Wednesday, June 25, 2008

just another ordinary miracle day

Have I got a story for you.

Saturday afternoon I was sitting in the front yard, feet dangling in the baby pool while Asher splashed and poured. I hadn't felt well in several days, and I had this headache that wouldn't go away. But I thought, I'm carrying one full-grown baby in my belly and another on my hip in Alabama in June. How exactly is one supposed to feel? So, you know, whatever. My mom had called earlier in the day and asked if I was in labor, because her back was hurting. The only other time her back has ever hurt like that was when her sister was in labor. I told her to my knowledge, no, I wasn't in labor, I don't know why her back was hurting. Two hours later, I'm generally miserable and basting in the baby pool when it occurs to me that maybe I should check my blood pressure. Just in case.

I leave Asher in the yard with Brian and run up to the grocery store, to find that my blood pressure is 146/93. That's high enough to check with the doctor but not high enough to be alarmed, in my mind. The pharmacist told me I'm very pregnant, and it's very hot outside, so he really didn't think there was any reason to call my doctor. But I did anyway, because I'm just that paranoid with anything that concerns my children. I expect him to tell me to put my feet up and to keep my appointment on Monday. Instead, he says, "Why don't you stick your head in the door up here in labor and delivery? It's a quiet afternoon, and we'll just make sure everything's okay." I told Brian not to come with me. It didn't make any sense to drag the whole family to the hospital for a blood pressure check. But Brian went anyway, because he is a wise wise soul. I packed Asher's overnight bag in case it took longer than I expected to get home, and I threw the camera in my purse as an afterthought as we were walking out the door. Just in case.

So we go to hospital, I pee in a cup, they draw blood, and they hook up the monitors. For those of you who haven't had a baby, labor and delivery is a three ring circus. Seriously. You're in a huge room, mostly naked, with multiple nurses in the room all the time for unspecified reasons. Your baby is monitored, your belly is monitored, and your blood pressure and heart rate are monitored, automatically. The baby is fine, of course. I'm answering intake questions ("yes, I feel safe at home, no, I do not use drugs") when a nurse walks in and asks, "Are you having any pain?" My exact words were, "I mean, I'm cramping a little, but I'm not in labor or anything. I've been in labor before, and this isn't it." The nurses in the room with children all chuckle. One of the nurses says, "Let's check you. Just in case." So Asher and Brian go for a walk around the hallway while they check to see if I've dilated (there is absolutely NO dignity in childbirth, by the way. None at all). One nurse, and then another check me, look at each other, and don't saying anything to me. "What's going on?" I ask. The nurse says, "You're 5 centimeters dilated. You're in active labor." She walks into the hallway and says to Brian, "Do you have someone to watch your child? Because you're about to have a baby."

And that's how it happened. I walked in to have my blood pressure checked, and three hours later Silas was here. Brian's mom went to the movies, and if Laura had not wandered down the aisles until she found her, she would have missed the whole thing. Also, praise JESUS for Nick and Laura, who chased Asher in the waiting room until the grandparents arrived. Praise Jesus for a lot of things, actually.

Since his ultrasound, I have been convinced that something would happen during childbirth that would put Silas' life at risk. Convinced in my soul, the way you know who you'll marry, the way you know about a good melon. I tried to ignore it for a while, and then I completely gave in to anxiety for a while. I finally decided that I would trust God to take care of us, no matter what happened, and began to ask people to pray for his delivery. I am just as convinced now as I was then that my concerns were from God, and that those prayers were answered. It turns out that I was in the early stages of pre-eclampsia, but because I checked my blood pressure on a hunch, they were able to address it before it became serious. It also turns out that I was in labor without knowing it. If I had waited until I felt labor pains (which I finally did, just before they wheeled me in to surgery), I may have seriously had that baby in the car. It ALSO turns out that my just barely 37-week baby was almost 8 lbs, and had a 14 inch head. I'm so glad we decided ahead of time to do the cesarean. All of these conditions, combined with attempting a VBAC, could have become serious quickly. But all of the things that could have gone wrong, didn't. What happened instead is I gave birth to a perfectly ordinary, healthy baby boy. Sounds like a miracle to me.

8 comments:

Valerie said...

That is unbelievable. Seriously.

Mary said...

Wow. That is amazing. We are so happy for you and your family. It feels like yesterday you told us you were pregnant with Asher at Nick & Laura's old apartment over burgers and now look at your amazing family!

Lane says he thinks Silas looks exactly like you while Asher looks like Brian. I can't tell this early but either way, he is super cute.

The Review Lady said...

Ditto what Valerie and Mary said. Truly an amazing, unbelievable, beautiful birth story!

Rita Andrews said...

Praise be to God!!! Welcome to the world Mr Silas! Stephanie...so glad you are safe at home now with your bundle of joy! Still have your baby gift here....

Allison said...

Praise for a safe and healthy delivery...and especially for the urge to check your BP! What a gracious God we serve! Silas is just beautiful and you just look so cute in those photos! I never looked that good after birth!

I hope that whatever happens with our next baby, VBAC or no, I'll be as content that God will provide a safe, healthy birth. Thanks for sharing your story!

Elizabeth said...

Sounds like you had a little nudging from your guardian angel. Glad it all worked out.

Liz said...

what a great story with a very happy and cute ending! :)

The Bean said...

Well they say the second comes faster and easier than the first. Here's to that being true for you and hoping it goes as smoothly for me! Congrats!
He's Beautiful!!!