Saturday, May 12, 2012

Delivering sweet babies and memories ...

How well I remember the three times in my life I heard the words, "Your pregnancy test is positive."  What a joy and blessing to know we were going to be parents!

Rewind to my teen years ... I had no idea a battle with endometriosis was being waged inside me.  It seems to have begun shortly after I turned 13 and continued attacking my female organs for 10 years.  That's when, four years into our marriage, I was not able to get pregnant and finally made an appointment with a new gynecologist in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

He immediately suspected endometriosis and talked with me quite awhile in his office.  Seems his wife had suffered with the same problem and despaired of ever having children.  Her symptoms sounded just like mine, along with dozens of other women he treated for endometriosis.  Thankfully, after they adopted two children, his wife got pregnant and later delivered a healthy baby.  So, if I was not pregnant within six to nine months, he recommended surgery to further diagnose and treat the problem.

"You're still young," he told us.  "Give yourself time, and you'll probably have a houseful of children."  Thank the Lord for good doctors and successful surgeries -- we were able to conceive and bear three precious children, each a gift from God.

Melissa, born May 24, 1980

Dearest daughter, you were our first!  Your Daddy and I had taken Lamaze classes and were prepared for a long labor, but you surprised us.

I had a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions before the "real" ones settled in, but it was about midnight on May 23rd that we knew you were on your way.  It was 2:00 a.m. on the 24th that I called the doctor.

Funny thing, I remember apologizing for waking him up.  He said "No problem, that's my job, and I'd rather wake up to deliver a baby than anything else I know."  He also encouraged us not to be in a big rush as this was our first baby.   He then said to wait awhile 'til my labor contractions were 2 minutes apart and then "just mosey on over to the hospital."

We  drove to the hospital about 2:45, but sat in the parking lot another 45 minutes or so.  I didn't want to spend any more time than necessary waiting around.  So, I walked into the hospital with Phillip and we rode the elevator up to labor and delivery.

The  nurse who greeted us asked, "You are in labor and you *walked* in? "  I also remember she hustled me into a gown and bed so she could check me.  Moments later, she told Phillip if the doctor didn't hurry, she might have to deliver you with your Daddy's help! After another hour or so, they wheeled me across to the delivery room.

At 5 a.m. on May 24th, they put you on my tummy and let me see you up close for the very first time.  What a wonderful experience it was to touch you and watch you settled against me.  I remember the way you looked into my eyes and stared at me like you knew me..  We'd been told a baby can hear its mother's voice during the seventh, eighth and ninth months of development -- and your quiet study of my face as I talked was proof.  You knew your Mommy's voice!

What a joy to hold you in our arms and thank the Lord for you, sweetie.  Your Daddy had tears in his eyes when he prayed over us that morning.  He loved holding you gently in his strong arms and talking to you.  Though you looked very tiny to us, you weighed a healthy seven pounds and ten ounces.  What a beautiful baby you were, and how happy we were to be your parents!

Jason, born June 1, 1982
Jason, we felt just as excited (but also a little nervous) the second time around.  You were very active inutero and seemed to be in a big hurry to get here.  ;-)

From the time I felt we needed to head to the hospital until I first held you in my arms, my contractions were almost overwhelming.  I'm thankful for the training we had in Lamaze, because it kept me focused on the process and helped me to relax a bit.  On the way to the hospital, however, I did remind your Daddy to slow down for the bumpy railroad tracks!

I didn't walk in this time - - we pulled up to the ER entrance as someone grabbed a wheel chair.  An orderly rushed me upstairs to Labor and Delivery while your Daddy parked the car.  He signed me in, was handed a hospital gown and mask and located me in the labor room.  I needed him, because he was my labor coach and side-kick for our second delivery.

What a nice surprise it was to see the same nurse that cared for me when your sissy was born.  I think Nurse Mize was as excited to see us as we were to see her!  After Dr. Bohannon arrived and examined me, he said I was indeed "moving right along."  That was about 5:30.  When they wheeled me across to deliver, I glanced at the clock.  It was 6:28 when we got there and at 6:32 -- just four minutes later, you were wailing loudly and flailing those long arms and legs of yours! 

Dr. Bohannon carried you to the nursery to weigh you himself and came back grinning. "An even 88!"   Then he winked and said, "Eight pounds, eight ounces." I remember him holding my hand and telling me how proud he was of me for doing well in delivery.  Yikes, I didn't do much of anything but hang on for the ride!  Dr. Bohannon said it was like you were on a greased slide and declared, "There was no stopping him!" 

It was a joy to keep you in our room at the birthing center.  Mrs. Polly, head of the nursery, grinned and reported, "That boy has a set of good, strong lungs - every time he wakes up, he wakes all the other babies up, too."  Your Daddy spent that night with me, then we headed home the very next day.  I was anxious to get back home to your 2-year old sister, Melissa.
The photo above shows me holding you about an hour or so after you were born. 

Kevin, born January 10, 1986

Kevin, we were so very excited about our pregnancy and were anxious to introduce you to your big brother and sister.  I loved being pregnant again, but I found that almost four years between my second and third pregnancies meant I was a little older and needed to rest more often. 

We also had a feeling you would zoom into our lives faster  than the first two babies.  My gynecologists, Drs. Gilbert and Vallejos, told us that with my first two deliveries being quite fast, I was not to hesitate getting to the hospital when  contractions set in.  "Unless," Dr. Gilbert warned with a wink, "you want to deliver this one in the car." 

We lived in northeastern corner of Kentucky at the time, and our doctors were across the state line in West Virginia, 45 minutes away.  When I woke at 2:00 a.m. on January 10 with hard cramping, we felt sure I would deliver that day.  As things progressed, a babysitter came at 5:00 so we could head to the hospital.

Instead of feeling I was making progress, I felt a lot of pain in the right side of my back and was very nauseated.  Dr. Vallejos, who was on call for the team, checked me over, then everything slowed down.  So we waited.  Later, when my contractions got stronger, something just didn't feel right.  I started crying and told your Daddy I wanted to go home.  In other words, I was ready to quit!  Of course that wasn't an option, so I dug in and started pushing anyhow.

Suddenly Dr. Vallejos called out, "STOP PUSHING."  I told him I couldn't stop, but he said it again and added quietly, "We have a problem."  Your Daddy saw you slip into the doctor's hands, but he also knew you were in trouble.  There was a blue tint to your skin and the umbilical cord was tightly coiled around your little neck.  The doctor was working to get the cord clipped so you could breathe. What a blessing when, moments later, I heard a faint little cry. 

Once I'd gotten a glimpse of you, all I wanted to do was hold you close to my heart.  It was difficult to see you being worked over to make sure you were breathing properly.  I couldn't help crying when they whisked you away to a room across the hall to run some tests and check you more closely.  This was not like my first two deliveries -- I hadn't even gotten to touch you or cuddle you on my chest -- and they took you away!

About 30 minutes later, a nurse brought you back in and said all the tests showed you were out of danger and everything was going to be fine.  What a relief!   For the next few hours, your Daddy and I settled into a lovely visit with you and introduced ourselves properly.  You weighed 8 lbs., 6 ounces and were a mighty good-looking little fellow! 

I love my three kiddos, and on this Mother's Day, I celebrate each one of them.  What a privilege it is to be your Mom!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Nan....simply beautiful.
    Your writing and your photos.
    Happy (belated) Mother's Day to you!!!


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