Where did 3 years go, Mr. Thomas Henry? Did you know that you were also a miracle baby?
Three years ago tonight you were two weeks overdue and I was on day two of Cervadil trying to induce your labor, but you wanted to stay tucked in close, safe and warm. Ohio State was playing USC and while I was in the throes of labor your grandparents (both sets) and some of your aunts and uncles hung out in our hospital room watching football as I grew more and more uncomfortable.
Finally, our OBGYN came in and said that there was no way you were going to come on that night (Saturday, 13, 2008) because of the big OSU game. That was fine with me-- I thought September 14 sounded like the perfect birthday.
About fifteen weeks into being pregnant with you something was wrong. Mama couldn't urinate anymore and we got stuck out in a hospital in Lake Tahoe where the injuries du jour were broken collarbones, arms and legs.
I thought it was just a simple urinary tract infection that had the bad fortune of showing up while we were out on vacation.
Instead, it was something a little more complicated. Just like you, my dear, dear son.
We finally were released from the hospital and Mama traveled from Lake Tahoe back to Akron, Ohio with a catheter and no pain medication.
It took about a week to finally get a diagnosis for what was going on--baby boy--Mama had what is called an "incarcerated uterus". Gross. Right? To this day I still can't even really comprehend what it was.
Apparently some people (ie: me) have a backward uterus or a "retroflexed" uterus. What typically (honey- just prepare yourself- we don't specialize in "typical") happens is that about 13-14 weeks into a pregnancy, a uterus that is backwards will actually flip around so that the baby has room to grow. Unfortunately, this is not what happened. You were stuck. You were literally "incarcerated". If this condition isn't found or fixed by 16 weeks, the consequences are usually a spontaneous miscarriage.
Fortunately, we found a brave doctor who was willing to try a new procedure and go in and flip you around so you would have plenty of room to grow.
At sixteen weeks, we went into the hospital. I was given a semi-epidural so that I could bear some weight on my legs. The doctors at our hospital had never performed this procedure before and while I had my doubts, my dear friend, Brenda, had come over the night before and prayed with us and gave me words of strength....
Psalm 139 13-14
For You created
My innermost being;
My innermost being;
You knit me
together in my
mother's womb. I
praise You for I am
I carried her prayers and those words into the operating room with me. While on my hands and knees, with twelve curious medical professionals (since I was 1) awake and 2) on my hands and knees, I spent the very odd time counting feet-- I counted 24 feet) in the OR, our brave doctor went in and freed you-- you were no longer incarcerated. At the time I had no idea how dangerous this situation and procedure really were. I had no idea how blessed we were that you made it through with no problem.
Today we celebrate you. We celebrate your unique personality. Your fierce independence. Your sweet hugs and kisses. Your funny statements and quirks. The way you love Curious George and how for about four months you quit using your words and used "monkey" speak and gestures. The way you slept with the photo album we gave you every night while we were in Michigan with Joey for his heart surgery. The way you are so gentle and loving with your brother even when you are wild and reckless with us.
The way you do something ornery and then say, "Mommy, are you happy?" The way you insist that we give you a hug and a kiss before we leave the house.
Today we celebrate every single little thing that makes you such a precious, precious boy.
*All of the photos in today's blog are by Nat Hansumrittisak. More of her beautiful work can be seen here. Friday's blog will be devoted solely to all of her amazing photos from Joey's 1st birthday party. Nat's work is amazing and she is super talented!