Saturday, June 2, 2012

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him...even Pitocin.

Our visit to Dr. Miller (the endocrinologist at Shands that specializes in PWS) was full of all kinds of wonderful information and encouragement, but one little tidbit stands out far and above all of the rest. One of the first questions she asked, after walking in, washing her hands and scooping Aerin up to cuddle with and love on, was how my labor and delivery went. I told her I was induced, to which we replied with a hearty “That’s great!”

Really? Great? I’m thinking...not so much.

So rewind a couple of months with me to March 21st. I was 38 weeks on the dot that day and my OB wanted to induce because Aerin’s heartbeat had mysteriously dropped at my last NST. An ultrasound showed everything looked fine, but she wanted to go ahead and get her out and I was not one to argue. (Because of the polyhydramnios, I had carried around 40 weeks worth of amniotic fluid for the last 2-3 weeks of my pregnancy and I was exhausted.) After all, I had been induced with my son: Check in, get IV, start pitocin, get epidural, deliver baby. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy--as my daughter would say.

I checked in to the hospital at 7:00 am, had my IV put in and started up on the pitocin. Pitocin is that wonderful synthetic hormone that, among other things, starts contractions. Sharp, ugly, miserable contractions...but contractions that get the job done, nonetheless. For some reason, my nurse would not let me get an epidural until I was 4 centimeters dilated and I was dilating at a snail’s pace. So I sat there, with my pitocin drip, contracting my little heart out all day long and waiting to hit the epidural lottery. Not so easy, lemon squeezy.

We can Reader’s Digest the rest: I finally got the epidural at around 7 pm but by then it was too late. It didn’t work and Aerin was born at 9:19, amidst a great deal of noise on my part.

So fast forward again to last Monday when I am standing in Dr. Miller’s office wondering why the most painful day of my life would ever be referred to as “great”! Here’s why...

Pitocin is the synthetic form of Oxytocin, a hormone produced by the body that plays a large role in bonding, social recognition and empathy. It is often referred to as the “love hormone.” It is thought, Dr. Miller explained, that those with PWS do not produce enough oxytocin on their own. At birth this impacts a baby’s ability to have those crucial early bonding experiences that can affect social interaction for the rest of that child’s life. The fact that I was induced meant that Aerin received Pitocin in utero and reaped many of the benefits of the hormone from the moment she was laid on my chest and encircled in my arms.

Honestly, I missed the next few minutes of our conversation with Dr. Miller because my whole world had just stopped. It was as if Jesus was standing right beside me in that doctor’s office and whispering into my ear, “See? I ordained this. You may not understand it, but I do. And I am in control of it so you need not fear.”

It was simply amazing to think that the Lord had planned out my labor and delivery in such a way that Aerin would reap as many benefits from it as possible. Something that I, in the moment, saw as a painful trial was really the Lord working for the good of my daughter. And I LOVE Him for it.

Some might ask, “Why wouldn’t He have just healed her to begin with?” Well, I think I am meant to work out the answer to that over the rest of my life, trusting that the answer will be clear once I have joined my Father in heaven. Certainly, it is a question for another post. ;) One thing I know for certain: had Aerin NOT been born with PWS, I would never have heard His still, small voice speak right into my heart that day in the doctor’s office. And I would be much worse off for it.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

P.S. Thanks, Jessica, for the post title! You are a dear sister in Christ!