Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Story of My Birth

Even though the doctors told my parents I wouldn’t make it, this story tells how I am alive today. In this case, the story of my birth tells how I made it through my first months of life.
When my mother was still pregnant with me, she and my dad were reading a book by Tolstoy. They happened to fall in love with the name Tatiana and decided that would be my first name. Without knowing it, they named me after my great aunt Marguerite, which became my middle name. Of course, the other alternative would have been Gabriella, but Dad did not want me to be nicknamed Gabby Grubb, so they went with Tatiana.
The night before my mom went into labor, she ate Won Ton soup for dinner. At about midnight her labor pains began.  Because she was only five and a half months pregnant, she thought it was a stomachache from the soup.  She went to work the next day, but had to leave because of labor pains from the night before. She told my father she was going to the hospital and would be back, but instead she was admitted into Labor and Delivery. She never returned to work.
While she was in labor, the doctors tried to stop the process, but they could not because a test revealed she had a fluid infection in her amniotic sac. The doctors told her if she did not give birth both of us could die. The doctor expressed empathy concerning the possibility of my death after birth and gave me a 10% chance of survival. However, my mom did give birth and immediately following my delivery, I was intubated and sedated because I was “squirming” too much. I had a tube placed down my throat because of breathing problems. After intubation, I was diagnosed with Chronic Lung Disease because of too much oxygen during intubation and premature lung development.  I was in and out of the hospital for the first 9 months of my life. My weight was 1 lb. 7oz and I was 12 inches long. I was so tiny that my mother’s wedding ring fit all the way up to my shoulder. According to the nurses and doctors, I was the smallest child born at Kaiser Permanente that year. My primary care nurse said I was determined to live.  During my stay in the Intensive Care Nursery, my parents recorded themselves reading children’s books and songs for me to listen to so I could always feel their presence.
At 14 days-old, I had to have a Patent Ductus Arteriosus ligation heart surgery because of a hole in my heart. Dr. I.M Heller, my primary pediatrician and neonatologist, told my parents at one point, “We’ve done all we could do. We don’t know if she will make it through the night. All we can do is pray at this point.” He would not say if I would survive long enough to determine when I could be discharged.
When I was 10 months old, I had to have a Ventriculoperitoneal Shunt implant because of fluid build-up in my brain.  Even though I was discharged from the hospital after the surgery, I still required oxygen for the first 18 months of my life.
In conclusion, even though the doctors were unsure about my chances of survival, due to the fact I survived, I know I have a purpose on this earth and a higher calling. I also know this purpose includes ministry. I am grateful that I made it and am alive today.  I am also thankful for the doctors and nurses who took very good care of me.

Here's a link to another post I wrote regarding this story: