Updated: Oct 7
This post contains situations that may be triggering to some, especially those who suffer from PPD or PTSD in the the pregnancy, birthing sense.
I’d say my last real hangover was in my late teens to early twenties. Yet, I wake feeling like I have one nearly everyday.
I finally made the call a couple days ago. It was even harder than I imagined, because it makes me feel nothing less than an inadequate, failing mother.
The call to ask for a referral to a behavior specialist.
The most wonderful part of getting a call back, was that the doctor himself, at the end of his shift, instead of passing it off to someone else, made the call himself.
He didn’t insist on us coming to see him, yet again. He’s our normal peds doctor, but he’s always been very kind and extremely understanding.
I sat and listened as our three options were laid out before me. One referral that could take at the bare minimum 6-9 months to be seen, one that didn’t need a referral but could also take months to be seen, or to travel a bit and get a call in the next week or two for an appointment that shouldn’t be too far out.
I opted for option three. I’m entirely burnt out and I’m running on nothing. How terrible of a mother does this make me? I’ve exhausted all the tips and tricks we’ve been told, we’re sitting on an indefinite wait list for parent/child therapy, and I’ve been asked if I feel like I even have a connection/bond with my baby.
Of course I do, an extraordinary one in fact.
It’s difficult to discuss the day Alvi was born. I still get emotional over it some days, though less than I used. The further we move from it, the less present it is, but there is most certainly some lasting PTSD that still needs worked through.
Alvi had a two vessel cord, which has proven to have complications with birth. Why, I’m not entirely sure. No one ever wanted to discuss it in full with me, and Google wasn’t much help other than raising my anxiety.
A two vessel cord often says there could be birth defects, abnormalities with baby, and even a chance of stillbirth. We didn’t know her gender, but my heart always did.
We had constant growth checks, because a two vessel cord could cause delay and ultimately the abrupt end of my baby being able to grow properly. Towards the end the released us from checking because Alvi had always been off the charts with her progress, which relieved a lot of stress.
We had a definite boy name picked, but I never could settle on a name.
I managed my short labor without an epidural, mainly because I knew it would go faster and I was ready for my baby to be here.
Regardless, when it came time to push, the entire NICU team was already present and ready to go, even though she never showed any signs of distress, and I thank God everyday that they were there.
Most all of what I know is because I was told, after it was all over. The ring of fire they tell you about? I never felt it. My body went into shock towards the beginning, and my eyes were stuck shut as I prayed over and over.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
The only prayer that kept going through my mind. I know it’s one of the most common, but somehow, without seeing, I knew I needed strength more than anything.
Not only was the cord around her neck, not even once, but twice, she got stuck.
I had a midwife so no one there was qualified or allowed to make any necessary cuts to attempt to get her out.
The picture in my mind of everything that happened is so vivid, even writing about it brings me to tears.
They tugged her head, they pulled, they used a vacuum. All to no avail. They were yelling for a doctor, they were rushing people out to find one as none were coming and things were taking a nasty turn.
Then, as she came in later to apologize, but I could never thank her enough, God gave this itty bitty petite little nurse the strength and ability to get enough air to come down and punch me right above my pelvic bone, freeing my baby.
They took the cord from around her neck, and for whatever reason, they put her on my chest, because that’s the last thing she needed.
My baby was so purple she was black. She wasn’t breathing, there was no life in her eyes, and her heart wasn’t beating.
After what felt like an eternity, they took her and began chest compressions and put an oxygen mask on her teeny tiny mouth. Brett stood as close as he could while they worked, and my mom stayed planted by my side while the midwife remained where she was.
The room was so quiet. It was deafening. My baby wasn’t crying, no one was talking, the NICU team was working effortlessly to revive my newborn.
All I could do was watch and pray and beg God to let me keep her, not to take her from me so soon. I needed this little baby.
After maybe 5 minutes, she was breathing and her heart was beating.
I still couldn’t breath a sigh of relief. I needed her to cry, I needed noise.
Once they got her going they cleaned her up a little and she didn’t need any further assistance. Once they brought her to me and her color was already returning, she looked more like a newborn, but she still wasn’t crying.
I spent the next several hours thanking God, refusing to put her down or hand her off, and still not having a name for her. Nothing I had in mind before fit this perfect, miracle of a baby.
Just for lack of any other ideas I hopped on Google to do a name search. Alvi was the fifth name I spotted it was hers. After releasing her name to a few, and some who knew her story already, I was told her name was fitting for her entrance into the world. I didn’t understand, but it turns out that Alvi means gift from God, and my God, that’s exactly what she is.
She wasn’t just a miracle, she was our rainbow baby.
I didn’t put her down for the first six months of her life. I was terrified something awful would happen. I didn’t let many people come around for fear of her getting sick. It was flu season and I just wasn’t able to take any chances.
We struggled with reflux those six months, bad enough it required meds. When that ended we moved on to constant ear infection for months. We saw an ENT who said her ears were just fine, no infection. She had wax that he cleaned out and sent us on our way. Our most recent struggle was constipation, but she’s now pooping just fine and having no issues, other than her behavior.
We rarely sleep, her fits are endless, and nothing seems to work.
If anything, I struggle because I can’t find anything that helps this little miracle baby of ours. I just want to help her, and I have no idea how to do it. My therapist, who even said she isn’t qualified in the least, wants to meet her just to see if there’s anything at all she could give pointers on.
Words can‘t accurately describe the life we live. We can hardly go in public anymore, and the last time we attempted church we had to leave. I feel shut off from the world, I feel stuck, I feel helpless.
There aren’t many things that are harder than being unable to help your own child, to feel like you’re failing them, to feel as if maybe you were a better mom you could see what was wrong and have the answers to help your child.
We’re on our way, but it’s taking time.
It’s been a journey, but now it’s only just the beginning.
She is our miracle, and I won’t stop fighting for her.