A Small Miracle

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Motivated by Camp Patton’s birth story link-up I have decided to share with you my little one’s birth story. Don’t worry it’s not gross or anything, but it was very unique and truly a miracle in itself.

I was 25 yrs. old and a newlywed when we found out I was pregnant. We were “following” NFP, well, at least we were trying to, so I can’t really say we were surprised. My pregnancy was mostly uneventful, there was some nausea, food cravings, swollen feet, but nothing out of the ordinary. Except, that I was still working as a line cook, in a high volume restaurant. Which means that I was standing for 8-10 hrs., carrying heavy items, was subjected to high temperatures (standing in front of a stove), and was under quite a bit of pressure, but besides being exhausted at the end of the day I was feeling great.

It was around my fourth month of pregnancy when we found out that my mother-in-law had breast cancer. We were living in CA and she was in MD. Two months passed and we still hadn’t gone to see her. She had already started chemo, but every time we talked to her over the phone she kept insisting she was fine. We finally requested time off from work and went to MD. What we encountered when we got there took our breath away. Before chemo my mother-in-law was a vivacious, strong-willed, and energetic woman, but now all she could do was lay on the couch and get up for an occasional glass of water. I could see the pain in my husband’s face, the worry in his eyes, and I could sense how powerless he felt at not being able to do anything for his mother. She was happy to see us though, and so were we.

She had a wonderful support system in her friends and family, and they would stop by and bring meals, and stay with her for some time, but she was alone for several hours a day. The day before we were supposed to leave for CA I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was supposed to stay. I tried to ignore it, because that would mean I would have to quit my job over the phone, I would me delivering the baby in MD, and would need to find a new doctor and hospital. Besides, I had only packed clothes for one week! Well, I couldn’t ignore the inspirations of the Holy Spirit any longer and told my husband that I thought I should stay. I think he was shocked at my suggestion, but relieved at the same time. So I did it, I stayed. Thankfully, everything was arranged with the insurance so I could deliver in MD, I called work and explained the situation ( I was going to quit work soon anyway, because I was having contractions during service), and we bought plane tickets so that my husband could come back a couple of days before the due date.

I was seven months pregnant, 34 weeks, and had been at my mother-in-law’s house for about a month, when one morning at 6am I began having what I assumed were contractions. I called the midwife and she said I should try to go back to sleep and drink some tea, but if the contractions were consistent and getting closer I should call again. I was able to go back to sleep, and the contractions went away for a while. I had inconsistent contractions for the rest of the day, so I just assumed it was false labor. My mother-in-law was having a good day, so we went grocery shopping and out to dinner. Around 10pm I talked to my mom on the phone and did pilates. After that, the contractions started to hurt a bit more, but they were still inconsistent. I took two tylenol PM and decided to go to sleep! It was 11:00pm when my husband called to say hello and he noticed I was in pain, he said I should go to the hospital, but I didn’t want to. My mother-in-law was having a rough night and the only one that could take me was my father-in-law, which I was uncomfortable with. Finally after my husband demanded that I go to the hospital, I called the midwife and asked my father-in-law to take me to the there.

By the time I got to the hospital I knew I was in labor, duh! Contractions were coming hard and fast. I had not packed a bag, I was wearing my pj’s, and my father-in-law had dropped me off while he parked, so I walked myself to labor and delivery. When I got there the nurses asked me to fill out some paperwork, but I was in pain, real pain. I could barely remember my name. I filled it out as best I could and they took me to an exam room. It was there the nurse realized that I was 7 centimeters dilated! Everything after that was like a scene from a movie. The nurse turns to look at me and says, ” You’re having this baby now!”  I panicked, I called my husband, I told him to call some of our friends that lived in MD, I needed someone, anyone, I couldn’t deliver this baby alone. Suddenly there were 3 more nurses in the room, one was calling the NICU, another kept asking me if I wanted an epidural, and still another asked me who was going to be my support during the delivery. My husband was not able to get a hold of any of our friends.

It was then that I realized I was going to have the baby alone. My eyes filled with tears, I didn’t know where I was going to get the strength to do this. I told myself that even if my husband were there I was the only one that was going to push that baby out, not him, the only thing I needed was God. The midwife arrived and I am so thankful for her, she walked me through the contractions and kept saying, ” You can do this, you can do this.”  She reminded me that I had planned on a natural birth, so there was no epidural. By now I was in a delivery room, and there were two labor and delivery nurses, 3 NICU nurses with an incubator, and the midwife. I had quite the audience! My husband kept calling to see how I was, until I yelled into the phone, ” I’m trying to have a baby here, stop calling!”

Then came the moment of truth, the baby was crowning, and there was pushing, and pain, so much pain. I asked the midwife if she could hand me the rosary from my purse, if anyone was going to help me through this it was going to be Mother Mary. I held the rosary tight in my hand and just kept repeating, ” Virgencita, ayudame (little virgin, please help me).” Suddenly, everything around me became blurry, and I felt God’s sweet embrace. There was peace in my heart, the pain was still there, but He was there, so the pain didn’t matter anymore. It was almost like I was surrounded by angels.

Our baby boy was born around 3:00 am and he weighed 4 lbs. 5 oz. He was whisked away to the NICU and I was taken to another room. I couldn’t go to sleep so I just kind of laid there staring at the ceiling. (I wasn’t able to see the baby until several hours later.) I began to have horrible thoughts and feelings. Feelings of resentment towards my mother-in-law, anger towards her cancer, and sadness because I had gone through this alone. Just then someone knocked on the door. ” I am from St. Mary’s Catholic Church, would you like to receive communion?”, a well dressed lady said. I could barely hold my tears back, at the very moment I was having those horrible thoughts, Jesus came to visit me, literally!

Our little one was in the NICU for two weeks, but is now a healthy little boy with no apparent health problems! A true blessing. Later on my mom mentioned that she had asked our Priest friend if he could say a special prayer for me so that my delivery would go well, and that he had said, ” Of course, I will pray for a legion of angels to be there with her.”

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