Suddenly I turned into my mother! I wanted to share Jesus with everyone! I wanted to go back and ask forgiveness for anything and everything I had ever done to anyone!
My husband and I joined a non-denominational church and got very involved in the music ministry and working with teens. As young as we were, we felt that it gave us an understanding edge. I started going to a Bible Study on Wednesdays-Kay Arthur was the teacher-way before Precept Ministries…but the insight and learning that I obtained stays with me to this day.
I worked part time-first at Sears in the Jr High section. I could still wear the clothes and loved the selling part. Back then, there were contests for most sales, etc and being the Atype competitive person I am-I always had to win-even over the full time people. But it was a lot of fun for me. The hard part was working till 9 some nights, but my husband was still in school and studying so he couldn’t miss me, right?
Eventually we believed the Doctors about not having any children and moved to a one bedroom apt off campus. We were neighbors with some great friends and close to Tech, to shopping and restaurants and not that far from our church. I think we were in that apartment about 3 months when I started being unable to keep anything I ate, down! I called the Dr and of course, no one thought I was pregnant-it had to be something else! But after a blood test, it was confirmed, I was pregnant again. Hallelujah! This time I thought for sure everything would be fine. I was so sick at my stomach all day long and at night too. That part was awful and I had to take medicine and get shots for it. But then we were on the way into a football game and I started spotting heavily! I couldn’t believe that we were going to go through this again. I was put to bed-just got up to eat and go to the bathroom and finally a month later I was allowed up-still pregnant! At about 4 months, I was suddenly hit with the worst pain I had ever had and we rushed to the hospital. I was told after the exam that the muscles that had been cut to “restring” my uterus were now being stretched by a growing baby and what I was experiencing were muscle spasms. If I remember correctly it was also the first night I heard the baby’s heartbeat-strong and steady. That was great, but as the baby grew, the muscle spasms continued and I was given Valium to help! Remember this was 1972! Otherwise, my belly continued to grow and I was so happy! God was giving me my heart’s desire! At 5 1/2 months, I woke from an afternoon nap to feel my belly contracting. I called my mom and she came and immediately took me to the doctor’s office. After the exam, we were told that my cervix had thinned out and my body was preparing for labor. The only thing to do at that point was to go back to bed for the duration and hope I could stop any active contractions with medication. My mom took me straight back to her house and called my husband. He moved our necessary things into the “in-law” suite that they had and I started a new world in bed.
At first you sleep a lot. But then you can’t sleep at night, so you have to entertain yourself during the days. I did watch TV, I listened to tapes, I read-after a month I was completely bored, but I had to stay down. My mom had the idea of my embroidering bibs, then she got me material to make a baby quilt–so I did stay busy. We did make some trips to the hospital during the next 2 1/2 months when my contractions would get to 2 minutes, but the dr was always able to stop them.
Then on March 12th, going to the table to eat breakfast, my water broke. My brothers and sisters still at home were little and thought it was so funny that their big sister had wet her pants. I was just glad that my mom was there to take charge. Once more we went to the hospital. I hadn’t dilated and back then, they wanted every extra hour in the womb they could get for the baby. So once more, we came back home. In the early morning hours of the 13th, really strong contractions started and when they were again timeable, we took off for the hospital–about 5am. Back then, they did all manner of things to prepare a woman to give birth that I won’t go into-but let me say, that things today are very different! This was a beginning time for the husband to be in the labor and delivery rooms and so my husband was with me. I remember after 2 hours of hard, almost continuous contractions thinking–was I crazy? I had done this on purpose to myself and there was no going back! I wasn’t dilating very quickly even with the contractions, but finally got to the point I could have an epidural. Thank God for that invention!! It completely took away the pain and we played cards all afternoon. Finally, around 6-6:15, I was ready to deliver. We went into the operating room-yes they still did that then- and here comes Melissa Karen. I watched in the overhead mirror. What a miracle that was! She was fine. I was not. I was bleeding out. My uterus had just stopped contracting-tired, I guess. I remember thinking before I went out (gas?) all this only to die now?
When I woke up, I was told what a great doctor I had. He had really saved me that day. About midnight, I got up, took a shower and walked down to the nursery to see my little girl. She was tiny 5lbs 12oz. and fit in the space between my hand and my elbow-which if you know me-is short! I thought she was beautiful. My little miracle. About 24 hours after she was born, Melissa was still very lethargic, didn’t want to nurse and began to turn yellow. And I mean YELLOW. Her eyes, her whole body was yellow. Her billirubin count was at 19, the highest the hospital had ever had. A specialist was brought in and they begain to treat her with meds and ultraviolet light. Once again, I thought-after all this-to lose her? She had ecoli in her system from my fluid and we were told it was going to take awhile for her to get better. So I left the hospital, again without a baby in my arms, not knowing what was going to happen.
This is where I went back to my God who had given me my heart’s desire. I begged Him for her life. I spent the next 2 wks most days at the hospital in the nursery. Rocking, loving, kissing, soothing, feeding my baby. At some point, I felt like a Mack truck had run over me and I had to rest more. Even though I had lost a lot of blood, it wasn’t quite enough for a transfusion, so I had a lot to build back up. One other “fun” thing I experienced was finding out I was allergic to iodine/betadine in a topical spray or ointment. Back then, this is what was used to help the episiotomy to heal! Not mine! Oh that hurt!
Finally after 2 weeks, Melissa was allowed to come home! She slept in a bassinet right next to me and ate every 2 hours. I think for that first month-all either of us did was eat and sleep!
Now my sweet girl is all grown up with children of her own! THREE girls! and she just pops them out! Where is the justice?