I'm not who I was.
J turned 9 today.
Last night I came *this close* to posting that 9 years ago at this time, I was in labor in the Taco Bell parking lot while the Rev ran inside to get me one last snack before the hospital… and then took his sweet time socializing before he came out. (Did I mention that I was in labor in the car? 😉 ) I regret not having done that because it would have been so amusing. Now you know.
Nine years. In case you aren’t so great at math, that’s 1 year shy of a decade. I don’t really feel that strangely about J turning 9 so much as I do that it has been 9 years since I gave birth to a child. That part is kind of weird.
As a birthday celebration, I’m going to pick some of my favorite snapshots from birthdays past.
Birthday 0: Look! I was finally coherent enough to keep my eyes open… although doubtfully for long. But hey, J’s cute. And pink. Very very pink.
Birthday 1: It is important to note that J picked the orange dollops off of the cake symmetrically. She started at the bottom and worked her way to the top. If she took one from one side, she took one from the other side.
Birthday 3: Our little monkey.
Birthday 4: the queen of Candy Land
(Upon uploading these pics I realized that Cheeks is 4 and I have yet to play Candy Land with him… it may be time that he learns the life lesson of being able to lose. 😉 )
Birthday 5: I’ve got to do two pics this time… Cuz the first one is just adorable…
…and this one is from the party. These girls have never ever lived in the same town but are always excited to see each other the few times a year that it happens.
Birthday 6: because my girl requested a tiki party. In December.
Birthday 7: The year in which I had finally joined instagram.
Yes, I’m *that* mom that decided Ahsoka needed to be more modest, so I tied a ribbon around her waist to cover up her midriff. Personally, I think it was a fashion upgrade.
Birthday 8: the much anticipated cheetah party. J still legitimately enjoys cheetahs and musical sound tracks. If we’re being honest, her life is a musical sound track. Never. Stops. Singing. (Or being dramatic.)
(Can I just say, what a difference in appearance between ages 7 & 8?!?!)
Now, she’s 9 and I’m blessed that she’s mine: my girl, my delight, my smile.
Cake and birthday adventures to come at a later date.
(And because it just isn’t a birthday post without her birth-story… here it is again for those of you who aren’t yet tired of it…)
Hello everyone! For those of you who have not heard, our incredible little miraclewas born Saturday morning, December 10th, 2005 at 12:05am. She weighed 7lbs. 30z. and was 18 ¾” long. Believe it or not, she has quite a bit of black hair! She is beautiful. Though all babies’ births are miraculous, J’s birth is more wondrous to us than we can explain. Many of you have heard about the emergency that occurred. The fact that both J and I are alive and healthy is nothing short of God’s provision. Let me walk you through the story.
Friday night, the Rev and I went to watch the movie “The Chronicles of Narnia” with some youth from our church. I was feeling fine, but as a precautionary measure the Rev and I drove separately from the kids since the hospital where J was to be born is located about a 45 minute drive from where we live (and near where we were watching the movie).When there was about an hour left to go in the movie, I started having contractions that were 5 minutes apart. They weren’t all that painful, but since they continued on for the remainder of the movie, I called the doctor on call to see what he thought I should do. He said that if I had lived in town he would have had me do whatever I was comfortable with, but since I lived a good distance away I should go ahead and come in. They would observe me for an hour, see what kind of progress I was making, and decide from there. At the hospital, my nurse was incredible. She monitored me for an hour… my contractions were getting closer together but they still weren’t all that painful and I hadn’t made much more progress. At any time, we were waiting on the doctor to come check on me and give his opinion if I should stay or go. Had he come down “on time”, it is very likely that I would have been sent home. However, because of a surgery he was performing, the doctor was delayed for several hours. By the time he made it to me, I had made enough progress where the decision was for me to stay. He didn’t expect my labor to last long at all.
Once we got the word that I was staying, the Rev went to the car to bring in our luggage and call our parents. During that time, the nurse was getting my IV ready, etc. and I was about to go get my epidural. So far everything about my pregnancy had been picture perfect. The nurse was even bragging on how beautiful J’s heart patterns were… it was about as close to a textbook perfect situation as you could get. My contractions still weren’t even causing me pain, only discomfort. Then, suddenly, I was like “This contraction is actually starting to feel painful.”Which didn’t catch me off guard too much… it had to happen at some point. But it didn’t stop. The pain just kept intensifying to the point where my body was shocked… I was shaking and turning gray. And the contraction never let up. When this happened, I had had a placental abruption. (The doctor said that nobody knows what causes it. Out of his approximately 4,000 deliveries, this had only happened about 15 times, and he refused to tell me how many of those situations ended positively). It wasn’t just a partial abruption, it was a complete detachment in one fell swoop. J’s heart rate immediately dropped to 55… she was no longer getting any oxygen. Thankfully, the nurse was sitting right at my bedside when it happened and responded immediately. They had to do an emergency C-section. I felt like I was in an episode from ER… even though I was writhing in pain I was still coherent enough to see people running around yelling a bunch of terms I didn’t know, followed by STAT! The Rev returned from the car with overnight bags in hand to an empty room. He asked where his wife was, they threw scrubs on him and let him stand in the doorway of the operating room. They told him if he had to pass out to fall out of the way because they didn’t have time to deal with him. He got there in time to see J be born. I, of course, was unconscious for that part, but I’m not complaining. From the time they wheeled me out of my room to the time J was delivered was 6 minutes. The doctor made the incision and pulled her out within 30 seconds. Everything had to be done so quickly that they had to do a vertical incision. They gave me 3 doses of antibiotic afterward rather than the usual 1 dose since they didn’t have time to prep me properly… they only had time to pour alcohol on my stomach and go. They even had to x-ray me afterward to make sure they didn’t leave any gauze or anything inside since they didn’t have time to do a tool count beforehand.Of course I was unaware of the enormity of the situation until several hours later when I woke up! (sort of).
It was even more amazing to see how God orchestrated everything perfectly… if one little detail had been out of place, the outcome would have been completely different. Dr. said that babies have a reserve of oxygen in their blood for about 10 minutes before brain damage will start to set in. Not only was the Dr. already at the hospital when the emergency occurred, but he was right outside my door. He told us that if he had been at home and had to drive just 5 minutes to the hospital, or even on the other side of the hospital, that by the time he got there J would have been brain damaged or dead. Another blessing is that the anesthesiologist on call was also actually AT THE HOSPITAL. He doesn’t usually stay there, but for some reason, he decided to stay overnight that night. One of the operating technicians was already IN the operating room in exactly the right place… all the nursing staff couldn’t get over how perfectly in place everything was. Had I been at home, there’s no way our little girl would have made it.It’s possible that if we acted quickly enough, I could have been saved at the local hospital. If we had been on the road, neither of us would have made it. I would have died from the internal bleeding.Praise Jesus, baby and I are both alive and healthy. I think it will take awhile to really sort through all of the emotions of the situation. There were no coincidences… everything was planned perfectly by God. There is no other way to explain it. We have been prayed for throughout this whole journey… those prayers proved to be more necessary than we could have begun to imagine and we thank you for it. Even the night nurses were praying for us… my friend A was even restless that night and knew she had to pray for us even though she was unaware of the situation at the time. The whole hospital staff present even said that if they didn’t believe in miracles before, there was no denying it now. God is so awesome and we just can’t show Him enough gratitude. Of course with our new baby, our lives are changed completely. Had one little detail been out of place, they could have been changed in a completely different way. We are so humbled and grateful. What a mighty and gracious God we serve!