Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Celebrating Our Miracle--MARIE

Yesterday was a meek, soft, appreciative day filled with long, reflective pauses and lumps in the throat. I thought of the palpable fear of one year ago.

The picture fragments of recollection. . .

Hobbling to the door that morning, barely able to stand up. Seeing the friend who followed the Spirit and stopped by. She observed my hand-clenching contractions and read my face, knowing that at 33 weeks I shouldn't have "the look." She didn't ask what she should do--she moved. She took Peter and Eve and told me to go to bed. I didn't.

I called Eric and told him to come home after class.

Seeing that I was bleeding. Hearing Eric's quick paces down the hall, and telling him, "We have to go to the Emergency Room. . . now." The phone ringing before I finished the sentence, and the words from my neighbor and close friend : "What can I do?" Not "Is there anything you need" or "Call me if you need anything" but a direct question that needed to be answered with action. She shepherded our boys to her house after school and kept them for hours, not knowing when we would be home. These two women were each an Abish. (If you know me at all, you know the cascades are already flowing down my cheeks.) They both ran forth, no pauses, and acted.

Checking into the hospital with rubber bands of terror all around me, the contractions were 2 minutes apart and hard. I had been throwing up all night, so the world was fuzzy and altered even before the doctor told us "This baby needs to come now. . . It's up to you, but from what I can see, I have a gut-feeling she'll die if she doesn't come now." I said (yes, I actually said), "But I just want to go home and think about it. . . please?"

The numblingly desperate phone calls to family. Just tell me what to do. I can't think. Someone just tell me what to do.

Eric's blessing. I can believe this. He said everything would be okay. What does okay mean? He said we would have a miracle. What does a miracle mean?

The peaceful weight of a myriad of prayers from those we love, all of them rising up, matching with our own starving-for-hope pleadings.

Watching the white ceiling rush by on the way into surgery, trying to catch some air, trying not to break. Feeling the pressure--what the doctor said was pressure. You'll feel a little pressure. Too soon after the emergency epidural, it wasn't pressure I felt. Staring at the clock on the wall of the OR--suddenly there were two clocks and I was dry heaving.

A gasp from a roomful of professionals. The uterus is full of blood, I heard the doctor say, the strain in his voice. Closing my eyes and fighting back the urge to throw up. . . again and again. Blood spilling out of me and onto the floor. Hands and metal, wrestling her out, jerking me back and forth as I stared at the green shield. Seeing nothing but green, but feeling the release and hearing nothing but suction, and snipping, and the rustling of scrubs in quick, pre-panic movements.

Finally a cry. At least she's ours. Closing my eyes and being put back together again. Rolling me on the gurney into the NICU, and only able to see two tiny feet and tubes and wires. So many tubes. So many wires. And those two tiny feet with ten toes sticking up like rosy, fleshy flower petals. More rushing white ceilings and hallways and more medicated, involuntary sleep.

Looking at the clock every time my eyes looked out of a window from the morphine. When can I see her? Please let me see her? Eight hours? I have to be able to stand up before I can go? I'll do a cartwheel NOW. . . please? Waiting for seven and a half hours and buzzing the nurse again and again.

Breaking the rules. Sitting in the wheelchair and wanting the nurse to push faster. Holding her. Moving aside tubes and wires and stroking the flower-petal toes. Knowing what a miracle feels like. Knowing what a miracle is. Holding a miracle.


Anonymous said...

Holy cow, I am already emotionally unstable and now this! Sarah, this was beautifully written and I could actually feel the emotions of that day. You are such a powerful writer, thank you for sharing your experience about your little miracle Marie.

Karin said...

Sarah - I can empahize with you - my little emergency c-section miracle is almost 8 yrs old. I too have those fragmented memories of being rush to the OR and waiting and waiting to see and hold her. Looking at her today you would never know that she hovered to make it into this world. You are a wonderful mother and someone I have a great amount of respect for. I hope all is well with you and your family. Happy Birthday Marie!

JT42 said...

I had no idea. I had heard it was hard, but I never asked because I didn't want to cross boundaries. Thank you for sharing your miracle story. Marie is beautiful!!

Dacia said...

What a beautiful miracle! Happy birthday Marie!

marymary said...

Hi, Sarah. I saw the picture of your miracle on facebook, saw you had a blog, and made my way over here. I'm glad I did, so I could read this beautifully written account. I loved the poem you posted too.

T said...

Beautiful! We just watched the Birthday video. Deacon is now singing, "Happy Birthday to you!" As he plays Legos. And, Paige is echoing the same tune through the bathroom door as she does whatever it is she is doing in there. Thank you for sharing these precious moments with us.

jenny said...

Lorelai was watching the video with me and when the picture came up of Marie eating her first cereal, she made her sound she makes for "yucky," it is a glutteral "kaka" sound. And when the picture came up of her eating the cookie, she said, "Mmmmm..." Very nicely done!

Jennifer said...

I really didn't want to bawl like a baby, but you got me! Thanks for sharing your miracle.

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