Sunday, January 21, 2001

Do you believe in angels? have you ever seen an angel? held one in your arms? Have you ever faced death and given a second chance at life? I have. Totally unrelated stories. 5 years apart almost to the day.

Add me to the list of countless parents who have lost a child. I was young, just 21, when I was very pregnant with twins. My first children. I adored my babies, talked to them every night, read to them the story of the Velveteen Rabbit, lovingly endured their movement and stretches. All while they were still safe within me, tucked beneath my heart. We had a cute little house, with a perfect little room all ready for their arrival. We had clothes and baby furniture, everything you could possibly need for 10 babies, and we were only expecting 2 :-) Approximately 5 weeks before my due date my body went into labor for the last time. I had been experiencing problems throughout the pregnancy, but we had been hopeful that we could hang on until my 38 week mark. I found myself sitting alone, in a labor and delivery room, knowing something was so wrong but not knowing what, and wanting so badly to hold my babies. I rocked in the rocking chair that night, must have been for hours. No one checked in on me, no one cared that I was crying. Babies were being born all around me, and yet my belly was a time bomb, tickin away, one side was quiet, still, the other was less active than usual. The lull before the storm. I knew something was wrong. I wasn't even a mother yet, and I had that mother's intuition. Time moved so slowly that night.

The next day we welcomed into the world, Jennifer, who was soooo tiny, and fighting like mad to survive, and her twin brother, Ryan, who was born still. I remember holding him and thinking how beautiful he was, wanting to hold him forever, and wanting so badly to kiss him, yet so afraid to do so. I only held him briefly and said good bye so soon after meeting, knowing it was forever. My heart ached for my son. I handed him over to a nurse and she whisked him away, while another nurse brought in my rather lively little bundle. She was hungry and rather demanding. (little has changed since then). I tried to focus on Jenna. Wanted to put all my heart and soul into her and yet, part of my heart was with Ryan. part of my heart will always be with him. I held an angel that day, and my life was forever changed.

Five years, one month and 2 days later....

I am pregnant again, and preparing for my second c section. I am soooo apprehensive. It was that mother's intuition again. I had requested that a pastor be there (she arrived late, so she wasn't there for the actual birth) and my son's doctor and I prayed before my surgery. I just felt such anxiety about this birth. It was a feeling I couldn't shake, no matter how hard I tried. My dr was just getting ready to perform the surgery and I went into respiratory and cardiac arrest. A simple, routine c section ended up being the most trumatic experience for most of the doctors, nurses and the other available hospital personnel there that day. I was without a stable heartbeat for several seconds, all the while, still very pregnant with my son. Not only were they worried about me, but of the little patient inside of me. My husband and mother were aware of a problem, as was my father. He was taking care of my younger brother and my daughter while my mother and husband waited in the hall way. When they requested the crash cart my mother almost fainted. She often tells the story and said that she and my husband held each other up during this time. I was unaware of a problem. I could see me lying there, being pushed, and moved, and poked and jumped on. I could hear the nurses and doctors yelling at each other, swearing among themselves, and yet I felt no pain. I kept trying to go back and was pulled in the opposite direction. I fought it. I didn't want to leave I wanted to see my baby. I felt torn, lost, not knowing which direction to turn. I could hear my son's dr praying quietly that God would bring me back, and keep my son alive. she prayed that the dr's and nurses treating me would find peace and work together instead of against one another, and I felt myself feeling quite ill. I told the dr I felt sick and I didn't want to throw up on him. He chuckled and said, Margaret, after what we just went through, I'd be honored to have you throw up on me. So I did. He then informed me that I had almost died and required CPR and they were just getting ready to do a trach when I came to. He also informed me that my son needed to be born right away, as his oxygen levels weren't so hot either. We continued on with a spinal block and within minutes my son was born. What a beautiful baby. His doctor sat and cried with me. He was healthy. I still had a long road ahead of me. I hemmoraged in recovery, a few times, and took longer than normal to regain the feeling in my legs. I was in recovery for almost 4 hours. I was finally able to see and hold my son. I cried quite a bit that night. Relief that Jonathan and I were both alive. I was definately given a second chance. Like I had stated last night, it took almost dying to realize what I was wasting and I am eternally grateful for having a second chance to make right all the wrongs in my life.

Yes, I've held an angel in my arms and yes I was give a second chance. I tend to live life on the edge of my seat. I don't want to miss a beat.
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