Mama had a very tough time giving birth. She had one kidney that was pesky and didn't like to work properly. This made it very difficult for her to carry a pregnancy to term. That did NOT stop her...oh no. Eight pregnancies, but only three live births.
When Mama was thirty-two she became pregnant. She carried this baby to term, but another problem was evident. Mama had a placenta previa. That means that the placenta instead of attaching at the top or sides of the uterus, developed over the opening of the uterus. So, the placenta was before the baby.
They didn't discover this problem until she began to go into labor. The labor and delivery were diabolical. It lasted for two days. There were no monitors to indicate the babies heart or health condition. At one point Mama left her body. She observed from above the scene the things that were going on.
Leaving her body gave her a space of relief from the excruciating pain, and fear that were wrapped into her current experience. She felt total peace, and love embracing her as she watched the doctor working on the delivery of her baby.
It was too late for the doctor to do a C section because the baby was in the birthing canal, but the placenta was blocking his delivery. Somewhere in the process the cord was wrapped around the babies neck.
He was born, a beautiful eight pound baby boy. The problem was that he was not breathing. They worked with him and on him but it was too late. He was dead.
Mama came back into her body before he was delivered. She spoke of how she felt as though she were being compressed into something tight and confining. There was a noise so loud that it hurt her head. When she was again in her body and aware of her surroundings she realized that the incredibly loud sound that she had heard was the clock on the wall ticking off the minutes and hours of life.
Papa, Howard, and Carla-Rae went to the Memorial Service for
my brother David Mark. Mama couldn't attend, she was still far too
weak and in the hospital.
The incredibly tough delivery, and the death of yet another of her "dreams," sent Mama into shock. She had long periods of time when she simply didn't remember getting from one place to another. Sometimes she would forget as much as 1/2 an hour at a time.
She didn't tell anyone about these blackouts. My Mom was young in a time when the world was still recovering from the extensive wounds of a depression and a world war. The credo was, "Keep a stiff upper lip!" Her lip was extremely stiff...too stiff to share with anyone what was happening to her.
Finally she went in for a postpartum check-up and the doctor found out that she had gone into a trauma induced menopause. It had happened so rapidly (the hormonal fluxes between pregnancy and menopause are huge), that it was causing the blackouts. She no longer had periods...at the age of 32.
Now you may ask, "Where is the miracle in all this suffering?"
The good doctor told Mama that she should NOT become pregnant, ever again. Her body was completely devastated by her many attempts at pregnancy. She should simply not even consider being pregnant again.
Four years later, she again was in labor and delivery. She delivered an 8 pound baby girl. The good Catholic doc who had worked with her throughout the pregnancy didn't make it through California traffic to deliver me. He stood in the back of the room saying to anyone with ears. "Do you know what a miracle is? This baby is all kinds of miracles. Sarah couldn't GET pregnant. She couldn't carry a child to full-term, and she could NOT deliver a child. In addition not long ago the baby was in breech position. Somehow that baby turned, in time for a normal delivery." He elaborated on all of the reasons why this was an impossibility (I will leave it to your imagination to recall all of those reasons).
For my fifty-six years of life Mama has told me often and lovingly that I am a miracle. She counts the many reasons why I am a miracle. I am grateful for every minute of my improbable life that Mama wasn't a quitter. She just knew that the Lord wanted her to have more children, in spite of anything a doctor might tell her.
Any birth is a miracle...if you have been in the room when a baby is born you understand that principle. Yet Mama continues to explain to me why I'm so many types of miracles. I'm so very grateful that Mama had the faith, and strength to dream of children. I adore my parents, and I'm grateful everyday that I had such amazing parents.