Skip to content

My Little Miracle

August 26, 2013

My son came onto this world in rather dramatic fashion.  It all started out normally enough…

The alarm clock jangled and I dragged my pregnant carcass out of bed and into the kitchen where I started the coffee and began to make breakfast for my husband.   Five a.m. and the sun was still aslumber.

I felt a little twinge in my midsection…then five minutes later, there was another.  Is this it?  I wondered.  Could this be labor?

The barely noticeable twinges continued with the accuracy of a Rolex.  Bryce would soon leave for work.  He’d drive off in our rattletrap AMC Hornet and I would be alone.  

My imagination took charge.  What if I went into full-blown labor while Bryce was working?  This was my first baby, so I had nothing to go by…I didn’t know how fast I would progress.  

My mom didn’t waste any time having us…in fact, she learned to listen for her body to tell her when to go to the hospital.  And that was before her contractions started.  If she waited for contractions, we would have been born along the side of the road. Her longest labor involved only three contractions…and ironically, that was with me.  

I knew mom was up…making breakfast for dad.  I decided to call.

She didn’t think it was time for us to go to the hospital, but she wanted Bryce to bring me to her house on his way to work.  Good advice, I thought.  Why didn’t I think of that?

This was mid-March and Mother Nature could, and did throw just about anything at us in northern Minnesota.  And today was one of those days…it had begun to snow during the night and the roads were slick.  We skated our way across town in the darkness and slid into my parent’s driveway just after dad left for work. Seven inches of snow fell that day.

After a couple of hours, I began wonder if I was in labor at all. Nothing much was happening…maybe this was just some weird muscle cramp or a tic of some sort.  These strange little twitches continued to mark the time.

Then, as I walked across the living room, everything changed.  I doubled over and fell to the couch, unable to straighten, much less stand upright.  I had been sucker-punched!

Mom threw yesterday’s clothes on and grabbed her car keys.  ‘Now it’s time’ she said.  ‘Let’s go…’

We walked gingerly down the ice-covered walk to the car.  After I was situated, mom made her way around the hood of the station wagon to the driver’s door.  She nearly fell as she climbed in.

My mother did not like to drive…nor was she particularly good at it.  Driving freaked her out when the roads were good, and today, they were really slippery.  She hugged the wheel, curling her body protectively around it, her back made no contact with the back of the seat.  Her knuckles were white and she was hyperventilating.  
She refused to let me drive.  Instead, she began to chant ‘I can do this…I can do this.’ Had I not been in labor, I would have insisted she let me get behind the wheel.

Finally, we pulled up to the front door and she went off in search of a wheelchair.  Soon, several people clad in green scrubs surrounded my door.  One held my chariot steady while others guided my pregnant body aboard. I was quickly whisked upstairs and into a room.  The nurses were waiting for me.  I was divested of my clothing along with my dignity.  I suspect that’s true for every expectant mother…especially us first-timers.

My doctor blew in, all business. He proceeded to whip back the sheet and examine me as he muttered a terse ‘Good morning.’

‘X-rays are needed,’ he said.  ‘We need to know the baby’s position.’ A breach presentation was feared.  And I knew my internal measurements were marginal…previous x-rays had shown that. I might be able to deliver a small baby.  Decisions would need to be made.

My contraction had not yet eased.  It was continuous….a sustained contraction.  Medication for pain relief was not an option. 

I was loaded on to a gurney and hurried down the corridor to the radiology department where they hoisted me on to the cold steel table. I had to lay on my belly with pillows beneath my chest and legs while pictures were taken…I was instructed not to move.

My contraction remained strong throughout the ordeal.

Back in my room Dr. Perkins delivered the news…I needed an emergency C-section.

Soon, I was prepped and rolled onto another gurney and rushed off to the operating room where I was handed off to a team of doctors, nurses and technicians.

I was helped to sit upright in order to allow the anesthesiologist access to my back. Dr. Perkins draped his arms over my belly to monitor my contraction while Dr. Santos began administering my spinal block. He inserted the needle into my lower back. My right leg began to hop about the table erratically.

Naturally, I freaked.

Later, I was told that the needle touched a nerve.

The pain stopped abruptly and I began to feel a weird tugging and pulling on my abdomen.

Muffled voices spoke with urgency, but I couldn’t make out the words. The tension in the room was palpable.

Minutes passed before I heard my baby cry.

A masked pediatrician hurriedly dipped his arm on his way by so I could have a peek at my newborn son.

I was blissfully unaware of problems.

I felt more tugging and pulling on my belly.

The next thing I remember, I was in a room and a very unreasonable nurse was yanking on my arm, trying to inflate a blood pressure cuff. She spoke sternly and I growled in response.

We decided on Brenden for a boy’s name.

The nurses brought him to me after the anesthesia wore off. I was holding him in the crook of my arm when Nurse Nasty returned. ‘Don’t hold him like that!’ She screamed while rushing to my bedside. ‘You’ll hurt him!’

I was confused…what was I doing wrong? I wondered. I was holding my precious bundle in the crook of my arm…how was I hurting him? My eyes began to leak. Slowly at first, followed by torrents of tears.

Later, the pediatrician explained that Brenden was born with his neck severely hyper-extended. The back of his head was literally on his back. He had the head of a caveman, with a sloping forehead and huge occipital lobe. We needed to wait for him to pull his head down on his own.

There were other concerns as well. The only limb Brenden moved at birth was his left arm. The doctors suspected Cerebral Palsy.

Thankfully, those concerns had been ruled out before I found out about them.

Brenden was deprived of oxygen at birth…as a result, he suffered from temporal lobe seizures until he was six. His EEG will always be abnormal, but there have been no seizures in more than twenty-five years.

His fine motor skills and balance were also affected causing him to be a bit of a klutz and have nearly illegible penmanship, but other than that, he has been able to lead a normal life…something that did not seem possible in his infancy.

Our lives might have been drastically different but for the grace of God.

God is good.


From → Growing Pains

One Comment
  1. Greg Frosig permalink

    A very touching tribute to Brenden. 🙂

    Sent from my iPhone

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: