A post by Ruby's Dad
My wife Cheryl has been after me for the last 2 years to write something for her blog about the miracle that was Ruby’s birth. After 3 years I think I can finally tell the story without shorting out my keyboard. So, in honor of Miss Ruby’s 3rd birthday, here it goes:
Let me start by saying even the date of her birth was nothing short of Providence. Due to Cheryl’s history of complications immediately following birth, her Dr. had ‘scheduled’ her previous 2 deliveries and Ruby was to be no different. A date was to be picked that was just before her actual due date and also convenient for the doctor’s schedule - it’s usually better if they are there if for nothing more than to justify that huge bill. We had a choice of two days that fit, July 21 or 22 , or else we would have to wait until after the actual due date. Since one of our sons’ birthday was the 22nd, we decided the 21st would be best. THEN the doctor’s office called back and he had a conflict on the 21st – could we move it to the 22nd, or wait until later in the week?? The aforementioned son agreed to share his birthday with his new baby sister and everything was set.
July 22, 2008 started like any other day when you’re getting ready to go the hospital and have your eleventh child but soon enough we were relaxing in the comfort of a labor/delivery suite. The next few hours were fairly uneventful – for me – Cheryl was being poked with needles and had things strapped and taped to her and hooked up to all kinds of monitors.
But then things changed. In spite of the epidural the contractions were causing more than just discomfort. Something was wrong, I could see it on Cheryl’s face and in her body language and we realized it long before the nurses did. It wasn’t until the baby’s vital signs started deteriorating that the nurses noticed something wasn’t right. The doctor was involved in a delivery in the next room. The nurses tried all the things that nurses try – rechecking vital signs, making mom shift to one side or the other but nothing was helping and Cheryl was feeling way more pain than she should have and the nurse was going back and forth to where the doctor was, giving him a report and coming back with instruction of what to do next. Finally she came back in the room, threw a set of scrubs at me and said “get ready, we’re going to have to take this baby” and they started prepping Cheryl for a C-section.
When the doctor finally came in the room he decided to see if the baby could be delivered and literally within 2-3 minutes Ruby was born and the problems became evident – there was no “water” in the womb and Ruby had the cord wrapped around her neck and over one shoulder. As soon as she was out her cord ruptured and began bleeding profusely. The doctor quickly clamped it and while he was still holding her, unwrapping the cord and checking her over he told us – “This baby would not have made it another day”. He would later tell us that the only babies he had ever seen with a cord in that condition were stillborn. See, sheer Providence.
Having been through this a few times before, what followed was fairly routine – nurses cleaning the baby, weighing, measuring, etc. and nurses tending to mom, cleaning up and removing wires and tubes – but out of the corner of my eye I noticed a bit of a flurry of activity around Ruby and the nurse summoned the doctor over and they’re whispering.
That’s when I walked over and heard what they were discussing and the doctor explained that Ruby was showing signs of having Down Syndrome and when I looked at Cheryl a nurse was telling her the same thing. And we cried. Why did we cry ???