Monday, May 2, 2011

Birth Story Monday. Baby Tide's Story, Part I

(Martha's Notes: Leigh and Tim are members were my father-in-law preaches and each time I get to hang around them I like them more and more! They have 2 beautiful daughters (on the inside and out) and a sweet "baby" boy. Daniel and I would love to be half the parents that they are -- we can tell just by being around them for a short amount of time that they have reaching heaven as the ultimate goal for their family and are willing to do what it takes to achieve that goal. Here is Leigh's adventure-packed story of Tide's birth! Enjoy!)

Baby Tide's Story, Part I
By: Leigh B.
After nearly 15 years of marriage and 2 beautiful daughters, Tim and I thought our family was complete. We wanted another child, but were told about 2 years before I wouldn't be able to have another baby. After a year of having problems, I changed doctors.

My first visit with Dr. Goolsby I said I want a baby or a hysterectomy...what a combination! After performing an internal ultrasound, he said it would be easy for me to have another baby. He gave me a prescription to make me start my period and another for fertility medicine. After 6 weeks, I never started. Back to the doctor I go, this time with Tim in tow because we were afraid something bad was going on.

Instead, the nurse hands me a stick to hold...well, it was a POSITIVE pregnancy test. She has to run get Tim because I am a mess! A tickled, shocked mess. After an ultrasound that I expected to show a dot, instead it showed a baby with arms and legs, it was determined I was 11 weeks and 6 days pregnant. My due date was April 17, 2009.

Even after being married so long, that's just a little unnerving! The girls were happy and shocked and glad I didn't have cancer (that's what Darla thought.) By the way, I found out about my pregnancy 2 weeks before Darla turned 13.

Let me first say being pregnant at 34 is so much different than being pregnant at 21 and 23. I think that's why I didn't notice I was getting sick. On New Year's Day, 2009, I was at my grandmother's for breakfast. I didn't feel too well and was very puffy. My brother-in-law, who is a firefighter, came out and checked my blook pressure. Although, I can't remember the exact numbers, it was high. He told me to get to the doctor soon. I reluctantly went home, thinking how disappointed I was to miss the traditional New Year's meal at my mother's. I had so been looking forward to hog jowl, cabbage, black-eyed peas, and cornbread. (Yum!) Instead, Tim and I find ourselves on our way to St. Vincent's.

We get there and I was in triage with the sweetest nurse Pam. She was just great. I was hooked up to every possible monitor and still thinking I'll be home that evening or the next day to eat my leftovers. Instead, I was told at some point (a lot of this is a blur or Tim told me later because I was so yucky on meds) that I may be staying until the baby is born. I went in at 24 weeks and 6 days. I found out later that there were several times that weekend they had a bed prepared in the NICU. That would have been really bad to have a baby at 25 weeks. Even hours matter at this point.

I was put on magnesium, blood pressure medicine, and sleeping medicine because I couldn't sleep. We couldn't have bright lights on due to the risk of seizures. I was also diagnosed with preeclampsia. The doctor had set several goals for us. Thankfully, we had already reached the 24 week goal. My next goal was 28 weeks, then 32, then delivery at 36. Because of all these meds, I can't really remember everything. I had so many visitors but thinking back, I have no idea what I said or did while they were around! (So, if you're reading this and you were one of them, please forgive me and just laugh!)

Although pre-eclampsia isn't resolved until delivery, I did get better. I was even thinking I was going home! I was so homesick. I missed my girls. I missed my church. I missed my family. I was just miserable. My aunt and sister would stay with me on the nights Tim would go home. That made me even sicker! Tim and I had only stayed away from each other a few times in our 15 years of marriage. (I know I'm a baby). He only worked 15 minutes from the hospital but an hour from home.

On January 16, 2009, I was released from St. Vincent's to go to UAB for a targeted ultrasound. Tim took off work that day to take me. I was actually excited to go because I hadn't been outside for over 2 weeks! I showered, did my hair, wore CLOTHES!, and makeup. I remember the brutally cold day. There was ice everywhere. I was so big I had to be extra careful not to fall.I got there and that place was so cold and distant compared to St. Vincent's. (UAB is an excellent hospital, this was at a clinic and I missed my nurses who spoiled me!) She did the ultrasound and saw where my placenta had been damaged from my high blood pressure. In my mind, I was going home. I just didn't realize the severity at that time.

Later that evening, Dr. Goolsby came in to talk to us. He said he had spoken with several of his doctor friends and his wife, who is also an ob/gyn. Some said the baby is better inside and some said he was better outside. I realize now how hard a doctor's job is. He looked over at a table in my room and saw a book. He asked if that was a Bible and Tim said yes. He then said, "Let's just pray." After a very touching, comforting, lovely prayer, he claps his hands, jumps up, and says, "Let's do this!" I sorta felt like I was about to take the field for a football game. 

He said at 7 we'll have a baby. This was around 6. Tim told him our family lived about an hour away. He said no problem we'll do it at 7:30. Tim makes frantic phone calls to everyone! I'm just lying there, scared to death! ...

Check back next week for Part II in Tide's birth story!

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