Friday, May 13, 2016

29 and 1

So it happened. He happened. Frederick Rogers Schoville was born at 11:50 p.m. on May 1, 2016 I was able to cook him for 3 1/2 days until I just couldn't cook him anymore. I got him to 29 weeks and 1 day exactly. 3 days straight of icky magnesium drips and on the fourth day they cut me off. It was a good day actually, the best day I'd had since I'd been there. The doc on duty encouraged me to get up and walk around a little without the sensors. Take a shower - and I did indeed. My work spouse came to visit and brought me my yummy comfort coffee drink and a Wonder Woman Build a Bear which he and his partner had spent their Sunday morning building... It was the best day,
But inevitably, the back pains - aka contractions - ramped up and before I knew it it was show time. Scared to death is the only way to describe my state of mind. Like on some level I seriously thought I could just stop it all from happening. Willing it not to be happening was all I could do but my body - and Frederick - felt otherwise. After much much pushing,  some F bombs (many F Bombs) and 2 failed attempts at epidural, teeny tiny Frederick was finally pushed and pulled from my body. You'd think that a 3 lb. 13 oz. baby would fly right out but no. Not. At. All. In those moments I swore to never ever do that again. I really did and my doc laughed as it came out something like me grabbing Special K by the shirt and yelling 'WE ARE NEVER FUCKING DOING THIS AGAIN!'

And poor Frederick. It took forever for him to make a noise as the NICU team put him in a plastic bag and hauled him over to the table to work on him. I kept my eyes on Special K as my doc worked on me and the Neonatology team worked on my new little person. I've never seen Special K look scared but he looked downright terrified in those minutes that crawled by. He paced back and forth between me and the little. Then we both heard it. The tiniest little scratch of a voice I will never forget as long as I live. The look of relief that swept over Special K and the sob that emerged from me before I realized it was me. But then they brought him to me and I was in shock. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I wasn't expecting that. Him. My baby in a bag was black. 

Or I thought he was. I asked if he was black and they assured me that no, he was not black, just badly bruised. Like his entire head was a giant blue berry. My vagina did that to him and I was horrified. I didn't get to see him again for another couple hours and it felt like an eternity. And then there we were, back in the NICU with a little person. Only this little was way littler then our fist little. This little was way earlier. Scarier.

On Day 2 I held him. Scared. to. death.

He was under the blue light special for almost 2 weeks until the bruising went down. 

The bruising was especially significant due to my baby crushing vagina. One of the nurses said it was actually a pretty impressive bruising and that it also wasn't actually my vagina that gets to take credit for the blue berry state of my child, but my pelvic floor. Anyway... The blue light special did not last forever. Eventually the goggles and hat came off and we were able to see his sweet face. Kind of. But we were lucky.

We are lucky. And he's OK. Cooking in the NICU womb instead of my own, He's finally off the blue lights and was only intubated for a short time. 2 weeks old and he's finally almost at his birth weight. In the meantime this is our second home. 7 days a week. Special K and I tag team then both come up in the evenings. Every time I leave him I can't breathe. It's like leaving one of my lungs behind and I can't fully breathe until we return and even then my breaths are short as I feel like I am breathing for him and me. Returning in the evening, racked with guilt leaving our first sweet little, I cry in anticipation of what I might find when I return to his side. But he's always OK.

I have to allow myself to take comfort in the fact that he really is OK. It's just going to take a long time for him to be good. In the meantime, we have his monitors that bring us comfort as they also bring us fear. Tracking his heart rate, his respiratory rate and his blood oxygen levels all at once. So many moving pieces that set off alarms at the slightest dips. It feels like the alarms will never stop. But they do. His breath finally returns - usually with help - and then he is OK today. I'm getting there. Slowly.

The tiniest baby steps ever.
30 and 6