ST. LOUIS - Often when women learn they are pregnant they start planning - planning fun ways to tell their family and friends, planning for the nursery, planning the baby showers, planning the birth. But what isn’t planned are complications that can arise and throw all those plans out the window.
That’s exactly what happened for Lindsey Spahr, 36, of Moro, Ill., who welcomed her baby girl Charleigh - 7 lbs., 8 oz., 20.5 inches long - on Friday, May 3. Before Charleigh arrived, Spahr spent more than 12 weeks in the hospital and wrote a song titled Whatever It Takes and sang it from her hospital bed.
“I’m so happy my baby is finally here and healthy,” Spahr said. “I was willing to do whatever it took to give her those extra few weeks to grow inside me."
Spahr had been in and out of emergency departments with bleeding and no apparent cause. When she reached 15 weeks gestation she was referred to the Mercy Maternal and Fetal Health Center at Mercy Hospital St. Louis. She was diagnosed with partial chronic placental abruption, a rare condition where the placenta prematurely partially separates. Over time, it’s possible for the placenta to become completely separated, which can be lethal for babies and dangerous to the mother.
At 25 weeks, Spahr’s bleeding continued and her doctors ordered hospital bedrest for the remainder of her pregnancy. If her condition got worse, an emergency c-section would be needed. On the second day at the hospital, her bleeding was so severe doctors prepared Spahr for that very possibility.
“The doctors gave us the odds of survival if the baby was born that day and my husband and I just broke down,” Spahr said. “I kept thinking ‘How did this happen? I’m healthy and I feel totally normal.’”
Once the bleeding slowed and the threat of emergency c-section passed, Spahr started counting the little milestones – days and then weeks. She was doing well enough to get privileges such as a wheelchair ride or going to the activity room with other moms in the While You Are Waiting program. She began a daily routine and didn’t deviate from it.
“Keeping a routine is my best advice for other moms in my shoes,” Spahr said. “I didn’t sleep during the day or even watch TV or movies until the evening. I read, did crafts, talked to other moms, Skyped and wrote.”
Spahr has been writing songs for 15 years. She said the easiest time to write is when strong emotions are in play. The song she wrote while in the hospital, called “Whatever It Takes,” was for her baby Charleigh, but resonates with other moms going through their own journeys. When Spahr posted it on her Facebook page she received many comments from friends about how it helped them.
“When I wrote it I didn’t think it would mean anything to others. I didn’t think about it that way,” Spahr said. “But if it can help other women who are struggling with unexpected issues during their pregnancy, I’m happy about it.”
Spahr, a department manager married to a technical engineer, is used to planning things, having things very black and white. But she said she quickly learned that wouldn’t happen in this situation.
“You can’t engineer this out. You very quickly learn who’s in charge – the baby.”
To read the lyrics, click here: Lyrics for Whatever It Takes.