On Sunday morning, contractions started to increase in intensity, but after the embarrassment of leaving the hospital still pregnant last week, I wanted to be really sure. So we went to 9am sacrament meeting. And after about 5 minutes of squirming in the pew, I realized that these type of contractions were better had in a hospital than at Church. So we took the sacrament and headed right over to Melayna's house, where she grabbed the kids curbside and we made it to the hospital a little after 10:00. But let me tell you, with contractions get increasingly more intense, that was a worrisome ride, even for a third-time Hippobirther like myself. They called me a 6-7 and admitted me to Labor and Delivery, where I was so GRATEFUL for the tender mercy of the Lord--my absolute favorite midwife was on duty again! Susan is definitely the best! All went well and at 1:19, our sweet little boy was born!! The Neonatal team was available because of the brain abnormality they'd seen in ultrasound (see last post), and even after they sucked the junk from nose and mouth, the little guy wouldn't breathe. He tried a couple feeble gasps as they puffed air at him and tried all their tricks, but he wasn't catching on to the new art of living in air. They resuscitated him successfully and gave him some oxygen, and he pinked up perfectly. They brought him over to me and let me touch his perfect little face and when I talked to him, he actually made his first attempt at a weak little cry! It was so sweet. He looked so perfect and pink and healthy, it was hard to believe that he was being rushed down to the NICU, except for the tears streaming down my tender husband's face. I wish we would have had our camera out and ready to catch that brief moment that I remember when our little guy looked so perfect without any tubes or IVs.
But you can still tell how sweet he is, can't you? After several attempts (apparently the little guy was a fighter), they got a tube down his trachea so the ventilator could breathe for him. It was so hard for Aaron to stand there and watch, especially since he had a Neonatology class last semester and knew just how critical the situation was. They proceeded to put an IV in his umbilical cord and after many attempts, got an arterial line in his hand to more accurately monitor the low blood pressure issues he was having. Soon, he was having more trouble, and they found that the resuscitation had punctured a small hole, which they call a pneumothorax, in his flexible little lungs and they had to release the air in his chest cavity with a chest tube. Just in case, they put a needle in his other hand to be ready for any other medication he might need. They also did an ultrasound of his brain, right here at his bedside, to check the concerns they had from his prenatal ultrasounds. Needless to say, he had a pretty rough start to life!!
We called my parents and before I even got to see the little guy again that night, Grandpa and Dad had given him a blessing. Then Aaron got a blessing from my Dad, and when he came back into my room, the change was visible. His countenance exuded strength and faith, whereas before he was tender and tearful and somewhat overwhelmed.
As I sat in the room while they whisked Dexter off to the NICU, Aaron's PA classmates (we invited as many as wanted to witness the birth--5 were there) stayed with me and kept me company. In a situation like this, those little things are really nice. It was strange and sad to sit there, having just given birth, without my baby. But I felt a peace and a strength far beyond my own. I felt the assurance that no matter what happens, all will be well. Again the theme of Elder Wirthlin's "Come What May and Love It" talk came to mind. http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-947-9,00.html Throughout the evening, I pondered on the 4 principles he highlighted--Learn to Laugh, Seek for the Eternal, Remember the Principle of Compensation, and Trust in God. It was just what I needed. As I went to sleep that night, I thought how grateful I was for the Lord's help in maintaining composure that day despite emotions being so close to the surface--a crying headache was the very last thing I needed as my body was recuperating from delivery.Aaron and I were really a good team that day--when one was weak, the other was strong, and it really helped! Seeing our brand new little boy with tubes and IVs poking out everywhere was a hard moment for me that day, but that was after Aaron had been given a blessing and he was just the strength I needed. Once again, I am SO grateful for God's omniscience and omnipotence, and even more for His LOVE. I know He loves us. He is taking such good care of us in this time of trial. I know that we are all in His capable hands and that everything will work out. And even though I'd love to know how and when things will work out, it's even more important to know that they will work out.