It’s the season to give thanks and this Thanksgiving, I wanted to share the birth story of our youngest son, Googie. Why him and not the older two? Googie was born in early November. It’s not a birth that most parents envisioned. It was so traumatic, I nearly died and he wasn’t alive when they took him out via emergency caesarian. One of the most haunting and distressing experiences for parents after a birth is going home without a baby. We Ieft the hospital with hollow, empty arms. As I reflect on this journey, I realize that it’s not just the big things I give thanks for. We shouldn’t forget all the little steps, the ordinary strings that form the big picture in our tapestry of life. But as you know, ours had a happy ending and Googie did eventually come home. And for that, we give thanks.
THE NIGHT OF HIS BIRTH
I remember the day of his birth vividly. It was election day and I was 35 weeks pregnant. I had meant to go to Ikea that day to pick up some new towels when I got a call from my contractor saying he was coming over just as I was pulling out of the driveway. I was a little irritated by the contractor as he didn’t give me any notice but I turned the car back in. For this small unremarkable interruption, I give thanks. Staying home ended up saving both our lives.
Staying home ended up saving both our lives.
I spent my day instead on the couch waiting for the contractor to finish the last few touches on our kids’ bathroom. Later, my husband and the two older boys went to watch Wreck It Ralph at Studio Movie & Grill. I was feeling too sluggish to move so I watched the election numbers for Obama versus Romney instead at home. I remembered playing with my bump who was moving about vigorously while I lay on the couch. For those sweet of hours of quiet together, I give thanks.
I got up to go to the bathroom when I heard a ‘SNAP’ like a rubber band.
The boys came home around 9;30pm and my husband put them to bed. I got up to go to the bathroom when I heard a ‘SNAP’ like a rubber band in my stomach. Then the blood began to drain from my face and I began to feel pain in my stomach. Unbeknownst to all of us at the time, Googie had ruptured my uterus and I had begun to hemorrhage. We called 911 and they arrived a few minutes later and for that, I give thanks.
I was floating in and out of consciousness but I steeled myself not to go unconscious until I saw the doctor. When we finally go to the Labor and Delivery Ward, the baby’s heart rate had dropped to 72 beats a minute, An average newborn heart rate is between 120-180 beats per minute. I was worried about the doctor on call as she was new to the practice and I remembered my last words before they put me under general anesthetic “Don’t worry about me. Save my baby”.
I had arrived at 10:45pm. Googie was out by 11pm. But by then, he wasn’t breathing. His heart wasn’t even beating. He was born with an APGAR score of 0 which meant that none of his vital signs were working. By the grace of God and nothing short of a miracle, he came back. For that we give thanks. If the words Give Thanks equaled to a drop of water, then we have oceans of thanks to give. There is no number large enough for us to describe how grateful we are.
SMALL STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
This will be an emotional ride. It’s two steps back and one step forward just know you are heading in the right direction
every night we stared at an empty bassinet
THE FIRST YEAR ANNIVERSARY
We had won. For that, we give thanks