Here I sit wiping my eyes after replaying the video of Lil’ A’s first entrance into this world. It’s around this time of the year where I got all emotional and mushy inside remembering that one cold day on December 7th.
The day I was so scared to death, the day I plunged into Motherhood in an unexpected way – well sort of unexpectedly – thanks to my severe preeclampsia.
After 4 weeks of being bedridden, countless of ultrasounds – at least I got to see the little peanut a lot more than most prego mama does – countless of doctor visits. I knew he was supposed to be born early.
Still, I was nervous as hell after my obygyn said we are running out of weeks…he must be born during my 35 weeks visit or I might jeopardize my own life and that baby’s life as my blood pressure kept creeping up to a very dangerously high numbers. The doctor was worried I might get seizure at any rate. Funny enough I was called his magical patient since I had no other symptoms than the obvious super high blood pressure, mild headache, and leaking of protein in my urine. There was no swelling at all!
A normal birth was out of the question as the doc explained it would be way too risky.
I nearly had a panic attack!
We haven’t even picked a name yet – yes we discussed some options but nothing was really settled! The crib was still in its box…we had no preemie outfits…the house isn’t thoroughly cleaned to welcome this baby…my dog hasn’t been bathed!
Then threw in those motherly scares of how is he going to be being born 5 weeks early? How am I going to care for such a small baby? What if I dropped him?
No time to find all the answers…5 o’clock PM sharp I was rolled into the operating room. Bent down and had that big giant epidural needle inserted on my back to numb me from the waist down. That alone hurts like hell!
The scare doesn’t stop there. After my obygyn, Dr. Richards said “Are you guys ready?” there was only silence…there was no cries…there was nothing but shoving and pushing on my big tummy. Yes, I can feel them pushing! One nurse rushed to my side – whispered something to the other nurse that watches my oxygen before they started pushing my stomach from my side. I felt nauseous and worry I might throw up.
That was the longest 15 minutes of my life…
What went wrong? What’s going on? Did the nurse suppose to push my stomach from my side? Is my baby OK? Why is he not crying? From all the baby stories I watched on TLC and Discovery channels they suppose to cry!
After what seemed like an eternity that big loud cries finally filled the cold room!
Tears rolled down my face…my arms twitched to hold him…my baby has ‘arrived’.
The good doctor rushed to my side after the nurse whisked Lil’ A to the pediatrician. He explained that Lil’ A turned out to be bigger than he predicted. The incision wasn’t big enough and the way Lil’ A positioned himself caused him to use a vacuum.
The scares didn’t stop there.
Although his APGAR score was excellent and weighing in at 6.5lbs – pretty big for a preemie – he had breathing problems. I just felt cheated when they had to take him to NICU immediately before I could even touch or kiss him.
Wanting to breastfeed, my nurse waited till I can wiggle my toes before telling me to sat up and handed me this ugly looking machine called breast pumps. She said if I don’t pump now my body might think the baby died and dry out my milk supply. So there I leaned on the hospital bed pumping and tried not to cry from the pain.
It wasn’t until after 9 PM that night when the nurse pushed my bed to NICU.
That was not how I pictured meeting my baby would be like! Wires sticking on him like he’s a tiny robot. His tiny chest heaving, a little oxygen hood covering his head…it was a scene that simply broke my heart. Not being able to hold him made me felt so helpless. Wish it was me who got poked and prodded, wish I can take his pain away…
All I could do that night after he was born was touching his tiny little hand…whispering “hang in there…baby…Mommy’s here” while my sight got blurred.
Then he opened his little eyes and looked straight at me…he was beautiful, he looks perfect to me. My heart yearns to hold him, to kiss him.
It wasn’t until the third day that I can finally do all that…and it wasn’t until a week after he was born where we both brace the joyride of motherhood and babyhood.
It wasn’t easy…I felt betrayed by that ugly disease, I was depressed but not knowing what the heck was wrong with me.
There were days where I felt like I’ve been robbed from that experience of childbirth most moms had but seeing how healthy and smart my little boy is…I would have them cut me open a million times just to have him in my life forever.
His arrival and first few weeks of life might’ve been scary and unplanned for but he was the best gift God has trusted me enough with.
Tomorrow, not only I’m celebrating his birthday but also saluting myself for this life journey of motherhood and how I had survived for 4 years long. I may not be the perfect mother, but in my imperfections, my love for him will remain through eternity.
Happy 4th Birthday, Lil’ A…you maybe too big for Mommy to carry you but she will always carry you in her heart forever.