My pregnancy happened by surprise. I was twenty-five, dating my boyfriend for a little over a year, and getting ready to finish my BA. The last thing I planned on was getting pregnant. But two little lines on a pregnancy test abruptly changed my life FOREVER. When I saw the results my heart sank, and I uttered “Oh my God…” All these thoughts came rushing at once: What do I do? My life is OVER! How do we tell our parents? We are not financially prepared for this! And then there was a thought. The thought. I could get an abortion. And yet, despite my liberal views I knew I couldn’t do it. I knew abortion would be something I would regret my entire life. And I am so glad I chose her. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for my daughter.

Unfortunately in the last four weeks of my pregnancy I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. My doctor prescribed total bedrest and a scheduled induction at thirty-nine weeks. At that point I was so swollen, tired, and uncomfortable bed rest seemed like a three week spa vacation!

The night before my delivery her father and I could hardly sleep. All I could think was, “Tomorrow you will meet your baby! Tomorrow you are going to have an actual human come out of your body! Holy crap! Come. out. of. my. body.  ACK!”

At 6AM, November 11th, 2002 I was induced. Some parts were good (hearing the gallop of her heart beat.) Some parts were not so good (the attempts to place a catheter between her head and my uterus before I got my epidural. YOWZA!)  But then I got the news from my doctor, my baby was showing signs of distress. They would have to attempt the fetal catheter again to monitor her heart rate more closely. And just as they inserted the catheter it happened. Her heart rate dropped, and continued to drop. That heart beat that I found so soothing before was now bringing me to tears. It was so slow. That gallop had turned into trot.

Alarms were buzzing, people rushing into my room, my doctor yanking wires out of monitors to transfer me into the operating room for an emergency c-section, and all I could do was sob and think, “I have come too far to lose my baby!”  Her father stood there in shock as a nurse shoved a smock into his hands so he could join me in the OR. My mom, a nurse, tried to soothe me words of encouragement. My dad just burst into tears.

My doctor, God bless her, stayed calm through the entire ordeal. And after what seemed like forever my new daughter was pulled out from my stomach at 1:40PM. All I could think was, “Please let me hear her scream. Please let me hear her scream. If she screams it means she’s breathing.” And scream she did! The baby that was so distressed scored a ten on her APGAR. She was healthy; she was perfect. And she was a blessing. She may not have been planned, but my little Madeleine Kay was one of the best “things” to ever happen to me. For that I am thankful. Thankful for her and thankful I didn’t make a different choice.

From Yvette Shaheen of Home Sweet Home.

PS — Natalina wrote a sweet letter to her son on his first birthday. And here’s a letter from Clara to her daughter at one-month-old.


Note from Design Mom: throughout my pregnancy, I’ve been posting advice, memories and stories about pregnancy, childbirth, adoption and growing a family on Wednesdays. I just had my baby and am taking a blogging break for a week or so. I’ve received so many wonderful stories and thought it would be great to post as many as I can during this little “maternity leave.” You can find all the stories in this series by clicking here.