Sunday, January 4, 2009

Beauty Day 2

Ask just about anyone and they'll tell you that there is nothing more beautiful than new life. And every mother will tell you that their child is the most beautiful. And of course they are right. However, I have to tell you that these pictures of me with Matthew just minutes after his birth truly reflect beauty. I felt love and pure joy after the birth of Austin and Riley, however, the feelings of relief and gratitude in addition to that love and joy that I felt after Matthew safely arrived is unparalleled. These pictures warm my heart and bring me back to the first time I held my beautiful, healthy, living son, Matthew.

Matthew and I had a rough start from almost the moment we found out we were expecting him. We had had two losses prior to his pregnancy, one being the stillbirth of baby Ian back in 2001. After losing Ian, we had 5 years of infertility. I had prayed daily for five years for another baby. A few weeks after we knew of Matthew's pregnancy, I began to bleed. I had episodes throughout his pregnancy of bleeding, abruptions, pre-term contractions. I spent 5 weeks on hospital bedrest. I was given Magnesium Sulfate and Procardia to keep Matthew from coming too early. We had a few scares. And yet, Matthew thrived.

In the middle of July 2007, I began to have more and more placental abruptions. My doctors were torn between keeping Matthew on the inside to bake a little more or bring him into this world with the chance of having medical issues due to his prematurity. But the more and more that I bled, the more and more the doctors came to realize that we had to take our chances and that Matthew would most likely do better to be born early than to risk the chance of another stillbirth due to abruption.

It was so scary. Yes, I was tired of the bedrest. I missed Austin and Riley and Jason. I missed my own bed. Me being in the hospital put a lot of stress on our family and our friends who were helping to take care of the kids. I wanted to be selfish and say "Just get the baby out" but truth be told, I'd rather lay upside down on my head for 5 months if it meant that I would have a healthy baby in the end.

On July 18, 2007, at 36 weeks along, my doctors decided to start the induction of my labor. The first day went slow. They gave me cervadil to soften my cervix and then let me sleep overnight. The "real" induction began on the 19th with pitocin. At a little past 11 pm I began to push. At 11:26, Matthew John entered this world. He was silent and I held my breath. Flashbacks of Ian's birth came to me. The silence after delivery. The pain of knowing my baby wasn't alive. Knowing all the memories we wouldn't be able to share together. No birthday parties, no first Christmases, no first steps, first days of kindergarten, no smiles or hugs or kisses. I began to tear up a bit, reliving all of that pain. I couldn't survive burying another child. I knew I wasn't strong enough.

And then I heard him. Oh the sound of that first cry. It was the most beautiful sound I had ever heard because it meant that we didn't have a repeat of Ian's birth. I began to sob, uncontrollably. The pain of losing Ian combined with the pure joy of having another chance with another son. It was like I literally opened the floodgates and all that emotion just poured out of me. I couldn't control the emotions. I thanked God over and over again for my little miracle. For giving me another baby. For allowing me to once again shower pure, unconditional love on another human being.


Traci said...

That was an amazing post. Great pictures and a story that made me cry.. and definitely true beauty.

McKay Family said...

What a beautiful post...I can certainly relate and you worded it so perfectly.

Crafty Barb said...

Beautiful Meg!!!

Le@nne said...

Beautiful heartfelt posts. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.
I've read your blog before - but not posted.
I'm awarding you a Friendship Award, for your honesty, and hoping our friendship can grow through your blog.
I've wanted to know you better since I first saw your posts and avatar on SS.
Your strength is inspiring. Le@nne SS.