At this time a year ago, I was at Community Hospital of Ottawa (Illinois) alongside my wife, Sandra. Her water broke a few hours earlier at home. I made the 50-60 minute trip to Ottawa in 35 minutes. I should have slowed down, as 23 hours later our daughter, Maryen, arrived.
Sandra, after researching online for much of the pregnancy and a lot of stubbornness in the delivery room, delivered VBAC. Our son, Emerson, had been born 18 months earlier by cesarean. It was my first experience watching the birth of a child. I was there for Emerson’s birth, but was not able to watch him emerge into this world due to the divider that kept my wife and I (as I comforted her as the cesarean procedure was done to her) from seeing his delivery.
Maryen was conceived about three and a half months after Sandra and I lost a child due to miscarriage. The miscarriage was a traumatic experience to us. Just when we were to see the first ultrasound image of our child, we were seeing the beginning of the end of our child’s brief flicker of life. We still think of Mayella, as Sandra named the child, because she was sure it was a girl. She feels she has a much easier time with the pregnancy and the morning sickness with her girls, Roberta and Kenna, previously. Emerson and Sandra’s current pregnancy have kicked her butt with morning sickness. Sandra is sure our latest child will be a boy.
As Maryen’s birthday neared, we have thought of Mayella from time to time. We look at Maryen with the knowledge that she would not be here had we not gone through the miscarriage. We are very happy Maryen is with us. She almost wasn’t with us.
About the same time frame (10 weeks) into Maryen’s development, Sandra experienced quite a bit of bleeding and cramping. Our minds raced back to the miscarriage and we feared the worst was happening again. The ultrasound revealed an ominous sign of miscarriage, yet the hope of reimplantation. The doctor said, “We’d wait and see.” But some discussion also brought up DNC if reimplantation was not occurring or had not occurred. We left the doctor’s office with broken hearts.
Today is Maryen’s first birthday. She is a happy girl, who smiles all the time… when she isn’t fighting over a toy with Emerson or growing impatient for a bottle. Maryen loves her dogs and seems to really have formed a bond with Barry. She hugs her baby dolls and pretends to rock and feed them. She displays a major tendency toward being left-handed like her father. I think that’s cool. She is a “daddy’s girl,” so her mother says. I don’t know about that. I see a beautiful, strong survivor in Maryen. She gets that from her mother.
Thank you, Sandra.
Happy birthday, Maryen. Don’t grow up too fast, although you already are.