Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Her Birth Story

Although a surprise early birth was not in our plans, I rest in the unfailing truth that it was always in God's plan, and that His hand was divinely orchestrating every detail. 

I had every reason to be confident that this baby would be a healthy, full term baby.  I waited a "normal" amount of time before getting pregnant again.  I took my vitamins and drank water.  Every test and measurement for everything was normal: weight, blood pressure, glucose, baby, etc.  I was checked and measured almost weekly by the doctor and was cleared by the high-risk specialist.  There were no problems, no complications, no concerns. 

And yet, on Sunday, January 27th, I began to have contractions.  I changed positions, walked around, laid down, anything to try and make them go away, but it was no use.  They were coming and they were starting to get painful.  These were clearly not braxton hicks pains, and so we headed to the hospital.  Even though I knew it was still too early, I was surprisingly calm.  I told my husband that I was in labor, and we may very well be having the baby that night.  You see, with every other pregnancy I just did not feel contractions at all until I was very far along.  Way too far along to try and stop things.  This has led to very fast and dramatic births.  I was trying to prepare for this, as I feared I may be too far along by the time we got to the hospital.

This was not the case, however.  By God's grace, I was only 2.5 centimeters when we arrived, and I began to hope that maybe we could get the medicine in me in time and stop whatever was going on.  So that is exactly what my doctor tried to do.  Slowly, we began to see the contractions get further and further apart.  By Monday morning they had almost disappeared completely.

And so, I spent all day Monday drugged up in bed, so nauseous I could not sit up or even roll over.  I was not allowed to eat, so I did my best to sleep and remind myself that if this worked, it meant more time for the baby to grow and develop.

Unfortunately, early Monday evening, I began to feel contractions again.  I could tell they were starting to pick up and I began to suspect that labor was going to continue regardless of the medication.  I tried to tell the nurse about the change, but she didn't seem concerned.  I don't think she really understood what I was trying to tell her, which could be completely my fault considering the medicine I was on!    

About an hour later, alone in my room and feeling miserable, I felt something that I feared was my water breaking, so I once again called the nurse.  To my (and her) shock, I was covered in blood.  Everyone immediately set out to determine the cause and see if there was an infection or a placental abruption (very dangerous for me and the baby).  As my doctor did tests and watched my symptoms, one thing became clear: we had to deliver the baby.  And so, still unsure if we were dealing with a placental abruption or not, we began to prep for delivery and (if necessary) an emergency c-section. 

Thankfully, as labor progressed, it became clear that there was not a placental abruption, and at 10:21 p.m. on January 28th, I gave birth to our beautiful daughter.  Even though we did not want to deliver her so early, it was the easiest and calmest delivery by far!  And she came out breathing and crying and healthy, so we were incredibly relieved.

After she was born, we discovered that the placenta was insufficient and no longer functioning properly.  The doctor showed me how it was completely worn out and beginning to calcify, and described it as more of a 41 week placenta than 32 weeks.  Because of this, it is likely that our baby girl was not getting the nourishment that she needed, and so, for her good, my body went into labor.  Although it was not ideal to deliver early, it was actually the best decision for her.  We also discovered that it had begun to separate and tear, but thankfully had not led to a complete placental abruption.

It is so clear that God's hand was in every moment of my labor and her birth, that I am still in awe and praise Him everyday for His kindness to us.  The fact that I was able to get to the hospital as early as I did, the bleeding that led us to deliver and stop trying to delay the inevitable, and yet preventing a complete abruption that could have been fatal for me or the baby, as well as knowing that her early birth was actually for her good, remind me that He protected me and our baby throughout.

It is still difficult spending everyday in the NICU.  It is still difficult coming home and trying to explain to my four year old that her baby sister is still in the hospital.  And it is still difficult seeing families happily leaving the hospital with their newborn babies while I head home, yet again, without mine.       

But I am able to endure and persevere, because of His great love for me and His loving, sovereign control of all things.  And because I have been so unbelievably and richly blessed.

And one day soon, sweet girl, you will be home with your family, where you belong. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting the story. So thankful for God's grace carrying you through this. Continuing to pray for you all!