium in the amniotic fluid so that plus the lower heart rate meant I should probably prepare for a c-section. She checked again and I was 10 cm and ready to push. I was allowed to push for about 15 minutes or so and then they made the decision to do a c-section. At this point I was so worried about my son that I didn’t care how he got here.
They wheeled me into the operating room and by now I’m shaking uncontrollably. My husband comes in and I feel the tugging. At 1:50 am they pull him out and I hear a faint cry. Nothing loud at all. Poor thing sounded like he had been through a lot. They quickly showed him to me and rushed him out of the room. My husband went with them and I was left shaking on the tabling praying that God would take care of my baby. My husband came in the room and told me our son was fine and that he’d be in the recovery room with us and I could start breastfeeding right away.
E’s First Days:
At some point I was told that his breathing wasn’t normal so he would be in the NICU for a few hours. I wake up from recovery and they wheel me to see my baby. He had an oxygen dome over his head but I could tell he was the same baby I got a glimpse of while I was on the operating table. I was wheeled to my room and went back to sleep. I woke up a few hours later and we went straight to the NICU. I was convinced that he was okay and the hospital was just trying to get more money. I got to breastfeed him and almost everything was great, but his breathing was still irregular. They decided to admit him for the night.
The next morning we went to the NICU so I could feed him again. While I was holding him skin to skin he started jerking. I thought he had the hiccups but he kept doing it. We decided to ask the nurse if these were hiccups because something about it didn’t feel right to me. I didn’t know it at the time, but that was the Holy Spirit. That’s when the nurse told us he appeared to be having a seizure. The episode soon ended but I was distraught. Doctors were soon next to us and he started having another ‘episode’. The doctor confirmed that it looked like a seizure.
After many tests, we learned that he was having small strokes and seizures. He had a very large clot in his liver that broke apart and went to his brain. He had lots of small areas of brain damage and we would basically have to wait and see how things turn out. For the next two weeks I prayed like I’ve never prayed before, and after a few days I made the choice to believe for E’s complete and total healing. He spent a total of 2 weeks in the NICU and was finally able to come home. He had to get a shot of blood thinners twice a day and seizure medication 4 times a day.
Three Months Old:
Here we are now. E is 3 and a half months old, and all appears normal. His brain is healing though there is still scar tissue from the strokes. His last two EEGs have been normal and his blood work has been basically normal. The final word from the hematologist is that he may have had acquired dyfibrogenemia from the trauma of birth, but we probably won’t know definitively what happened. I know what happened though. God healed our baby.
I really wanted a natural birth. I didn’t want to have any medication and I didn’t want a c-section. I had a plan, but God had another plan. If we would have had a birth at the birth center that I wanted to, we would have been at home when he had his first seizure. If I wouldn’t have had a vaginal birth, he may been in the recovery room with me when he had his first seizure. If we wouldn’t have asked the nurse if he was having hiccups, who knows how long he would have gone before someone told us he was having a seizure. If we were at home or alone in the recovery room, we may have just rationalized it as normal newborn behavior. No use living in the what ifs though.
I thought our testimony would end with us finally getting pregnant. That first pregnancy was not successful. Then I thought our testimony would end with us having a successful pregnancy. Now I see that I need to quit looking for the testimony to be over so I can breath a sigh of relief. I must keep the faith. I must not get complacent or take any of this for granted. God has given us a wonderful blessing and it has taught us more about God’s grace, mercy and love than anything else I’ve ever experienced in life.