For my boy
We are getting ready to prepare for my Boy’s second birthday. It dawned on me a while ago, that I never did write out his birth story. I wrote O’s out like the week we came home. This was before I started blogging. Her’s was posted on my myspace page, which I haven’t checked in, well, years…
I haven’t sat down and wrote out the Boy’s because for a long time, it was too painful to think about. It caused emotions that I didn’t want to stir up. I don’t have a large following on this blog, mostly friends and family, so you are all aware of our story. You can read my husbands take on it here.
About a year ago, though, when my wild boy was turning ONE and my Precious and I were reminiscing over our lives that past year and talking about that dark time I looked over to Cody and said “you know what? It was kind of fun!” As you can expect, he looked at me like I was insane, and said – “Um, no! It was not fun! Were you even in the same NICU as I was? Do you not remember……” he rambled on for quite a while 😉
My response? Well, let me tell you the whole story, then I can tell you why I can look back on that time almost two years ago, and say that it was fun.
During the summer of 2010 my husband and I talked and prayed about trying for baby number 2. Our daughter would be turning two in the fall, and it had taken us 2 and 1/2 years to get pregnant with her. We knew we wanted our children close in age, and we felt like it was time to start trying again, just in case we had trouble conceiving this time around. We thought we would start trying in August, hoping for a summer baby, so that Cody would be home with us during those first few months. Imagine our suprise when on September 12, 2010 we saw two lines pop up on one of those white sticks!! Yes! Praise God!! We told our parents, and close friends right away.
Then, in late October, we went to take fall family pictures at the Arboretum and made cute cards to mail to our family announcing that we were “adding another pumpkin to our patch!” We made the official announcement at our daughters 2nd birthday party to our family and friends.
In December we went for our “big” sonogram – boy or girl??? BOY!! We were elated!! Also a bit bewildered. I mean, I am a girl. I have a daughter. I don’t know anything about boys! I am an only child, so I don’t know anything about siblings either…. But oh, the joy I had in my heart!
A few days after our sonogram my nurse called me. She told me the dr. was concerned about the baby’s brain development, and wanted me to go to a women’s center in Dallas at Baylor for more sonograms and to see a specialist. Whoa. Bring on the tears and prayers. Cody, my mom and I went – we went there for 3 separate appointments and they finally gave us the OK that everything looked fine. I have Graves Disease (thyroid), so the specialist felt that my OB was probably just being cautious.
In February, I began feeling very tired all the time. I thought it was just because I was pregnant, or the fact that I started off over weight, or my thyroid issues acting up… However it just kept getting worse. Over spring break (March 2011) we took my Love to the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park, and to the Dallas Zoo. It was great fun, but it was all I could do to walk (waddle…) around with my family. I would get very tired and need to take breaks.
I tend to think that I am invincible, and so when I would go to the dr. and they would ask how I was doing, I would laugh it off. “Oh I’m great, tired (ha, ha) but well.”
My due date was May 14th. With my Love, I was induced on the day after my due date – we lived an hour and a half from the hospital, so the Dr. wanted us to schedule the birth for timing issues. (No babies on the side of the road!) This time, I was having our baby at the hospital in our town. By mid April I was feeling miserable, and DONE. Ready to have this baby. So I began asking my OB about scheduling a induction. She just kept saying “we will talk about it at your next appointment.”
Well, in the mean time my Precious was praying that our Boy would be born on May 4th.
He has a huge Star Wars obsession He enjoys Star Wars, and May 4th is Star Wars day (May the 4th be with you, ha ha, get it?) Well, our boy didn’t come that day. I thought it would be fun for him to be here on May 5th – a Cinco de Mayo baby! I had a dr’s appointment that day. As I went to check in at the desk, I jokingly (but in all seriousness) asked the receptionist what she thought the odds were of my dr. just sending me on to the hospital. She chuckled.
When the nurse was taking my vitals in the back, I asked her the same thing. She laughed. When the dr. came in, I told her (in a joking way) that I felt I was done, and we needed to just let me walk on next door to the hospital. She smiled. Then she got out her Doppler to listen to my boy’s heart beat. For a few minutes… with an odd look on her face. She asked me if the baby had been very active – Um… well, no. Not really. But my daughter had been less active the week she was born too, so I hadn’t worried about it. She looks at me and says “Why do I ever doubt you? You’re going to the hospital tonight.”
She sent me to the comfy room – really it was the monitoring room. I sat in the big comfy recliner and they placed the monitor parts on my belly and told me to click the button every time the baby moved. He didn’t move much. So about 30 minutes later my Dr. comes in again, and says – You’re going to the hospital for monitoring over night, and we will induce you in the morning. – Wait? What? Seriously? But my daughter is at the school with her dad, and I have the car seat! – My dr. told me I could go get my daughter taken care of, and have a light supper with my family. So that is what I did. Well, sort of. I mean, a chili relleno dinner with rice and beans, hot sauce and guacamole… That is a light dinner… right? 😀
So we took my daughter to my mother-in-laws house to stay the night, and my husband and I went to the hospital.
They put me on monitors all night long, but saw nothing of concern. Then the next morning they started me on pictocin (which I swear was created by the Devil himself!) My dr. was not going to be the physician on call that day, it was the dr. that everyone uses (except me, obviously – I always go against the flow) and loves. And after going through that day with him, I understand why. He was so calm and funny through out the whole day.
The nurses would get worried because Luke’s heart rate would drop really low each time I had a contraction. At one point, when the dr. came to check on me, the nurse flat out asked him if he had been keeping an eye on the monitors. He chuckled and said “well, no, not really. The Rangers are on.” LOL! Only in Texas, right? So he stood there in my room and watched my monitors for a few moments. Grunted to himself, and watched some more. Finally he said “Well, your dr. wouldn’t like the look of that, and would probably send you for surgery, but I think yall are going to do all right. Well, keep an eye on you a while longer.”
Now I am sure most people wouldn’t like to hear that, but I was OK with waiting. If only I had known that waiting was going to be our theme for the next few days…
I won’t bore you with the details of the birth. Let’s sum it up in a few words and phrases: epidural (thank You, God, for modern pain medicine – you won’t hear me say this too often, but when it comes to child birth, I’m all for it!) broken water, moments of panic when Luke’s heart rate would drop, lots of rolling from side to side, nurse calling dr. yelling at him to hurry. Nurse panicking, thinking she was going to have to glove up and catch the baby. Dr snapping his gloves on LITERALLY in the nick of time to catch the boy.
We were blessed to have so many family and friends there, ready to meet our little man. Many people came to visit us and wish us well the day Luke was born. Of course, the nurses came through out the day to do their routine monitoring and checks on him and me. They took him during the night to do routine blood work. We had a relatively peaceful night. Then the next morning came…
The on-call pediatrician came to see us. I was already bummed that it was not our pedi (whom we LOVE), but we were ok with this one. Our daughter had seen her once before. However, this time she had “the look”. You know the look I’m talking about. The one where you know something is up…
She pulled up a chair and pulled out our chart and began explaining to us that our perfect little boy, wasn’t actually perfect. He was covered in red spots (well, yeah, we noticed them right away, but it’s just from coming through the birth canal, right?) No, those red spots are called petechiae and are caused by the lack of platelets in his blood (known as thrombocytopenia). (Woah, wait, what??)
The rest of the conversation is a blur. I remember her saying that a low-healthy count of platelets was 150,000 – Luke’s platelet count? 19,000. She told us, she even had them run the blood test twice to make sure.
Then we heard the words no parent wants to hear. “We have called a team from Methodist Hospital, they are sending their team here to transport him to the NICU there in an ambulance. They will probably give him a platelet transfusion, and that should get him better.” Then she left.
And my precious and I broke down. We held each other, and our boy, and cried, and prayed through our tears. We didn’t really understand everything, but we knew God was in control.
Once we were in control again, I looked at my precious and said these words: I don’t want to make these phone calls.
But we had to. I called my dad’s cell phone, because I knew I couldn’t break the news to my mom. They were at their neighbors house enjoying breakfast together and showing off pictures of the new baby before coming back to the hospital. I told my dad to walk away so I could tell him what was going on. I then told him, and asked him and mom to come right away.
Cody called his family and basically said the same thing, except to wait until we called them and told them we were headed to Dallas. They could meet us there.
We thought of our sweet girl. She had been staying with my MIL, but we knew she would want to go to Dallas too. So I called my cousin, who lives a little over an hour away and asked if she could come down to our place and take O home with her for at least the night. Of course, she could. (Praise God for such a close, loving family!)
During the next few hours, the team from Dallas showed up and were getting briefed on the patient. My precious went and picked up our girl, and took her to our house to meet my cousin, and to also gather up clothes and what not for us. Since we didn’t know how long we would be gone. He called his work, our church, etc. My parents were at the hospital with me. Waiting…
Eventually they came and told us that they had Luke on the stretcher and were about to roll him down the hall if we wanted to step outside and see him. So my precious and I, along with my parents stepped out into the hall way, and what I saw … sorry, just typing this out brings me to tears. I was not prepared for what I was about to see. I wish I had a picture, but who thinks of taking pictures at a time like that? The image is forever burned into my mind though. My baby boy was laying on a stretcher in this incubator looking box, with wires, and machines…. I broke down. Through my tears I asked the Team (there were 4 of them) if we could please pray for our baby before they left. So we gathered around the stretcher, my husband, parents, the Team, nurses had gathered around… I’m not sure who all was there. My precious husband laid hands on our baby’s box and led a beautiful prayer for safety and healing, and we watched them roll my boy away.
During our waiting time, the OB who had delivered our boy came by, telling me he had filled out all the paper work so I could be released to follow the ambulance up to Dallas. He had also set down with Cody and I and said he felt Luke would be fine. He was very calm, and compassionate. I appreciated that. The on-call pediatrician had also come back by, to offer reassurance. She too, said that Luke should be fine. Just not if he stayed there. We had to get him to Dallas for the care he needed.
We gathered up our things, and headed to the SUV shortly after they had wheeled Luke down. When we went to walk out of the hospital, they had just finished loading Luke up in the ambulance. – Insert another wave of tears. –
Well, this is getting rather lengthy, so I believe I will let this be part one. And will continue our story in the next post.