Thursday, January 8, 2009

He's finally here - October 3rd, 2005

I went into labor around 3 am on October 3rd, 10 days early, the exact same timing as big sister only 2 1/2 years before. We drove to the hospital later that morning and I was crying in the car freaking out about what my reaction was going to be now that I was finally going to meet our new baby and come face to face with his cleft. The labor was eventful, as mine seem to be. Luke's heartrate wasn't responding well and by 3pm that afternoon I still had not progressed past 4cm. They had broken my water and seen meconium(sp??) in my water so all those things meant it was time for a C-Section. Let me tell you once they make that call, they don't waste any time. By 3:30pm Luke was born and getting weighed in. I saw them check his mouth to confirm that the palate was truly cleft. I was still holding onto hope that the doctor's were wrong so it was still disappointing to see that the cleft was really there. Being drugged up, I was kind of out of it but due to a fever and his defect, they whisked him off to the NICU after weighing in at a whopping 9lbs 7oz. He was by far the biggest baby in the NICU. I got a chance to see him a while later when they wheeled me down to the NICU but he was hooked up to so many wires we really didn't get to hold him. Those next few days were tough as I was laid up in bed and Luke stayed in the NICU which was on a different floor. Matt had the nurses wake him up for night time feedings because we knew the only way to get him home was for us to learn to feed him. He would do good one feeding and terrible the next. The feeding specialists met with us and we tried different things but the best option ended up being a 2.5 oz bottle with a preemie nipple that we had to cut a hole in. He had a fairly decent suck on his good side so we leveraged that and help pump his chin when we fed him to teach him out to do it on his own. It was frustrating for me sitting in my hospital room attempting to pump for a baby I saw a couple times a day in the NICU with alarms going off all the time. Not to mention I was pumped up on pain meds for my C-Section so I would get really sleepy, especially in the warmth of that room. I really didn't get that bonding chance which made it all the harder. Finally after my 4 day stay, I was ready to go home. We were fortunate that we had a double room so my husband stayed the whole time, he got more time with Luke that way. So we checked out with no baby. That was one of the worst moments that we both won't forget. Getting wheeled out of the hospital with the balloons and congratulations items but we had to leave Luke there. Things had gone full circle as I was now crying on the way home because I had to leave him there. The doctors really wanted him to start to gain weight and even set a target of how many ounces they wanted to see him eat. He had a long way to go. So that night, as my mother-in-law stayed with me, Matt went back to the hospital to stay with Luke and do all his nighttime feedings. The nurses were amazed that he would do that and we were shocked that it wasn't more normal. Just goes to show you how even brand new babies sometimes can't get the love and attention they need from their parents. It was very sad to hear the stories and see the nurses bond with babies more than moms and dads. Anyway, I headed to the hospital the next morning to spend time with Luke. He had eaten well last night but not to the level they wanted. BUT, he gained weight. That was huge and that combined with my husband's willingness to be there at all costs is what got him released that morning. It was awesome to bring him home. His big sister Madison had not even had the chance to really meet him yet since she could only look through the window of the NICU. They sent us home with strict instructions to monitor his intake for 24hrs and call it in the next day. What a happy yet scary day.

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