So the Pregnancy Journey Begins

Over the next 7 months, I will be doc­u­ment­ing my preg­nancy: nutri­tion, exer­cise, doctor’s appoint­ments, books I am read­ing, etc. get­ting ready for Baby Myers!

It’s actu­ally a pretty amaz­ing (and some­what long) story of why my preg­nancy is such a mir­a­cle. So instead of typ­ing it, I’d rather tell it…


Noah’s Birthday As Told by Mommy

191183_197572383610530_179159422118493_567213_3047035_oNo, I thought to myself. Look again. This is not happening.

But it was. As much as I tried to imag­ine it away, there was def­i­nitely a lit­tle blood each time I went to the bathroom.

Scared, I called my doctor’s office and asked to speak with one of the nurses.

“Have you been more active than usual?” she asked.

“Not more than usual,” I replied back. “I mean, I did work out yes­ter­day, but I’ve been work­ing out my entire preg­nancy. I did start to feel uncom­fort­able, so I stopped, but I think Noah has just dropped a lit­tle lower. I was sup­posed to teach Tur­bo­Kick tonight, but I already got my class subbed for this afternoon.”

“That’s good,” she said, “Are you still feel­ing the baby move?”

“Yes,” I said, breath­ing a sigh of relief. Noah was still occu­py­ing his favorite posi­tion, which I called the “NASCAR posi­tion.” Noah likes to dig his hands into my lower left ribcage, like they are the steer­ing wheel and push his bum into my right ribcage.…naturally, mak­ing my blad­der the per­fect gas pedal.

“Every­thing is prob­a­bly fine,” she said. “Lots of peo­ple expe­ri­ence spot­ting. But if you start to feel him move less or if your bleed­ing gets heav­ier, give us a call back or head to the hos­pi­tal. Just stay off your feet for the rest of the day, and we’ll work you in at 2:30 tomor­row after­noon just to dou­ble check and make sure every­thing is alright.”

When we got off the phone. I should have felt a lit­tle better.

I didn’t. In addi­tion to the nurse, every­one reas­sured me that every­thing was fine: my hus­band, my sis­ter, a few close friends. Why couldn’t I get rid of that awful feel­ing that some­thing was wrong?

I knew how badly we had prayed for a child. I knew how deeply my heart ached to be a mom. But I didn’t real­ize how much I loved the baby inside of me until that moment.

I didn’t just want to be a mom. I wanted to be Noah’s mom.

The bleed­ing never increased, but I started to feel­ing cramp­ing in my lower back and my tummy. It felt like men­strual cramps, but I knew it wasn’t labor. I fig­ured I had just made myself phys­i­cally upset since I was so emo­tion­ally troubled.

I tried to keep my mind away from the things I had read about third trimester spot­ting, but my brain would not rest.

James and I went to bed, but I never fell asleep. I thought maybe I could get more com­fort­able if I had some space, so I moved to the guest bed­room bed. That didn’t work, so I tried down­stairs on the couch. I never fell asleep, but my sweet puppy fol­lowed me every­where I went.

Bauer knew some­thing was wrong too.

While I was up all night, I prayed that God would calm my anx­ious heart. Even­tu­ally, I started to cry every time I began to pray. I didn’t stop though, since I knew Romans is true:

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weak­ness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit him­self inter­cedes for us through word­less groans.” Romans 8:26

I con­tem­plated post­ing on my blog request­ing for prayer. Once I had talked myself out of it, I knew I had to post it. After all, the only per­son who would con­vince me NOT to post for prayer would be Satan. So, instead of St. Patrick’s Day, I declared March 17 as “Pray for Noah Jack­son Day” on my blog.

After James left for work, I tried to keep myself busy for a lit­tle while. How­ever, I noticed that Noah wasn’t mov­ing as much, so I began to get scared. I thought maybe doing some kick counts would help.

Around your 28th week of preg­nancy, most books rec­om­mend that you do kick counts twice a day. You should feel the baby move a min­i­mum of 10 times within any given hour. Once you get 10 move­ments, you’re done. Nor­mally, kick counts take me less than 10 min­utes. After all, Noah is a VERY active lit­tle boy!

But after lay­ing there for an hour, I felt Noah move twice.

I called my doctor’s office back.

“Hi, this is Michelle Myers,” I said to the nurse. “I called yes­ter­day, and I have an appoint­ment at 2:30 today…I’m still spot­ting, I’ve got some cramp­ing, and now, I’m feel­ing the baby move less. Can I come see you, or do I need to go to the hospital?”

“I can work you in with a nurse to do an ultra­sound with a nurse at 12:15. She can deter­mine if you need to wait around to see a provider or how we need to move for­ward,” she said.

I called James to let him know I was on my way to the church so we could go to the doc­tor together. Our preschool and children’s direc­tor (and a good friend from sem­i­nary), Laura, fol­lowed us in her car.

Instead of an ultra­sound, the nurse told me that our doc­tor wanted me to get a stress test instead. As soon as she hooked me up to the first machine and I heard a strong heart­beat from Noah, I imme­di­ately began to relax.

“He’s okay!” I exclaimed, tak­ing in my first real breath in about 12 hours.

After 20 min­utes of being hooked up to a machine that mon­i­tored his heart rate and move­ment, one of the mid­wives, Lisa, came in to read the report. After a few min­utes of casual con­ver­sa­tion about foot­ball and soc­cer, she told one of the nurses, “I think we may be headed to the hospital.”

When she saw the look of ter­ror on my face, she explained, “I think we might be hav­ing a baby today.”

If I ever thought I’d expe­ri­enced mixed emo­tions before, I thought wrong. I’ve never had so many dif­fer­ent feel­ings going through my mind at my one time:

  • Excite­ment: Am I going to be able to hold my lit­tle boy today?
  • Fear: Why is he com­ing so early? If he does come today, will he be okay, or will we lose him?
  • Despair: If I do lose him, am I pre­pared to han­dle that? Is my faith strong enough to take it?
  • Panic: Have I even thought about labor yet? How bad is this really going to hurt? What if they have to do a C-section?

And that was just in the first five seconds.

James, Laura, and I headed across the street to the hos­pi­tal. They were pre­pared for me when I got there and put me in a room. Within min­utes, I was hooked up to sev­eral machine and given an IV and an oxy­gen mask.

“This might help us get more oxy­gen to your baby,” the nurse explained when she saw the ter­ror reflected in my eyes.

Over the next 20 min­utes, our mis­sions pas­tor and his wife, Mike and Clau­dia Mer­i­cle, as well as our wor­ship pas­tor and his wife, Terry and Deb­bie Hurt, had arrived.

My amaz­ing OB-GYN prac­tice, OBGYN-North, con­tains three mid­wives and two doc­tors. Over my first four appoint­ments there since we moved to Austin in Decem­ber, I’ve met the three mid­wives and one of the doctors.

The only doc­tor I hadn’t met yet, Dr. Andrea Cam­paigne, was the one on call at the hospital.

I could tell she felt awful, but she said, “I want to watch him for about 20 min­utes, and then, I am going to make a deci­sion about what to do. We may have to act very quickly and get him out of you, or we may be able to stop you from going into labor. I’ll know more after I see his pat­terns. I know we’ve just met, but if you see me come in here, and I tell you we need to do a C-section…just see the whites in my eyes and know that I don’t have another choice.”

She did every­thing she could to keep me calm. But when she men­tioned the word “C-section,” I knew this was seri­ous. My gut instinct had been right. OBGYN-North has about a 15% C-section rate. It’s reserved for emer­gen­cies only.

It finally sunk in with me that my unevent­ful preg­nancy was turn­ing into an emer­gency situation.

I knew I couldn’t allow myself to get upset. If I got worked up, that was only going to sup­ply less oxy­gen and put Noah under more stress. So except for a few tears when Clau­dia hugged me and prayed over me, I tried to breathe as deeply as I could and close my eyes to help pass the time.

Twenty min­utes passed rel­a­tively quickly. Dr. Cam­paigne came back in, took one look at the report, then looked at me.

“I’m so sorry,” she started to say.

“I trust you,” I reas­sured her. “Let’s go.”

She started giv­ing orders to the nurses in the room. All I caught was, “OR in ten min­utes, and baby to NICU in 20.”

They handed James clothes for the oper­at­ing room while he started call­ing our fam­i­lies. They began wheel­ing me down the hall. I lost sight of James, which was the first time I really began to feel fear.

God gave me a verse, which I kept repeat­ing to myself over and over again:

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exo­dus 14:14

The OR was not a friendly-looking place. Plus, this was not your stan­dard sched­uled C-section. I’d seen those on A Baby Story.

There were eas­ily 12 peo­ple in the room: an anes­the­si­ol­o­gist, a nurse anes­thetist, my doc­tor and three of her nurses, a pedi­a­tri­cian from the NICU and two of her nurses, a guard by the door (which I later learned was actu­ally a “run­ner” in case they needed any sup­plies from another room quickly, James, and myself.

The anes­the­si­ol­o­gist intro­duced him­self to me before he put in my spinal block. Though I had been pre­pared that it was the most painful process ever, I was impressed with his accu­racy and pro­fes­sion­al­ism. His instruc­tions were, “Lit­tle stick, lit­tle pressure… lot of pressure… done.” (He was right too — that sec­ond dose of pres­sure made me gasp, but at least I was pre­pared for it!)

They laid me down on the table, and I finally saw James walk through the door. I could tell he was upset, and I learned later that it had taken him longer than he would have liked to find me. They put a sheet up right in front of my face so I couldn’t see past my upper chest.

I know I talked to James, but I don’t remem­ber what we said. I just remem­ber the com­fort I felt as soon as he was near me.

I began feel­ing a series of tug­ging and pulling. I never felt pain, but I knew I was open, and they were work­ing to get Noah out.

“He’s out!” I heard. “Stand up, Dad!”

James stood up quickly and caught a glimpse of Noah before he was whisked into the hands of the pediatrician.

“Is he okay?” I asked James.

“I think so,” he said. “He’s got a lot of hair though.”

Then, I heard him. It wasn’t quite a cry, but it was louder than a whimper.

“Noah!” I exclaimed.

After what seemed like for­ever, one of the NICU nurses brought him to me. I was finally able to kiss him and tell him how much I loved him. I only had about 15 sec­onds, and I couldn’t really move since they were stitch­ing me back up, but see­ing him for the first time was amazing.

James went back with Noah to the NICU, but he did kiss me on the fore­head first. Before my mind could take me to all the pos­si­ble “what ifs,” I began to lis­ten into the con­ver­sa­tion going on between Dr. Cam­paigne and her nurses. Once I real­ized they were chat­ting about healthy eat­ing and fit­ness, I chimed in.

Isn’t God good to direct them to talk about the one thing that could pos­si­bly dis­tract me?

I love that He’s in the small­est details.

Once Dr. Cam­paign assured me I had one of the best inci­sions she’d ever done, they wheeled me to recovery.

I was in the recov­ery room for about an hour by myself. No one told James where I was, so while I was doing my best not to worry about Noah and want­ing my hus­band, he was impa­tiently wait­ing to see me.

After James showed me pic­tures of Noah and we spent a few min­utes together, our vis­i­tors took turns vis­it­ing me while they were wait­ing to get me a post-partum room.

I was so thirsty, but they couldn’t take a chance on me get­ting sick, so they only thing they could do was bring me ice chips. I downed two big cups of ice chips…but I still wanted water.

Some­time while I was in recov­ery, I learned that my instinct was cor­rect, and Dr. Cam­paign did exactly what she should have done. I did have a pla­cen­tal abrup­tion, which meant Noah was not get­ting the nutri­ents and sup­plies he needed to sur­vive. Based on an oxy­gen test they ran on Noah once they got him into the NICU, another 30 min­utes in my womb could have made a dif­fer­ence in whether he lived or died.

Just 30 minutes.

James went home to pack a bag for him­self and for me. (That was on my to-do list to do in Week 35, so need­less to say, I hadn’t got­ten to it yet!) I did find it pretty enter­tain­ing that he thought it was high main­te­nance that I asked him to bring me my hair dryer. Gotta love boys.

We got into a post-partum room about 8pm. I had another three hours to wait before James could put me in the wheel­chair to go visit Noah in the NICU. And I thought the wait in the recov­ery room took forever!

But as soon as I caught a glimpse of him in his incubator…as soon as I stuck my hand in through the side openings…and as soon as he reached out his lit­tle hand for mine…

Every moment I had waited was worth it.

Not just wait­ing in the post-partum room.

Not just wait­ing in the recov­ery room.

Not just wait­ing in the eight months I had him in my womb.

But every moment wait­ing when I desired him and doc­tors told me, “No.”

But every moment wait­ing I prayed for him and God said, “Wait.”

But every wait­ing min­utes after tak­ing a preg­nancy test only to see the word “Neg­a­tive” come up…over and over again.

But every moment wait­ing when every­one around me was preg­nant, and I still was unsure if I would ever be called “Mom.”

Each and every waiting moment vanished when his hand grabbed mine.

I don’t remem­ber much of our con­ver­sa­tion with the nurse that night. The only thing I remem­ber was when I asked if I could hold him, she shook her head no.

“We still have a lot of unknowns about him devel­op­men­tally. With him being 32 weeks, I’d go ahead and pre­pare myself that you may not be able to hold him for a few weeks.”

It hurt, but in that moment, I really was con­tent just hold­ing his hand.

On Fri­day when we went back, one of the first words out of our nurse’s mouth was, “Do you want to hold him?”

I cried for joy. Of course I did!

Noah was being pretty fussy, but as soon as they got him placed skin to skin on my chest, he got quiet. Within min­utes, he was asleep.

And Mommy? Well, she was in heaven!

We went to go see him as often as we could between Fri­day and check­ing out early Mon­day evening. I found joy I didn’t know existed in dia­per chang­ing, tem­per­a­ture tak­ing, and any other task they would allow us to help do.

Each visit, I leaned over Noah and made sure to remind him again, “God has a seri­ous plan for you, Noah Jack­son. You defied med­i­cine not just once…but TWICE…to be here with us today.”

We had a lot of vis­i­tors, includ­ing a sur­prise visit from Jim and Eliz­a­beth Parks and their three amaz­ing kids from Fielder Road Bap­tist Church, the church where we served in Arling­ton until mov­ing to Austin in December.

Leav­ing the hos­pi­tal on Mon­day was one of the hard­est things I’ve ever had to do. No one plans to come to the hos­pi­tal and leave with­out a baby.

I know the NICU is the best place he could pos­si­bly be, but I can’t help long­ing for the day when he can come into my arms, and no one has to take him back from me.

How­ever, no mat­ter how much it hurts, the emo­tion that fills my heart the most is still gratitude.

Thank you, God, for giv­ing me a nudge that some­thing was wrong and not let­ting me rest until I did some­thing about it. Thank you for enlist­ing Your prayer war­riors to lift us up all day on Thurs­day before we even really knew there was a prob­lem. And thank you God for orches­trat­ing every sin­gle per­son who follows:

Thank you, Tori, the nurse at OBGYN-North who never got impa­tient with me as I called a mil­lion times. Thank you for bring­ing my con­cerns to Dr. Sebestyen’s attention.

Dr. Sebestyen, thank you for real­iz­ing that we needed to do a stress test instead of an ultra­sound so we could get to the root of the prob­lem quickly.

Laura, thanks for com­ing to sit with me at the doctor’s office and help calm my anx­ious heart.

Lisa, thank you for read­ing the report and send­ing us to the hospital.

Mike & Clau­dia, Terry & Deb­bie, thank you for com­ing to the hos­pi­tal as soon as you heard we were there.

Dr. Cam­paigne, thank you for act­ing so quickly and get­ting Noah out in time for us to have a happy ending.

To every doc­tor, nurse, and hos­pi­tal staff mem­ber who cared for me and Noah, thank you for keep­ing my lit­tle boy and me safe and as com­fort­able as possible.

James, thank you for lov­ing being a dad. I’m so grate­ful to be rais­ing a fam­ily with you. I hope Noah turns out to be just like his Daddy. (And judg­ing from his sleep­ing and eat­ing habits, that won’t be a problem!)

Noah is mak­ing progress every­day. He’s cur­rently on 20 mL of my breast milk every 3 hours and gain­ing weight. He’s down to need­ing only 1L of oxy­gen assis­tance per day. He took his first bot­tle yes­ter­day and had a suc­cess­ful first attempt at breast­feed­ing. Every­one is con­fi­dent that you’ll never be able to tell he had a strug­gled start to life.

So my crib at home may be empty for another few weeks, but my heart is full. I love you, Noah Jackson.

myersfam12As of today, Noah has been in the NICU for 8 days. He is breath­ing on his own and amaz­ing all of the doc­tors and nurses with his progress. His con­cep­tion, birth & life are a tes­ti­mony of the power of prayer! We are anx­ious to see how God uses him in the future. We are opti­mistic that we will be able to bring Noah home with us in about 2 weeks.

If this story touched your heart and you feel led to help con­tribute to Noah’s NICU bill, you may donate here. God bless you!

Noah’s Homecoming: Jack Bauer Style


Noah Jack­son Myers was born on March 17, 2011, about 9 weeks early. He spent 5 weeks in the Neona­tal Inten­sive Care Unit (NICU). James & Michelle (aka Mom & Dad) decided to com­mem­o­rate his home­com­ing with an unfor­get­table “movie” depict­ing what they wanted to do the entire 5 weeks he was there.

Our med­ical staff was amaz­ing, and we are so thank­ful he was there. If he couldn’t be with us at home, it was the best place he could have pos­si­bly been. Thank you!