I have always had a freakishly good memory...emphasis on the freak. I have also always been someone for whom sounds, sights and smells bring memories flooding back. In fact, I recall sitting in my hospital room holding two day-old Reid last February 22 and weepily telling Brian how last February 22 I had the day off from work, and I had spent the day getting ready to host a baby shower the next day wondering if I would ever have a baby of my own and then we had a belated Valentine's Day dinner at Jaspers. And now we were a family (insert more post-childbirth-crazy-lady weeping here.)
Anyway. This Christmas season has left me reflecting on this time last year. I spent Saturday reflecting about how last December 12 I left work at noon for a routine OB appointment and was told things looked drastically different than they had one week prior. Only 1.7 centimeters were keeping Reid inside of me, and there was concern that my amniotic sac was slipping into the open portion of my cervix. I thought about that moment of realization--Brian was in New Orleans at a wedding. I was only 28 weeks pregnant. If the baby came now, he would probably survive, but it would be a long road. I remember driving myself home in a calm fog, and I took a shower while I waited for my sister to come pick me up and drive me to the hospital. Packing was surreal because I didn't know if I was packing for the trip to the hospital. I calmly packed the camera and battery charger just in case. Brian finally got the hospital after midnight, and we spent our time listening to Reid's heartbeat and the sound of him moving and kicking the fetal monitor while lying in the hospital bed together watching NCIS on my laptop.
Last December 14 I was in the hospital on my second day of bed rest. The doctors were finishing off the last of my 48 hour course of steroids to speed the development of Reid's lungs. I remember Dr. Hunt, who was on call for our OB, coming into the room and laughingly telling us that it was unfortunate that we were having a white boy. Apparently, baby boys' lungs always develop more slowly than little girls; and black babies' lungs develop more quickly than white babies'. Who knew.
Last December 15 they finally discharged me from the hospital once they determined that I was not contracting and that Reid wasn't in any immediate danger. Dr. Hunt dropped by to chat and to reassure us that no matter how early Reid came, he would be in good hands. I was given lots of information about how I would know when the pre-term labor started...about how it was unlikely they'd be able to stop my labor if my water broke. I'm a bottom line kind of girl, so as I peppered the good doctor with questions, he gently told me that it was not a matter of if Reid would be premature but how premature he would be. He told me that our OB, Dr. Fogwell's goal was to have a 2009 baby...to try to make it to sometime in January.
The weeks came and went...I stressed about Reid being breach and the possibility of not having the type of childbirth experience that I so desperately wanted. I tried everything to try to get Reid into a head-down position. And it the midst of all of it, I made it to 38+ weeks. And I had to have a c-section because my stubborn baby was still breach. Not my ideal experience, but a perfect baby, nonetheless.
And I'm sure that this coming February 24 I will be reminiscing about how last February 24, before being discharged from the hospital to take my sweet boy home, Dr. Fogwell dropped in and mentioned that due to me only having 1/2 a uterus...and due to it's odd shape...Reid had been much safer in the breach position. It was a position that allowed to him to grow free from the risks of intrauterine growth retardation. He also mentioned his feeling that if Reid had been in the normal, head-down position and putting all that pressure on my very weak, short cervix, it was highly unlikely that we would have made it to term.
So, this December, as I sit on the couch looking at our Christmas tree, I reflect on last December when I spent so much time on the same couch, looking at the same tree, wondering what the future held. And I am so humbled and thankful at what God has done in our lives.
5 months ago