The Birth Story -Teagan
“The Birth Story,” Regina laughs, “It sounds like we are talking about Jesus.”
It was a Sunday when my water broke. I wasn’t having any contractions. I went to church anyway and everyone said, “What are you doing here? Do you want to do this? Do you want to do that?” and I said, “Well, I think I am going to go and have a baby.”
My husband, Scott and I went to University Hospital and checked into the birthing suite. I was right on time but my labor wouldn’t start and the baby wouldn’t come. My doctor decided to give me Pitocin to get labor started. I really don’t like pain so I always asked for an epidural. I wish that they would give me the epidural a day before labor starts, “Just put it in me and I will figure it out!”
The Pitocin did get my labor started. I remember holding onto the bar of the bed. The nurse asked me to turn over and I couldn’t. I just couldn’t lift my body up. I felt some pain, which I shouldn’t have because of the epidural but it was like my body was in shock or something. The nurse pulled up the covers around my legs, pulled them back down and said, “We are going to do an emergency C-section.” My uterus had ruptured and within three minutes they had Teagan out of me. It was insane.
I remember feeling very peaceful like I knew it was going to be okay. I just felt very peaceful. On one side of me was my doctor. She was crying and my husband was on the other side, holding my hand. You could hear a pin drop in the room. They had whisked Teagan away and we hadn’t heard her cry. They took her away to aspirate the fluids she had inhaled. When we finally heard her cry the whole room collectively let out a huge sigh. It was the loudest thing in the room.
The doctor looked at me and said, “This uterus will not sustain another child. It is done. You are going to have your tubes tied!” I mean she was obviously really startled but I remember thinking that she had just told me what I was going to do with my body. Then she goes, “Okay?”
When I was pregnant with Teagan, my husband and I were having a lot of struggles. We were losing our house, I had had three miscarriages before being pregnant with her and I was ready to leave Scott. When I found out that I was pregnant in the middle of all that, I thought, “This baby is going to stick because this is a horrible time to get pregnant!” God saw that this baby was going to change everything. Right after my fortieth birthday here comes Teagan, she just zoomed into this world like gang busters.
Her birth changed my whole perspective on marriage and family. You don’t realize until you are done having children that you are done. You don’t realize when you can’t have any more children that you are always waiting for the next child to come. Especially if you are planning on a large family. The next one, the next one, the next one and then all of a sudden, there will never be a next one. I was never going to be pregnant again and I loved being pregnant. It was the best. I loved the closeness you feel to a baby when you are carrying it inside.
The whole next day, after Teagan was born, I was not able to see her. I had been stitched back up and I had to lay flat on my back for twenty four hours. After that I wanted to see her so badly. So, I told them I was fine and off I went down the hall to the nursery, holding on to the railings, my hospital gown flapping open and my butt showing. When I got to the NICU Teagan was the biggest baby there. She was just so peaceful and beautiful.
Teagan and I came home five days later and I started to get sick. It was one thing after another. My doctor wanted me to come in for a blood transfusion. But I didn’t want to come in, I had all my kids home. I asked if there was something I could take over the counter. Meanwhile, the people at Holy Rosary Church had heard my story and came to help. The women came every day for a month, bringing a meal, doing my dishes, putting a load in the washer, just above and beyond the call to duty. They would walk in, see what needed to be done and do it. Just like a woman will.
One night I woke up with a fever. Sweating and shaking uncontrollably I felt this tingling start in my head and go all the way down my body. In the morning, I called my mother in law and asked her to drive me to the hospital. She couldn’t do it. I felt so abandoned. It was the first time I couldn’t take care of myself and I was all alone with the kids. We didn’t have any other family in the area and that is when I called you, Debbie. You came right over, prayed, stayed with me and talked to me the whole way to the hospital. Just tried to put my mind on other things. It was the first time since my Mom had passed that I felt like I had someone to lean on.
I had always been the one taking charge and taking care of things. Now, I felt like God was saying to me, “This time just sit down and shut up and let people take care of you. Get in bed. Your job is to stay there, nurse that baby and get well.” There are important lessons in asking for help. We have to mother each other.
Debra Wuliger, figurative artist working with color, texture and pattern to celebrate life.
Image silhouetted with story. Ready for hanging.