Thinking back to Logan’s birth brings mixed emotions. Nothing went the way I had, in my mind, played out that it would. I was sure my delivery would be natural, with no complications, baby would be normal, etc. So imagine my shock when I woke up one morning with my waterbag leaking.
The previous night I had spent relaxing, watching a movie with my husband. At some point Logan started to freak out, moving in a way he never had before. He was almost thrashing around in my tummy, jerking and pulling like he was trying to get away from something. He never moved very much so I knew this was unusual, yet I didn’t think more of it when, after patting my tummy and reassuring him, he settled down and didn’t move any more.
The next morning, I discovered my waterbag leaking. Nothing big, just a trickle every so often. I had heard that a tear can heal with rest, so I decided to research it and see what I could come up with. For some reason, every article I found on the subject said the same thing: call your doctor. I was hesitant to do so, thinking that it wasn’t anything serious, and that I would be disturbing my husband on his day off for nothing. After about an hour or so of reading one article after another, I decided I’d better wake him and let him know what was going on.
We called my doctor and she told us to come for a checkup immediately. Her clinic was across town, so it took us about 45 minutes to drive there. During the whole drive I didn’t lose any more water, so I was beginning to think there wouldn’t be a problem and that soon we would be on our way home.
My doctor checked me and was immediately concerned because I had lost more water than I realised. She was also concerned that I hadn’t felt any movement from the baby since the previous night, so she admitted me right away.
I was taken to a room to lie down and was given an I.V. in order to stimulate the baby and try to get him to move. Nurses were checking his heartbeat every few minutes and it was strong, so that was comforting, but he still refused to move. At that point, it was determined that the leak couldn’t be stopped, and with the baby not moving either, the next step was to see if labor would start. It didn’t. I don’t remember how many hours I was lying there, just waiting for something to happen. Soon the leaking increased, so my doctor decided I needed to be prepared for an emergency caesarean. I was 33 weeks along.
When I heard that I started freaking out. Surgery scared me, and even more because I was going to be awake and didn’t know what to expect. But I had no choice. While lying on my back being prepped, for the first time I noticed how much water I had actually lost. I could see a tiny lump where my baby was curled up on the right side of my tummy, and the rest was going flat.
After that everything started moving so fast. Into surgery I went, I was given a spinal and then it was like everything was going fast around me while I was slipping away. The last thing I remember was someone putting an oxygen mask on me, saying, “You and your baby need oxygen.” Then I fell asleep.
(Later when thinking back on this, I could not figure out how I had gone to sleep so easily in such a nerve-wracking situation. It wasn’t until I had Scarlett and was told I’d be getting a sedative so I could sleep through the surgery, once she was born, that I realised that that is what had happened with Logan. Only they didn’t tell me about it. I guess they figured since it was an emergency and they didn’t know what to expect with the baby, that it was best for me to be sleeping when he was delivered, instead of being awake.)
I woke up still on the surgery table. Everything was done; my tummy was being wrapped in a long cloth for support. I was slowly coming to and becoming aware of my surroundings again. I remember overhearing two of the doctors discussing the latest cricket match they had seen and thinking that was odd. Then my doctor came to tell me everything was ok and that the baby was a boy. That woke me quickly, as for some reason, I had been convinced it would be a girl. I didn’t even have any boy clothes. Ha.
I was moved to a stretcher and immedately began to shiver uncontrollably. I was freezing from having been naked on that table for so long and it took at least 3 blankets for me to feel warm again. Out in the hall, I finally got to see my baby as he was on his way to the ambulance. I didn’t have my glasses on so I didn’t see him too clearly, but I remember seeing a tiny head peeking out of a yellow blanket. He had blue eyes, and the look on his face was like, “Where am I? What just happened to me?”
Logan was 7 weeks premature. He was breathing, but not too well. It was a struggle for his tiny body. His weight at birth was 2.2 kgs. (4.8 lbs.). He had no fat on his body at all – he was literally skin and bones. The clinic he was born in didn’t have the facilities to care for premature newborns, so he was going to a large hospital. My husband went with him and that was the last I saw of my baby for the next 4 days.
Since I didn’t have a baby to take care of, I had a lot of time to rest. I actually got bored with nothing to do. My husband was back and forth all day between where I was and where Logan was. In the evening he would come and we would watch a movie on our laptop over dinner, and then he would sleep there.
The day I was released my doctor came and explained what they had discovered during the delivery: By the time they got me open, there was only 100 mls. of water left in the sack. The cord was very short and Logan had somehow gotten it wrapped around his neck. In fact, it was so tight that they had to cut it before they could deliver him.
I’ve given this a lot of thought since then, and I believe that he got caught in the cord the night before when I felt him moving so strangely. Then, God kept him from moving around so that the cord couldn’t tighten and choke him. God also let my waterbag break as it would have been dangerous for Logan to stay in longer like that. I would not have been able to have a natural delivery; labor would have been dangerous for Logan too. When I think about all that, I see that God allowed him to be born early to save his life.
The day I was discharged, we went to see Logan. All those days in the hospital I had been fantasizing about what it would be like to finally hold my baby. I knew that he had been put on a ventilator to help him breathe, but having never seen one, I had no idea what it looked like. Nothing could have prepared me for the sight that met my eyes when I first saw him.
He was lying in an open incubator. He had two tubes going down his throat – one for breathing and one for feeding. He had an I.V. needle in his hand, a heart rate monitor on his toes, and a paper blindfold on his eyes to protect them from the UV machine he was under, since he had mild jaundice.
At first glance I almost cried, but the nurse caught me and sternly said, “Not in front of the babies.” I felt like punching her, but managed to swallow my tears and slowly forced myself to touch him. My hand was shaking as I laid it on his chest. He was so tiny, all wrapped in these tubes and wires. I could see every bone in his body.
After a few minutes my husband convinced me that I needed to go home and rest, and that Logan would be fine. We left the NICU, and the moment we got outside the door, I broke down. I don’t know how long I stood there and cried. I had wanted a baby for so long but hadn’t expected things to go like this. It was awhile before I could walk down to the car. The whole way home I tried to stop crying but couldn’t. We stopped at a friend’s house to pick up some baby things they had for us, then we headed home.
As soon as I got in, I went to bed. My husband left for work and I could finally cry as much as I needed to. It was painful on my body but I couldn’t stop it. I was worried about my baby – would he be alright?
While lying there I had an experience I’ll never forget. I was praying and telling God my concerns, and then I saw a picture in my mind of the room Logan was in. The focus was on Logan’s bed, everything else faded into the background. Then as clear as anything, I heard God tell me, “Look how much I love your baby.” I saw three angels holding hands around his little bed. The impression I got was that they were there for his protection while I couldn’t be with him. Then, I saw what looked like three baby angels sitting on the bed with him. They looked like an average 9 month old baby except they had tiny wings on their backs. I felt they were there to entertain him and keep him occupied.
Then the scene pulled back, and I saw the room as I had seen it earlier, with all the other incubators and babies. I again heard God’s voice and He said, “I don’t only love and care for some babies and not others.” And as I looked at the picture again, I saw that each incubator that had a baby in it had the same as Logan: tiny baby angels crawling around and three large guardians holding hands around the bed. This proved to me that God loves anyone, regardless of race or religion, because over the next few days, when I visited Logan I saw some of the other parents. Some were obviously Hindu or Muslim, but that didn’t matter to God. Their babies were afforded the same protection as mine, whether they worshiped Him or not. After that experience I felt better. It was reassurance that Logan was going to be ok.
Logan stayed in the NICU a total of 10 days. During that time I visited him several times, as often as my husband was available to take me. One thing I noticed was that the atmosphere in the NICU was very different from the rest of the hospital: it was peaceful and calm. There was no sign of the stress and tension that seemed to permeate the rest of the hospital. I wondered about that and when I prayed about it, I again saw a picture of the NICU. There was a very large angel standing at the main entrance. His job was to keep out evil spirits, so that the babies would have the best possible chance at recovery without negative spiritual influence. With only angels allowed in that room, it’s no wonder that a sense of peace exsisted there.
I still had times when I wondered if Logan was really going to make it. A friend of mine had delivered exactly one week before I did, at the exact same clinic, but the baby had been stillborn. The sadness I felt for her loss affected how I looked at Logan’s progress. Every time we got a call from the hospital, I imagined they were calling to tell us he had died. I was not at peace until I knew what they were calling about.
When Logan was 8 days old, we went to see him and noticed something different – he didn’t have the tubes in his mouth any more. We hadn’t been able to visit for two days, and were suprised they didn’t call to tell us he was off the ventilator. We talked to his doctor and she said he had pulled the tubes out himself. She belived that he knew he didn’t need them any more so he took them out. Once off the ventilator, he never went back on, nor did he ever have any breathing problems.
He stayed for two more days as he adjusted to taking milk. I finally got to hold him and he breastfed for the first time at 10 days old, and was discharged from the hospital that evening. He never had any problems related to his prematurity.
Today, Logan is an active 5 year old who is in kindergarden and making great progress with learning to read, write and spell. He loves animals, especially cows, making puzzles, drawing and coloring, playing with his plastic animals, and reading books. I’m so thankful he made it.
(Story first written May 2011. Final paragraph will be updated as needed.)