I remember laying wide awake with dark circles under my eyes, in deep silence, listening to the thunder crashing in the distance. I was extremely sleepy but I rolled out of bed anyway, feeling like a drunkard. It had been weeks since I slept well. It was the last week in a very hot July and I was 42 weeks pregnant with my first baby and my anxiety was through the roof. I had tried everything from going off-roading, taking long walks, castor oil, and so many other old wives tails to try to start my labor. Nothing worked. The day had finally arrived when the doctor had agreed to induce the labor with medication. I spent that next night in the hospital while the medication was trying to take effect. Even though I was given oxytocin, I was still not progressing on my own.
I was scheduled for more labor-inducing drugs at 7:30am then admitted to a labor and delivery room and hooked up to fetal monitors that produced a reading of my contractions and the baby’s heart rate.
In between what were finally becoming more steady contractions, I let my mind wander and recalled a less stressful moment in time, just a few weeks prior, We still hadn’t settled on a name and he was due to be born within weeks. I remember exactly where we were. We were in the car and I was driving with my husband in the passenger’s seat. We had a bible in the car with us. We had originally chosen so many different names that we couldn’t decide on one that we liked the best. I thought it would be fun to open the bible and point to a name and try it on for size. Mike happened to open to the story of the Prophet, Daniel in the Lion’s Den. Daniel was not a name we had considered in the past but I loved it. The next name he landed on was Jacob. Daniel Jacob. We immediately fell in love with how it sounded with our last name. “This trumps all the other names we had come up with,” we thought. It had such a nice ring to it. We agreed that would be the name of our son.
Baby Daniel must have been comfortable where he was because he hung on, seeming to not want to brave the world just yet. We expected him to have been in our arms two weeks ago. We were more than ready to welcome him into our home that was well prepared for him.
His birth was rough on the three of us. It wasn’t just tough for his father and I, but for him as well. My mother had lost a child moments after he was born two years before me so when we lost Daniel’s heartbeat during labor, I couldn’t keep calm, which is what he needed me to do. He had gone into distress and I was right there with him. As I was screaming and crying, not knowing a thing that was going on because no one was talking to me, I longed to see my mother’s face. Unfortunately, she was 2,000 miles away sitting by the phone waiting to hear the news of his birth. I pictured having to tell her this birth was a repeat of her own tragedy. I couldn’t face losing him.
I remember that our friends had been there visiting when this happened and they never left the room. I was so conscious of this fact and was very uncomfortable. I felt like this was such a private moment and I just wanted it to be the three of us. My husband was there as well but he was pushed to the side by the swarm of medical professionals that were working on both of us and trying to discern their next move. He was too big to travel through the birth canal and became stuck. Panic set in even further of course when I was quickly forced to the edge of the bed so they could break my water to evaluate him. They took a sample of blood from his head and read the heart rate again. HIs heart was beating again but it was very weak. I remember that they rushed me over to surgery and everything was such a whirlwind. I don’t remember much after that until I awoke in a panic and realized there was no baby crying next to me and I couldn’t remember having held him.
A nurse was right by my side, thankfully. She eased my fears. Daniel Jacob was fine. He was just in the nursery being monitored and waiting for me to recover. He had a few issues after the C-section. Due to his length of stay at the Inn, he had matured too much and swallowed meconium, making it hard for him to catch his first breath. After 30 hours of labor and delivery, he was born at 10 pounds, 4 ounces and was 23 1/4 inches long. He was the biggest baby in that New Mexico hospital, where the average birth weight was under 6 pounds. They had to have someone go out and buy a larger size package of diapers just for him. It is the truth when I say that he was holding his head up in the nursery before we left. The nurses in the maternity ward had a running joke that, “This one is ready for college!”
It seems like a lifetime has passed and that’s exactly where he is now, in college. We are so very grateful for the nurses, midwives and surgical team that ensured his safe delivery. Life would not be the same without him in it. His love binds us all together and mends all things. He believes he has found the love of his life and is studying to be a mechanic.
Thank you to the staff of the University of New Mexico Hospital Maternity Ward for bringing this man to us safely, so many years ago.
The Sunday Whirl is a Facebook site that inspires you to write something that includes 12 words that they assign for the given week. This week’s are
edge, trumps, drunkard, world, mends, binds, prophe t, born, expected, circles, sleepy and thunder. I am pleased to not only bring you this story but to share it with Daniel himself as well as the hospital who made it possible to do so.
Thank you for reading this. I hope you will check out more stories from The Peace And Happiness Project for inspirations. tips and tools to reduce your stress and ways to increase your peace and happiness. (See the side bar to the right for more articles.) Feel free to share anything on this site as well as my other blog, Where the Ghosts Live ~ Missy Bell.