14 Days Later
By Yesha Callahan on December 28, 2008
BlogHer Original Post
May 6th, 1999 was the day I was expecting to give birth to my son, Jaden. Days before I literally had my bag packed and I was impatiently waiting for something to happen. No contractions. No water breaking. No nothing. I was sitting at work on May 7th, and was getting antsy. I didn’t want to be stranded on the NYC subway system giving birth on the PATH train and then risk being featured on the evening news.
I always knew that the projected due date, given by the doctor could be either 2 weeks early or late, so eventually I just went about thinking I was one of the ‘late’ ones.
It wasn’t until May 19th, that my doctor began to show signs of concern. On what became my last visit, at 9:30 a.m, he told me wanted to induce me with pitosin, because my son’s heart rate slowed down substantially, which is a sign of stress. That was the moment I was hit with panic. My mind couldn’t stop racing, all of the worst scenarios were taking over me. I knew the hazards that pitosin could produce. For the woman they can include: premature separation of the placenta, rupture of the uterus, laceration of the cervix or postbirth hemorrhage. To the baby the potential hazards could include: fetal asphyxia and neonatal hypoxia from too frequent and prolonged uterine contractions, physical injury and prematurity if the due date is not accurate. Needless to say, with all of these potential dangers, I was practically bringing on a panic attack as well as labor.
Being that my son’s father was in Iowa finishing up his college graduation and move, I called both of our parents. Within a few hours, he was on his flight back home, and our parents were at my bed side. Everyone tried to keep me in good spirits, but through the pain of the contractions and the fact that I was scared out of my mind, I truly realized that more than likely, this birth would be my first and last.
That night, I endured not one, but two epidurals, but the doctor was concerned because I was not dilating fast enough and my son was showing more signs of distress. Although having a natural child birth was something that obviously wasn’t happening, I still had hopes of having a vaginal birth, but unfortunately my doctor saw fit for me to have a c-section. Thinking back now, I wish he would have made that decision earlier on, instead of prolonging it.
On May 20th, 1999 at exactly 11:14 a.m, my son Jaden, was born. He weighed in at 8 pounds 10 ounces. Unfortunately, although he appeared to be a healthy baby, he suffered from Meconium Aspiration. Meconium is the dark green material that is found in the intestines of the unborn fetus. It is normally released as a thick, dark green bowel movement at or right near the time of birth. However, an infant who is stressed may pass some meconium into the amniotic fluid before birth and breathe it into the lungs (called aspiration). Because of the severity of the meconium aspiration, my son was admitted to the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which is where he stayed for 7 more days, after my release.
There wasn’t a moment when I was not by his side as he laid in his incubator, attached to machines with antibiotics going through his body. I was assured that he was receiving the best care imaginable from every doctor and nurse that was on duty. I remember his last day in the hospital and his cries as they circumcised him before I took him home. When the nurse handed him to me, all I could do was cry, because although the previous 14 days were stressful and seemed as though they would never end, holding my son in my arms, knowing he was in good health, was the only thing that mattered.