Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August 31, 2004

On this day, seven years ago, in the early hours of the morning, I was admitted to the hospital to be induced. An ultrasound done the day before estimated the baby I was carrying to be between 9-11lbs, with eleven days left until my due date. Given my history with my pregnancy with Hannah, going over two weeks and her being 10lbs at birth, my OB felt it best to induce me, and avoid the baby getting any larger. Shortly after arriving to the hospital, I was hooked up to the drugs that would bring on labor and after ten hours and not making any decent progress, my OB felt it was in my best interest for the safety of the baby, and for me, to proceed with a c-section. I was prepped, Steven was gowned up, and two hours later I was wheeled into the delivery room.The delivery room was cold and sterile. Nurses were busy about their business while they finished up last minute preparations for the soon to be delivered baby. They made Steven sit on a chair just outside the door until they were ready for one more body to be in the room.

And then the time came...

My wonderful OB came in, and someone escorted Steven in to be by my side. I could see nothing as a curtain had been put up across my chest. Blocking me from seeing what was going on. There was the smell of cauterizing flesh. There was tugging. And then there was complete and udder silence. It was my OB who kept moving forward in a business fashion sort of way giving the medical team in the room the news they all needed to know, "We have a baby girl with a unilateral cleft lip and palate". The way she said it, was calm. And upon hearing that, I knew I had just given birth to a baby born with an undetected birth defect. I remember that moment like it happened yesterday. I can tear up just thinking about it, as I am writing this post, reminiscing about the day our Rachel was born.

The days that followed Rachel's birth were very tough ones for our family. We had been praying for nine months for a healthy baby. We had already had a difficult babyhood with our first baby, we were ready for a healthy, normal baby. It was very much like a time of grieving. I remember being very removed and detached for the first few days in the hospital. I know a lot of it was due to an anti-anxiety drug I'd been given in my IV following the immediate delivery of Rachel. One thing we did know was that we had a long journey ahead of us with Rachel. A long journey that has been blogged about and shared all along the way at Rachel's Journey.I had Rachel on a Tuesday night (9:21pm to be exact) and I remained in the hospital until Friday. In the evenings, after all the visitors had gone home, after Steven had stayed late into the night and went home for some rest, I was left at the hospital alone. The baby went to the nursery. I had my iPod with me and the song I remember listening to over and over and over again was Fernando Ortega's "The Joy of the Lord". And that's kinda been my 'theme song' all theses years...

The joy of the Lord
Will be my strength
I will not falter
I will not faint
He is my Shepherd
I am not afraid
The joy of the Lord
Is my strength

The joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord
Is my strength

Thy joy of the Lord
Will be my strength
He will uphold me
All of my days
I am surrounded by mercy
And grace
And the joy of the Lord
Is my strength

The joy of the Lord
Will be my strength
I will not waiver
Walking by faith
He will be strong
To deliver me safe
The joy of the Lord
Is my strength


Here we are seven years later, and I am extremely thankful for the gift the Lord gave us in Rachel, birth defect and all.

2 comments:

Liz said...

What a sweet post!! Happy birthday Rachel!!

Carolyn said...

Apparently still makes me cry, too. Happy Birthday sweet girl ~ you have always had my heart :)