Our small miracle
It was June 1994. We had a sweltering summer weather. I started my maternity leave one week before my due date of June 21. And it was the week that the O.J. Simpson saga began.
On my last visit to my Ob-gyn, he gave a sheet that would help me count and monitor the movements of my baby. On June 18, I thought that the baby hardly moved at all. I told my husband, “We better go to the hospital now. I think there’s something wrong with the baby.” So off we went. It turned out that the baby was very much alive and kicking. And I was sent home.
Then on the wee hours of June 20, the third anniversary of my father’s death, just after midnight, I started to have contractions. I called my mother to take my four-year old son, Reggie.
We headed to the maternity ward of Misericordia Hospital. I was in labour the moment we got there, ’til dawn, ’til dusk, basically the entire day. Before this, I have forgotten how painful contractions were. After all, it had been 4 ½ years since I had my first baby. But it all came back to me on that day.
After 21 hours of labour, the baby still won’t come out. The doctor decided that it was time for an emergency C-section. Déjà vu. This was exactly what happened when I had Reggie.
The nurse cleaned me up and wheeled me to the operating room. I told the nurse, “Can you please call my husband in?” After a few minutes, the nurse came back and announced, “Your husband won’t come, but your mother wants to.” I said, “Then yes, please, I need someone here with me.”
I have caught a cold the week before and I had developed a fever during labour. I was shivering when I was given the anaesthesia. I felt numb and so cold. The doctor started operating on me and then my baby was born. “It’s a boy,” I was told. I didn’t hear a cry at first. But after a few minutes, at 10:16 p.m., RYAN CARLO greeted the world with his first wail. He was cleaned up and shown to me. What a lovely baby. Tears rolled down my cheeks.
But something was not right. He had a slight heart murmur. The doctors thought that he might had an infection. I was in labour for a long time and he had pooped while he was still inside me. He must have swallowed his own poop and got an infection. They transferred him to St. Boniface Hospital where there were better facilities for sick babies like him.
The following days had been a roller coaster ride of emotions for me. Although I received daily updates from the doctor who was looking after him, and although he sent me Polaroid pictures of Ryan everyday, I was still apart from my baby. The hospital staff wouldn’t release me since I was still running a fever. I still had the cold and my stitches hurt every time I cough. I had to be quick to put a pillow on my tummy before I attempted to cough. My breasts were engorged from breast milk. On the fourth day, my nurse noticed that I was upset and I broke down. I was quite relieved when she helped me pump my milk. The following day, I was finally feeling better. I was transferred to St. B and I was reunited with my small miracle. He was out of the intensive care unit and was doing very well.
I now look at this energetic boy, almost a young man and I can’t help to look back at that time when he was just a helpless newborn.
Updated on July 5, 2008