Ten years ago today it was a hot day, the sun was bright. My family was outside lounging in the summer weather, I was pulling up weeds in the flower beds. My pregnancy had been surprisingly easy to this point. I was 32 weeks doing my typical regiment of medications and prayer. Noah was 1.5 years old living the typical two-parent suburban life with a smile.
I stood up from pulling a weed and blood began to pour out of me. I made my way into the bathroom, dizzy. Frantic that I was loosing my baby, my husband called for an ambulance. I was bracing the walls, startling the toilet, my body felt like it was one large cramp and I everything was coming out of me at once. I fell to the floor, sure that my baby was gone. I pulled the roll of toilet paper off to wipe my tears. I couldn’t stand to think that I had lost another son. It was unbearable.
Moments passed until the ambulance arrived. My bleeding had slowed down slightly. By the time I got to the hospital it was almost completely stopped. I was explaining to the triage doctor that I had lost ALOT of blood. When I say ALOT, I’m talking a Super Sip from Speedway. They checked the baby, he was still going strong, I wasn’t. We got settled into a room, they were going to keep me the night for observation. Then it started again.
The doctor looked at me and said, “We’re taking your baby out, now.” The memories after that are very sparse. I was being wheeled to the ER. I had tubes, masks and a feeling of nausea. Was my son going to die? Was I?
I woke up. No one was around, the nurse popped into my site. She explained my emergency c-section and that my son was down the hall in the ICU. They crudely stitched me up.
It was over a day before I could see him. I called him TT (tiny toes) before we decided on a name. He weighed five pounds and had the smallest fingers and toes I had ever seen. He actually had the smallest everything. He was on oxygen and on a feeding tube for about a week. They were monitoring his heart rate. He had some problems breathing. He was too early.
Eight weeks before he was due my body failed to carry him longer and his time was cut short. June 9th is his new birthday.
It was a very disconnected birth experience. It was days after he was born before I got to hold him and when I did I was afraid that I was going to do something wrong. I tried to pump my milk, I tried to feel happy that he was here, I tried to love but found that the fear was in the way. I wish it could have been something else for him. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t remember, the memories are my own. He spent three weeks in the hospital. Much of the three weeks was a blur, filled with stress and anxiety.
This type of birth gave me no time to adjust to the new person. It’s survival and we did.
Today Braeden is 10 years old. I wish I had a better birth story to share with him. I wish I remembered when he was delivered. Celebrating him today means so much more than I could have thought. He reminds me everyday that human life is hard, that we have to fight our way through the world all the while trying to take in the moments to keep us going.
He’s taught me so much about love, acceptance and patience. He’s given me the space to accept that we are all different and that should be treasured. When he reaches out to scratch my back or gives me kisses, I’m reminded how fortunate we are to be here right now with each other. I would do it all again.
Yesterday we had a swim party for B with some of his friends. We’re fortunate to have such a great group of friends to celebrate with.
Daniel (the creepy looking guy in the background) has raised B with me for the past ten years (You do that math:). B adores him and so do I. He’s a great father and friend.
There you have it, one of my birth stories. There are many memories that fill the gaps, treasured times that I hold close. I’m really f$*&ing lucky.
(Yes, I’m going to end my birthday post cursing, that’s how we roll around here.)