There are a lot of people who don’t believe in miracles. I think that this may be because we don’t always talk about them when they happen to us.
Miracles are like tragedies in that they are very personal, and we keep them close to our hearts and do not share them. But today I am going to share one of my biggest, most personal miracles.
September 2009 was an exciting month for me! I was expecting my third child, and though it was quite a surprise I couldn’t have been more happy. The pregnancy had gone quite well (as opposed to my pregnancy with my middle child, which was fraught with illness, anxiety and depression). There were no concerns for my health or the baby’s and we were all ready. K was born on her due date and M 10 days early, so when my due date came and went we were surprised but decided to patiently wait for the baby to be ready.
Finally, almost a week late, it was time to go to the hospital! All three of my labors were medication free, but this time we had hired an amazing doula to help me have a natural-as-possible-in-a-hospital and relaxed labor and birth. It was an amazing experience, and I would recommend a doula to anyone!
I remember the moment each of my children were born. With K & M there was that mixture of relief, wonder and excitement. With A there was a split second of excitement followed by terror.
As soon as the baby was born, the doctor said “It’s a girl!” Then I heard…
I knew something was very wrong. They tried to reassure me, but a mother knows when their child is not ok. A was not breathing. Even now I can’t stand to look at the pictures my husband took of her immediately after birth. She was purple. Very purple and not ok. They rushed her off to a warming bed with an oxygen tent. I was not allowed to see her for an hour, not allowed to hold her for about 9 hours.
After those 9 hours she was breathing well on her own and able to regulate her temperature, and she was the healthiest little thing, only having one real illness the first 2 years of her life. She now suffers from asthma (which she developed after I weaned her at 2 years 3 months of age, which to me shows the power of breastfeeding), but it has not been severe. She is an amazing little girl, intelligent, loving, fun, friendly, and caring and empathetic well beyond her years.
The doctor said the cord was wrapped around her neck, and that the placenta was starting to fail. But that’s not the amazing part. That she recovered so well from that rough start is amazing, but not totally unusual, maybe not a miracle.
But this is…
The doctor said there was a knot in the cord. A true knot. She had never even seen one before. She didn’t know what to say. I wasn’t really sure what that meant and for a while I was so thankful to have my precious girl, and still shaken up from having almost lost her, that I was afraid to even look it up. From the wonderment in my doctor’s voice I knew it was something big.
This is what I found: very little. A true knot in the cord is rare. It generally happens early in the pregnancy when the baby is still small enough to move around a lot to create the knot. It is rarely found by ultrasound or any other test, because once it happens the baby is unable to get nutrition and soon dies. Even if it does happen to be found on a test there is really nothing they can do. There was no information on a baby being born alive with a true knot in the cord because it doesn’t happen.
Maybe there is an explanation, but this is what I know: according to statistics, A shouldn’t have made it to full term. She shouldn’t be alive. But she is, and she is the sunshine of our family. She is my easy, laid back child who always wants to make any of us feel better if we are upset or sick. She wants to be a mommy when she grows up. All children are a gift from God; I certainly know mine are. A is a miracle. And if I only ever got one miracle in my life, that’s the one I would choose.