Thanks for joining me today for my little carnival of remembering. If you want to link up, you can read the details and grab the button here.
This is the first time I’ve ever written this story.
For months after my third child was born, I told it over and over to anyone who would listen. I think I was trying to purge myself of painful memories, doubt and guilt.
Then I read in some parenting magazine that women who tell their traumatic birth stories again and again need to let it go.
And so I did.
Until now. I stumbled upon this picture the other day (meeting my daughter for the first time) and I want to tell you the story.
After God did a miracle in my marriage, I started dreaming of having another baby. A third child. We already had a girl and boy and thought we were done.
But then, we fell in love again. And it just seemed right to create a baby from our new union.
I got pregnant right away, but that precious baby flew to the arms of Jesus.
Several months later, I conceived again. I was very sick from the beginning and spent almost the entire summer in bed, watching my six and four year old play in the backyard from my window.
My pregnancy was a nightmare. I faced serious problems throughout from a kidney stone, among other complications. During my pregnancy, I was seen by 5 specialists, took 14 rounds of antibiotics, and had a medical procedure by a Urologist when I was 27 weeks pregnant without anesthesia.
At 32 weeks, they diagnosed my baby with a failure to thrive and decided to deliver her.
I went through hours of labor and developed a fever from the infection that wracked my body and she was delivered by emergency c-section.
It was terrifying. I remember being rushed down the hall and the panic that surrounded me. And do you know how I felt? Even in that moment of terror, I was simply relieved that my hellish pregnancy was ending.
My hubby nearly missed the whole surgery because he had gone to Walmart for slippers. (Yeah, about six months after my baby was born, we argued about that!)
My tiny daughter was born and whisked away to the Neonatal Intensive Care because she wasn’t breathing well and they were considering transporting her to a hospital downtown.
I sent my hubby to be with her. He stayed by her side the entire night, praying.
She was born on Dec. 16th. Part of her name is Grace, to remind us of God’s grace to our marriage. I spent my birthday and my anniversary in the hospital. She stayed through Christmas and New Year’s.
Guilt was my friend during my hospital stay. I felt terrible for wishing for her early birth and scared that she wouldn’t make it because of my body’s inability to sustain her in utero.
I could write a post just about holding her for the first time, she was nearly a week old and another post about the NICU experience.
The night that I will remember forever was Christmas Eve. We were home trying to make things ‘normal’ for our other kids. It was bedtime and we got a call from the hospital. Our baby had taken a turn for the worse and they wanted us to come.
My Mom slept on my sofa and my Dad went with us to the hospital.
It was the most difficult night of my life, watching my tiny baby stripped naked, hooked to wires, fighting for her life. My Dad laid hands on her and prayed.
And I cried.
Nothing else mattered at that moment. Not the car I drove, the decor in my home or the money in the bank.
It was about life and not losing it. And about me, giving God my child.
That was hard.
She stabilized and we made it home just in time for Santa to fill the stockings.
I fought back the tears while my children unwrapped presents. At one point, my daughter said, “Are you sad, Mommy?”
My son piped in, “She’s just happy because Santa gave her just what she wanted: a baby.”
I hugged my kids and sobbed.
We spent Christmas afternoon at the hospital and every day after that until our baby came home.
We learned CPR and she stayed on a heart monitor until she was six months old.
We returned to celebrate her one year anniversary at the hospital and delivered gifts for the NICU babies and treats for the doctors and nurses (we hope to make this an annual visit).
And here she is today, a healthy handful and a true reminder of God’s Grace.
I don’t let her cry as much as I should and I spoil her too often. But when you come so close to losing someone so precious, it stays with you forever.
Food for the Soul:
I Cor. 15:10 “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.”