Monday, July 25, 2016

Sweet 16/ The Birth Story

Recently my beautiful daughter confessed to making off-handed comments about her birth and her name to the adults in her world we don't know well because she lives in the theater and we don't. Anyway, whereas Makenna is making truthful statements, she doesn't often share the clarifying details. Apparently making people wonder about us is entertaining.

Makenna likes to refer to herself as the "planned one". She is humble like that. In truth, she is the only one of our five children we planned for. (God's sense of humor is a post for another day.) Half way through my pregnancy, a routine ultrasound revealed water on her brain. They suspected spina bifida and prepared us for a very early c-section to place a shunt in her skull to drain off fluid in hopes of controlling severe brain damage. We waited a full week with that knowledge before seeing a level three ultrasound specialist who was able to happily inform us we were having a very healthy baby girl. Up until that point, we hadn't wanted to know her gender but decided we needed to name her in light of her possible diagnosis so we could pray specifically. Her name became Grace.

The week we waited for her final diagnosis, I spent in prayer. The incredible peace I had about this baby was nothing short of God-given. It was a peace I had never felt in that magnitude before and frankly, not since. It was that powerful. Once we had word we were having a healthy baby, I journaled my suspicion God was preparing us for something. 

Eight days before her birth, Greg fell 25 feet off a billboard he was posting. I was sitting on my swing watching the girls play while journaling in their scrapbooks when a good friend who was a paramedic called me. He happened to be in the emergency room on another run when Greg was brought in. He calmly informed me Greg had broken a leg and would need surgery to set it so I should head to the hospital. Bless his heart, he waited on my arrival to tell me the rest of the story. Greg was in pretty bad shape and would be for a long time.

As his mother and I wandered back to see him after waiting through his three hour full body cat scan, nurses and staff were commenting sweet things about how worried he was about me. But as soon as I entered the room, he told me about a cute paramedic named Makayla. I knew he was no longer sold on Grace as a first name for our baby and was still seeking alternatives. I quickly applied that knowledge to what my highly medicated husband was telling me. But  I smiled and asked him if he had gotten her phone number because we use humor to tackle hard life around here. He corrected what he was trying to say and noted he really liked the name. His poor mother could have had a heart attack on the spot!

Four days later, I had a routine exam to check progress on the pregnancy and was shocked to learn I was dilated to 7cm and 80% effaced. My doctor wanted me to head immediately to labor and delivery. I declined. Greg was scheduled to have back surgery three days later and I knew the baby was much easier to care for in utero than after birth, especially since I was just shy of 37 weeks along. My doctor attempted to reason with me for about 45 minutes before throwing his hands in the air and exclaiming he had never had to convince a woman to go have her baby in all his years of practice and "babies don't wait on daddies!" And I firmly replied, "this one will". Yet sometimes I still wonder where my children inherited their stubbornness.

Greg had eleven hours of surgery on his leg the day his back was also scheduled to be operated on. Due to the length of time the leg took, his back surgery was post-poned. Several blessings took place during this season of our lives but two stand out from that day alone. First, a world renowned surgeon was able to take Greg's case. Without him, we are certain Greg would have lost his leg. Second, post-poning the back surgery proved to be the best for Greg. In fact, he never required it at all.

During Greg's eleven hour surgery, I was rather uncomfortable. I had walked around dilated to 7cm for three days at that point and was swelling into something unrecognizable. When Greg woke from surgery that night, he groggily told me I best get to the doctor in the morning. So I did right after I did laundry, spent time with the girls, made phone calls and prepared the house. Life was chaotic at the time and I knew I wouldn't be home for a day or two. 

I was sent to labor and delivery but went to see Greg first. We spent some time talking with his surgical team and making final name selections. Makenna likes to tell people she was named after her dad's cute paramedic; of course she does. In truth we aren't sure how Makenna evolved out of Makayla but once we applied it to the middle name of Grace, she was renamed mere hours before her birth. Because once I checked in a labor and delivery, I was holding her within an hour and a half. Makenna Grace Baughman weighed 8lbs 11oz and was three weeks early. With the help of her Uncle Brad, her daddy was wheeled in his hospital bed across the hospital to briefly meet her. He was in much worse shape than me so his presence in the labor and delivery ward was fully noted by all bystanders.

Makenna was our most laid-back, easy-going baby. I once again give credit to God for her disposition because with a husband who literally couldn't do anything for himself, a five year old starting kindergarten and a three year old starting preschool, the last thing I would have managed well would have been a high maintenance baby. She was a joy and a blessing from the beginning.  To this day, she rolls with the punches, remains independent and has inherited our sense of humor as a coping mechanism for the rockier moments in life. As she apparently learned in utero, she speaks up when she has to and unfortunately that can still be rather colorful.

Makenna Grace is beautiful, witty, sarcastic, authentic and honest. She expects those qualities in her relationships but extends grace easily. Her friend group is healthy, her future has a strong plan and the late night conversations we share are priceless. Despite the early years of chaos that evolved into later years of a different kind of chaos, our "planned one" remains steadfast and a blessing. We couldn't be prouder of the young woman she has become.

Happy Sweet 16, Makenna Grace!

1 comment:

A Mom to Two Lil' Ones said...

I absolutely love these pictures!!! Happy Birthday Makenna! (I am in complete denial that she is 16)