Jennifer Borow


February, 2014 I was rushed into an emergency c-section and gave birth to our son, 6 weeks earlier than his due date. The c-section was an emergency because he got stuck in my pelvis (too narrow) and his umbilical cord was only 8". So when his heart rate dropped, we were rushed into the OR. He was so stuck that they had to do a 'T' incision on my uterus and had to employ a literal step stool on the OR to pull him free.

We both had physical trauma from the surgery and I was unable to see him or hold him for 24+ hours as my BP soared once he was born and I was tethered to a heart monitor and a magnesium IV.  Thankfully my sweet husband FaceTimed me from the NICU that evening ❤️ Eitan Shalom weighed 5lbs, 11oz and was bruised around the sides of his face and hairline so traumatized and 'stunned', according to the head of the NICU, by his birth that his APGAR score was initially a 3, but within 20 minutes was a 9. He was incredibly perfect, breathing on his own and so beautiful.

He was born Sunday morning. Monday night into Tuesday morning, I woke up so cold I couldn't stop shaking and had a fever of over 102. Over the next few days, the fever was kept at bay by Tylenol and would rage up once that wore off. I went from fully ambulatory the day after Eitan was born, heading down to the NICU one floor down on my own, to just being able to stand long enough to stand propped against the wall outside of my room to get into a wheelchair so I could get to the NICU downstairs to see our baby boy.

The day after Eitan came home from the hospital a week and a half after he was born, I was at my third doctor appointment of the week being seen again for the pain I was in and not thinking I could survive another day in that kind of pain. Starting the night before, I was no longer able to keep water or pain meds or any of the antibiotics I was given, had to be caught after starting to pass out going up the back fire escape to our apartment. The pain was so intense that when Eitan was still in the NICU, I couldn't handle the 15 minute car ride to and from the hospital. And then, once there could only stay for 20 minutes before needing to be taken back home.

One OB nearly caused my son to grow up without his Mommy. Another OB ordered the CT scan which showed the abscess on my rear abdominal wall, and the massive pocket of fluid and gas from all of my tissue and muscles being eaten away by NF. I kept my uterus, surprisingly but I lost some abdominal muscles, my c-section scar, had numerous debridements, a few surgeries in total - including reconstruction, nearly a year of chemical cauterizing, 6 weeks with an open abdominal wound and countless hours, days and weeks being unable to do what a new Mom should be able to do for her newborn; hold, comfort, sing lullabies to, feed, nap with, nurture, bathe and dress, undress and change.

I've never shared photos of the wound I was left with after the NF was cut out. I thought I'd deleted every last one a couple of years ago until I found an old email file. More dead tissue was removed a few weeks later as blood supply died or never returned. I woke up on the OR table when the anesthesiologist woke me before I should have been. I went into full panic, strapped down, unable to breathe and feeling like I was being sliced through with a razor made of fire.

At 3:00AM, after surgery had ended, my Husband and Mom were told by my OB who was the OR surgeon that going in I only had a 10% chance of living through the surgery, I was septic and that there was so much infection that as soon as they opened me, the infection poured down her scrubs and into her shoes. She had to leave the OR to change in order to operate in a sterile field once the mess was removed from my body and the tissue removal started.

The day we forget what we went through is the day we forget what strengths we have gained along the way. Sure I'd rather that it never happened but wallowing in 'what could have been's' for me just starts a spiral I'd rather not go down. Too much time taken away from my family, and that is way more valuable ❤️