Monday, November 9, 2009

"Against All Odds"

Maddie-the-Great really is great and fully deserves the designation for she is a double-miracle child!  Really!  As promised  I am happy to share with you the journey so far.  This is a long story, so in the interest of keeping both you and me interested in finishing it, I'll tell it in installments of sorts.

Part One:  Maddie's first miracle occurred when she was born. 

Our entire family was so excited that Ratchlet was expecting.  We had just decided to move to Austin and were in the process of selling our house and packing up to move when we learned we were going to be grandparents!  "What perfect timing", we thought.  "Must mean moving there is the right thing to do!"  Little did we know how right it was going to be.

We made it to Austin and settled in, thrilled to be so close to our daughter and son-in-law.  The pregnancy seemed to be going well as far as we could tell.  Ratchlet and I were having great fun preparing for the baby.

Ratchlet was only in her 29th week of pregnancy when her OB discovered that she developed a sudden and severe case of Preeclampsia, a condition which develops in some pregnant women (although no one know why!)  It causes dangerously high blood pressure in the mother, and can also affects the baby's growth.  Evidently Ratchlet's BP was through the roof and the baby didn't seem to be growing at the correct rate!  

She had gone to her OB for her regular Thursday check up, not realizing anything was amiss.  Well, the Doctor said she needed to be in the hospital, RIGHT NOW!  She also mentioned the dreadful phrase Emergency C-Section!!

TA called Mikey and me at home to tell us what was happening.  My first thought was, "It's too soon.  Way too soon."  Ratchlet was at 29 weeks, she still had at least 11 weeks more until her due date!!  That's very nearly 3 months more!! She couldn't have the baby now.  The child would never survive.

Well, it appeared there was no alternative, so we went to the hospital to be with them and do what we could.   When we arrived the staff spent 3 days giving medications to reduce Ratchlet's BP to a low enough level to do surgery and something else to help strengthen the baby's respiratory system.  It was a done deal.  Both baby and mom needed to have this C-Section as soon as possible.

They decided to do the C-Section on that Sunday morning.  Actually, it turned out to be Palm Sunday and I went to Mass in the hospital chapel that morning.  The priest was distributing the blessed palms so I took several.  The actual date was April 8.  It occurred to me a little later that April 8 was my Grandmother's birth date as well.  I chose to take that information as a positive sign. 

Only T.A. was allowed in the delivery room, of course, so we tried to find a place to settle in to wait.  Less than 15 minutes later, before we had even figured out where to go, T.A. came out of the Delivery Room.  My stomach dropped and I was sure it was bad news.

"It's a Girl!  She weighed 1 lb. 14 oz. and was 13 1/2 in. long!" Ratchlet was fine, came through it perfectly.  The doctor told him that the baby came out crying, breathing on her own, with Apgar scores of 8 and 9, and seemed to be doing great!!

Madeleine Elizabeth had arrived!

Part Two :  It's NICU time 

See you tomorrow!


  1. That gave me goosebumps. How lucky for you that you were out there by that time. Being a mother, I can only imagine how horrible it would be to have a daughter going through that type of situation and be far away.

  2. Wow, isn't it great that we live in a time with enough technological advancement to be able to help her not only survive, but thrive?

    I remember when my husband was recovering from his surgery, a nurse saying that if this had happened 40 years earlier (before MRIs, etc.) he would have died. Wow.... That definitely stuck with me.

  3. It's weird to be reading the story of my life - but it's also neat! One picky point - Maddie was 12.9" long when she was born! Just like you and I like to claim every centimeter of our height, now that I know how Maddie has turned out - I like saying that she was no quite one inch longer than your standard ruler. Ha!

  4. Wow! I've been saying 13 1/2 for a long time! How could I get it wrong!

  5. Wow! You weren't kidding when you said you identified with a lot of things on my blog. My own daughter was delivered at 29 weeks, for the exact same reasons, and weighed 1lb, 14 ozs!!!
    How strange!
    She's a happy, healthy, headstrong 14 year old now :)


Thanks so much for leaving a comment. It's really nice knowing what you think!! Besides, comments keep me from feeling like I'm here all by myself!! :)

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