When I found out that I was pregnant, nothing could have made me
happier. My husband and I had many joys, among them feeling the baby
kick and prod. Lamaze was also fun, but in a nontraditional kind of
way. However, I thought that I could totally breeze through this
"birthing" stuff. Yeah, right.
At 35 weeks, I broke out in the most horrible rash. It was
unbearable, and I didn't sleep for 15 nights, for more than an hour.
The doctors tried everything to relieve it, but induction was
inevitable. So, at 37 weeks, I was going to "breeze" through the
induction. Yeah, right.
After almost 3 days of labor, and nothing more than crackers and
Sprite, the doctor decided that if my water didn't break, or the
contractions still were unstable by 8 pm that night, they would take
me off the Pitocin, and do a C-Section the next morning. Well, at
7:59 that night, the contractions were getting stronger, and I was
sure that I was going to die. I also had a whole room full of
well-wishers, but not for long. I asked my husband to help me, I
needed to go to the bathroom, so off I went IV's and all.
About that time, I hear this enormous pop and my water broke soon
after that. "Here we go," I thought. "I guess that means I don't get
my supper, huh?" Well the longing for food was soon replaced by the
longing for drugs. After 6 hours of pushing, and still no baby, they
decided to take her out via episiotomy and vacuum. She finally made
her way into the world.
I named her Ashley. Ashley was the cutest, loudest little thing that
I had ever seen or heard, and she was mine.
Little did I know that tragedy awaited and I would feel a pain worse
than I thought was possible. While I was helplessly watching,
Ashley was about to fight the battle of her life. On the second day
of life, my baby quit trying to breast feed. She also lay dormant,
not moving. Even the act of changing her diaper didn't upset her and
she couldn't maintain her body temperature. My gut was about to
explode. Something was wrong, something bad.
I immediately called in the nurses, who called in the neonatologist.
They assured me that we had just miscalculated Ashley's due date, and
she was a little preemie. I knew better. I felt it. Something was
much worse than that.
Unfortunately, I was right. The next day, I was released from the
hospital, but Ashley stayed due to a sudden onset of jaundice. My
husband and I left just long enough to check on the house and get a
stuffed animal for Ashley. When we arrived back to the hospital, we
passed a baby being rushed to NICU. This baby was hooked up to so
many tubes, you could hardly see it. I found out five minutes later
that it was not just a baby -- it was my baby.
My heart sank, I cried uncontrollably. After an hour or so, they let
me see her. They told me that every test they had ran was normal,
but that she had several severe seizures and was in a coma. They
told us that their was nothing more that we could do, to go home and
get some rest. They would call if anything came up.
We had been home for almost 4 hours when they called. "Mrs. Cody, get
over here, now. We ran her blood-ammonia, it should be no more than
34, it's 1800! We are transporting her immediately to a specialist
in Nashville. She is clinically dead, but we're going to send her
on. You might want to hold her for the last time.
While I frantically got my husband, I got so mad at God. All I could
scream is, "WHY? IT'S NOT FAIR! HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?"
We arrived at the Nashville hospital about an hour after Ashley. She
was sick, and fought hard for three days, but she would live. She was
diagnosed with a Urea Cycle Disorder. A rare metabolic disorder that
takes place in the liver. She was in the hospital for weeks, but is
now a healthy and happy 10 month old child. She will always have this
disorder, but with the right doctors, diet and medications, and
frequent hospital stays, she will be okay.
For a woman that always had to plan, this was not easy for me. I am
not the kind to put things in the hands of a higher power. But now I
do. I do everyday. You have got to learn to trust in someone other
than yourself, and when I feel down, or have a bad day, I think of
the struggle and the grueling tests and treatments my daughter has
gone through, and goes through on a regular basis.
We don't have as much control in life as we would like to think.
Always give credit to "someone other than yourself." Never take
your health or people you love for granted. They may not always be
here. We don't always know why bad things happen to good people, but
they do. We all have a lesson to learn, we just have to slow down and
be willing to be taught. We have a purpose. Each one of us, even if
we don't know it yet. There is one thing that I know. Miracles do
happen, and they happen everyday, and I am a better person for
having experienced it. Through the headache and tears, we have been