Musings of a Marfan Mom

Julie’s Birth Story, Part 3


I’m out of town on an unexpected trip. While I’m gone, my friend Julie is kind enough to share with us her birth story. It will be presented in 3 parts. Thanks, Julie! :-)

The Story of Max
When I found out I was pregnant, I would often say the same silent daily prayer to God.

“Please God, may he not break my heart”.

Little did I know, this would be quite a prophetic prayer, which had nothing to do with the pains of parenthood and a lot to do with both of our fates…

I woke up after surgery and it occurred to me after a few seconds that I was alive. Then I realized I wasn’t alone. My mom’s best friend, Rosemary Kapsak, who had recently died on my birthday, was there with me. I didn’t see her but I knew she was there. When I later mentioned this to a nurse, she said this was very common. Loved ones remain after surgery in case things don’t go well and you need guidance to the after life. She was watching over me.

There was a breathing tube in my throat yet people were asking me questions like “How are you feeling?”. My hands were tied down. I began gagging. I asked for paper.

This part is foggy but I recall Pete coming in the room and me writing down “Max?”. I was told he was okay. WE WERE BOTH OKAY!!!!! We lived!!!!

It was very hard for me not to see my son. To give birth with no solid memory of it, to know your son is alive somewhere in a large building, to not be able to hold him and let him know it’s going to be okay, it’s painful. Pete handed me my digital camera and that was how I saw him for the first time. Better than not seeing him at all.

I was blown away by how beautiful he looked. Perfect. Small but not upsettingly small, and beautiful, just like his father. And he was healthy!
I wasn’t able to see him at all on his first day of life. My doctor was very strict with his rules, I wasn’t able to go to the pediatric ICU unless I was completely monitored. Finally, on the second day, the nurses took me upstairs with Peter to see my new baby.

The journey upstairs to him felt like years. The emotions I felt were so deep , that I was sobbing before I even got there. I couldn’t hold it in. I was about to meet my child. It was almost too much for me. I was able to hold his hand, look at his face, I was in awe of his beauty, this little boy was inside of me the day before. It was overwhelming.

Max not only survived a difficult and risky and highly unlikely situation but the doctors suspect there is much more to this. You see, it is believed that my little boy saved my life. He was on top of the aneurysm, he was protecting me. Without him there, the bomb would have exploded. God literally answered my prayers. Max didn’t break my heart. He saved it instead.

On June 13th, the amazingly compassionate nurses decided to pull some strings and bring Max to my hospital room. And not only that. I was going to get to HOLD him. For the first time. It had already been six days since he was born and the pain I felt was getting too hard to bare. I needed to hold my son. I was crying often, typical post partum of course but with all of the emotions I was going through, the need to hold him was killing me. I could not believe that without even asking, these amazing women took it upon themselves to make my unspoken wish happen.
Pete video taped this special moment. I will treasure that video forever. This is the moment that my heart became still. The agonizing shrieks that were wailing in my heart and head were instantly silenced when his little body was against my heart. At this moment, all was instantly okay. It was a perfect peace.

Julie and Max today

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  1. Hello, Maya.
    That was an amazing and touching story. I had tears in my eyes all the time while i was reading.
    I also have Marfan Syndrome and I have three children.
    Best wishes to you and to your family!


  2. I have been reading this story over and over for days and it is just so amazing!!!! Just one of the many reasons that I love your blog Maya! Thank you for sharing, what a beautiful family :)


  3. YES!!!! I can’t believe it took me five days to get to part 3. SO SO happy you’re both okay!!!


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