Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Please welcome the newest Canuck Kitten in Kansas!

Remember that storm we had a few weeks ago?

The one were we narrowly missed the tornado?
Yeah, well that particular day I decided to pack a just in case we have a tornado bag, a hospital bag for my scheduled (note I said scheduled) delivery and a bag for T in case the new addition decided to come early. He won't come early, right? If you plan things well enough, they happen just like you expect? Right? RIGHT?

Hell, no.

It was one week ago today, after spending a leisurely afternoon of ordering a few post pregnancy things that I would need after the new addition arrived on June 18th, that I trudged upstairs to start dinner.

T followed and all seemed normal. Ha ha, normal, not for long...
Around about 5:30pm, the pregnant one (me) headed for the umpteenth bathroom visit of the day. After doing what I went there for, I headed back to the kitchen.

Gush. Hmmm, that's not right. Headed back to the bathroom thinking that I must have more business to do. But my bladder wasn't the problem I would soon discover.

T thought Mommy had peed her pants. Charming.
No, that wasn't pee. I proceeded to try to stay calm so as not to upset the apple cart that is T's world. I never went into labour with T so I am completely in the dark as to what happens next except that it might not be good.

What to do first? Try calling Backup. Backup not answering her cell phone...that never happens. Try Backup again, nope, no answer.

Try Backup's husband cell (something of note he never answers his phone). Get Backup's husband on phone, describe situation. Please send Backup to cover for me with T as I'm in labour and S isn't home.

S is on the other side of town picking up something to help put in the new dining room hardwood floor. About a 1/2 hour away with evening traffic.

Did I mention we had *planned* to put in hardwood floors in the dining room before the new addition arrived? We had a month left after all...the best laid plans...

Phone handed to Backup. Are you okay? Backup asks. Yes, but I think I'm in labour and my water just broke. Backup tells me she is sending her mom to wait until S gets home.

Next, call S. Get the hell home now, my water broke. S asks if I'm sure...ahhh, well everywhere I go I'm leaving a dripping and/or gushing trail of liquid so yes, I think it broke.

Call the OB's office, told get to hospital. T goes with Backup's Mom and heads to the zoo for an evening of merriment. It is Backup's daughter end of the year preschool party. T is thrilled because she gets to see Backup's daughter, forget that Mommy is in labour.

Ignorance is truly bliss for her.

S gets home. We are both exhausted and terrified. We head to the hospital were by the time I get to the L&D floor, my pants resembled T's during our first days of potty training. Maternity jeans soaked to the knees.
After being asked I don't know how many times how much I weighed (seriously I don't look at the scale at the OB's offic e for a reason), they guesstimate about how much for the epidural. The on call OB from my OB's office is already doing a section and we are next up.

We are informed of all the possible complications by just about everyone. They all smile and say its going to be okay. Yeah, sure it is. I'm only 35 weeks and one day long. Just about how far along my mom was with me when I was born. I think I turned out okay...just spent 2+ weeks in the hospital...

We are wheeled into the OR for my 4 weeks too soon section. The drug guy does his job and within minutes (9pm to be exact) the new arrival is here. He is hoisted over the drape, someone shouts "LOOK MOM!" He was screaming at least.
Its a sea of masked faces. The neonatal team waiting for him has more staff that the delivery team looking after me.
S has his back to me, I can't see or hear a thing. The pitocin starts so my head gets super stuffy and my voice disappears. I managed to ask S what's going on, he tells me they are trying get him to breathe but he is having a little trouble.
About ten minutes later (although it felt like much much longer) the neonatal team transports him to the NICU. S goes with him. I've got a whole bunch of folks looking after me and I ain't going anywhere but the recovery room.

I strike up a conversation with the respiratory tech to my left. She asks where I'm from as my accent soons like a northern one. I tell her I'm from Canada. It turns out her mom is Canadian and some of her siblings have Cdn citizenship. Her Cdn relatives come from Manitoba thru Alberta. Somehow this is reassuring. Don't ask me why, I don't know but it was.

When I got to recovery, I had to ask the nurse in recovery to turn on the TV, it was just too quiet. No HGTV, DIY Network or MSNBC but there was the History Channel available and unfortunately so was Fox News.
After waiting what felt like hours in the recovery room, they wheel me into the NICU complete with IV to see R. He was hooked up to a nose canula, nearly as big as a 1/3 of his face. He was struggling a bit to breathe but they tell me that this is normal. He had an IV and monitoring wires galore but when you see some of the others in the NICU, he looked like a champ.

S went home for the night as neither of us could have gotten any sleep with his snoring. I love him but he snores, loud. I got about 3.5 hours of sleep and was informed that I would be expected to make an effort to get up around 10am (about 12 hours post surgery). It went surprisingly well and by midday Thursday, S wheeled me downstairs to see R, who at the time was still unnamed.

R remained unnamed until about Friday I think. I had a list of names prepared. I tried out a few names but S wasn't going for any of them, except what became R's first name. I think I also had R's second name on there but it wasn't a big contender at the time. I asked S to go home Thursday night and come up with his own list. He did and finally the kid had a name.

T stayed with Backup and her family. Honestly, I think she would have preferred to stay longer. By Saturday night, they evicted me from the hospital. Leaving R behind was one of the most painful experiences I have ever had. The last few months have been rocky ones and this time has been rather hard.

R is doing better. He gets stronger daily. I have a suspicion that he will be at the hospital a while longer as he needs to better control his body temp and eat on his own. My off hours are spent trying to get my chaotic house in order and pump breast milk to take to the hospital. S goes to work in the am, then comes home to tackle T and finish the dining room floor, which looks gorgeous.

R shocked both the nurse and I today when he drank about 1.5 ounces in one shot and refused to let go of the nipple. Up until now he has barely been able to keep his eyes open during a feed so he has been getting his meals through a feeding tube. He just has to figure out how to breathe, eat and swallow at the same time and not fall asleep. He is often alert in the am but not during the regimented feeding time. He does practice sucking on the soother so that's a great start.

The body temperature thing and feeding on his own are his two main stumbling blocks but seeing as technically he is just 36 weeks and one day old today, I think he is doing pretty good. He has no trouble peeing in his diaper, on the nurses and dear old Mom, so we know that part works well too.

Below are some pictures. He has had his IV removed now that he is getting enough food either thru the tube or eventually via bottle or breast. He is down to a cardiac and breathing monitor. He has had a few Bradys (they are breathing spells where his heart drops too low) but the last couple he has recovered on his own.

If he were to head home today, he would have to come home with a heart monitor (its about the size of a portable DVD player). He would have to wear one of these until he is Brady free for 7 days.
Since we aren't close to heading home, the clock starts from today as he had one this morning. The fact that he recovers on his own is a very good sign and they should go away as he gets stronger. These things are totally normal for a child of his gestation.
Perspective is everything right now althought that is much easier said than done.

It still amazes me how babies look like little old men. Wrinkly and bald with no teeth to speak of but on the positive side, they smell much much better.

I will try to get up more shots when I get a minute to take more. For now, you can see what he looks like. I do apologize for not getting these up sooner but I've been a tad occupied!

Mom holding R in the NICU

R in the snuggly in the NICU

R's custom name tag

R catching some much needed zzz's

R in his snuggly

T checking out the new sibling

The temper tantrum after checking out new sibling.

Oh would you put that thing away Mom?

You may need to turn up the volume really loud. Right before I took this little video, T asked if she could sing the baby a song. She was told it had to be a quiet one. R is about to get his dinner via feeding tube but she says something worth recording for posterity as it will be used against her when she is older.

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