Friday, November 15, 2013

In His Hands

These past few weeks I've been looking back on the pass 14 months of my life.  Some crazy things have happened to my life, my body, and emotional health that I have needed to process to be able to continue on.  But something that hurt me (beside miscarrying two babies) was Ellie's birth and my recovery. (Check out that link for the post I made about her birth back in Oct 2012 after she was born.)

*Only read on if you want details of Ellie's birth story and my reflection.*
(Now I can say I warned you all.)

Weeks after Ellie was born I bawled, cried uncontrollably.  It wasn't depression.  I know what depression is, and it wasn't that.  Instead it was anger.

I (probably every mom) would like to look back on the birth of their child and say how wonderful of an experience it was.  That it was such a wonderful feeling to finally meet their baby face to face after months and months of waiting.  I remember looking forward to that very moment I finally got to hold Ellie in my arms and thank God that the pregnancy was over and now began the fun part--watching our daughter grow and see who she would become!

But I never had that moment.

When I was sick and sick and sick while carrying Ellie, I remember pleading to God to just put me to sleep with an IV until I could finally give birth.  He answered my prayer, but in a different way then I wanted.  He allowed me to take day by day as hardship to see the BLESSINGS He would show me as I watch Ellie grow now.  I thank Jon very often now for all those times he carried my barf bags out of our small apartment so I wouldn't have to smell them anymore, or those crazy times he had to stop somewhere to get me something to eat.  Or those times he had to wash dishes, feed a baby a bottle at my work, and everything else because I wasn't capable.  Or those multiple times he had to watch me throw up in the garbage can while driving me home from work or small group.

But back to the hospital when Ellie was born.  I had pictured pushing my baby out and holding her and telling her I was so thankful I finally got to meet her and that, "I am your Mommy."

But I don't remember the first time I held her.

At the time I didn't know this, but while pushing Ellie out I was loosing too much blood.  My doctor wanted to quickly get me out of that room so he could see better to stitch me back up.  I had two degree tearing (inside).  He asked me if I wanted drugs before he began and apparently I groaned in response.  (So thankful Jon at that point stepped in and said, "YES!")  Even now I don't EVER remember my doctor asking me that!

While looking at pictures a couple days later, I saw everyone holding Ellie while I was away in "surgery."  I asked Jon, "So every one there got to hold Ellie before me?"

Jon replied, "No.  They let you hold Ellie before they sent you off...."

I don't remember.  I just remember crying out in pain.

this picture is proof I did hold Ellie before they took me out

Jon reminded me that in the end all that matters is now you are both healthy and doing fine.  He was right, but I had to process it all as a new mom.

When I got back from "surgery" my mom and sister helped me nurse Ellie for the first time.  It was so precious.  I couldn't move my arms and they helped hold Ellie for me....so we could have that moment.  Of course not the picture I had originally in my mind for nursing Ellie, but she latched on well.  She was a natural at it!

While at the hospital she didn't nurse often because she had a bowel movement while coming out.  She was getting rid of a lot of brown stuff.  It was awful!  Some nurses were telling me if she didn't want to nurse not to force it, while others told me nursing would help it!  But meanwhile I was anemic and totally out of it.  My hemoglobin level was way down and I was passing out.  I wish I knew I was anemic the first time I had a nurse help me to the restroom.  Originally I was told they wanted me to go since I hadn't gone since giving birth.  I told them I didn't feel like moving so they tried other things (iick) and so I was motivated!  I got up and passed out three times by the time I finished going to the bathroom.  Had I known, I think I would have taken a different route or known to be put in a wheelchair BEFORE I passed out.  I passed out so much it took a few extra nurses and oxygen to wake me.  It was awful.  All the while Jon had to help with Ellie since the nurses had now made it clear, "I'm not allowed out of bed unless a nurse is present to help me."

I missed seeing my daughter's first bath.  I was so thankful my mom had left their video camera for us to use since we didn't have one yet (yeah for Christmas present last year)!  Otherwise I would have never got the chance to have that "first" picture in my mind.  I had to stay in bed.  I was so out of it I didn't get in my comfy clothes I had packed for the hospital stay.  I was taking iron and other meds constantly to try to stay alert.  I felt miserable the entire time.  I was thankful for one nurse that promised to bring Ellie to me in the night if she wanted to nurse so I could finally rest for the first time after getting to the hospital.  It was nearly 48 hours since I had slept (and even that was a couple hours).  Who sleeps well when they're 41 weeks pregnant and being induced the next morning at 7am?

When it was just the three of us in the room we would get snuggles with Ellie and spend time as a family.   I would ask Jon to retell me the birth story from his point of view.  (Amazing to hear new things I didn't even remember happening!)

Weeks after Ellie was born, Jon would come quickly to the bathroom in concern.  He would overhear me crying in the shower.  I told him I was still hurt by the way my body responded to the way Ellie was born and how I missed out on that "first moment."  I didn't have that joy in me.  My body ached.  I was still upset I didn't stand up for myself as a mom and tell a mean nurse to step off.

You see, after Ellie was born she was coughing up, sneezing up, and trying to control the brown mucus stuff coming out and I wasn't able to help her.  Someone always had to be around and alert (thanking that nurse for watching her while I slept).  I was so anemic that I could hardly move.  I was given two units of blood when my daughter was two days old.  I remember not enjoying it.  It meant I was still hooked up to an IV and stuck in bed.  I was unable to move my arm.  I wasn't able to hold my baby girl.  My arm hurt.  It hurt to get blood.  It felt weird.  Who's blood is this?  I was told I couldn't leave until my levels were back to a better number and so it was either get more blood or wait in hospital more days.  I chose the blood.  I wanted OUT.  I wanted no one bothering me or the baby anymore.  I wanted night time sleep and morning snuggles.  No more constant checking my baby and making her cold!  No more IVs!

I also teared up while in the hospital.  I had this nurse after one switched out from giving me the blood.  This nurse made me cry.  CRY.  I had her again when we checked out too, and I was ready to run (if I was able to I would have)!   Before leaving me the first time I remember her saying, "I'll try to be here again tomorrow morning to see how you are doing!"

GRR!

She made me cry so HARD.  She made me do things I didn't want to do.  At that point though, I wasn't confrontational.  I was just, "Do what I have to do to get OUT of here!"  She forced me to pump.  She made me pump for 15 minutes (and again the next day)!  It hurt so bad.  I was still getting used to the nursing thing and I wanted Ellie to get better at it too.  But remember how Ellie wasn't nursing as often because she was hacking up stuff?  Well, I wish I would have nursed her more by the time this nurse came in!  Jon and I purchased our breast pump at hospital (it was very convenient actually)!  However then the nurse (and she had another one with her that I never understood why) but two verses little me?  Eek!  I was vulnerable.  I just had a baby, anemic, two units of blood, and only had one shower in the past three days (including even after giving birth!).  I was miserable.  I was in no place to be VOCAL and stand up for myself.  And Jon would have, but pumping and nursing he said he had no idea what to say!

This lady forced me to start pumping to bring my milk in.  Right there I was MAD.  Then she scolded me for not sitting correctly.  I was MAD.  I just had a baby lady...that "area" you want me to move "up on" is stitched up and swollen!  Boo!  After she left I remember texting my mom and sisters in tears.....I had a mean nurse!  I needed a woman's point of view and my own family would know I just needed something cheerful to hear.  They felt bad for me.  I was miserable and in tears.  Poor Jon.  In the moment I blamed it on baby blues.  My sister had told me to prepare for them while in the hospital.  She clued me in on sometimes your hormones are so unbalanced, all the excitement, and just going through a lot at once causes you to sometimes cry for no apparent reason.  So I blamed the situation and my hard bitter anger on that.  My tears were just my emotions playing a trick on me.

I cried when I found out I had her again the next morning.  However the nurse I had between was AWESOME!  She helped me be able to take a shower!  Yeah, first shower at the hospital and after having a baby!  I remember telling Jon I didn't want to get out.  But I did eventually....then the nice nurse reminded me, "If you want to go home soon they won't let you until they know you walked the halls."  So my clean self walked the hall with Jon and Ellie.  We pushed the "crib" and it was so nice to get out of the room.  I pictured what it could have been like the day before if I was capable of it and how much better the outcome would have been if my health allowed it.

And after all that, that explains why I had so much hurt and anger towards the way Ellie's birth story had to go.  I kept reminding myself we were given such a good, healthy baby that I should just focus on that.  Jon kept reminding me that now I had the chance to focus on her NOW rather than the first couple days of hard times.  I'll be forever thankful for all the times Jon helped me in the hospital and the 41 weeks of pregnancy.  And I just had to remind myself all of that crazy stuff that happened....well, it IS a part of Ellie's birth story.  And it did help my miscarriages not be "so bad" too.  When I labored Taylor at home I was passing out...and I knew what to prepare for and how to respond.  Jon was right there to help me.  And when I had to make hard decisions with Alex's situation I was able to think back and say, "I do have a voice.  I'm the mom here, and it IS my body!"

God used my daughter's birth story to help me process my miscarriages labors.  He reminds me of the hardships of bringing Ellie into this world to remind me that she is truly a blessing to us.  I don't take that for granted!  I know God is faithful and that is something He has certainly helped me better understand over these pass 14 months.  I'm so thankful He has all of our children in His hands.  And now He certainly has Taylor and Alex...waiting for me.

Thank you Jesus.

Daddy holding Ellie at hospital


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