(I have been avoiding this post. Not because I don’t want to write it, but because there is just SO MUCH that I want to include. So many pieces of this story were miraculous and meaningful – I don’t want to write a book but I do want to include the most important events. Which brings me back to my problem, they are all important! So, I will do my best to summarize and simplify an incredible past few weeks)
Right now I am watching my little baby boy sleep, listening to his little grunts and snores, and still pinching myself that he is here. If a stranger saw him they would think he was just a perfect little boy (which he most definitely is), but major events have happened in his short life so far, more than most people deal with in eighty years.
He was due May 2nd, and that day was fast approaching. I was nowhere near dilated to where I should have been, and was feeling discouraged. Speed walks up hills, squats, pineapple, spicy food – all those wives tales that boast of inducing labor the natural way. Nothing. Finally, our doctor said he wanted to schedule an induction on the 2nd, since he did not want Caleb going over his due date. They scheduled the surgeon, anesthesiologist, NICU team…anyone and everyone who was going to be involved with his birth. A little nervous about a higher risk of a C-section, May 2nd came and we made our way to the hospital.
To make a long, 24-hour labor story short, it wasn’t working. I was too sensitive to the drugs and would have incredibly large and long contractions, which would take its toll on Cal’s fragile body and heart rate. Tired and traumatized, they rolled me in for a C-section.
Stark white lights and what felt like a room full of people, they literally tossed me on the bed (I was a dead weight due to the epidural) and strapped my shaking body to the bed. Moments later, I heard the doctors across the curtain: “He is in a strange position.” Then, “Wow look at that hair!” Then, “This guy is a bruiser!” Then the tiniest cries. Ryan ran out of the room after him, and I was left thinking, is this real? Did this just happen?
Over an hour later, I was wheeled (bed and all!) into the NICU to meet our baby boy. Wrapped from head to toe with gauze and wires, my heart ached for him. From one traumatic event to the other, this little baby was being so strong.
Two days later, he went in for surgery. What we thought were intestines outside the body, was actually his liver! This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as the intestines made enough room in his abdomen for his liver to be placed back in with plenty of room. Our surgeon said it was one of the most straightforward surgeries he has ever done for an omphalocele patient, and that he was lucky enough to be able to sew everything up in one try.
Two days after he was off the ventilator. A few days later he started to nurse. Then, he was above his birth weight and eating better and better. May 14th they removed the final iv’s and feeding tube and we took him home. Incredible. Not a nurse or doctor expected such a speedy recovery, but this boy is a little hero.
There were so many miracles in between the lines and along the way, and now he is so chubby, healthy, and strong. Ryan and I have been incredibly blessed, and sometimes feel like we aren’t adequately expressing our gratitude for the miracles we have seen. It sounds so cliché, but when Cal is fussy and nights are long, I just snuggle him close and think back to the moment we were told he might not make it….and hold him just a little tighter.