Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eden's Story

I love all my babies so much. Sometimes it physically hurts me to think about how much I love them and adore their sweet smiles. And while I know I will have many stories with each of my little ones, the beginning of my story with Eden is one that I would like to write down and remember simply because I want her to know about it.

When I was 34 weeks pregnant with Miss Eden I developed preeclampsia. This isn’t terribly uncommon in first pregnancies, but my doctor decided to induce me anyway since my blood pressure was so high and I was retaining sooooo much water. (When I went in to the hospital I was around 215 pounds!)

I was technically in labor for about 28-30 hours, but it wasn’t all bad at first. It did start to get pretty scary at the end when the doctors couldn’t find baby Eden’s heartbeat and I had to keep pushing and pushing to get her out and make sure she was okay. My nurse told me later that it was the scariest delivery she had ever been a part of, and that she and my doctor couldn’t help but hug in the hallway after it was over.

Eden after she was born

The doctors working on Eden right after she was born

Even with all that work, she came out with the cord wrapped around her neck and they whisked her off to the NICU. Since Eden was nearly six weeks early they had to make sure that she was breathing and everything all right. Which I was incredibly thankful for! : ) It just meant that I didn’t get to meet my little Eden until a few hours later. About five hours later, to be exact.

Meeting Eden for the first time! I don't know if you can tell, but it looks like someone's used my face for a punching bag : )

Baby Girl was doing really well but they knew they would have to keep her in the NICU for at least a week or more to make sure she continued to thrive on her own. I was bummed about having to go home without my girl but I was grateful to have her in such capable hands at the hospital, and was already thinking about the logistics of coming up to the hospital every day to be with her.

Eden in the NICU

Then my doctor told me that he wasn’t happy with my blood work and numbers and I needed to stick around in the hospital too. We thought that was weird but I had never had a baby before so heck, what did we know?

Anyway, I kept getting sicker and sicker and my doctor called on a nephrologist and a hematologist to figure out what the heck was wrong with me. My platelet counts were low and dropping and I was losing kidney function. I wasn’t even allowed to get out of bed without someone there with me because if I bumped my leg—even slightly—I could bleed to death from the bruising. Finally, a week after delivery and following one particularly scary night, my worried husband asked my doctors about moving me to a different hospital in a larger city to see if they might be better equipped to…figure it all out.

The nephrologist looked at us and told us that he’d figured it out (he said he’d been up late the night before going through some of his medical journals) and that I had a rare blood disorder called TTP. As far as I understand it, my red blood cells were basically shredded. He said we were welcome to try to move to a different hospital in a couple of days, but that if I wasn’t started on treatment that day, I would die. Those were his words! I remember looking at Landon and thinking, “Did he just say I could die?”

This is where the pain started. Not physical pain—although I had plenty of that coming over the next few weeks—but the pain of worry.

I was dying inside to think that I might not be able to be there for my baby girl. How could this happen? Landon can’t be a Daddy all by himself! He won’t know how to do her hair! He won’t know how to comfort her after her bad dreams. He doesn’t know how little girls think, feel, react. She needs me! I have to be there for her! Pain.

Let me just pause here and say this without sounding fanatical or crazy: prayer is an amazingly powerful thing. I know that people say that all the time and that a promise to pray for something is often right up there on the list of things you say ‘just to be polite.’ But I am incredibly grateful that I had my church congregation, my family, and my friends praying for me during those weeks. There were times when the thought of another treatment made me want to cry (the process was intensely uncomfortable) and I just felt too tired to fight very hard. But I had hundreds of people praying for me and for my little family, and my God decided that I needed to hang around a while longer. : )

Eden was released from the hospital a few days before I was, but on my two-year wedding anniversary, I followed her home! After two-and-a-half weeks in the hospital, 15 plasma transfusions, half a dozen whole blood transfusions and strange infections that made the palms of my hands and soles of my feet peel off and my arms turn black and blue, I was home. With my baby girl and my amazing husband. And God was good.

I get to go home!

I can’t remember ever thinking “This is it. I’m going to die.” I just remember ruling that out as an option. If that happened it was going to be in spite of me fighting the toughest fight of my life.

So if my sweet Eden ever gets to read this, she’ll know what I’ve meant all these years when I say she’s been trying to kill me since she was born! : ) (Just kidding!)

We chose the name Eden before she was even born because it has such beautiful meaning. One meaning is ‘perfection’which I must say is a little daunting. But the meaning we fell in love with and the word that describes our little miracle is ‘delight.’ My Eden is my delight. My Adaleine is my sweet-spirited lady. And my Judah is my bright blessing.

My Eden

Sweet Adaleine

Precious Judah

Do you see why I love them so much? My sweet babies.  

My Little Family : )