Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Blessed Birth

Less than two weeks ago, my sister Christine visited her obstetrician's office early in the morning for a 39-week prenatal check up. After the examination, the doctor, concerned with signs of imminent labor, combined with a history of quick labors, suggested an induction for Christine later that day. This would help assure a birth in the hospital instead of home, or somewhere along the way to the hospital.

With the invitation accepted, Christine went home with hopeful preparations to not spend another uncomfortable night pregnant. Apparently her body was thinking much the same as the doctor, but a little ahead of schedule. Within a couple hours Christine's contractions were so regular and strong she and her husband Stephen went to the hospital.

After some monitoring the contractions had seemed to slow down and Christine was about to be sent home. However, when the nurses noticed that she was due back into the hospital for an induction in only an hour and half, they gave her the option to stay, which she accepted.

By early evening her labor was intense again. After the third hard contraction, the baby's heartbeat stopped. With alarms loudly buzzing, nurses scrambled to move Christine in another position in hopes of recovering the weak to nonexistent heartbeat.

When those efforts failed, suddenly a flurry of medical personnel entered the room. Frantically unplugging cords, the doctor ordered them to the operating room for an emergency C-section. With no time for a hand squeeze or a kiss on the forehead, Christine looked up at Stephen. Then with tears forming in her green eyes, she was whisked away.

"Faster! Faster!" the doctor shouted as they raced her bed down the hall. Once in the operating room, Christine calmly obeyed the anesthesiologist's directions. "One," he counted, "Deep breath." Her stomach was scrubbed with a large swab soaked in iodine. "Two. Deep breath." She could feel cutting, but strangely no pain. "Three...Deep...."

A couple hours later Christine awoke in her room to learn that within one minute of entering the operating room, 7 pound 5 ounce Lincoln was born. After careful observation he was brought to her and Stephen. Healthy and perfect in every way.

From a discussion with the doctor they realized that Lincoln's umbilical cord had been wrapped around his body and then again around his arm. The contractions had restricted his blood flow and oxygen. In addition, the umbilical cord was unusually short. According to the physician, Lincoln surely would have never survived a normal vaginal birth. A labor that began at home rather than in the hospital would have been a frightening unknown.

We don't drive expensive cars or enjoy vacation homes in the mountains. But we are rich in blessings. Death's early grasp has not always stayed its hand from our precious family members. But this month, we were fortunate. And for that we are forever grateful.

18 comments:

  1. Ohhhhh....what a beautiful baby! And a beautiful miracle that brought him here safely!
    Thanks for sharing!

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  2. That is good news. Cant imagine the feeling of being cut open while being awake though, that would be horrible.

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  3. I was just thinking of Christine yesterday and how she was doing after the birth of her baby. My Sister Betsy and I visited her in her home with you and DH July 6th. I am so glad that everything went well and so glad Lincoln is going well and healthy. Please extend my best wishes to Christine and Steve.

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  4. Wow, what a scary time. I'm so glad everything turned out well. I love the picture, what a sweet little boy.

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  5. b.-

    You are so sweet. It was a miracle!

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  6. Pope,

    Her husband thought that was a bit freaky too!

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  7. Joanne,

    I will tell her. I'm so glad you and Betsy were able to come by that evening.

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  8. Stacy,

    I suppose I should have given credit for the picture to whom it belongs. I fairly certain my brother-in-law Stephen took that. Isn't it great?

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  9. God bless you all. God bless the hospital staff. And most of all, God bless Lincoln.

    Welcome, little boy, to a wonderful world ...

    Best wishes from the other side of the world

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  10. David,

    Thank you for the well wishes. Their warmth does not fade a bit as they travel half way around the wrold.

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  11. Hooray - congratulations! A new blogger in the world!

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  12. Oh, this baby is so beautiful, what a traumatic entry in to the world, and yes, thank God for such a blessing. I hope both your sister and her baby are now thriving well.

    (Off topic for a moment; I've just learnt an interview I sent to Cuckoo was never received. I had assumed she didn't like the questions, and had decided not to complete it. I know you have already been interviewed by chewy now, which made great reading - but I'm curious, did you ever receive mine? I'd hate to think you thought I'd simply over looked to send it on!)

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  13. Welcome to the world, Lincoln!!!

    We often don't take time to look around and count our blessings. DH and I make it a point to try and remember to say thank you to each other for the life we have. It has its ups and downs, but it's the only one we have, and we are constantly reminded how better off we are than others.

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  14. Abi,

    Thank you! We'll get him bloggin' real soon!

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  15. Shrinkwrapped,

    Thank you for the warm well-wishes. And no, I never did receive your interview. Darn! I'll leave you a note on your blog too.

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  16. Ozlady,

    Beautifully put! Thank you.

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  17. Oh! I raced through the story to find the happy ending!
    I had the same thing happen with my son, only it was during a NST.
    Such a scary thing!!
    I am glad the outcome was so wonderful, and what a cutie!!
    Slainte~
    Rachelle

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  18. Rachelle,

    The pictur was supposed to keep you from worrying too much.

    He is a cutie, huh?

    NST?

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