Monday, June 20, 2005 was the date we were to be induced at 37 weeks. It had been a long pregnancy with one sort of complication after the other, and our baby was going to finally be here. We were ready to shower him with love.
Sunday, June 19th was Father’s Day. I woke up not feeling very well. It was an out-of-sorts kinda feeling. You see, with all the issues we’d had during the pregnancy, I was supposed to count my son’s kicks and movements throughout the day. It had been a good while since I’d felt anything and that had me concerned. I spent most of the day pushing on my stomach trying to get some sort of reaction out of him, and periodically, I’d get a little something. I kept hesitating because we were scheduled to go in early the next morning anyway, and I didn’t want to be that hypochondriac mom who busied up the ER for no reason.
A little after three in the afternoon I decided I needed to go give my dad a Father’s Day hug. On the way, worry enveloped me like a heavy cloud. We called my dad and said we were concerned and that we were detouring to the hospital. We arrived at Bay Area Medical Center about 4:00 p.m. I sat in the ER until about 4:15 when labor and delivery came to get me and wheeled me upstairs to their unit. My husband did the paperwork with the ER nurse.
I was only in the room a few minutes when my nurse’s facial features suddenly became serious. She turned into a frantic nurse on a mission. She looked me square in the face and said, “Mrs. Parker. Your placenta is abrupting. Your baby is in danger and we need to deliver him asap via emergency c-section. I need you to sign these forms so we can get busy.”
I was in shock. My what, was what? But I signed the forms and told her to do whatever she needed to do.
It seemed like forever before my husband made it to my room, when in actuality it was only a few minutes. Any of my family that had come to the room to check on me were rushed out and sent to the waiting room. The doctor doing rounds came into my room to explain to me what was happening. Apparently, my placenta had decided it was done taking care of our baby and was pulling away from my uterus. Typically with this scenario, the mother begins bleeding, but I had none of that. My only sign was the lack of movement. Without an immediate c-section, our baby would die.
I.V.’s. Catheter. Spinal. Nurses buzzing around my room like busy bees. It was complete chaos. Organized chaos, but chaos none-the-less. And at exactly 5:19, Caleb Lynn was born weighing 6 lbs and 13 oz and having to be intubated. Once he was breathing they rushed him downstairs to the NICU. My husband looked to me to tell him what to do. I was still being tended to from the surgery and our baby was rushed to another part of the hospital. I told him, ‘I’m ok. Go with Caleb.’
I didn’t get to see him for a while. His internal organs had already started shutting down in an effort to protect his brain and heart. We would learn his digestive system was out of whack as well. I was given a Polaroid picture from the NICU nurse to gaze at. I started trying to pump milk, (well, colostrum,) immediately though. My husband was a trooper. He hand carried the liquid gold down to the NICU every 3 hours for days. Finally, they allowed me to go see my son. He was already over 24 hours old.
He had the craziest dark hair that stuck up all over the place. It made me laugh because we saw that hair in his sonogram video floating around like mad.
We were the talk of the hospital that week. All-in-all, Caleb spent five days in the NICU. Praises to our heavenly Father who prodded my mother’s intuition, ultimately leading us straight to the hospital. Our son could have had issues that couldn’t be fixed in five days. I lost track of how many times we were told how lucky we were. If we had waited to go to our induction on the 20th, our little man would not be here today. He is, without a doubt, our miracle.
Our scariest day became our most blessed day. Caleb has blessed our lives with his incredible heart and compassion for others. Not a day goes by that I don’t hear, “Mom, I love you.” Or, “Can I have a hug?” at least several times each day. He fills my heart with joy.