May 8, 2014

the day i became a mother was the day i found my strength

The day I became a mother was the day I found my strength.

My first child, Lilykate, was born on December 31, 2007, after an agonizing 58 hours of intensive labor brought on by a kidney infection. I was only 34 weeks pregnant when the painful contractions that lead to her birth began. We arrived at the hospital scared, worried, and panicked. My husband was scared while I was in intense, crippling pain. I felt as if someone was repeatedly stabbing me in my abdomen and lower back with a double-edged sword that left pulsating bolts of pain shooting through body. I could not stop writhing and hollering from the pain.  The only words I could muster were, “Epidural! Get Baby Out, Now!” I had never experienced such pain. 

For 36 hours the doctors tried to stop the labor. I was given pain medication, but nothing took the edge off. The decision was made to perform an amniocentesis to verify Lilykate’s lungs were developed enough for her to be delivered. Once the procedure was complete we waited for results. When it was confirmed that her lungs were safe for delivery, the doctors no longer tried to stop the labor and began the transition to active labor. I finally received an epidural and much needed pain relief. Within four hours I was in active labor.  

There were several complications during the delivery: Lilykate’s cord was wrapped around her neck, the placenta had torn away from her, and the umbilical vein had ruptured.  I was having a hard time pushing due to the exhaustion of the past 50 hours, her stats were dropping, and the doctors began reading different consent forms to me which included complications of brain damage and death and asking for my signature…. 

That’s when it happened… something inside me snapped. I found a strength I didn’t know I had. I would do whatever it took, physically, mentally, and emotionally, to protect and take care of my child. Moments later, my sweet little girl was born. 

Lilykate was whisked away immediately after delivery and it felt like an eternity before I was able to meet my little girl. We later learned that if I had not had the kidney infection, Lilykate would not have survived beyond 35 weeks. The kidney infection that caused such pain actually saved the life of my little girl.

#Alt Summit believes every mother counts


  1. Oh I am totally with you--I went through a labor as intensive also--many years ago now--you never do forget, but it is so totally worth it. what an exhilarating feeling of accomplishment! Don't you agree? /nothing I have done in my life has equaled this experience for me. I love your scrapbook pages and am trying to find my own way into recording my life so that my children can feel what I did. Hugs, Julierose

  2. What a beautiful story, Maryann! I always thought your girls were twins. :)


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