This story is very different from Hannah’s, but God has weaved their births together like only He can.
My pregnancy with Noah was not easy….emotionally or physically. Because of losing Hannah, I was considered high-risk from the very beginning of my pregnancy. I had 2 unplanned visits to the hospital due to complications from a complete placenta previa, almost 20 ultrasounds, 5 or 6 non-stress tests, and countless appointments in the 34 weeks that I carried Noah. I felt like I lived at my OB’s office, but every second was worth it just to have my son here safely.
On Thursday, March 14, I had my 34 week appointment. It was a difficult day for me because it was a year (minus a day) since the last time I had felt/seen Hannah alive. My last appointment with her had been on a Thursday (March 15th) and it felt so strange to be sitting in an office one year later having the same kind of appointment at the same exact time of day. With Hannah, I was convinced that they were going to tell me it was time to go to the hospital to meet my sweet baby, but with Noah, I just wanted to get through the appointment, go home and go to bed, and wake up with a baby still moving in my belly. This was the first big milestone that I needed to get through. I was shocked when the doctor told me that she wanted me to head next door to the hospital.
I was having some bleeding (because of the previa), the non-stress test showed that I was having contractions, my fluid levels were off on the ultrasound, and I was already starting to dilate. She told me not to eat dinner (I was starving) incase they needed to do an unplanned c-section. When she said that, for the first time I thought that we might actually have a living baby!
When we got to the hospital, the nurses at the front desk were waiting for me and had all of my information. They took me back to a room, hooked me up, and started to monitor my contractions. Lea, the nurse who took care of me was the same nurse who took care of me when I was in the hospital delivering Hannah. I know that God put her there for a reason. After 5 hours and lots and lots of IV fluids, they let me go and told me to take it very easy, stay super hydrated, and keep that baby in :)
The next morning, Friday the 15th, I woke up around 5:30. As soon as I sat up and got adjusted in the bed, I realized the sheets underneath me were soaked. Instantly, I thought I was having a severe bleed. When I stood up, I felt a gush and waddled/ran as quickly as I could to the bathroom. I was pretty sure my water had broken, and the bleeding was starting to get a lot heavier. I woke Zach up, and we were off to the hospital about 5 minutes later. I had no makeup on, my hair was a mess, and I didn’t even have a hospital bag packed. Thankfully he remembered to grab the camera (just in case) – I was trying to convince myself that I had just wet the bed and that we would be back home in a few hours because I wasn’t ready to deal with everything that was about to happen.
I checked into the hospital at 6:15 and was instantly put into a room. The very same nurse from the night before hooked me up to the monitors and started my IV. My contractions were light but about 15 minutes apart. My OB came to check me and then told me she was calling a high-risk OB, the anesthesiologist, and the NICU pediatrician in to consult. By that time, our parents knew that we were back in the hospital and were on their way up. A few minutes later, I had almost 10 people in my room discussing what we should do next.
The doctor who was coming on call for the day was one of my favorite doctors in the practice, and I trusted her opinion the most. She told me that I had two options: go ahead and deliver Noah or go on hospital bed rest. The risk of me hemorrhaging and having to have an emergency c-section was too great for me to be able to leave. She said that if it happened and I wasn’t at a hospital, there was a significant chance that neither one of us would make it. The thought of losing another baby was too much and I knew that despite the risks, it was time for Noah to arrive.
By 9:00, the consent forms had been signed, and the OR was being prepped. I was heartbroken my sister was in Georgia, but we were able to talk on the phone before, during, and right after my surgery! I was wheeled into the operating room at 10:00. After they did my spinal and got my blood pressure back under control, they let Zach come in.
My OB and the anesthesiologist were amazing about keeping me informed about what was happening since I couldn’t see or feel anything. There were a few scary moments once things got started, and I had a few complications, but Noah was delivered at 10:33. The sweetest words I’ve ever heard were, “He’s breathing.”
Before they opened me up, the anesthesiologist warned me that Noah wouldn’t cry but that it didn’t mean that something was wrong. When they held him up for me to see for the first time, it was super super quick. I just remember thinking, he’s perfect…and alive!
Later, like as he was being discharged from the NICU later, I found out that it took the doctors and nurses about 30 seconds to resuscitate him after they carried him away. I’m glad I didn’t know that then. I’m pretty sure I would have fought like crazy to get off that table and into that little room where he was at. His initial APGAR score was a 2, but his second score was an 8. From the very beginning he’s been such a strong boy!
It took my doctor almost an hour and a half to get the bleeding under control and close me up. I even had time to take a little nap while I was on the operating table. Zach was worried that something had happened to me because everything took so much longer than it should have. The pediatrician was great about coming to give me updates after Noah was stable, but I was so out of it that I really couldn’t understand what he was saying.
I was finally wheeled to recovery at 11:58. Zach was allowed to come back and see me and brought me pictures of Noah. Lea, my nurse, stayed with me during the 2 hours I was in recovery and finally wheeled me into the NICU to meet Noah for the first time. I got to spend almost an hour snuggling, kissing, staring at him, and telling him how much I loved him before they took me to my hospital room. Sweet Lea stayed with me through the whole thing even though I’m pretty sure her shift had ended at 7 o’clock that morning.
I spent the next few days in the hospital and was discharged Monday afternoon. Noah’s NICU stay lasted almost 2.5 weeks, and he was finally able to come home with us on April 1st!
The last 5 months have been amazing, terrifying, stressful, peaceful, happy, blessed, etc.!!!! I thank God everyday that Noah is here with us. I know that he is on loan to us and that God picked us to be his earthly parents. I also know that God can call him home at anytime, but I pray that he is old and grey and surrounded by his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids when that happens. My job is to love him, nurture him, and be a Godly example of a Christian wife and mother that helps lead him to Christ as his Savior. It’s a huge job and the biggest responsibility I’ve ever had. Good thing I serve a great God!