This is going to be a looong post, but for those of you who wanted to know the whole story, here it is:
You see, I went in for what I hoped was going to be a normal 34 week appointment. Yes, we had been battling pre-term labor, but I had been on medications for it and so far, had not dilated at all, so we were doing good. Or so I thought.
At 30 weeks I got a really bad stomach bug and had to go to the hospital for IV's to stop throwing up. Then, the contractions started again, and it took them 2 shots of terbutaline to stop them so they kept me overnight. Fun. Then, a week later, the contractions started yet again so back to the hospital we go, and this time they sent me home with a pill version of terbutaline. So at my 32 week appointment, my doctor asked me how I'd been feeling, and I told her fine. Much better, just a few contractions here and there but otherwise fine. Apparently that was not a good answer because immediately she sent me to the sonogram room, just to "check on the baby." There we found baby was fine, but my amniotic fluids were low, apparently this can be a side effect of the preterm meds I have been on, or it could be a defective placenta, she said. She ordered me to drink at least a gallon of water every day and she would recheck me in two days. Two days later the fluids looked like they were back up, so she was pleased. Looks like it was the terbutaline dehydrating me, so they take me off the meds and opt for the lesser of two evils: at this point, preterm labor is safer than a dry amniotic sac. Cool, I can handle that. I'll chug water like a mad woman. Still she wanted to recheck me the next Monday. We go in to that appointment and the fluids are down again, not too bad, but not up where they should be. I get the "you;re not drinking enough water" lecture and for good measure, a steroid shot to help mature baby's lungs. She'll recheck me the next week- REST, WATER, GET UP ONLY TO PEE!!!! She said.
So here we go for the 34 week appointment, with my bladder full to exploding and my confidence up that I have done my very best mommy-job at resting, drinking water and getting up only to pee (with the wonderful help of my hubby, and phenomenal family and friends). I am ready to hear "All is well, see you next week" when suddenly, she says... "Go the the hospital, we need to take this baby out RIGHT NOW."
Please explain!, I begged her. "You're baby's fluids are gone and your contractions are back. If you go into full blown labor the contractions will kill her because she has NO FLUIDS protecting her. We have to get her out NOW." So, apparently, it was a bad placenta, not the terbutaline, and now an emergency C-Section was in order. I was contracting, too, so the baby might not make it. What? My long awaited for, precious baby girl? Might. Die? If she did make it, she would likely need to go to the NICU and be hooked up to machines, she warned me. I went into full-fledged panic mode. All I could do was pray.
My father-in-law (PawPaw) had taken me to the doctor as my hubby was at work, ironically at a baby shower for our little girl that the other teachers had surprised him with. PawPaw calls Chris and tells him the news as he drives me to the hospital. The entire time he reminds me God is in control, just pray and trust God. I want to scream but I know that will do no good, so instead I pray. (How else would you get through something like this without God? I cannot imagine.)
As they prep me, I prayed.
As I waited for an operating table, I prayed.
My husband arrived. We prayed.
Finally they wheel me in and start the meds. I prayed.
As they start to cut, I panic. I start crying and my husband starts praying for me.
Suddenly, I hear the words to a song I haven't heard in a long, long time. From the speakers? No, they are playing some elevator music. No, this was coming from INSIDE ME:
You are the treasure that I seek,
You are my all in all."
I started to bawl just as this unexplainable but definitive peace washed over me. God was there. In that operating room, with me. He was with my baby girl. He was with the doctors taking her out too early. He was being my strength when I was being weak.
When I am dry you fill my cup
You are my all in all."
I had fallen down, in a pit of fear and darkness. He was picking me up. I was dry, and they had to take my baby out too early. But He would fill my cup. He was all I needed, and in that moment, I knew I would be OK. I felt like she would too, hoped maybe. But I knew I would be ok. I relaxed and let the doctors do their thing, when I hear the MOST WONDERFUL SOUND IN THE WORLD...
Our baby was out and she was ALIVE!!!!! They whisked her away to check on her but I could HEAR her! She was alive!!! I started crying and thanking God, we made it over the first hurdle. They sewed me up and sent me to recovery.
Now the waiting began. Where was my baby?
They had taken her to check her vitals and breathing, etc. It seemed to take forever! Finally they brought her to us! There she was, our perfect, beautiful baby girl. All 5 lbs 6 ounces of her. 17 and 1/2 inches long. Sweet baby girl, our little Princess Ballerina. No breathing tubes, no machines, no IV's. Our little miracle.
The next week was just a little mini-roller coaster compared to the day we had on her birthday. She would lose weight, not eat, desaturate oxygen levels, etc. and we'd have to stay "one more day". Then she became jaundiced and had to lay in the billi table for 24 hours. (She looked like a glow-worm, we thought!) But after a week and a half, she had regained enough weight, mastered eating and gotten her color back enough to be sent home! (Granted, she was sent home with in-home nurse care, but still, we got to go home!) I know of so many couples whose babies' stories do not end like this. Some end tragically. Others, are still fighting, like a couple in our church whose twin boys were born at 28 weeks. (Please pray for Noah and Matthew!) So though it was terrifying, I am grateful to be through it.
Thank you Lord, for our baby girl. Thank you for providing your peace through the fear. Thank you for Our Little Miracle.