Monday, 11 September 2017

The day my child was born

"Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise..." - The Beatles

I think most parents will always remember the day their child was born. The joy and happiness the birth of a baby brings, especially the moment you first hold that child in your arms.

For me, I felt all these things too but there was so much sadness, stress, and danger that the end result only made all that trouble so worth it.  You see, by the end of my pregnancy, I was considered high risk. I was put on bed rest and things could have went horrible wrong for the both of us.

To this day, I still remember the fear and sadness I felt when the doctor told me that I was most probably going to have a C-section and I was to be on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy.

I worried that I was going to lose my son. I felt like I was a loser mom because I probably wouldn't be able to carry a baby to term. All these sad thoughts kept me up at night and in the end, I had good reason to.

I remember the days I spent on bed rest. I spent them in the nursery we had set up for the baby. By them, I had already nested several weeks prior and every thing was all set up, ready to go. I thought monkeys were cute and decided to put monkey decals all over the walls. The crib sheets had monkeys on them and so did his mobile in his crib.I remember napping on my comfy chair. Did I ever love that chair and ottoman!

My now deceased cat, Riddles. The reason for keeping a blanket (made by my mom) on the chair.

I also refused to leave that room because it brought me close to a baby that might not even be born alive. I felt connected to my son there and I felt comfort and safe. I remember the sound of Loreena Mckennitt's voice playing in the background and how I would plead with the universe to allow me that chance to be a mother. I remember when I was under suicide watch as a teenager and my psychiatrist at the hospital asked me if there was anything I could live for. At that time, it was very hard to find something but I knew deep down, I wanted to be a mom some day. I knew in order to do so, I had to turn my life around and battle this horrible mental illness because I wanted to be a great mom. Every part of my being was tied up in that baby. I found my reason to choose life. It scared to wonder what I could potentially do should these dreams of becoming a mom come crashing down? How could I possibly pick up the pieces and recover from this?

The reason for my bed rest, I had placenta Previa. I thought, okay, a lot of women get placenta Previa, it is not the end of the world. What I didn't know at that time just how potentially serious this was for me. Placenta Previa is when a clot forms on the placenta. For many women, this may not be too serious but it could be serious if the clot shifts to the umbilical cord. One of the signs of this condition is bleeding, like when you are on your period.

My husband still remembers the first trip right after I had my first bleed and still hasn't completely forgiven me for pleading with the nurse to not worry about my life; Just please save my baby.

About a week later, I saw more blood and off to the hospital we went! It was a false alarm and I was sent back home and back on bed rest.

Every movement my baby made was a comfort. I knew he was OK. He was still alive. Perhaps I may sound melodramatic here but I am a very anxious person, these thoughts and fears were very real to me.

Another week went by and there was a lot more blood. In fact, it resembled a scene to a horror movie. This was obviously not normal. We were smart, my bag was already in the car's trunk along with the car seat. We were ready to rock and roll! Just like the last two times, I was hooked up to the monitors. The sound of my baby's heartbeat echoed through the room and by hearing his heartbeat, I knew my son was OK and I was able to sleep. I felt safe. The next day I was examined by my doctor and was told that I was going to be admitted for the remainder of my pregnancy. They ran more tests and I had to have another ultrasound. The results, I could only assume, were not very positive, my condition did not improve and got worst. This is when the doctor had a serious chat with me.

She didn't reveal anything to me,  I believe she didn't want me to panic but she simply asked me how I felt physically and emotionally. I told her that I was done with being scared. I was tired and stressed. That on Friday, I was going to be 37 weeks, my baby was going to be considered full term. While we originally discussed natural births, that plan is now out the window. I wanted a C-section and I wanted the baby out! I told her that my gut feeling was that the only way my baby was going to be safe was in my arms. She seemed happy with my response and even agreed with me. She was probably hoping for that response.  My surgery was scheduled for that Friday.

While I was being prepped for surgery and given the epidural and what not, I found it odd that my husband wasn't in the room with me. I needed him to protect me from the big scary needle that was going to go into my spine! I can take a tattoo or piercing any day but any kind of medical needle, I am a big chicken! Little did I know, the doctor was chatting with him and that was holding him up. She told him that there was a 50% chance one of us or even worse, both of us may not survive the ordeal. To be prepared to either walk out with both of us, one of us, or worse, by himself. My condition had worsened but they both felt best that I don't know. If I panic, my blood pressure goes up, my heart pumps more blood, there's a higher rate of blood lost. If I would have tensed my muscles, the clot could have burst during surgery or burst while they were opening me up to take the baby out. The baby could have drowned. There was a chance I could have hemorrhaged to death as well. While I am still mad about being left in the dark about this, I can see why the doctor went about it that way. If I were in her shoes, I would have done the same thing.

Obviously we both beat the odds. I like to think my son and I are both resilient and stubborn! To this day, I can still remember being told that I am going to feel pressure, just like toothpaste coming out of its tube and it felt just like that. I remember the room being silent, except for the hum of the machines. I remember the coldness from the metal beneath me on my bare skin. The baby was born but the room was still silent. "Why isn't he crying?" I thought. I slowly panic inside, the heart monitor reveals my fear! I ask them "why isn't he crying? Where is my baby?" It seems like my voice awakened something because I heard his first cry. I kept telling myself "I am not going to cry" but the moment they put that baby next to me while they washed the remainder of the gunk off, I got to see his big blue eyes, very much like my own, his little face, the chubby cheeks (which he still has today, by the way) I felt the tears wanting to come. We just laid there for a few moments, staring at each other. It all felt surreal. "I am not going to cry" I kept foolishly telling myself but it was too late, the tears welled up.

My husband got to hold him first. He deserved it after what he was told by the doctor. I remember the doctor laying out the placenta and showing us in amazement the clot. It was right on the umbilical cord and was a little bigger than the size of a grapefruit! The doctor took pictures and called in other medical staff and interns to examine the placenta. Pictures were even taken for future medical reference! The nurses surrounded me while I was being wheeled out to see the miracle baby. In fact, I was visited by lots of nurses and doctors because they wanted to see the mom and baby who survived.

I never believed in miracles until that day. Whenever my son misbehaves and I get frustrated, I look back at that day and remember how lucky we are to have him in our lives. I remember all that joy he brought me and I cannot imagine my life without him. I take the messy, noisy house, small bank account and all the chaos any day! Being a parent is my biggest accomplishment and while it can be the biggest pain in the ass at times, it is the most rewarding job I ever had.

As I look back to those days, especially on his birthday (which was this Sunday, the 10th of September) I am reminded of how far we came and how much we have to look forward to. We have so many years ahead of us and I can't wait to continue to watch him grow up. There was a time in my life, I once falsely believed that life wasn't worth living and by seeing this beautiful baby cling to life, even fight for it gave me a renewed sense of hope. Life is very short and very previous. I do not plan on wasting another minute of it.

"Little things used to mean so much to Shelly- I used to think they were kind of trivial. Believe me, nothing is trivial. " - The Crow


  1. Feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeels.

  2. Awww <3
    Happy birthday to your little man!!

  3. You need to put tear-warnings on these sorts of posts! I've had simple "by the book" births, and that was hard enough. I can't imagine what you have gone through! But I am glad it has giving you something so amazing in return.



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