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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Can I Share a Story with You?

Ten years ago today, this sweet young man entered our lives.

I have written about this experience once before, but I thought today would be a good day to revisit this amazing event in our lives. This is something I want this boy to know. He is a miracle.

Here's a funny Hess family fact....
Before this child (#5), here are the due and birth dates of each of the preceding children:
#1 (girl)  - due 11/18 - born 11/11
#2 (boy) - due 10/10 born 10/4
#3 (girl) - due 9/9 born 9/4
#4 (boy) - due 1/1 born 12/28

Okay, do you see a pattern? #5 was the most difficult child to conceive. It took a couple years. With him, I was due on 1/16, and he was a boy. He is also the first that I had an epidural with. Looking back now, I think I must have been crazy not to with the others, but I had some huge control issues prior to #5's birth. In short, this child was different. He broke all of the patterns.

So, here's the rest of the story.....

image: tualatinchamber.com
Another way the pattern was broken was when I called in to my OB's office to make the first appointment with this pregnancy. The receptionist told me that the doctor (the only LDS OB in our area at the time) would not deliver at the hospital that our insurance would cover. He had delivered three others there, but was no longer taking that drive. I would need to find another OB this time around.

I found a doctor that a friend had recommended years prior. He had performed a surgery for me in my early 20s. When I went to see him the first time, it was clear that this was going to be a different experience this go 'round. Because I already had four children, I already knew the ropes, and he didn't need to take the time with me. I was pretty much in, weighed, and sent on my way.

Each time I went and felt more and more uneasy after I left.

On one occasion, I ran into my children's pediatrician leaving his office. It was clear that she adored this doctor and thought he was wonderful, so I went along with it being sure that eventually I would come to see all of that wonderfulness too.

image: perikinder.com
When I got to month seven, I woke in the middle of the night from a terrible nightmare. In it, I woke in a dark room facing an open doorway which led out into the hallway of a hospital. I was laying on a gurney. Shortly thereafter, this doctor and his female assistant walked in very matter of factly and said, "The trouble began at about 1a.m." I interjected, "No. No trouble." He shared with me that the baby had died and walked out. That was it. I got up from the gurney, walked out into the bright hallway and spent the rest of the dream wandering the halls looking for a friendly face....I found none.

I woke, in real life, with a wet pillow. I believe I was mid-sob because I remember trying to catch my breath. I woke the Warden and told him what had just happened. He assured me that it was just a dream and that I should go back to sleep. I tried.

The next day, the dream haunted me. It was just a dream. It was just a dream. I had to figure out how I was going to let it go. It seemed so real. I dealt with these feelings for two weeks.

image: thevillagebylmichelle.com
Suddenly it occurred to me that if something did happen when it came time to deliver this baby, and I hadn't at least tried to do something, how would I feel? What a huge load of guilt to carry. I'm not one to have prophetic dreams, but what if....What if things ended up disastrously? What then?

I had to do something!

I called the Warden, shared my new insight, and asked for his input. He said that I should try my previous doctor and I could at least ask. The worst they could say is no.

I gathered my courage and called. The doctor was out, but would I like to leave a voice mail for his assistant? "Sure."

On Monday morning, first thing, I received a phone call. The doctor's assistant was flabbergasted that I'd been told that he wouldn't deliver for me. Of course, he would. Could I come in the next morning to be seen?

I went in and waited. When the doctor came in, I was SO happy to see him. I felt sudden peace. I knew things were going to be okay.

image: velociraptorattack.blogspot.com
He walked in with a big smile on his face, greeted me, and said, "I understand they weren't too nice to you over there. Let me know who it is, and I'll break his kneecaps." We had a good laugh, and I explained the details of the dream to him. He listened and then asked, "Was the baby full term in the dream?"

I told him I didn't know, but I had no reason to believe he wasn't." He examined me, and we went into his office to discuss the future. Everything was normal. He told me that the earliest a doctor could induce was just inside of two weeks, so right then and there, he set up an induction date of January 3rd--13 days prior to the due date.

I continued to see him for those weeks. The morning of January 3rd, I woke up very nervous. What if....What if....I just couldn't get the nervousness to pass. Was I being wise to follow this plan?

We arrived at the hospital very early. It was still dark outside. The induction was started. Everything went smoothly. The baby arrived just fine. I was so relieved.

After his birth, I laid there and held #5 while the doctor continued his work. After a few minutes, he asked me a few questions....Was I sure of this baby's due date? Is there any chance he was overdue? No, the ultrasounds all said January 16th. He was early.

The doctor showed me the placenta. He asked me to remember the previous childbirth experiences. Had I ever seen a placenta like this before? No. To be honest, I had never really inspected the placentas before, so I wasn't really sure what I was looking at, but this one did not look healthy.

The doctor then added that had we not delivered the baby that day, he might not have survived.

I'm so grateful to have this boy in my life!


Alyson said...

What a great story! So glad it all worked out the way it did!

SuburbanZoo said...

That made me cry! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story!

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Definitely a miracle baby! Thanks for sharing the story.

LeAnn said...

Wow, what a story; you were being watched over for sure. It is such a testimony that you followed your feelings and have a healthy # 5.
Blessings for sharing this one!

lia london, author and writing coach said...

Wow. Just.... Wow.

vaxhacker said...

Wow! That's a great story, and I'm so glad it worked out in the end. Always stay open to those moments of insight and inspiration.

Cassandra Scaggs said...

WOW, WOW, WOW!! So thankful that you listened to the still small voice. It so easy to overlook a dream like that as just a dream. I always take dreams very seriously when I can remember the entire dream in detail like that and it still bothers me. So glad you listened.

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