It was a beautiful April day. I was 38 weeks pregnant and feeling very large. I bribed my OB doctor to induce me because I didn't think my stomach could stretch any further. After hours of pitocin nothing was happening. That's when they decided to prick my amniotic sac in hopes that it would start leaking. The hopeful leak turned into an all out flood. So much so that I remember the doctor leaping out of the way as the damn let loose. I heard rumor that the water might even have gone out the door. My stomach shrunk to two-thirds it's size. I almost didn't feel pregnant anymore. (come to find out later I was polyhydramnios) Soon after I received my first ever epidural which was heavenly. An hour later Benjamin McKay Orton was born. I recall during the birthing process how smoothly everything went. The first time out of four births. It was a tender mercy. Even his head came out smoothly...the first time I wasn't ripped from stem to stern. His shoulders though, they were burly and wide. I almost escaped unscathed until his shoulders. Immediately after birth he was lifted onto my chest. Beautiful. That was the first word into my brain when I saw him. His cry, it was weak and faint...unlike any of my other babies. He was struggling to breathe and needed to be suctioned. They took him from me and gave him some oxygen. He still wasn't doing so well. They removed him from my room and into the nursery. Steve stayed with Ben and would update me on his condition as the doctor's were trying to figure it all out. Soon after birth he started having what looked like full body myoclonic jerking and/or seizures. Then they noticed how small his head was. The doctor's became nervous. Nobody saw this coming. Nobody but me. You see I felt those myoclonic jerks during my pregnancy and I had those motherly instincts that told me something wasn't right. They called Dartmouth to come get him. I kissed him and my husband goodbye, told Steve to keep me posted as I had to go back to my room for overnight care. I had lost too much blood and was not stable enough to go with him. It was my worst fear come true. I was that mother who gave birth to a child with serious problems. The mother who didn't have a baby to hold. The nurses avoided my room. I sat in the dark crying and praying that my baby would somehow be alright. My parents came the next morning. They drove me up to Dartmouth where I met with Steve and the doctor's. The news was not good. I remember the word "vegetable" being used. "He was not going to make it" they told me. My world and everything I knew came crashing down. I have never felt such despair, such anguish in all of my life. I didn't care how disabled Benjamin would be...WE just wanted to take him home. For 11 days we stayed in the Intensive Care Nursery. He fought for his life and won. We took him home. Eight years later he continues to fight for his life and I as his mother fight right along side him. Happy birthing day to me.