by lisha epperson
It seems fitting that I would begin this blog with the story of the birth of my youngest yet not first-born child. What????? Ade’ Immanuel Epperson was pulled and stretched from my body on September 7, 2010 after 14 years of infertility and the arrival of his 4 older siblings thru marriage and adoption. Miracle, fulfillment of a promise, unmerited favor? Yes, yes and yes.
My water broke on a Monday night after my husbands return from a weekend long trip to Atlanta. The 5th week of bedrest was dragging. We were all in the family room…five people on a futon throwback from my first apartment when it happened. My initial response was fear because I suffered a bleeding episode in the beginning of the pregnancy and the wet, warm sensation was too close of a reminder for me. I ran to the bathroom to find only clear fluid so I called my doctor. All of this while trying to tell my 2-year-old that Mama was okay and not to worry. Worry doesn’t begin to cover the thoughts running through my mind. I was 33 weeks and 3 days pregnant after hoping to conceive for 14 years. I had suffered 2 miscarriages in this span of time and I was 44 years old. It felt like my one chance at a successful pregnancy was being threatened. I knew I had to remain upbeat and positive for my children. I knew I had to stand on all that I had prayed about up until this point. This was the test. This was one time when I was happy about the way kids have a way of not allowing you the luxury of an emotional break down. There is just no time for it when you have little lives looking to you. So I held it together and focused on the fact that I had not gotten my hair braided for the delivery as I had planned and I quoted scriptures. Luke 1:37, Ezekiel 16:6, Luke 1:45, actually, most of the 1st chapter of Luke.
A taxi cab ride later found us at the hospital and me being admitted. Rodney left to take the kids to Grandmas and returned to find me hooked up to an IV and being monitored for contractions that were happening unbeknownst to me. Ade’s breech position ,the fact that I had already had 2 myomectomies and the current presence of a large fibroid at my cervix brought me a one way ticket on the c-section train. I was given medication to stop the contractions since I had been on a blood thinner throughout the pregnancy and no surgery could take place with this drug in my system.
It was a long night. Rodney and I talked about the kids , life, work and made a bunch of phone calls to a handful of friends who didn’t even know I was pregnant. We had been cautiously optimistic throughout this pregnancy and quite frankly we only started to talk about it when I began to show. Even then, if you weren’t in our daily or weekly circle …you probably didn’t know. I began twisting the front of my hair in anticipation of that awful blue surgical cap I knew I’d be wearing in the morning. It was a long night.
I continued to contract throughout the night and was given more medication to keep them at bay. They grew stronger and I began to feel them. Not earth-shaking pain but my core was definitely being rocked. I will never forget the feeling. My baby was ready to come and I was excited and hopeful that all would be well. I thought about my other babies. Emoni – the little boy (now grown man) I learned to love as my relationship evolved with his father, LiChai my first spirit baby – the baby that saved my life, Ila – the baby that made me feel beautiful again and Chailah – the baby that gave me peace. I prayed. We prayed.
In the morning, after very little sleep, I was taken to the operating room. I remember a nurse that held/hugged me while I received the epidural. Her touch was so comforting and I began to rest in her arms. I think I knew then that everything would be okay. Her arms were a physical reminder to me that I was not alone. That in addition to my husband, my Lord was there for me. Rodney came in and the final stage of my baby’s birth began to unfold. My doctor made a vertical incision on my stomach from my pubic bone to my belly button that allowed my body to spread apart so that my baby could escape. Ade’ Immanuel was released into this world. In spite of the diagnosis of a blood clotting disorder and multiple fibroids, we believed God and won. I am forever changed. My world was permanently shifted by his arrival and I am so grateful to God for allowing me the experience of conception, pregnancy and birth. I had come full circle and could not have written a sweeter next chapter to my story.
I parent him mindful of and grateful to the women who entrusted me with the fruit of their wombs. I can never repay them but I can offer my heartfelt thanks and a promise…to be the best Mama ever to ALL the babies I call….MINE.
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