Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Senbazuru for Hudson

1000 paper cranes in hope of a healthy baby.
Pregnancy is a wonderful thing! But not always. Pregnancy, even when dearly wanted, can be traumatic, stressful and emotionally and physically damaging. Looking back, the only way I can describe my experience is by qualifying it of hell. 9 months in hell. It's a harsh thing to say and I truly wished I had some good memories about it, but the fact is that there was nothing to enjoy. The process was painful and leaves me with a bitter taste. Off course, if I had to redo it, I would. The end result, no matter how painful the journey is, is worth it.

I started bleeding at 5 weeks. I was told it was a possible MC. I went back at 7 weeks for an ultrasound and there it was a tiny healthy heart beat! But I kept on bleeding. I was diagnose with a large SCH that did not resolve until 20 weeks. So I bled and bled. I had to return to the ER, 4 times. Each time thinking it was an MC once more. But the heart beat remained strong. By 26 weeks, the morning sickness finally went away. A light at the end of the tunnel. I thought I could finally enjoy myself, but no one had prepared me to other side effect of pregnancy. At 32 weeks I lost the feelings in my right fingers. My vision started getting blurry in my right eye. At 34 weeks, I would get shooting pain in my back and hips when ever I tried to lay down. At 38 weeks, the baby moved to a transverse position. At 39 weeks, I was told of the risk of a cord accident if my water was to break... baby still transverse, flat pelvis and no progress at all. So we opted for a c-section. Many people would tell me you could still have tried for a vaginal birth and they are probably right, but after loosing our first baby, after going back to the ER 4 times thinking we were going to loose this one, you don't risk a cord accident so close to the finish line. For the last week of my pregnancy, I would lay all night unable to sleep in fear that my water might break. So for my sanity and for the baby's sake I was not going to get my very much wanted vaginal birth.

The first 1000 paper cranes.
But let's go back in time! After my first miscarriage, unable to come to term with it, I frantically started folding paper cranes. Keeping my hands busy, kept my mind busy. Slowly I started to feel better. I started folding the birds in mid-October and was done shortly before Christmas. This was my own way of honoring our angel baby.

Ayumi's 1000 paper cranes for Hudson
In February, as I learned of my second pregnancy, I kept the details secret from everyone. But one day in early March as I was on Skype with my Japanese  friend, she bluntly asked me if I was pregnant yet. I was very surprise by such a direct question. I could not get myself to lie and said that yes indeed I was. But that I preferred to keep it a secret. She asked me how many weeks I was, I said 7 weeks. She then went on to tell me how she had 2 months ago, just finished folding 1000 paper cranes in hope that I would be pregnant again! She had folded her last paper crane exactly 1 week before my conception date!     

That same evening, I took my origami out and started folding another 1000 paper cranes in hope of a healthy baby. I was 7 weeks and on bedrest. The doctors were telling me to expect a MC. I kept on folding my little piece of paper. At around 30 weeks, my husband started helping me. At 36 weeks we were done. They are now hanging, with Ayumi's birds, in the nursery. 3000 paper cranes of hope. 3000 paper cranes for our child.

Hudson has now been with us for a week. On October 24th, my husband and I drove to the hospital, we checked in, filled papers after papers. I had some blood test done and then walked myself to the OR. I sat on the bed in the middle of the brightly light room filled with nurses and doctors getting ready to deliver a baby. I sat there dumbstruck, thinking, is this really how baby are delivered. The anesthesiologist arrived. We chatted for a while, casual small talk... I keep thinking, this is weird, am I really going to deliver a baby? It looked nothing like what you see in movies, on tvs... My Ob arrived, he made a few jokes. I laid on the bed, incapable of moving my lower limb. My husband was let in the room and stood by my side. We were both quiet. I don't know what he was thinking about. As for me, I could feel the tugging and the pulling. I was listening to the sound my body was making. I couldn't feel anything. Was I really delivering a baby. The OB said, wow, she really was in trouble. It's a good thing the c-section was pushed ahead, she might not have make it to Thursday... I was staring in my husband's eyes. Then we saw a baby. They were washing her, padding her. She was not crying but she was moving. For a second, I wasn't sure who's baby that was? Mine? She was about 2-3 meters from us, we could see her well. The doctors were talking but we weren't listening. I said "look she's got your nose?". My husband said "yes, she does". He said "I can't cut the cord." The Ob call him to come and cut the cord, and he did. He came to stand next to me. They brought the baby over. She was beautiful. We got to spend a few minutes with her. Then my husband left with the baby and they started to stitch me up. I was in recovery for just under 45 minutes and then they brought me to my room. My husband was there waiting for me with our baby. The c-section was, after all not a big deal. 8 hours after the surgery I was standing, and resumed walking the next morning. Yesterday they removed my stitches and there is no scar to be seen (understitch). As of last night, I also was able to stop the painkillers. It's funny how fast you can fall in love with someone. It's funny how fast you can forget the last 9 months in hell. Hudson made it all worth it.

As I type this, she is peacefully sleeping on my laps. I wish we could just sit like this forever. She keeps us up awake for most of the night, but I just love these moments we get to share together.



  1. She is truly beautiful! I am so proud of you and specially of Hudson for being so strong this whole time. I know it wasn't easy, and I wish it would have been, but now it's the fun part, and you get to see her grow up and teach her all the fun things of life. She was worth the wait!

  2. Absolutely beautiful Catherine.
    Congratulations to all 3 of you xo

  3. Je viens juste de lire cette entrée ...et je regrette pas ! C'est vraiment super touchant toute l'histoire d'Hudson ! J'ai faillit pleurer quand j'ai lu a propos des 1000 cranes d'Ayumi ! Elle les a fini une semaine avant la conception ....OMG ....Et en plus vous faire ces milles cranes pour votre futur enfant ...Cette fille ( et sa famille ) sont juste trop ...merveilleux. Et ensuite, tout les cranes que vous avez fait ... Vous avez travaillé fort pour cette petite fille et vous la mérité !!! Elle est magnifique ! J'espere pouvoir avoir un enfant moi aussi un jour et vivre cette aventure ..malgres les embuche qui pourraient se pointer ! Merci d'Avoir partager votre histoire !