Last week, my middle baby turned 5. Because her birthday is on July 2, it gets smooshed into the festivities of the 4th of July holiday. However, it also lends itself to a lot of playing outside, swimming, and fireworks. What kid doesn't like that? But as we celebrate Tait's birthday, I also reflect back on my pregnancy with her, her birth, and infancy. It was a beautiful time. It was a hard time. It was a scary time. And it was a time where I grew closer to my Savior than I ever thought possible.
This is the story of Tait.
When Mary Emma was 2, Spencer and I decided that it was time to try to get pregnant again. I am very fortunate in that I get pregnant EASILY. So when we decided that it was time, I was pregnant in no time flat. After a trip to NYC, a torn arch in my foot, a cast, a DVT (MAJOR blood clot), and a hospital stay, I lost that baby at about 9 weeks. I was heartbroken. But I was determined to have another baby. So about a year later, I got pregnant again. I lost that baby at about 11 weeks. The doctors started running tests on my blood and realized that I have a situation with my blood that causes it to thicken when my estrogen levels increase (ie. pregnancy), and I was most likely losing the babies because of mini blood clots that were trying to pass through the teeny umbilical cord. So the doctors had me begin taking Heparin shots to thin my blood and fix the problem. And I got pregnant again. And lost that baby, too.
I was hesitant to get pregnant again. I was heartbroken. I was tired. I was having to give myself 2 shots a day in the stomach. I had a beautiful 3 year old daughter. I was trying to be content with 1 child. But I wanted another child. Desperately. So I turned it over to God and trusted that He would take care of me and the baby that I longed for.
And I got pregnant again. And this time, I didn't lose the baby. But I was disconnected. I was hesitant. I was terrified.
I refused to get close to this baby. Spencer and I wouldn't name her. We didn't decorate a nursery until the last possible minute. We went about life as usual. At 34 weeks I didn't feel her move for an entire day. I. Freaked. I called my doctor who sent me straight to the hospital. I was having contractions every 2 minutes. I spent a weekend in the hospital and went home 3 days later on bed rest. I needed to keep this baby in for at least 4 more weeks. But 6 days later, she was coming and there was no stopping her. Because I was 35 weeks, they wouldn't stop my labor anymore. 6 hours, 1 failed epidural (read: natural childbirth), an entire host of on-call doctors because of the holiday weekend, and 3 pushes later, a beautiful 7lb 5oz baby girl was born. We named her Virginia Tait. Virginia was after my mother and grandmother. Tait was a name I just liked. It's different. It's sweet. And it fits her to a T. I remember crying and begging her to breathe. I didn't get to hold her. She breathed ok for a minute, and then started struggling. She was whisked out of my room and to the nursery before I really knew what was happening. The hospital where she was born didn't have a NICU. It was at a hospital across town. She was taken by ambulance to that hospital. I stayed at the 1st hospital. It was a holiday weekend. I was in a new town and state. I had very few friends and all of them were out of town. I had a beautiful baby girl who I couldn't see or hold. It was a horrible day and one of the best days of my life all combined into one.
The next morning, I was released from the hospital and went directly to the other hospital to be with her. I sat and held her almost around the clock. I was so swollen from the massive amounts of IV fluids that I had received (my blood pressure kept crashing) that I didn't have any shoes that would fit on my feet. And as I sat in the NICU, I realized how disconnected I had kept myself from her. I didn't think she knew that I loved her. So I sat. And I held her or kept a hand on her (she was on a ventilator for 2 days). And I told her over and over and over again that I loved her. Because I did. I loved her more than I knew was possible. I loved her like I loved her big sister. But I sobbed because this beautiful baby, who was fighting for her life, didn't know that her mama loved her. And she deserved the world.
I felt like I had already failed her.
And I started praying. I have been a Christian since I was a small child. But I was going through one of those super stubborn times where I was too self sufficient to NEED anyone and was completely content to do it all on my own. I certainly didn't need a God to take over. Because there was a chance that He wouldn't do what I wanted. And I wasn't gonna have any of that. In other words, I was STUPID. But my desire for God to take care of this baby clearly was overriding my need to be in control and I hit my knees. And you know what? He was there. He is always there. He never left, even though I pushed and pushed Him away. He was faithful just as it says in Psalm 145:13 (NIV) "The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made." Praise His Name.
So 6 days later, we were able to bring Tait home. Our sweet little family of 3 was now a busy, sleepless family of 4.
And then we started to realize that something else was wrong. Tait had some symptoms that were pointing to something being wrong, but no one knew what that was.
I started to think that we were going to lose yet another child. But this one had been born. She was alive. She had stolen our hearts. And again, we were scared to death.
To be continued.....