Gabrielle Faith O’Melia

Gabrielle Faith O'Melia

I collapsed onto my side of the master bed, exhaustion and nausea had taken their toll. It was early evening and the kids had all been scooted off to bed. I leaned against the soft pillows at my back wondering if he would eventually notice the changes, and guess the cause.

I studied his face for any indication that he might be puzzled by my pallor, fatigue, and constant hunger. He was clueless.

I had been feeling this way for several days but just wasn’t ready to speak the words.

Oh forget it, I thought, we can’t go on like this forever.

“I don’t think I can do this!” I blurted out through the tears.

“Do what?” He was obviously perplexed.

“I’m pregnant. I mean I haven’t taken a test or anything, but I just know I am. And I can’t do this again. I want to have another baby, but I can’t survive the constant nausea. I feel horrible. What am I going to do?”

Early pregnancy became a time of survival for me, much like having the stomach flu for an extended period of time.  Keeping up with homeschooling, laundry, meal preparations, and cleaning house, was impossible.  It made me feel like such a failure. I would lie on the couch or floor, and direct willing helpers from a horizontal position. I had little kids climbing up on countertops to serve toddlers a bowl of cereal. Duff took over dinner duty and I often retreated to the bedroom to avoid the smells associated with cooking. Sleep seemed my only escape from the sickness.

This early pregnancy was no different, and quickly turned into one of my most difficult.  I would be dry heaving on the floor, while sobbing that there was nothing in the fridge that I could possibly eat. I would force food down only to have it come back up again. Duff would prepare an item I thought I could tolerate, and then I would change my mind. I was a mess. When I developed strep throat on top of the morning sickness, things really got ugly.

But… we did manage to get through those difficult days, and before long things began improving. My baby bump started to show and I looked forward to ultrasound day. It always thrilled me to take a peek at another little miracle.

I had been forced to switch obstetricians this go-around. My former doctor had retired because of back problems. I chose a good surgeon due to my history of hemorrhaging, sticky placenta, and cesarean scars, and planned to deliver in the hospital. The ultrasound images showed a perfectly healthy baby girl. My heart leapt with joy and thankfulness.

I had an uneventful remainder of my pregnancy. Baby gained weight steadily and I looked forward to “D-Day”. It was wonderful knowing the gender ahead of time so that I could wash the appropriate clothing and make room arrangements.

My mom arrived from Connecticut the week surrounding my due date. Mimi helped a ton and spoiled us rotten.  She really hoped to meet baby girl, but despite my best efforts to bring on labor, I successfully reached 41 weeks gestation.  My mom was forced to return home before baby made an appearance.

I was getting desperate.  I experienced several episodes of regular contractions but they just fizzled away into nothing.

Induction was not an option because of my uterine scars; the risk of rupture increases significantly with the use of Pitocin.

My OB would give me until 42 weeks to go into labor naturally.

Nothing happened.

I was shocked I would need to schedule a cesarean after battling so hard to have two natural VBACs.

Yet I felt this amazing peace that it was all happening according to God’s plan, and even more, that I woud receive some sort of confirmation as to why it all turned out this way.

Duff and I drove to the hospital, for the scheduled cesarean, on a Friday morning in October. The four other kiddos stayed behind with Uncle Russ, who bravely agreed to hold down the fort for a couple of days. We waited and waited with butterflies of anticipation dancing in our stomachs. Finally, it was showtime.

I was not on that OR table more than five minutes, when the OB declared, “I have never seen anything like this before.”

I held my breath…

This must be the confirmation…the reason it all turned out this way.

My surgeon explained that I had a uterine window, an area of dehiscence, where the layer of muscle had given way.  The biggest he’d ever seen.  It spanned the breadth of his two hands and resembled cellophane.  It was quite literally a window in my uterus, through which you could see, a beautifully chubby, baby girl. The window hadn’t stood a chance of withstanding those forceful contractions. Rupture would have been the certain outcome, and with it, the loss of precious life.

God had protected this child.  He had prevented the inevitable.  I was 42 weeks and yet labor had never commenced.
He had a reason and a plan for our little girl’s life. It was not her time.  Thank you, Lord, for your amazing ways!

We chose the name of Gabrielle Faith for our miracle, because we felt like it was an act of faith to have more children folllowing my difficult deliveries.

We did not realize at the time how our faith would be tested and strengthened by the birth of this child.

The nurses said she was the prettiest little thing on the floor. They probably say that to all the parents, but we believed them. ;)

Welcome, Precious Angel!

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