Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Caleb!

Happy birthday to my sweet, sweet boy!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Caleb's Story Part 4

As the nurse ran out of the room, I remember just seeing Caleb's little feet peaking out from underneath her arm and feeling terrified that I would not see my son again. And I lost it.

Just minutes later Jes walked back in the room and had no idea what was going on. I could only get single words out but managed to communicate to him that Caleb had been taken by a nurse somewhere because he was blue. I can't imagine what it was like for him to walk into a situation like that, but he ran out of the room faster than I've ever seen him go.

I'm not completely sure of the events of the next few hours but I do remember my mom and dad showing up again and the chaplain coming by my room. It was at this point that I thought that Caleb had died. I hadn't seen my husband or my son for hours and had no idea what was going on.

When Jes came back to my room he sat down and began to sob. Now I really had no idea what was going on. What I did find out was that Caleb was alive but under an oxygen tent with all kinds of tubes and such in the NICU. Jes forbade me from seeing Caleb at that point, I'm not really sure why even now, but something about his demeanor told me that I should do what he says.

I just waited and waited. My mom and dad waited with me and I'm so thankful that they were there because I can't imagine sitting through that time alone, even though I don't really remember a lot of it. Around 10:00pm on Sunday, I was given the go ahead to go see Caleb in the NICU and you have never seen a woman freshly from surgery move that fast. I practically ran down that hallway.

After getting all the rules and regulations, my mom and I were lead back to the area of the NICU where my son waited for me. Caleb, being a full term baby, was put in the area of the NICU where the sickest and smallest babies were, with the theory being that he wouldn't need as much care as they would. When I first laid eyes on Caleb, I knew that he would be ok, but I just didn't know what we would have to go through to see him through.

I was able to hold Caleb that night and it was all I could do to hold it all together. Thank goodness my mom was there because I would have lost my mind if she hadn't been with me. That night we were introduced to the wonderful nurse that would care for Caleb most of the time he was there and I felt confident enough to leave him and get some rest. The next morning I was the first mom in the NICU and did not leave his bed side except to pump breast milk or for shift change.

Throughout the following days we recieved very grave news from every doctor that saw Caleb in the NICU, telling us many different things but all resulting in some pretty serious surgeries that would need to be done to correct his airway issues, not to mention the issues that they thought were causing problems from his umbilical cord coming away from the placenta. At one point we were even told that he would have to undergo surgery to basically redo the whole skeletal structure of his face. Not something that you really want to hear from a doctor about your 2 day old.

On Tuesday night, I had had a particularly difficult day, getting a lot of really bad news all at once. That night as I was leaving the NICU I was really upset by the nurse on duty who I felt like was being too rough with Caleb (now I know that she wasn't, she was just doing her job), but it all just put me over the edge and I broke. That night I spent the whole night in my bed crying out to God to heal my baby and get us through this ordeal. I'm sure the nurses probably thought I had finally lost it because everytime they came to check on me that night I was weeping and or speaking out loud.

I finally just told God, as I passed out from exhaustion, that Caleb was His and that I had no hold on him or control over the situation. I distinctly remember saying, "I can't fix him, but you can. Please heal him."

The next morning, Wednesday, I awoke to sunlight streaming through my window and a sense of calm and peace in my room. This was the day that I was to be released from the hospital, without my baby. I dreaded this day but also felt in the depth of my soul that it was going to be a good day. That morning I got a visit from the neonatologist who gave us some news that we were not expecting to hear.

Just to give a little perspective, Caleb had had numerous x-rays, CT scans, MRIs, and even a scope passed through his airway and sinus cavities throughout the proceeding days, all coming back with the same information, that the skeletal structure of his face, airways, and sinuses were not compatable with life.

Wednesday morning the neonatologist told us that, after one more scope, it was determined that it was soft tissue swelling. No one knew what had happened in the course of the night, but I did. My God healed my son.

Caleb was kept in the hospital for about 48 more hours in order to complete a round of steroids to lessen the swelling, have his feeding tube removed and to get everyone comfortable having him off the monitors. He came home with me on Friday morning.

Caleb's Story Part 3

I know that it's taken me longer than normal to write this part of the story, but to be completely honest, I just didn't want to do it and am forcing myself right now. This part of the story is not happy and a time in our lives that I would rather not relive, but again, I'm doing this for Caleb so that he knows later on what has transpired to get him (and us) to where we are today.

As soon as our doctor said that, Jes popped up and looked over the curtain. Truth be told, he had really just sat down after watching the incision and beginnings of the surgery. Jes was just fascinated with the process and loved watching what was going on.

As our doctor was pulling Caleb out, he discovered that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, not an uncommon or life threatening issue at the point. When this happens the delivering professional just pulls it from around the baby's neck so as to avoid future issues. As the doctor did that, the umbilical cord came off in his hand, thus his comment.

Caleb was quickly delivered, wrapped up, assessed and Jes left with him to go to the nursery. There was special care to remove the placenta in tact so that the pathologist could fully examine it to determine what had happened. We wouldn't know this for a few days.

As I was taken back to my room I met back up with Jes and Caleb, thinking that all was fine. We visited with friends and family and spent time with our new boy. With both of my c-sections, I was warned of all the possible side effects of the anesthesia, but for me I shake like none other. This particular time it was so bad that even during delivery I had to physically hold on to the table to get some control over it and, after, I refused to hold Caleb for fear that I would drop him. It took me about 2 hours before I felt even remotely stable enough to hold him but I'm glad I did because I wouldn't get much opportunity to do that before he was whisked off to another part of the hospital.

It was during this recovery time that Jes and I noticed that something wasn't quite right with Caleb and his breathing. We quickly unwrapped him to look at him and discovered that he was retracting and his nostrils were flaring, two signs that he was having difficulty breathing. Jes notified the nurse and he was taken to the nursery with reassuring words that he was probably just having a little trouble transitioning.

A couple of hours later, our little boy was returned to us and we kept him with us off and on for most of the night. The next day was Easter, my most favorite holiday of them all, so Caleb, Jes and I celebrated in our little hospital room taking turns feeding him and holding him and doing all the things that new parents do. Truth be told, Caleb slept through most of it, not caring to eat or open his eyes or anything else. We probably should have been worried, but we just didn't know better.

Jes left around noon to go home, get some things for us, shower and have lunch. During this time a few friends stopped by to see me and Caleb and we had a great time visiting. Shortly after my friends left, a nurse came by and we decided that she and I would try to nurse Caleb, who at this point had eaten nothing and was nearly 20 hours old. We got Caleb to latch and she was fussing with some things in the room and with me and as we both looked at Caleb we were just horrified by what we saw. Caleb was dusky, turning blue.

The nurse picked Caleb up, out of my arms, and ran down the hall with him. I was terrified.