She Didn't Cry By Cathy M Print
Birth Stories - Premature Birth Stories
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 09:15
Each birth story is special. Our story was an unexpected one. However, it was one that changed my whole outlook on life and one to be shared. Yet, I must share some background information with you before I actually tell our story. . . One year after my husband and I were married we found out that we were going to have our first child. With three weeks and two days until my due date, my doctor put me into the hospital for observation after dialating three centimeters and some contractions in progress. "It is nothing, I'm sure" I remember his words exactly. Two days later, after my entrance into the hospital Elizabeth Kate arrived, three weeks early and all 6 lbs, 15 1/2 ounces of her. She was beautiful. Two hours after Elizabeth was born, the nurse tells me her breathing is very rapid. After some tests the doctors found that she had some fluid in her lungs-- swallowed during birth they thought. She was immediately put under oxygen for two and a half days. Elizabeth's condition gradually improved and we brought a healthy, beautiful baby girl home four days after her birth. . . This is where our story begins. . . again. . . My husband and I decided in the spring of 1999 that we were ready to add a new baby to our family. Elizabeth was ready for a sibling. In July of 1999 we were delighted to learn the good news. Soon I recalled the feeling of "morning sickness" that I had encountered with our first child. This time it lasted most of the day. . . every day. However, as time went on, we became more anxious for the arrival of another little girl, as our doctor gathered from the ultrasound. Our due date was March 15, 2000. On the night of Feb. 8 I left a doctor's visit with my husband to pick up our daughter at my parent's home. After a long day at work and a huge dinner, compliments of my mother, we headed home with our daughter. I started having stomach cramps that made me bend over in the car. I told my husband that I had eaten too much. I never dreamed that this was the beginning of labor. After all, my due date was still 5 weeks away. After a rest on the couch the pain had gone away. I went to bed preparing to get up early the next morning to head to work (I am an elementary teacher). By lunch time of the next day the pain was back. Luckily we have a wonderful school nurse. After a little coaxing she made me realize that I could be in preterm labor and better safe than sorry. She drove me to my doctor's office who confirmed that something was going on. "3 centimeters", he said. We were off to the hospital to be monitored. I remember praying on the way for my baby to be healthy. This had been my prayer since the day we found out we were going to have her. By the time I was checked at the hospital, I was 5 centimeters without much pain at all. This would have been great in three or four weeks time. It was still so early. My doctor felt the same. He kept me in the hospital for three days and sent me home with strict bed rest orders and Brethene. This was now Saturday. By Monday night, my husband and I rushed back to the hospital. By this trip I was feeling sick along with the pain. I vomited on the way all over myself and the car. What a way to enter the emergency room. I was upset over the vomit covered shirt I was wearing on top of an early delivery as it looked like anything else was now out of the question. After a quick change and admission to the O.B. unit I was overjoyed to see the two nurses who had taken care of me so well the week before- - one of which was a high school friend. Still my doctors and nurses wanted to hold off this delivery as long as possible. I was taken off the Brethene to see what would happen. The next afternoon I was at 6-7 centimenters. Without a doubt this baby was on its way.I knew my doctor was still uneasy about this early delivery. A nurse from the level two nursery also stood by my o. b. nurse. In the back of my mind I felt that something wasn't right. Meghan Alexandra was born after only four pushes that afternoon. As my doctor held her up it was like looking at our Elizabeth again. They were identical. She weighed 5 ob 15 ounces. She never cried. Over and over I heard Marsha, the level two nurse, say "Come on, Meghan, cry for us, talk to us." Still, she never cried. I gave her a quick kiss as they let my husband whisk her away to the nursery. The next two hours proved to be nothing but worse. Meghan was given oxygen and over time it was increased. After four hours there was no improvement. Her little chest rose up and down so fast that I knew she must be struggling to breathe. Soon, another hospital that specialized in premature infant care with breathing difficulties was contacted and before we knew it our baby was hooked up to machines and tubes preparing to be air-lifted to a hospital 1 1/2 hours away from us. I never felt so helpless in all my life. They let us tell her goodbye before they left. I reached through the holes of her little bed and rubbed her little back. She was now on her stomach and I couldn't see all the tubes. Then they left. Our window was in plain view of the helicopter as it took of at midnight. In a flash it was gone. Then there was nothing but silence. I felt like someone had come in and kidnapped my child. I had carried her for 8 months, delivered her, and now she was gone. . . and very sick. Meghan was on 100% oxygen when she left. At 6 the next morning we threw some things together, made arrangments for our three year old with my parents, and checked out of the hospital to go where our baby had been taken. When we arrived at the NICU I didn't know what to expect. It was like we had walked into a whole different world. Everywhere we looked there were critical babies. They were hooked up to monitors, tubes, wires. . . as the nurse led us down that hallway, I wondered which bed she would stop at to tell us about our baby. Finally, there she was. I burst into tears. This little life who was still inside me 24 hours ago was struggling to breathe. We were introduced to her nurse. . . Alice. Alice was wonderful. She was honest. She was compassionate. She was the main nurse that our Meghan had while she was in the NICU. "Touch her", she would say. "She needs you to touch her." For nine days we say by our baby's side. I held one hand and my husband would hold the other. We called Elizabeth each night. "Will you please come home and bring my baby?" That is what I heard each time. The second morning we were in the NICU, we came in to find that Alice had pasted a bow in Meghan's hair. "I saw your little girl in the waiting area the night before when your parents brought her to visit. She had a bow in her hair so I felt that Meghan should, too." At five days old, Meghan was taken off the ventilator. I got to hold her. As I picked her up, she cried! It was wonderful. Never will I complain at a midnight bottle I told myself, when she wakes me up crying. Nine days of ups and downs went by as we watched our baby and held her hand. Nine days of waiting. Then we went home. Three babies died the last two days we were there. I still hear the cries of those mothers. It was awful. I look at life a little differently now. God answered my prayer that I prayed for our baby. I asked to bring home a healthy baby and eventuallly, we did. Nine and a half months later we have two beautiful girls and are very thankful for these two miricles.