Well where do I begin? We welcomed a new baby boy into our little family on March 10th, and I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while; I’ve been a little caught up in the whirlwind of a traumatic birth, an ICU stay, and then just taking care of a newborn which has got to be one of the most tender, special, fun, and exhausting jobs in the world. There’s a reason we call babies miracles. Each and every baby seems like a miracle in some way. Even if it’s a completely normal pregnancy and birth, when you hold a newborn baby in your arms you realize exactly how fragile and special a life is.
Just as Baby Tucker was about to be delivered, his heart rate dropped dangerously low. Before I knew it, a swarm of nurses and doctors ripped off my jewelry and rushed us down the hall for an emergency surgery. They performed an emergency c-section very quickly, though it felt like hours lying on that operating table, praying and wondering what was going on, but being too afraid to ask. I just remember praying and feeling like I could not breathe, and as it turns out, I was breathing fine, but the baby was not breathing when he was born.
The doctors later told us he was gray, and had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck four times….which was something those doctors and nurses had only seen once in their careers. Thankfully, he was quickly resuscitated, and he spent a few days in the ICU where they installed an IV, feeding tube, oxygen, and monitored him very closely. He had a lot of trouble eating for the first few days, so the feeding tube was very important.
He was hooked up to so many things that we couldn’t even hold him for a couple of days. That was hard, and it was hard to be immediately separated from his as I was stuck in one hospital room and he was stuck in the ICU on another floor, but we were allowed to travel downstairs to visit at all hours. He got stronger and stronger with each and every day in the ICU, but I saw many babies in that ICU who didn’t; we are very blessed.
They sent us home after 7 days, and I felt even more nervous to bring home my second baby than I did with my first baby! In the ICU they are hooked up to all kinds of monitors that are displayed on a big screen—heart rate, oxygen levels, pulse, etc.—just about everything important. So every time I saw Tucker make a sour face or a funny sound, I’d look up at those monitors to make sure they were in normal range. And let me tell you– that’s a crutch thats easy to get used to. It’s hard not knowing what their heart rate is or how well they are breathing, after having the comforts of those monitors 24/7.
Unfortunately my husband had been diagnosed with the flu a day after Tucker was born, but thankfully my mom was able to be there helping me.
While the baby was in the ICU, we stayed right across the street from the hospital at the Motel 6, which was extremely convenient to travel back and forth to the ICU to visit the baby. Once the baby was released we decided to stay in the hotel with Tucker for a couple of days so that he wouldn’t be exposed to the flu at home. To be quite honest, while I desperately wanted to come home, I was so nervous to take him off those monitors that I was relieved that we would be staying right across the street from the hospital for a couple of days.
But after a nice afternoon with Tucker, I laid there in bed feeding him that first night. And in the peace and quiet of a room at the Motel 6, I stopped looking and listening for the monitors with Tucker’s vital statistics, and looked deep into his sweet little eyes instead.
And after that, well, you know how it is to nurse a newborn….pure exhaustion sets in pretty quickly after the millionth nighttime feeding. The funny thing is, when a newborn baby smiles at you, you feel pure joy…even at 3:30 AM when you feel like all the gravity in the world is pulling down on your droopy eyelids….and the same thing when you hold a baby close and they finally make good eye contact with you. It’s just such a special sincere connection you feel. It’s pure as pure is pure.
Thankfully, he started sleeping through the night about a week ago…mostly anyways. It hasn’t been uneventful though. It seems that lately I’ve been getting peed on every day! That’s something I thought only happened in the movies. It doesn’t seem like it would really be that hard to change a boy’s diaper without getting caught in the fountain of youth, but it’s actually pretty easy to get forgetful and get peed on especially while you’re trying to doctor them up. It only takes a second. But hey, if I change 10 diapers a day and I only get peed on once….I’m still winning right?