Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Christian - 4 Weeks Old

October 13, 2010

Dear Christian,

Today is your four-week birthday! I think I still haven’t totally come to terms with the fact that you are even here yet, given that your original due date was October 17th.

We went to see the pediatrician today for your one month check up and got the following report: Weight: 9 lbs. 8 oz. Length 21.5 inches. Head circumference 14.25 inches. That is 50th percentile for height and weight and 25th percentile for head circumference. She was pleased with your growth. You are wearing newborn size diapers and clothing.

I suppose I should start at the beginning so you have a record of your birth story. I have been remiss in writing these past few weeks, so I have some catching up to do. The morning of Monday, September 13th I woke up around 3am to go to the bathroom. I was 35 weeks and one day gestation. When I got to the bathroom I felt like perhaps my water may have broken or had a small leak. However, since it was so early I figured it was highly unlikely. In all honesty, the same thing had happened the night before when I went to the bathroom and I ignored it, so it is possible my water may have broken on the 12th. In any case, I went downstairs and did a Google search on broken water. I called the nurse line from our insurance – which advised me to go to the hospital. Then I called my doctor who said that since I hadn’t experienced a huge gush of water that I could wait a few hours until the office opened and then stop in. Unless of course I felt a gush of water between now and then. This entire time I was pretty sure the water had broken, but I was just in denial! When I stood up after speaking to the doctor on the phone I did feel a gush so I woke up your dad and we headed to the hospital. Given that you weren’t due for five more weeks we were not prepared. We didn’t have a bag packed nor did we have the car seat in the car. Oddly enough, the car seat had just been returned to us the week prior from friends who had borrowed the seat for their daughter born in January. We sure are glad they didn’t wait until October to bring it back.

As soon as we got to the hospital they determined that my water had broken and the nurse said to me, “Well, looks like you’re having a baby today.” My first thought was – NO WAY! I’m not ready! Once you are older and understand my fascination with planning all things you will have a better understanding of just how traumatic this moment was for me.

I was hoping to have a VBAC, but that would no come to pass when my body didn’t go into labor. After almost twelve hours, I did not dilate or have contractions. So, off for a c-section we went. At 2:25pm, you were born! Your 1 minute and 5 minute APGAR scores were 8 and 9, respectively. Hearing those numbers convinced me that you were fine and I could relax. Little did I know what was in store for us.

While in recovery, I kept asking the nurse, Leah, to find out where you were so we could begin nursing. I kept asking and asking and time kept ticking by and nothing. She finally made a few phone calls and I was told that you were being taken to the NICU for some breathing problems. You were put on a CPAP machine for twelve hours. At this point is where I felt like the hospital did a very poor job of communicating with us. Your dad and I were under the impression that after the twelve hours on the CPAP machine that we would get to see you and all would be well. In fact, it turned out that you would end up staying in the NICU for six days before being released to us.

The week of your birth was the most emotional and stressful weeks of my life. We were so happy to have you here and healthy. Healthy being relative as compared to the other babies in the NICU. Weighing six pounds, fourteen ounces you were the largest baby in the NICU. On Monday, due to the epidural, I was not able to even see you. Tuesday morning at 3am I started calling my nurse to help me get out of bed so I could go see you. Around 6am I was able to see you for the first time and we were allowed to touch you, but not pick you up. Later in the day we were allowed to hold you. Unfortunately, by that time they had already given you a pacifier and were feeding you formula from a bottle.

On Wednesday, I was allowed to start nursing you, followed by pumping and bottle feeding. We did this round the clock every three hours. The first few weeks were so difficult. You were so sleepy and hadn’t really figured out how to nurse. Just in the past week or so have you started waking yourself up when hungry and you are much better at nursing.

The day after you were born you had an episode where your breathing slowed down to a dangerously low level, which made the doctors very concerned and also earned you a few extra days in the hospital. I was lucky that my insurance allowed me to stay four days in the hospital due to the c-section and then we were permitted to stay one extra night where you roomed in with us – so we could have a practice run. The NICU nurses checked on us every three hours and we had to take a CPR class before you came to the room. Saturday, September 18th, I was never so happy to go home with you in tow!

Since coming home, and while at the hospital, we had many visitors. Our wonderful friends from Saint Matthew’s brought us meals while we kept up with the crazy schedule. We also had lots of help from grandma, and nana came to visit for two weeks at the end of September. She had plane tickets for October, but was able to change them when you decided to make your early appearance.

Well my dear son, it has been a heck of a first few weeks. You are already keeping us on our toes. We are so happy to have you in our lives. Your brother is thrilled to be a big brother and I look forward to the days when the two of you can be the best of friends.

I’ll try to be better about writing these next few weeks.

Much love,

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