Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Gratituesday: Our Miracle Baby
It's Gratituesday over at Heavenly Homemakers and boy, have I got something to be thankful about today!
Everyone loves to hear a story of the miraculous and it's especially meaningful when it involves a child. Many friends, family and readers have been curious about the circumstances surrounding the birth of our newest son, Liam Bradley. I've alluded to him being a "little miracle" but haven't yet taken the time to tell his story---I think Gratituesday is a great opportunity to share it! (This story is intense but has a happy ending--still, please feel free to skip it if you feel it might be difficult for you to read).
Liam is our seventh child and was our first home birth. With all my other children, I was medically induced at a hospital with Pitocin---which brought on very painful and strong contractions. I was used to a panicky labor and an excruciatingly painful birth. From the time I went into labor with Liam at 12:30 am to the time he was ready to be born at shortly before 5:00 am, my contractions were mild and the experience was calm---I even got rests of up to 3 or 4 minutes between contractions!! Unbelievable!
It was because of this calm labor that I didn't realize I was ready to deliver him at shortly before 5:00...so I got up to use the restroom. At that time, his cord became prolapsed and my midwife called 911. The next eight minutes or so were frantic! My midwife began instructing me on positions to get into and when to push as she desperately tried to maneuver him into the correct position to be born, while also trying to keep the cord from being pinched. The entire time, I was calling out to God, "please Lord, save my baby!" There were five EMTs in my house within just a couple minutes and they were all trying to decide the best course of action. The EMTs wanted to transport me to the hospital for an emergency c-section but my midwife, knowing that Liam wouldn't make it that long, insisted that I stay put and try to deliver him. (The fact that he was my seventh...and that I'd just had a baby last year worked in my favor here!)
Finally, she got him in the right position and seconds later, he was born! He had a steady heartbeat but was not breathing or moving. I couldn't bring myself to look at him as they performed all of the actions to get him to breathe so I just lightly touched his head and continued to pray. Soon, I heard the sweetest little sigh so I opened my eyes and all I could see was this little pink nose. As the EMTs took him out to the ambulance, my husband whispered to me, "you're going to need to be brave because I'm going with him."
I can't really explain exactly how I felt but I don't think it was the normal reaction! I just felt really peaceful. I told my midwife that I thought we'd done everything possible to save him and that it was in God's hands. I really did feel peaceful and knew that whether Liam survived or not, God had brought him into the world for some reason.
About a half hour later, my midwife took me up to the hospital to see him. He was being given oxygen and was hooked up to several monitors. Everyone reassured me that he was going to make it---which actually made me feel a little wary. Were they all saying this just to keep me calm or was it true? My midwife soon assured me that he really was going to make it.
Long story short, Liam was in an oxygen tent for 12 hours (the doctor said initially that it would be 2 or 3 days). He was taken totally off of oxygen after the 12 hour mark but required it during eating for the next couple of days. He developed jaundice on the second day and was put in a bili light bed for 5 days. On the sixth day he left the bili light bed but was still on monitors for 24 hours. On the seventh day, he got to come to my room (the hospital graciously gave me a room so I could stay there with him)! The morning of the eighth day, we finally came home!
Liam is a healthy and strong little guy who will turn two weeks old on Wednesday (May 26). According to the hospital staff, a prolapsed cord is a very rare thing. In fact, one nurse who'd been there for 20 years said he was only the third baby she'd ever seen who had survived a prolapsed cord and the first to be delivered without a c-section.
I have to say that I really believe my midwife saved his life. She kept a level head and knew exactly what to do to allow both of us a safe and speedy delivery. Several people have asked me if this experience has turned me off from the home birth/midwife experience---thinking that I might have felt safer in a conventional hospital with a conventional doctor. My answer is absolutely not! Even the hospital staff said that Liam would have not made it to the hospital had we been transported and probably would not have made it through an emergency c-section if I would have been laboring at the hospital in the first place. In this instance, it was because of our choice to do the home birth that Liam and I both came out of the experience alive and well!
Today I am grateful for God's protective hand on our little boy and for my midwife, Michelle, and her assistant, Melissa, two well-deserving heroes!
Visit Heavenly Homemakers for more Gratituesday!