February 7, 2010

Jacob Aaron

This post has been rattling around in my head for quite a while now.....several years really. I have been waiting for this milestone in Jacob's life to write about  his story our story.  I know that everyone has at least one story (or more) to tell, and we all have things that have changed us.  This is just one of my stories I have to share.

Ten years and 6 weeks ago I was admitted into the hospital when I was just 27 weeks pregnant with my 2nd child. I was the mother of a 16 month old boy, and I had a very rare condition known as polyhydramnios which means excessive amniotic fluid.  I had a very severe case of it, too.  When I was admitted I was dilated to 2 cm and my uterus measured 58 cm.  The doctors did an ultrasound when I arrived at LSUMC in Shreveport, and during the ultrasound I was told that my baby had Down's Syndrome.  We knew that the main causes for polyhydramnios were because the baby would have hydrocephalus, spina bifada, or Down's Syndrome.  It didn't matter to us though because we were going to have our baby no matter what.  One of the doctor's had suggested that we wait for test results that would let us know if anything was wrong with our baby so we could decide whether or not we wanted to terminate the pregnancy. It still makes me tear up to remember that conversation.
The first night I was in the hospital the doctors told me that if they couldn't stop my labor that my baby would be born early and would probably die. They also told me that if they tried to stop my labor by draining some of the amniotic fluid my baby could die--and it would be dangerous for me.  I was left laying and crying uncontrollably in a hospital bed trying to decide what the best choice would be for both me and my baby.  I had never had to make a more difficult choice in my life.  My mind was swamped with "what if's?"  
What if I choose to have the fluid drained so I can breathe easier, but it causes me to lose my baby?
What if I don't have the fluid drained and my contractions don't stop?  
What if my baby is born tonight and doesn't live because of a decision I made?
It is hard to be a mother.  It is draining to believe that you really have the power to change what could or would be.  I had to stop giving myself so much credit and remember that God is so much bigger than I am or any decision I could make. I had to remember that I was walking WITH HIM, not asking Him to walk with me.  There is a big difference.  I prayed alot, and the Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me that He had (and always has) great plans for me---even if they weren't the plans that I had expected.  I had to trust that no matter what happened, God would still be God. He would still be on His throne when it was all said and done. He would still love me, and He would carry me through anything that happened. He would still be my Rock and my Refuge. I then chose to have the fluid drained, and they took 3 liters of amniotic fluid from me that night.  The labor stopped and everything was fine.
I was in the hospital for 6 weeks after that during which time 15 liters of fluid was drained (3 liters at a time).  I also only got to see my Cole and Ben on the weekends.  Ben was working, going to school, and taking care of Cole all week long.  The doctors stopped me from having Jacob too early 3 times before I went into labor on the night of Feb. 6, 2000.  That time they couldn't stop it and early the next morning they started prepping me in case I would need to have a C-Section.  I will never forget laying in the bed relaxing (because I had an epidural!) during the contractions and listening to Jacob's heartbeat.  I heard it stop. It started again but was too slow. It didn't sound right.  I opened my eyes and looked at my mom who was trying not to look alarmed.  I asked her what happened, and she said the doctors were coming. They came running into the room to check me and immediately said I had to have Jacob right then. I was hemorrhaging and Jacob was in distress.  I remember telling my mom to get Ben (he was on the phone with his parents to tell them what was happening), and I was crying as I waved to him while they wheeled me away. I remember the doctor looking into my eyes as we walked down the hall. He said, "Your baby is going to be fine. You are going to be fine. You have been here so long, and  I am not going to let anything happen to you."  His words were comforting to me. I believed him.  Ben did get to come into the delivery room with me. That was good because I was crying and shaking uncontrollably.  The only thing going through my mind was Rich Mullin's song "Hold Me Jesus"....I was singing:
Hold me Jesus, cause I'm shaking like a leaf. You have been King of my glory; won't You be my Prince of Peace?
It was less than 10 minutes and they had Jacob out and were sewing me back up. They really work fast when there is an emergency.  The first thing they said was, "He's huge!"  You see, he was born at 33 weeks and babies at 33 weeks are usually about 3-4 lbs.  Jacob was 6 lbs 7 oz!  He had to go into the NICU because he was a preemie, but he never needed oxygen, and he was always able to maintain his temperature.  He did not have Down's Syndrome, hydrocephalus or spina bifada.  The only thing that they told us was wrong with him was that he didn't have any muscle tone in his arms and legs. When they would hold up his arms he would just drop them like a limp rag doll.  We were planning for how to deal with a child that wouldn't use his arms and legs when the doctors called us from the NICU one day and told us he had started using them! It was an answer to prayer and wonderful news.  He stayed in the NICU for 2 weeks before he could come home.  

Ever since he has been in our house he has been the one that makes us laugh when things get too serious. He is the one ready to help at the drop of a hat. He is the peacemaker when someone is not happy. He is the laid back kid that doesn't stress over the little things. He is a giver. He is my Jacob Aaron, and I am so happy that he is mine!  I have been blessed to be his mom for the past 10 years, and I can't wait for the next 10!
Happy Birthday, Jacob Aaron!!


Windy Smith said...

And what a sweet boy he is! I love that boy and hope he had a great birthday! I can't wait to see him again soon and maybe have him spend a few days with us again this summer. I think after last summer the kids all want it to be a tradition!

Life with the Akin Clan said...

What an incredible story of how great our God is! Thank you for sharing!

Janette said...

You brought tears to my eyes, Caci!! Even though I've heard the story of Jacob's birth, reading it again is so touching. God is so good!! And his sweet pictures brought a smile to my face. He has such a precocious look...I love it!! :)

rosa said...

Ahhh, what a beautiful story! Our own little emergency C-section baby is 9 months old now, and I got a little lump in the throat reading your story. You are right, God is calling us to walk with HIM, not the other way around! Our little guy, Henry Owen, is a constant reminder of God's saving graces.
Thank you for sharing your story. I just found your blog from clicking 'Next Blog', something I've done rarely, mostly because it has often yielded such unsavory results! What a relief to find your lovely knitting and beautiful family!

Mike said...

You made me cry at work. I was laughing at the pictures through my tears of rememberence of seeing you in LSUMC and all the stress you and Ben and Cole had to go through. Cole especially.....he never wanted to be separated from you again. He hates hospitals - two bad experiences in his short life.
Oh Baby Girl, you've been through so much in your life and you're so much stronger for it. Although I surely wish I could have shielded you from it all. I am very proud of you....that you love the LORD your God with all of your heart, your mind, your soul, and your strength. I am very thankful to have shared a life with you......and now your children.

Kathleen said...

I have just found your blog, and have read each page from today, back until Jacob Aaron's story. I HAD to write and tell you that your testimony is AWESOME! We know that we have a loving GOD, but the reminders you have given us about how we do or don't walk, trust, believe, live ... I praise God for your sharing...and for the lessons within! I'll be reading your blogs often. Thank you!

Dr Eva said...

Oh, Caci. What a beautiful story of God's love. As if it's that hard to make a hormonal, pregnant woman cry, you had no problem doing it. ;) Thanks for reminding me that we are already walking WITH God, no need to ask Him to join us. Loved this and love you and MISS YOU!!!