Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Of Sapphires and Emeralds

So I have to tell you the story that has been a source of embarrassment for me since that fateful night in September when E entered the world. I bring this up now because J brought it up to one of my nurses the other day.

I had endured HELL! Picture the experience I have had with Zachary's pregnancy, with the same exact complications, but prolong it for a month, an that was E's pregnancy. It may have also been made a little worse by the fact that we were less financially stable, so there were more money issues, which made for more emotional issues. Plus E's pregnancy was planned.

Picture the scene. I had endured months of preterm labor and contractions. I had endured every prenatal test known to man. I had even had a fetal fibronectin done back then, which is no big deal to us now, but back then? There was only one lab in the entire country that processed them and the samples had to be flown out to that location. It was high tech and new-fangled then. We had even lost everything we had and had moved into J's mother's basement. It was bad. I had been to the hospital the day before, on August 30th, and of course it is me, so I wasn't dilated. But they could feel E's head pressing on the other side of my cervix, trying to make his way into the world. I got sent home, with a little red sleeping pill, to try to rest. We didn't know then about my cervical dystocia, so we were just waiting for some changes to take place.

The contractions never stopped. J had already called in at work several times because "this was it". But it never was. And this was a new job of his, as we had just moved to the area. So when the contractions were even worse the next day, I called the doctor on call for my OB. He didn't know me, but I was able to recount for him every test I had, the results, and when I had them. I could recount every hospitalization, every treatment for preterm labor. I told him that I frankly was not going to go the hospital unless he would deliver me. He told me to come in and he would assess the situation, but that he didn't have a full say, as he was not my doctor.

I will never forget that relief I felt. He came into my room at the hospital, took the monitors off of my belly and palpated my uterus as the contractions came and went. It was very intense, as he sat there staring in my eyes, with his hands on my belly, helping me to breathe through the contractions so I didn't tense up, giving him a better feel of what my body was doing. And he looked at the nurses, telling them that they should've done more, that I was having hard contractions, and that my body was trying to deliver this baby, but for some unknown reason, it was not working. (Later, while he was in there for a c-section, he found enormous areas of dense scar tissue and the cervical dystocia was diagnosed.) He left the room, saying he had to call my doctor, and returned to tell me that he was going to deliver after doing a surgery to treat an ectopic pregnancy, and I was prepped for surgery while he was doing that.

So fast forward an hour or two. I am strapped to the OR table. J is perched on a stool by my head. I am awake and hearing and seeing everything going on around me, but they had given me morphine along with my spinal, so I was in a sort of haze that is hard to describe. There was a surgical drape in place, so I was staring straight up. The only thing in my real line of sight was the clock on the wall. The initial incision was made at 11:52 PM on August 31st. But at 11:55 PM, the hands on the clock stopped moving. It seems the clock had died. We were stuck in August.

I certainly had more important things to worry about. I was having a baby 6 weeks before my due date. I had just survived the pregnancy from hell. But I had some good drugs on board and could not help myself.

"STOP!!!", I yelled. "It's August! We're STUCK in AUGUST!!!! August's birth stone is ugly. I want a SAPPHIRE in my mother's ring. Wait! Please, just wait 5 more minutes!!!"

E entered the world with the lustiest cry I have ever heard. 6 Weeks early, and all I could think was "his lungs are okay", as tears were streaming. The clock on the wall still said 11:55 PM, so the time on E's birth certificate was actually from the monitor that was recording my vitals. E was born at 12:05 AM on September 1st, 2001. His birthstone is a sapphire. The hardest, toughest gemstone next to the diamond. Believed by some to have healing properties. One of the most precious stones known. How very appropriate.

Am I silly? Yeah. Crazy? Most definitely. But I not only said it, but shouted it for all to hear. It was the joke around the Labor and Delivery unit of the hospital at least until I was discharged. And for our 7th anniversary, J did the most amazing thing for me. He was unemployed, and I was the breadwinner then too. But he saved every ounce of money he got--birthdays, Christmas, etc.--and he bought me an anniversary band with alternating stones of diamonds and sapphires. Precious to me for many reasons--the perfect symbol of our little family.

So the story of the sapphire came up again recently, when we thought Zachary was going to be delivered at 34 weeks or so. His birthstone would have been a diamond. But instead, since I am delivering in May, it is to be an emerald. Emerald is known as the Christian symbol of hope, and is also one of the most precious. It is supposed to represent harmony, wisdom, and love. To heal the heart. Oh, Zachary!


  1. How did I make you cry??? This story is knda funny,I thought. God, don't read the next post then!!!!!

  2. Too late! Crying again!

    Yes, it was a funny story but then you started talking about emeralds and hope and forget it, I lost it.

  3. I think we are both just hormonal! LOL