My daughter’s birthday is approaching later this week, and it has dawned on me that I’ve never written her birth story. For us, it was very dramatic, though I know it’s mild compared to what other families have been through. Still, I don’t want to forget one minute of it. So if you’ll indulge me, here’s Corrie’s birth story, in three parts (it’s a long story, y’all). Here’s part one:
Around March of 2003, I was telling Hubs about some friends of ours who had a surprise pregnancy. He looked at me nervously. "That wouldn’t happen to us, would it?" he asked. My response (and yes, this is actually what I said): "No, Honey. When you hear of people ‘accidentally’ getting pregnant, what that actually means is that they messed up on their birth control. We’re very careful–we’re just not the sort of people that happens to."
And somewhere up in Heaven, God must’ve thrown His mighty head back and laughed. Because one month later, while the room spun around me and my jaw hung open, I was looking in amazement at two little pink lines on a plastic stick.
I gave myself 24 hours to try to adjust to the idea before even telling Hubs. He took the surprising news well, but we were both reeling. This had not been apart of Our Plan For Our Family. We were very content as the parents of three little boys. It was kind of our schtik, you know? Boys will be boys. Three is a charm. We were done. We stumbled through the next few days, numb and confused and even, if I were to be brutally honest, disappointed.
Until I began bleeding.
I had endured two miscarriages before. I knew the signs. And I had every single one of them. Before I had even had a chance to grow accustomed to the idea of being pregnant, it appeared this little life inside me was slipping away. My doctor agreed that this was likely what was happening, but we would wait a few days and see. We waited.
And we waited.
And in my heart, a deep seed of desire took root as I pleaded with God to save this little life that I didn’t even know I wanted so desperately.
Remarkably, though the bleeding continued for a time, I did not miscarry. On the contrary, the morning sickness hit me like a truck as this little baby evidently took hold. Relief and joy and nervousness and nausea washed over me every single day.
My pregnancy continued normally for a time. My boys began to be excited about their new little sibling (whom they named "Godzilla", for some reason, a nickname which, mercifully, did not stick). Here I am at about 20 weeks on vacation on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Just after this trip, we had an ultrasound, and we took Adam and Stephen with us. For the second time in five months, my jaw dropped to the floor when the tech announced that we were having a girl.
A girl? What am I supposed to do with a girl? I’m a mom of boys. We do t-ball and Hot Wheels and patched-up jeans and buzz cuts. A GIRL?
Despite the shock, I was thrilled beyond words. I remember going back out to the car after the ultrasound and sitting there quietly, shaking my head in disbelief and laughter. A girl? God was blessing me with a daughter? A surprise daughter? I couldn’t contain myself.
A few more normal weeks passed, except for my diagnosis of gestational diabetes. Still, this wasn’t a huge hurdle; I was able to manage it with my diet. The fall of 2004 passed uneventfully as we eagerly planned for our new little daughter, due December 23rd–a Christmas baby! I prepared a room so pink that it actually glowed out into the hallway.
In late October, Hubs took the boys camping. I looked forward to a weekend alone in which I’d finish up the nursery before the holiday rush hit. They would be out of cell phone range, but that was no concern–I was only 32.5 weeks and was having no complications. At the last minute, my mother decided to come for a visit and help me. I’m so glad she did.
Saturday, October 30th, Mom and I had been busy shopping and working in the nursery. I was tired and took a nap in the afternoon. I awakened around 3:30 pm to feel a strange leak of fluid. Great, I thought, bladder problems. Just what I need. I cleaned up and we went to dinner. Afterwards, we watched a movie, but the strange leak continued. I told my mom about it, and she suggested we go the hospital to make sure it wasn’t amniotic fluid. I shrugged it off.
By 11 pm, when the leaking continued, my mom insisted we visit the hospital (thank you, Lord, that she was there–would I have gone in had I been alone?) I drove us to the hospital, laughing the whole way at the thought that these nurses were going to tell me–a fourth-time mother–that I was wetting my pants. How delightful. We watched Saturday Night Live in the hospital room while we waited for the test results. They came in around midnight.
My water had broken. At 32.5 weeks.
The room was spinning around me as the nurse said something about "remaining at the hospital" and "bedrest" and "infection" and "NICU", but I couldn’t take it all in. The nurse left and I reached out my hand to my mom, who came to my bed and sat with me. We prayed aloud. Please, God, please place Your hands on this little baby and keep her safe…
To be continued tomorrow…