This morning, I was walking my children down the driveway for their very last day of the school year. My Son went to the mailbox and handed me a stack of envelopes. On the very top was the news letter for the Preeclampsia foundation. I had wondered at first if it were only a coinincidence, perhaps this news letter was sent to all women, or perhaps I was meant to receive it today. Because only moments before my Son handed me the mail, I looked at my little girl, proud, that today would be her last day of Kindergarten, and I looked up to the sky with a grateful smile, because I remember the very day I almost lost her.
On October 22, 2005, I was rushed to the hospital in the back of an ambulance. I was seven and half months pregnant with my third child. I had been a reading a story on the couch with my little boy around 1 pm, I was getting him ready to take a nap. As his little eyes started to close, I gently slid off the couch not to bother him, and as I quietly stood to my feet, I felt a cush of blood start to flow. I paused for a moment with a frigtened feeling, and put my hands inside of my pants, hoping that there would be no blood, but there was and it kept flowing. That is when I called my husband at work, shaking, telling him something was wrong. I then called 911. An ambulance arrived about 15 minutes later. My Home being way out in the country was a long ride for an emergency response, unfortunatly.
I could tell even the paramedics were nervous, they had never had an experience like me. I was immediatly loaded into the back of the ambulance. I could hear the conversation going on over the radio with the hospital, the paramedics telling them my blood pressure was 210/180, I was beginning to have contractions and was in horrible pain. I stared out the back window as I heard the sirens on the ambulance, I was begging, "Please God, do not take my baby" and I repeated it over and over the entire fourty five minute ride to the nearest hospital. I could not feel any movement inside of my stomach. I was continuing to bleed, and I could see the outline of my baby girl through my shrunken stomach.
When we finally arrived at the hospital, i was told that I had lost my Baby, and that i would need to be rushed into emergency surgery because I had lost a lot of blood, and now they were going to try and save my life. I was still pleadng with "God" to save my baby, as I felt my eyes go to sleep. When I awoke, the first words out of my mouth were, "Where is my Baby, is she alive?"
The nurse told me my baby was alive, and that she is with the Doctor as she layed me back down on the pillow. That was all I needed to hear, I took a deep breath and closed my eyes again.
A month prior to the birth, I had been having a few complications in my pregancy that I had reported to my doctor. My left arm would go numb quite often, and I had been more swollen than I had with my other Children, Some days I would find myself being lightheaded and dizzy, even seeing spots in my eyes. My blood pressure had even been higer than usual. I was 140/90, which was pretty high for me, because my average was usually 120/70. I was told by my doctor that it was not too unusual for a pregant women to have higher blood pressure, and that I should not be worried. he said all of my symptoms were normal. I felt like something was wrong, but I also felt relieved and trusted my doctor. I wanted to be that glowing pregnant woman, a strong woman that could easily handle a normal pregnancy. I still to this day find myself being regrettful for not being more persistent, because I knew something was not right.
Two days had passed in the hospital and I was unable to see my Baby, she was in an incubator and I could barely move, or keep my eyes open. I was very weak from all of the blood I had lost, but inbetween my coherency i would hear doctors coming into the room, talking to my family about me and and my Baby Girl. She was having a lot seizures and they were not sure she would survive, and that she would be brain damaged because of her time without any oxegen. I remeber laying there not feeling worried, I knew she was alive, after what her and I had been through, I did not feel worried anymore. I could hear my family sobbing in the room, for both her and I, worried that they could loose us both. But I never felt worried, not anymore.
As the days passed, I was given a blood transfusion, and i slowly I began to regain some strength. I was finally taken to the room, to meet my little girl. She was tiny, with tubes hooked all around her in her incubator. I was not allowed to touch her, but I could open a small window and whisper in her ear. She was different looking than my other children. We are tan with dark hair and dark eyes, and there layed this little girl with a hint of reddish hair and pale skin, small and precious, evven with her eyes closed, I knew she was a strong little girl, fighting for her life, because she wanted to be here.
I was told that my baby girl was born stillborn, she was not breathing. And by law, cpr was performed on her for four minutes, on the fourth minute a young new nurse was told to quit trying to resuscitate my baby girl, But the nurse being young and new, did not want to give up, and Josephine took her first breath on the seventh minute.
I was also told later by the Doctors that I had preeclampsia, and because it went untreated I had an abruption. And that my daughter and I were both very lucky to be alive, that the survival rate was less than 5% for Mother and Child. I had no doubt that her and I were lucky to be alive, and I am grateful for it everyday, and I have often wondered why her and I were the lucky ones.
I was told that baby Josephine, would be brain damaged, and may never walk or learn to eat on her own, as the years went by she continued to have seizures, and still to this day has some odd illnesses that appear once a month, almost exactly to the day, but she still is determined to be here, and she is still a little fighter, and everyday she impresses me more and more.
She did learn to eat on her own, and now she is walking, and today she is completing her last day of school as a Kindergartner. She may not know her whole alphabet yet, but she can draw the most beautiful picture of a Butterfly I have ever seen, and she will sit and sing her own sweet songs all day long. Josephine is precious and everyday i am grateful for her. And here today, i receive this news letter, and it appears to be the perfect day to finally share her story.