1.30.2009

31 Weeks, 5 Days

Dear Baby Girl,

This morning I ate a piece of toast for breakfast. And so begins the most frighteningly wonderful day of my life.

My blood pressure was still high today and my symptoms were still getting progressively worse. The night nurse got permission to replace my IV last night, and it took five different people (herself, an L&D nurse, another nurse on the floor, a NICU nurse & an oncology nurse) several tries each to run the IV. My veins have become extremely small with all the swelling. That is how we spent the entire night. We knew all of this meant that something would have to change. My condition has become dangerous to both of us.

Dr. B is the doctor on call today. He is a sweet older man with a cheery disposition that reminds me of Santa Claus. He came by first thing this morning. They do not advise doing the magnesium drip again until time for you to be born. So guess what? That will be today!!!

That little piece of toast came back to haunt me. We had to wait for it to digest before we could begin the emergency c-section.

Your Dad began making phone calls. Your Papa (my dad) has been staying with us the last couple of days to help with the dogs and sit with me during the day so your Dad can rest. He was the first to know you were coming. He called your Nana (my mom), and your Dad also called your Grandma (his mom). That began our family's mass exodus from their homes and workplaces to come to the hospital to be present for your birth.

I was moved back to L&D. Sometime during the morning I began to shake severely. My legs were jumping all over the bed and I could do nothing to stop it. I guess knowing you were coming and not having any idea how all of this would work out fried what was left of my nerves.

The nurse started the magnesium drip and the catheter again. This time, I was jumping around in the bed so much that I did not even notice the heat as much as I did before. The catheter seemed like second nature by now.

The NICU doctor came to talk to us. The hospital staff calls him the "Mr. Rogers" of the hospital. He is a really nice guy, and I know that he will be a good doctor to you. He explained what would happen from the point of your delivery to your transition into the NICU. You will spend your first few weeks there, until you get strong enough to come home.

The nurse made the rest of the appropriate calls to set everything up, and we were told that the surgery would be at 1:00PM. Just as we sent your aunt to the waiting room to give the time update, the attendant came to get me prepped for surgery! You would be here even sooner!

My heart pounded out of my chest as the attendant wheeled my bed to the OR. I could not see your Dad, but I found tremendous comfort in feeling his presence following my bed. On arrival, they sent us to a prep room with wall curtains. They began checking me, and they spirited your Dad away to hook him up with the appropriate OR attire. Unfortunately, they decided my IV needle was not big enough. They would have to readdress that in the ER.

The prep seemed to take forever. Dr. B met us there and we got to know the anesthesiologist. Another familiar voice popped around the curtain also - a family friend was working in the OR and stopped in to say Hi. Soon afterward, it was time. Your Dad had to wait outside the OR for a few minutes until they were ready for the surgery to begin.

The OR was not what I expected. (This was my first surgery.) The room was very white and there were lots of big machines. It could almost pass for an old James Bond set, just with more high-tech computer equipment. They moved me to a plank in the center of the room that had folding "boards" to hold my arms in the shape of a cross. Then, the anesthesiologist and another nurse/doctor/somebody took turns in each arm trying to insert the IV. Attempt after attempt failed, and then...

I am going to sidetrack from the story for a second here. When I was little, I got a huge gash on my wrist. I will not go into the details here, but it involves the underside of a car and my accident prone self. Anyway, I have a scar on my wrist. The area around this scar is deemed UNTOUCHABLE. I will not touch it. Your Dad cannot touch it.

So guess where the needle went and took? You guessed it. Right in the middle of my scar in the UNTOUCHABLE zone. And, honestly I did not even blink.

Next, it was time for the spinal. This was another scary thought for me. Dr. B held me up and hugged me. He whispered the play-by-play in my ear of what was happening and what would happen. He distracted me by swapping scar stories (I told him about the wrist) and making funny comments. I could not have asked for a better doctor to do this.

Spinal in place and verified, the surgery began. Your Dad entered the room after they pulled up a curtain to block my view. That curtain kept hitting me in the nose and mouth. The rest of the experience seemed almost out-of-body. It felt like my insides were Jello jiggling all over the place. There was lots of random chatting going on. Lots of beeping from monitors. And then, a sweetly beautiful cry.

You.

The noise of the room faded and tears rose to my eyes. All I could hear was you.

The sound you were making sounded like a short series of "meh". It sounded like a breathtakingly beautiful symphony to me.

At some point, the chatter and beeping resumed in my ears. They called your Dad over with the video camera to capture your experience.

Then, they brought you to me.

I kissed you, and your eyes opened. You are so beautiful.

Then, they wheeled you away up to the NICU. They assured me that you were breathing normally. Your Dad and the video camera got to follow you. Your grandparents coincidentally saw you in the hall on your way to the NICU. The nurses put you on a C-PAT for just a little while. Then, because you were doing so well, they took it off. You are tiny, but you are perfect for your gestational age.

Meanwhile, the OR team finished up with me after an infinity. I went to the recovery area, where I was taken care of by a nurse named Max. (I remember this because of our dog Max.)

Sometime during the OR finish up and the recovery time, I began shaking again. This time, only my arms could shake because my legs were numb.

I waited, waited, waited. Finally, Max said I could go back to postpartum.

The nurse, or maybe it was the doctor, told me that I could not see you again today. My blood pressure was still really high, and I needed to be able to be at least in a wheelchair before I could go to the NICU. I took comfort in knowing that your Dad was with you, and he could take care of you. You had been in my belly for so many months and I had already bonded with you. Now it was his turn, or at least that is how I made peace with the fact that I would have to wait to see you again.

Various relatives began to come in my room to say hello or sit with me. I remember all of this, but I still felt like I was in a trance. I could not sleep, but I was very tired.

Tomorrow, my beautiful Grace, I will get to see you again.

Love forever,

Your Mom

40 comments:

Rocio @ Casa Haus said...

Wow! What an amazing story! Congratulations on your beautiful daughter!

greedygrace said...

I love birth stories! Congratulations! What a blessing after having to wait for so long!

The Wifey said...

This is so sweet. I love how you wrote it to her.

When I was pregnant I had crazy high blood pressure and was on watch for Pre-eclampsia, (hated those NSTs!) but thankfully it never came to that. My IV had to be run a couple times before it took, too. Oh and I had those shakes! The doctors looked at me like I was nuts and said they didn't know why it was happening.

After your very long time of trying, I am so glad to see that you and your husband were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. She truly is gorgeous!

Jamie said...

What a great story and I love how you read it to her. It has me all teary-eyed. :-)

Frau said...

Wow that is an amazing story and it reminds me of my daughter's birth. Nothing like meeting your child for the first time.

Chocolate Lover said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story! I can only imagine the mix of feelings that you went through that day! Congrats on your little girl!

mub said...

What a lovely story!

Elizabeth a.k.a. Type A Mommy said...

Wow, that's beautiful. It's so wonderful that you put it all down in writing for her to read one day.

Christine said...

I'm teary-eyed. Seriously. This was a beautiful story & one that your daughter will love reading. Maybe it'll be her favorite bedtime story:)

The Mommyologist said...

Beautiful story! I am so glad that everything turned out ok.

Pyjammy Pam said...

beautiful story! my boys were also born early because of pre-eclampsia, and your story sounded so familiar in so many ways to me. congrats on your beautiful girl! :)

Queenie Jeannie said...

What a beautiful story!!! I'm sitting here in tears because I remember my last c-section with my youngest daughter Isabella. So many things in common, although she was full term.

I'm so glad your Grace is healthy and perfect and the answer to your prayers!!! I have good friends who have not been blessed with a child yet and it's so hard to know what to do or say, other than to love them and support them.

Enjoy every moment because they grow up sooooo fast!!!

Sandy said...

Beautifully written story.

Teresha@Marlie and Me said...

beautifully touching! I enjoyed the vivid detail in your birth story! came by from SITS. HAPPY SITS DAY!

Jenn said...

Now when your daughter asks you about when she was born you will be able to read her all the posts you wrote to her. What a beautiful tribute to her (and what a cute baby! Congrats!)

mellisarock said...

What an amazingly beautiful story, it brought tears to my eyes -- and got me to thinking about my one and only c-section...I am glad that you had such a wonderful doctor and that your beautiful Grace is here safe and sound! Bless you Honey!!

Happy Sits Day-- I loved all your posts...well maybe not the spider one...LOL

Turtles In North Dakota said...

This brought so many tears to my eyes. My two birth children were born after weeks and months of bedrest due to preeclampsia.Our third was adopted because they told me another would kill us both.(((((hugs)))) to your beautiful family!

Christy said...

This is a lovely story. And how wonderful for Grace that you wrote it all down just after the experience. I know every child loves to hear the story of the day they were born. And I am 43 years old and my father tells the story of my birth for my birthday "toast" every year. Thank you for sharing this story with us.

Courtney (AKA MommaRoberts) said...

This brought tears to my eyes! It brought me back to my Daughter's birth. I shook just as much and and was just waiting to hear her cry. The time having to wait in recovery is aweful :(

Happy SITS Day!!

One Cluttered Brain said...

Great Story! I love the way you tell it. Are you a writer by chance??

So sweet. Sorry U had to have an emergency C section to get Grace out. Hope it wasn't too painful.
I hear the recoverys are rough.

But Grace is a cutie. You would probably do it all over again for that girl. Hope U had a good Thanksgiving!

Rachel said...

So sweet.

muummmmeeeeee...... said...

Gorgeous story and lovely that one day your daughter will be able to read about the day she entered the world...

Angelia (Texas) said...

So wonderful, and filled with such heart and love.

Jo said...

You told your story - and the whole journey leading to your daughter's birth - just beautifully. Congratulations to you and your family!

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

Wow! What a trying experience, but worded in such a lovely way. Thank you for sharing.

Jenn Erickson said...

It's always wonderful when a story like yours has a happy ending ~ your little girl is simply beautiful! Way to go Mama!

sandy said...

How touching! My own pregnancy hormones kicked in of course and I got a bit teary-eyed! Thanks for sharing your experience!

a said...

So happy to hear such a wonderful story. Must have all been so scary for you knowing how long you had tried to have a baby! She's a keeper too! :) Congratulations.

Alex Fitzpatrick aka Ma What's 4 Dinner said...

Ooops. Thanks me up there (the comment above.) Hit the wrong button.

Working Mommy said...

This is such a great story!! I have a letter to my daughter as well...I just haven't posted it yet. Thanks so much for sharing such a special moment with those of us in the blogosphere.

Kim said...

Congratulations on your long awaited daughter. She's beautiful.
cheapchichome.blogspot.com

Jen said...

this was a beautiful post.

The Mom @ Babes in Hairland said...

I'm so glad after all your years of waiting, despite the scary/early delivery, your beautiful daughter finally arrived. So glad you wrote it all down so she can read it someday. So important. Hope you've had a great day as SITS FB.

I'm a full-time mummy... said...

Beautiful, beautiful birth story! Praise God for blessing you & hubby with such a beautiful girl!

Rgds,
I'm a full time mummy

p.s: Just in case you are interested, here's my supernatural childbirth story (http://imafulltimemummy.blogspot.com/2009/08/my-supernatural-childbirth.html)

Mindi @ B.A. Bookworm said...

Wow, what an emotional time! So wonderful to know that your little miracle is doing so beautifully now.

Kristin said...

That was just lovely. How wonderful that she's doing so well! Yay!

Holly said...

Great story...glad everything turned out OK!

Michelle said...

bittersweet, isnt it?

I had pre eclampsia with my last son too. We homebirth. When my bp started going up, i went on bedrest, even though there is no scientific proof that bedrest does anything to eleviate the symptoms of pre-e. But i did it.

My bp was 160-180/120-100. REALLY high. Stroking out numbers. My dh was so worried.

When we went to the hospital they wanted to csection IMMEDIATELY. I refused. I just knew that I could do this and I wanted to. I did not want a csection. I LOVE birth.

So they "let" me go home the next day after they agreed to our conditions. LOL.

I came back the next day and was induced. We did not pit to distress either. We slowly increased the pit so I stayed comfortable.

This time we've been a little nervous watching out for it..but we are about 35 weeks and think we'll make it.

It's pretty scary. I'm glad all went well and you had an experience you could live with.

Everyone wants different things from birth...jsut thought I'd share my story with you.

The whole story is on my blog, if you are interested.

Marie said...

Wow what a scary story but great ending..Congratulations on your new baby girl.

Meg said...

And she is still beyond beautiful! So glad the story ended well.