16 March 2005

my daughter's story

It is the details that make each story unique.
This is my daughter's story…

My pregnancy was really quite normal. I did not gain excess weight, and I measured exactly as I should have practically every week. I counted any extra discomfort towards it being a second pregnancy and chasing a 3 year old around. As my due date approached, my pelvic bone began to feel intensely bruised so that even rolling out of the bed was nearly impossible and my body was physically fatigued, more extreme than I recalled from before. My due date passed…but, I figured I was really due 4 days later anyway…then, that day passed as well. I was going to my weekly prenatal appointments with increasing awe that I was indeed still pregnant.

At one point, my father reminded me that the Lord would call my baby forth from my womb at the appointed time. In that moment, my anxiety was replaced by peace. I knew God was in control and remember saying that He already knew the details of my child’s delivery. I could trust in Him, rest in Him. And I did.

Finally, hoping to prevent medical induction, we allowed them to strip my membranes. More than 2 days later, in the midst of a horrible cold, I went into labor at last. I was now 8-12 days overdue. By the time I arrived at the hospital I was already in transition. When it was time to push, I was physically weak from the cold and simply told the Lord I would not be able to push for 4 hours as I had with my son. Roxanne, my midwife, encouraged me to change positions several times and things were moving so smoothly it was incredible. I’m not sure how I pushed so efficiently, but it took only 30 minutes. As she crowned, I felt her head, and as her head emerged, my husband was gloved and ready to help ‘catch’ our new baby. I had a friend along taking pictures and my mom was by my side. I was so ready to meet this little person who’d been living inside me.

I must insert here that in the waiting room, my mother had felt a pressing need to pray…pacing the floors for some time. She then joined me in the delivery room for a good bit of the pushing, though I have no recollection of when that was.

Suddenly things changed. Part of it I remember like a slide show, the rest of the details have been filled in for me over time, and I still glean new information weekly…

What I recall:
~Absolute peace. It never left me.
~Nurses on my stomach, extra people everywhere.
~Sudden awareness that my baby’s shoulder was stuck behind my pelvic bone—I’d read about this…shoulder dystocia.
~Asking if I could get on all fours as my reading had informed me that this was the easiest way to dislodge the baby. I was told no (by a nurse). Roxanne later told me we were simply out of time for that, but she was at that moment contemplating such a move.
~Roxanne briefly informing me of the need for an episiotomy. Snip. Small sting. Elbow up, CUT-CUT-CUT-CUT-CUT…
~Beginning to hyperventilate from the constant pushing; telling myself to pull it together because I had to get my baby out now. A couple deep cleansing breaths and push
~Tug. Pull. Push. From every direction.
~My mother telling me I had a girl. Wow.
~Being informed that my new baby girl weighed 11lbs 3 oz…I actually thought they were joking. They weren’t.
~A different midwife delivering my placenta. My midwife is better at it.

What I have since learned:
~Roxanne called some kind of code.
~Once the baby’s head is out, you have five minutes to get the rest of it out. We used every bit of those five minutes.
~Someone was running down the hall shouting “We need a doctor STAT!”
~There was actually a nurse on my bed pushing to dislodge my baby and at least one more on the other side helping. One of them tore a tendon in her wrist.
~No one knows just how many people were in the room helping.
~My baby was not breathing when she was born because she was stunned from the birth.
~There are many layers of repair with a level four episiotomy; and many weeks of recovery.
~If I had complained more to the midwives, it may have tipped them off that my baby was big. And I was simply trying not to whine. Figures.

Our daughter was as crowded by nurses as I had been. One nurse told me they needed to monitor her for a while. If all was okay, she would be brought to me later, otherwise they’d have to put her in NICU. I held her for all of two minutes, I think, before she was whisked out of the room. Everything was surreal during this time, arms bare of my new baby girl, adjusting to the shock of our experience. Yet the peace did not leave me. God was still in control.

My little girl has a Brachial Plexus Injury from being lodged behind my pelvic bone during the birth. This means some of the nerves to her arm were damaged. At this time, we do physical therapy every day at home and with a professional once a week. I will blog on this in the ensuing months as it has embarked us on a journey we never could have imagined. We pray the journey is short and simple, but in truth it could be long and drawn out. At this point, we do not know where it will take us. What we do know is we must pray. And God indeed knows the details that lie ahead. We must continue to trust and rest in Him.

In the meantime, Miss C is doing well. She is overall a very content baby, adored by her big brother, and is as perfect as any baby can be. She has absolutely captured our hearts and we know she was exactly who the Lord knew we needed in our family. On one hand, her life was in the balance for a few minutes during her birth, and on the other hand, I know God had her completely in His hands and never let her go. She was absolutely intended to be here. He has a plan for her. I know this deep inside. And it brings tears to my eyes. God is so good.


bekah said...

You have captured and shared the story beautifully. If anyone is to be traumatized it is YOU and yet I am the one whining about that. I think you are amazing. That's all I can say.

Mandy said...

I so appreciate your willingness to tell this story! Praying for you and Charlotte on your journeys!