by Michelle Enfield
I'll start by saying that motherhood was something I always dreamed of since I was a little girl. I have always hoped to have a little girl or boy of my own. After puberty, something weird happened and suddenly I had an odd feeling the thing I most wanted was going to be an obstacle to becoming a mother. I was right in that.
Being a silly teen I didn't always use birth control, but I never got pregnant. It wasn't until I was engaged for three years to my ex-fiancé; that we decided we wanted children -- but it wasn't meant to be. There was no problem with him but there was with me -- no explanations to be given really.
Around August 1999 a fibroid was found in my uterus that wasn't there the previously. The fibroid was giving me symptoms of terrible pain, especially during my period. Because the fibroid was 8-9 cm it was potentially adding to my infertility.
In April 2000, I had a new procedure that would rid me of it. I had already been with Ron, my common-law partner (Dylan's father) for about 3 months before. Things hadn't worked out in the previous relationship because we thought I couldn't have children. Around May 15-16th (the first time Ron and I had intercourse since the procedure to remove the fibroid) a miracle happened.
It wasn't until July 4th, 2000 that my dream came true. I was a mom-to-be! God had given us a gift of true love. Ron at 36 never ever thought that he'd be a father and it kind of scared him. It was stressful for us for a while. For most of my pregnancy things were blissful.
Some problems started to occur but it really wasn't a concern until about 32 weeks. At that time, I went to my appointment like every other time and ended up being admitted to labor and delivery in pre-term labor. The monitors were showing I was at 2 minutes apart. What was supposed to be just a night to relax in the hospital away from the stresses of home and for observation became 6 weeks apart from Ron in a hospital 4-5 hours away from home over Christmas 2000.
Silly me, I sent Ron home reassuring I'd be home the next day. I went to the doctor in only the clothes I wore that night. I was rushed to the other hospital because the same hospital I was born at 27 years ago at that time couldn't handle preemies. Well on December 23rd an ultrasound was done and our baby was transverse. While the doctor tried to turn the baby we also found out that I was having a son. That night I called Ron from my hospital room and gave him the news that we were going to have a son. We had picked the name Dylan Michael for a son early into the pregnancy.
This situation was really hard on our relationship because we weren't spending our first Christmas together. It also didn't help that there was a storm every weekend back where we lived. Of course, one good thing is that my parents lived an hour away from the hospital, 30 minutes by car, and one hour by bus. I spent most of my time between the hospital and their house.
I had many false alarms. They told me to keep track of Dylan's movements. Dylan, being a stubborn one, had me in and out of the hospital for a couple weeks twice a week. I counted about 12 ultrasounds during my whole pregnancy -- 9 because I think he just wanted to be seen.
On the evening of February 4th, I ended up in the hospital with regular contractions at 5 minutes apart. They fell to 3 minutes apart overnight. The day before I had cleaned up my parent's house, with I might add, an intense desire to do so. Too bad my nesting hadn't cleaned up our house first!
Well, I was in a lot of pain and was given Demerol. The next morning my OB did another ultrasound to check on the size of the baby. He decided, after I begged to be induced, that it was fair to put this situation under "dysfunctional labor." After all, the reports from my old OB/GYN had said there were other fibroids beside the one that was removed. So what did this mean? I was to spend more time in the hospital. I was induced on Wednesday, February 7th at 7 a.m. I had called Ron the day before and told him he had to be up early the next morning. Of course it had been storming back home, and up in the city as well, so it took Ron longer than expected to make it there.
My mom had spent a few nights in the hospital room with me, and my father was there during the day of Dylan's birth. They were the best support I could have had next to Ron, who being a nervous father and not a big fan of hospitals did the best as he could. When he had arrived at the hospital they had already given me the second dose of the induction medication and my contractions were starting to overlap. It was around 7:35 p.m. when they decided to stop giving me the induction medication after the nurse had remarked that the baby's heart rate was a bit odd with my contractions.
The next hour flew by fast as the nurse told Ron that it could be until the next day before the baby was born. I told him to go his brother's and get some supper. Well 10 minutes after he left the doctor decided to try to reach inside me to see where Dylan's head was so he could put on a fetal scalp monitor. Dylan hadn't dropped at all. I was dilated and about 70% effaced. They broke my water and Dylan still didn't drop. At this point, which was around 8 p.m. or so, my contractions were right on top of each other and Dylan was having decelerations with each contraction. I was in so much pain (and very panicked) that I was barely aware that they had just told me that I would have to have a c-section right away.
My father made a quick call to Ron's brother's house (about a 20 minute drive away from the hospital) and phoned his oldest niece and told her to send Ron back as soon as he got there, that his son was going to be coming soon. Of course it didn't help my panicked state that Ron wasn't going to be there in the operating room with me. My mom decided that she'd go in with me as Dad had gone in with my aunt when my oldest male cousin was born and his father was in Germany. It turns out at the same time another woman induced at 7 a.m. that day had complications like me. Dr. Allen, who was the OB on duty, took the other woman and to my surprise when they wheeled me to the operating room, I saw Dr. Corkum. He was the doctor that found my fibroids and had gotten one removed for me. Well it was a shock for him, too! There were never any guarantees that I'd ever get pregnant.
They prepped me in the operating room, and mom was given a stool to sit beside me as I got my spinal block. Now that was the best relief from pain I had in days. It seemed like in no time at all that I heard Dylan's cry. It was 8:35 p.m. and mom overheard the nurses saying how beautiful a little baby boy he was and that he had big feet and hands for a newborn. Suddenly I overheard he was blue -- my heart came up to my throat at that point.
It was a few minutes later that the nurse brought Dylan over to my mother so she could hold him and so I could see him. I felt nothing in my body at all. God bless the anesthesiologist! I could have kissed the ground he walked on that day. Dylan was so perfect to me -- his Apgar scores were 8 at 1 minute, 9 at 5 minutes weighing in at 7 lbs 14 oz and 20 inches long. My son had a beautiful head of blonde hair and big, beautiful blue eyes.
I was taken to the recovery room. It took a bit before I saw Dylan. The nurse had taken him out to Ron for him to hold. It was against procedure, but I found it the best gesture they could have done. It was a rough first week. The first night Dylan was kept at the nurse's station for observation. They told me that babies born by c-section don't have a chance to get rid of mucus like a normal vaginal birth. They brought him to me to be breastfed, and despite exhaustion, I held my little miracle in my arms. At 4 days we had to take him to the trauma room because of breathing problems. He stopped breathing twice and he spent until Valentine's Day in the Special Care Nursery. That week I'll never forget as I was given a special little angel to live with me here on Earth.
Copyright © Michelle Enfield. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC