Tuesday, May 6, 2008

You Just Never Know

The Country Doctor's Wife is having a little contest this week and has asked for birth and/or adoption stories. I am posting my two entries here as well.

Entry #1

Years ago we had the opportunity to be in regular fellowship with a family that moved to Mississippi from the Northwest for about a year. Somehow, through both of our families moving to different states... and them several times, we have lost touch. But, I will always remember them fondly and hope that we are able to re-connect at some point in the future. This is their story.

C and J were married fairly young and had their two boys close together. They decided at that point that they only wanted to have two children and they were fine with that for a few years. C had had a vasectomy which they then had reversed. They had not had any problems conceiving the boys and were disappointed when the reversal apparently did not take. They were sure that they were meant to have another child and had prayed about the decision.

After some time passed (I believe it was a year or so), J learned through a family member or a friend of a woman who was related to that person by marriage that was pregnant. She was married and had several children but they were in bad shape and she did not want the child. She was planning on getting an abortion. J was so moved that she wrote the woman a letter asking her to not get an abortion and offered to take her child. The woman was very offended and it did not go over well at all. She was going ahead with the abortion but she did tell her family member that she would not do it if she felt the baby move. J and the women in her bible study prayed that she would feel the baby move. She did and at a much earlier time than usual.

Time went on and J continued to pray for this woman and her family but there was no contact at all between them. When the woman was 8 months pregnant, she called J up to see if she had been serious. They could not afford another child and she didn't want it. She said yes not knowing how they were going to work it all out. Things got very crazy as this woman had never seen a doctor through the entire pregnancy and they couldn't find an OB willing to take her on. Eventually, they found and OB who had adopted himself and was willing to take the risk. They had to get a lawyer and make sure that everything they did was legal. They also had to have a home study done. All the while, they had no idea how they were going to pay for all of it and it was really racking up.

There were some tense moments as, with all adoptions, the mother can change her mind at any point. The birth father, C and J were all present for the birth of a perfect baby girl. The birth father actually handed C his daughter and told C, "Congratulations Dad."

A couple at their church heard of their story and were so touched that they paid for everything. Just like that. If ever there was a story of God closing one door and opening another, this one is it. They came into our lives when little A was about 7 months old. She stole my heart and I was blessed to have her take some of her very first steps with her arms outstretched to me.

Entry #2

This is my story. My last birth story. I am sorry to say that I am not a good breeder. All three of my pregnancies were high risk and each a frightful tale. My son's takes the cake though.

I went into labor at 23 weeks. We had gone to the hospital because we knew something was wrong. My husband was not allowed back into the labor and delivery unit with our girls who were then 2 and 3. It was very early in the morning and he was trying to find someone to take care of them for us. Admitting called to find out why I was there and I heard the nurse tell them from the other room that I was in labor. I did not know that and it was a shocking thing to hear while lying there alone.

They were eventually able to stop the contractions. For the next 13 weeks I was on bed rest and we had to put our girls in daycare. There were many more trips to the hospital and I basically kept a log of contractions for 3 months. Once I hit 36 weeks I was taken off of the drugs because they said that at that point it would be better to have my son a little early than to keep taking them. And nothing. Nothing!

Some good friends came to visit us from Connecticut. We had both been in their wedding and hadn't seen them since before they had their little girl. We were living in Pasadena, CA and they wanted to see the sights. I was told I no longer needed to be on bed rest and so we went. We went to the L.A. Zoo and we went to the beach. New Port Beach. In fact, I loved boogie boarding and thought it would be fine for me to catch a few waves because my belly would hang down into the water. I had some great fun until I caught a wicked wave that hurtled me toward the shore at frightening speed... and caused by belly to run up on the sand and leave me flailing about like a great white beached whale. Still, no more contractions.

A bit later, my husband and I discovered that we were badly sunburned. I also felt that I was becoming a bit swollen. We went to the hospital just to get checked out and make sure everything was okay. My husband actually had sun poisoning and wallered on the floor moaning. The doctors and nurses were not very kind and we were lectured a few times. I was 25 and my husband was 26. We both looked younger than that though and the fact that we already had two other children caused palpable disdain to be shot our direction. And really, what were we thinking? Oh, and so you know, our girls did not get sunburned. We made sure they were protected. Gosh, that sounds pretty lame.

Well, our friends left the next day. My husband stayed home from work because he was a mess. In fact, 4 years ago we caught a nasty melanoma on his back and he has a lovely 6 inch scar across his shoulder. I noticed that I was getting even more swollen. I called the doctor's office and talked to the nurse. They knew all about our trip to the hospital the night before and weren't real happy with me. After 3 months of back and forth and stress tests and call after call, they were tired of me. I felt pretty ashamed and stupid and dumb.

But... I kept swelling. I called again the next day. I was told to keep my feet elevated and to drink more water and to not eat anything with salt in it. I tried to explain that I was really swollen. The nurse was rude to me to the point where I said that I wanted to talk to the doctor myself. My doctor called me a bit later and I told him that I was very swollen. He sighed deeply and told me that I had an appointment the very next day. I could tell by his tone that he was tired of me. I cried when I hung up.

The next afternoon my husband took me in for my appointment. I could not fit in my clothes. I could not fit in any shoes. I had to wear a ginormous nightshirt with snoopy on it and black stretch pants.. and slippers. I was mortified. I waddled into the office and the nurse first took me to the scale. In a matter of days I had gained 19 lbs. I started blubbering and making incoherent attempts at speech. They checked my urine and my blood pressure. The nurse kept telling me to calm down. The doctor came in and checked my blood pressure several times himself. I needed to go to the hospital immediately. I had toxemia. And after 3 months of counting contractions, I had to be induced.

My doctor was not scheduled to be on call that night but he was very concerned about me. His wife played in an orchestra and he had to go to an event of hers but he said he'd come to the hospital when he was done. He did and he stayed until I had my son the next morning. It was a rough delivery. The umbilical chord was wrapped around our son's neck several times and there was an actual knot in it. In fact, our doctor had never seen that himself and put it in a pan and left it in the doctor's lounge for others to see. Our son was 23" long and weighed 8 lbs. 11 oz. and was nearly 4 weeks early.

Later that night a nurse wheeled a scale into my room. After giving birth to that big baby boy... I had gained another 5 lbs. in addition to what I weighed BEFORE I had him. Yes, it is true. I am the only person I have ever known to have gained weight while giving birth. I did also lose 40 lbs. in 4 days though too.


Pioneering in PA said...

It's amazing how some things work out, like with the adoption of "A".

I so wish that I could have lost 50 lbs. in the THREE years after having my last! But, somehow, I'm still at the weight that I was the day I went in to have him. I fluctuate a ton, my lowest was 218 last summer, and right now I would kill for that at least!

Maybe if I quit moping around and actually do something about it.. it will go away lol.

Fantastic stories, good luck with the contest!

Laura ~Peach~ said...

wow... 23 inches long thats a LONG Baby! Martha was 21 and a half but she also weighed 9 pounds 10 oz!
I am glad you made it through and did not have any lasting problems with toxemia... I had that with cory and spend time in the hospital before he was finally born too.
Good luck with the contest I might have to enter with the adoption story dad tells abotu me LOL.

Patsy Clairmont said...

Wow! Those are some stories. I felt bad that you called so many times and no one "heard you" regarding your swelling. And then I gasped at the size of that early child. My, my what would he have been full-term? Boogie boarding?? C'mon. Youth...sweet-silly-naive youth.

Yes, your story made my emotions zig and zag. Good luck in the contest.

Patsy Clairmont said...

One more thing...I went home in the same maternity clothes I arrived in when I gave birth. After 4 days I weighed the same as I did at delivery. So-o discouraging to look like you haven't given birth when you're holding pumkin' in your arms. But hey before you know it the weight melts off.

Yea, sure it does. Not.

Karen Deborah said...

wow that was awful. Medical people can get so callous. The adoption story is cool and I am sitting here racking my brain to put names to those intials.