posted on: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Yesterday I asked Christian where my computer was. He opened a big smile and said "now I know you're feeling better." There are moments in our life when time moves at an entirely different speed from the rest of the world. Seeing that my last post was exactly a week ago you can imagine that life for us has changed quite a bit since Halloween.
On Thursday, November 1, our baby was born. She was exactly 8lbs (just like her sister) and 20 inches. We named her Eliza.
About 12 hours after she was born I posted a picture that I took seconds before she was taken away in an ambulance to the NICU at another hospital. I posted the picture on Instagram and Facebook and asked you for some prayers and positive thoughts.
I don't know how fast the comments started coming in, it was the middle of the night when I posted and I was trying to rest - sleeping was clearly out of the question. After a couple of hours I decided to try and pump some colostrum. I felt so little and helpless, I just wanted to hold my daughter in my arms but she was in another facility and I couldn't even get out of that stupid hospital bed to go and nurse her.
While Christian was gone, delivering the little colostrum I was able to pump, I wept. I felt so alone, so weak, so overcome by worry. I turned on my phone to look at a handful of pictures Christian took when she first came out and the doctors were working on her. She looked extremely gray and pretty lifeless with cords scattered around her tiny body. The pictures were depressing.
When I checked my inbox I noticed that it had gone from single digits to triple digits very fast, emails, messages, wall posts, comments, you all reached out and said you cared and I felt cared for. Friends who were near started coming to visit me at the hospital, bringing me a shoulder to cry on, food, tea, flowers, company. Family members started offering to come and help. I felt loved but more importantly at that moment I felt that Eliza was loved. When people started offering help all I wanted was for them to visit my baby at the NICU and hold her. I wanted Eliza to know that she was part of something great, something called community.
On Sunday, October 28th, Christian and I found ourselves in the hospital. That morning I started bleeding and we weren't sure if my water bag had ruptured or not. The doctor told us it was just a bloody show and that the water bag was intact. On Monday, October 29th, I had a doctor's visit. I was still bleeding a little but wasn't really worried. However, the doctor was concerned because I had so much amniotic fluid and the baby's head was still really high. She thought that the umbilical cord was under the baby's head and that I was at a very high risk for cord prolapse. We scheduled an induction for Friday. She wanted my delivery to be closely monitored. She warned me to go to the hospital immediately if my water broke before then and if I felt the umbilical cord coming out for me to call 911.
Christian and I were worried but my water hadn't broken with Enzo or Maria until I was in very active labor. The next couple of days Christian stayed close by, he didn't go surfing once (poor guy), and I took it easy mainly staying close to home. On Thursday I dropped off Maria at preschool and then treated myself to a manicure. I picked up Maria from preschool and headed home for a lunch with friends. Christian and I were so excited to see David and Yaminette, we hadn't seen them in over 6 years and we were thrilled they were coming to spend the afternoon with us. Christian made a beautiful salad with pomegranates and was frying falafels when suddenly my water broke. Suddenly I was gushing water and blood everywhere! Contractions started coming fast and fierce. I got on all fours to try and stop the water flow and prayed with all my might that my baby would be o.k. Poor Maria saw everything. She ran to the kitchen to get a rag, she was terrified. Within a minute our friends arrived. Christian told them what had happened, my friend Yaminette came upstairs and started comforting Maria and Christian and I rushed to the hospital, me on all fours in the back seat and Christian driving faster than I have ever seen him drive.
We got to the hospital and they immediately hooked me up to a fetal monitor. The baby's heart rate was o.k. I tried to calm down but the contractions were very intense and I was still gushing water and blood. and was feeling very weak. The cord had not come down but we soon discovered that my placenta had detached, which is why I was loosing so much blood. Somehow our baby who was head down completely flipped and was now breech. Her heart rate was starting to change and so my emergency c-section began. During the operation two things happened, one I lost a lot of blood (ended up having 2 blood transfusions the next day), and the other was that my uterus was still contracting hard which made it extremely difficult to get the baby out, specially her head.
Because of all this our baby suffered a pretty traumatic entrance into this world. When the doctors got her out they had to resuscitate her and then after a while they took her away.They tried to get her well but she was having a very hard time breathing, and things just didn't look good. They thought that maybe they had broken her shoulder during delivery but after doing an x-ray they realized that wasn't the reason she was still in distress.
The neonatologist came and talked to us. He said that they were worried about her. They couldn't figure out why her breathing was the way it was. He thought that either she had an infection or that she had suffered head trauma from the delivery and possibly lack of oxygen in the brain when the placenta detached. Christian and I were devastated. We had about 30 seconds alone with her. I held her in my arms and Christian gave her a blessing. It was so hard to see her leave. I just wanted to rip all of those cords and oxygen mask from her and put her on my chest and hold her close. When I couldn't do that I realized that the only thing left was to pray. I closed my eyes and began "Dear Heavenly Father ..." and proceeded to beg him to heal my daughter. To be totally honest I haven't ended that prayer, days later I can't get myself to say "amen." Only now it has turned from pleading to gratitude and I don't feel like I am ready to end this prayer quite yet.
On Saturday morning my mother-in-law and soul sister, Mariko, arrived from Hawaii bringing their good attitudes, willingness to help, and comfort. They went and saw Eliza, held her and even fed her. Seeing them gave me the energy I needed to start healing.
On Sunday Baby Eliza left the NICU and joined me at the birthing center again. The doctor made it very clear that best case scenario she would stay in the NICU for at least 10 days. She stayed for 3. All the tests came back negative. Do I think the doctors were being cautious? Yes. I think they were being cautious and thorough and I also 100% believe that my daughter was healed. I believe that God healed my daughter. I believe that God heard Christian's plea, and my prayers, and your prayers. That is why I felt I had to write this post. I owe it to you to know the full story of Eliza's first couple of days of life, because you cared, because you were willing to pray for her (whatever that prayer, or thought, or meditation was). Thank you for caring about my little baby. It made all the difference.