Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our daughter Ashlyn Jeanae



Ashlyn= "dream; Ash tree lake" [interpretation: peaceful, reflective]
Jeanae (taken from Jean)= "God is Gracious"
Ashlyn was named after her Grandmothers; Lynette and Phyllis Jean
When I found out I was going to have a third child, I cried. I had just been diagnosed a month before, with "Hashimoto thyroid disease (an autoimmune disorder I'll have all my life)", and I was uncertain if the child would be healthy, or if I could successfully carry the baby [I had a few problems at 5 wks, then things improved]. Because of my boys having had their umbilical cords tied around themselves at birth, and because of my thyroid issues, we decided to have our baby with a female doctor, instead of using a midwife (the only midwife in the area at that time did home births and I wasn't fully comfortable with trying that). My Doctor was a fairly new Dr., but was a good communicator and researcher. :)
The pregnancy went well after month 4 ( I had felt sick all day long), and I tried to remember all the midwifery things I had done during Antonin's pregnancy so I could avoid the blood pressure problems. I did well until a couple of weeks before Ashlyn's due date, and wished I could have had a midwife's advice! ;) I began to experience very high blood pressure, and even had to spend 24 hrs in the hospital so the doctor could "monitor" me. While I was being monitored,Richard went back home with the boys (I thought I'd be fine by myself), and I recall sitting there in the hospital bed with my dinner tray in front of me-- feeling so alone. I bowed my head to pray over my food, but all I could hear was the deafening silence in the room. As I prayed, a peaceful feeling came over me, and a phrase popped into my head(not of my own), "I know what it's like to be alone... I know what it's like to be in pain.".....which was not only a comfort to me then, but a week later as well (you'll see why a little later in this story). The next morning, the doctor decided I was well enough to go back home, but that I needed to be on complete bed rest. How is one supposed to be on bed rest with two little boys at home?? Richard's family helped out a lot with the boys...taking them places or keeping them for a day, bringing magazines over for me to read, meals, etc. : ) : ) : ) I appreciated their help so much, and for the help of our small group from church who brought meals over, too. I did break the dr.'s rules at times....once people would bring the food to our house, I'd wait until they left the house...then would get up to "prepare" the rest of the meal before Richard would come home. No one knew... :) . I was so tired of sitting!!!! ;) It was awful not being able to do anything!!! I continued on bed rest for one week...and then the day before my routine Dr. appointment, Richard received a phone call from an employer in St. Louis (we lived in SW MO at that time). I'll never forget sitting in our recliner, all swollen and flushed from high blood pressure/pregnancy...and hearing Richard excitedly whoop, "I got the job!!" I was like, "But how are we going to move in 6 wks?!?! We haven't even had this baby yet!!!" Richard is an optimist, so he assured me that everything was going to work out alright and he'd take care of everything. I was unsure about it all...and it was making my blood pressure rise!!!! ;) The next morning, December 10th (a Friday), we left for my routine Dr. visit. We took the boys over to their Grandparent's house and continued on our way. At my 10:30 AM appointment, the Dr. checked my blood pressure once, twice, and then gave up. She told me to lie there on the examining table for awhile and that she'd try getting a better reading in a few minutes. I wondered to myself what was happening....knowing that I did appear very flushed and swollen, and had a headache. When she returned, she took my blood pressure again, and then settled in for a serious talk. "You have protein now, Sara, and the readings are dangerously high. You are in the first stages of eclampsia--known as preeclampsia. I would like for you to have this baby today." Richard and I asked a few questions about preeclampsia....like , how long could we wait around for the baby to come on its own....and the Dr. informed us that preeclampsia can sky rocket without any warning, causing there to be problems (or death) for mother and/or baby. We weren't sure about my being induced with having had a c-section with Caleb (first child), since there is a greater risk of uterine rupture with inductions than with going into labor on one's own. Plus, I was only dilated to barely 1 cm-- 0% effaced--and was not ready or "ripe" to be induced. She told us that I could continue to stay at the hospital waiting to go into labor on my own, or have the baby that day (c-section). The Doctor left the room so I could talk everything over with Richard. He asked me, "Are you sure you don't mind having another c-section?" I reminded him about the phrase that had come to my mind a week before in the hospital room...and how I felt that God had given me peace..had taken away my fear. I also didn't want to be waiting around in a hospital room for who knows how long, with things possibly getting worse- requiring an emergency birth. When the Doctor returned to talk with us, we told her our decision. A good doctor is also a good Psychologist ;) I'll never forget how she looked at me and said, "You are making the best decision for yourself and your baby...and I want you to know that this c-section is not a cop-out." She immediately had to hand over the kleenex box to me. :) We set the time for the c-section to be at 4:15 PM....then checked into the hospital. We had gone to the appointment without all of our overnight items, because we hadn't known we were not going back home...so while the nurses helped me settle into my room, Richard ran to Dollar General for tooth brushes! :) We had several hours to wait for the c-section...I, of course, had to lie in bed the whole time. I guess my condition was more serious than I realized even then, because they were taping towels to the sides of the bed (for padding) in case I'd have any seizures! I felt fine, to tell you the truth. Finally, it was 4:15 PM, and time to go have our new baby! I was wheeled into the surgery room, fully expecting to give birth to a baby boy. I was so excited and surprised when the doctor delivered the baby and asked Richard, "What is it, Daddy?" Richard's voice hesitantly said, "Is it a g-g-girl??" I couldn't stop laughing and smiling, and couldn't wait to see our little girl. Richard also cut Ashlyn's umbilical cord. One thing I'll never know (because I was so excited we had had a girl and didn't think to ask), is whether Ashlyn's cord had been wrapped around any part of her body like the boys' cords had been. :) Ashlyn Jeanae was born December 10th, 2004 at 4:27 PM, and weighed 6 lbs., 14 oz., and was 20 1/2 inches long. I couldn't believe how much black hair she had!!! :) A few hours after the c-section, I did have some afterbirth issues reminiscent of Antonin's birth, and was glad I was in a hospital {I simply cannot have children without having problems}.
Though we had given Ashlyn a "calm" name, she was anything but calm. :) : ) : ) She would cry and cry...and was colicky. I was so glad we had the help of my parents [& Richard's family] to pack for our move and get our house on the market, etc.....we did move 6wks after Ashlyn's birth. I really don't know how we did it, looking back. God had to have been the One working everything out for us. He has certainly been so gracious to us--as He is to all of us--day after day. :) : ) : ) It was quite an adjustment at first being away from any family--though we are now closer to my side of the family. We know without a doubt this is where we are meant to be in this season of our lives. Who knows what will happen next in this journey of life!! :) No, I'm not leading up to anything---we are done having children (I knew you'd ask). :) My heart is open to adopt, but for now I don't see that happening. :)

1 comment:

Christi said...

loved it, Sara! You are blessed! :)