Monday, January 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Lauren

Lauren's party was a big success yesterday. She had her first true taste of sugar (as in PURE SUGAR mixed with BUTTER) and, needless to say, she loved it. She was trying to shove it in with both hands!

As we opened her presents, I had LOTS of help. From 2 up to 12, every kid at that party was ready and willing to tear into those gifts, even if what they opened were tiny little girl clothes. As they opened what was essentially an entire wardrobe that Lauren's Grandma got her, they squealed, "they're so tiny - they look like Build-a-Bear clothes!"


So to continue the saga of what was happening a year ago... Sunday Morning, I was still on the Labor & Delivery floor, recovering from the night before, mostly calm and sleeping. At 9am, a nurse rushed in and said, "roll over, the baby doesn't like that side". Apparently Lauren's heart beat had dropped and wasn't coming back up... then more nurses... I was bleeding too. Then a swarm of doctors and nurses... time for an emergency c-section. I was in a bit of shock. I looked over at Chuck and said, "I love you Honey", as they wheeled me away.

They had me out cold and had the baby out within about 20 minutes. Lauren was born with an APGAR score of 1 and a collapsed lung. They performed miracles and got her stable. She needed lots of blood and had to go on a respirator. She was 2lbs 2oz. She would spend the next 7 weeks in NICU.

As for me, I would end up having additional 3 hours of surgery. The placenta was attached too deeply to the uterus (placenta accreta) and I was losing a lot of blood. The doctor had been at Church, got paged, and arrived just in time to put a ton of stiches in and prevent the need for a hysterectomy. I got 7 units of blood that day. I think he brought some extra help from Church.

Those several hours were easier on me than they were on Chuck. He saw his tiny, frail baby - a bit deformed from being smooshed in utero without fluid for 5 weeks - being wheeled by to NICU... and had to keep signing consent forms for my surgeries and blood transfusions... and, for a time, I'm sure he thought he might lose both of us. Jenny came to the hospital and really held it together for Chuck. Later, at home, not so much... but she was strong for us when we needed her most.

I remained unconscious until about 9pm that night, when I woke up with a breathing tube in my throat, unsure of what had happened. Chuck told me the baby was doing ok, so I was relieved. He didn't give me a true picture of her situation, knowing that there was nothing I could do and worrying wouldn't help her or me.

But, as you can tell from the beautiful picture above, Lauren improved. I had a couple set backs with blood clots and a near mental breakdown, but I got better too. And through it all, Chuck was a saint, taking such good care of me and Lauren.

And all this struggle was worth it. Slowly, the stress diminshed to the normal level that every parent has over a child... the fun is now growing each day as she does new things, starts to talk, and forms her personality.

We will never forget the difficult start, but we pray that the good times will far outweigh the bad.


~aj~ said...

Wishing Lauren a wonderful birthday! So glad she enjoyed her cake. Just wait...the 2nd year is even MORE fun!

Tippy Toes said...

Happy birthday to your little miracle! (even if she does like kissing the president!)

Miss W said...

Even with all of the heartbreak of her birth and the way it happened all I read in that is beauty.

I can't say enough about the care that NICU puts into it's tiny little patients -- they truly work miracles.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you, Chuck, and Lauren. You have truly come a long way, and this has to be the best first birthday ever.

Kimberly said...

wow... i've been reading your and jenny's blog for a few years now and i never really knew what happened with your birth. i knew it was tough, i knew lauren was born very early, but i never knew these details. my heart goes out to you tina. chuck sound absolutely amazing and little L is absolutely beautiful and i know that the two of you will continue to be incredible parents.

keep on, keepin' on and a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to lauren!

Michele said...

Well you did it...I'm sitting at work crying. :( I hope my boss doesn't choose this moment to walk in.

I'm SO glad to know it all worked out! Lauren is such a cutie and I love when you share your "Miss L" stories with us bloggers.

I can't believe she was only 2 pounds, 2 oz. My nephew was born last week and he was a whopping 10 pounds 5 oz. Thankfully baby and new mama are healthy as well!


Lady M said...

Congratulations on your beautiful baby! What an eventful birth - I'm glad you all came through safely.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. We didn't have a story exactly like yours but we know what it is like to desire a child. Our friends went through a similiar situation this past summer and I told them your story. Laurens story helped us through a difficult time and gave us hope.

We are so happy for you.
God is good always.

Jesser said...

So inspiring to see her then and now! What a little miracle. Congratulations to you all. It must've been an amazing journey.

Anonymous said...

I just cried a bucket of tears reading that...can't wait to give you a hug the next time I see you.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Miss L. You've come a long way baby!

Sonya said...

I'm glad it's been a lot easier for all three of you. I didn't know you all had had such a difficult time. My little sister was premature as well, and my family had a very difficult time at first. We did treasure every good moment from then on even more though. She still has some health problems like bad vision and asthma, but she's always had a fighting spirit even twenty-some years later.

I wish you all the best for every birthday Lauren has. Congratulations on getting through it. :)