A year ago today, you came into our lives. Life has a joy and a meaning Daddy and I never imagined was possible, so today to mark that momentous first day, I'm going to put the story of your birth on our family's blog. We don't know what we did to deserve the awesome responsibility of being your parents and we promise to do all we can to be worthy of such a gift.
"For this child, I have prayed." 1 Samuel 1:27
I always begin the story of your birth the Tuesday prior to it. Daddy and I went to have one of the many ultrasounds the doctor required since Mommy is diabetic and was considered a high-risk pregnancy. We had reached 30 weeks and everything on the ultrasound was perfect! Despite our high-risk status, Mommy's doctor was very pleased with how normal my pregnancy was going and what tight control we were able to keep on my blood sugar levels. That evening, I mentioned to your dad over Mexican food that he might want to stop taking the bus to work, just in case I needed him quickly, he'd have a car with him. We also stopped at a bookstore so your dad could buy his first "daddy/pregnancy" book. Yes, at 30 weeks.
The next morning, dad left early for work as usual on the bus. I woke up about an hour later, startled by something. When I sat up I felt a wosh and knew my water had broken. Since we were scheduled for childbirth classes that Saturday, I racked my brain for info I'd read in my pregnancy books on what you're supposed to do when your water breaks, and the only thing I could think was to call the ob/gyn's office. I wasn't having contractions so I figured it was no big deal to have your water break and was surprised when the nurse said, "Get to the hospital NOW. I'll call ahead to let them know you're on your way."
I calmly changed into one of the most comfortable maternity outfits I had since I knew it was going to be a long day, feed the dog and walked her, and then remembered to call your dad at work to tell him I was headed to the hospital and he should meet me there. And then........I DROVE MYSELF TO THE HOSPITAL! It seems crazy to write that now, but at that time with no contractions, I figured it was safe and would be a waste of an ambulance.
When we got to the maternity ward, a nurse asked if I'd possibly just had and "accident." I told her "here's hoping," but I was 99.9% sure my water had broken and the test she performed confirmed it. The doctor needed to give me a steroid injection to help your lungs develop rapidly and I was told I needed a follow-up shot in 24 hours to give you the best shot at survival. They were scary words, but I'd known since the very first moment that I saw your lima bean shape on the ultrasound monitor at 4 weeks that God meant you to be my child, so I had a peace that whatever was happening now could not derail our mommy-baby girl destiny.
After the second shot the next day, it was decide that you and I would take an ambulance ride to a hospital that could not only deliver a premature baby, but give it 24 hour a day care. It was safer to move you inside me than wait until you were born.
Grandma, Gigi, and Papaw were all there to support you, me and Daddy by that time. And everyone one else - Paw Daddy, GrandNancy, your aunts, uncles, cousins, and Mamaw - prayed continuously that you would stay in your womb as long as you could. The doctors admitted me for bedrest and told me our goal was not to deliver before 34 weeks!
That Sunday (31 weeks, 1 day) was Mommy's permitted shower day and I decided to wait until after they used the heart rate monitor on my belly to hear you to take my shower. Big mistake! They noticed minor contractions (that I could not even feel yet) were affecting your heart rate causing a v-shape on the monitor. Mommy's ob/gyn had already passed off your delivery to our wonderful high-risk specialist, so she was called.
A few hours of monitoring and a few doses of Pretosin later, the doctor decided that we would have to have a c-section because you were not handling the contractions very well. As they were trying to get my epidural in and Daddy was putting on scrubs, a nurse called out to the doctor that you were in trouble. The doctor immediately decided I would have to go into the operating room RIGHT THEN, and would have to be put under general anesthesia. This meant that your dad could not be in the room when you were born and I would be asleep for your birth. We were both very sad, but wanted the best for you and trusted our doctor. She was so positive and the nurses were too.
Throughout the days prior to your birth, the only thing I felt I could do to protect you was to stay calm and confident that God would not let you be harmed in any way. As I was wheeled quickly to the delivery room, I felt the first twinges of fear that something might go wrong, so I prayed to God that I was going to let go of my fear, and give you to Him. I knew He would not fail us ever. The anesthesiologist gently asked me to count down from 10 and I was asleep.
Daddy told me the part that happened next. From the moment the doctor said "let's go!" to the moment they delivered you was only SIX MINUTES! These doctors and nurses were so gifted and we were blessed to have this team deliver you. You came out kicking and screaming, but only 2 lbs. 14 oz. Tiny and perfect with normal APGAR scores. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was in the delivery room to take you immediately to the 24-hour care you needed, but as they passed Daddy waiting nervously outside the doors, they let him hold you for about 30 seconds. He wanted to look at you forever!
After I woke up in the recovery room, Daddy told me all about you and showed me the pictures the thoughtful nurses took of you on our camera. Then on the way to my hospital room, they took me to see you for the first time in the NICU.
You stayed 33 very long days in the NICU where you grew strong and chunky enough to go home with us. Your journey home was quickened by all the prayers, positive thoughts, care, blessings, and love from all our family, friends, churches, nurses, doctors, and even strangers we'll likely never know.
Our daughter, our heart, our punkinhead. Unconditional love. Always.