Caleb's Birth Story
The story of the birth of my son Caleb is unlike anything I imagined it to be. My husband and I tried to conceive naturally for approximately seven years. At the end of my emotional rope, I decided to consult a fertility specialist. Just two weeks after the $200 consultation I realized I was five weeks pregnant! (Boy, that doctor is good!)
During the first trimester I spotted and cramped and feared every day that I would lose the child it took so long to conceive. The remainder of the pregnancy went well. I was more tired than usual and was no longer working. I took advantage of afternoon naps, but stayed active by doing volunteer work, at-home yoga, and breathing exercises.
At 35 weeks, my water broke in the middle of the night. I was excited about having the baby but also very alarmed because the fluid was full of meconium. We got to the hospital around 2 AM and the nurse put a heart monitor on my tummy to listen to our son’s heartbeat. It was very irregular, jumping up and plunging back to nearly nothing. My doctor came in and said it was time for a C-section immediately.
The whole ordeal was nothing like what I’d seen on television programs. There was no excited, “It’s a boy!” from the doctors. There were no congratulations. Caleb was taken by the nurses and his lungs were sucked free of fluids. After a short time, he let out his first wail. I’ve never heard such a wonderful sound. After five days in the hospital, I was released but Caleb stayed in NICU for eleven days. His glucose levels were irregular and he was not yet four and a half pounds.
Finally we were all able to come home and be a family. A few days after Caleb came home, I was having trouble with my back. I couldn’t get comfortable no matter what I tried. I thought it was from lack of sleep or sleeping crooked when I was able to sleep. After four days of agony, I called my OB and thankfully he was able to see me that morning. He listened to my lungs and felt around on my back. By this time I couldn’t take a deep breath and was in so much pain I wanted to cry. My doctor admitted he wasn’t sure exactly what was wrong but he heard fluid in my lungs and sent me for a CAT scan immediately.
The CAT scan revealed a blood clot in my lung. I was told later that at some point during my pregnancy, a clot had formed in my leg and after my son’s birth, a piece broke off and was lodged in my lung. I was readmitted to the same hospital I had just left and was given Heparin intravenously to break down the clot. After four days I was allowed to go home.
I am still on blood thinners and it has now been seven months. My hematologist said that I have genetic tendencies for clotting although I never knew about this before. A pregnant woman’s blood volume doubles and my blood was too thick to travel quickly enough through my body, and therefore started to clot.
My son has been healthy and strong from birth. He is now eight months old and has caught up with children his age in weight and height. I tell the story of my health problems because I have never heard of this happening to anyone. Had I not seen my doctor that day, I’m sure I would not be here with my husband to raise Caleb.
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