Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Beauty For Ashes--Or Happy Birthday, David

Daddy and Frank, 2 mns
One day I will fill out my 3 month clothes

On an early Sunday morning, 9 years and 10 1/2 months ago, I took a test that would forever change my life.  I looked at the test and immediately woke up my husband to tell him the results.  I believe my exact words were, "Honey, I think I'm pregnant, but I'm not sure because I threw away the directions and so I'm not sure if I'm reading the test right.  We need to stop off at the store after church so I can see the directions on the box."  If I remember correctly, my husband rolled over and went back to sleep leaving me one big, excited bundle of hyperactive nerves counting down the hours until I could get my hands on that box.

Little did I know that I was in for the ride of my life.  

It hit right on cue at eight weeks.  The constant, never ending morning sickness.  Running for the bathroom at all hours, stopping on the side of the road, making friends with bushes and bathrooms alike.  I literally made myself sick because I had no clue being that sick wasn't normal.  I tore my esophagus.  I lost a lot of weight. I sat on the stairs crying to my husband how I was so hungry but that I couldn't keep anything down.  I became intimately acquainted with the term "Hyperemesis Gravidarum" which is a very severe form of morning sickness.  

After such a horrible beginning, it seems like a gal should have caught a break.  Well, I did get four weeks of pregnancy bliss once the morning sickness ended before my next issue surfaced.  I went in for a routine doctor appointment where I discovered my blood pressure was elevated--really elevated.  I was only 22 weeks along.  My doctor watched me more closely for the next few weeks before the diagnosis came in--I officially had pregnancy induced hypertension.  I was placed on full bedrest.  I went into my work to clean out my desk and tell my boss and coworkers.  And cried.  

This is not how pregnancy is supposed to go.  All of those "other people" just breeze through pregnancy with that elusive "pregnancy glow."  What was wrong with me that I kept having one problem after another?  

Three months of living on my couch.  Not being able to do my own shopping, my own cooking, having to limit my bathroom trips because our only bathroom was on the second floor, rarely even leaving my house.  My husband was kind enough to buy me a laptop so I at least had a small connection to the outside world.  My prayer group rallied around me and provided us with meals, cleaning help, and occasional visits.  I have never been so humbled in my life.  

Three months of constantly worrying that I was going to develop full blown preeclampsia and would be forced to deliver a micropremie.  Every week was a victory.  At 30 weeks I started spilling small amounts of protein--the beginnings of preeclampsia.  By 32 weeks it was bad enough to land me in the hospital on bedrest where I could be constantly monitored.  I received a round of steroid shots to help my baby's premature lungs develop faster.  At 34 weeks, 2 days, I lost the fight and an emergency c-section was scheduled.  I couldn't be induced because the baby was transverse--or sideways.     

On October 3, 2003, I transferred to labor and delivery to await my surgery.  They hooked me up to a magnesium drip to control my blood pressure that made me very hot and very loopy.  They wheeled me back to the OR mid-morning.  I was in the process of being moved to the operating table when an orderly came running into the room declaring that I had to leave because there was a more critical woman in labor who had to go before me.  So they wheeled me back to my room where I waited, and waited, and waited.  Around 4:00pm they finally tried again.  Shortly after, my son, David, was born.  I had just enough time to give him a kiss before he was rushed to the NICU to be placed on a ventilator.  

For the next day all I had were pictures of David to remind me that I had a child.  I wasn't allowed up because of the magnesium they were pumping into my body to control my blood pressure.  Eventually they wheeled me to the NICU to meet my precious baby who was hooked up to tubes and wires.  My tiny baby that I could only touch through little holes in the side of the isolette.  Five days I waited for that first chance to  hold my baby.  Five days of crying every time I ventured into the NICU.  But finally, finally, they declared it okay for me to hold my baby.  Of course I cried some more.  (Turns out I had post-partum depression but I didn't know that at the time)

Two weeks after his early entrance into this world, David came home.  On Sweetest Day.  Hubby showed up at the hospital to pick us up and drive us home with a bouquet of roses.  

I made it through, David made it through.  He later endured months of occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and cranialsacral therapy, but you wouldn't know it by looking at him today.  He is happy, smart, strong, fast, tall, and completely normal.  Despite his very traumatic and early beginnings.   

David likes to pick the smallest animal on the carousel

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