Baby Elizabeth’s Birth Story

Everything is Going Wrong… or is everything going right?! It is all in the way you look at life. In honor of nine months in and, as of today, Elizabeth’s nine months out, I thought I would share her birth story, or really the story of the first couple of months of her life. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy. And this wasn’t just because we now had three children to take care of at once. That was a challenge in and of itself, but on top of this transition, we seemed to face issue after issue. I will tell you about our struggles, but I also learned a very importance lesson through them all. Life is all about perspective. Struggles can either tear a person down or build a person up. I chose to look for the good, and in the end, it only made me stronger. In the afternoon, my blood pressure was up in the 100’s over 170’s. This was nothing new as the same thing had happened with each of my pregnancies. I was about three weeks early, but I just knew she would be coming in the next day. I called the doctor to tell her about my blood pressure. She told me to come in. Sure enough, soon I was headed over to labor and delivery. I had pre-clampsia again and they would need to induce. It was a long and grueling, 29-hour labor. It was 29 hours of small snacks, water, and little sleep. It got to a point where I thought I was too tired to actually go on, but somehow as always, we get a big moment of strength and Elizabeth entered this world. Then, all the pain and tiredness went away and was replaced by a moment of pure joy and love. Our amazing doctor allowed my husband to pull Elizabeth out himself. She asked him, “Do you want to deliver her? Take off your watch and glove up!” He did and this made the moment even more special. She was born perfect. No issues to be seen at all. A beautiful baby girl! The next morning, the hospital pediatrician entered our room. I was in the bathroom, but overheard my husband say, “What is wrong?” I ran out of the bathroom and asked the same question. She said, I am not liking what I see. She has swelling on both sides of her head. I am going to call the pediatric neurologist to take a look. Let me tell you, this is NOT what you want to hear when you have a newborn baby. We had to wait hours for the pediatric neurologist to come. It was hours of worry and tears. Hours of trying to nurse, but every time I touched her head she would cry because it was swollen and it hurt. Finally, the neurologist checked her out and told us the swelling did not seem to be coming from a brain bleed. It seemed to be two huge hematomas (basically big bruises), one on each side of her head. He said we would have to watch it to be sure. At one point, there were five doctors and nurses in the room including the OB all wondering how this happened. It wasn’t a forceps birth, and usually these things present right away, not the following morning. They determined that it must be because, although it was a long labor, the baby came out of the birth canal extremely fast. The pelvic bones must have caused the bruises on her way out. I continued to worry over these huge bumps for weeks. Five days later, the hematomas caused jaundice, so Elizabeth and I went back to the hospital for two nights. Five days after that, another two nights in the hospital for me due to severely high blood pressure. Turns out I had post-clampsia and was in danger of having a stroke or seizure. I had to be put on a magnesium drip and have a CT scan and MRI to rule out a stroke. I missed my baby so much. It felt so wrong to be without her. Immediately upon my return home, my son was jumping on the couch. My husband told him to stop and not two seconds later, he fell. He hit his head on the bottom of the coffee table and busted his head open. He needed three staples. Likely from the children’s urgent care, my son then caught RSV. Five days later, baby Elizabeth caught RSV from her brother. We went back to the hospital for three nights. Here, they did an MRI (her hematoma was still prominent on one side) to ensure there was skull underneath. After this, I had to go to the hospital two more times due to severely high blood pressure and a possible TIA. Next, my oldest daughter had her first asthma attack in the middle of the night and had to go to the hospital herself. These weeks were hard. I cried so many tears. I was scared. I felt guilt being away from my baby. We were exhausted trying to transition to having three children. But somehow, I kept it together. In the midst of the craziness and even in what felt like disaster after disaster, I chose joy. I chose to look for the positive in every situation. I had been through low lows before. I talk about my lowest low in my book coming soon. I think these lows can destroy us, but they can also teach us resilience. They can teach us that even in a difficult situation, there is good. There is hope. There are two ways of looking at every situation. I could look at it as we had seven hospital visits in less than two months. I could look at it as: Why did my baby have to have jaundice?Why did she have to catch RSV? Why did my son have to split his head open? Why did I have to have post-clampsia? Why did my oldest have an asthma attack? Or, I can look at it like this: My baby did NOT have a brain bleed. She was a perfectly healthy baby girl. She had hematomas, but they healed and caused no issues. My baby had jaundice, but her levels went down immediately with treatment and we knew the cause. She was healthy. Because of post-clampsia, I had to spend a lot of time in the hospital. But, I was safe. The doctor caught it. The MRI showed no signs of stroke. I was alive. My baby caught RSV, but we were told she may need oxygen, she may need to be put on a ventilator. If she got a fever, she would need to have a spinal tap. My son had a fever of over 102 with his RSV, so I was terrified. But, she didn’t need any of these things. Yes, we dealt with congestion for a few weeks, but she did not need a ventilator. She did not need a spinal tap. She did not even need oxygen. She was safe. The doctor did an MRI and her skull was completely normal. A few days later, miraculously her hematoma was completely gone. My oldest had an asthma attack, but we caught it. She was okay. She was safe. We found humor even in these times of challenge. My daughter told me the day she had her asthma attack that a friend at school told her to eat a flower. She said, “I didn’t eat it, but I did lick it Mama. It was a dandelion.” I replied, “Lili, you should never eat flowers and you should not always do what your friends tell you to do.” “But mom, flour is in cake!” “You are about half right there…” You see, I saw the blessing in each and every situation. We were not the most unlucky family on Earth. We were in fact the luckiest, because in every situation, we had the best outcome. Our family was healthy. Our family was safe. We had a beautiful new baby girl and my husband actually got to deliver her. I will NEVER forget the look of joy on his face in this moment. It brings me to tears… happy ones. Times like these help make me stronger because through it all I was okay. I was able to find the good and what to be thankful for. I’ve noticed from every difficult situation I experience I build resilience. This only makes me better able to handle what comes next. I know there will be many difficult times to come, but I will continue to always choose joy!   To learn more about me and my blog check out: About Lauren. If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy: Or What?  

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