Saturday, September 29, 2012

It's a what?! :)

After Caleb was born, my husband and I didn’t know if we wanted to have any more children…and definitely not right away.  God had other plans…  In September 2005, Mark Jr. was just a little over 2 years old, and Caleb just a little over a year old.  I was BUSY all of the time.  Two little boys in the house kept me on my toes constantly!  I had a feeling that I was pregnant, but refused to get a pregnancy test.  Finally, I broke down and bought one.  I took the test one morning, and it came out positive.  I cried, told my husband, cried some more…   I was really worried…how could we add another baby to the mix?  I seemed to be so worn out already, and finances were tight.  More diapers, more bottles, more of EVERYTHING.  How would we handle it?!?!  So, I convinced myself and my husband that it was a false positive.  I had never in my life MADE myself believe something so much…  I guess I was trying to make it so.  I had a LOT of morning sickness, and just told myself that it was cold/allergy type stuff.  I had morning sickness EVERY morning!!  I had never experienced that in either of my previous pregnancies.  In October 2005, we moved from Tennessee to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Once we were here, I remember feeling something in my stomach.  I knew what it felt like when the baby moved for the first time because I had two previous pregnancies.  I KNEW that was the first movements of this child, but I denied that as well.  I just told myself that it must have been something that I ate!  Anyway, I finally decided to take another pregnancy test.  It came out positive if I was expecting anything different!  I decided that I needed to find an OBGYN in the area and stop this denial.  Funny thing is that no one suspected that I was pregnant.  I had started walking A LOT when I got to the beach, and lost weight…which wasn’t a problem since I NEEDED to lose some anyway!  I saw the OBGYN and got the prenatal care that I needed…she was pleased with how the baby was developing even though I had no prenatal care for the past five months that I had been pregnant.  The due date for the baby was March 1st.  I wanted to know this time if it was a boy or a girl, but my husband didn’t…so we did not find out.

We didn’t have many ultrasounds, but one of the latter ones was very interesting.  The ultrasound technician was looking at the baby’s feet.  She kept looking at them, and had a confused look on her face.  I had been looking as well, and thought that I was counting 12 little toes instead of 10!  I was born with 12 toes and 12 fingers.  I had fingers and toes that were fused together.  This is referred to in the  medical community as polysyndactyly.  I inherited this from my dad…so we knew that it was genetic.  We had it in the forefront of our minds when Mark Jr. was born…but his “digits” were all “perfect.”  We didn’t think about it as much with Caleb, and he came out with all of his “digits” in “perfect” order.  So, this hadn’t been something that we had really thought about when we found out that I was pregnant this time.  I asked, “Does the baby have more than 10 toes?”  The ultrasound tech didn’t want to tell me anything…”Well, I can’t really say anything until the doctor sees it, but I THINK it might!”   I said, “If it does, it’s okay.  I had extra toes and extra fingers when I was born…and some of them were fused together.  We knew that it was a possibility with all of our children.”  She then wanted to look at the hands, but the baby had its hands in fists, so we couldn’t tell….   The doctor talked with me a little bit about it, but it was mostly not a thing to concern ourselves with since nothing could be done until after the baby was born anyway.

March 1, 2006 came and went…and the baby was still snug as a bug in my tummy.  March 2nd, 3rd, 4th  REALLY?!  Extra days felt like extra MONTHS at eight months pregnant!  My doctor had given me papers to begin inducing me on Monday, March 6th if nothing happened before then…  Saturday, March 4th…I was getting ready to go to bed.  I told my husband that my stomach was cramping, and that sometimes that is a sign that the baby is about to come!  (By this time, EVERYTHING was a sign!)  So, Sunday morning, I woke up to get ready for church…my stomach was STILL cramping…but I got up to take a shower.  I started having contractions in the shower…but I had done all of this before, so I kept on taking my shower…washed my hair…dried off…blow-dried my hair…got dressed…got Mark Jr. and Caleb dressed…and we were out the door, headed to church, with me huffing and puffing through the contractions!  They got closer and closer together as we were heading to church.  By the time we got there, they were 5 minutes apart.  I walked in the door, and my mother-in-law said, “I think this is IT!”  My sisters-in-law both comforted me…and tried to help as much as they could.  My father-in-law ended up cancelling church…one sister-in-law took Mark Jr., the other took Caleb, my mother-in-law and father-in-law headed out the door to drive to the hospital, and my husband and I got back in our car to lead the way.  We got to the hospital, and the nurses took me a room for observation…which means that I had to lie down.  I laid there for about 5 minutes, and the contractions stopped, and didn’t start back up!  The nurses said that I needed to get up and walk to get the contractions to start again.  So, I walked…all day long!  No consistent contractions started anymore that day! The doctor finally told me that I could only walk so much…and that she was going to start a Pitocin drip to get the progress to move along.  Once she started the Pitocin drip, labor began no more than an hour later. 

My water had to be broken, but once it was…there was no stopping.  My baby was born very soon afterward!  I laid there, waiting, and finally heard one person say, “It’s a girl!”  Then another say, “It’s a girl!”  Amid all of this, I heard my baby cry.  Mark Jr. did not cry when he was born…he simply looked around…no crying at all.  Caleb couldn’t cry…only grunt.  So, this was the first time I had heard that first cry of MY newborn baby.  All of this, on top of  a really tiring day, I just began weeping, crying, and shouting, “Thank you, Jesus!” at the top of my lungs!  I kept trying to stop, but I couldn’t.  I apologized to the others in the room…telling them, “I’m sorry…I just can’t stop!”  I was happy…happy that it was over, happy that I had heard that cry, and happy that I had a baby GIRL!  We named her Sarah Grace…the girl name that we had picked out since 2003, but hadn’t been able to use…until NOW!  Sarah was a very healthy 8 lb, 2.5 oz. girl.

Sarah did have 6 toes on each foot…and they were all fused together except for one.  She had 5 fingers on each hand, but all four of her fingers were fused together…so that her hand looked like a mitten.  Our pediatrician sent us to an orthopedic surgeon, who in turn sent us to the Shriner Hospital.  Sarah had to have a series of four surgeries to correct all of the “problems” with her fingers and toes.  Her first surgeries were for one hand and the opposite foot…and then the last two were just for her hands.  She had to wear casts during healing so that she wouldn’t pick at the stitches.  They said that was the best way that they had found for little ones to not pick at their stitches. 

This is Sarah following one of the surgeries…

And this is Sarah now…
She is our princess!  She loves to dress up and play all kinds of very “girly” stuff.  She can get “rough and tumble” with her brothers, but for the most part, she likes to stay in her room and play with her doll house, her school house, and her play kitchen.  She is 6 years old, and LOVES school!  Her favorite colors are pink and purple!  She says that when she grows up, she wants to be a Mommy!  (That makes my heart smile!)


  1. What a sweet girl!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog the other day and commenting. I got my dish drying mat at WalMart, but I've seen them at Bed, Bath & Beyond as well as other stores. Enjoy!