Your Birth Story
My dear sweet Emma Claire - you are 5 years old. My how time has flown by. I can still remember clearly the night my water broke with you at 32 weeks. It was around midnight on Wednesday, August 25th, it was just a "trickle" not the gush you see in the movies, and I was completely unsure of what was happening. I went into your nursery (so as not to wake your daddy) all pretty and clean and ready for you. I called my doctor and by then I felt light contractions 3 minutes apart. They told me to come in and I vividly remember laughing, because that is how I handle fear. Trembling, I woke up your daddy and told him we needed to get to the hospital. The next little while is a complete blur, except for the Magnesium they gave me to stop the contractions - that feeling I will never forget - it was like my blood was boiling! Horrible, but it held off your birth for 2 days, long enough for the steriod to strengthen your lungs, and for that it was completely worth it. So for a day and a half I laid in bed, hooked up to the monitor, not able to eat anything, for fear that I may have to go into surgery soon. At some point I had a really hard contraction all of a sudden, and as the lines on the contraction part got higher and higher, your heart rate got lower and lower. I remember being scared to death - a herd of nurses ran in and put an oxygen mask over my face and laid me back - you soon picked up, but it was very scary! The next morning, I remember the Dr. on-call telling me that if that happened again, they would take the baby - they called it a "Titanic Contraction" because it lasted so long. Your little body couldn't take it. On Friday, I remember then bringing the portable ultrasound machine in and doing an ultrasound right there in my room - the fluid levels looked okay and you measured a whopping 5 lbs 4 oz!!!! Later Friday afternoon on the 27th, I had another "titanic contraction", even bigger and the same thing happened again. This time, when the Dr. came back it was to inform me that I was being prepped for an emergency c-section - they just thought you would be much safer outside me, than within me. The Dr. who was on-call, was familiar to me and I knew he was a Christian. He asked if I had any questions and I just asked him to go outside and pray with my family that was standing outside the door - I was okay, but I knew that they were not.
Then came the rush of nurses to prep me, give me the horrible, bitter antacid, IV, and SPINAL!!!!! I remember the horrible involuntary shaking that started - my whole body was trembling and I couldn't stop it - turns out this happened going in with each c-section, and though I told myself and everyone around me I wasn't nervous, I guess you really can't hide that. The c-section went well, and you came out meowing like a cat - I really did ask Will if there was a cat in the room after you were born - such a sweet little cry! You weighed 5 lbs 2 oz (way to go sonogram!) and were 18 inches long - nearly off the charts for a 32 week baby! You were breathing fine, but they let me see you and whisked you away to the NICU, where you remained for the next month. THAT month was a hard month - you were not a sick baby, especially compared to some of the other preemies, but I could not take you home or nurse you or bathe you and that was hard. But as with all hard times in life, it drew me closer to God, made me rely on only Him, for I could do you no good at this point. Your life was in His hands, He alone has your days numbered and I knew at that point my job was to love you and care for you and lead you to Him. Becoming a mother is a sobering experience - you realize the extent of what it truly would mean to give your life for another, for I would have given mine up for you, sweet angel.
You had to go 7 days straight and fulfill the following things: (1) keep your body temperature up on your own, (2) have no bradycardia (heart rate drops), and (3) eat on your own and gain weight. You started out slow - you had a feeding tube the first day, but then they took it out and let you try a little on your own, you slowly began to take 2 cc's, then 5 cc's, then 10 cc's of breast milk. You were a pretty good eater (and still are) so that was never our main issue. I don't remember much about your body temperature, so that must have not been much of an issue either. As for the heart rate drops - well, let's just say,you would often make it to day 5 or 6 with none and then BAM, you would have one. So disheartening to think you MIGHT get to go home, then we had to start all over! They finally did a Barium swallow study on you and realized you had Reflux. They put you on Reglan and you never had an episode again - you got to come home! At this point, I don't think I had ever heard you cry, except for the "meowing" you did in the OR, but once you got home - you apparently missed that cozy incubator - b/c you were a little "trying" that first 3 months. I didn't mind a single minute of it - I was so glad to finally have you home. And then you turned into the most beautiful, graceful, sweet, responsible, silly little girl I have EVER met.
I love you, Emma Claire, my firstborn and only daughter, with all my heart.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.