Sunday, May 8, 2011

The First 24 Hours

In honor of Mother's Day I wanted to share a story...

G and I arrived at the hospital bright and early. We were there for the induction of our last child. We were giddy with anticipation and after the last several days we were finally excited to start this new adventure.

The days leading up to the induction had been nothing short of stressful. G had been at the hospital only 48 hours before the arrival of our son. My parents had taken our two oldest to stay with them 3 days prior to our original plan (they took them home on Friday evening when originally it had been scheduled for Monday). G spent the weekend in the hospital trying to recover from a month's long intestinal battle. He underwent blood work and tests to try to determine the problem. I spent the weekend driving between visiting him and my two children. My main concern was the health of my husband and my hope was I wouldn't deliver while he was being evaluated. Lucky for us, he was discharged on Sunday afternoon. My parents opted to keep the kids rather than bring them back to us so G could continue to recover.

He quickly bounced back so as we arrived back at the same hospital he had been treated in with the focus on the arrival of our last bundle of joy. Within a half an hour of arriving I was hooked up to Pitocin and my water was broken. We chatted with the our nurse, threw back and forth some baby names (we are so last minute) and joked with each other about the craziness of the last few days.

My contractions started fast and quick and within half hour of the induction drugs I was asking for my epidural. I was in a waiting line with three other moms. I was told I would have to wait due to one of them giving birth to her fifth child. They felt her labor would be quicker than my own so I waited some more, breathed through the contractions and prayed I wouldn't give birth during the wait. Finally I got relief and G opted for breakfast in the cafeteria. I was comfortable and sent him on his way.

I made a call to my friend and chatted with her for about 15 minutes when I noticed the monitor showing dips in the heart rate of my unborn child. Knowing this meant things were progressing I quickly got off the phone and called the nurse. Within minutes she had the stirrups up, called my OB-GYN and my husband was no where to be found. I made a quick call to him and told him to get his ass up here now the baby was coming.

Thankfully he walked in with the doctor and within 2 minutes the doctor announced, "It's a boy". It was a crazy fast delivery. I beat the lady who was on baby #5 and P was born at 9:10 am.

The nurse made an offhanded comment to our doctor that he looked a little blue in the face. The doctor took a quick look and felt it was bruising for such a quick delivery....

We quickly called my parents who were on their way with our two other children. Once I was moved out of L&D they came to visit us and our latest addition. It was FINALLY the moment I had been waiting family together. Previous births had not worked out as I imagined. My firstborn, my parents had colds and my mom wouldn't hold R in fear of making her sick. Our second birth, my parents kept their distance once again because R had been sick and they didn't want to make E sick. So finally with the last we were all together and healthy and loving on the newest bundle. I was ecstatic.

Move forward 24 hours my mom was on her way to visit us. She had brought our first son over from her home so my husband could take him to his Mom's Day Out Program. She had spent the last 2 hours shopping for her second grandson. She was most likely parking the car as our children's pediatrician gave us the most devastating news. Our son was gravely ill and would need to be moved to the NICU within the hospital. We were told we could go into the nursery (you know the room all the babies go to with the glass window for you to peer in and see all the little bundles of newness). As we exited my room we were greeted by my mom. She was all smiles with a bag of goodies. She had no idea but within seconds of seeing my face she knew something was terribly wrong. I am not sure what I squeaked out but I imagine I said, "something is wrong with P" as tears flowed out of my eyes. She quickly dropped her bags in my room (I think...I don't really remember because I don't think she had them when we were escorted into the nursery).

We walked in and I was weaving back and forth. Only a couple hours before I had asked for some pain medication due to some pain I was having. The medication had set in and I had no real control of my body. My mom held me up with G as we stood in that room with the glass. I was a mess, unable to speak without gasping for air and wondering what was wrong. Our pediatrician made me sit down and she calmly explained who the nurses were looking over P. They ordered a wheelchair for me. The NICU nurses then wheeled P out of the nursery and I just sat in the chair watching him go... my mom held my hand. She listened to what we were being told and remained focused on me.

Finally my transportation arrived and we were allowed to go down to the NICU. We went through the hallways back through L&D where I had been only 24 hours earlier and we were ushered into a world we never imagined as big double doors of the NICU opened. All the while my mom was there.

At some point I gained some of my faculties, the drugs and shock were starting to wear off, and I realized someone needed to go pick up E from MDO. My mom, not knowing where it was but willing to go offered. My husband declined and they kept their original plan. He left the hospital and went to retrieve E while my mom and I watched the NICU continue to do tests on our son. I am not sure if at that point we realized it was heart issue... much of those first few hours were a blur. My mom held my hand and I continued to watch. My husband called once he arrived back in the hospital parking lot with our son. My mom left my side and went back down to resume her grandmother duties of taking care of my two oldest children.

During that time I remember how my mom remained calm, strong and never let on the gravity of the situation. She held my hand, told me to pray, argued with me about standing too much (I was angry about the wheelchair even though I had sea legs). She gave me tissues and never let on how excruciatingly difficult of a scene we were now a part of. She had to leave the bowels of the NICU and back into the sunshine to a car with a little 2 year old. She was going to need to put on a great face and drive 45 minutes home all the while her youngest grandson laid in the NICU. I simply cannot imagine.

My mom was with me on one of the most wonderful days of my life, the birth of my third child. And she was with me during the most horrendous days of my life. In 24 hours we experienced incredible joy and gut wrenching heart ache. All the while she held my hand, told me to be strong and reminded me I would get through this...

Since those events we talk a lot about what took place and our feelings. She is the one person who knows it from my perspective as a mother. Happy Mother's Day mom. Thank you so much for being with me. You were there to make my dream come true of a family hospital picture and you were with me during the most difficult time... all within 24 hours.

I love you!

Monday, March 14, 2011

What's all the fuss about

Dalai Lama for Halloween?

Today we (G, P and I) went to Nationwide Children's Hospital for P to have a minor procedure to remove a pyogenic granuloma from his right check. This little sucker appeared in September and at first I thought it might be a little baby acne. However after a few weeks I realized it was something else. After the holidays I had it examined by Dr. P who suggested removing it. We got it set up for February however due to an ice storm we postponed till today.

Now the week leading up to this procedure (requiring anesthesia) I started to freak out. What was I thinking putting my baby under for an elective procedure? Was I that vain (my reason for wanting it removed was partially cosmetic)? What if something horrific goes wrong from being put under? You name it I thought it. Lucky for me Dr. P's wife is a good friend of mine so she had him call me to calm my fears. I am sure he was slightly amused by my tangent.

So this morning we got up in the wee hour of the morning to make the trek down 71. Now I have been down this road since P's first surgery (his cardio check ups take place there) but it was surreal to be carrying in P in to be placed under so he could have a lesion cut off his face. G and I were quite calm, much like we were last April Fools Day. We joked with the nurses, no tears were shed and we carried him down to the OR doors (okay last time he was wheeled in a bed). We said our c-ya later and walked down the hall to the waiting area. The same hall and waiting area we went down and sat in 11.5 months ago. We checked in with the same surgery waiting room clerk, dropped our items in the same place and pulled out our electronics. We commented on the construction taking place and the changes. G ran to grab us some drinks and food and I settled into the recliner. I had the same calm feeling as I did when P was undergoing his open heart surgery. It was very much the same minus the time we waited (oh and the fact this was elective and the other was to save his life). After only 30 minutes, Dr. P came out to tell us he was all done, no issues. We hung out for another 20 minutes then we were called back to recovery. It was only 8:45 am! As we walked the hallways of recovery we could hear our screaming boy. No need to look for his room number we could hear him a mile away. He recovered quickly (little apple juice, a nap and we were discharged). And we walked right out as three. It was all good.

Thanks Dr. P for dealing with my antics last week and doing such a wonderful job. It looks great!

Playin' and Waitin'

Changed into something smaller and a pretty blue right before going in

Napping in recovery

Why we wanted it removed (when it bled it would gush)

Lots been going around here

March has come in like a lion with birthday celebrations, minor procedure for P and G's vacation. It has been a good month and I am so thankful. Just a few days ago G and I were recalling his hospital stay last year and how that kicked started what was the most stressful month of our lives. We are so grateful that this one has been filled with pure joy!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Short Changed

A favorite photo of one of my favorites!

My middle child just celebrated turning three today. There was no party, no cake, no favorite meal, no presents and no balloons. Instead, he spent it with yucky antibiotic and an inhaler. This comes as no big surprise as this is par for the course when it comes to my sweet blue eyed boy.

Every year he gets the short end of the stick when it comes to his birthday. His first birthday I opted not to have a big party. He had his mom and dad, sister and maternal grandparents bring in his birthday (his older sister had a grand first and his baby brother will be too). Then on the day of his first birthday he spent the second half with his first stomach bug. It was plain awful.

His second birthday wasn't much better although he wasn't sick. Once again he celebrated with his mom and dad, sister and maternal grandparents. However the entire day leading up to his mini celebration his dad spent in bed unable to play with him. His dad is his best buddy.

This year we do have a small party planned with friends and I am praying I won't need to cancel it. I am hoping my big boy starts to feel better so he can have his cake and eat it too, FINALLY.

His first birthday before he got sick!

Celebrating his second birthday!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Right of passage

Everyone of my kids has sat in these little yellow chairs and had themselves a blast at the water table. This last week was P's first time to sit in the water table. He enjoyed himself and was a soaking mess. I pulled some old pictures of the other two... I just can't believe how fast they grow.

Snip Snip

Shaggy needed a haircut! So we headed out with both boys to get trimmed up. We had a first-timer on our hands and he did great. We took lots of pictures but I realized once I reviewed them we didn't have one of the finished product. I am so glad we took advantage of their first timer package which included a picture they took when he was done. There were no tears just trying to check out Elmo on the tv screen.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Put a Fork in It

All pictures: Zoo December 31, 2010

Alas 2010 is almost over and as much as I feel relieve to take the calendar off the wall I can't help but reflect on this past year and all that I went through (or should I say all that went on around me)!
The bookends of this year were quiet not giving way to all the goriness that was in the middle. 2010 started uneventful but by the end of January the stories that were about to unfold felt more like punches to the gut (literally for my husband) that kept coming month after month. I don't need to regurgitate all the negatives but I think before the year is up I need to highlight all the positives for myself otherwise I may always look at 2010 with disdain. So in no particular order...

  • Our second son, your smile lights up a room. You have completed our family perfectly. You unknowingly taught so many life lessons. To say you are amazing is an understatement.
  • My incredible husband, you had so many challenges and yet your personality and 1/2 glass full attitude stayed intact. I am inspired by you.
  • My beautiful daughter, you grew up so much this past year. You still have much of your innocence which I am grateful.
  • My oldest son who kept the giggles rolling. You too have grown up a lot and you have become more charming.
  • All my siblings (direct and in-laws) showed us they could roll up their sleeves and help out when the time called. I have never been more proud to be part of this family.
  • Fantastic parents! My folks went through so much themselves this year but they truly were life support for us in the spring. And although at the end of 2009 and in the spring of 2010 we lost my in-laws we feel we have angels on our shoulders watching over us.
  • Friends, old and new came out to rally around us. It was an amazing gift to witness.
And then there were the events some big and some seemingly small that brought smiles. The birth of our son, playing games as a family, the love E has for YoGabbaGabba, clown night on our family vacation, Disneyworld, witnessing our nephews wedding, Ry's ever growing hair, the Start! Heart Walk, birthdays... the list goes on.

So as much as I may say 2010 sucked, it really didn't. I got some of the best gifts a girl could ask for this year. My family is complete, a grown appreciation for what really matters and a perspective on life that allows me to enjoy the mundane (although I will still complain about it).

Goodbye 2010 HELLO 2011!