Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Son

Twenty-seven years ago next Saturday (May 21st) , I gave birth to my third child (and my only son).

I had been confined to bed rest since my forth month due to a complication called placenta praevia. And my doctor informed me that I would require a C-section when the time came to deliver, because a natural birth would put both the baby and I in jeopardy.

The morning I arrived at the hospital for my scheduled C-section, the doctor decided to do another series of ultrasounds to determine the exact location of the placenta. 
It had moved! I was free to go home and wait for the labor pains to begin on their own. 
(Which proved to be a few days later.)

However, my regular doctor was out of town and his replacement was apprehensive about delivery because of my history. So, they ordered an ambulance to transport me to another hospital about twenty miles away that provided a specialist who was brought in to confer.

Another series of sonograms were taken and I was assigned a comfortable room where my labor pains became more regular. 
Then the specialists came to my bedside and he told my husband and I that the sonograms showed a deformity. 
We were told that the baby's head was small, although the arms and legs were of normal proportion. He suspected that the "soft spot" had fused together, and in the process, the brain had failed to grow. Four other professionals had studied the tests and they all agreed.

"Are you saying that the baby will have mental challenges?" We asked.

"Your child will have to be put in a home- an institution of sorts- where you'll be able to visit. The defect will be too extreme for you to provide care on your own." We were told.

I was in shock. It just didn't soak in at first. But then I saw my husband sobbing as he stood staring out the window and I knew I wasn't dreaming.

Then the doctors decided to slow my contractions down in order to do an amniocentesis because they suspected that the baby was not yet developed enough to be born.

Five doctors formed a circle around me as a large needle was inserted into my abdomen and fluid removed. And when those tests proved that the lungs were fully developed, they allowed me to continue the labor process.

I prayed. More than I ever prayed in my life. I just would not let myself believe that this baby would not be one I could cradle in my arms and watch grow up into a normal child.
My husband told his mother what was happening- and soon a prayer chain was started.
There were hundreds of people praying for my unborn child to be healthy.

When I came closer to the delivery stage, the doctor gave me something to relax because my husband was told, "we don't want her fully conscious- she shouldn't see the baby."

"I can go in the delivery room- right, Doc?" my husband asked.

"It's not advisable." they said, "it will probably have an open spine and other abnormalities."

But my husband insisted. He told the doctor that he witnessed all his other kids being born and he was going to see this one, too.

Although I was in pain -and in a fog, I remember seeing my husbands face covered by a green surgical mask- his eyes swollen with tears as he bent down to kiss me before they asked me to push.

A few minutes later, our baby was born. I fell back against the pillow, exhausted.

"It's a boy," my husband cried- his eyes smiling at me from beside my bed, his voice shaking.

"Doc- I don't see anything wrong with him. He looks normal to me," I heard my husband say.

"Yes, he seems to be very healthy. And no apparent problems..." the doctor agreed.

It would be a few hours before I could hold my son. I drifted in and out while in the recovery room, my husband appearing now and then with a happy smile on his face.

The doctors said our son was fine. Absolutely normal. 
They admitted that they only took one view on the sonograms- which showed a small head. 
If they had taken another view, they would have seen that the head was simply "molded" -and otherwise normal in size.
They apologized.

Five doctors. Dozens of tests. All in agreement.

But all wrong.

Call it the answer to prayer. The power of positive belief. God's blessing.
Whatever happened that day- it will always be considered a miracle to me.

In eighteen days, my son Jake will graduate with a doctorate in dentistry.

Happy Birthday, son. I love you beyond imagining.


Beth Zimmerman said...

Beautiful and amazing! Praise God and congratulations to your precious boy! (Even if he is a dentist!)

mybabyjohn said...

A complete comedy of errors all the way through as far as the medical profession is concerned. Just another example of how poor our health system has become. But what a joyous ending....a perfectly normal baby boy and two happy parents who had been put through hell for nothing. I am angry for you and elated for you and happy birthday to the miracle baby.

Michelle in a shell said...

What a beautiful story. Congratulations to yourself and your son! You deserve a medal of courage. Hearing stories like these make my day. Thank you for sharing.

lvroftiques said...

What a nightmare! Followed by what I suspect is one of the greatest miracles and blessings in your life *winks* God certainly works in mysterious ways! A very Happy Birthday to your son! Vanna

Joanne said...

GOD IS GREAT!!!!!! Happy Birthday to your son . what an incredible story of faith and love! Blessings, Joanne

Jan Morrison said...

Nothing but goodness in the way that story unfolded. I love your presence in that hard moment and that of your husband who insisted on being there. good.

Chryifiwant2 said...

Hey, that was a short sabbatical...glad you came back to share that story!

MAFW said...

The ultimate doctor is always right! I love the way you tell this story.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad God put your miracle baby into my life. He is my miracle man, I am so blessed that I get to spend the rest of my life with him. Thank you for bringing him into this world and for shaping him into the incredible man that he is. I promise to take good care of your baby. Love you, your DIL ; )

Margaret Hall said...

Again, *tears*...Rae, you always put us within the happenings, no matter if it is in the past, the present, or what you see in a daydream....This was quite an intense writing and I know that your undying devotion to your faith is what brings your son, Jake, to his goal in 18 days...How special your posting was for all that was priveleged to have read it..Thank you for sharing..Hugs...

Name: Luana Krause said...

What a wonderful testimony! God is amazing!

Cathy said...

Beautiful! God blesses us in so many ways. Congratulations and happy birthday to your son!

Bluebell Books said...

Happy Belated Birthday to your 27 old son.

My older son was born on May 22, 18 years ago.


Bluebell Books said...

Check out our short story slam today,

We love creativity, your input is valued.

Happy Friday!
Hope to see you in!

GAIL said...

Your handsome son and family are living proof of the power of prayer.
God bless you Rae and your husband for having the faith to help your son find his way into this life.
Hugs, Gail