Forty-three and pregnant again (A Special Delivery)
At age 22, I gave birth for the first time. That was the beginning of something beautiful and blessed by YHVH. The next twenty years I would be privileged to give birth to 10 more babies. This is the story of how YHVH blessed us with 11 healthy and beautiful pregnancies and deliveries, and specifically how this past pregnancy and delivery was a special growing experience for me in my faith.
Each pregnancy is unique. But for me there were many things I could expect to be the same. My very first pregnancy at age 22, I was very thin and somewhat sickly. I experienced a lot of morning sickness, but I went to school full time and worked full time. I had energy and strength to keep busy right up till the day my baby was born. When it was time to have my first baby, I went to the hospital and labored for less than six hours and had a beautiful healthy little girl. For the rest of my pregnancies it would be pretty much the same. I was never very sick with any of my children, and all though some pregnancies were more exhausting than others I never had any complications during them. With the first 10 pregnancies, I would go right up to the due date and then labor would start and within six hours I would give birth naturally to a beautiful baby. I always felt very blessed to have such easy pregnancies.
At age 40, after having 10 healthy babies naturally, I wondered if I was done giving birth. I honestly, was content either way, and totally trusted that YHVH God would decide for me. I went to the doctor for my annual exam at age 42, and I asked the doctor if it appeared I was done having children or if there was any reason I should be done. The doctor told me that I was as healthy as if I were still 22. I had experienced a radical healing just a few months before this exam, and I felt as young as a 22-year-old. So, I knew that the doctor was seeing in my lab work and body that healing touch from YHVH. It would only be a matter of months and I would find that indeed my body was ready for another baby to grow inside it.
So, as my 43rd birthday approached, I found myself pregnant again. This is the story of that pregnancy, a very special delivery.
In the summer of 2016, I woke one morning and was sick as could be. I immediately recognized the sickness for what it was, morning sickness. Like all my pregnancies before this one, I knew almost immediately that I was expecting. But with this one, I was nervous to share the good news with others, I was concerned that this pregnancy would not go well. I honestly had no reason to be concerned, but none the less, I was. I was also nervous because my OB/GYN had retired and I had no idea who I would find to deliver this baby. But each day was filled with sickness all day and night, like I had never had before with any of the other children. This daily sickness usually made me feel blessed to know that I was again chosen to be a mom. But day after day of feeling sick began to take its toll. I began to be exhausted and wore out. I began the search for a new doctor and was blessed to find one I felt respected my birth plan choices. Because I was over 40, I was classified high risk. But because I had given birth 10 times without any complications, I was expected to do just that again. The doctor kept close tabs of my blood sugar, blood pressure, and regular lab work. Week after week, and month after month, everything came back in excellent health. Yet I felt very sick almost the whole pregnancy. AS the pregnancy went into the 34th week, I began wondering if I would actually make it to my due date. I had no reason to believe I wouldn’t, yet everyone, my husband, my family and friends, and even my doctor seemed to think I might have this one early.
Because of my age and the amount of babies I had given birth to already, at 36 weeks of pregnancy I was to begin non-stress tests weekly. These tests monitor the babies heart rate to be sure he is not in distress. So, on Tuesday, February 7th 2017, I went into the doctor’s office for my first stress test. Before going to the doctor I had a bout of nausea after lunch. But since I had the flu the week before, I did not think anything of it. I arrived at the doctor’s office at 4:15. They took my blood pressure it was 124/78. I was pleased that it continued to remain in a safe healthy range. With several of my other pregnancies when I went into labor my blood pressure would spike to extreme levels and then take a week or two to come down after delivery. So, I was pleased with my blood pressure, and the test revealed that the baby was in excellent condition. My daughter, Lydia had gone with me to the appointment, and as we began to leave the doctor’s office, I told her I felt weird. I began seeing lots of black, blurry spots and thought I needed a snack. She and I drove across the street from the doctor’s office and bought some meat and cheese. As I began eating it and heading towards home, I suddenly had an instant migraine. When I arrived home at 5:20 I knew something was not right. I took my blood pressure and it was 170/107. I called the doctor and explained that I was not having any labor symptoms, but that something was wrong. I was having tingling and pain running down my arms. The doctor said to get to the hospital immediately. Jeremy and I got in the car and went to the hospital. I felt very strange, but I was not concerned. I figured they would give me a pill or something to fix whatever was wrong and send me home.
The reality that there was something seriously wrong set in almost immediately upon arrival to labor and delivery. They took me right back and my blood pressure was now 190/117. My mind was not clear but I realized things were serious when the doctor told me I may need to consider that I may need to have this baby by C section. I had never ever been told that with any of my other pregnancies, not even when I had a baby in distress with the cord around her neck. Jeremy and I both sort of expected that they were just preparing us for the worst-case scenario. Surely, they will give me a pill and send me home. No, I would not be going home. They thought I was in the onset of a stroke. They hooked me up to magnesium to hopefully, stop my brain from seizing. They began pumping me full of medicine to get the blood pressure under control and to protect me and baby at the same time.
After a few hours, of trying to stabilize my blood pressure, it became evident I needed to have the baby because I was preeclamptic. This was a bit mind boggling, it is very rare to develop preeclampsia in later pregnancies. It is usually something woman develop in their first pregnancy and then are prone to. Since this was unusual the doctors were unsure of how to move forward. As they continued to monitor things and decide the best course of action, I was reacting negatively to all the medication. (as a rule, I can’t take pain killers because they cause me to have delusions and hallucinations.) I began to lose touch with reality. I would be in and out of consciousness and I knew I was lost. But during the whole ordeal, I knew YHVH was with me, and I trusted He would give the doctors wisdom. After a day of trying to stabilize my health, it was determined I needed to have the baby as soon as possible. So, since I had such quick labor in the past the hope was that if they started labor it would go quickly. But I needed to go into labor without my blood pressure climbing higher. So, as they began the meds to begin labor, they also placed an epidural to control pain and blood pressure. So, as I was in and out of delusions, I would feel the beginning of labor. But, it would not build, and I would say over and over, I am not having a baby, please do something. Finally, after my water was broke and 24 more hours past, it became clear that the baby was beginning to be in distress. So, now it has been three days on magnesium, pain killers, blood pressure meds., antibiotics, labor inducing drugs, and more, it is necessary to go into surgery and have a c-section. So, on Friday, February 10th at 2:22 in the afternoon, I gave birth via c-section to a healthy 6 pound 9-ounce baby boy. Honestly, I began to feel a great deal better as soon as he was born. But my blood pressure was still climbing so I had to remain on magnesium for 24 more hours in order to be sure I did not have a seizure. As long as I was on the magnesium I continued to have delusions. They took baby, Adam off to ICU, as he was struggling to breath due to the magnesium. Within a short time of being in ICU, Adam began to recover and become strong.
It would take me several more days to recover from the magnesium treatments and to stabilize my blood pressure. Then after arriving at the hospital on a Tuesday evening, a week later, we would both leave for home on the following Tuesday afternoon.
What I learned during this experience is so much more than I can put into words, but I will try…
First, I learned that there really is peace even in the scariest moments of life when you know that you belong to YHVH God the creator of heaven and earth.
2. I learned that sometimes there is nothing I can do about the situation I am in. I don’t do well when I am not in control. During the whole experience, I kept wondering what I could do, should do differently. But everyone said, there was nothing I did or didn’t do to cause my body to go into shock.
3. I learned that I should never judge a person or situation from the outside and that it isn’t my place to solve the problem others have, it is my place to be kind, loving, and compassionate, and to take their need to YHVH in prayer.
4. I learned that I have a lot of amazing friends and family that love and truly care about me. It is such a blessed life that I live.
5. No matter how well we take care of our health and no matter how good a person we are there are going to be trials and sickness, but we can trust that if we walk with YHVH, He will never leave us or forsake us. When I was lost in the delusions, I still knew that YHVH was with me. I would cry out from my heart and ask Him to guide me back to reality. And he would bring my mind back to the hospital room and awareness of what was going on.
Lastly, I was reminded over and over how blessed I am with an amazing husband and wonderful children. Jeremy and my older children never left my side. My older children took care of everything at home and the little ones prayed and obeyed while I was gone for a whole week. My kids sent me messages and called me and helped me stay positive and focused on the right things.
Well, today is baby, Adam Jackson Hirn’s 8th day. As we celebrate his life, by having him circumcised unto YHVH, I am so grateful for the blessed gift of being chosen to be his mom.
If someone would have told me that I would have a c-section and/or a baby a month early, I would have told them I seriously doubt it. But, praise YHVH God that He has brought us through this trial and taught us new things about Him.
Thank you to all who prayed with us. Today I went to the doctor and my blood pressure is under control. They tell me it takes six weeks to heal from a c-section, so I will continue to learn patience and humility as my family cares for me. Baby Adam is in excellent health and weighed 6 pounds 5 ounces. Which is excellent for one week.
May YHVH bless you and keep you, shalom.