With today being the 1 year birthday of my son, I have had lots of time to reflect on this past year. Most importantly reflecting on the day he was born. As a first time mom, it sticks in my head so clearly. The emotions, the fear, the joy, the excitement - all 21 hours of it! :) But again it reminds me of all the kindness in the world and how there are truly good people out there.
Now although my experience with Cade's birth cannot even compare to many other moms out there - it is my story - our story. I was scheduled to go in for an induction on Tuesday June 17, 2008. On Sunday, I was frantically cleaning, waiting on the arrival of my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law to arrive. I decided after I had scrubbed on hands and knees 9 months pregnant that I needed a pedicure/manicure. Because I knew if I were going to swell up like a balloon with the induction drug, I at least wanted pretty hands and feet (plus I had heard about the pressure points in your feet). So I had everything ready to go.
I had this really huge fear about being on the table and going number 2. I'm sure many of you have either feared it or had it happen. But since I had a whole day (Monday) before being induced, I thought I'd be extra clever and take a laxative tea Sunday so I would be clean as whistle for Tuesday morning. My baby apparently had other plans. I woke up on Monday morning around 3am and noticed I was a little wet. I went to the bathroom and noticed there was a little discharge but wasn't too alarmed at the time. Let's just say within the next 20 minutes I went through another 2 pair of underwear and realized that my water had broke. I finally woke my husband, called the doctor, woke my mother-in-law and headed to the hospital. Excited and scared!
Little did I know I would have a LONG wait! I got settled into my hospital bed with nearly 10 layers of padding to absorb the slow leak and suddenly I realized OMG - I had taken the laxative tea the night before and had yet to go to the bathroom! I informed the nurse but all she could do was laugh and assure me that it would be okay. I was frantic. I thought for sure my worst nightmare would come true. Luckily a couple of hours later (still only 4 or 5 hours into the whole ordeal) that I was able to go. I felt relieved and hoped that there would be no more of that for the day!!
I had the best nurses. 3 to be exact. Since I was in the hospital for so long. My poor doctor who likes to schedule his inductions couldn't have scheduled this baby if he tried. The baby even decided at one point to go backwards from a 0 to a negative 2 half way through the day. When I wasn't dilating more than a 3 around 4 or 5pm that evening we started discussing C-sections. I was ready and didn't care how it had to happen - I just wanted the baby out! My husband was watching TV and had seen every baby movie ever made! :) He was nervous that he would not be allowed into the room during the C-section as that's what was said during our birthing classes. He even shed a tear or two over the whole idea. He definitely wanted to be there!
Luckily - a wonderful nurse was brought on the scene at shift change at 5pm. She turned me this and that way - put pillows in odd places and said to trust her. She knew how to get me going! And finally - I started dilating much faster. We were on our way. At 11:00pm I was finally at a 10. But my poor doctor had been home - probably sleeping - for a bit and was called in. The nurse and Chris got me started on pushing to be ready for when the doctor arrived. During one of my breaks - I noticed the nurse had a tissue in her hand. OMG - I freaked! I said to my husband - do you know what she has in her tissue?? I could see what it was but he played it up like he didn't. I saw what she was throwing away. At that point - I was like - OH WELL! Get this baby out - I don't care what happened!
Cade Dailey Norton was born on June 16, 2008 at 11:41pm. 8lbs 6oz and 20.5 inches long. My parents and my husband's parents finally got to greet the little guy around 12:30am. I couldn't stop staring at this new life that had just entered my life. I felt so blessed (and still do).
Because Cade had to be suctioned out - he had a pretty large bruise on the top of his head that made him jaundice since he was being breast fed only. We were scheduled to be discharged from the hospital less than 24 hours after delivery (due to a night time delivery) and we were being told that he had to go to the ICU (while my husband was at home taking a shower). Now I had never had a baby before - let alone dealt with ICU. I was scared and alone. I cried for an hour til my husband arrived. I was so sad to see Cade wheeled away and not sure of the severity of the situation. I was just getting attached to the little guy. Plus, the staff had told me that we would have to use formula as a supplement to help nourish him and help his bilirubin levels even out. That night I had to go home without Cade as he had to stay in ICU and I was being discharged. I was sad to leave him there but also nervous that he would refuse the breast and only take a bottle.
While in the ICU room, the most kind lactation consultant entered our lives. She helped me find ways to pump the little colostrum that I had and make sure that he was getting it. She worked with the ICU staff to ensure that I was able to nurse before he got his bottle. She even got me a tubing that taped to my nipple so the baby could get formula while still nursing. She taught my husband how to take care of the equipment, clean it, prepare it and so on. This woman spent almost every scheduled feeding with me helping. She knew how I felt about the situation and even when she was supposed to be taking a break or off for lunch she made sure she was there helping me and my family whenever we needed it.
The next day - we were admitted to the children's ward and Cade spent the next 4 days in a light machine. 3 hours in - 15 minutes out to feed. My lactation lady was off one of these days and sent in another kind woman to help. She said that the first woman was worried about me and wanted to be sure that the feedings were going well. By the way - this room had 1 twin bed for both me and my husband to sleep in. It was quite comical with our head and feet at opposite ends of the bed (kind of like in the episode of 3 and 1/2 men LOL!). But we made it work. We laughed and said we would look back on this with a whole different perspective.
Before I was discharged - my lactation lady came in to see me and the baby one last time. She was an angel. If it hadn't been for her - I would have given up on nursing all together as I feared for the health of my son. She made me feel like I could handle anything and taught me the skills I needed to be a breastfeeder for 10 months! Thank you! Her kindness meant everything to me!
So - to make a long story even longer - I want to thank all the staff at Plano Presbyterian Hospital in Texas for taking good care of me and my family. For helping us understand what we didn't. For taking the time to give us love and taking us through one step at a time.
Like I said before, I know so many moms go through much much worse circumstances but wanted to share my story of my little boy. It's this kindness that has been given to me that I want to give back to the world. People cared for me and my family. Just as I care for you and yours. As I stated in a previous post - I have been given clothes, toys, pumps, you name it. I want to continue to bless others as I have been blessed. "To whom much is given, much is expected."
Happy Birthday Cade!
Thank you for letting me share my story!