Monday, June 27, 2011
Memories of Birth, Teale, part one
December 9th, 1998 started out as any other day. I had "made it" to 35 weeks in my high risk pregnancy after a scare just two weeks earlier. My husband had overreacted and called an ambulance because I had woken up bleeding. At the hospital it was determined I "just" had an infection and I was sent home on high doses of antibiotics. The goal was to make it to at least 35 weeks and I had made it, without a hitch. That day I had an appointment with the doctor who would be doing the gastroschisis repair on my baby after her birth. The meeting was to determine a final plan for her birth, we would pick a date for me to be induced. Because the baby was in need of surgery right after birth, all ducks needed to be in a row. The team of specialists needed to be available and ready to go as soon as I delivered. Although a bit more tricky than a "normal" birth, it was still determined it was unnecessary to plan a cesarian birth for this baby. Cesarians are major surgery and would be a much tougher recovery me. I was going to need my strength, as this baby would be in the NICU far longer than I would be at the hospital. So Mark and I had weighed the pros and cons by researching and talking to our team of doctors. We had decided I would be induced about two weeks early, in the controlled environment of the hospital, so I could be monitored carefully. This plan was helpful to many people, as Mark and I ran in home daycare and our daycare families could make plans also. December 9th was just like any other day, I woke feeling great and ran our in home daycare with Mark, except for the appointment time with our surgeon to pick our delivery date. We would induce on December 30th, 1998. The kids would be off from school, my daycare families were able to find other help or take some time off fairly easily. The days were moving fast at this point in the pregnancy. They were filled with specialists appointments, ultrasounds, steroid injections to increase the babies lung growth and counseling for Mark and I to discuss our fears for this baby and ourselves. We continued running our busy in home day care and of course taking care of our active three year old son, Beau. As we said goodbye to our last daycare family on December 9th, I leaned against the wall and took what I thought was just a stronger braxton hicks contraction, it took my breath. I had been having braxton hicks many times while working my long ten hour day. This one was stronger though, different from the others. The family I was saying goodbye to was a close friend, we had gotten closer with our caring for her daughter. Over the two plus years of care she had separated from her husband and we had done much with her and her daughter outside of the daycare. Beau and her daughter were close in age and both of them were very active kids, enjoying being on the go often. That night a friend of ours was singing Christmas carols with his Barber Shop group and we were debating going when the "braxton hicks" took my breath away. I hadn't felt great for the last part of the afternoon, my stomach had been off, needing the bathroom again, I told Mark and my friend I thought I just wanted to stay home tonight. The snow was falling outside and the couch with a book and a cup of tea in front of a fire and the Christmas tree seemed ideal. So there I sat with a blanket over me, wondering if I was getting sick. I was needing the bathroom over and over again and the "braxton hicks," I was now questioning. I felt "off" as I called my friend who had had four children. We discussed what was going on and decided after a few hours of symptoms that "this might be it." I wasn't very sure, the pain was tolerable and to tell the truth, I just wanted to stay home on this snowy night. The thought of going into the hospital and sitting around for hours, just to be sent home was not in the least bit appealing. I wasn't ready, I couldn't be having this baby, could I?