It has taken me six months to build up the courage to tell Graham’s birth story. I heard so many birth stories from other women while I was pregnant and I was so excited and extremely nervous for the day we were going to meet our sweet boy. The truth is, now I wish I didn’t have all of those other stories to compare ours to.
Graham Michael was born on January 10, 2017 and our story is not the fairytale we expected. However, it does have a remarkable ending, thanks to our awesome Lord.
I had a great pregnancy for the most part. I taught from August to December and then we had Christmas break and all of our doctor’s appointments were very positive. Two weeks went by WAY too fast and my plan was to go back for one more week to get my things together for maternity leave and to finalize grades. I went back for 4 days and on Thursday I had another doctor’s appointment. After some tests were run over the weekend, I found out I had preeclampsia (high blood pressure caused by pregnancy). A lot of women get it during their first pregnancy and it was no big deal. The reason I am including what was going on with my body is because I had to deliver early. Graham was due on January 31, which meant he was 3 weeks early…still full-term but I knew this would mean a different delivery than I expected.
I was admitted to the hospital Monday morning when I was told my proteins were ten, yes TEN times higher than normal! I don’t want to include all of the details because the main point I want to touch on happened once Graham entered the world. The next evening after he was born my husband, Michael did the normal “dad” thing and went to take pictures of our new son. When Michael eventually handed our son to me for the first time, he mentioned something about his hand having a cut on it. The picture below was right after he told me. At the time, we were both so overwhelmed with emotion that neither one of us thought twice about it.
Our families got to meet that sweet boy and all seemed great! We got word from a nurse that a pediatrician was coming to look at Graham’s right hand to make sure that everything was ok and that he didn’t need any additional medical attention. Again, we weren’t aware of what was really going on…after all, it was our first time!
Around 11 PM that night we got word from the pediatrician that Graham was born with a defect. As a first-time mother, those words broke my heart. He was born with an Amniotic Band on his right hand. If you are like us, you had never heard about this until this post. Now, an Amniotic Band occurs when a piece of the amniotic sac breaks off and wraps around the baby’s extremities. There are cases so much worse than Graham’s and over time it made us really realize how truly blessed we are.
The pediatrician thought it was best if he was transported to Baton Rouge that night because there was an Pediatric Orthopedist there. Michael left with Graham and I was without a husband and a son that I only had the opportunity of holding once. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. My parents stayed with me over the next few days while the boys were in Baton Rouge. Let me just say, I have never been so grateful to have them there for me. There are no words to express what it meant to me!
Over the next month or so, we took care of Graham’s wound on his hand until it closed up. There was some concern originally that he would have a contracture between his thumb and index finger, which meant he wouldn’t be able to separate those two fingers. Another concern is that his bones and growth plates didn’t finish developing because of the band. It is now nearly six months down the road and I have never encountered a happier baby! We worked with his hand every night once the wound was closed and there is now no contracture and all of the bones and growth plates are present…praise the Lord! All you notice now is the scar where the wound was when he was born.
We have experienced a lot in the past 6 months that truly taught us how to trust. There were times when we had no idea what to expect and we were worried he would have no use of his right hand. The Lord has truly shown us what he can do. We now know that this is part of Graham’s life story. That scar is his own unique mark and God gave him that to make him special and different. I can tell you that I never expected things to turn out so miraculously as they did.
It took me awhile to accept and even understand what happened to our sweet son. I always knew however, that I wanted to share his story when I was ready. Like I said at the beginning of this post, our story was not a typical fairytale. Looking back on it now, it was exactly the way God planned it because he had some things he wanted to teach us…trust and patience to name a few! You may hear a TON of birth stories, but yours will never be EXACTLY like someone else’s. I think I got my hopes up wanting our story to be like the others we were told, but I am so glad ours was our own.
Graham Michael is a precious gift from heaven. He is so PERFECT!
Michael and I both encourage you to be strong and constantly trust in the Lord! God always has a plan for the challenges he gives you, even if you may not see or understand them at the time. Sometimes it may seem like nothing can go right, but God wouldn’t have chosen you for the challenge if you couldn’t do it. TRUST!