January 6, 2010

The Big Day

Two days after that appointment I started having contractions.  They went on throughout the night and started to get stronger and closer together.  I was about 4 days shy of being 39 weeks at that point.  I finally called Labor and Delivery the next morning and told them what was going on.  They told me to come on in.  We made our short journey there and found out that I hadn't changed all that much.  I was defnitely having contractions, but I just wasn't making any progress.  They kept me there for a few hours to monitor me and see if I changed.  My doc came in to check me and since I still hadn't made any progress he decided to send me home.  He had another very serious delivery going on that day (who happened to be a friend of ours), and didn't feel comfortable inducing me since it was against hospital policy to induce anyone under 39 weeks without a valid reason.  I went home and stayed very miserable for the next two days.

When we went in to see him the next day, I still hadn't progressed much.  The doctor decided that I had been put through enough and scheduled an induction for the next morning.  We were so relieved that we would finally meet our baby boy.

The next day I was induced with Pitocin.  The labor progressed without any troubles except at one very brief moment when Carter's heart rate dropped.  After they moved me onto my side he bounced right back.  I was at an 8 when the nurse called the doctor, and about 10 minutes later I was fully dilated.  My babies always come really fast and with minimal pushing, so after the doc arrived I pushed maybe twice before Carter was here.  The next parts are all a blur to me.  In fact, it was very hard for me to even think about it for about 3-4 months.  It was probably the most traumatic thing that I have been through, but in retrospect it could have been a lot worse.  It just seemed like it at the moment.  I had a friend there who videotaped a lot, but I still haven't been able to bring myself to watch it.

I remember Carter's head appearing, and Michael saying "Oh, he's really little".  I remember that striking me funny because he was so close to term.  The next thought that came to my mind was that maybe my dates had been off in the pregnancy and we shouldn't have induced him.  It was all my fault for going to the hospital when my contractions had gotten so intense. Then I remember the doctor looking at me over the top of his glasses and saying "I'm sorry, but your baby has a cleft lip".  I remember thinking, well that's not such a big deal.  Then I remember the doctor's face turning white and him telling the nurse very sternly to call the NICU. Carter was delivered and taken to the table to be checked out.  I don't remember much except that I never really heard him cry.  My husband came over a few minutes later to tell me that he was missing his ear. For a brief moment, that seemed like a big deal, but a few minutes later when they started doing chest compressions none of those things mattered.  They got him pretty much stable, let me kiss his forehead, and he was gone to the NICU.

We all sat silently in the delivery room.  Everyone just seemed to be stunned and numb. My Mom and Mother In Law left the room to call our families to tell them what was going on. I know that they were out there crying, but didn't want us to see. I just felt so helpless.  This wasn't how it was supposed to be.  I should be holding my little guy right now, not wondering if he was breathing or not. The next thought that I had was that we needed to get our priest there to baptize him. My Sister In Law made the phone call, and he was there before we had even been transferred to the post partum wing.  The nurse came in periodically to give us updates on Carter, but they really didn't know much.  Only that he was stable, and they were still working on him. Now, I want to make it clear that for the first two or three weeks, I had those thoughts of why us, and I wish my baby was healthy.  But I can honestly say that I do not feel that way AT ALL any more.  I know that Carter's a blessing to our family, and I'm so happy that God chose us to be his family. I actually feel like we are some of the lucky ones because we didn't know before he was born.  We would have stressed so much!  I also feel like Carter's diagnosis was a lot easier to accept because this was how he was built.  There is no reason to stress or pray for a cure because this is just who he is. It would be different had he been healthy and an injury or disease created problems for him.  God couldn't have given us a more perfect baby.

On the way to Post Partum, they wheeled my bed through the NICU to see him.  Here's the picture that we took while we were in there. Seriously, isn't he precious?!


He's grown so much since then.  In fact, our Occupational Therapist came on Monday and said that he's never seen Carter look so good, or move around so much.  We're really concentrating on rolling from tummy to back and holding his head up on his tummy.  Carter's defnitely getting a lot stronger, it just takes time.  He was supposed to have a routine Kidney Ultrasound this week, but we had to reschedule. That's fine by me, I'm still trying to get my kids back on the school schedule.

7 comments:

Kelli said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. You have brought tears to my eyes...

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

Wow, what a story. I can't imagine how frightened you were after the delivery when they took him to the NICU. That picture of him is heartbreaking and absolutely adorable at the same time! And I just looked back a bit since I've been absent, and wow he DOES have long toes! I'll have to take a picture of my Peanut's toes. They are teeny tiny, even at 6 years old! :)

Jenn said...

TIME Heather! That picture is so sweet! Carter is perfect...God placed him just where he needs to be. I'm so glad I get to follow you on your journey!

Lacey said...

Oh so sweet, the perfect baby! I saw Dr. Pheffer today. I love that women! I mentioned that I have a few friends that have her, when I said I had a friend that came to her as a second opinion about a trach, she knew exactly who I was talking about!

Anderson Family said...

Thanks for sharing your story - I loved reading about how everything came together for your little Carter. I feel the same way about not knowing Carter had Down Syndrome before he came - we would have spent a lot of time worrying. I was just grateful at that time that he was here and he was alive - we could deal with Down Syndrome. And I wholeheartedly agree about having days in the beginning wondering why us - why Carter - but wouldn't change ANYTHING at all with him now. He is perfect for us!

Laurel said...

I'm so glad you wrote this all down...it will be so nice for Carter to read when he gets older. He was so lucky to born into your family...you guys are so great.

Rachael said...

Oh Heather, you are an amazing person and I thank you for sharing that actually all of this and for sharing Carter with us. He is perfect and was perfect for your family and that is why he is with you. He is a blessing and I know he has blessed you so much.