Have you ever noticed that when a bunch of ladies get together and start talking about babies, they all want to tell their labor and delivery stories? It’s sort of crazy, but it makes sense. Becoming a mother changes a woman, just as becoming a father changes many men. (Miracle #1) I thought I’d share my first labor and delivery story today. It contains many miracles I need to be grateful for.
My first labor I could have died without modern interventions. After 24 hours of hard labor, painful contractions every 4 – 10 minutes the entire time, I had made ZERO progress at all. In fact when I had had my check up the day before I was told I probably had 2 weeks still. I was finally admitted to the hospital, not because they expected me to have a baby, but I was admitted for dehydration and exhaustion. Thanks to IV’s, epidurals and petosin, (Miracles 2, 3, & 4) I was able to actually rest, gather strength, and make enough progress after another 12 hours to get the poor kid out. I don’t know what would have happened without those interventions. At very least I would have been too exhausted to labor. People DID used to die in childbirth.
Not only was the labor difficult for me, but for the baby as well. She ended up in the NBICU (Miracle #5) with a hole in her lung from the excessive stress. I didn’t know it then, but the doctor and hospital were technically negligent by not providing a c-section before the baby was so stressed. It worked out well for me because I was able to avoid needing a c-section with any of my future children (Miracle #6). I am glad they had a NBICU, but she actually healed herself within 24 hours with no help from the doctors. The human body has an amazing capacity to heal itself, and infants ability to heal is even more astounding (Miracle #7.) I do credit the sterile environment for speeding the healing with no further complications or infections.
The greatest miracle that day was the birth of my daughter. (Miracle #8) Life is something so precious, yet so far beyond our mortal understanding. The second greatest miracle was the strength and comfort that the Lord gave me as mother of that precious life. The moment they finally told me that she had been admitted to the NBICU I knew without question that she would be fine. (Miracle #9) Even seeing her with tubes and needles and monitors did not bother me. I had complete calm. I did insist that her father be with her the entire time (which he was) and that she be given a priesthood blessing as soon as possible.
In our religion we believe that we have been given the priesthood authority from Christ that includes the gift of healing. It requires 2 male priesthood holders with authority to bless them in the name of Christ by the laying on of hands. It just happened that one of my husband’s good friends who also held the priesthood was one of the technicians working on my baby. They gave her the blessing and I wouldn’t be surprised if that was when her lung was healed, because they never could even find it after that. (Miracle #10.)
I became very grateful for that experience. Visiting in the NBICU I saw many babies who were very premature, and who needed a lot of help just to live. That experience touched me very deeply. I instantly developed a deep gratitude for my own child’s health. I will never forget the love I felt for those babies who weren’t even mine. I didn’t understand why their babies were so fragile and mine was so healthy. I guess it is not up to us what lot we are given in life.
The final blessing came when Shanna was 2 days old. She was still in the ICU for observation. They finally decided that her risk of collapsing a lung had probably passed and allowed her to try to nurse. She had spent the first 24 hours on an IV to let her lungs heal, then they gradually let her try drinking from a bottle that would feed her easily without the need to work her lungs very hard. When they finally let her try to nurse they were very worried and told me that it may take several weeks for her to learn to nurse because of her late start. Miracle #11 – she latched on the very first try and never had a single problem nursing or with her lungs after that point. Anyone who has struggled with feeding a child knows how fortunate that was.
Motherhood is amazing.
- Becoming A Mom: The Best Thing To Ever Happen To Me (worldatthewayside.com)
- Preemie by Kasey Mathews – Review and Q&A (tetheredmommy.com)