Monday, January 19, 2009

About Us

My name is Mel. I am the mother to 3 boys ages 11, 9, and almost 5. My youngest, Crew, has Cerebral Palsy and severe hearing loss.

Our story begins February 2004. My husband and I eagerly awaited the arrival of our 3rd child. At 39 weeks gestation I awoke sometime after 4 AM with what I thought were labor pains. I was so excited that our baby was almost here. I got up and puttered around the house, played some solitaire on the computer and waited. Well, I didn’t have to wait long until the pain became so intense that I had shortness of breath. My stomach was hard like a giant contraction and I felt very lightheaded. I woke up my husband and told him to grab the overnight bag. As he was getting ready I headed out to the car. I was so weak that I ended up crawling out to the car. My husband jumped in and as we backed out of the driveway we immediately noticed we would be traveling through a blizzard.

The roads were deep with snow and it was falling quickly. Apparently, we beat the snowplows that early February morning. The interstate hadn’t been plowed at all and I remember clinging to the door handle thinking that if we slid off the road I was going to die. My stomach was still hard and I mentioned to my husband that I couldn’t time the contractions because I couldn’t tell when they stopped and when they started.

The 25 minute drive to the hospital took over 45 minutes. We promptly checked into L&D (I had to use a wheelchair) and I asked to be checked immediately. Because of the pain, I expected the nurse to find that I was dilated to an 8 or more. Unfortunately, she found that I was only dilated to a 3! She checked for the baby’s heartbeat and I immediately knew something was wrong. It took the nurse some time to find a heartbeat and when she did it was very faint and SLOW.

Within seconds my room was filled with various medical personnel and they were wheeling me into the OR. I entered the OR at 6:06 and Crew was delivered via C-section at 6:11 am. The long anticipated moment when the doctor would exclaim, “It’s a BOY, or It’s a GIRL” never came.

My baby was whisked away before I ever caught a glimpse of him. I was paralyzed with fear not knowing if my baby had made it and didn’t ask because I didn’t want to know. As the doctor was sewing me up, a nurse asked if I knew what gender my child was. I told her that we wanted it to be a surprise. She said, “You have a very beautiful baby BOY but he is very sick”.

Medical staff worked for 25 minutes to stabilize Crew. He spent the first 3 weeks in the NICU. I held him for the first time when he was 6 days old. His NICU nickname was “The MOOSE” because that’s what he looked like next to the preemies. One doctor after another commented that at first they wondered what he was doing there until they read his chart. Medically there isn’t an explanation for his survival. A complete placental abruption is to blame for his extended period without oxygen.

Five years later I can finally tell his story without trembling. We have gone through all the stages of grief. Also, I have experienced the love of our Savior like never before. Crew is a wonderful gift and I love him just the way he is. Yes, he does struggle to ambulate and communicate but I’ve seen how his spirit touches people like no-one else can.

Today, Crew uses a walker for short distances. At a recent IEP it was reported that his word bank has hit 60 words (75% ASL). The sign language is just now taking off so I look forward to an increase in communication over the next little while.

I look forward to getting to know all of you and learning from you.

14 comments:

Melissa said...

Welcome Mel! I am excited to get to know you! This has been such a wonderful blessing to me, I hope you find what you are looking for too. You have an amazing story and I can see you will be a help to all of us.

Happy in Holland said...

Thanks for sharing your story, Mel. I also had a placental abruption, and they are scary things. I know exactly what you mean when you say that you couldn't time the contractions because you couldn't tell when one ended and another one started. Luckily for me, my abruption was just partial--I know it could have been so much worse. I'm glad you are here, and I look forward to sharing stories and advice with you!

Liz said...

What a special little boy. I can just imagine how much he does touch the people around him. I understand traumatic births, and how difficult it can be to tell your story. Grief is a journey isn't it? The good news is, this is a great place to share. I'm glad you're here. :)

Lori said...

Welcome Mel. I'm glad you came along. I'm so glad we've met through our blogs, you're one amazing woman. I didn't know your story and this makes you even more wonderful in my eyes. Blast those placental abruptions, they hurt like the dickens.

Glad you're here.

Mel said...

Thank you everybody for your sweet comments! It's so nice to have the support. I've often said, "I wish I could have my bloggy friends as next door neighbors".

Luke and Erin said...

I am glad you are here! It can be a rough road, but like you said our kids can touch people in ways we can't. You sound like a strong person and I look forward to learning more about you!

Anita Nap said...

Welcome to the group. What a scary beginning for Crew (and you and your husband). I'm glad he survived.

When Marshall was born, they said my placenta was in pieces everywhere. It was not good.

Katie said...

Hello! What an inspiring story! Kids like Crew and the rest of our children are such miracles. I am glad that you are here with us, I can tell you have a lot to share.

Nancy Brown said...

Oh I LOVE Crew... Welcome Mel. Thanks for joining. YAY! you have so much experience and I love what you have to say!

Wheelchair said...

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
Pediatric Wheelchair

Keep Posting:)

Wheelchair said...

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
Chair For Cerebral Palsy Child

Keep Posting:)

Wheelchair said...

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
Best Wheelchair For Heavy Person

Keep Posting:)

Wheelchair said...

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
Karma Km 2500

Keep Posting:)

Wheelchair said...

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.
Lightweight Folding Wheelchairs

Keep Posting:)