A new post! Unheard of!! But I had some thoughts rolling around in my head this morning before work and someday, sweet Mags will read this blog and understand her beginnings a little more, so tonight on her 2nd birthday, I'll blog.
2 years ago, AJ, my sister and I climbed in to our car at 3am and headed to the hospital to have a baby. We knew we were having a girl but the next hours and hours and finally birth that would unfold, no one would have known anything was going to go horribly wrong.
I look back on those hours (17 hours) and I often times wonder if I made things up. Did I really puke as much as I remember? Could I barely talk between contractions? Was I really only barely 1cm when they checked me in? But as I think about those moments and hours, they aren't what stick in my mind. The moment that 2 years later, I still get teary eyed over and have been to therapy over is the moment Maggie was born.
That final push, your baby is no longer in-utero and is now a part of this earth, this world. She didn't look right but I had no idea why and my mommy heart just wanted to wrap my arms around her and hold her and make everything ok. But I couldn't.
And for 5 more days I couldn't hold her. I ached. I hurt. I cried. The moment she left one hospital to be transferred to the next was hard but I knew AJ was with her. Soon I would be following behind and that felt ok.
She arrived and AJ was with her till he finally crawled in to my room at around 5am. He had basically been awake for two straight days. I was heartbroken that my new newborn baby was not with me but comforted in the fact she was in excellent hands and we were in the same hospital. Floors and wings away, but the same hospital.
The next day was Monday and we had a multitude of visitors. I was recovering from a vaginal birth and just didn't feel much like walking. I was sort of denying reality by not going to visit Maggie. AJ and others had been down there, but I kept myself distracted.
Finally that afternoon, I was convinced to let Ruth push me in a wheelchair to go floors and wings away to see Maggie. The NICU has to beep you in and then you have to scrub in and they I had to walk back in my own. Oh was that the hardest hardest hardest thing to see ever. Your baby, a million machines, alone in a bed, one nurse assigned solely to your baby because she is so sick and beeps and beeps and whirs and machine noises.
I cried. I wanted to hold her. Kiss her. Comfort her. She laid there naked with a diaper, intubated and fighting for her life. She was on a cooling therapy to help reduce any swelling in her brain. She was cold. She shivered and I cried.
Ruth and AJ's cousin held me and we all cried. My mommy's heart was broken. But I returned to my room and knew I was just floors and wings away.
Monday night was the.longest.night of our lives. We had gotten news from the doctors on her case that this night was either going to make or break the life of our child. Maggie had significant medical things that needed to happen or else. My sister and Tobin can tell you exactly. All I know is that Christy(my sister) woke up early Tuesday morning like at 2am and God prompted her to pray specific medical terms in her prayer. Maggie had to fight. God needed to intervene.
Tuesday early morning arrived and being in a teaching hospital provided for my room at 6am to be full of 7+ various medical people doing rounds that morning and one big emotional break down. I'm sure they have seen it before but why ask how my daughter is if I haven't even heard from the NICU doctors yet. It was messy. And ended with, no news much be good news.
Tuesday afternoon arrived and it was my check out day. How could I now leave the same building as my daughter and drive away? Who does that and how do you do it? Your life line with the hospital is your phone. It's a love hate thing. You keep it close by knowing you don't really want it to ring but don't want to miss it if it does for fear of...
Well, we did it. We packed up my stuff and drove away. We ate dinner, I went to Fred Meyer and bought waterproof mascara and saw Porter and cried. I pumped, crawled in to bed and missed that newborn baby I had just pushed out two days ago. Prayed for her and cried out to God asking Him to be her comfort and peace.
On a quick side note, I had a newborn. I had colostrum and milk that needed to come in so all the while all these others things are happening, I am pumping every two hours. And then once I checked out, I had to go to the NICU to pump and give them my milk so they could freeze and store it till Maggie was off the cold therapy. And you can't stress too much and you have to keep eating and drinking for good milk supplies. But I did at times question why I was doing all this if she didn't live. I had a lot of conflicting thoughts and feelings.
Wednesday was a long day. You can only watch your daughter shiver for so long and the chairs in the NICU are the worst for anyone post partum or not. We tried to pass the time by blogging, being on Facebook and I had a pump schedule to stick too. We looked forward to rounds. We looked forward to visitors. We looked forward to seeing Porter.
The long awaited Thursday finally arrived. Warming day. Anticipation was running high. We were going to get to hold her. She was going to be in our arms today. But things go slowly when one is being warmed. I had spent the previous night in Salem to get a better night's sleep. I got to wake up with Porter, get him dressed and take him to my sister in law. It was a blessing. I knew AJ would be with Maggie and I needed a break.
I returned to Portland and we waited. I had asked a dear friend to come and take pictures of Maggie's first moments in our arms 5 days later. 5 days after her birth!
She arrived and we waited. We went and ate dinner and waited. Finally 8:30 that night, the whole world stopped. Maggie with just a few wires and cords, was in my arms. I cried. What else do you do?
And now two years later, I think back and marvel at all that happened. I marvel at the medicine that happened, I marvel at all the people that stopped in their days to pray for us, to wrap us in their arms, to bring food, give gifts and take pictures. Those that watched Porter and cleaned our house and left us flowers and balloons. Those who gave up days at work to be by our sides. The texts and Facebook messages and comments. The love near and very very far. Our families and friends and even complete strangers. The doctors and nurses. It all still amazes me.
And now in true fashion, Maggie's birthday is today but we aren't having her party until Sunday. Seems appropriate to fully celebrate her life that truly began 5 days later. :)