Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sarabeth Turns Thirteen

Today on Krinkle's Place, my daughter posted about her oldest daughter, Sarabeth, who had her thirteenth birthday on February 7th. Let me tell about the day of her birth from my viewpoint.

Cristie had a very difficult pregnancy with Sarabeth, her firstborn. As she stated, in her blog, Cristie had lost most of her amniotic fluid at about six months gestation. She and my Son-in-law were living in the mountains North of Boise, well over an hour's drive to St Luke's hospital where the baby would be delivered into this world.

Soon Cristie's condition became serious enough that she needed to be in bed and have a nurse visit regularly to moniter both her and the baby. We decided the best thing to do was for her and Don to stay at my house in Meridian so that she would have quick access to medical help in an emergency and to make it easier for the visiting Nurse.

On the day of delivery by C section, Cristie's siblings were with me and my sister, MaryHell came to town to be there with me at the hospital while waiting for the birth. Don's parents were there as well. While we knew it would not be an easy delivery, we were not prepared for the time that actually passed as we anxiously waited for news. We all became more and more concerned with each passing minute, knowing that too much time has elapsed and we had no clue what was going on.

When Don came out of the operating room, with a look of great distress on his face as he walked along side the gurney where Cristie lay, and, with no baby accompanying them, our hearts and minds started racing with concern.

As soon as Cristie was settled into her room, Don came out and broke the news to us of a little baby girl, riddled with severe problems. Our hearts were broken for our kids who were so thrilled with this pregnancy, wanting this baby with their whole hearts. Cristie was pretty sedated when Mary and I finally got into her room to see her, trying not to show how upset and concerned we actually felt. We didn't want to upset her more at this point.

It was almost an hour before we were allowed to go to the Unit to see the baby. Up until minutes before, we didn't even know whether she was going to live. Seeing her for the first time was shocking and heartbreaking all at once. She was so tiny, and deformed. She was black and blue from the tips of her toes to the top of her head, which was as flat as a wall on one side and extremely elongated from front to back. Her little body, which had literally been shrink-wrapped for nearly three months was dented and dimpled from the pressure; one of her feet was clubbed, her shoulders pushed up toward her head so far that it appeared she was born with no neck. She was grotesque to see and we loved her instantly; we sobbed with great shudders of sorrow for her and her parents.

A while later, after composing ourselves, Mary and I went back to see Cristie. She was more alert by now and able to talk. We talked about the delivery and the difficulties involved. Don told us how a Nurse had to literally stride atop of Cristie, pushing with all his might to help get Sarabeth out and into this world and of how it took ten minutes to get her breathing. Read Cristie's blog for details.

Upon hearing all of this distressful information, it was so very, very hard to keep my emotions and hurt inside for my baby daughter, I could hardly speak. Mary then said, "Well, Cristie, what do you think of your baby girl?" The sweetest words I've ever heard came out of her mouth when she replied, "I think she's the most beautiful baby I've ever seen!" At that moment, I knew in my heart, that Cristie was born to be a Mom, no matter what. I love that quality in her.

Over the next month, Sarabeth did indeed, blossom like a rose. Every dire prediction made by the experts in the Neo-Natal unit were proven wrong by that little girl with a gigantic spirit and will to live, learn and be happy.

She has definitely had physical trials and tribulations in her thirteen years, but nothing has ever stopped that girl. She is intelligent (sometimes it's scary), witty, onery, loving, friendly, sometimes an air-head, creative, a drama queen at all around normal kid.

I love her dearly and am so proud of the way she has taken on life, never looking back at the hard parts but always looking forward to what is to come...........................

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