Thank you all so much for the well wishes and congratulations. We are happy to all be home and that our little man is healthy. One thing we have learned over the last 4 days is that the health of our children, is indeed, a gift. It’s not something we are entitled to, should expect, or ever, for even one second, take for granted.
My contractions started to get stronger on Saturday night around 11 pm. We timed them for awhile and really dreaded tearing the kids out of bed and inconveniencing Mike and McGee (once again) in the middle of the night for yet another false alarm. But what we feared more was the possibility of Jason delivering the baby at home! He’s a wonderful husband and father but he’s more of the ‘stand next to me and hold my hand kind’ than the ‘catching’ kind, so off we went to Labor & Delivery. We arrived and my contractions were regular and painful, but I had not made much progress since my last visit. They suggested I take something for the pain knowing it would do one of two things, either kick start my labor or dull the pain and allow me to sleep and stop the false labor. After a few hours, I agreed. It kick started my labor. There was no sleeping through the contractions even though the meds should have knocked me out. By the next morning, we were making progress and we knew we’d be having the baby that day. We called all our family, and Anne Marie made the trip up to the hospital to photograph the birth. I requested to receive my epidural before they broke my water, not a sensation I wanted to feel and the OB agreed. I had a bad epidural experience when I had Ty, so I have some anxiety about them in general, but not enough to keep me from getting one. I was so thankful that they allowed Jason to stay in the room with me, as I had a total anxiety attack during the process. I couldn’t be happier with our labor experience and the nursing staff that was assigned to us, my nurses totally rocked and I can honestly say that labor was fun! And Jason was so wonderful during labor, totally attentive and supportive, I feel so lucky that he was there with me and we got to share this amazing experience together.
(Photo courtesy of Anne-Marie – she did a fabulous job photographing the birth but I haven’t had much time to go through all the images just yet. The above is a fave though!)
Throughout labor I felt enough through the epidural to know when I was having contractions, but not enough that it was horribly painful. I much prefer it that way than being totally numb like I was for the first two. A few minutes before 5 pm my nurse checked me because the babies heart rate was dipping with each contraction and they thought maybe the cord was compressed. I was over 7 cm. About 2 minutes later she decided to check me again and I was a full 10 and ready to go! I was shocked and asked her to go find my husband right away (he was installing Taryn’s carseat in my mother-in-laws van)!! After only 4 contractions of pushing, Teagan was born. They placed him on my belly and I was instantly in love! We were both surprised that he has hair too!
He did well on his first set of APGAR’s, 7 & 8, but he didn’t have as much color as they would like so they checked his oxygen levels. After letting me hold him for another minute, they decided to take him to the nursery for observation. I insisted Jason go with him, that I’d be fine. I found myself very thankful that Anne Marie was there. Not only to photograph the birth of our son, but at that point, I would have been alone. She stayed with me and kept me company while the baby was under observation. They had to do his first bath in the nursery, and she was able to look through the window and come back to the room and tell me what was happening. This was a huge relief, because I was of course thinking the worse. Knowing he wasn’t on oxygen and people weren’t rushing around him was good for me. I was so glad she was there. At this point, we thought he was doing really well, and were still on cloud nine with joy.
I was unable to go to the nursery because my epidural hadn’t worn off yet and I couldn’t manage getting into a wheel chair. It was killing me not to be with my baby. By 10 pm I was getting some feeling back and couldn’t wait to go see him. At 11 pm, a nurse came in and told us that Teagan had had an "episode" in the nursery. All they knew was that he had turned grey, his nurse attempted to stabilize him but was unable to and he was rushed to NICU. That and that the charge nurse would be in to speak with us when they knew more. I was frantic on the inside. I hadn’t seen my baby since birth, I needed to be with him and he needed me. After 15 minutes Jason went in search for someone who could give us information, the waiting was killing us. The charge nurse came to speak with us and told us what happened. I was told if I could get into a wheel chair, I could go see him right away and we did.
There were many different possible reasons for the episode, but it would take time to determine what caused it. As we arrived in NICU, they were feeding a line down into his stomach. They removed over 40 cc’s of air and some mucus, which is a lot for a tiny little baby tummy. We believe that this is what caused him to turn grey. He likely tried to get it out and choked on it. Nothing more than trying to transition from the womb to the outside world. Of course, we needed to rule out other issues and infections. They put in an IV to administer the antibiotics, ran cultures, did blood work, took x-rays and hooked him up to monitors that tracked his heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, etc. Here he is trying to chow down on his hand and IV….
He was also having trouble regulating his body temperature, which can be one of the first signs of illness or infection in the body, so he was placed in a warmer. The decision was made after speaking to the neonatologist to put Teagan on two rounds of antibiotics right away to begin fighting any possible infection, rather than waiting 48 hours for the CBC to come back. There was also a chance that if he was doing well, he would remain in NICU for the first 24 hours and then be allowed to room in with us for the last 24 hours of his stay.
While in NICU, our little man did great. He tolerated the poking and prodding well. We spent as much time with him as we could and I was able to begin breastfeeding him, which was really important to me. We also got to start Kangaroo Care, we did this with Taryn and loved it. I’m so thankful we got to do this with Teagan as well and that the hospital was very supportive of it.
We just wanted to be with him every second. Worry took over as exhaustion set in. I didn’t know we could live on so little sleep, but we literally went from Saturday night until Monday night with only two 45 minute naps each, add to that the exhaustion of labor and delivery and the stress and worry, and neither of us felt like we could function. Monday night we had to sleep and finally did so in increments between feeding the baby and being by his side as much as we could. Thankfully, his oxygen levels were good, they tracked his respiration and his heart rate on monitors and he was doing very well. Even with the preliminary test results looking good, they decided against rooming in and felt the need to keep him under close observation in the NICU. We wanted to room in, but knew they were taking good care of our baby and doing what was best for him. I was afraid of being discharged before him and being faced with going home without our baby. Our hospital thankfully offered us a courtesy room, so even though I was discharged on Tuesday, we were allowed to move to a different room and remain in the hospital. I don’t know how we would have managed otherwise, it would have been very, very difficult to go back and forth and nurse.
I can’t say enough about the nursing staff. Our NICU nurses went above and beyond and we are so thankful for each and every one of them. Heidi was with us on several shifts and she was kind enough to let me help give Teagan a bath, knowing I had missed his first bath the day he was born. I am so thankful to her for that. She set it all up with a little photo shoot in mind…the way she did it, you can’t even tell he was in NICU or that he had anything attached to him.
Heidi even caught a few of Teagan and I together, which I am forever grateful for! I love these!!
The better Teagan looked and the more positive test results we got back, we were really hopeful we would be allowed to either room in with him or bring him home on Wednesday. Because we weren’t first time parents we weren’t required to room in, we just had to complete the infant CPR video course before discharge. I was on cloud nine again, I couldn’t wait to bring our little man home, see Ty and Taryn and spend some time with them. I’m sure it was a very difficult and confusing time for them. Here we had talked about our baby coming and then each time they came to the hospital, they couldn’t see the baby. This experience has brought Jason and I closer together than I ever could have imagined. Not only did our family grow in those few days, but our marriage and bond grew stronger as we leaned on each other in new ways. I am so very thankful for him.
We made it home late Wednesday afternoon and relief finally started to settle in. Our little man is doing good, no more episodes. And while we are incredibly nervous he will have another one, we just pray for his continued good health. We are all enjoying having him home and getting to know him. Many, many, many photos to come!!
Thank you all again for the congratulations and well wishes!