Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world. --John Milton

Monday, May 9, 2016

Grateful for Modern Medicine

Snowflakes amaze me. Each one beautifully unique. Flakes alighting with whisper on everything dressed in silent white. Adrienne welcomed her sweet snowflake on such a night.

My birth story is a little different than the others on this blog, but I wanted to share mine.  I knew as early as my teen years that I would use an epidural for childbirth. You see, I have a tendency to be over dramatic.  Since the option was available to me, I knew that this choice would lead to the most peaceful labor experience for me and my husband.

However, I also am very in tune with my body.  For any labor and delivery experience, it is more important to understand what your body is telling you regardless of what kind of birthing experience you have.  There could not be a better example of this than my 2nd delivery February 2014.

When I was in my 37th week, I had a headache for a solid week.  On the 7th day of this headache, I felt myself start to wilt for lack of a better word.  That evening, I was having trouble understanding what my 4 year old was saying and constructing a response back, so I swallowed my pride and called the hospital.  I felt ridiculous on the one hand for calling due to a simple headache, but something did not feel right.  The baby felt great but my body did not.

There was a snow storm due to arrive in the middle of the night so the hospital said come on over and let’s check you out.  I arrived at the hospital at 10:30 pm and went straight to the triage area.  I made sure to laugh and tell every nurse and doctor I saw "I know I know I'm here for a headache..."  Sure enough the urine sample came back positive for protein and they told me I had pre-eclampsia, "sneaky pre-eclampsia" at that since my ONLY symptom was a headache.

I was induced around midnight, got the epidural around 5 am, and we watched the snow come down out my window.  Around 1:45 pm I felt pressure down there and knew my body was telling me "get ready it's almost time to push!"  There were FOUR babies delivered at this hospital from 2 pm - 2:20 pm and we were the 4th.  I kept calling my sweet nurse saying "I want to push I'm ready!" When they arrived to our room and checked me they exclaimed "wow you are ready to push! let's do this!" I pushed twice and he was born!  And I'm so tickled because even with the epidural I was able to feel how hard or little I needed to push and I did not tear.  It also helped that I was 37 weeks and our son was only 6 pounds!

Because of the pre-eclampsia, I had to stay in my delivery room for about 24 hours after delivery while I was on magnesium.  In some ways, I am a little jealous of those who have babies at birthing centers or at home, but I am so grateful for modern medicine as I don’t think I would be here to share my story without it.

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