Today I am honored that Emily from They Call Me Mama is here to share her birth story. Emily is mama to two beautiful kids and one angel baby. Her story really hit home as one of my best friends experienced a stillbirth this past summer. It's devastating how many mothers have had to experience such an unbearable loss and so few talk about it. Emily is so strong and so brave to share this both beautiful and heartbreaking story.
When I reflect back on the day the boys were born, I don't feel the typical emotions a mom usually does. For me, the day I met my Wyatt and Ryder was not filled normal emotions. We can't go back and change that day. It is and will forever be "our story".
A little background....
I was 4 days late. Mark and I had recently come up with "our plan" and both agreed we were going to wait to have children until he was almost out of school. Well, like the title of the book states, "We plan, God laughs". I thought to figure out what was going on with me, I needed to weed out the possibility of pregnancy. We were running to Target that night so while we were there we grabbed a pregnancy test. When we got home I took the test and the rest is history....
According to my calculations, this is one of the last pictures taken as just "us" ;)
May 29, 2010
It was a Saturday. Mark and I worked outside, cleaning up our yard. It was a warm day too! A friend of mine was getting married and the wedding was in St. Louis, about an hour from our house. We attended the wedding that afternoon. I felt nothing out of the ordinary....I mean, I was HUGE at this point.
I can't believe I posted this picture, but words CANNOT DESCRIBE.
jgjgI was 35 weeks and 6 days. We didn't go to the reception, so after the wedding we grabbed a bit to eat with our friends, Malerie and Brent (Mexican I might add). After dinner we went back home. I went to sleep that night just like I had been for almost 9 months, on my side with two pillows. One pillow to hold up my gigantic belly and the other between my legs. I woke up around 1am with back pain. I didn't really have back pain throughout my pregnancy (I owe it all to being adjust my ENTIRE pregnancy. I mean, who can gain
over 50 blah pounds, carry twins for 36 weeks and not have back pain? OK, off my soap box) so I knew something wasn't right.
Last time I had been at the doctor, I was dilated to about 1.5 centimeter and was 80% effaced. My doctor told me once I had 6 contractions in an hour to come in. I started counting and had 6 in 33 minutes! During this time I tried to wake Mark twice and was still not all the way awake. WHen the 7th contraction came I REALLY tried to wake him and finally he was listening to what I was saying. We decided to pack up and head to the hospital. It was around 2am at the point. On the way to the hospital we called our parents and Mark's brother.
We got checked in and settled at the hospital. The nurses immediately started trying to find the babies' heartbeats using the monitors on the outside of my belly. The boys' heart rates were always really close, so it was hard to find both. This went on for at least an hour. My doctor had just left the building for home, he had delivered 5 babies that night and needed some sleep. The on-call doctor attempted to find the heartbeats. She finally decided to bring in the ultrasound to be able to see where and how they were laying to try and locate both heartbeats. I was still having contractions at this point and they weren't really hurting but were uncomfortable for sure. While looking at the screen she was struggling to find one of the babies, she stated she had finally found him but they were laying right on top of each other so she didn't know if she'd be able to get both heartbeats with the outside monitors.
At this point they decided to check and see if I was dilated or if they were going to send me home. I was about 4 centimeters and 90% effaced. I was staying!!! When they called my doctor he said he was on his way and they were going to break my water so they could put an internal monitor on one of the boys to be able to watch things a bit closer. The nurses were kind of going crazy at this point because I still didn't have an IV. When my doctor arrived he broke my water, which was not easy. It took a LONG time and when it finally happened it took forever to stop.
My doctor then began trying to hook up the internal fetal monitor. He tried and tried. After a wile, he decided to do an ultrasound himself. During this ultrasound there was tension. The tension grew until finally out doctor said we needed to go ahead and deliver by c-section! It was just like that my world was turned upside down. I remember Mark praying aloud and me being wheeled off...I was rushed into the OR. Inside there were a lot of nurses and many doctors came running in. I remember asking for Mark. The began prepping me for surgery. I was completely put under and Mark was not allowed in the room. I was finished in less than 6 minutes. There was no magical moment, no holding the baby, seeing Wyatt, hearing Wyatt, looking at Mark. We had none of that. I was all the way put to sleep and Mark was kept outside the room. That situation puts a whole new meaning to emergency c-section.
When I awoke I was in a room with Mark, the doctor and my two precious boys. Mark looked at me, a look I will NEVER forget and said, "Ryder didn't make it." Ryder's cord was wrapped around his neck. Mark was holding both of our boys but one was already sitting on Jesus' lap. While I was put under I was given drugs to help me stay calm in this situation. It hurts my chest to even type this. Words don't describe the feeling. There was already a lot of family there. Mark was the one who had to share the news. What a tough job. My sister called some friends and also explained the situation so we would not have to continue to tell the story. I held him.....Ryder was EXACTLY like Wyatt, a little smaller, but identical.
I wish that day we would have spent some more time as a family, a family of four here on Earth, but we didn't. I can't go back...I will cling tight to the time we spent together.
When I saw Wyatt for the first time, oh, again no words to even describe the feeling. It was really hard to have emotion, I was so numb. It wasn't the normal first time mommy holding her child moment. I look/looked and him and see Ryder then and still now. He was so precious (and still is!!!). The delivery was so fast Wyatt's neck was cut and he had to have plastic surgery within a few hours of his birth.
What a tough boy!
The next few days were so hard. We cried a lot. Smiled and laughed a lot too! There were so many emotions. We had tons of visitors. There and still are so many people praying for us. I know this birth story was written even before we experienced it. God knows what he is doing, for some reason he gave this to Mark and I. He doesn't give us something we can't handle....that's what I keep telling myself over and over and over again. Boy, he must think we are strong!
Mark and I came home on Wednesday and spent time as a family. We cleaned out and reorganized the nursery which was really hard to do. Lots of tears. I remember I kept thinking about this was "supposed" to be...bringing your first child home from the hospital, it's such a joy.
Saturday, June 5th 2010 will forever be one of the worst days of my life. Mark and I buried our child. The same man who married us did the service. He did a great job. We kept the funeral small, just immediate family was there.
We have enjoyed Wyatt so much. I can't imagine what our life would be like without him. He is such a joy! We continue to stay focused on the Lord. We know this is his plan. Some days are harder than other but we have the Lord to lean on in hard times (and in the good times too). I thank Him daily for Wyatt, and amazing husband and supportive family. It's times like these you either choose to grow closer or let it tear you apart. Mark and I have chose as a couple to grow stronger. We lean on each other and rely on God as our backbone.
We have realized this isn't something you "get through". It will be here forever, sometimes that's harder to swallow than others. It will never go away but time and the Lord will heal our pain. We look at Wyatt and can see Ryder...smiling at us, laughing at us, watching over his brother. It was spoken "Wyatt will receive a DOUBLE portion, Isaiah 61:7". Wyatt is amazing, he is an amazing little baby, God gave us a gift, we will follow his will.
You can follow Emily at They Call Me Mama
To submit a birth story, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org