Fourteen years ago today, I had emergency surgery. I had gone into labor a few weeks before, but as I laid in bed, waiting for Scott to get everything ready, I just felt like something was wrong. I prayed that this baby would be alright. Labor stopped and never started again. My doctor was concerned a little, but not that bad. So far everything had seemed just fine. He wasn't concerned that my labor had stopped, and was willing to wait. Eventually, we stimulated labor, and discovered that there actually was a problem. She was tightly tangled up in the umbilical cord. Every contraction made it a little tighter, eventually not letting lose. Her heart rate dropped and didn't come back up. We had never met and she was on the brink of death! The nurses prepped me in just a few minutes, wheeled me into surgery, and in about 15 minutes, I was saying hello to my baby girl. We had picked names for a boy and a girl- we didn't know which we would have. Upon first glance, she was very blue. She had the most serious look on her face. They whisked her away while the doctor finished up on me. Scott went with her. I was rolled into recovery and left to, well, recover. I had never had surgery before. The nurse came in and talked to me. As soon as I was able to wiggle any of my toes, they would take me to my room. I asked after Miriam. She said:
"You'll have to talk to the doctor about that."
That was it. No, "she's beautiful" or "I'll find out for you." My heart sank. I had never considered that my baby might not live. I had seen her beautiful face. I knew she was not doing well- she was blue!! She didn't cry out at all. She just stared into my eyes for a few brief seconds with such intensity that I'm sure she was serious- whatever her thoughts were. I had spoken her name to her and then they took her away, out of my sight.
Too much time passed. I tried over and over again to make my toes respond to my will to move them. I failed for a long time. I'm sure it was only about 30 minutes, but it felt like the nurse would never come back. I knew I couldn't go anywhere, though if I had thought for a second I could have walked down the hall to see my baby, I would have. When she finally came back, I was able to move my toes and get into my room. Still, I had not heard a thing about Miriam. The rest of the family was nowhere to be seen. We wheeled down a back hallway. I asked about the baby. She still didn't know anything. A short while passed and I finally got to see her. She was swaddled tightly so all I saw was her face. She was such a quiet baby. With help, I turned over on my side and nursed her. We had had now fourteen years to get to know each other. :)
Afterwards I was told that her cord was wrapped around her so tightly that it was not possible that she would have lived even through the labor, let alone a delivery. Her APGAR was 3 at first. What I was told was that she was on oxygen and even whisked away from her Dad so they could get her vitals normal. Once she was alright we got her back.
I have wanted to hold onto that baby as tightly as possible. Homeschooling has been a wonderful way to help our relationship be stable and grow in love as she grows older. I have always heard teenagers were just so hard, but she's such a blessing! Even though she's now 14, she still needs me sometimes. Mostly at midnight when she's trying to find something to wear, or to talk about her favorite music, or a book she's reading, etc.... I figure I can sleep when she's an adult. Of all the things I could hope to do better for her it is this: to love more, to be gentler and kinder, and to show mercy more often.
I love you so much my dear Miriam. You are one of a kind!