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Miracle – Part 1

November 29, 2007

Nine years ago today a miracle happened.

It started in a not-so-miraculous way. I had a month left to go in my pregnancy and things had been very uneventful to that point. My in-laws (now ex) were in town for the holiday and we all made a trip to the local Wally World to get some last-minute items. While we were there someone suggested that we all try out the blood pressure tester, so we did. Imagine my surprise when I registered 160/110. I thought for sure the machine was broken, so I had my husband (now ex) try it out. He took his three times in a row and got a different reading each time, so I rolled with the “machine is broken” theory.

Still, it nagged at me a little. I was getting very swollen–none of my shoes fit except one pair of cheap canvas sneakers without the laces–and I just didn’t feel like myself. My husband suggested that we swing by the hospital… just in case. He was military, so “swinging by” the hospital meant going to the ER and hoping that someone would be there who understand what was happening. We went. When we arrived, my blood pressure was up to 165/115 and I was told to lay on my left side and wait. We waited… a long time.

At the end of that long wait, the hospital decided to admit me for observation. I was mortified. My in-laws were there. The next day was Thanksgiving. I could NOT be stuck in a hospital while they cooked their own bird! It just could NOT happen! The nice folks at the hospital disagreed and gently, but firmly, admitted me. My husband called his folks and told them to make themselves comfortable, that we would spending the night at the hospital.

When the morning rolled around, my blood pressure had gone down a little, and they sent me home with a urine collection jug (outstanding experience — if you have never been through collecting urine for a 24-hour-period, you simply MUST try it), strict orders for bed rest, and an order to come back in on Friday with the 24-hour urine so they could check it all out again. Awesome. So I was home, but my in-laws were still cooking their own bird, with help from my husband, while I lounged around on the couch. If you know me at all, you know that laying around on the couch is NOT my thing, particularly when there is work to be done. I was going out of my mind.

The next day I took my happy little jug and myself back to the ER to be re-evaluated. I brought my husband and my Day Planner. The OB that was on call, the most wonderful OB ever on the earth, was the one to do the re-evaluation. Turns out I had all of the diagnostic criteria for severe pre-eclampsia. Fabulous. He patiently explained all of the criteria to me, and explained why they were concerned about it.

He ordered an ultrasound to check on the status of the amniotic fluid, and then told me the words I was dreading… “We need to deliver you.” While he had been optimistic (prior to the re-check of my blood pressure, which had gone up to 185/120, and the evaluation of the 24-hour urine which contained a boatload of protein) about keeping the little bun in the oven for another couple of weeks (I was only 35 weeks along at that point), he had since decided that it was time.

I didn’t really understand the statement. I’m a planner. I had a birth plan all drawn up. I had not finished the nursery yet. My Mom was not in town for the delivery like she was planning to be. Most importantly, I had not penciled this event into my Day Planner. I reached for the Day Planner, flipped it open and thumbed through to the following week.

“Great,” I said. “Which day is good for you?”

The OB smiled a little smile, took my hand in his and said, “Today is good for me. More importantly, today is good for you.”

“Oh no,” I replied. “Today is NOT good for me. I don’t have my birth plan. I haven’t even packed a bag.”

Still smiling, he said, “Sorry about the bag. We’re having this baby… TODAY.”

I was in shock. Truth be told, I was excited to meet this little boy that had been growing in my belly for eight months. I longed to hold him, to meet him face to face, to see what he looked like, to count his tiny fingers and toes. I was already madly in love, and I was so looking forward to bringing him into the world. But I wasn’t ready TODAY! And now I wasn’t just not ready, I was scared, too.

When the ultrasound machine arrived, my hands were sweaty and my eyes were wide. I was nervous about the blood pressure, and feeling a little woozy from the Mag Sulfate they had hooked up to my arm. I was freaked out by the word “induction” and even more freaked out by all of the horror stories I’d heard about having babies in military hospitals. But the OB (did I mention that he was the most wonderful OB ever on the earth?) was cool, calm, and collected. He fired up the machine and began to scan my belly.

He commented about the amount of amniotic fluid left (plenty), commented about how tiny the little guy was (less than five pounds, he estimated), and then he rolled it to just the right spot and I could see his face…

Big as life…

Clear as day.

At that very moment, the fear melted away.

I stared in awe at that little face that, even on a grainy ultrasound screen, looked a little like me. I stopped caring, that second, about needles, or having too many people in the room, or how long it would take, or how much it would hurt, or whether it was written in my Day Planner, or whether I had a wipe warmer, or whether I could follow my birth plan. Everything else in the world ceased to matter. I felt a rush of emotion. I felt tears sting my eyes, and I said this prayer:

“God, I know you’re in control of this. Please take care of my baby. I know you have a plan and I know that you know that I don’t know what it is. I’m really scared. I so desperately want to meet him… and hold him… and see him grow up. Please be with him. Let him know I love him. Let him be healthy.”

And peace washed over me.

To be continued…

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2007 11:55 am

    I can totally see myself trying to schedule a birth in my Day Runner too! “Sorry, kid…2 AM doesn’t work for me, but how does 9 AM tomorrow sound?”

  2. November 29, 2007 12:38 pm

    All choked up…to be continued.

  3. November 29, 2007 12:44 pm

    Ohhhhhhh Little Man!!!! What a wonderful post!!! Looking forward to Part 2.

  4. Lynda permalink
    November 29, 2007 3:18 pm

    Not fair making me cry at work…looking forward to part 2.

  5. November 29, 2007 5:28 pm

    I’m all choked up, too. Thanks for sharing this….looking forward to the rest of the story.

  6. November 30, 2007 1:17 pm

    Smirking Cat – Yes, the bane of my existence, my need to organize and schedule. Actually, come to think of it, it’s not so much the bane of MY existence as it is the bane of everyone else’s existence. Ha!

    Donna, Daisy, Lynda, Little Wren – Thanks. Hope you liked Part 2 just as much. Part 3 to follow on Monday.


  1. Miracle - Part 2 « In this house, I’m the Mama…
  2. My Favorites Meme « In this house, I’m the Mama…

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