"This is the birth story of Ethan Troy!"
I must go back just a bit and begin this story at the union of two hearts. It may sound unbelievable but my husband & I first met during a celebration for a tree. What, you may say? The little town that my family had moved to in sunny, southwest Florida has a festival each February to celebrate the history of the unique Swamp Cabbage Palm tree. It was my sophomore year and school let out early this particular Friday in honor of the events. I rode with a friend to a field to see where the fun would take place throughout the weekend. Some others must have had the same idea because there was a group of guys that we bumped into that warm day. He had the most beautiful blue eyes I had ever seen! When I asked my friend who he was she was quick to tell me his name and to warn me to stay away. That moment I knew he was the one!!
Skip ahead now to February 14th, 1997 when we vowed to be together forever! We were married in the presence of God & our parents. We had our love for one another and that was all we needed. On the 8th of April 1998 I took a pregnancy test while at my mother and father's house and discovered we were going to have a baby. I met my husband on the stairs outside of their stilt home and gave him the good news. We were overjoyed! Amazingly it was like we both already knew. The test was just the confirmation. Our first thoughts were that God had blessed us with a miracle. We had been trying for just a little over three months and felt truly blessed! We celebrated by telling everyone we knew then spent the evening dreaming of our future with this little gift.
We had a tumultuous 9 months! I was in my first semester of nursing school and my husband was working long, hard hours. It was trying & tiring to say the least. Money was tight and emotions ran high! My pregnancy was littered with stress, poor nutrition, and long nights studying. I was diagnosed with Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) and Mild Ecclampsia. The last month of my pregnancy I was placed on bed rest which affected every area of my life. Each week I traveled to Cape Coral or Ft. Myers to see my Obstetrician. However, the last several weeks I saw a different doctor each visit, all saying my little boy was head down & in position getting ready for his birth. On November 23rd, 1998 I finally got to see my OB. As soon as he felt my belly he said, "That is not a head!" They brought in an ultrasound machine & verified that he was in a complete breech position. He asked me, "Do you want to have this baby TODAY?" Without hesitating I replied, "Yes!" However, I had eaten that morning so surgery was out of the question.
My doctor tried to get the little guy to turn by external version, but he refused to turn! I didn't realize going into the procedure what I was in for. They sent me over to the hospital which was just down the street from the office. I was hooked up to all the possible monitors and given an IV. It was explained to me that I had to receive an IV med to help relax my uterus so it would allow the doctor's efforts to work. My mother-in-law was with me that day and I had never seen that born-again, Holy Ghost filled, little lady get so angry!! She was seated near the foot of my bed and could tell I was in so much pain! Finally the OB stopped and decided a cesarean must be scheduled. I immediately contacted my husband to let him know his son would be born in two days.
It was like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was given permission to break my "No Sodium Diet" and eat whatever I wanted the next day up until Midnight. A close family friend and my husband went to town and brought me home a sinful supper (A Big Mac & french fries). Talk about a sodium overdose! All I knew was that I didn't have to be pregnant anymore. It had not been my favorite season of life. My entire pregnancy I felt huge, unattractive, and cumbersome. Even though my husband didn't act repulsed by my ever growing body. I was not one of those graceful looking pregnant ladies that didn't even appear pregnant from behind. You know who you are! My sister-in-law was one of those lucky, skinny, basketball belly gals. I however, gained weight from my head to my toes. My attire at the end of my pregnancy consisted of stretchy dresses & flip flops even though it was November.
I arrived at Cape Coral Hospital very early in the morning. Hungry, extremely thirsty, and scared to death! The nurses had a difficult time getting my IV started and my first experience with a Foley catheter was not a good one (it would take over a year to fully heal).
Alas, our little boy was here! My husband was in the operating room with me. He held my hand as he watched them pull our child out of me. He was incredibly strong because I know now that he was horrified but he kept me calm by the smile on his face & the gleam in his eye! Thank goodness a nurse in the room took the camera from him and snapped a few photos for us. They handed Ethan to my husband he kissed him then held him down by my face so I could kiss him.
Our beautiful little blessing was finally here! Ethan Troy was born at 9:20 am on November 25th, 1998 weighing 7 lbs 13 oz and measuring 20 in long. His cry immediately filled the room and touched my heart!
Unfortunately, there isn't a lot more I remember from the operating room or recovery after this other than vomiting while still on the table and being very cold requiring more & more warm blankets in recovery. My husband walked back to our room, where family & friends anxiously awaited, holding our son. No one knew when he first walked in, they say. I am sure it was an emotional moment for our parents too! Welcoming their new grandchild (or first for some of them) into the world. It would be quite a while longer before I would join them.
After a while I was brought into our room and reunited with the tiny blessing that had been growing inside of me for nine months. He was amazing! As I attempted to nurse him for the first time I remember the nurse telling me that it was, "okay if it took a few tries and that sometimes it takes a while for both of you to figure out" and my father telling me, "Oh no he knows what to do just watch and see!" Well, we did know just what to do. He latched right on and began to nurse. I was mesmerized!
This was my journey into motherhood and my son's journey into this world!