My fourth child, Amelia Jane -or Emmy- turns three today! The crazyness that surrounded her birth will be etched in my soul forever. At thirty-seven and a half weeks pregnant I started bleeding. A lot. It was ten at night and the three other kids were already in bed. Thankfully, Rob was home. I got dressed and drove myself at breakneck speeds to the hospital three miles away. Trying to keep myself calm enough to not speed too terribly bad. Horrible thoughts zoomed in my head. I wasn't in labor. I wasn't contracting. I hadn't felt her move in a while. She wasn't moving now. The bleeding wouldn't stop.
It's never a good sign when the doctor says "that's more blood than I'd like to see". I didn't look but it felt bad. It seemed the nurse was changing the towel under me at an alarmingly frequent rate. The emergency c-section was being prepped and the doctors warned me that if I couldn't get her out within the hour, they'd take her out. The bleeding just wouldn't stop, it wouldn't slow. Rob was able to come up. My mom stayed with the kids. I was hysterical. Crying, sobbing, shaking with fear. I think, if she could, the nurse would have slapped me. Instead, she just firmly scolded me to get a grip. I couldn't have a baby if I couldn't focus and concentrate and I needed to have this baby. Our lives depended on it.
I alway tried to be the "good" patient. The one that doesn't scream and throw tantrums while in labor. Yelling is a waste of precious energy, I was told. I remember being in the hospital with Cordelia, I had been admitted for three days at only seven weeks pregnant because I couldn't keep anything down and was vomiting blood. I remembered hearing a woman down the hall screaming and cursing deep in the throws of labor. It lasted for hours. It scared me and I had already had two children. I hoped to never do that to another mother so I vowed to keep my moans and grunts to hopefully normal levels.
After they administered the epidural -just incase I needed the c-section- everyone left the room. I rolled onto my back and at that instant she crowned. She was coming fast and hard. I freaked. Rob freaked. We couldn't find the "nurse" button on the bed. I screamed louder that I think I ever have in my life. In a flurry of motion there was more staff in the room that I could count.
The nurse donned birthing gear as the doctor had "stepped out". They frantically tried to find him while Emmy was quickly decending. They told me not to push. There was a NICU nurse prepping an incubator unaware the condition she'd come out. The doctor walked in just in time to catch her. Almost literally.
At 1:57 a.m. May 2, 2007 we welcomed a very healthy baby girl into the world. Thankfully, without the need for a c-section. She was pink and screaming. Hearty, healthy and whole. The room took a breath. But there was still a problem; I was still bleeding.
My world tilted for long moments as the doctor not-so-gently poked and prodded in my womb trying to find the source of all the bleeding. I listened to her screaming, the best sound in the world. There was a worry that the bleeding wouldn't stop. There was a soul deep fear I wouldn't be here to see her grow. Finally, the bleeding slowed. Stopped. We were alright.
Today, we celebrate the miracle of life and cherish the days we're given.
Today, we celebrate a Happy Birth Day.