Jeremiah 29:11

Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Cup Runneth Over

Today is a special day because one year ago, on April 15, 2012, we found out that we were expecting. I was 3 weeks, 2 days pregnant. I have been debating for a while whether or not to write a follow-up post on this blog. Although I know it can be hard to read about pregnancy and birth, I decided to proceed in order for my devout followers that I do not know personally to read how my story unfolds. Even some of you who do know me personally, don't know the full story. If you are sensitive to this kind of post at this time, please bypass this and continue downward to previous posts to discover how I overcame my struggles with infertility.

My pregnancy was beautiful and perfect. And by that, I don't mean that I didn't go through the typical discomforts or experience the things so many complain about. What I mean is, I know what it's like to wish to be pregnant more than I wish to live on another day. I didn't spend my mornings I was hugging the toilet complaining or feeling sorry for myself, I spent them joyful (probably mentally more than physically) and thanking God that I had such a wonderful reason to be sick. I had morning sickness until I was over 20 weeks pregnant. As a matter of fact, I had just about every symptom in the book all the way up until the end.
(34 weeks 1 day)

At 16 weeks, we found out we would have a son. My 20 week ultrasound revealed that my son had what they call an "echogenic foci." This can be an indicator of Down's Syndrome. We were scheduled for another ultrasound at 24 weeks to recheck it and were assured it would most likely be gone and no big deal, but it wasn't. At that point we were sent to a perinatologist to keep an eye on it. My last ultrasound was at 32 weeks. At that point the foci was still on Grayson's heart. We chose not to share this information. I had faith in God that if he gave me a child with Down's, then my life would be better for it. Infertility shaped me, it made me more faithful and more positive (over a great deal of time.) I couldn't bare the thought that people might actually have pity on us for possibly having a special needs child. This was my beautiful son that I had longed for years. I was nothing but thankful that I was finally pregnant, no matter how many chromosomes he had or the challenges we might face.

November 23, 2012 - I woke up not feeling quite right. It was "Black Friday," so doctor's offices were closed. My best friend, Christin, went with me to a clinic to get checked out. Being 35 weeks pregnant and developing an illness of any sort didn't sound good. When they checked my blood pressure, it sounded high to me, but they didn't seem concerned. They sent me out the door with a prescription for nasal spray and allergy medicine. I went straight to CVS, not to fill my script, but to check my blood pressure again. At this point it was 167/119. I knew I needed to get to the hospital immediately. Christin then took over and drove me home to pick up Jason. Meanwhile, I called the doctor on call. We were already on our way to the hospital when Dr. Brazell told us to get there immediately.
(Trying to stay germ free at the clinic)
Upon arrival, they did a lot of tests and it was evident within the hour that I was suffering from pre-eclampsia and was also contracting (I didn't feel them). I had the symptoms of pre-eclampsia (remember that head cold?), but I failed to put it all together until I saw my blood pressure so high. My blood pressure had been excellent my entire pregnancy, and I had just been checked the previous week, so I had no reason to be concerned. My sister, Ashlee, then predicted exactly what would happen next. Shortly after, in came the nurse to confirm what we all suspected.
The next several days came as a complete whirlwind. They threw me into a wheelchair and rushed me down to labor and delivery where I was put on a magnesium sulfate drip (terrible side effects). My doctor was having Thanksgiving with family, so couldn't make it up to the hospital. The doctor on call decided within 5 minutes that I needed to be induced that evening.
At 6:00pm I was given Cytotec followed by another Cytotec at 10:00pm. At 2:00am, they began my Pitocin drip. My contractions came on long and hard. They had to try my epidural 3 different times because every time I would sit up my blood pressure would bottom out and I would lose consciousness. By this time, it was chaotic and everybody was suiting up and wheeling my bed out the door for an emergency-section. My blood pressure was dropping too low and Grayson's heart rate was also dropping too low with each contraction. Finally, they had me lay on my side and the third epidural was placed. Right then, my water broke. There was no time to hook up the medication to my epidural. I felt very intense pressure and told them to hold off on the c-section if they could. When they checked me the first time, I was dilated to a 2. They agreed that we could wait a little longer to see what happened because after my water broke Grayson and I both stabilized. Only 27 minutes later, I was at a 10 and pushing. I pushed for 45 minutes and into the world was born my beautiful, perfect, 5 pound 2 ounce, 18 inch long, God-sent miracle baby.
They rushed him off to check him out because he was 5 weeks premature. They said I started screaming "don't take my baby, bring me my baby," but I have no memory of that because the magnesium drip had me so foggy. I don't doubt that I did. I had waited my entire life for that moment. After a few minutes (which seemed like centuries) they brought him over and laid him in my arms. I think I was in shock. All I could do was hold him so close rubbing and kissing on his fresh little moist face.
(The first time I met the love of my life)

A few short minutes later, they took my son from my arms and took him to the NICU. I was then told I would not be able to see him again until the very next morning at 8 am. This was due to not being able to leave bed because of the magnesium. It was such a long day, I slept most of it away. That evening, my nurse from the night before agreed to let me go in and see him. I was determined to get out of bed, and she had witnessed what I could accomplish out of determination the previous night. I was able to go in and see him for a short while. I was too weak to hold my head up, so I simply laid it down next to his tiny body and held his hand. All too soon, I was whisked back to my hospital room. The next morning, I was taken off of the magnesium drip and was able to spend most of the day in the NICU beside my son where I belonged.
(My first time to see him in the NICU)
I was sent home the next day. The most confusing thing was having to leave my baby there. You should not have to leave your baby at the hospital. At the same time, my dream was here and thriving. I was an emotional mess of gratefulness and elation as well as sad that my newborn could not come home with me. I spent every second that I could at the hospital with him, only leaving to grab a change of clothes and a quick snack. He stayed in the NICU for a total of 8 days and that was more than enough for me.
(First day home)
This entire experience made me a better person and a better mother. Grayson gets a stronger, more optimistic, more faithful and an all around better mom because of how I struggled. I cannot look back on what I went through in trying to conceive him and feel sorrow, because I would not be who I am today if not for that experience. As this 4 and a half month old angel lays on my chest sleeping right now, I am overjoyed. My cup runneth over.
(Four months old)

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