it all started on friday morning (12/30/11) at about 5 am. i walked into the bathroom for the fourth time that night and was soaked.
when my water broke in the middle of the night with nora kevin's sleepy reply was, "well... maybe she just kicked you really hard in the bladder and made you pee." riiiight. LOL.
this time, i was sure it broke. so i called up the on call doc (which happened to be my doc) and she told me to wait for contractions to start and i could choose whether i wanted to come in or labor at home. i had a doctor appointment with her later that afternoon and she told me to just come in as scheduled unless things get really intense. she told me they'd hook me up to the monitors and admit me and start pitocin if contractions hadn't started by then.
so i went back to sleep. i didn't have any contractions until about 6:45am and then only one. so i went about my day as normal - we even went to costco to return our toothbrushes and get a couple things.
i thought my water had broke - but it wasn't really "leaking" or "gushing" like you see in the movies - just every now and again it would, well... you know. LOL.
we made arrangements for kev's brother to pick up nora just before my appointment and headed in. i told nora, "ok nora bird - mommy is going to the hospital to have baby grant." she said, "mmkay mommy. i'm going to uncle brand's to have cobe." (she adores her cousin cobe... like crazy mad love.) it makes leaving her so much easier to know that she LOVES going. :)
when i got to my appointment, my dr. tested what i thought was my water... and... it wasn't. bwaahahaha. turns out i did pee myself. take that interwebz! i was pretty embarrased... but alas. :)
my doc hooked me up to the monitors and i was having some contractions but they were very minor. :) so - she sent me on our way and told me to call or come in when something happened.
so we headed out to get nora. and that's about when my contractions started to get really bad. it was about 3:00pm and they were getting longer and stronger. so we decided to leave nora with her unc/aunt/cousins and head home to soak in the tub. (by the way - side note - thank you LORD for my tub. i love it more now than evah!)
i labored at home (read: sat my big butt in our jet tub) as long as i could and we headed in to the hospital at about 8:30p. as we were walking into the ER to get registered an ambulance driver was walking out just as an intense contraction started. i leaned up against the wall and rocked a bit - and she was like... ummmm, can i help you? pretty sure i wasn't very kind. i was all, "noooooooo - just LEAAAVE me here to DIEEEE!" LOL. in hindsight - i feel a little bad about that now. :) i. am. awesome. bwaahaha.
i got checked in to L&D and they when they checked me i was dilated to a 5 and said my water bag was "bulging." great. woot. go me. i labored half my labor at home and i was ready for the epi. i pretty much learned last time that you don't get a medal for not getting some meds and trying (for me anyway - i'm not trying to hate) was stupid. LOL. so they called up the epi doc and he made his way in.
as soon as i was in bed and they hooked up my monitors they put me on oxygen. looking back, this totally should have alerted me to the fact that there was a problem either with me or grant - but it didn't. i was in a lot of pain and thought, "awww, how sweet. they are going to help me breathe." i'm pretty much an idiot. :)
a random thought that i think may be TMI but i don't want to forget... everytime my doctor (who actually wasn't MY doctor - but the on call from my practice) checked my cervix she closed her eyes and made this really silly face. i found this rather amusing... i was curious as to what she was thinking... LOL. if she was closing her eyes checking my cervix - she was in for a show later. bwaaahaha. :)
my epidural worked this time (thank you LORD) and a couple hours of relatively pain-free laboring i felt my water break. the doctor came in a couple minutes later and explained that my water fluid was greenish which meant it contained meconium. (which for all you baby-free peeps it meant grant took a poo before it was time). she explained that she couldn't tell how bad it was until he was actually born. she said she may be able to put him on my chest immediately after he came out or she may have to rush him out as soon as he was born. i heard her - but i didn't really hear her. i wasn't prepared for what was to come.
i started feeling some pretty intense pressure at about 11:45p. the doc came back in and told me it was time to push. ugh. while those are the best words because it means its almost over they are the worst too - because this is the most intense pain. i knew what to expect this time. i think it was almost better not knowing. LOL.
anyway - i started pushing and she said, "ohhhh - he has a bunch of brown hair!" at some point towards the end and i remember thinking... "great - they've already mistaken my baby for someone elses..." (i've been watching a lot of lifetime movies where babies get switched, etc... LOL). you see - grant is the 8th baby on kevin's side of the family and NONE of them have brown hair. they are all blondies. i was excited. :)
i was pushing as best i could and the doc told me that she was going to have to get the vacuum if he wasn't out in the next two pushes. i really didn't want to do that so i pushed as hard as i could and he was out. and it was horrible. i was so completely and utterly unprepared for the next minutes of our lives.
i looked down and he was grey and green and completely lifeless. he wasn't moving or breathing and he didn't cry. i kept saying, "ohhh nooo. ohhh no. please God, no." the doctor quickly cut the cord and handed him to the nurse. kevin and i just looked at each other - it was complete silence.
the nurses took him over to the little giraffe warmer thing and starting pumping his stomach and trying to clear his lungs. he still wasn't making any noises. it was the worst moments of my life. i was crying - kevin was white and about to pass out - it was bad ya'll.
then he started grunting. and gasping for air. not the best sounds - but yet still sounds. a little movement... and he started to lose the grey/green tint and pinked up a little. the nurses quickly wrapped him up and brought him over for a little kiss and hello and then they were gone. (kevin took a video of this - i debated whether or not to share but it's just too much... even now). kevin went with him and i was alone. (ok - not really - because there was still more to come for me too) but my family was gone and my baby was in trouble. i was, well... almost a week later and there still are no words. it was awful. i started praying and pleading with God to help my baby. i've never prayed harder in my life.
meanwhile, back in the delivery room, apparently i was in some trouble of my own. my placenta hadn't delivered the way that it should and there were some chunks and other things left inside. the doc told me that they were going to take me to surgery to have a D&C. then she decided she was going to try to just get it out herself... and she did. she ended up scraping my ute with her hands trying to get everything out so i didn't get sick. i remember thinking delivering the placenta was as bad as the baby with nora and i'm guessing this was much, much worse but i just wasn't there - i wasn't present. people were talking to me and trying to update me but i just wasn't there. i couldn't get that image of my lifeless babe out of my mind... it was killing me.
the nurses and doctors really did do a fantastic job of coming in and letting me know what was happening with Grant but it was updates like, "grant is grunting and not breathing well on his own so he's under the oxygen hood. dad is there too - holding his hand." (i don't know why but this was where i lost it every. single. time. imaging kevin holding his little hand as he fights for his life was just too much. ugh... it still is. i mean - i was so glad they were together - but the image in my mind was just too much.) then they would come in and say, "grant still isn't breathing well but he's stopped the grunting." and then the pedi came in and said, "Grant is doing better but he's hooked up to this machine, and this machine;" (obviously he said the correct terms - but i can't remember... LOL) and then he said, "it's getting to the point where he is going to need to eat and he can't breathe well enough to put him to breast so we are going to put in an IV to feed him. we have to keep his blood sugar up." and then he just trailed off. well - not in real life - just in my mind.
this is where i completely and utterly lost it. like an uncontrollable crazy person. i could not get it together. i was sobbing like a mad woman. i just couldn't hang any longer. the pedi was awesome - he came over and gave me a hug and told me that he was confident Grant was going to pull through. he was just really great - thank you dr. blake. :) after this he went back into the mini NICU where they were taking care of Grant and kevin said that when he came back he thinks my losing it on him really made a difference and had an affect on him because he ultimately decided to give Grant another 10-15 minutes to hook up the IV and Grant was able to come out of the hood and avoid the IV.
back in my L&D room i was still sitting in bed waiting both for my epi to wear off enough i could get up and go to my babe and for my doc to decide if i needed to go into surgery. my mind was wandering... things had NOT gone as i planned them... at. all. you can't (well - wait, maybe i should be honest here and tell it like it is - IIIIII can't) help but think the worst. i remember thinking i didn't even remember what he looked like. that .2 second hello/goodbye just wasn't enough... i didn't want to - but i couldn't stop my mind. i was honestly waiting for a tear-stained kevin to walk into the room holding our lifeless baby to give me a chance to say goodbye. it was torture. so much for being positive... i wish i could change those hours and do it all differently - but i didn't.
i ended up being in my L&D room for about 2 1/2 hours before i was able to get up and walk to the nursery. my nurse was like, "would you like a shower? or to go to the nursery?" "ummm, yes the latter."
i got wheeled in and there he was... in this little thing with cords everywhere. it was heartbreaking. i cried... i didn't know what else to do. it was just too much. there were no pictures taken during this time - and maybe that's just better.
when i finally was able to hold him for the first time, he grabbed right onto my hand. almost as if to tell me he was tough and was going to be ok. i'll never forget that moment. thankfully, kev had the camera in hand and took this. be still my heart. :)
there really weren't any more pictures taken during the next several hours - we just had other things on our plate. Grant continued to fight, we continued to pray and he just kept getting better and stronger. at some point the nurse snapped this - our first picture of the three of us. i look haggard. LOL.the next hours were really just a blur. i don't think i've ever been more tired in my life. and can i also add that the hospital chairs SUCK! ouch. my bum was aching and kevin was sitting in this jacked up director-like chair that put him the same height as baby Grant's giraffe. our butts were achin! LOL.
here is our tough lil' man after having his respiratory and heart rate monitors disconnected. he still has oxygen and heat monitors hooked up here. he was still having trouble keeping his oxygen levels up without having the tubes in his nose.
the nurses were fantastic. they slowly weaned him off and he kept getting stronger. i've never been a prouder mama. :) at around 11 on new years eve we started a trial to take him off the oxygen and at midnight on new year's eve i kissed my boy - free of any wires/machines/etc. it was pure bliss. i love my hubs - but i've never EVER had a better new years kiss. :) God is good and my boy is strong! :)
overall he spent 33.5 very long hours in the NICU before being able to room in.
nora was finally able to come and meet him on his 3rd day. this is her and cobe. she was a little hesitant to hold him - she said, "no thank you. i don't want to hold him." and then cobe said, "i want to hold him!" and she said, "yah - me too mama. i want to hold him too." LOL. whatevah. :) and so they held him for the first time together. :)
it was a long three days in the hospital - but both the doctors and the nurses were very suprised at how quickly Grant recovered and got off his machines. it can only be explained one way... God is good and he answers prayers.
this is the last picture i snapped in the hospital with my cell phone. all bundled up and ready to go home! :)
and so... today i give the glory and the gratitude to God for my son. my happy, healthy baby boy. :)
edit: also - thank you, thank you, THANK YOU to the many many friends (IRL and interwebz (read: BL and SPN) that sent prayers, well wishes and support. it means more than you could ever ever EVER know. :)