Saturday, February 13, 2010

Today's My Little Girl's Birthday!

Isn't it a great time of reflection the birthday of your child? You go right back to where you were and all the emotions that swirled around at that exact moment. Cool, right?

I woke up this morning around 4am for my 3rd bathroom break. I always do my best thinking when in the bathroom and, thankfully, spend a great deal of time there. So as I patiently awaited my bladder's response to the "gotta go NOW" sensation I'd had 5 minutes prior, I got to thinking...I remember this day 12 years ago.

I wish I could say it was all huge amounts of bliss, but it wasn't. I was scared out of my mind. I was about to become a mother...the next morning? Me? You've got to be kidding...

I had been placed on bed rest only 4 mos into my pregnancy, but "bed rest" to me meant trying to get to bed before midnight. I was dx'd with pre-eclampsia around then, and was terribly ill throughout the entire experience. But I was managing a customer service dept in a large company at the time, as well as house and home by my lonesome (sorry, you!). There was no time for passing out, sky high blood pressure, eye floaters, questionable kidney function, and throwing up the point of dry heaving. Gatorade ice cubes were my sole source of nutrition for a good while. When I was too sick to go to work, I did things like hang the laundry. Pass out in the yard? Sure! As long as those towels could dry, it was worth it. My condition worsened to eclampsia, but it still didn't slow me down. Finally, my doctor explained just how serious the condition was. She literally yelled at me during one of my many stress tests. Wow. Mmmkay...lady, you're here (holding hand up high) and I need you to be here (hand at eye level). Okay, so you're saying I'm putting my life and my baby's at risk and bed rest means lay still, on left side, and try to stay calm. Stay calm while I'm being replaced at my job, stay calm in the avalanche of a marriage we had at the time, and stay calm while I then began to understand just how stupid I was for not listening to my doctor. K. I'm on board!

I was able to choose the day of my surgery, so I went with Friday the 13th. Always a lucky day in my family, but not for that day's hospital staff. It took 3 nurses before one got lucky enough to anchor the IV (I was hugely dehydrated) and the anesthesiologist a total of 7 sticks to land the block. I told him on the 6th stick n' fish, as I was dry heaving and sweating profusely from the pain, that I was going to punch him straight in the face if he didn't get it on the next one. That and my yelling out, "is there anyone in janitorial who can do this? Anyone at all?" He obviously did his best work under pressure and heckling.

But alas, block in place, my full girth on the gurney, being wheeled into OR with sky high bp, there was a song playing. "You Are So Beautiful" by Joe Cocker. I remember closing my eyes and thinking how beautiful our baby would be, how my parents and grandmom were waiting down the hallway to hear those 3 words "it's a...", and how amazing it would be to be a mother. A short while later, our baby girl was being held near my face. I was trying to touch her, but arms were still strapped down. I said, "hi baby..." with tears streaming down my face. Her response? An adorable little smile:-) It was simply beautiful, every moment.

Then my bp crashed and I don't recall a whole lot other than them rushing my husband out of the room, people in scrubs running around, lots of beeping of machines, orchestrated chaos in the OR, and a female anesthesiologist rubbing my head, telling me to look at her and that I was going to be alright over and over and over...oh well, obviously God thought I had more work to do here.

So I sloshed back to bed, giving thanks for our baby girl, for the past 12 years she's been "on loan" to us...because we feel like they're God's kids first, and He's entrusting them to us...and for getting me through whatevertheheck that was that happened that day. It's quite a ride, isn't it?

Psalm 139:13-18

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex. Your workmanship is marvelous. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They cannot be numbered! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

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