© 2014 mikeandbrynne

There’s Nothing Like a Surprise

Mike has always teased me that I don’t like surprises.  I balk and tell him that I do like surprises……..especially when I know about them ahead of time.  This Saturday we had quite the surprise.  Last week I finally had a few days where I started to feel better.  The endless waves of nausea had truly bogged me down this pregnancy and my home showed the signs of many months of selected neglect.  We have gotten all the essentials done, but if you opened closets or drawers or took a peak at my untended garden you would see the true state of affairs.  So with joyful enthusiasm I dove into closets and clothes last week.  We organized the schoolroom closet and moved Luke and all his things.  I went through the laundry room and started in on the playroom.  I made a master list of all the great things I was going to do and accomplish in the next 5 weeks and an extra long list of projects to work on during Thanksgiving week when my family had planned to be away in the mountains while I stayed home just to be safe.  Ah…..”the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray…”.

It started subtly.  Friday morning I thought I might have felt a little pop and a leak as I came home from my early morning walk, but I quickly dismissed it and had a fun full day of school and co-op and park time and evening activities.

Saturday morning I hopped out of bed at 5:30 to make sure that Tay was getting ready to leave for his volleyball tournament in Tucson.  Known around the house for his love of sleeping in, I was pleasantly surprised to find him showered, dressed and preparing his things.  I wished him good luck, told Mike thank you for taking him and promptly climbed back in bed.  The next time I rolled out of bed I thought I felt another leak.  That couldn’t be my water leaking, right?  I went into our home gym to do my pre-natal pilates while the kids started their Saturday jobs.  It wasn’t long before I was soaking through my clothes.  In complete denial I called my OB to let her know my water was leaking.  She insisted that I rush to the hospital.  With Mike and Tay in Tuscon and 4 kids that needed to be to different games and activities that morning there was no way I was rushing to the hospital.  After changing my clothes 4 times and getting Jake and Drew off to their speech class, I managed to get Luke to his soccer game and hoped that I wouldn’t make a complete scene while my water leaked everywhere.  Daisie and I sat by ourselves, but the situation wasn’t getting any better.  With Luke’s game complete I left Daisie in the care of a friend at the fields to bring Daisie home when Daisie’s game was over.  Trying to relax, I tidied up the kitchen and started the laundry while I waited for Jake and Drew to get home.  Assuring them that I wouldn’t be gone for too long, I left the boys with a list of Saturday jobs and drove into the hospital in hopes for strict bed rest and increased fluids.

My hopes were quickly dashed.  None of the nurses or doctors seemed to care that I was not planning on having a baby that day.  No one was ok with me going back home or relaxing on bed rest for a few days with my bag of waters broken.  In fact, with my history they were happy to do a C-section right then to try to avoid any infection with the baby.   I was depressed.  But they told me to brighten up, they could give me options.  I like options.  I did not like these options.

1.  Start pitocin (not a favorite idea because of my uterine scar from my former C-section) and hope that my body which was not at all ready for labor at 35 weeks would magically go into labor and deliver a perfect baby in a timely manner.  Since my labors when I am full term and have been contracting for weeks can still take 2 days this didn’t seem like a particularly appealing option.  As a bonus, in case that pitocin was more than I could handle,  the anesthesiologist told me that there was a good possibility that an epidural could work with my former back surgery, but there was also a good possibility that it could not.  I was not sold.

2.  I could have a planned C-section with a spinal block that the anesthesiologist was confident would work with my back surgery.  Major surgery.  This is what I had wanted to avoid.  I had planned my perfect normal, natural healthy birth that was going to take place at like 39 weeks.  It was going to be lovely.  I was going to recover perfectly and the baby was going to be perfectly perfect.

I should have known I was in trouble earlier that week when I was preparing my Gospel Doctrine (Adult Sunday School) lesson on the last 15 chapters of Isaiah. I had chosen to focus on the beautiful chiasmus that exists in Isaiah 55 which culminates in the central thought in verse 8 that, “…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways….For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”  Darn it.  I was hoping to TEACH this lesson theoretically, not live it.

I was struggling between my ideal reality and the reality that was taking place.  I remember receiving a blessing earlier in the year that had warned me that I would need to use my medical knowledge and training with the delivery of this little one.  I wanted to wait and have a natural birth, but there was going to be nothing natural about pitocin on my 35 week gestation body.  My gut feel was that a C-Section was the right decision…..not my ideal decision, but the right decision.

Isaiah 55 goes on to promise in verse 12, “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”  I had peace.  Now I needed to collect Mike from Tuscon where he was watching Tay’s volleyball tournament and was in charge of carpooling Taylor and 6 of his friends to and from the tournament.  Some sweet mom offered to switch cars with Mike and take all the kids home so that Mike could come back and be with me.

By the time they walked me back to the OR at 7:30 my water had been broken for at least 12 hours and my contractions had never elevated beyond the typical contractions I had been having for weeks.  I have to admit that I was seriously miserable during the C-Section.  If Mike hadn’t been there I might have had a nervous breakdown.  The surgical drape was too close and I felt stifled and claustrophobic.  It’s an awful sensation to know that your body is there, but that you can’t control it or move it–it’s one of the reasons I hate epidurals.  I love to be active and move and have control.  It was like an out of body experience and I was shaking uncontrollably from one of the medications.  Thankfully, the baby came out screaming and crying and bright red which was a sharp contrast from my last C-Section with Drew where he arrived blue and limp to a team of neonatologists that filled my room.  I took a deep sigh of relief that the baby really was breathing and that it really was a girl (I had felt for a few years that we were supposed to have a little girl and I knew that both myself and the entire family was going to need some remediation if this baby was a boy).   The next 20 minutes were miserable after they sent Mike and the baby off to the nursery and I was so overjoyed when I was finally wheeled out of the room and into transition with them.  I loved holding her.  She was oh so tiny, but oh so perfect.  We were instantly in love.  From the moment she arrived she was feisty and spirited which gave us a lot of hope and comfort with her premature age.

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Somewhere in the whirlwind of recovery she started grunting and retracting and struggling to breathe.  As they whisked me off to my post partum room, they whisked her off to the NICU where thankfully a childhood friend of Mike’s was the nurse she was assigned to for the night.

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The last thought I had before I fell asleep in an exhausted stupor was of the two nurses coming up to me after the C-Section and commenting, “You were really lucky.  The cord was wrapped right around the top of her head and would have slipped out first causing a prolapsed cord and compromising her oxygenation.”  Lucky?  It didn’t seem like any luck had been involved that day.  Rather it seemed as if everything had been carefully orchestrated.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.”

There’s nothing like a surprise………..