Friday, August 12, 2011

20 - Really?!

Our baby at age 20

Since she was just about the size of this bunny when she was born - We used to measure her against this bunny each month to see how she had grown.

One proud and incredibly thankful Daddy!

Tomorrow will be our first born's 20th birthday!  In some ways it seems like just yesterday we were enjoying those early years of childhood.  In other ways it seems like a lifetime ago!  20 years ago I was very, very sick!  I was in the hospital with 4 weeks until my due date.  The doctors were puzzled and quite concerned about my odd symptoms that didn't all match up to anything they were familiar with.  While in the ER due to severe side pains, a doctor behind a curtain to another "room" over heard my situation.  He conferred with the doctor that was seeing me and suggested he run a series of tests on my RED blood cells.  They had looked at my white blood cell count for infection, but that all checked out fine.  Once the other blood tests were in - there was a bit of panic between the doctors.  My numbers were BAD and getting worse!  Specialists were called and I was admitted.  All the while, the pain was getting worse.  More blood tests and X-rays were taken.  We spent the night in the hospital waiting to hear what it all meant.  In the morning, after they fed me (BAD MOVE!) we finally were able to consult with the gastrointerologist.  He sat squarely in front of Eric and me.  He said all the symptoms made up only 2 possiblitiles - Fatty Liver of Pregnancy or HELLP Syndrome.  He also told us that with my blood work numbers, things didn't look good.  (That was his polite way of saying that if we didn't do something immediately, I would die!)  He looked at Eric and said, "Your wife has a 25% chance of making it and we just don't know about your baby."  It was so surreal!  Eric and I looked at eachother and really didn't know what tomorrow held for us!  The doctors decided I needed to be transfered to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and so in the ambulance I went, with my husband in our car following and my mom in her car, following Eric.  Since I had eaten breakfast - they needed to wait 8 hours before performing the C-section, which was the only thing that could save my life from HELLP Syndrome.  It was a waiting game.  Bleeding time tests were done about every hour and each time it was taking me longer to clot.  I found out afterward that my platellet count was down to 25,000.  (50,000 is considered "severe".) God in His sovereignty gave me a fabulous team of doctors and a wonderful surgeon.  Their decision for the specifics in the surgery allowed my to have more children naturally!  Our baby girl arrived at 7:58 pm on Tuesday, August 13th - 4 weeks early, but alive and healthy and pretty darn strong though tiny at  4 lbs. 5 ozs.  and only 16" long.  I, on the other hand, had a ways to go in my recovery.  The next 2 days I was in intensive care, but then was moved down to the regular maternity floor for 3 days.  On the 6th day, I got to go home....empty handed.  Sweet Sarah had to remain in the NICU.  She had bouts of apnea, a bit of jaundice and she had to weigh 5 lbs. before she could come home.  The next two weeks were full of ups and downs as we spent limited time at the hospital with her.  Eric was back to work and I couldn't drive having just had surgery.  Lots of days at home alone - thinking.  Thinking about the kind of wife and mother and wanted to be and why God spared my life.  I wanted my talk of being a Christian to match my walk of being a Christian!  15 days later we brought a tiny, pink bundle home!  Time is a funny thing.  As I recall the details of her birth, they are so clear - like yesterday and yet 20 years have passed - full of  achievements and bumps along the way.  I remember being encouraged by one of my mom's friends at the time of Sarah's birth when things seemed a bit tenuous.  She said that preemies are strong fighters!  That is a true statement!  Sarah is strong (emotionally...she has great leadership qualities and physically...she can split wood with an 8 lb maul right along with her brothers!) and I pray that THAT God given character trait will be used for HIS glory in her life.  So fast forward to tomorrow.  We shall celebrate Sarah's 20th birthday honoring her with her mint chocolate chip ice cream - no cake - no pie, just ICE CREAM with maybe a bit of whipped cream, and a few gifts.

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