12 March 2010

This One's Personal

Just a small aside. This isn't meant as a "feel sorry for me" thing, or a "wow, I can't believe this happened" thing. It's meant to be a "God smacked me in the face with an astonishing event" thing. Let me know what you think...

Dear Friends,

Yesterday I posted a few random things that I love about my little kid-let. Today I would like to tell you a few things about how she came into the world. For this, I have to make a confession. I didn't want to be pregnant. Don't get me wrong. I wanted to have a baby. The only thing in this world I have ever been 100% certain of is that I wanted to be a mother (oh, yeah, and marry Josh. That was a 100% certainty, too. Can't leave that one out). I just didn't want to be pregnant. The idea of giving up my body to someone else for 9 months, give or take, just did not and still does not appeal to me. It was a means to an end. And I feel, and still do, guilty about it. I love Lexy more than anything in the entire world, she is my light and my breath. I know that my calling from God was to be a mother and I was given the blessing of Lexy to recognize it.

My pregnancy was decidedly average. I have come to the conclusion over the last few years watching friends have their own babies, that there are no "normal" pregnancies. So I say mine was average. Seeing the initial ultrasound and hearing her heartbeat at my checkups are really what kept me going through the months. I had zero cravings. Nothing. I had one episode of morning sickness, to which I say "Thank you Jesus". To all the mom's reading this that suffere with that, I will gladly come and watch your children so you can curl up in a ball and disappear if you ever need it. I had swollen ankles and was generally uncomfortable, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Further along in the pregnancy I had an ultrasound that the doctors told me might show that I had placenta previa, or a low lying placenta. Translation, I might have needed a c-section if it was an actual diagnosis. I received an additional ultrasound about 2 weeks before Lexy was born, and it ruled out anything abnormal. 2 days before she was born, the doctor told me that everything was fine and I would have no issues if I went into labor early. Wow, was he wrong.

The morning of December 30, 2007 I woke up at 5:00 a.m., went into the bathroom and proceeded to tell Josh that I thought my water had broken. According to the doctor on call, I was right. I was 6 weeks ahead of schedule. I had just had my baby shower and just finished my shopping. I had a crib but no dresser, things weren't washed and put away. That baby just didn't care. The doctor at the hospital told me that they were going to try and keep me in the hospital for at least a week. Again, boy, was he wrong.

Josh and I spent the day in the hospital with no fetal monitor, no internal check-up... nothing. Just bed rest. Around 7 p.m. I sent Josh home to get some rest. We had a stressful day and he was pretty beat. From there, things spiraled downwards. I kept telling the nurse that I didn't feel right and was feeling sick. Note to self, if there is a next time, sick means contraction. Eventually, I convinced the doctor and nurses that I was in labor. I got the lovely shot of terbutaline that did nothing but make me shake. Then, the resident finally checked everything out and the nurses made the immediate suggestion that I get Josh back immediately.

By the time Josh made it back to the hospital I was down in labor and delivery and ready to push. I still get to hold it over his head that he missed the entire labor process. Lexy came screaming into the world at 2:50 a.m. December 31. A New Years Eve baby. Completely unexpected. I could barely hold her, I was so tired, and the NICU team that was standing by took her and Josh straight downstairs. The only good thing about that was that I got to tell my father that he middle name is Marjorie, his mother's name. My middle name. Our family tradition. It was nice to have that private moment with my father.

From that point on things went downhill. Lexy was in the NICU on a breathing tube, a feeding tube, and all kinds of monitors. I didn't even get a chance to think about her because I was too busy focusing on the 3 hours contraction that I was experiencing. The resident that couldn't diagnosis my labor was busy (okay, this is gross) pulling out clot after clot of blood. 500cc, 250cc. All of these numbers that seemed really large. I blacked out once or twice, but I think I could still hear everything that was going on. I heard my mother, gosh it's good to have a nurse in the family, and the nurse (Ebony. She was AMAZING) conferring about what to do. Eventually that stalked out of the room and tracked down the attending physician. I think if my doctor hadn't had been in surgery, I wouldn't have had all the problems I had. Instead, when the attending checked me out I had lost so much blood and was so weak that when she told me I could close my eyes and rest, that things would be okay now, I actually asked her "If I close my eyes, will I wake up again?". I will never forget the look on her face. Shock at my understanding of the situation. I was bleeding to death.

I managed to make it through this whole process with no pain medication. I know, it amazes me too. I always said I would try, but never thought I could do it. I did it. And, somehow, I never cursed either. I didn't even cry until I was wheeled into surgery and the anesthesiologist asked me to pull my knees to my chest for an epidural. I couldn't move anything, I was so exhausted and sick. I started to cry. Did he seriously think I could voluntarily move anything? I mean, really. When was the last time this guy had gone through labor and a 3 hour contraction. Loser. And then I passed out.

When I came to, I learned the cause of all the drama. A second placenta. My body had arranged for twins or something strange and I couldn't be left to my own devices to take care of it. I had to go and try to bleed to death. I didn't get to see Lexy until later that evening. I didn't get to hold her until the next day. I got 15 minute intervals for days. I'll write about the NICU days at some other time.

The one good thing about the whole situation was that I knew the second I saw Lexy in the NICU, lying in that incubator with all those tubes and wires, that I was completely connected to that little girl. I had no fears, no feeling of doubt about being a mother, nothing at all. My only concern was getting her better and taking her home.

I still have those feelings of guilt about not wanting to be pregnant. So many women want children and are desperate for pregnancy and there I was ambivilent about the whole arrangement. I know God brought me through those 13 days of Lexy being in the NICU with strength, and hopefully some dignity, to be Lexy's mom. I am so proud that I'm her mother.


  1. Wow. I never knew the story of her birth. That is amazing what you both went through. So glad you both made it. Never feel guilty about how you felt at that time, they are feelings for a reason. And that doesn't make you any less of a mother! =)


  2. sister, how did you make it through that pain without cursing or crying? i felt like cursing and crying just reading about your pain!:) your writing is wonderful, keep it up, sister!

  3. Thank you for this. You are one brave gal. And I knew that. But it's good to read the details on this. I knew about the blood, but not the second placenta. Man, our bodies do such strange things sometimes. It's frightening. Try not to let your guilt/ambivalence about pregnancy nag at you. It's easier said than done, but rest assured I think it's totally normal. I really want children, too, but I would look forward to the end product and would just hope that those nine months went as quickly as possible, because all I can foresee is discomfort at best. I think you are in the same boat as a lot of other women.
    These posts are great, keep it up.

  4. Sweet G -

    I'm not sure about the not cursing thing. I had the option of an epidural, if I could "be still through 3 rounds of contractions" Yeah, right. So no drugs. Lots of screaming. Or loud grunting. And then, following, for about 3 hours one straight stream of "I can't do this anymore" and "make it stop". I know the people there were concerned about me, but it must have been seriously annoying and totally obnoxious.

    Shelley - I love you.