Today, my dear Sophia, is your first birthday. I want to share with you how you were and how you came to be alive into this world, my wishes for you and your future.
My dear baby girl, you were very much a planned pregnancy. After trying for a few months, we were blessed to have the positive news one early week in November.
You didn’t make me terribly sick in the mornings, and I could function most days with a little help from pesto-bismol. I liked to eat apples and oranges like they were going out of style. As the pregnancy progressed we ran into trouble.
At 8 weeks along, I started to bleed, a lot. Bright red, dark red and clots. I cried tremendous tears for days, and so did your father. We thought you had stopped living inside of me. We cried for 4 days and I’m not sure if it was 4 days or a week, it felt like forever. I couldn’t understand, I tried to think of everything I could have done wrong. Even though it had nothing to do with me, I blamed myself. I went to the hospital for a check up and they sent me for an ultrasound. I layed there thinking of all the horrible things in my life and that this was by far the worst. Then something happened, the technician turned the screen and pointed to a little kidney bean shape and a flicker, and said “I can’t say anything other than this is your baby and that is the baby’s heart flickering”.
“WHAT? OMG. What?” and all I could do was hold her hand and cry tears of confusion, tears of joy and just plain tears.
The doctors told me, my placenta was torn and that you had a 50/50 chance of not making it, that I was to go home and put my feet up for three weeks while it hopefully healed.
My baby girl, I did just that. I put you first. Your father and I have a photography business (you are one of the most photographed babies around) were supposed to shoot a wedding that weekend, and there was no way I could be on my feet. We tried to find other photographers to help us, a few would but because it was near Christmas they wanted an extreme amount of money, more than what we were charging the clients (the clients are close family, they were so very understanding. They love you bunches). So, your father having shot weddings many times on his own, went and shot the wedding by himself. He took such beautiful photographs, as you know he’s very talented.
The next two weddings two photographers Jason Rusnak for one and Holly Nearingburg the other, helped Daddy out and to them we are eternally grateful. Mommy’s days of shooting were over for what would be two years, as I signed my half of the business completely to Daddy.
I layed there all through Christmas and into the new year, and finally after all the bleeding stopped, and the ultrasound showed it was better, I was able to go about my normal routine. It seems you had and were going to make it!!
The following months were long but miraculous, I loved feeling you move around in my belly. You loved to dance to music. I started to get into trouble again, my blood pressure started to skyrocket and I was put on pills to help this. As the months passed, it was time for your 20 week Anatomical ultrasound.
Everything came back good, you had all your fingers and toes, but there was a shadow/spot on your heart (the doctors didn’t tell me this right away), I had to go for a more detailed ultrasound in Waterloo. The results were a Ecrogenic focus, this could mean two things; downs syndrome or nothing. Because you had no other ‘flags’ and the prenatal screening was all clear, the doctors all felt everything was okay. This didn’t stop me from worrying about you.
You could find me eating either a dairy queen blizzard or chicken in my second trimester and heartburn to follow. My baby girl, you gave me wicked heartburn, I didn’t sleep because it was so painful. This is about the time that I started to relax and your God mother and Auntie Michelle gave you the most beautiful baby shower. She had decorations, amazing food and awesome cupcakes. All of your Grandma Scott’s family were there and close friends. You are so loved my baby girl.
Into the last trimester you could find me eating crepes from Cora’s. Your Grandma Scott came down almost every weekend because Daddy worked long weeks permanent night and 12 hour shifts. This is when something really bad happened again, our dog Foto attacked Mommy, and after the doctor said everything was okay we knew we had to find a new home for him. Grandma and Grandpa Scott took him for us and tried to work with him, and for a few months it was going well, until one day he attacked and bit your God Mother and Auntie Michelle. We tried to find someone to take him and couldn’t so the breeders said they would take him back and retrain him. We miss him dearly but your safety is way more important to us.
We also had three cats, who we planned on having you grow up with. Your fathers hectic schedule and me not able to go near the cat litter, left it lacking in the changing department. One of the cats got a bad urine infection and started peeing everywhere around the whole house, and that’s when it all went down hill. The smell of the basement was horrible and we no matter what we did couldn’t keep up with them. We loved them so much and decided that they deserved better. The two brother and sister kitties went to our good friends Jim and Susan, and our other kitty went to a family that had a little boy and are now best friends. After all of this, your mother’s blood pressure took a turn for the worst. My blood pressure was at seizure levels, and this wasn’t good. The doctor upped my medication and that seemed to help everything. I was to keep away from conflict and stress.
During this last trimester, your father took very lovely pregnancy photos of me, here is one of the shots that I love:
I stopped work a month before you were born, I took two weeks vacation and then started maternity leave early. Wow, that was a long wait. You were two weeks late! Actually, mommy was miss managed by her doctor and you should have been born two weeks earlier but you hung in there and I’m so thankful you did okay.
The August long weekend, we went in on the Saturday morning for a scheduled stress test, where I was hooked up to a monitor, they listened and recorded your heartbeats and movements. During this test, there was a silent blip for about 15-30 seconds, and when we questioned the nurse she said that I must have moved. Which I know I didn’t but who are we to question the nurses and doctor. They kept us attached for two hours and then told us to come in again on Monday morning for another stress test. No other tests were done, no blood-work nothing (and their should have been). That night I got a headache, and it stayed all the next day and wouldn’t go away. You’re Grandma Scott came that Sunday night and I went to bed early with the same headache. When I woke up Monday morning, I knew something was very wrong, my head felt horrible and I didn’t feel right. I called the nurses station, explaining that I was on medication for high blood pressure and high risk for going toxic, that I had a headache for two days and that was now the worst headache I’d ever had and asked them if should I come in earlier than my scheduled stress test for 9:30. This was at 6am, the nurse said to me “Wait until the shift change at 7:30 and then come in”. I kid you not. Hunny bear, had I known more about what was going on with you, I would have not even called but gone straight in.
I showered, got some Tim Hortons and headed to the hospital for an earlier than planned stress test. When I arrived the nurse did not know I was coming, and was not happy that I was there. She sat me in the triage room on a gurney but not hooked up to the stress test, even though I repeatedly told her I had a horrible headache. She did not take my blood pressure. Instead she from 7:30 til 8pm talked with what I will assume was one of her friends about to be induced for a c-section. They gabbed and giggle and talked about the last time that patient was in. My mother who was with me at my side hunny, she was not happy. Then at 8am finally the nurse came and hooked us up to the machine, at 8:13am the amazing Doctor Elliot came into the cubical. “Honey, where is your biophysical profile?” she asked me where all my recent tests where, and I didn’t know what she was talking about. The last tests and ultrasound I had done were at 26weeks. I told her this and she was very upset. She very quickly talked to the nurse explaining that she didn’t care if it was a holiday to get all of the tests scheduled ASAP. Then she asked me when was the last time I had an exam. “Two weeks ago.” Doctor Elliot was very professional but I could tell by the change in tension from the nurse that this was not good.
She gave me an exam and realized I wasn’t even dilated at all, she said maybe a fingertip but that’s it. As soon as she left the area, that is when dear baby girl that your heart beat stopped. The rest happened so fast. My blood-pressure skyrocketed and your grandmother said very loud and calm “That was a major De-cell!”
I knew this wasn’t good. The nurse hesitated trying to get the nodes to find your heartbeat and screamed for the doctor. The doctor came rushing in, my legs were flowing up in the air and all (or most of) the nurses on duty were by our side within seconds.
I was very aware that I was not doing well and I was very aware that your heart was not beating not from what was told to me but by everyone’s body language, how fast they were flipping my legs around. Finally, my dear baby girl with one leg in the air your heartbeat came back, not as strong as before but it came back. The doctor told me we were going for an emergency c-section stat and that if your daddy was coming he better be here in 5 mins. Thank god your daddy for some reason didn’t go to bed right away that morning (he had been working all night). I called him, and told him to come asap.
Your grandmother was so amazing, the doctor looked at her and said, if Daddy isn’t here, you’re going to go in with her. That is when my mommy, your grand mommy lost her cool. She broke down in front of me and my dear baby girl, that is when I knew things might not turn out so well. I hugged her and cried with her as your daddy walked in. He asked me if I was okay, I couldn’t answer him so he had to ask me several times and then finally I shook my head “no.”
This all happened within 15-20 mins, and we were being wheeled to the OR, where I had an epidural. The nurses were amazing to me while this was going on. They held my hand and rubbed my back and reassured me everything was going to be okay. Then we were waiting. The on-call anesthesiologist was farther away then he was supposed to be, and even though he claims he was doing 120km an hour to get to the hospital he was a 1/2 hour late. Doctor Elliot was frantically popping in checking to see if he had arrived several times. I didn’t care about my blood-pressure I was more worried about you. I didn’t care at that point that I might not make it through the surgery and all I could think of was if you were still breathing, was your heart still beating. I stayed calm because I knew this was the best for both of us. I tried to numb myself of everything going on around us.
Your father came in after the anesthesiologist had finally arrived 45 mins late, given me the epidural and I was tied down. Oddly, I thought we women having a c-section are tied down like Jesus was on the cross. All I could do was pray and look at your father. He was amazing, he stroked my hands and my face and told me how amazing I was and how much he loved me.
Then at 9:34am after a big tug, you were born. You cried and cried, they took you away and suctioned you. They suctioned you for a long time. Your daddy stayed by your side and mouthed to me how you were doing.
I got to hold you while they stapled me back together. Crying and holding you tight to my chest, your father and I fell in love with you.
My blood-pressure came down a bit and I was wheeled back to my room. Grandma and Daddy went to get you from the nursery, while I sat in the room alone. All I could think of were you okay, where you breathing okay, is your heart okay…
My dear baby girl, you were so bright eyed and beautiful right from birth! You looked at us and you were so alert and so beautiful.
After everything that happened you were perfect, you were strong, and you were beautiful. We were so thankful.
Dr. Elliot came in to tell me that next pregnancy I will need to have a c-section as my body was not even close to giving birth. That I had very little amniotic fluid and a lot of meconium in with you, and that is why you were suctioned for so long.
Mommy has been and is still very angry at her OB that was in charge of her prenatal care. I intend to write a letter not only to the hospital but the OB Society of Canada. I pledge to you that I will do this very soon, I had been waiting until my anger cools down, but I don’t think that will happen and coming to terms with that I can move on.
Here is a photo from your very first photoshoot at 2 weeks old:
I know that you’ll realize as you grow dear baby girl, you are very much loved. Not only by your father and I, but by our families and our friends too.
You are so very special and my wish and prayer for you is that you always know how much you are loved, cherished and thought of. I pray that you remain true to yourself and that you always have a true sense of right from wrong. I wish that you will have good fortune in life, but that you also know it takes hard work in life to succeed. I pray that you are successful in all that you do and that you can be truly happy with life. I pray that you love god like I do, but I will not push you to have faith in something but rather hope you believe in something greater than yourself. I truly wish that you will always know your father and I will always be here for you, to talk to, to laugh with, to cry on, to hug and to love. I pray that you will be smart in the choices you do make for yourself and that the mistakes you do make you can learn from them and not have to repeat them. I wish for you to be kind to others and be thoughtful, to share and to enjoy others, as they for the most part are good. I pray that no one does you harm and that any of my sins be washed away an not carried onto you. I wish that you have fun in whatever it is you do. I wish and pray that even when you are upset with Mommy and Daddy know that we love you. I pray that you know and have a great relationship with your father and that you’ll always know you are his precious baby girl. I hope that you fall in love, in deep love like your father and I, and this person treats you with respect and cherishes everything about you. I pray that we will have a great relationship and that you know I will always stand up for you, I will always be here for you and I will promise to always listen to you. I wish and pray that you’ll realize we are your parents first and with that we will always do what we think is best for you, even if you don’t agree, but that you’ll always be safe.
The world is here for you to mold and experience, you can do anything you put your mind to, may you have the courage to do so.
In closing dear baby girl, you have survived so much already and through everything you have always been okay, on this your day of birth may you always celebrate your life with family, love and laughter.
All my best,