Monday, September 22, 2008

Joy's Birth Story

Let me try to do this day justice by recounting for you the day Joy was born.

Sept. 15, 2008
Shortly before 2:00am I wake up in my bed wet. I immediately think that my water broke. I won't relay all the details for you, but I was pretty sure this was my water breaking. My water broke with both Elijah and Phoebe so I've had some experience. Lewis and I quickly gathered some things, called our neighbor Sarah who was so awesome and got here ASAP to be here with the kids.
We went to the hospital and they brought me back to triage hooked me up to a monitor etc. I won't go into all the details because that first experience at the hospital was less than favorable. We ended up coming back home because the nurse could not get a positive reading for amniotic fluid after trying to get 2 samples. She basically told me I probably peed myself. I really thought I was losing my mind and of course second guessed myself. We went back home, went back to sleep where I felt more water.

I returned to the hospital at 10:00am where it was confirmed pretty quickly that in fact my water did break. My doc, Amanda, was already at the hospital scheduled to perform another c-section and told me she could do mine in about an hour. I couldn't believe this was all happening so fast. Of all the possible things I thought would happen when Joy was going to arrive I did not anticipate my water breaking at 30 weeks. We were not prepared to say the least. To be honest, I wasn't prepared with my other two and they both went to 40 weeks. Like I've said before, I'm a pro at procrastination.

I should also tell you that Joy continued to have a heartbeak this whole time. Mind you it was still irregular. It seemed to fluctuate between 100-150 beats per minute. It was a pretty overwhelming and emotional time. Amanda offered for me to be asleep during the c-section as she thought it would be pretty tramatic. I absolutely wanted to be awake, I did not want to miss one second with Joy. After getting the kids situated Lewis arrived. We got a hold of my Mom who was in Niagara Falls at the time to let her know what was going on. She and her dear friend Jill were quickly on their way to be with us.

They prepped me for the c-section. This was my first one. I had the quickest and easiest epidural ever! Lewis and I had some amazing people in the room with us. Dr. Amanada Hurtubise, Dr. Tseng, Becky (the most awesome, compassionate and caring L&D nurse ever who made this experience easier by her presence) and Berdetta, another amazing nurse that was there who also assisted in the L&D of Phoebe when se was born. I felt very taken care of.

Having a c-section is a strange sensation, if you've ever had one you know what I'm talking about. I felt no pain, but felt pulling, tugging, pressure, etc. Lewis let me know when they were about to get Joy out. It literally felt like they were ripping her out of me. As this was happening I closed my eyes, tears were running down my face and God gave me the most beautiful vision. I saw Jesus bent down on one knee with his arms outstretched and Joy running into his arms. In the midst of my heart breaking I had peace knowing that Joy was now made perfect and safe in the arms of our loving Father.

Joy did not cry at all, she did not take a breath, she was what you would consider stillborn. To my knowledge she had a heartbeat up until the time they wheeled me into the OR. She had a few movements and Becky told us that it was a reflex action, but they were precious to me regardless. If you remember me saying in my earlier posts that the doctors at Beaumont Hospital (the specialists) near Detroit told us at 13 weeks that Joy was missing a right leg. Nobody was ever able to locate a right leg or femur bone. Guess what??? She had both legs!!!! I cried when Lewis told me that. The best part about it is that her little right foot, the foot that was not supposed to be there, made better footprints than her left foot.

Joy was beautiful! She was born at 11:57am. To me she looked like her big sister Phoebe when she was born only much smaller. Joy was 2lbs 0oz, 12.5 inches long. She had stawberry blonde hair. The most perfect little face. Some people think her eyes were blue, although I thought it hard to tell. Both her brother and sister have blue eyes so that is very possible.

They wheeled me to our room and shortly after Amanda and Becky arrived with Joy in the most beautiful white dress with pink rosettes and a little knit hat. We spent the entire day holding her and loving her. Sharing her with our dear friends and family that came to visit with us in the hospital. We had professional pictures done. I had Joy in the bed with me as I slept that night. Or as I tried to sleep between Lewis' snoring and all the emotions of the day I didn't get much sleep.

For those of you who don't know, I had my 34th birthday that next day. Joy was born the day before my birthday. For a while leading up to Joy's birth I had a fear that she might possibly be born around my birthday. I thought it would be so depressing and tragic, but ya know what? I didn't feel that way. I thought it to be a blessing and a special gift. At first I was a little disappointed that she wasn't born on the same day, but realized she needed her very own special day just for her and nobody else. I got to spend the first half of my birthday with her. We were going to let her go sooner, but I did not want her waiting in the morg by herself until someone from the funeral home came to get her.

Elijah and Phoebe got to spent some time with Joy on both days. Phoebe, being just shy of 20 months really did not understand at all what was going on. Elijah was so loving towards Joy. He held her, kissed her, and loved on her. My Mom and Jill, a good friend of our family, were amazing. They took great care of our kids while we were in the hospital. Cleaned our house etc. My brother, Brennan, even helped out some and spent one night at our home, which he never does.;) They all dropped everything to be with us.

It's now been a week since that day. I don't know that it is getting any easier. I try to focus on the fact that she is now made whole, happy, and will never know anything but love. She was just too perfect for this world. I just can't help but be selfish and think of how much I wished she was here with us. My heart just aches.


Anonymous said...

You do not know me but I just wanted you to know how overwhelmed with admoration I am at your situation, and you pulling through it with such a positive attitude. I am a mother of 2 and the thought of me losing one of my kids is unimaginable. the strength and determination you have is unbelieveable to me.I have often quesioned "god and heaven" and I must say that reading your blogs has given me a new insight and really made me think that "yes, there is a heaven". I just wanted you to know that you have really touched me even though we have never met, and your daughter was beautiful and I am sure she is watching over you now. You will be blessed in heaven for carrying Joy knowing what the outcome would be, you always had that hope, and I am astounded at the courage you showed in carrying her for as long as you did and not "giving up on her". You are an example I wish more moms would follow in this world and even not knowing you, I admire you more than you could ever know! My email is, if you ever want to chat.
Take Care and know even more than just family is thinking of you right now! You are touching those you dont even know! Bless You!

Kim Walters

The Sloterbeeks said...

I remember for the first little while after Joshua was born, I seemed to measure the days by what it was we had done for him on that day. (Friday he was born, Sat. we came home, Sun. we met with the funeral director, etc.) I'm glad you shared about her day, it was very special. I will always remember b/c of it being the same b-day as my dad.
Love and Prayers,

Kirsten said...

I'm so glad I found your blog again. Jack's mommy, who I mentioned in my last post, delivered on September 15 too. When I saw the marker I stopped in my tracks. I bet the two of you could be a huge comfort and "safe place" for each other. Having other mom's who understand has been critical to getting me through our loss.

The second thing that jumped out was that Joy's birthday was the day before yours. Chloe was born on April 19 and my birthday is April 22. It was a strange feeling to have the dates so close.

I was so nervous at first - unsure about how it would feel to share birthdays. God worked it all out just the way it was supposed to be.

You are in my prayers. Blessings, peace and comfort to you and your family. You are not alone.