14 years ago today, I was curled in a fetal position begging the doctors to put me out of my misery. I had eight I.V. lines inserted into every vein I owned. I hadn't eaten, slept, or breathed like a normal person in about six months, and I was over 150 pounds. I'm normally five feet tall and about 100 lbs.
Now, if I have your attention then I should start at the beginning, well not the very beginning because I'd have to go back to the day I met Erik, but at least the beginning of how I ended up in the latter situation.
March 22, 2000 was the day my labor was induced so I could deliver my son, Zack. Notice today is March 25, not 22. Hence the story.
I was never expected to have natural children because of my precarious health. However, after I got pregnant on two different forms of birth control, it became obvious that God didn't agree with my doctors recommendations.
My body handled pregnancy only barely for the first 22 weeks. After that my struggling kidneys couldn't keep up. My blood pressure rocketed to 220 over 130. For most people those numbers are extremely high, for me they were nearly fatal. I was immediately confined to bed rest in Utah Valley Regional Medical Center for the duration of my pregnancy.
Bed rest for 12 weeks is a separate story that I will tell one day, but not today.
Today, or rather, three days ago, my kidneys were collapsing. If the baby were going to live as well as the mom, he would have to be born premature.
Now if my perinatologist had been in the country, we'd have just delivered Zack C-section and skipped the three day safari through purgatory. Unfortunately, anyone who knows me will tell you I never do things the easy way. I convinced my OB that my body would heal faster and do better if I could deliver Zack on my own. Okay, clearly I was a stupid first time Mom who has never experienced labor before, but I was a tough chick I could do it. Man...was I wrong.
The first thing they did was a procedure known as "Stripping The Membranes". Yes, its as bad as it sounds. If your picturing someone sticking a wire coat hanger up to claw a furrow into your uterus, then you're just about right. Its more like a sharpened, rusty, wire coat hanger.
After I screamed like the devil himself were gutting me with a dull spoon, I spent three days feeling like my spine was trying to escape through my mouth. My blood pressure shot up, and my blood sugar went down. I got more medicine in I.V. bags. I got Pitosin to get labor going and then I got Magnesium to stop it from going too far. The baby was having no part of being evicted 6 weeks early, so he stayed as far from the exit as he could. While my too narrow hips tried to widen enough to let the baby through I got an epidural.
Aww, the power of really killer meds can be invaluable sometimes.
18 hours later though, there weren't enough chemicals in a nuclear dump to take away the pain. I'd been pushing for those excruciating hours and the baby was having none of it. It was taking so long, and was so miserable that poor Erik was left alone, the baby crowning, and wondering if he needed to catch the little guy.
He didn't though, Zack was stuck. He was posterior, which means face up, and his head was too big for the birth canal. So after his eye socket was rammed into my pelvic girdle for a day and a half, his heart rate was dropping below a hundred beats per minute and I was wrung out. All of the medications and fluids had filled my body with so much liquid that my failing kidneys couldn't process it and I swelled to 10 pounds heavier than I'd been when I was pregnant by the time we got Zack out.
Our last resort were forceps to pull him out at 12:29 on Saturday March 25. He was purple and not breathing. I was torn open and reacting to the anesthetic so I barely even saw him. When he finally started breathing and his color returned to a normal baby pink, the poor kid looked like he'd been through a prize fight. His eye sockets were black and blue from hitting his head on my pelvis, his cheeks were bruised on either side of his face from the forceps, and his head and belly were like a normal 8 pound baby even though he only weighed 5 pounds.
The kid is a string of miracles in just getting here.
The most amazing part is this 14 year old treasure though. My Zack is smart, beautiful, talented, sweet, charming and funny. He takes care of me like I hung the moon, and he loves to fly. You'll find him back flipping off of walls, running pell mell into life, playing his guitar, or helping someone else learn to do what comes so natural to him.
I know all mother's think this about their kids but I'm telling you...If you'd seen this broken, bruised, bloodied little froggy looking baby when he was born, you'd never recognize the brilliant, beautiful, wonderful treasure he truly is.
Our greatest gifts and most valuable treasures are the one's we sacrifice blood sweat and tears for. If you asked me to do it again, to go through all of it a thousand times over so I could be his Mom. I would. You would too. How many times do we shy away from things that are hard, or uncomfortable, or inconvenient because we don't want it.
Thank the heavens and stars that God knows what treasures are found in our trials. I remind myself when I'm in the middle of something horrible that I'm not suffering, I'm digging for a diamond.
Pain is inevitable. It comes with being human. Running from it or avoiding it will only result in missing out on the treasure. While you deal with pain, because everyone of us does, take on the attitude of a treasure hunter. You are in for quite an adventure, but suffering through it is optional. Instead focus on the golden prize.
Happy Birthday Zack, my little knight in shining armor. I'd do it all a million times over, You're worth it.