Tuesday, December 20, 2005

30 Years Ago Today

Hope (originally posted on the Dark Madness October 2005)

Two weeks before my 19th birthday my (ex) husband and I moved into a new apartment. I was very sick with a kidney infection and was in pain that I'd never felt before. Every slight movement was agony. I constantly felt as though a knife was piercing my back and my (ex) husband couldn't even sit on the bed without sending me into spasms of white hot pain.

We lived in a fairly large city and the powers that be decided that our name would be on the list for having a telephone installed when they said so. My (ex) husband pleaded with them, explaining I was very sick and pregnant, but they wouldn't budge. Two days after my birthday I was sitting on the toilet, feeling for the thousandth time that day that I had to pee, and not producing anything but a drop or two in the toilet. My (ex) husband had just arrived home and was checking on me when whoosh! my water broke into the basin. I was stunned. I wasn't due for two months!

Except for the water breaking, I was fine - better than fine, actually, because for a few moments I realized I no longer had the other pain. Having no phone, we at least were lucky enough that our apartment complex was right next door to a convenience store with a payphone. My (ex) husband ran over and called the doctor. Doctor asks if I'm in pain or bleeding. No and no. He says to bring me into the hospital.

In the few minutes it took for him to call, I'd gone from no pain and no bleeding to bleeding like a stuck pig. He runs back to the store and calls the doc again - now he's yelling to get me to the hospital as quickly as possible and he'll meet us there. I didn't think I'd make it. It was a blur. Literally. I can't see worth a darn without my glasses and just the way it worked out, he'd whisked me out of the apartment without them! He drove like a maniac - through town, onto the freeway - to downtown where the hospital was. It was a good twenty minute drive if you obeyed all the laws, and I'm sure we made it in ten. (I'll never know how he got all the blood out of the car.)

They wisked me inside and he went to fill out forms. They were getting ready to prep me, but one look and they said, no time - that's it... we have to go now! My beautiful baby girl was born three minutes later. 3lb 5 oz. she was the smallest baby they'd had so far at this hospital (until a one pounder was born the next week). They were transferring her to a bigger hospital that had the best NICU unit in the state, but they brought her by my room so I could see her first. only thing was, they couldn't take her out of the incubator. In all actuality, I didn't get to see my daughter until a few days later when they let me out of the hospital!

That was a horrible time. my parents and (ex) husband were at the other hospital with the baby. They could go into the NICU and hold her and touch her and everything, and I was stuck across town not being able to. My parents would call up and, I should hope they were well-meaning, when they would say things preparing me for her death. They were sure she wouldn't make it.

After the initial "touch and go", the doctors said she was doing well - they only had to open her lungs up all the way and keep her under the bilirubin light, but other than that she was fine, she just needed to gain weight.When I finally got to see her she was so tiny and beautiful. The nurses all talked about how her hair was different than any they'd ever seen - it was light brown, but when you looked at it straight on, it looked frosted! It was amazing.

For all the terrible things I had done in my life... and all the terrible things that would come back to haunt me later... this precious child, my firstborn, gave me hope. She's never stopped.

Footnote: She has grown into a beautiful woman, wife and mother. She is the smallest of the four children, but has the biggest laugh. She is a remarkable person with unlimited capability to love. Please go over to Curious Are We and wish Manda a happy birthday today...!