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The Gift Of Life

Mother's Day 2016 with 16 day old Prez & Qilla Quenton, the cat
So, it's Mother's Day. My first Mother's Day as a real mother. When I say real mother, I mean, as a woman whom has risked her life to bring another life into this world. You see, I have a rack of god kids and I consider myself to be a sister mama cuz I helped raise my younger sisters but this year is special. I gave birth to a man child of my own. It's even more special because I nearly lost my life doing it.

That's right. I came very close to the very thing I was so anxious about with childbirth, dying. So instead of basking in the joys of watching my son sleep peacefully while my husband naps, I am getting my will together cuz life is short, it happens fast and I don't want my family to be like Prince's family if I were to pass away suddenly. Not that I have $300 million to fight over but I got a little something something that I worked hard for and I want it to be distributed properly. It doesn't hurt that our financial adviser has been hounding us for it ever since we told him we were having a baby.

But back to how I almost died giving birth to my son.....

My due date was April 26, but I had a dream that my son would be born on April 23. I was certain it was Jesus telling me to prepare so I decided that my last day of work would be April 21. That way I'd have 2 days to relax and do some stuff around the house. I know, I know. A planner to the end but if you fail to plan.....
39 weeks pregnant in my office
On my last day of work, I went in having contractions that were about 5-10 minutes apart. They started at about 2 am, so I figured I'd get my morning meetings out of the way and see what was going to happen. I packed my hospital bag and went into work around 6:30 am to try to get as much done as possible before I HAD to leave. Well, it was a false alarm. The contractions subsided and I completed my last day of work as a full day. Even straightened up my offices a little bit. Then at 8:30 pm, the contractions started again and they didn't stop. We made our way to the hospital and my cervix was 5 cm dilated. I was already 1-2 cm at my last doctors appointment, so I was thinking "3 cms in 2 hours. I think I can do this natural thing." And by "natural thing", I meant, no epidural. My son had a different idea.

3 day old Prez in Daddy's hand

Everyone who see's or holds my son says that he is so calm and peaceful, but that caused a problem when I was trying to get him here. Supposedly, natural labor is not as long as labor with an epidural because you can move around and the baby descends faster than when you are confined to a bed. But they wouldn't let me move or walk around because his heart rate wasn't increasing when I had contractions. He was just chilling. Heart rate was steady. Straight across the board. Like another day at the office. So I had to stay in bed with a monitor attached to me, like I had an epidural. This made natural labor miserable. And even though my husband was a great coach, I began to think "Why am I torturing myself? Just get the epidural." So, I did. I made it to 8 cm without one but my son wasn't descending or responding to the contractions. I felt defeated but I was exhausted with no sleep the night before. So, my husband and I took a nap. LOL!

But we didn't nap for long because something was happening. I had one looooooonnnngggg contraction and my son didn't like it so his heart rate started to drop. They broke my water to relieve pressure, gave me something to stop my contractions and stabilize his heart rate. He came back around. But my contractions were losing steam AND I had regressed from 9 cm dilated back to 8 cm *deep sigh*. Meanwhile, my son STILL was not responding to contractions or moving down. What did the doctor do about that? Gave me pitocin to make my contractions stronger and faster. Then they put me in this weird "pretzel" position to try to get him to come down. 

After being in the pretzel for a little while, I started having back labor. This is was worse pain than regular labor. It was HORRIBLE. I broke down. I cried like a baby. And I do NOT cry. I might shed one thug tear but there is no crying in the "Fancy Life". They showed me how to work the epidural bolus but that wasn't relieving any pain. Finally my doctor came in asking me the big question "What you wanna do?" She explained that I could start pushing to see if I'd dilate some more OR they could do a C-section. My response..."Just get the baby out." I was defeated, in pain, exhausted and I just wanted to meet my kid. So they began the emergency C-section prep. The anesthesiologist comes in to put in the spinal nerve block and asks if I want something a little stronger for the back pain. YYYEEESSSSS!!!! It went down hill from there.

3 day old Prez
While in the pretzel position, my epidural line had moved from my empty spinal space to my vascular space. Meaning, it got inserted into a vein. The anesthesiologist saw how much pain I was in and immediately gave a dose of lidocaine into my epidural line, not knowing that it was in a vein. That lidocaine went STRAIGHT to my brain and I was out. I passed out. I threw up. I started seizing. I had no detectable pulse for about 3 minutes. I coded. They were trying everything to resuscitate me. The whole time, my son's heart rate was steady. Unbothered. I came back like I never left. Like I never skipped a beat. That little episode scared my husband. He said it was the longest 3 minutes of his life. He never gets scared, so I knew it was serious. He said he just kept praying and focused on our son's steady heartbeat until they found my pulse. 

The anesthesiologist fixed the problem with my epidural line and inserted the spinal nerve block. I had no problems with my C-section. My son came out with a nice healthy cry. He got quiet after they cleaned him up and spent that time with us in the operating room just looking around and observing with his calm and peaceful spirit.

During my recovery, the anesthesiologist came to check on me and explained how he should have tested the line but saw how much pain I was in and just wanted to give me something. I understood that. That episode reinforces why we can't skip steps in medical care. He also explained that had it been another medication, other than lidocaine, I could have went into cardiac arrest and passed away. That is scary. The thought of my husband raising our son alone brings me to tears. I had "epidural" guilt. I was thinking that I was selfish to not want to endure the pain of childbirth and it could've cost me my life. But it didn't. I'm healthy. No side effects of the lidocaine, so we think - my husband says he's keeping an eye on me. My son is healthy. No worries. 

It's funny, but not funny, how a near death experience that you don't even remember can put life into perspective. Life is too short not to enjoy the little things. Stop to smell the roses. Be in the moment, where ever you are. Be patient with people and situations. It's never really that serious. Life comes at you fast, so make sure you're happy with it. Quit the job you hate. Jehovah will take care of you. Leave that relationship that makes you miserable. You can do bad by yourself. Focus on the good and good in your life will multiply.

As I receive well wishes on my first mother's day, I have a greater appreciation for the day and being able to give life. 
Mi Familia




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