“Are you sure you don’t want to try the forceps or the vacuum?” Dr. Z asked, after I had spent the better part of the past three hours pushing, grunting and contorting my body into unimaginable positions in an effort to release my first born from my pelvic cavity. “During my labor I was determined to have that baby vaginally, since I’d spent so many hours pushing,” she continued on to me, re-living her own labor and delivery experience that thankfully ended in success for her. I, however, didn’t feel like that was in the cards for me.
Connor entered this world at 8:31 p.m. on November 13, 2005. But, he wasn’t crying. Why wasn’t he crying? Why wasn't my baby crying. Newborn babies are supposed to cry!
All of the sudden, all hell broke loose right there in the OR. The baby was rushed off out of my view. I looked up at my husband from my flattened position on the operating table and the fear in his eyes is something I will never forget. Then, tears began rolling down his cheeks as he looked beyond me at whatever they were doing with my baby on the table behind me. He just kept squeezing my hand harder and harder...the rest of him frozen in fear at what he was witnessing.
After several minutes, Connor was stabilized and rushed off to the NICU.
I don’t remember much about that night, other than the on-call pediatrician’s arrival at my bedside about 30 minutes later to brief Chris and I about the crucial next 12-18 hours for our new baby. Connor was down in the NICU all by himself with an air dome over his head and wires hooked up to his poor little 7 pound, 14 ounce body. The doctor explained that due to the stress of the labor, our baby had experienced a bowl movement in the womb, and had swallowed it. I read about the possibility of this happening when I was pregnant, but shouldn’t the doctors have noticed this during my nearly three hours of pushing?
It will be such a joyous time for you! That’s all we’d heard from many friends who were new parents- how wonderful of an experience the birth of our child was going to be. And there we were, alone in our hospital room without our new baby. All we knew to do was pray. And, so that’s what we did - we prayed together. We prayed for God to wrap his loving arms around our newborn baby and give him the strength he needs to make a full recovery. We prayed for peace that surpasses all understanding. We prayed for health and well being for our family.
When we were done praying like we'd never prayed before, Chris presented me with a beautiful necklace to commemorate the birth of our new little boy. And, then he promised me everything was going to be okay, even though I knew he was scared to death. That’s the last thing I remember until the next morning. My body, mind and soul were utterly shattered and drained.
Thank goodness for my persistence to endure a c-section, that I later realized was supported by my mother’s voice telling me what to do that night. A devastating outcome could have resulted in the form of oxygen deprivation, or severe lung problems had my baby boy been forced to endure a strenuous vaginal birth with forceps or a vacuum.
Happy birthday, Connor Lee Murray!