27 weeks + 6 days (day 8 in the hospital)

by Lara on August 16, 2019


The last 24 hours have been some of the toughest so far. Until then, it was just me that everyone was fussed about–you know, not having a seizure, stroke, or organ failure. You were tolerating everything fine.

Yesterday afternoon, during our routine monitoring of you, your heart decelerates. A lot. Within seconds, there are three nurses, paging OB. Then three doctors come in, one in scrubs and seemingly ready for surgery. In SECONDS they have me on oxygen, they’re pulling off my pants to do an exam, and they have wheeled in an ultrasound, checking on you, then pressing it hard against my chest to examine my heart.

You recover. Daddy has come, arriving quicker than I anticipated.

Not long after, it happens again. For longer. Six doctors now, including an anesthesiologist, talking to me about being put under in the next four minutes, because they only have that long now to get you out if you don’t recover.

They call the Action nurse to refit my IV, the fourth one, using the ultrasound, because my veins are giving out and the IV keeps infiltrating.

My whole body is shaking, violently, uncontrollably. Daddy and I are both crying. I start bargaining with you, verbally, out loud, like an insane person, that you can go to the party or ride the motorcycle or get the tattoo, if you will just cooperate with me now. Please, please, Birdy, cooperate with me now. There is still time.

And, by the grace of a God I only tenuously believe in at the moment, you take the deal. You recover. Two strikes down; one more strike and we are out.

The rest of the night is spent back on magnesium hell. Before I was first put on “mag,” on the first day, a nurse named Ros quickly became one of my favorites when she prepared me for what was coming. She just instantly got me: “It’s ok, Honey. I’m a bad patient, too. So you like to know what’s coming? We’re going to put you on a drip of magnesium. It’s going to suck. You’re going to hate us all. It’s going to make your skin crawl. But it’s also going to save you life.”

Somehow, the mag is twice as bad as it was that first day. I am groggy, nauseous, and alternating between extreme hot flashes and shivering from cold. I am on food and fluid restriction. I have a headache, and, oddly, am burping constantly. My oxygen levels are low, so I am breathing with a tube through my nose. We have to do constant monitoring of you all night.

And they expect me to sleep.

But you are an angel, and have so far kept to your end of our bargain. I have a feeling it may be because you are intimidated by our night nurse, the Reese Witherspoon one (don’t say it), who showed extraordinary patience and kindness to me all night long, but was quite stern with you before bed.

Grow, Birdy, grow.

P.S. If you make me go on the magnesium again, the tattoo is off the table.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Auntie Elise August 16, 2019 at 2:40 pm

Dearest Lara,
Here is what I know about God: He is with you, whether you believe him or not. He does not “let bad things happen.” He does not sit above, pulling the puppet strings. He says to us, “When you are ready, I am here and I will see you through this.” He provides me great comfort in times of stress. He reminds me that I am his beloved daughter. He reminds me that my own daughters are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. He knows the end game and He knows that by walking with me, I will be okay. I trust that implicitly and that faith and trust has never failed me. He doesn’t let bad things happen; he holds me close when they do and shows me how to come out the other side as a better person.

You and Birdy are exactly where you are supposed to be at this moment, even if it completely sucks donkey balls. Later, you will reflect and realize how much you’ve grown from this experience and you will parlay that into a new version of yourself – better, stronger, with a greater understanding of how to weather the storms.

I love you deeply and I love that little Birdy so fiercely! xoxo


Lara August 17, 2019 at 4:30 pm

Thank you, Love you <3


Edna August 16, 2019 at 5:09 pm

Oh dear birdy?.
I would like to plea for you too! Please help mommy out and listen to everything she says! She will guide you for the rest of your life into being a superperson. For mow, keep both of you dage snd sound and no more craziness god is looking after both of you!
Good luck Baldwin family


Lara August 17, 2019 at 4:28 pm

Thank you, Edna, love you!


Marlene August 16, 2019 at 7:11 pm

I am Sara Wittmann’s Mom … I want you to know that I am praying with all my heart for you and “Birdy” to gain strength, and weeks for precious Birdy to grow before you meet Birdy in the delivery room. I have read all of your recent posts about your experience so far and it’s a beautifully written story of a family facing a crisis. I have tears in my eyes and much love for you and Birdy in particular and your whole family as well. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers … Marlene


Lara August 17, 2019 at 4:27 pm

Marlene, thank you so much for your sweet comment and all the good thoughts and prayers. You raised the best lady in Miss Sara!


Marci Gilbert August 17, 2019 at 5:13 am

So sorry you are going through this. Thinking of you and your family and sending strength!


Lara August 17, 2019 at 4:27 pm

Thank you, Marci.


Heather August 17, 2019 at 4:15 pm

Oh Lara! Oh Birdy! Praying for each of you. You are strong, Mama! Sending you lots of love.


Lara August 17, 2019 at 4:26 pm

Thank you, friend!


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