Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)
By Kim Franklin
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I dreamed of her often, her hair color, the shape of her mouth, her tiny feet. While I loved carrying her in my belly, there was a slight shortage on space and while I was pretty sure that my feet were still attached, there had been no sighting in months.
My very conservative obstetrician limited me to one ultrasound which was performed very early in the pregnancy due to a previous miscarriage. Luckily, my husband was a nurse at our local ER and had a connection to a nurse with an ultrasound machine. Stealthily, around midnight, we approached the women’s ward of the local hospital. Granted, I was rather large for eighteen weeks, I was dumbfounded when the nurse asked if I was in active labor. That should have been a warning. “No, we are here for our informal ultrasound”, I replied.
It was love at first sight and it was a girl!! The nurse was positive and showed us the “cheeseburger” on the screen that identified her gender several times. I was ecstatic and would have stayed on that table watching her for the duration of the pregnancy had they let me. She was beautiful - we counted fingers and toes, watched her move around. Who on this earth would deny that God does not still perform miracles??
My weekly appointment happened to fall the day before my due date of September twelfth. My ankles (I could see them if I stuck my legs out) probably had the same girth as an elephant’s and lying on the table, my belly looked enormous. “She’s going to be a big baby - I’m guessing about eight pounds”, said my doctor. She feels more like a ten pound bowling ball to me, I quip back. Finally, he says he will induce labor on the thirteenth.
With nervous anticipation, we arrive before daybreak at the hospital. A flurry of plastic tubes, needles, paperwork and smiles and then nothing for hours. Almost fourteen hours later, I hear what I have been waiting to hear all day. It is time to push. Three hours of pushing and I am exhausted. He mentions the C word and I am rejuvenated.
He bring in the forceps which look like two spoons made for giants. All of a sudden, there is a sense of panic and urgency. There are two nurses pushing on my belly urging me to push as hard as I can. The doctor calls for the nurse practitioner. Emilie makes her arrival with an agitated cry and is immediately passed over to the nurses. I do not really know it but she is bluish and not getting enough oxygen, her breathing is very fast and erratic. She is camouflaged by a couple of nurses and her daddy is with her. I am allowed to hold her for one minute before she is whisked away to the nursery (the nurse’s word).
“Jena”, I say giddily, “Emilie is here and she was a BIG baby…ten pounds and nine ounces. She is beautiful.” The labor nurse looks at me sternly and I hasten my call.
“Do you not realize where your baby has gone?” she asks. “The nurse said that she went to the nursery.” I replied, puzzled. “She has gone to the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). She is not getting enough oxygen.”
Emilie ended up having shoulder dystocia because she was such a large baby. It was a painful, uncertain six weeks in NICU. I probably cried enough tears to form a new river. I couldn’t hold her for weeks - all that time waiting to hold her and I still couldn’t. My heart broke for her every time they had to prick her heel or put in a new IV.
When I think of how hard it was to watch her suffer, I think of God’s sacrifice and his suffering when he sent his only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. God is so merciful and so miraculous - he has saved us and sends tiny miracles of joy every day.
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