"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." -- Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV)
Friday, January 13, 2012
Five years ago I was living in a hospital room, hugely pregnant and with great anxiety and expectation. I had been on strict bed rest for about 7 weeks at this point.
I had complete placenta previa and when it was first diagnoses at about 16 weeks into my pregnancy, I was told that bed rest was a certainty as well as a c-section since there was no other way for the baby to get out with the placenta blocking the birth canal. Later, my OBs told me that I lasted much longer before I had any bleeding (which indicated that the placenta was tearing away from my uterus - this is bad). Anyway, on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving I experience my first bit of bleeding. I was at 29 weeks. Naively, I headed to the hospital where I was immediately checked in and told that in no uncertain terms was I to get out of bed. For 2 days I lay in that shared room (only for the first couple of days, then I got a room to myself), miserable, stressed (about baby and my job (I had driven myself to the hospital, blithely telling my bosses that I'd "see [them] tomorrow." Ha! Little did I know.)).
Mercifully, one of the peri-natologists relented and allowed me to get up to use the potty. One week after arriving I was sent home with instructions to stay in bed except to use the potty. I was allowed 1-2 showers per week.
My Beau was awesome. He set up a table next to the bed, brought up my computer to the table and I was able to function pretty well there from bed. I did 100% of our Christmas shopping that year online. I hand addressed all of the Christmas cards and I think I may have hand written notes in most of them, too. I even wrapped many of the gifts in bed.
And then I had more bleeding, two weeks after arriving back at home, so into the hospital I went again and this time I was in for the duration. This time I was more prepared for being in the hospital since I already knew what to expect. After a few days I was again able to get up to use the bathroom and shower.
Interestingly, most of my memories are wonderful and fond. I was visited every day. My husband came every day. My mother came several times a week. Our small group friends came frequently - our small group leader is a surgeon so he would visit me almost every morning when he was there to do his rounds. His wife was wonderful to visit often as well. Folks brought me food from outside. I watched a lot of TV, read some, slept a lot.
Beau and I celebrated our first anniversary (New Year's Eve) in Labor & Delivery - I experience my third bleeding that night and we spent 36 scary and uncomfortable hours in L&D. The nurses there were great though. They were cheerful and encouraging and very much doing everything they could to ensure that my baby did not arrive early. I am grateful for their hard work that night. Things settled down and I was sent back to the high risk pregnancy unit to continue my extended stay.
Two more weeks passed. I was now 36 weeks. My docs wanted to get to at least 34 weeks and we had done it. Now they were hoping I could get to 37 weeks. But alas, 36 was the magic number.
It was a Sunday night. Beau and I had watched the Redskins play in a playoff game that evening. I dozed off to sleep, but awoke at about 1am because I was bleeding. And this time it was scary bleeding.
Thinking back on it, it all reminds me of an ER episode. I pressed the call button, telling the nurse I was bleeding. Seconds later 2 nurses came in, took one look and called for reinforcements. I heard one say they were calling my doctor right away. I knew this was it and asked for the phone so that I could call Beau. I can't remember if I called my mom or if he did. The rest is sort of a blur but about 90 minutes passed.
Next thing I remember is being wheeled into the OR and being prepped for the c-section. Beau came in. People were bustling about. My doctor arrived (she was about 5 months pregnant at that time, too. Bless her.) Things had sort of been quiet, so I asked Beau, "Have they started yet?" There was laughter from several people and the nurse at my head said, "Honey, they started about 10 minutes ago. Your baby is about to be pulled out!" Beau looked green and laughed in disbelief - he's a bit squeamish and as he tells it there was a lot of blood where the doctor was working.
Then she pulled out our baby. "It's a boy!" she confirmed what we already knew. The nurses bundled our preemie to the scale and then there were more chuckles. He was a large preemie at 7lb 5 oz. He was 19" long. And we was born right on the dot of 3am on January 16, 2007.
Happy birthday my precious boy. Thank you for the joy, giggles, kisses, and hugs you gift us with every day. Every moment of every day I am grateful that God chose to gift us with you. I love you.