Thursday, November 1, 2012

Battles....

I've been writing this blog in my head over and over again for several weeks.  I don't know how well it will flow, how much sense it will make...but I'm going to try.


I had a pretty easy pregnancy, no real complaints other than kidney issues at 24 weeks.  My blood pressure was normal the whole time...until around 32 weeks.  It started creeping up.  34 weeks the nurse told me I needed to watch my sodium intake, drink more water, be careful.  36 weeks, higher...still not pre-eclampsia levels, but high nonetheless.

August 13, 2012--37 week appointment, 37 weeks exactly.  Blood pressure of 150/90.  No progress down there, couldn't find his head.  One quick ultrasound later, J and I see our precious baby boy, but learn that he's breech, low amniotic fluid, but he's ok.  No contractions, no stress for Pierce.  Dr doesn't like blood pressure and says that Pierce is too big to move himself into proper position and he wants to do a c-section on Thursday (August 16).

C-section?  The entire 9 months leading up to this point I was absolutely NOT going to have a c-section.  I was going to have completely natural childbirth, no epidural.  I was going to do it all on my own, I was passionate about this!
Cue anxiety.  My dear husband sat next to me in the doctor's office and just told me it would all be ok.  Pierce will be here, we'll have our baby, everything will all be fine.
Put on STRICT bedrest until the c-section because my blood pressure went up to 150/120.  I haven't even had time to nest.  His nursery hadn't had all of the little touches put on it.  I hadn't gotten in there yet, I kept thinking I still had 3 weeks.  I had time.  No rush.  We had just moved, I was getting the rest of the house settled, then was getting to his room.  Getting things settled when you're waddling around 9 months pregnant is a slow process, BTW.
Next thing we know, due to scheduling conflicts, we get 24 hours yanked out from under us and we're told to be at the hospital Wednesday, August 15 at 6am.
Cue more anxiety

This entire time everyone says it'll all be just fine, including J and I, after all 37 weeks is considered full-term. Turns out, for Pierce, it's not.  Pierce was born 3 weeks premature.  He was considered a preemie.

My baby?  Is a preemie?  He weighs 7 pounds 3 ounces...19 inches long.  How is he a preemie?

Every pregnant woman dreams of the day she meets her baby for the fist time.
First sight of baby.
First time to touch baby.
First time to kiss baby.
First family photos.
You guys know what I'm talking about.  All of those expectations, because that's what everyone gets to do. Everyone has that sweet, amazing first family photo of a screaming slimy baby on mom's chest with dad leaned over, kissing mom's forehead.

This is the part that makes me cry when I think about it.  I haven't figured out why...until tonight.

I'm in mourning over that beautiful birth story.  That story book delivery, complete with beautiful pictures.  I'm hoping that writing it down, letting it out, will help.

The entire story, written in the hospital, found here

The first time we heard the word "NICU" was during surgery prep with the labor and delivery nurses.  At no point in nearly 10 months had the thought, "NICU", entered my brain.  Never.  Not once.
J and I were left alone for a few minutes and tears welled up in my eyes.
"What's wrong baby?  Nerves?"
"NICU?"
"It's ok baby"
Only, I knew he was just as concerned over hearing NICU.
J puts on a great front, holds himself strong, shows no fear.  I can see right through it all.  I allowed myself to focus on my anxiety of the surgery and the spinal.  I was scared sh*tless of the spinal...a driving factor in my desire to have a drug free natural delivery!
I started to shake, all over, just shiver.  I couldn't control it.  When I was wheeled into the OR the shaking got worse.  I somehow controlled myself enough to get the spinal.  FYI, the spinal wasn't bad.  Actually, the IV was the absolute worst part of the whole c-section.

I remember hearing my doctor say something along the lines of "he took a large gulp", and hearing cries that just weren't right.  Tears started welling up because I could hear my son.  I still couldn't see him, but watched J looking at him.  While I could see love in his whole body; pride expanding in his chest.  I knew something wasn't right because of the concern coming across his face.
I've learned more in the past month or so, as J feels more comfortable telling me things that occurred that I either didn't see, wasn't there for (recovery, pain meds, couldn't physically go to the NICU the first 24 hours), or just plain don't remember.
J saw that his coloring wasn't right.  Pierce wasn't changing colors the way J knew he should.
I laid there waiting to hear baby screams.  I could hear people saying things around me, I could feel the tension in the whole room.
I saw the nurses suctioning Pierce, bagging him, it just wasn't right.  I laid helpless strapped on the OR bed, looking to J for guidance.
The nurses wrapped Pierce up, brought him to me and said, "We have to hurry mom, give him a quick kiss"



I don't remember what my son looked like in that moment.
I don't remember that moment.
Worry and fear have erased that moment.

They took Pierce and J.  I was left in the OR, being sewn up by the doctor.  The nurse anesthetist was sweet.  He kept telling me that they take babies to the NICU to be checked...that they hold them there and usually let them go within 4 hours.

I was wheeled into recovery.  I remember just staring off into space.  I knew that J was with our son.  I knew that the whole time I was pregnant, I told J if for some reason I can't be with Pierce that he wasn't to leave his side.  If Pierce couldn't have Mommie, he needed Daddy.

Daddy didn't leave his side.

I was wheeled back from recovery to the NICU to see Pierce.  I got to touch his little legs and his little arms...I rubbed his chubby little cheek.  I could see that his chest was pumping so very hard, trying to breathe.

I didn't get to hold my son the day he was born.  Or the next, or the next.

I don't remember when I got to kiss his cheek.  I am sure it's in a blog post.  I haven't had the courage to go back and read through them.  One day, I will. 

It wasn't until Pierce's 7th day on this earth that we got to hold him.  His one week birthday present was to come off of the ventilator.  We got to hold this tiny creature, wrapped in his blanket, tubes and IV lines coming off of him.  We got that first family picture.
best picture of our lives
Pierce stayed in the NICU for a total of 20 days.  
He came home the day after his due date
September 4, 2012
from that
to this....
October 22, 2012 10 weeks old
I may be mourning the story book delivery and all of our delayed firsts
But I remind myself that, while delayed, we brought him home healthy
We had our first night home
We have taken our first family photos
Pierce got his first professional pictures made

Our firsts were delayed, but we had them

We have our son.
We have a bond and a strength as a family that not everyone has.

Pierce has his own story, no one shares his story.
I have to remember these things.
I remember that my son is a FIGHTER, and STRONG.  

Maybe one day I'll stop mourning the story book delivery
Until then, I look down as my sleeping son in my arms, being nourished by my body, growing, thriving, and remember how far he's come and how blessed, how very blessed we are.

5 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you didn't get that storybook delivery and birth story but you do have a story with a strong and healthy and happy little boy to write about!!! He will be grateful one day for all you did for him!!!

    You are an amazing mama and I hope to be half the mama you are!!!!

    Love you girl!

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  2. Pierce is lucky to have such a loving mommy

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  3. I'm so sorry you didn't get to experience his delivery & birth the way you wanted, especially when you aren't expecting it. He is a miracle baby and is so blessed to have you as his mommy!! xoxo

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  4. You made me tear up!! I can't imagine having to have everything changed so quickly and drastically from your original plan. That must have been so scary!! I'm so glad that he is healthy!!

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