Monday, July 23, 2007

My Son a Miracle Baby

By Nori dela Paz-Lacquian

(This testimony appeared in the ninth anniversary issue (Jan - April 2007) of Moms and Kids, aparenting magazine.)

P’yaise Him, p’yaise him, all ye lit’a chi’dyen God is love, God is love.
A sweet voice singing these words woke me up early one morning. My son was still asleep, but Jimmy had recorded Ycoi’s song and used it as his ringing tone. Ycoi is only two years old but he can carry a tune and pronounce words clearly except for some letters as important as r and l.

For these past two years, I have developed an addiction for staring at my son’s face every morning and marveling at God’s handiwork. My son is a beauty…and certainly a miracle baby.

I got pregnant two months after Jimmy and I were married. I was 38 then. After five

months, an ultrasound showed that we were going to have a baby boy. Jimmy and I agreed to name him Franz Yven a.k.a. Ycoi. He seemed big for his age. A routine check-up showed that I had gestational diabetes. I went on a very strict diet and water therapy.

Ycoi was 26 weeks old—still in my tummy—when I was rushed to the hospital for extreme abdominal pains and vomiting. The initial diagnosis of Dr. Gazelle Baysa—Pee, my ob-gyne, was premature labor. She gave me a medication and a pain reliever to make sure that the baby would not be aborted. After a few hours with no improvement, she decided to give me MgSO4, after first discussing with me its possible side effects which include damage to reflexes and kidneys.

Interns came hour after hour to hammer my joints and check on my reflexes; a kidney specialist visited me three times a day and another doctor monitored my blood sugar. Medical technologists came and took blood samples hour after hour…after hour.

My tumme got bigger and heavier. The doctors came to the conclusion that my intestines were collecting fluid and had grown in size. They had to insert an NGT (nasogastric tube) into my nose and down through y esophagus to suck the fluid out of my stomach. I accidentally pulled this tube out twice so new ones had to be inserted. They were such a terrible source of discomfort.

After five days, my ob-gyne called for gastro specialist to check on me, but she was delayed in coming. Already worried about my supply of potassium and other nutrients detrimental to the baby’s health, Dr. Gazelle consulted her husband, Dr. Gene Pee, a surgeon. With just one look at me he requested for an x-ray to confirm his diagnosis that I might be having an intestinal obstruction. He was right.

An ultrasound was immediately done to check on the baby’s condition. He was as healthy as he could be as shown in the way he moved a lot.

The medical couple prepared me for surgery. Dr. Gazelle asked her husband to talk with Jimmy while she would counsel with me. She said that I needed to have an operation to correct the intestinal obstruction and that she would inject me with antibiotics and change some other medications being given to me. She also gave me a certain kind of steroid to help advance a bit the development of Ycoi’s lungs.

An anesthesiologist came as well and discussed the anesthesia he would use on me. He said that he would be attaching a spider’s web-like device to my spine and that it would have a small ampule where he would inject the anesthesia. The web, which looked more like guitar strings to me, would distribute the medicine to my spine. He said that it was important that I stay awake and cooperate during the entire procedure. My feelings of fear, excitement, and worries would affect mt blood pressure, blood sugar, and other chemicals in my body that would endanger my son’s life. I needed to cooperate with him. I agreed.

When Dr. Gazelle saw Jimmy, she asked if Dr. Gener had talked with him and he replied in the negative. She found her husband still contemplating how to tell Jimmy that this situation left him without any choice at all. If he were to lose me, he would lose the baby as well. So Dr. Gazelle volunteered to discuss the circumstances with Jimmy and told him the urgency of his making a decision. Jimmy asked for my opinion, and those of our immediate family within reach. After receiving emotional support from them and assurance from me that I would be okay, he signed the hospital waiver. The discussion was done at 4:00 in the afternoon and at 7:00 in the vening I was wheeled to the operating room.

My husband and I are both instructors at a Baptist Theological Seminary and when students heard that I might need blood donors, they flocked to the hospital hallways offering their blood in case I would need it, and offered prayers as well for me and my son. Text mesaages went flying to friends and churches for prayer and support. My brother, Joey, donated blood. During the surgery, the problem was discovered at the very end tail of my large intestine. Uterine surgery done when I was 25 years old left my intestine stuck to the portion where the cut was done. It was like that for more than 13 years but the problem only showed up when the fetus reached a certain size. To put simply, the intestine, iriitated with its attachment, caused it to contract, giving me labor pains at one-to-three intervals.

The surgery was a success. It was not that bloody and complicated after all! Two days later, the plaster on the wound was removed and I was told to move around to make sure that my intestines get back to their normal function. That was also when Dr. Pilit told me that I would have to stand the pain and avoid an overuse of pain reliever because it also had an adverse effect on the baby. Slowly he lessened the dosage. I told him I could stand the pain and would request for it when badly needed. I did not ask for any pain reliever after that. He came one morning and said, “You and your baby are our hospital miracle for this month.” He was right.

The NGT stayed attached to me until the 12th day. Imagine that for 11 days I could not eat or drink. I can stand some days without food, but there were days when I dreamt of swimming in a pool of mineral water with floating ice cubes. Sometimes I imagined the water had turned blue and tasted like Gatorade!

After the NGT was removed I started eating and went back to a normal diet. I left the hospital on the 14th day.

As we waited for Ycoi’s due date, I regularly visited the laboratory for my sonograms. Dr. Mapili, the ob-gyne who was doing the sonograms, showed me what was going on in my baby’s world. Each week I saw my baby on the monitor. I saw the face though I couldn’t quite make out the features yet. I counted his fingers, saw his legs kicking, and understood the bulges he was making on my tummy as he moved, stretched, and yawned.

Dr. Mapili constantly reminded me to prepare for a possible Caesarian Section to avoid my having to push or bear down (“ire” in Filipino) which would put much pressure on my wounds from the very recent operation.

Two months after my surgery, Jimmy brought me to the hospital at 7:00 in the morning for labor pains which had started four hours earlier. Dr. Gazelle believed that I could deliver the baby normal way but also took necessary measures as advised by Dr. Mapili. At 9:30 AM on my way to the operating room my water broke…and after a few minutes, Ycoi was born without any fuss at all! The sight of my baby made me totally forgot all the pain we both went through. The chance to hold him in my arms at last was worth it all.

Today, Ycoi, sings, “Praise Him, Praise Him,” the same song I was singing when I first saw him. Indeed God is to be praised.

( Nori dela Paz-Lacquian is my older sister-George)

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