I went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy at 8 weeks and got to see my little baby not yet looking like a person, but nonetheless knowing that there was indeed life growing inside of me. I was so excited and felt so blessed, then a week later I get a phone call from my doctor's office saying that because of the conditions that initially made it difficult for me to get pregnant, I was being declared a "high risk" pregnancy and I would have to see a specialist (when we initially were told of the complications, we were told that it would be difficult to get pregnant, but if we did, the pregnancy itself would be "no big deal"). Throughout the pregnancy they warned me that I was at a greater risk of having a miscarriage in both the first and second trimesters, that my baby would likely be born very early and thus very small and spend many difficult days in the NICU fighting for his/her life. I was advised not to travel after 24 weeks, because they felt that at that point I could go into labor at any time, and I would want to be home so that he would be in the NICU at home and I could visit and such more easily. 24 weeks is the current medical threshold for which they will try to save the baby, babies born before that time are considered miscarried. I always told the baby, you will make it until at least 37 weeks, for your momma's sake and he did. In fact, he made it to 38 weeks.
So while we are in the delivery room at 38 weeks and I am in pain and enduring back-to-back contractions for about 5.5 hours, at the same time, I am rejoicing that we made it this far and all should be well. Then his monitor shows that he is having issues with his heart pumping and they put me on oxygen to try to help him out and it's not working and then his heart stops during several contractions. Fear overwhelmed me. All during the pregnancy I could sort of ignore the doctors and believe that the God that allowed me to get pregnant in the first place would also allow me to carry this baby to viability and while there were days that fear overtook me, for the most part I was OK. Now, I was not OK. I was scared that even though we had made it this far, that my perfect little son, was going to be taken away from me. That those few days that all I could do was cry because my mind was flooded with the notion that I would never get to meet my son on Earth were true. I cried out to Nathaniel and inwardly prayed that he would be OK, despite what it looked like. When he was born, crying, with an emergency C-section a little while later, both Ben and I sighed with relief and rejoiced again for our little miracle boy.
They didn't show me him right away and no one really said anything to me about him. I eventually heard the APGAR scores of 8 and 9, and was thrilled with them after such a traumatic time. But maybe 30 to 45 minutes after his birth the NICU nurse who was sent to examine him because of the C-section, came over to me and said, "Your son is fine. He's scrawny, no, that's mean, he's really skinny. But, he shouldn't have made it. I have no explanation. Congratulations." I should have said, "I know why he made it, because God answered my prayers for him." but I didn't, total missed opportunity there, but I was just so shocked at her words that I had trouble comprehending what she said. In fact the only thing I did say was, "but, he's fine, right?" To which, she affirmed that he was and walked away.