It’s nearly a year late (I can’t believe I’m going to be the mother of a one year old in three short weeks). And the reason for the delay is simple. Thinking / typing / talking about the day that Clara was born still scares the pants off of me. Even 11+ months later. This little lady made quite the dramatic entrance.
Yup, the day that Clara came into the world was the most amazing life-changing day of my existence, but it was easily also the single most terrifying one. I’ve mentioned some details a few times in comments on other Clara-related posts (many readers wanted to know all about the bean’s birth right away) but I think now that she’s almost a year old I’ve processed that day enough to really share it fully with the interweb. By no means am I over it (don’t really know if I ever will be), but I can talk about it now without crying. So that’s a start, right? A few friends of mine have actually recommend that I write this post as part of the whole healing process (a lot of the posts that we write are actually for our own benefit since this is just an online diary to document our lives for our own selfish purposes, haha). So I thought it made sense. I know that how Clara came into the world will affect future pregnancies and how nervous/anxious/wary/afraid I’ll be if any of the same complications pop up again, so perhaps talking about it after processing it for almost a year might help me come to terms with it a bit more. So here it goes (deep breaths, deep breaths).
I had an amazing low risk fabulous pregnancy. No high blood pressure. No weird pains. Over 100 days of morning sickness (yes I counted) but that’s to be expected. Or at least tolerated in the name of baking a human. Other than that (and once that ended) it was amazeballs as my girl Bethenny Frankel would say. I felt great. I loved feeling my little bean kicking around in there. I basked in the glory of being prego. I told John I could do it ten more times. Life was good.
My tiny 4’11” mom had two natural (and very fast) child births, so I had high hopes of a normal (if not very quickly progressing) delivery. Maybe without drugs, and maybe with them. I wasn’t going into it with any strong feelings either way, but I had taken some classes on pain management and learned about The Bradley Method so I was actually feeling very bring-it-on by the end. Either way I kept telling myself “in the end the baby will be out and I’ll get to meet her, so no fear is allowed – it’s going to be a happy day – with drugs or without them. No pressure. Just try to go with the flow and relax.” I had orders to “run, don’t walk” to the hospital if I had any signs of labor (my mother had me in four hours and my brother within two) so that had me a little on edge, but the only thing I worried about was having the baby at home or in the car since I feared it would all happen really fast because that runs in the family.
John was working downtown at the time and I was at home without a car (we’re a one car family, so he’d take the car during the day and after he came home we’d run any errands I needed to do). So admittedly the whole being at home without the car thing was kind of scary but I knew about fifty neighbors who volunteered to drive me to the hospital if things got crazy and John couldn’t make it home to get me in time. The funny thing is that he answered his cell phone on the first half-a-ring for the last two weeks of my pregnancy, so I knew he was on high alert and was confident that he’d hightail it home in time (it was only a 15 minute drive).
I never felt a single contraction (not even Braxton Hicks) until the day I went into labor, but I knew I was dilated to a 3.5 at 39 weeks (yes I walked around at a 3.5 without going into labor with my first child, which I hear is really uncommon). Clara must have been holding onto the walls in there. So although I was still about a week “early,” my doc said I was going to have the baby any second. Hence John being on high alert. Oh yeah and my belly looked like this. I was officially ready to pop.
I noticed on the morning of May 14th (it was a Friday) that I was having some pretty intense contractions. My first contractions ever (well that I felt). At first they were oddly irregular so I thought it was just prelabor (didn’t even tell John because I didn’t want him to get all crazy and come running home for a false alarm). But slowly they started to establish a pattern and by the time I started timing them they were just four minutes apart. And they were an 11 on the pain scale. I felt like my insides were ripping apart and my back was killing me. I called John who was out to lunch with all of his coworkers to celebrate his very last day at the office (he was resigning to come on full time as a dad/blogger) and told him to get the eff home. He laughed about how good my timing was because he was just finishing his burrito. I groan-cried in the middle of a contraction and he knew I meant business. So home he
By the time we got to the hospital my contractions were already two minutes apart. I remember having a hard time even walking from the car to the door because they were just coming nonstop and they were bring-you-to-your-knees painful. I thought I might have a baby right there in the parking lot. They sent me straight into labor and delivery. As we waited for the doctor to arrive and check my progress my water broke in the hospital bed- but instead of being clear it was red. So much blood. Very scary. I didn’t even see most of it (thanks to my giant belly and the sheet over my lower half) but John did along with my OB who happened to be in the room. John’s face went white and the OB snapped into hyperdrive.
Immediately the room filled with frenzied nurses and doctors and they explained that I was having a placental abruption, which happens when the placenta has inexplicably detached from the uterine wall. This is very bad news before the baby is born. And it explains the feels-like-my-body-is-ripping-apart pain I’d been experiencing. It’s an extremely dangerous complication for the baby (since they get their nourishment from the placenta and can go into shock and die) and the mother can hemorrhage (and can also die in cases of extreme bleeding). So it was a pretty dire situation all around (although nobody stopped to explain it, the look on the doctor and nurse’s faces kind of said it all).
Within about a minute they had me in the OR and within three minutes they had sweet baby Clara out thanks to an amazingly fast emergency c-section. They saved her life by acting so fast.
It was a blur. All I remember was them running my gurney into the walls while turning corners in the hallway trying to get me into an ER as fast as possible. They looked panicked. And it scared the heck out of me. I didn’t care about me or my body – just the baby. I remember screaming inside of my head “just cut her out of me, cut and I don’t care if I feel pain or if I get hurt or if I have scars all over, just save her. Do it right here in the hallway if you have to.” Of course my lips weren’t moving. It was one of those out-of-body mind screams that nobody else can hear.
John suddenly wasn’t with me. They just left him behind and ran with me down the hall calling up to get emergency doctors and nurses on hand since the main OR was already in use for a scheduled c-section. I remember people popping out of doorways saying “I’ll help” and joining the frenzied mob and going over all of my stats (blood type, number of weeks prego, etc) while saying things like “baby in distress” and “profuse bleeding.” I couldn’t have created a scarier nightmare scenario in my head if I tried. Lots of people swarmed into the OR in the next thirty seconds. But no John. I could barely breathe at the thought of something going so wrong without him by my side. Once they had me fully prepped for surgery (which happened within less than a minute, they were so amazing) someone must have run off to get him.
I wish I could say it was thanks to me calling out for him but I was in shock so I couldn’t talk or even move. I was frozen. It almost felt like I wasn’t even there and I was watching it all happen to someone else on TV. John says he remembers standing in the hallway as everyone ran off with me. So freaked out and completely alone. Just waiting. That always makes me cry when I think about it. I didn’t know it at the time because of the chaos, but someone had tossed scrubs at him when I was being wheeled out (he would need them since it had to be a sterile environment for the c-section) so he was just standing there in the hallway wearing his scrubs and waiting. And going crazy. Finally someone came out to retrieve him and he was allowed to come hold my hand right as they started to cut. I just stared at him. I was frozen. I didn’t cry. I didn’t talk. I was just in shock at how quickly everything was happening.
Once they opened me up they saw that not only was Clara in distress from the placental abruption, but the umbilical cord had somehow been pinched (which is called “cord prolapse”) so she was without oxygen while fighting to make it through the abruption. I heard them toss out the word “cord prolapse” (they didn’t have time to explain what was going on, so I learned the details later) but in my odd state of panic and shock I thought they were talking about someone else. I was the one with a placental abruption. The scariest page of my birth book at home. The one I didn’t even read because it wouldn’t happen to me because I didn’t have high blood pressure or any of the other risk factors. My baby couldn’t also be dealing with cord prolapse. How could that be? Who could be that unlucky? Then they said “she’s not going to cry ok – don’t wait for her to cry just try to stay calm and breathe slowly.” That was when my heart broke and I started to cry. I guess I was crying for her.
I couldn’t see anything thanks to the screen they threw up before cutting into me, but they were right. She didn’t cry when they yanked her out with all of their might. All I remember was extreme pressure but no pain. Well, no physical pain. Emotional pain = off the charts. They had NICU specialists standing by, and when I heard them say “NICU” out loud that it was the first time I actually thought “what if this doesn’t end the way I thought it always would? What if all those pep talks I gave myself about it being a happy day because “drugs or no drugs I would get to meet my sweet baby girl” weren’t going to be true?
John later admitted that thought had hit him a lot earlier than it had hit me. He said he knew something was very wrong when he saw all the blood before they whisked me away. And when he was standing alone in the hallway after I got wheeled off to the OR he wondered if things were about to end badly. See why that visual of him in the hall makes me cry? It was just so surreal and terrifying. John later confessed that once he was allowed into the OR to hold my hand that he couldn’t really watch as they pulled her out of me, even though he was much taller than the screen they had set up to block my view. Not because he was afraid of the blood or passing out, but because he didn’t want to see our baby “not make it.”
But after about one felt-like-eternity minute they got her to moan. Kind of like a kitty meowing. It was so soft and weak and just heart breaking. I remember thinking “I want her to cry so she’s ok, but I don’t want to hear her if she’s not going to be ok because I’m falling in love already. I can’t hear her moan and then fall silent- she has to start wailing. Right now!” But no dice. I remember thinking that all the silence felt so loud. Like it was almost deafening to listen so desperately for some sign of a cry. Clara got a 4 on her initial Apgar test, which we later heard is usually the lowest score you can get before permanent brain damage if things don’t improve by the five minute Apgar retest. They didn’t announce the time of birth or her weight very loudly or say anything like in the movies, you know like “it’s a girl!” or “happy birthday!” or “what’s her name?” and she didn’t come lay on my chest. I still couldn’t even see her thanks to the screen they had put up to block the surgery. They were all just working on this baby that I couldn’t even see. My baby. And I just stared at John in a silent freeze, tears in my eyes but nothing coming out of my mouth. At some point after closing me up the doctor said “she’s bleeding – she reopened, get over here” and half of the team ran back to work on me. My incision which had been sewn and stapled shut had reopened and I could hear from the doctors tone that it wasn’t an ideal situation. But I still wasn’t scared for me. In any other scenario it would have been intensely alarming, but I had a one track mind: the baby. I want to hear the baby cry.
It felt like five years went by (in reality it was less than five minutes) but slowly the people working on me thinned out and the people working on Clara seemed to start moving more casually and slower. As if it wasn’t such an emergency anymore. I remember thinking “this is either a very good or a very bad sign.” Thankfully, by her five minute Apgar test she pinked up, cried a glorious and spirited cry, and got a 9 (we later learned that the five minute Apgar retest is the most important and revealing one). They said that a 9 was as close to perfect as it gets and that even super healthy children rarely get 10s. And they told us that it was so great that she rebounded so well and was looking fantastic. She was a fighter for sure. They even let John go over and see her (I was still strapped down so I had to wait).
She wasn’t out of the woods yet, but we didn’t know that at the time, so we started to rejoice and John even took some video on the iPhone to bring back over to show to me since I hadn’t even laid eyes on her yet (we were so lucky that the iPhone happened to be in John’s pocket before all hell broke lose, otherwise we wouldn’t have any documentation of Clara’s birth at all). We later learned they were somehow testing her cord blood to see if she was without oxygen for so long that she sustained permanent brain damage. Only when the test came back all-clear (indicating that there were no worries of that) did the nurses and doctors really seem to relax.
Apparently infants who live after a placental abruption have a 40-50% chance of complications, which range from mild to severe (and sometimes mothers who survive end up with a hysterectomy to control the hemorrhaging). Only then did it start to sink in how lucky we really had been. And what a miracle our baby girl really is.
Finally, after what literally felt like days, they wrapped her up and brought her over to me. My arms were strapped down from the surgery, so John held her right near my head and I just stared at her in disbelief. I was still in shock, and bloated with fluids from the IV along with fear and disbelief and unconditional love.
What did I do to deserve such a happy ending? How would I have survived coming home empty handed to a beautiful nursery that I shared with the world while being so confident that I was guaranteed a cute little baby to put in that crib? Basically it was the scariest day of our lives, and I still ask why. Why me (in that annoying “poor me” way) and why me (in the “why-was-I-so-lucky-she-was-spared” way). But the main thing I feel is full. Of relief. Of gratitude. Of love for my little fighter. My little miracle. I’m SO THANKFUL that the doctors and nurses worked so quickly to come to her (and my) rescue. I’ll never know for sure, but if another team had been on duty I don’t know that I would have had the same outcome. They were just so on it. So invested and so amazing. And I can’t even begin to think about what could have happened if I wasn’t in the hospital when I started bleeding.
Other nurses and doctors in the hospital dropped in to see us for days just to tell us how lucky we were (news of our complications were apparently the talk of the hospital). We even had a friend on another floor (coincidentally she was there on the same day that I went into labor for a pre-term labor scare) who had overheard nurses and doctors talking about “that woman who had both a cord prolapse and a placental abruption at the same time but the baby actually survived.” Only later did she find out that it was me they were talking about. I still get chills when I think about that. How lucky we were. How scary it was. And how gorgeous and amazing that little girl in my arms was. And still is.
So that’s the story of the scariest/best day of our lives. Whew. No wonder we’re obsessed with the girl.
As for if those complications are more likely to occur with any subsequent pregnancies, cord prolapse is totally random and can happen to anyone, so it doesn’t become more likely if you’ve experienced it before (but it’s rare, so if you’re prego and reading this story know that my combination of complications were about as likely as winning the lottery). However, placental abruption is more likely to reoccur (around one in four women experience it again) and it can happen as early as around twenty weeks (when the baby isn’t viable yet, which means the baby wouldn’t make it). So it can be devastating and scary. I have strict orders to wait at least two full years between pregnancies to let everything heal up nice and strong, which probably means over three years between Clara and her younger brother or sister, assuming all goes well. I’m fine with the wait since I’m happy to just enjoy Clara for a while and take that time to continue to process the whole birth experience and build up my courage. But I’m sure when I’m pregnant again I’ll be much less happy go lucky about it.
Which is really sad. John keeps begging me to let it be the same joyful and unabashedly exciting time as it was before. But I know myself. And I’ll be on high alert. Searching for any signs or symptoms that something’s wrong. And scared even if there aren’t any signs of trouble (because there weren’t any before I started feeling contractions with Clara- it just all came out of nowhere). I’m scared that I might even be afraid to get a nursery ready. You know, so as not to jinx things. So my plan is to know myself, and accept that I’m going to be scared. But to do my best to enjoy it as much as I can and remind myself that I now know what an abruption feels like (so I should instantly be able to identify it) and that I have more information than I had with Clara (plus the doctors also know about my history now that I’ve had it happen). So I’ll hopefully have just as good of an outcome should it reoccur, as long as it doesn’t happen before the baby is developed enough to be delivered.
But I’m not gonna lie. I’m going to be petrified.
I also might be a “high risk” pregnancy next time without any chance of natural labor (if signs of another abruption occur they’ll rush me to a c-section if the baby is old enough to live outside the womb). I’m ok with that. Anything for a healthy baby. Now not only am I open when it comes to drugs or no drugs, I’m totally down with a c-section too. Slice and dice, baby. Whatever it takes.
You are one strong woman, and got a beautiful baby girl out of it.
Cait @ Hernando House says
My thoughts exactly. I had to read this is sections because I was about to start bawling in my office.
[email protected] Grey says
She definitely is! What an amazing story – I appreciate this wonderful family all the more for sharing it.
Exactly. Clara clearly takes after her strong momma.
Andrea C says
wow – what a dramatic beginning. It’s stories like this that constantly remind me of the miracle that is a healthy baby & just how precious that is.
Even if you did write this for you, thank you so much for sharing this with us. That day sounds terrifying and I am so happy that you were luckiest-unlucky family on the day.
From what I’ve heard, writing this out and admitting how hard it was is a good thing to do to get over it. I hope time heals the memories so you can think of the day without crying and that you find the strength to be joyful in your next pregnancy. There’s a whole load of people rooting for your fam.
Thanks again for sharing – even if the don’t-expect-her-to-cry and the john-alone-in-the-hall bits made me cry a little bit too.
Sharing such a raw and emotional story… thank you for taking that risk. Hopefully it will help other pregnant women in similar situations. Clara is beautiful and healthy, what an amazing ending to a scary situation.
What an incredible and scary story – it brought me to tears so I cannot imagine what it was like for the two of you. I am so happy that it worked out so well in the end. I hope that sharing has and will help you heal.
Thank you for sharing! I’m in tears. I’m so thankful that you, Clara, and John were being watched over that day. What a miracle and blessing!
Wow, how terrifying. I’m so glad you ended up with a perfect, healthy little girl, and that you’re healthy as well.
tears of pain and joy. thank you for sharing your amazing story. life is amazing, isn’t it? xo
Stories like this make you understand what a miracle life really is. So glad you both made it through. She is a beautiful baby destined for great things!
karen @ our slo house says
You’ve got me crying over here. I’m so happy that everything turned out well with both you and Clara (and John!) I’ve had two kids, both happy-go-lucky pregnancies…but [you] never really realize how naive and ignorant that “happy-go-lucky” attitude can be. Growing another human inside your belly is just crazy. Crazy-amazing, but crazy nonetheless.
Enjoy your daughter. She’s adorable and lovely, and I know you’ve heard it before, but it really does go so fast.
Thanks for sharing. Boy I cried. I am expecting my fourth- a high risk due to previous complications as well and totally appreciate the not so happy go lucky thing. I have really been enjoying this pregnancy but we have and will likely do pretty much nothing in the room before the baby is born. It is also a Jewish tradition not to buy, decorate, or otherwise seriously plan for a baby before it is born. Each healthy baby birth is a miracle and I am so glad you get to enjoy yours every day.
Wow! What an amazing story. I cannot even imagine how scared you must have been.
It’s taken me five years to get over the complications of my second pregnancy, a high risk HELLP syndrome journey that had me on bedrest for five weeks before an induced delivery at 32 weeks and 4 weeks in the NICU.
We expect all birth stories to be beautiful, joyous, wondrous…and in many ways they are. But there are also moments of grief that can never be recovered. Grief that, no matter how hard you try, never ends.
Be gentle with yourselves. Trust one another. find joy and wonder in the small things. It’s hard, but it comes. And one day, perhaps you won’t cry. or if you do, you’ll let the tears wash over you and your beautiful girl and your husband and you’ll find some measure of healing.
Well put Sophie!
I too had complicated delivery, and both me and the baby are fine now. Thank you for sharing your story Sherry! Not all of us have the beautiful birth stories that are just as we planned.
I will say that having had the first experience, the doctors were very cautious about watching for any signs of trouble in my second pregnancy. The best of care was given to make sure that any problems that could be diagnosed were and that problems that could be avoided were. I was also on high alert and made sure to take good care of myself so that there were no problems too.
Thanks for sharing your story and your beautiful little girl with your readers!
Bless you, Sherry! You’re really brave to be writing about this, and I hope it helps you. I am the child of an OB, so I had the opposite experience — I spent my entire pregnancy terrified of all the things I KNEW could go wrong, and amazed every time tests came back negative or the baby was fine.
I think the best thing to learn from this is exactly what you did — it’s not about some fantasy “birth experience”, it’s about getting your baby out safely. Whatever it takes, just like you said. The best birth experience is the one that ends with a beautiful, healthy baby like Clara!
I have a 6 month old. I was induced, which I didn’t want, but she was a week overdue and when she WAS born, she had some alarming “post term” signs so I’m glad my doc talked me into it.
So glad that everything turned out beautifully in the end. You have yourself a lovely little bean, that’s for sure. :)
Oh wow. What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing. I agree with Anna – You are the luckiest-unlucky family! God bless!
Oh Sherry I am so sorry you and Clara and John had to go through all this. I had two horrendous births with life threatening complications to me and my babies (different ones each time!) so I really do sympathise with what you went through. I know how hard it can be to mentally recover from these things. The more I talked over it all and processed it the better I felt and now that a few years have passed by it just seems like a bad dream I once had.
My kids are also 3 years apart in age and it’s a really great age gap as the older child can express themselves at that age which helps them adjust to the newcomer much more easily. My two get on so well they are best friends.
On a final note – your Clara is one of the cutest and most expressive babies I have ever seen – she is just gorgeous! Wishing her (and you guys) a very happy first birthday!
Ruth (all the way from England)
You have an amazing little bean for sure. She is strong and knew what she wanted!
We experienced some similar scares, “She’s not going to cry,” and now, we have a healthy, vibrant two-year-old baby girl.
Your post had me in tears. I am so happy that you both made it out safe. And an early Happy Birthday Clara!
Good Lord, you guys. What a story. Yeah, the image of John in the hallway has me rattled just thinking about it. But I’m so glad everything turned out okay! Thank you for sharing. Clara is adorable, and I’m so glad we (your readers) get to partake in the aww. *hugs*
Very touching story, thank you so much for sharing. I can’t imagine how scared you guys were. Clara is such a beautiful baby. I can tell how much love you have for your family by just reading about it online. It must have been hard to write this post, thank you again for sharing your lives with us when you don’t have to. I think we are a great support team, we have your back ;)
Robin @ Our Semi Organic Life says
Wow what a moving story, how brave of you! Thanks so much for sharing! My nurse husband and I won’t ever joke about placental abruption being a funny Harry Potter spell ever again!
Laura A. says
Awwww, Sherry, from the first photo you and John posted of the three of you, I never would have guessed! Thanks for sharing your story, and *congratulations* on the past year with your beautiful baby girl. Have a great day :)
I shouldn’t have read this post at work, as I’m struggling to keep my emotions under control while sitting at my desk.
You are a very strong woman for writing about this. Even if it took you nearly a year. Most of us would be too afraid to put such a personal journey out there for the world to read about. I appreciate your extreme honesty.
You have a beautiful family and should be incredibly proud of them. Clara is lucky to have you as her mom!
I am at my desk crying too! My birthday is May 14th and my mother was in labor for 25 hours! Maybe its just they day thats bad. :)
I completely agree with Shanoah… I’m glad I’m pretty much alone in the office right now.
Wow, Sherry. Thank you for sharing your birth story. You are amazing.
Future Mama says
SAME! Hoping no one knocks on my office door before my eyes dry up. Thank you so much for sharing. Clara is beautiful and so blessed to have such an amazing family.
I had to read this post in three chunks because I wasn’t able to hold back my tears.
Sherry, thank you for sharing.
Elizabeth Keen says
Wow, I totally cried while reading that. I completely understand that horrifying time of waiting to hear the baby cry. My second baby’s umbilical cord snapped off while she was exiting the birth canal, and she lost a lot of blood (very rare as well). What a blessing and miracle Clara is! God must have great plans for her life for her to have survived such a dramatic beginning.
Thank you for sharing such a personal and emotional story. This marks the first time I have cried reading your blog ….although I was close when you fooled me into thinking Burger was getting his own room on April Fools Day ;)
I can’t imagine the fear you each had on that day and can understand your fear in going through it again. My husband and I are hoping to be pregnant soon..and I have to admit, I am already nervous of everything that could go wrong. But seeing Clara’s rediculously cute and beautiful face inspires me that it is all worth it, and I can’t wait to have a bean of my own.
Thank you for sharing, you guys are truly an inspiration all the way around!
So, so glad it all worked out okay. Pregnancy complications are scary because so much of the time there’s no warning until it’s happening. Congratulations on a healthy baby and a successful (almost) year of parenting!
This story made me cry. God was really looking out for your little girl when He made her a fighter. Thank you for sharing this with everyone, it made me stop and think how precious life really is
Sherry, what an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it with us. You are obviously an amazingly strong woman. Thank God for both yours and Clara’s safety.
that was so intense. i kept the image of happy healthy little clara and you in my mind to keep from crying! (and i still cried a little) she really is a little miracle. bless
Oh my goodness your story brought tears to my eyes.. Thank you so much for sharing. I will be a high risk pregnancy whenever I get pregnant, and it’s comforting to know that it can turn out okay. I too am terrified to get pregnant. So glad that Clara is healthy!!
You did a wonderful job executing this post. I felt like I was right there, in your shoes, feeling and experiencing what you felt. I hope this step in sharing on the blog does help heal you and prepare you for baby #2. I’m a mom of two precious boys, 22 months apart. Even though I did not have anything near the experience you did, I have had 2 c-sections and minor complications and that was scary enough. So thankful that Clara is in this world safe and sound! :)
Unbelievable – so emotional reading this – you are so blessed and thank you for sharing. All is as it should be and we all love you all!
Ashley P. says
Wow! Rejoicing with you with tears in my eyes as I read this. Thanks for sharing. I’m a recent yhl follower and had no idea!
I don’t have children, but your story made me cry right here in my office. I was scared/sad/worried for you just reading it and can’t imagine the range of emotions you and John must have dealt with. She truly is a blessing <3
I can’t believe how strong you are, to be able to share with us your scariest day. I just want to thank you for the courage and inspiration you gave me today. You guys are truly an amazing family and I’m so thankful I stumbled upon your blog!
Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove says
Sherry, you are so strong for being able to share this experience with the world. That is a terrifying story! I’m so sorry that you had to go through this.
Your story gave me the chills.
Clara is one lucky bean.
wow, that story had me crying most of the way. your family was truly blessed.
Diana Lewis says
What a horrible experience! So glad the outcome is so wonderful!! Love watching the bean grow! As a grammy to 6, they make my world go round! I enjoy reading your blogs so much!
Wow Sherry thank you so much for sharing! You and your cute little family are truly amazing!
Katie Rose says
Scary and tear inducing…you are so brave to share! Thank you. I can understand why it is hard to open up about it as even reading it as an outsider was emotional. Clara is beautiful and I am glad that everyone made it through okay. :) May you bask in the joy of your healthy baby and family this upcoming mother’s day!
I’m so happy for you that it turned out like this, and Clara is such a doll. You all are lucky to have each other.
You are also very brave. My water broke at 29 weeks, with no warning and following a healthy, normal pregnancy. They couldn’t find any reason for it, and give me about 1 in 3 odds of it happening in any subsequent pregnancy. I’m too scared to risk it, so we are happy for our 5 year old beauty.
Sherry, I cried as I read this – thanks for sharing your story, which is similar to my own story 7 years ago (the extreme out-of-the-blue mama drama part – thankfully, our baby was safe). It’s wonderful that you have now documented it, so maybe you can release it from your mind just a bit. Now, whenever I hear a mama-to-be run through the details of her well thought-out “birth plan,” I offer a gentle reminder that the plan really needs to be: get the baby out in whatever way works, get healthy, get everyone home. End of plan. There’s just so much out of our control. It’s amazing to me that given all the variables and freak things that can happen during the birth experience, so many of us end up with healthy, smart, happy, beautiful kids. This is your little family’s milestone, so celebrate ALL of you.
I try to offer the same gentle reminder of whatever works for a healthy baby and healthy mommy. The only perfect “birth plan” is successfully handling any possible complications and having a healthy baby. I had 2 emergency c-sections and a grandmother I never knew because she passed when she delivered by father. My oldest is 22 years now and I rarely think of the birth complications. What really matters is what you do with them once you get them home and begin your lives together.
Thanks for sharing your story Sherry. Very touching and I wish you and John years of happiness with sweet Clara.
What an amazing story, and even more amazing little fighter! My situation with my first born was very similar. He is 9 years old now, and I still have nightmares. But even to this day the horrible flashbacks and crying spells are worth it for my little miracle. The doctors told me I would not be able to have any more kids. Luckily they were wrong, we were blessed two more times with healthy pregnancies and deliveries.
Thank you so much for sharing this story. What a great reminder of how miraculous our God is!
I know this is a SUPER old post, but in case anybody is reading it later like me: if you are having flashbacks, crying spells, and nightmares, from a bad birth experience or any other trauma, tell your doctor! There are good treatments out there for PTSD; you don’t have to live with these symptoms forever.
Sherry – thank you for your honesty. I too have struggled in this area and feel anxious about my pregnancies. I try to find peace, but what has helped me the most is talking about it with my husband, friends, and other women who have experienced this. You are so very brave!I hope it is the first step toward emotional healing.
Although my delivery was not as hectic as yours, I certainly can sympathize with the feelings that hit you that day. I was admitted to the hospital at 31 weeks because I was losing fluid rapidly and they wanted me to try to make it a little longer for my baby’s sake. I made it to 32 weeks before they decided that she could no longer last with the amount of fluid my body had left. The entire week I was in the hospital I couldn’t move. All that I could do is sit and think about the “what ifs”. It was terrifying to say the least. I thought about all the different scenarios and how they could forever change my life. Then, when it was time to deliver, I had a natural delivery but there were no sounds at all from baby. I remember feeling like it was the longest time before I heard anything. Everything was eerily quiet. And then, I heard the cry… It was the best sound ever!
I know that “pit of the stomach” feeling that you must have had and I can only guess that you now feel the most amazing feeling ever when you hold your baby girl and know that she fought to get into this world!
Be warned though… that “fight” and fiestiness seems to continue throughout time!!
Thank you for sharing your story!
Wow, I am in tears. That is such an amazing story–you are so brave to share it, and it will help other young mothers-to-be so much to know that you faced such an ordeal and made it through. You and John have a little miracle, and we can tell that you both realize that every day. Thank you for sharing.
I’d heard you share this story before in comments, but reading through the full version actually made my cry today… though maybe I’m hormonal because I’m 14 weeks pregnant myself! Thank you so much for sharing… how scary but how wonderful that you ended up with beautiful Clara at the end of everything.
In a small way, I know what you’re feeling, because I had a miscarriage last summer… at first I thought I was ready to get pregnant again RIGHT AWAY, but in the process of trying I felt nothing but stress and worry. I was convinced I would never feel excited again, so why bother waiting? Luckily I did decide to take a few months off to focus on other things, and when we started trying again, I was ready and excited.
Not that this pregnancy has been drama-free… I was actually told I was miscarrying at 6 weeks and didn’t find my healthy, beautiful baby until 10– I just posted a long blog post about it here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4191176 I think it was therapeutic for me write out my whole story too.
Btw, my brother was 0… yes, ZERO… on the apgar scale when he was born with his cord around his neck, and today he is a programmer for Google making about seven times as much as I do. :)
hehe… definitely my longest comment ever. :)
Yes, my son, who had a traumatic birth that landed him in the NICU, had Apgars of 1/1.
Enjoy your beautiful baby, Sherry.
Thank you for sharing, Sherry. I can see why it took you a year to put pen to paper, err… computer to computer?
If you don’t mind me asking, which hospital did you go to?
I’m pregnant with my first due June 13 and we live in Richmond.
We were at Henrico Doctors Hospital. They were amazing.
I second Sherry’s rec. We delivered our daughter at Henrico Doctors and I can’t say enough nice things about them!
Thank you for sharing this — I cannot imagine how hard this must have been to process and write. Reading this absolutely made me tear up and made me want to send your family all the supportive thoughts possible via a comment box (which feel very inadequate).
Tiffany T. says
I could not agree with Constance more!
You guys are amazing. You have no idea how great today has been for us. Just to read so many loving and supportive words is so helpful. We appreciate it so much!
i third constance & tiffany– and can only imagine that this will make clara’s birthday even happier!
Ditto. Your first delivery is a bit scary anyway as you don’t really know what to expect. So thankful everything turned out wonderful in the end. Kudos for John for being your strength when I’m sure he was falling apart. You all have special gift in each other.
Happy birthday blessings on your sweet baby girl a few weeks early.