The Corrie Story, Part 2

This is part two in a three-part series that will probably be interesting to my immediate family only.  But if you’re still reading, you can see part one here.

My doctor told me that the odds were good I would go into labor in the next 24-48 hours, since my water had broken, but I was having no contractions at the moment.  My husband, remember, was camping with our boys in the remote woods of Arkansas, out of cell phone range.  We could have tracked down a forest ranger to find him, but it would’ve taken hours and would’ve frightened Hubs and (even worse) the boys.  We made the difficult choice to wait until early the next morning, when my Dad would drive to find them.

I was so worried that Hubs would be alarmed when he heard the news, and that his fear would rub off on the boys.  I prayed the most specific prayer I’ve ever prayed when I begged God that somehow, in the middle of the night, with no advance warning, Hubs would somehow know that I was in labor and would feel peace.  I called his cell phone and left a message, knowing he wouldn’t get it until he was on the road the next day.

And strangely, at midnight, in a remote tent far away, my husband’s phone beeped to tell him he had a message.  He had no service and no way to retrieve it, and there was no logical explanation for why the "beep" occurred.  But as he lay there in the tent, he would tell me later, he had a strange thought:  "I bet Shannon is in labor.  Either way, there is nothing I can do about it at this moment.  Her mom is there with her, so I know she’ll be fine."  He felt peaceful and calm, just as I prayed he would, and he strangely felt no sense of surprise when my Dad showed up at 6 am that morning to deliver the news of my hospitalization.

It was a little detail that was big to us, one affirmation of many that God’s sovereign hand was guiding this strange journey we were on.

As it turned out, I did not start having contractions.  I had thought, until then, that once your water broke you had to deliver within 24 hours, to prevent infection.  It turns out, this is only true when your water breaks at full term.  When your water breaks as early as mine did, they keep you in the hospital and do everything they can to put off labor.  This allows the baby time to grow, and allows them time to pump the momma full of antibiotics to stave off infection.

It was a delicate line we were walking:  take the baby out now and avoid infection, or let the baby grow but risk an infection (a dangerous thing in a preemie).  We felt confident in our doctor’s advice that we wait.

For ten days I stayed in the hospital while my husband, family and friends managed life at home.  It was hard for the boys.  Hubs brought them to see me as much as possible, but it was a poor substitution for having a mother at home.  Stephen’s kindergarten teacher would later tell me that he spent an entire day hiding under his desk, he was so distraught.  Hubs managed beautifully, though, nearly wearing himself out.  My doctor would let Hubs take me on wheelchair strolls around the hospital, and we invariably ended up going down the hall to the NICU.  The walls were lined with photos of babies who had once been very sick and tiny but were now thriving, healthy children.  We hoped, and we prayed.

We were visited by nurses and a neonatolgist who prepared us for a few likelihoods:  Corrie probably wouldn’t cry at birth, she would likely be on oxygen right away and would almost certainly need a feeding tube, we could expect to have her in the NICU for at least 2 weeks.  We shouldn’t fear these things, because the odds were overwhelmingly in our favor–things might get complicated, but at 34 weeks, she would be fine.

I fixated strangely on the notion of not hearing her cry at birth.  It was a sound I longed for.  I remembered the rush of joy during my sons’ births, when I heard their little lungs fill with air and announce their arrival in the world.  I tried not to hope, yet still I prayed, "Lord, could she cry?  Just once?"

When I reached 34 weeks, on November 9th, we felt Corrie had grown enough that the risk of infection outweighed the risk of prematurity, and my doctor began the induction process.  Labor moved slowly for about eight hours, as induced preemie births often will.  But at about 3 pm, the overwhelming urge to push had me shouting for nurses.  They rushed in and realized Corrie’s arrival was imminent.  It had sneaked up on us, and no one was ready.  The doctor hadn’t made it, and the NICU team hadn’t set up in the room.  In a flurry of activity, there was shouting in my room and in the hallway:  "Get the doctor!"  "Don’t push!"  "Page the NICU!"  I couldn’t hear myself think above the din of noise.  People were running, and Hubs looked terribly afraid.

And then somehow, miraculously, in all the noise, I heard a sound that reminded me of a tiny baby kitten.  It was soft and weak, but it was unmistakable:  Corrie was here. 

And she was crying.

To be continued Thursday

39 thoughts on “The Corrie Story, Part 2

  1. peach says:

    Oh Man!! Thursday is a very, very long time away . . . for two reasons, but I’ll be looking forward to your story almost as much as my dear friend arriving in Atlanta. She reads your blog, too, so maybe we’ll finish the story together!
    You are great at this suspense thing, Shannon. : )

  2. lori m says:

    Oh my, Shannon, you have such a way with words. I could feel your worry and had a tear or two of joy at the end when you heard her cry.
    You, my friend, have an excellent gift of writing.

  3. Maria says:

    my beautiful baby girl was born on November 9th — at 36 weeks — and the cry was what I was listening for as well — I didn’t hear it right away and was frantic — however I heard it eventually ( now it seems she won’t shut up lol! ) — and she will be 8 on Thursday!

  4. Mommy says:

    God certainly has given you a gift with words.
    Having given birth to our first little BOY less than two weeks ago, and having another mommy in our area going through the trial of having her baby stillborn at full-term, your story can’t help but bring tears to my eyes (OK, it’s all I can do to keep from sobbing).
    Thank you for sharing the blessing God has given you. He works so personally in our lives!

  5. Marian says:

    How beautifully told! Isn’t it amazing how those little glimpses of the reality that God is with us carry us in such peace?

  6. Jen says:

    I LOVE birth stories! More so, I love when you can see the hand of God so evident in moments of trial. Thanks for sharing this!

  7. Tatiana says:

    Can’t wait to hear the rest!
    This is a beautiful story. I love seeing God’s goodness. He is a master at giving us the “little things” that bless us as well as the big things. Thank you for sharing this Corrie’s story with us!

  8. Amanda says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for about a week now. I’ve really enjoyed hearing about your daughter’s birth. There’s something about birth stories that unite women/mothers. The things you’ve so touchingly written, reminded me about the birth of my own two sons, espeically the youngest who was also born early with some complications. I can relate to that desperate longing to hear their first cry, then the immediate rush of emotion afterwards!
    I’ve also enjoyed reading about your faith in prayer. I too know we have a loving Heavenly Father who will always hear and answer our prayers.

  9. Rachel says:

    Thursday…THURSDAY!!! You’re going to make us wait??? Wow, how amazing the ways that God showed you He was with you. I’m on pins and needles until Thursday.

  10. stacey says:

    Man, I don’t know if it’s all the hormones running through my body right now being pregnant myself or what. I was getting all teary and choked up. I can’t wait to hear the rest!!

  11. nootonet says:

    Here I am, an old maternity nurse, with tears in my eyes. I always looked upon each birth as a miracle and this one surely was. Thanks for Part I and II and we are anxious for Part III, even though we know it ends happily!

  12. Staci says:

    The incident with your husband’s cell phone sent chills up my spine. What a wonderful, wonderful, story. I can’t wait to hear the rest.

  13. Stephanie says:

    I’m blinking back the tears. Love this – would you consider telling the rest on Wednesday instead of Thursday? Gotta know what happened with Corrie =)

  14. Holly says:

    Wow, the end brought prickly tears to my eyes.
    We all know it’s a happy ending, since Corrie is happy and healthy now, but I’m still looking forward to hearing the rest of the story.

  15. Pastormac's Ann says:

    I’m on the edge of my seat! Yesterday I couldn’t believe I had to wait another day to hear another installment!
    Thanks for sharing her story with us! Can’t wait to read the wrap up. (It is comforting to know that she’s happy and healthy and wonderful!)

  16. laura says:

    wering my nicu rn cp that mewing is a sound i like to hear.
    while oregnant with my darling daughter #4, my water broke 14 weeks, yes 2 and 1/2 months premature. I ended up dfelivering that miracle at full term 13 weeks later. She is 10 now and amazing, blonde, beautiful and gifted. I loved your story.
    happy birtday to your miracl as I prepare to celebrate the 13th birthday of another miracle of mine.
    God is good all the time wouldn’t you say.

  17. Addie says:

    You know how we moms love birthing stories! We’re not immediate family, but we’re all hanging in and loving every minute of this beautiful story!

  18. Kassandra says:

    I am crying, sitting on the edge of my seat….and now I have to WAIT!!!! On another note, I have to Praise God! I am so thankful for His Soveriegn Hands! WOW! And thank you for sharing your story with us!

  19. Shalee says:

    Corrie was crying and so am I. What a beautiful telling of your sweet little girl. I can’t wait to cheer you all on in the last installment of “God Is GOOD!”, aka the Corrie story.

  20. Nikkie says:

    I’m so glad that you made it to 34 weeks. My little guy was born at 34 weeks due to severe pre-ecalmpsia. He cried when he was born too, it really was such a great relief. Thanks for telling your story. I did the same thing on my little guy’s birthday. In serial format too! I’m looking forward to part 3 🙂

  21. GiBee says:

    Oh, Shannon — what a wonderful recap of Corrie’s birth story — It is bringing up all sorts of emotions in my heart! Please hurry with part 3!!!

  22. momrn2 says:

    I thought I was on the edge of my seat before… now I’m practically falling to the floor I’m so far to the edge…
    Praise God she cried… or at least made a noise. I can relate so well to that longing to hear your baby cry, just even one little peep. We waited for that for 2 weeks with my daughter in NICU. Praise God she verbally announced her arrival.
    And the prayer of your heart that God would tell your husband… and His answering… that brought tears to my eyes.
    God is just so very, very good!

  23. Christine says:

    I’m getting chills reading this. Our situation was a bit different but I can feel your fear, pain, elation- all of it. Our Maddy was born at 25 weeks by emergency Csection when it was obvious that contractions would not stop. She was just over a pound and a half. I remember that mewing sound so well. God knew what he was doing getting her out because my placenta had completely detached and she would not have survived another minute in the womb. God is amazing, isnt he? Maddy is a perfectly healthy almost 4-year-old now. I look forward to the next installment of Corrie’s story!

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