Wow, what a week! Kanan arrived last Sunday morning on March 11th by emergency cecessarian cection and he is finally home after his first 5 days and 4 nights in the hospital. It is day 7 today and I am just now finding a moment to write about what took place. I knew being a mother would take my time, but darn, I didn’t realize it would be this much….:) By no means am I complaining. Mike and I LOVE being parents! Kanan is healthy and beautiful and we are so happy to be home with him. My mother gave him a nickname that is just perfect for him—“Angel Doll.” Here is his birth story:
On Friday morning, I lost my plug and that night, I started getting contractions that got closer and closer until they were about 5 minutes apart. While they were not making me buckle down in pain, they were definitely stronger than period cramps and combine that with some bleeding and a little water, I thought I was in labor for sure. We left the Mower concert at this time–(yes, we were at a Mower show at Canes…lol). Mike and I arrived at the hospital at midnight and the nurse checked me out. I was not dialated and she said the blood was normal and the water was probably urine. I was sent home with a shot of Visitril in my hip to help me sleep through any possible more contractions. I slept well, but when I woke up, the contractions were far apart and sporadic again. This continued through the rest of the day.
Saturday night, however, the contractions picked up again and I layed in bed all night wide awake and watched the clock as my contractions got closer and closer together and stronger each time. By the time 330 am hit, though, I was starting to get the shivers and they were getting really bad. I thought maybe by body was shivering from the shock of the pain, but when 630am hit and I was still shaking under the blankets and freezing cold between and through contractions, I decided to wake Mike (yes, he slept like a log throughout the whole night and didn’t even know I was contracting) and see if he could get me the thermometer. He did and my temperature was 99.8 degrees. We figured it was a little high, but nothing to be too concerned about. Nor was I too concerned that everytime I got up from the bed, my bladder leaked badly. I figured the baby’s head was really low and was just pushing everything out of my bladder. One hour later, I felt worse and my temperature was now 100.4 degrees. Between that rise and the fact that I was contracting about ever 2 minutes, we decided to chance being sent back home and go to the hospital again. This was around 7am.
By the time I was on the bed in the hospital room, my contractions were so bad, I seriously wanted to die. I thought that I must be dialated atleast 3 centimeters by now and was hoping they would say “here is your epideral.” Unfortunately, I was dialated only 1 centimeter. How was I going to get through 2 more centimeters before drugs? I didn’t think I was going to make it. I was crying by this point and the nurse felt my face and said I felt really warm. She checked my temperature which was now 102.7 degrees. The baby’s heart rate had jumped to an alarming speed of 190 bpm and she was worried. She said because of my fever and the baby’s reaction, I was staying. She called the on-call-doctor and while we waited for him, she told me I might have to have a c-section if my fever didn’t significantly improve and Kanan’s heartrate didn’t slow down. They gave me a shot of Tylenol and that it brought it down to 99.4 degrees.
When Doctor White showed up, he checked my cervix and noticed that my bag had broken (so THAT was the “urine” I felt trickling out!) and said this might have something to do with the fever. He asked me some questions and decided the bag had probably been broken since atleast Friday when I originally went into the hospital, but was probably initially a high tear, which is why I didn’t get the stereotypical “gush” of the water breaking we see on so many movies. This would leave enough time for an infection to take place and so confirmed his belief that we needed to get this baby out ASAP, regardless of temperature. When he asked me permission, I said “whatever is good for the baby” and honestly felt that way, but additionally, I was relieved to know that the intense pain I was feeling would be over very soon this way.
Twenty minutes later, I was getting a spinal block and 5 minutes after that, Kanan was pulled out of my belly. Most family hadn’t even shown up yet before the show was all done. My mother had gotten there in time, however, and prayed with Mike outside the operating room before walking him to the door. She said Mike had his hands on his face and was hunched over—after the operation when we were talking, he shared that he was filled with so many emotions and he was scared for me and for the baby since we both were not doing well. She rubbed his back and prayed outloud. He said he felt much better when she was done. When he came in though, he sure was strong. They put up a sheet so I couldn’t see below my chest. Mike had to stay north of the sheet with me. He did peak around the side and said that after they took Kanan out, they layed my organs out on my chest before putting them in place and sewing me back up. Guess he has now seen parts of me that I haven’t even seen. Before then, however, I remember laying there, feeling some pressure and hearing the doctor say “he has a big head.” Then I was warned about some more pressure I would feel as they pulled him out of me and sure enough I was grunting because the pressure was quite strong–no pain, but definitely the most movement I’ve ever felt in my belly before. But then I heard Kanan’s sweet cry and knew he was well. Mike started emotionally describing what he was seeing. I could hear the tears in his eyes while he explained that he had lots of hair, blue eyes, and blue skin (the umbilical cord was wrapped once around his neck!) But the doctor interjected with “its a healthy blue.”
Mike went with the doctor over to the table to help them clean the now screaming Kanan up and cut his umbilical cord. They brought our child over to me and held him next to my head. He instantly stopped crying. It was amazing. I kept telling him I loved him over and over again. When they pulled him away to take him to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, he started crying again and I felt such an intense feeling of love and loss all at the same time. I just wanted to go with him. But the next best thing happpend–I knew Mike would be able to go with him to NICU and make sure he was okay. I hoped to see him soon.
But when they wheeled me off to recovery, I discovered that because I had a fever, they were worried I had an infection and so I would not be allowed to see my son for 24 hours. It was heartbreaking to not be able to be with him, so I literally day dreamed for the next day and intently listened to all my family members describe him in their own way as they had all taken turns to go up to NICU and visit him over the course of the day. They explained that NICU had him hooked up to an IV and IV antibiotics in case he caught whatever was causing my fever. They also were treating him for water in the lungs which is a common problem with cessarian babies. This would go on for atleast 3 days unless the blood culture came out positive for a bacteria–then that could mean he would be in there for 7-10 days and I would have to go home without him. Mike and I were filled with excitement over the birth of our little boy but scared that he could be ill. I didn’t even care what was wrong with me. I remember telling God that I would gladly be very ill if it meant Kanan would be healthy.
But God had bigger and better plans for me. The next morning at 930, I was 24-hour free of a fever and took a sponge bath and even did my makeup before going up to see my son. I wanted to make a good first impression for him. If you see the pictures, you will see how in just those 24 hours, all the water weight I had packed on the last two days before labor just disappeared, so I already felt a bit more confident about seeing him because I looked more like myself. Funny enough, in weeks prior, I imagined labor to happen smoothly enough that I would have entered the labor room with my legs shaved, my toenails painted, and my hair and make up done. But on this morning, I couldn’t even talk, let a lone get up to shave my legs or do my hair or makeup. Hense, between my poor hair and makeup and my intense swelling, I didn’t even look like me. But not today. Today, I prepared to see my baby boy. Mike wheeled me up to NICU in a wheelchair as my cessarian operation left me unable to walk so soon and we looked like two little kids weaving in and out of the halls up to the third floor–laughing and kissing and glowing on our way to see our baby.
For the next 3 days while Mike came and went because of work, I went up to NICU every 3 hours to nurse Kanan. It was so tiring, but I really wanted to nurse him even though the nurses there tried to convince me that I would be more of a benefit to Kanan if I used that time to rest instead. Yeah right…. for the first 2 days, I was thriving off of like 6 hours of sleep, but the thought of not seeing him filled me with anxiety and I was getting jealous of the nurses because they were the ones changing his diapers and cleaning his embilical cord stump and even feeding him with a bottle–all the things that I should have been doing. I was always eager and excited to head up to see him and sad when I had to leave. The hours in between visits were spent day dreaming of him and missing him. I couldn’t concentrate long enough to read an article or watch a Seinfeld episode without images of Kanan floating in and out. So the only thing I could get done in between NICU runs was get IV antibiotics, eat, and talk with visitors.
On the fourth day, everything changed. When I went up to nurse Kanan that morning, the nurse informed me that Kanan would be coming downstairs to be in my care at last. It was a paramount moment for me that I wish Mike could have experienced with me. Kanan and I cuddled and napped all day long rogether in my room before leaving home the next day and I finally got to count every single toe and every single finger. I got to kiss him and talk to him and love him without anyone looking over my shoulder or sticking him with needles and IV’s. I will never forget those hours with him for as long as I live. They were the most pure moments of my life.
Kanan has now been home for two full days now. We are learning a little bit more about him everyday and what he likes and doesn’t like. He is a very sweet baby who loves sleeping, eating, burping, and listening to his dad play the guitar. He doesn’t like to be cold or have his diaper changed. And he doesn’t like pizza because it gives him a tummy ache after he nurses.
He has changed our lives forever in the most positive of ways and all the work that took him to be here was well worth it. When I sit down and look at him, I cry because of how amazing he is.
More Pics to come!