Our boy is here, and here is his story...
It was Sunday. As usual, we were enjoying the beautiful weather on the deck as Michael boodled around. I had to pee. Shocker, I know. I peed, and lost my mucous plug. I had been having small contractions for a couple of days. Some painful. Some not so much. I had just been to the doctor the Thursday before, dilated to 1 1/2, 50% effaced. Now that I had lost my plug I knew that William would not be too far behind. I'm at 37 weeks, 3 days. Monday came and went, still with a few contractions. Nothing that could be timed, but regular throughout the day. And, so comes Monday night. 1:10 a.m. rolls around and I'm up for my normal "middle of the night, pain in my a** have to pee". Just as it happened with Michael, I peed, everything was great. Stood up and pop, there goes my water. Before yelling at Dennis to get up I had a quick flashback to when I had Michael. It, too, was in the wee hours of the morning and Dennis was sure that I had just peed myself. Let the show begin.
Unlike Michael I was not in a hurry to get to the hospital. I was in labor with Michael for almost 26 hours, I had assured myself that it would be the same with Will. Den and I called my doctor, called the hospital, got ready, grabbed our bag and we arrived at the hospital an hour later, after a brief coffee run of course. The
crazy nurse (more on her later) checked me, and yep, my bag had broke but I was only at two centimeters and 75 % effaced. Hell, I almost jumped with joy. That means there's been progress. The thought of having another drawn out labor and delivery made me want to throw up. We went through the routine. Questions, followed by more questions, followed by more questions by the crazy nurse. This nurse, who laughed at every wince I made, every joke she made and every time Dennis snored curled up on a chair in the corner. My OBGYN finally made an appearance after a couple of hours- ordered the pitocin because once again I was moving slowly. Baby was high, I was only at three centimeters. Contactions were very manageable, but every three minutes or so. By 7:25 I was in the mood to get the show on the road. I asked for more pitocin and was given the chance to order the drugs, which I did immediately knowing that the anesthesiologist would be making rounds at 8 which meant I could potentially be waiting hours for the epidural. I wasn't going to take that chance. After my epidural was in, and a shift change of nurses I was finally comfortable. Pain free and assigned the best nurse in the entire world, Laura!! I was checked every hour, making progress and by 10:00 I was at 5 centimeters. 11:00 o'clock rolled around and I had an urge to push. I had immense rectal pain, I never experienced this with Michael. In fact, I didn't have any urge with Michael. I was so tired and drugged up that I had to be told when I was having contractions and when it was ok to push. With Will, I felt every contractions after my epidural, the edge was just off. I had to push. Where's my doc? One of the physicians in my OB's office came in to check me- 9, MAYBE 10!! But, the baby was still high, so she wanted me to wait a little bit longer for my cervix to thin just a tad more. Thirty minutes later... WHERE'S MY DOCTOR, I HAVE TO PUSH. "Oh, he's in a surgery and should be ready soon. Are you ok? Do you think you can hold out for him or should I call another doctor?" I can wait. My doctor who happened to deliver Dennis is phenomenal and I wasn't going to be doing this without him. I'll wait. Can I get some more ice chips, please?! Contraction.
An hour and forty-five minutes later it's 12:45 and Dr. Furey comes striding into the room. "Ready to have a baby?" YES, YES I AM! It was wonderful. There were three other people in the room besides Dennis and I, a baby nurse, my nurse and my doctor. In Iowa there were 15 people in the room when I delivered Michael. What a nice change. Three contractions, three big pushes... WELCOME WILLIAM REAGAN. "He's a big one!" Yes, Dr. Furey, I know. I've been hauling him around for 37 weeks. Born at 1:10 p.m., weighing in at 8 lb. 12 oz (just like his brother) and 21.5 inches long. But, this time it was different. No baby on my chest right away. No here Mama take a look at him. Dennis cut the cord (when he finally stopped clutching the railing of my bed from well about my head- where he stayed during the entire delivery). William was immediately laid on an infant bed, crying but not breathing right. Grunting in fact. The baby nurse was going through the steps, 1 minute APGAR- NINE. Ok, so can I have my baby? Nope, she was now beating his chest and back with a cup thingymabobber. Five minute APGAR- NINE. What's going on? "Kim, he looks great, but he's having some issues with his breathing. We have to take him to the nursery. We'll come back and let you know what's going on." Can I see him for a second? "Yes, but just really quick." They put him up to my face, and I kissed our new boy. I was overwhelmed.
Two hours later I was cleaned up and recovered enough to be moved to the mother baby unit. I was told Will would be ready for me when I was transferred to our new room. He wasn't. I immediately sent Dennis out for answers. William, although huge, was titled premature. He lungs weren't fully developed, and because of it he had fluid in and around his lungs. He wasn't breathing smoothly, and was under observation. I couldn't have him with me until he stopped grunting and his vitals were up. I sent Dennis home to see Michael. I missed him. I knew that I was ok- in fact I felt surprisingly great. Sore, but good. Dennis left, I waddled my way down to the nursery. I politely asked the nurse if I could hold my son, she said yes. In fact she said he was doing better, not as well as they would like to see, but that I could take him to my room for a few minutes and she would check on us.
I held him so tight. Listening to him grunt softly and watching him try to open his eyes. The nurse was back. "Kim, he's got to come back. The neonatologist is coming to take a look at him and we need to run some tests. I'll let you know what's going on as soon as I know something." Instant tears. There I was without my son, alone in a hospital room with nothing to do but worry about him. I couldn't pass time quick enough. Dennis came back, and we were told that he was going to stay int he nursery for the night. His oxygen level needed to come up, that he wasn't ready to eat yet, so a feeding tube had to be put in and that he was undergoing tests to check for infection. The next time I saw my son he was hooked up to three machines and was eating via feeding tube. Horrified.
I slept that the night as best as I could. They told me to get my rest so that I could be ready to spend time with him in the morning. That's just what I did, well kind of. I was up every couple of hours wondering how he was doing. I would walk to the nursery just to take a peed at him. Morning came and so did a bunch of bad news. There was no way that he was going to be able to go home for a good three days. Not only was he not breathing correctly, he didn't know how to eat because he was premature. He had to stay on the feeding tube for at least three days, hold a good weight and be breathing perfectly before they would even consider sending him home. The good news- no infection, which meant no antibiotics. I begged them to let Dennis get some cuddle time in with Will. Den held him for the first time 29 hours after he was born. I was ready to go home. I couldn't stay in that hospital and twiddle my thumbs worrying. I asked if I could be discharged and I was. I went home to see my Michael. The next four days I spent traveling back and forth to the hospital every three hours for feedings, debriefings on Will's progress and cuddle time with our peanut. I spent the time in between taking Michael to parks, pumping and thinking about Will.
This is by far the four hardest days of my life. I can't even type about it without getting choked up. I spent four days praying, begging, doing all that I could to be patient. I knew that he was in good hands, and that he just needed a little bit more time. Things got better day by day. His breathing was the first thing to improve. No more oxygen, and his vitals were good. Then he started eating. Slowly at first, just 10 cc. and keeping it down. We had worked up to 45 cc and he became slightly jaundice. He underwent light therapy overnight on Friday, and by Saturday I was ready to kidnap my own child from the hospital. I was told a couple of times that Monday would be the soonest he could go home. Saturday he looked so good. He was eating well, the BilliRuben count didn't increase and he wasn't losing a lot of weight. When can I take him home? After basically threatening the life of a neonatologist I was told that I could ask the doctor who would examine him on Sunday if he was well enough to go home. Sunday came along, Dennis and I brought the car seat to the hospital with the intention of bringing William home in it that day. We also brought Michael so he could meet his baby brother. It was the sweetest moment of my life. Michael hesitant to touch William because he wasn't sure as to what was going on. Who's the new kid with Mom? We waited, and waited until the neonatologist graced us with her presence. We got the green light to bring William home- with a couple of conditions. He needed to be seen the next day by our pediatrician and he needed to be stuck to check on his jaundice. Done. I think I can do that if it meant that we could take him home. We quickly dressed Will and got our things together scared that the doctor would change her mind.
Once we had him in the car I took a deep breath and waited anxiously to walk into the house. I was waiting for that moment when our little family of four could sit together and thank God for Will's good health and our blessed family. That moment came, and it is one that I will never forget. Welcome William. We love you more than you could ever possibly know.