Live Affirming Care

With a theme like caretaking, talking about my experience having Michael is an absolute “must do” this month.

Michael was due on September 5, 2018. I went on maternity leave starting on August 29 with the goal of getting ready, resting, and just generally preparing for his arrival. That week was a delight.

From September 5 to September 10 was the furthest thing from delightful I could possibly imagine.  I was grateful that at least I wasn’t at work where I would surely have been plagued with queries like “Had that baby yet!?” and “Where is my financial aid?!”

On September 10 we went to the hospital because I’d had a persistent migraine all day. A migraine, coupled with the high blood pressure that generally arrives when I get over 180 pounds, is a really bad combination when pregnant. I was sent home but had an induction scheduled for two days hence: September 12, 2018.

September 12 rolled around, I called the hospital that morning and was told to report at 7:30 AM so Michael could be issued his eviction notice. We excitedly told Elizabeth and Ada we would see them tomorrow when they would also meet their baby brother.

Hospital check in was a breeze and following my initial exam I was beginning to think that I really could see why induction was referred to as “the easy way out.”

As the day passed, I quickly changed my mind. My body was not responding to the medication in the way we would like to see. Michael’s head did not want to engage, despite more repositioning techniques and yoga than you could shake a stick at. I was tired, and I wanted some food. Most of all, I wanted to meet my baby.

Induction: Day 2 was slightly more productive and finally, at about 6:00 PM the attending physician broke my water. After a lot of work (done with an epidural that was not nearly as effective as I would have liked) Michael made his appearance at 6:55 PM on September 13, 2018.

The care we received during those two days was top notch. The nurses and doctors were knowledgeable, understanding, and a delight to talk to.  It was the best birth experience I’ve ever had.

The care did not stop there though.

Following his birth we noticed something seemed a bit, shall we say, off about Michael’s testicles. After a whirlwind experience, we discovered that he had suffered from a twisted testicle about a week before he was born (yeah, like that week I was overdue) and needed immediate surgery to remove the necrotic tissue.

Once again, we were in the mercy of others as our 23-hour-old son was wheeled into surgery and spent the day following in the NICU. The care I observed while we were there in Intensive Care with Michael was incredible. The care we received from our family and friends was truly indescribable and there is no way for me to adequately express my gratitude.

Now, nearly 8 weeks out, what I remember most about the experience was the care we received.  In the hands of the medical staff, Nathan, and my youngest sister Emily, we had an incredible team of people making sure the absolute best outcome was had by all.

Before we knew surgery would be needed

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