Yes, it is!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Jacqueline Faith!

Six years ago today, our lives were dramatically changed when we were blessed with the gift of our precious daughter, Jackie.  She is truly a miracle.  I used to say I would never get married and I would never have children.  When I did marry Tim, we married not knowing if we would have children.  We just were not sure about it.  But, alas, we were happy to learn in March of 2004 that we were expecting a baby.  In fact, we were initially expecting twins.  That's right, two babies.  Unfortunately, Jackie's twin died in utero early on.  But I look forward to the day when I can share about that with Jackie.  Right before Jackie's twin died, I had developed a chorionic hemorrhage.  The doctor informed me that 50% of those pregnancies end in fetal death.  I believe this is what led to the demise of Jackie's twin.  But, I felt very fortunate that at least, Jackie continued to develop despite the bleed.  I was monitored very closely until the hemorrhage resolved right at the beginning of the second trimester. 
During my 6th month of pregnancy, the Air Force moved me and and Tim to the St. Louis area, a thousand miles away from home.  I immediately got established with the OB clinic on base.  Despite my previous medical history and my pregnancy history, this clinic seemed to be a little more relaxed regarding my care, although overall, the doctors at that time were all very nice and caring.  Everything seemed to go well with the pregnancy after we got settled here except for the spontaneous nosebleeds.  Those were quite bothersome. 
My due date was originally around November 21.  The last several weeks of the pregnancy, the doctors were monitoring me a little more frequently because Jackie had not turned head down.  She was stubborn and continued to stay in the frank breech position.  A few days before Jackie was born, the doctor did another ultrasound and threw his hands up in the air in exasperation.  He did NOT want to do a c-section but because there was concern about the amniotic fluid being low in addition to Jackie's breech position, the doctor was not going to risk doing a version.  Plus, versions often are not successful and can be very painful.  So, a c-section was scheduled for November 9th. 
I will never forget on Halloween night, I sat in the garage handing out candy to trick or treaters.  We were new to the area and I was excited to see the kids who lived in our neighborhood.  I felt good and did not feel that my body was preparing for labor. 
Sometime after trick or treating was over, Tim and I went to bed.   I remember waking up around 3:30am to make one of many nightly trips to the bathroom.  After I left the bathroom, I fell back into bed to attempt another few hours of sleep.  But as soon as I lay down and got comfortable, I felt the most horrible pain, an indescribable pan.  I rolled back over and sat up on the edge of the bed.  This woke up Tim and he asked if I was okay.  I told him that I had a terrible cramp and I was just going to go sit in the bathroom for a bit.  I don't know why I thought sitting in the bathroom was going to help.  But I headed there anyway and as soon as my feet hit the hard bathroom floor, I felt a gush and saw a large puddle hit the floor.  I was stunned for a moment because I could not figure out if I had just wet my pants or if my water broke.  Since I had just voided a few minutes ago, I thought that I couldn't have peed in my pants.  I finally realized that my amniotic sack had just ruptured and panic-stricken, I ran into our bedroom to tell Tim.  Here I am panicking and Tim was so calm and collected.  It seemed he was taking his time getting ready to go to the hospital.  Ugh.  Finally, we got out the door and headed to the hospital.  By this time, it is after 4:30 am.  I called the parents to let them know that we may be having a baby that day.  We got to the hospital where I was immediately sent to labor and delivery.  The nurse got me into a room where she assessed me and could not definitively determine that my membranes had really ruptured.  I was starting to worry that I was panicking for nothing.  Finally, she called the on-call doctor to do an exam.  Sure enough, that doctor confirmed it.
While we waited for the on-call OB from the base to arrive, a technician came in to do an ultrasound to verify the baby's position.  Jackie was still breech and it was confirmed that I was indeed going to undergo a c-section. 
The procedure went very well and Jackie came out screaming.  And she hasn't stopped since.  I will never forget that moment, though.  I felt such overwhelming love.  But the joy for me was short lived. 
That first year with Jackie was challenging in many ways.  Jackie was very colicky for almost that entire first year.  I was struggling with postpartum issues.  I was not doing good.  Jackie endured several issues, also.  She was jaundiced for several weeks and then diagnosed with failure-to-thrive.  Then Jackie was dropped by a visiting relative and suffered a brain bleed.  When Jackie was a few months old, we noticed that she was not using her left arm or leg.  The doctor ordered an MRI which indicated a PVL (peri-ventricular malacia).  This has resulted in Jackie having mild Cerebral Palsy.  Jackie has endured a lot in her short life but she is such a trooper.  She has had years of physical and occupational therapies.  She had a few years of speech therapy.  And she has had 2 foot surgeries and we're looking at a third one soon.  Yes, as she gets older, she gets a little stubborn about the treatments that are meant to improve her quality of life.  She just wants to be like all the other kids who don't have to wear an AFO or a wrist splint.  She wants to be able to walk, run, climb, jump, etc. just like all the other kids.  And she can do all of those things although some of it is just a tad more difficult for her than for a typically developing child.  But, Jackie is a fighter and she does not let her disability hold her back. 
Jackie is a very smart little girl who is enjoying Kindergarten and doing very well.  She has become quite the social butterfly at school.  That is a stark change from just a year ago when she was too shy to raise her hand to answer questions.
Jackie is also a funny girl.  She is charming, sweet, stubborn, loving, sassy, sensitive, drama queen (which is probably her best attribute).  She loves music, singing, Dora, princess stuff, all things pink,.  And unfortunately, I see evidence that she is also developing the same anxious personality as me. 
Despite all that Jackie has gone through due to her CP, Jackie is just perfect to me and I would not trade her for anything.  Well, maybe sometimes.  But, I do love her so and I hope that as she gets older, Jackie and I will grow closer as mother and daughter.  I want so much to have the relationship that I did not have with my own mother.  I'm determined to make it happen.
Happy Birthday Jackie!  I love you so much, more than words can describe. 

1 comment:

Hollie Lemons said...

I love reading and hearing about birth stories. Each one is different and everyone has a new and interesting story!

Ethan was also breech and I remember the version. UGH! To this day, I say just go with the c-section...don't even try it! It was absolutely one of the most painful things I have ever gone through (even compared to birth) and it didn't work so we had to have the c-section anyway.

I'm glad Jackie's here. She is so adorable, full of life, and such a character. Tell her HAPPY SMURFDAY for me!