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  • Laura Alvarado-Newson

Determined to live


"It's time for you to have another baby." These words spoken by our beloved Pastor paralyzed me with a million thoughts of fear and dread. The doctor said that if I were to have any more babies, they would be a higher risk of having problems leading to premature birth and severe disability. My husband and I left the office that day annoyed that no one seemed to understand how much our severely disabled son needed us and that we wouldn't have the time or the energy to care for another child. Caring for our son was a 24 hr job, and only 24 hrs because there is only 24 hours in a day; how could we possibly think about bringing another baby into our complicated life. We went home and talked about it, than prayed about it, talked about it some more. As a young married woman, of course I wanted another baby, I wanted 4 children; however, that was before the unexpected early arrival of our 1lb baby boy. My dreams and desires were completely out of whack, trying to adjust to this "new" normal with all of its complications. One thing that did not change was the desire for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. I didn't know what a third trimester or labor pains were like. I didn't have either with the birth of our son, so maybe it was time.

ANOTHER BABY IN A HURRY

This pregnancy was different. I didn't run out and get a subscription to the baby magazines, I didn't watch the baby shows, no, most of my "free time" was just praying and thinking, fighting off fear and anxiety that something was going to go horribly wrong. So far all of my appointments were positive, baby's heartbeat was strong, no problems that they could see. However, my son's first and most of second trimester were pretty positive too. This was a battle of faith vs. fear and I have to admit, most of the time there was a tie. At 24 weeks, I was in the kitchen fixing myself something to eat, which was a regular part of my day; I spent most of this pregnancy wanting food. I am standing at the counter and realized I had an "accident", I thought maybe the my baby girl kicked my bladder, but I didn't actually feel a kick. At one point, the "accident" turned into a steady flow, hmmm, this was unfamiliar to me, this didn't happen with my son. I called the hospital and they gave me instructions including what to watch for and when to rush to hospital, I followed their instructions and within 5 min I knew, I am not going to bathroom this is something else. So I call my husband who is at work, he rushed home. While I waited for him to come, I called someone to stay with Jorgie who was 4 years old, but had the abilities of a 2 week old. As I waited for Jorge and the sitter (this night was so traumatic, I can't even remember who stayed with Jorgie), I clung to my Bible, as if it was a branch keeping me from falling off the cliff. My husband arrives, his eyes red and swollen, he had been crying all the way home, fearing what was to come. At this point I am going to assume the sitter was there, I can't remember, but I know we would have not left our son alone. We get in car and quietly drive to hospital. I get to hospital, have the exam and sure enough, i had a tear in the placenta. I wasn't in labor, so doctors said I would stay in hospital on my back until baby shows signs of distress or I go into labor. At that point the baby was just about 1lb, and of course, the possiblity of survival was very slim. They wanted to try and keep her in me as long as possible, until she got bigger and stronger.

ONE DETERMINED BABY

This little girl shocked every one. When fluid is measured in placenta, the doctors say that a healthy pregnancy would show numbers 12-14 of fluid for a healthy baby. My little girl survived on 2-3 and it seemed that she had a plan. Every time the doctors ordered an ultrasound, they would find her positioned where her head was covering the tear, which kept more fluid from leaking out. This was a definite test of my faith because every time she decided to turn, I would feel a gush, yell out to nurse who would bring doctor, who would bring ultrasound machine to see if there was any fluid left. The baby would make her own fluid by peeing and this went on for 6 whole weeks.

LESSONS LEARNED

I learned alot and dare I say grew an inch spiritually. One of the biggest lessons wasn't even a lesson. I learned a new found respect and empathy for my son. I was stuck in that bed, the nurses had to do everything for me and I mean everything. Most of the time I couldn't even get up to use the bathroom, I would have to call nurse to bring bed pan, position bed pan, empty and clean bed pan and the worst of this: clean me up! I actually held everything in for a couple of weeks just because I could not allow a person to clean me, are you kidding? However, there were consequences to my pride; apparently constipation causes contractions, so my pride almost put my baby in danger. Once the nurse gave me medicine, I had no other choice but to go, and to go in bed, in a pan; just typing this makes me emotional. Just imagine trying to go, in a lying down position with a cold metal pan touching your skin, and the anticipation that this nurse would come in and clean you, like an infant. To make matters worse, the nurse kept on peeking in "are you done?" I wanted to scream! Once the nurse began to assist me, all I could do was lie there and let her. I was powerless, almost like an invalid. I didn't want her talking to me, she was trying to make small talk, but I could not get myself to have a conversation while my south end was being wiped. After everything was unsaid and done, she left the room and I just cried and cried and cried. I felt crushed, every part of my being was humiliated, broken into a thousand pieces. Among those pieces I had to scavenge for my dignity just to go on. Did I mention that extreme sadness would cause contractions? Oh, what lessons! I think at least 90% of my pride was killed that day and my love and respect for my boy grew 1000%. When everything was over and I was home caring for him, I apologized to him for not realizing how he must feel as a "big boy" having to be totally dependent on us and we were oblivious to his feelings, until I experienced some of his pain. He cried when I told him, and from that moment on, he was a different child, alot calmer and receptive. He was finally understood. So I thank the Lord a million times for those painful times, which have made me a better servant and mom.

ONE CHILD ER UNCONSCIOUS

So this boy decides to have a massive seizure while with a sitter. I am still in hospital, pregnant, going on week 6. The sitter calls me, frantic and scared; I tell her to call 911. By the time they got him to hospital, he was unresponsive. My husband was with him in the ER. I was stuck in bed on 4th floor, hysterical over my son, whose side I could not be by. His Dr. comes up to tell me that there will possibly be more brain damage, if they get him back. More brain damage? Is that even possible? My life froze there and then. "God what are you doing?" The good news is he woke up, and he was his sweet old self, the bad news, this whole ordeal caused me to go into labor. MY baby girl was born 3lbs 4oz. She stayed 5 weeks in hospital. Those 5 weeks were tough. Trying to manage recovery from c-section, caring for my son and getting to hospital to be with my baby, it was alot of pressure.

She is now a healthy, beautiful young lady with so much life. She brings laughter to all of us. She brought joy into the home the moment we brought her home. Another angel sent from the Lord.

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