I have always told people that I will be writing a book someday. I feel like my life has been very interesting to say the least. My best seller could be on a variety of topics: dating an orthodox Jew that left his religion to be with me, my adventures of being a teacher in an inner city high school,, my crazy life as a military wife...so many options. My mother says I get my writing talent from her mother, my Grandma Joan. She was a real estate broker & always wrote the most interesing property listings. She had a knack for writing our family newsletters & we all looked forward to them every month. I thank her for passing this on to me. Here's my version of a best seller.
I think it's important to start this blog with how Emily entered the world & how this journey all began.....
On April 4, 2009 our sweet Emily Grace was born. My due date was April 18, but I was expecting Emily to come about 2 weeks early since her big brother, Aidan was born 2 weeks early. The doctors kept telling me that nature repeats itself, so I was ready. On April 3, my husband left for training with the National Guard. He would be 2 hours away & would be reachable by cellphone. I was not comfortable staying alone with Aidan in case I went into labor, so I sent him 2 hours away to my parents' house for the weekend.
On Saturday, April 4, I awoke at 4am with sharp contractions. Right away, I knew this was it! The contractons came every six minutes. I wrote all the times down & soon they were coming every 5 minutes. I took a shower, shaved my legs, & did a load of laundry. I knew the baby was coming, but I had some last minute things I wanted to do. Everyone thinks I was crazy for doing that. I remained very calm. I knew my baby girl was on the way & I wanted to be ready...shaved legs & all!
I called Eric at 5am & told him that this could be it & that he should get on the road & meet me at the hospital. I called my doctor & he told me to get to the hospital as soon as possible. I called my girlfriend Barbara who was "on call" for the weekend & told her to meet me at the hospital. She lives 20 minutes away & I thought it was silly to wait for her & then drive 20 minutes to the hospital...too much wasted time.
I stepped outside & loaded my suitcase into the car. It felt strange to be alone & going to the hospital, but I knew I could make it & I wasn't afraid. I remember how quiet & peaceful the neighborhood was. I looked at my neighbors' houses & thinking, "everyone is sound asleep & I am about to have my baby girl!!" It was so exciting to think that the next time I walked into our home, Emily would be in my arms. I couldn't wait!!
I arrived at the hospital & Barb arrived shortly after. While I was waiting, & in full labor, I made phone calls to my parents & my sister. I also texted some co-workers & close friends. Was I out of my mind??!?!?! I wanted everyone to know that Emily would be arriving soon.
I decided that I didn't want any drugs for this birth. I had an epidural with Aidan & I was determined to give the no meds route a try. I knew that Emily was going to be our last child & I thought I should try to experience it. The pain was horrific, like no other. Barb held my hand & supported me. Thank God for her!! I tell her that she saw a side of me she probably never thought she would. We are bonded for life! :) My soul sister!!
Emily Grace was born at 8:33am. . Eric missed her birth by 15 minutes. On his way to the hospital, he was pulled over by a cop for speeding. The cop let him go without a ticket.
Towards the end of the delivery, the doctors were telling me to push. There was an intensity in their voices & in my heart I knew something was wrong. When Emily was born, I did not hear her cry. I remember the silence & it seemed to last forever. I would later find out that the umbilical cord was knotted & around her neck. The doctors did not put her on my chest like they do on all those baby shows & in the movies. They immediately brought her to a warming table across the room. She was there for an hour, but it seemed to last an eternity. Emily was surrounded by a team of doctors from the NICU. I had no idea what was wrong & no one told me. I was so out of it from just giving birth & felt like I was in La La Land.
Eric walked in & went right to Emily. No one congratulated him. They focused on Emily. The head pediatrician came over to me & was babbling on & on. For the life of me I can't remember what he said except for the words, "Down Syndrome". He also said something about Emily's physical features & that they were characteristic of Down Syndrome. I nodded & said, "OK".
I had no idea what the hell was going on.
My parents finally arrived with Aidan, followed by my mother-in-law & my sister. Everyone was so excited to meet Emily. When the doctors finally let me hold Emily, I immediately knew that something about her was different. Her face & head were very swollen & bruised from the umbilical cord. It wasn't that though. Something was different about her. I knew the doctor said Down Syndrome, but I was not thinking Down Syndrome, just different.
The hours that followed were somewhat of a blur. We were swamped with phone calls, text messages, nurses, doctors, friends & family. Emily & I stayed in the hospital for 2 days. My entries will recall & reflect on this time & what has occured since. Thank you for reading our story. I am grateful to share "Our Life With Emmie" with you.