Elijah (pt 1)

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After the loss of Lacy, we wanted to get back to it and try for another one as fast as we could. It didn’t seem to happen for us from month-to-month, but we kept trying. After leaving California for our next assignment in Germany, we kept trying to no avail. Finally we decided to go see a German fertility doctor and see what he could do for us. The first appointment was just an orientation about the process and a chance for the doctor to get to know us and our goals. We set up the first treatment appointment for the following month, but we didn’t go.

We found out that she was pregnant the next week! Back then there was no You Tube or internet to research about getting pregnant or ways to increase your chances to get pregnant. Just old wives tales, library, or any medical doctor/nurse we could find. But we were blessed to be pregnant again; at the same time we knew that there were many hurdles to be overcome for any chance to carry a baby to full term.

We had our first well-baby appointment at obstetrics and gynecology clinic were we explained the past situation to our doctor and what they had recommended with a cervical cerclage.  The doctor agreed that we needed to wait until after the first trimester to see if the baby would be okay and no miscarriage would occur. The first three months went smoothly, aside from our nerves. The emotional toll of losing a child is very heavy; could we go through it again?

Finally we were safely past the first trimester. Now came the preventative cerclage that needed to be done for any hope to hold the baby long enough inside her womb. They started with a spinal anesthetic to numb her lower body for the operation. Scared of anything going near the spine, but it went well. From there they performed the cerclage in which they went through the vaginal canal and sewed shut her cervix. Recovery went good and she was released the next day.

They days were stressful as we were checking daily for any bleeding or complications, fortunately there were no concerns. To make the situation more stressful, I was deployed to Turkey for Desert Storm. Not only did we have a high-risk pregnancy, but my wife didn’t drive while we lived in Germany. Luckily we had some friends who had their wives stop by every few days and to also take her to her ob/gyn appointments.

I was stressed being in a wartime situation and also about my wife and baby. Hard to focus on the task at hand, we didn’t have any skype type service just telephone calls. This actually is better for the situation I was in, no day to day updates with new things to worry about. Just focus on being at war and then on my one day off, I could call and check on her and the baby. Wife was stressed with me at war and the baby’s health. She did very well with myself being deployed and keeping herself and the baby healthy. I was blessed again with the wars end and a fast trip back home to a happy and healthy wife. Felt proud of my contribution to the war effort and my country’s success, also relieved to see her and the baby bump! A week later….

Started to do my federal taxes while back home when my wife ran in and said she had a little blood in her underwear. Uh oh! Not again! Here we go, rushing to the hospital! She had her ob/gyn and family doctors come in and examine her. The cervix was under pressure from the growing baby and was tearing a little. So they ordered bed rest and admitted her to the hospital for the remained of her pregnancy. It helped a little, but within a few days, the doctors saw that her cervix was tearing more and decided to go ahead and deliver the baby.  The military doctors called to the German Hospital for they had a neonatal intensive care unit close by. Once they would arrive, they would induce labor.

A few hours later the German ambulance arrived and they started by removing her cervical cerclage and breaking the amniotic sac. Finally at a little after midnight, April 7, 1991, a very little Elijah was born at 29.5 weeks and weighing 2.5 pounds. My preemie son.

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