|I Can't Believe He's
A True Account
2007 by Kelly Wallace
My son, Ethan, was born April 10th 2007, but he wasn't born under normal circumstances. As a matter of fact,the circumstances were quite terrifying. Sometimesit's still hard for me to believe that this little angel is actually mine, because I didn't go through the normal labor and delivery procedures like I was supposed to. I tend to feel a little cheated because of that.
I carried Ethan for eight months and three weeks, and during that time I barely looked pregnant. I was prepared for a small baby, because I was a small baby myself, but nothing prepared me for what I was about to endure in order to have this precious little miracle.
I kept every doctor's appointment, and each time was told my little one was was just fine. At my last visit I had one of many ultrasounds and was told that the baby was full term, but small. He weighed only four pounds. After a blood pressure check I was immediately taken to a room and hooked up to a fetal heart monitor and blood pressure cuff. What the doctors didn't seem to understand, or wouldn't listen to, was that my blood pressure had always ran a little high, my family doctor was aware of it and it posed no risk to my baby. Yet there I stayed, a prisoner tied to a bed, for five hours with no food. Food was a big concern for me since I hadn't eaten since nine that morning and it was now five in the afternoon.
Finally realizing that my blood pressure was not going to lower, I was allowed to eat and sent home, but not before I recieved the most shocking news of my life. My Ob/Gyn wanted to induce my labor the following week, one week early. I was truely scared. I asked why, and the only answer I got was, "He's small." Nothing more. I asked why it wouldn't be better for him to stay inside and be born naturally, maybe he would gain some weight, but I recieved no answer. I never recieved any answers. To these doctors this was just the way it was going to be, no exceptions.
So I arrived at the hospital at six in the morning on April 10th, my mother and father by my side, and tried to prepare myself for the pain that was to come, as the induction drew closer. About an hour later, my doctor came into the room and told me that she would be using a drug called Cytotec to ripen my cervix and get me ready for delivery. She told me this pill was incerted vaginally and wouldn't take long to take effect. The pill was incerted, and the doctor said that she would be back soon to examine me. Not long afterward I noticed that my stomach began to feel tingly and a bit strange. I thought it was all a part of the drug doing it's job. Boy was I wrong!
I barely had enough time to look at my mother and say,"My stomach feels a little bit funny," before a swarm of doctors and nurses rushed into the room and swarmed my bed. Suddenly I was being told to get up on my knees, and my head was being shoved down into my pillow. As my head swam, my bed was moving. I heard someone say,"We have to get her to the OR. I was panic stricken! Was something wrong with my baby? Was he going to be ok? I had no reguard for myself, only him.
I began yelling, "What's going on? What's going on?" I got no answer. When I arrived in the OR my gown was stripped off, leaving me completely naked, and I heard the person who had done this apologize for the "embarrassment." One voice was undisinguishable from another at this point, though I could differenciate between male and female. I was transferred to a cold metal operating table and moved onto my back, my arms were strapped down to two appendages jutting perpendicularly from each side of the table. At this point I had two thoughts, both of which I believe must have been drug induced. The first was, "Am I being strapped down for an execution?" The second was, " Jeez, even Jesus got a loin cloth."
A man held an oxygen mask over my face and tried to comfort me, to no avail of course, while all the while I begged for answers from anyone, through my terrified tears. A female voice finally spoke up and said, "We'll talk about it once you get back to your room." I wanted to scream, "That isn't an answer!" But I couldn't.
A large blue drape was thrown over me and I heard a different female voice ask if she should start numbing me up. A male voice, who must have been the anesthesiologist answered her with, "No, we're going to knock her out." Finally I knew what was about to happen. I was having a c-section and I was going to be asleep! They were going to slice open my stomach, rip my child from my body and I wasn't even going to be present. As the oxygen mask came off and the gas mask came down, I silently prayed to god, " Please let everything be ok." That is the last thing I remember before waking up back in my room.
As I woke up in my groggy haze, family members were gathered in my room, but they were all beginning to leave. I wanted to tell them to stay, that I didn't want to be there alone, but all I had the strength for were weak goodbyes. I remember my niece standing over my bed saying goodbye and my father kissing me on the cheek and telling me how much he loved me, before falling into another deep sleep.
When I woke up the second time, I was completely alone. Where was my baby? My little boy? I immediately pressed the nurse's button and demanded to know where my child was and why he wasn't with me. I must have pressed that button and asked the same question at least twenty times that night, and each time I got the same answer: "We'll send your nurse right down." I didn't want the nurse, who always came in and repeated the same things: "He's going through this screening or that screening and he's on antibiotics. When I asked why, again I got no answer. I didn't get to see my son for the first day of his life, but I was given three pictures, and everytime I looked at them, I cried. I wanted to bond with him, not his photograph.
I picked up my cell phone and called my best friend in Nevada, who was just as shocked as I was that I hadn't yet seen my little boy. She tried as hard as she could to calm me down, but it just didn't work. I had no information to give anyone and that was freaking us both out. Though I was worried, she was both worried and angry. I didn't have the strength for anger until much later.
Though I wasn't in any real pain, I was attached to a morphine drip, which I used mainly to put myself to sleep so I wouldn't have to think. Apparently sleeping wasn't all I did on the morphine because I seem to have had many cell phone conversations with people that I, to this day, cannot remember, and sense making was not my strong suit.
Along with the morphine, I had an IV of Magnesium Sulfate, which is supposed to be to lower blood pressure. The doctor's refused to listen again, because my blood pressure never lowered and all the medicine did was make me very, very sick. I was attached to the Magnisium Sulfate IV until the next morning, when the doctor's once again figured out that my blood pressure was not going to lower.
Once the nausea totally went away, I once again called for my baby, and this time he was brought to me. All five pounds and one ounce of him. He was the tiniest, most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life, even with the IV, um, thingy, sticking out of his head. We were able to spend the entire day together and into the night before he was taken back to the nursery for another dose of antibiotics.
That was one of the best days of my life. Feedings, diaper changes, just holding him. The whole nine yards. I didn't want to let him go and the nurse nearly had to use a crowbar.
Then away he went and I was alone again. I hit the morphine drip and went to sleep, this time without any "sleep talking" cell phone calls.
The next morning I had my breakfast and Ethan was brought to my room, along with some suprising news: We could go home! I couldn't grab my cell phone fast enough. I called my parents, fed and changed Ethan for the last time in the hospital and put him in his going home outfit.
By that afternoon we were pulling into the driveway and Ethan finally got to see the place he was going to call home.
Though my ordeal was frightening, the nights are long, sleep is scarce and days are filled with endless cups of coffee, it is all worth it just to see the sparkle in his blue eyes when he looks at me, or when he grabs hold of my finger. There are so many wonderful things about him and there are only more and more to come.
I still have many questions that I feel I deserve answers to, and I am determined to get those answers, but Ethan and I are both perfectly healthy, and that's all that matters now.
I still have those, " I can't believe he's mine," moments,
and sometimes imagine a person from "Baby Repo" comming to the door to
say he's not really mine and they have to take him back, but I know better.
We are a part of each other. Flesh and blood, mother and child, forever.
No one can take that away.
in the subject line of the message.)