Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Labor Day: August 20, 1994

Warning: Tear-jerker. Keep Kneenex nearby.
Warning Two: Long post


She’s almost fully grown
This woman-child of mine;
The years flew by so fast
For her babyhood days I pine.

Thinking of her
As I gaze at the sky;
Snapshot memories flit
Through my mind’s eye.

She was my little miracle.
Sweet, blonde, and fair.
I long for the fresh smell
Of baby-scented hair.

Her many firsts;
First steps, first day of school…
Her many struggles;
Hernia surgery, recovery…

Teaching and scolding.
Helping her grow…
Learning from mistakes…
Where did the years go?

No longer needs me to
Bandage scraped knees…
She’s a woman-child,
Seeking autonomy.

I still see potential growth.
Learning never ends.
Blossom, my woman-child.
Learning never ends.

So many letting go’s.
I am always near.
Find a purpose, a goal.
I am always here.

July 8, 2007

Poem for my daughter’s 13th birthday-from Shari (Mom)

(It's worth repeating for her 14th birthday, too.)

Labor Day: Saturday, August 20, 1994 at 11:05 a.m.

Flare: 10 weeks old (I was supporting her back and my hand slipped up so that's why the shoulder looks like that.)

I had a pre-natal check-up on Wednesday, three days before Flare was born. This was when all my checkups went from monthly to weekly. It was the last month of my pregnancy.
The doctor said I was dilating two centimeters.

I look at him, exclaiming worriedly, "I am walking around with a hole down there?" (Gimme a break! This was my first pregnancy. You know…fear of the unknown...)

The doctor calmly says in a matter-of-fact tone, "It just means that you are going to have a shorter labor."

I am not going to argue with that. Why should I? I'll take the shorter route. Too much TV. All that shrieking and labor pains I have seen, though I did like the part where they grab the father's hand and squeeze it really hard during contractions...never underestimate the power of a woman..and her revenge.

Still, I say, "But I am gonna walk around like that for another month!!"

He tried to calm me by saying that lots of pregnant women have done this towards the last month. It was pretty common.

I fret about it. I drive home. I take my Golden Retriever/Black Lab mix (though she did have some collie in her, too) out for our daily walk. Krissi loved walking. It was “our” time.

The next day I go to work. My co-worker (who happened to be my future SIL) gave me some baby stuff with money that she collected from the people in the department I worked in. It was sort of a mini-baby shower from my co-workers. I got a baby bath tub and a bunch of baby bath supplies. Since she was at my baby shower the previous Saturday, she knew what I received and what I didn't get from the shower.

But I did not feel right. I look for my supervisor and tell him I wanted to go home. It was Thursday morning. I didn't even start work yet. I just clocked out just before starting time.

I go home. I call the doctor. I get a 10:30 appt. He tells that I am fine. Go home. I feel like a hypochondriac.

I call my mom and Gramma. They come over to see me. They calm me down. I just didn't feel “right.”

The next day I just called in a day of vacation. I felt a lot better. I decided to go shopping. I stock up on diapers and look at baby clothes. I bump into a co-worker who was also pregnant. She was due anytime. I was not due for another month (September 18).

Off and on during the night, I had a funny pain in my back. It was just “there”. I felt some fluttering in my stomach. I learned later that the baby was hiccuping.

My husband (now ex-husband) needed me to take him to work. I complained about my back and how I didn't feel right. He had a delivery he had to make. (He was driving a dump truck at the time.) My "delivery" was another month. It was 3:30 a.m. At this time, my night vision wasn't bad. I could see well enough in the dark. I was 27 years old. I drop him off and he started up the dump truck.

Back at home, I try to get some sleep on the couch. Krissi stayed close to me. I am sure she sensed that mommy wasn't feeling right.

Finally, at 7 a.m., I called my sister-in-law. I asked her what labor pains felt like. I told her I didn't feel right. She comes over. I wasn't in pain. I just didn't feel right. I just had a funny twinge in my back. She called the hospital. The doctor on call asked her some questions. How far apart are the contractions? I shrug my shoulders. I don't know. I didn't time them. It wasn't painful. The doctor said to call back when the contractions were five minutes apart.

All of a sudden I get a twinge again. She timed me. It was five minutes apart. She calls the hospital again. They tell her to bring me in. She tried to call my then husband, but the dispatcher said he would get a hold of him and send him to the hospital.

So, we get to the hospital at 8 a.m. I ask her if she'd be my "coach" since the father wasn't there. She was excited. At 9:00 I was already dilating 5 cm!! Then at 10:00, it was 7.5 cm! Flare came out at 11:05 a.m. on a bright and sunny Saturday morning. I received no drugs for this.

The father didn't get to the hospital till after 12:00!! (Later I found out he stopped by his step-father's to talk and no one knew where he was!! Of course, I was one month early!! Who's expecting me to go into labor that early?)

Family started pouring in to see me. I was kept in the recovery room. It was three o'clock before the nurse came in again to check my blood pressure. She was saying something about the baby. I ask, thinking why I didn't get to hold my baby yet, "Is there something wrong with her?" The nurse gave me a kind of a tight-lipped grimace and said, "The doctor will talk to you." That chilled my heart. Now I was worried. I was freaking out. I was a new mom. Don't they reunite baby and mom after the baby's cleaned up? It's been four hours!!

Then I was moved to a room. The pediatrician on call said that she had some complications. It didn't hit me yet. She was in a ventilator. Her x-rays showed that she had her bowels in her chest cavity. She had congenital diaphragmatic hernia. He noticed that the heart was beating in the wrong area in her chest. This was why he ordered x-rays. It was slowly sinking in to me. Her insides were crowded in her chest cavity. This stuff does not happen. It happens to other people!!

I was in total shock. At 7 p.m., eight hours after she was born, she was flown Flight for Life (medic helicopter) to Children's Hospital in Milwaukee. She was the youngest in the family to ever fly in a helicopter.

She was operated on two days later and stayed there for nine weeks.

August 24-three days post-op. So many tubes sticking into her tiny hands and feet!! They had her sedated so she wouldn't move.

August 27-one week after she was born. It was the first time I held her. I was so worried about pulling out the tubes by accident.

She was breathing on her own almost immediately. She stayed at the hospital for the first nine weeks of her life. (Dismissal day: Oct. 21, 1994.)

Since then, she's had been a very healthy, very normal child.

Happy Birthday, Flare!!

You're a miracle!!




At Wed Aug 20, 06:26:00 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Happy Birthday to your miracle child! (What an ordeal for you both at the beginning.)

I love the poem!

At Wed Aug 20, 09:24:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy, happy birthday Flare!! I hope your day is wonderful! :)

I had no idea you went through so much on your original birth-day. I'm so glad everything worked out and you're okay now!

Shari, your labor story is one that every woman dreams of. "I just didn't feel right" and then you were dilated 5 cm! Wow!! Hopefully your girls will inherit your tendency toward easy labor. :)

Have a great day and eat lots of cake!!! :D

~ Wendi

At Wed Aug 20, 06:23:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Flare!!!!!! You are a survivor and a miracle. Of course you, your sister and Mom are beautiful ladies.!!!!

HUGS, Molly CC

At Wed Aug 20, 11:00:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, a very tough start for you both! What a precious miracle she is. Happy Birthday!!

At Thu Aug 21, 04:35:00 PM , Blogger Shari said...

Thanks, everyone. Flare says thanks, too.

At Thu Aug 21, 07:09:00 PM , Blogger contemporary themes said...

Wow! You had me on the edge of my seat. She's a beautiful girl! Happy Birthday!

Lovely poem, too.

At Tue Aug 26, 07:19:00 AM , Blogger Laurie said...

Awww! She's beautiful! Loved the poem. . .it's a keeper!

At Wed Aug 27, 07:52:00 AM , Blogger hillgrandmom said...

Happy birthday to your miracle daughter. Your poem is beautiful. You are one tough woman Shari!


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