Thursday, January 26, 2012

Callum Avery Lee is here!

I haven't updated the blog since our baby boy was born on October 30, 2011 at 10:40 pm. Our little peanut weighed in at 6 lbs 2 oz and measured 18.5 inches long.

The reason I've taken so long to update is mostly due to the craziness of being a new mom, but also because I had a really hard time writing out our birth story. Finally I have managed a coles notes version.  Some day I may eventually finish the lengthy version, though I'm not sure whether I'll ever post it or not. But here is the short and dirty version of how he arrived.

I was induced on October 28, 2011 at nearly 37 weeks due to high blood pressure and the beginnings of pre-eclampsia. It took a second Cervadil on the 29th to really get labour going. The night of the 29th we went in thinking it was time, but I was only 2 cm dilated. They gave me a morphine shot which slowed down contractions, and I got sent home to get some much needed sleep. The next day, we were to go in and be checked and possibly get another Cervadil. Contractions had picked back up to about 3-5 minutes apart, and my water broke as we walked through the doors of the hospital. Needless to say, I was admitted.

After a nearly impossible IV start (they needed a special ultrasound machine and 2 anesthesiologists to do it), a failed epidural (NO pain relief even after a few top ups; apparently it was put in too low) and about 7 hours of active labour, I was 9 cm dilated. Unfortunately, our baby's head would not descend, and the stronger the contractions got, the more his heart rate began to decelerate. Finally it was too much for baby, so they decided to do a c-section. I received a spinal in the operating room since my epidural did not take, but the anesthesiologist put it in too high and right away I began to feel my arms go numb, followed by my chest. Soon I was having trouble breathing, and the stupid doctor kept telling me I was fine and was just panicking because I was nervous. I wasn't. I was gasping for breath and was trying to say "HELP!" but I couldn't talk by that point. A few seconds later I began to black out from lack of oxygen and he finally took me seriously. The last thing I heard before passing out was him saying "Uh oh, call a code pink and contact NICU!" My last thought was, "This is it. I'm dying." 

Because my heart rate rapidly dropped, our baby was not doing well at all and they had to do an emergency c-section. I was put under general anesthesia after I had already blacked out. My mom and brother were in the waiting room outside the OR while Nate was getting gowned and ready to come in for the c-section, and they said they heard the code being called over the PA and watched as about 12 doctors and nurses came running down the hall. I was the only one in the OR so my poor family and husband were beyond freaked out. They knew something was really wrong. Thankfully, the team of doctors were amazing and Callum was born quickly. My own OB was the one to perform the surgery. Callum emerged with some fluid in his lungs and had a fairly low apgar score due to distress. They rushed him to the NICU and Nate went with him after trying to figure out whether he should stay with me or the baby. My mom assured him that he should go with the baby and that they would stay with me. 
When I woke up, my first question was, "I'm alive??" because I truly thought I died there on the OR table. The second question was of course, "Where's my baby?!" I was told that Callum was stable and doing well by that point, but would need to remain in the NICU for a little while. I was pretty out of it on drugs, but I DO remember the anesthesiologist coming in and attempting to joke with me about how he probably should have listened to me when I said I couldn't breathe. Needless to say he is NOT my favourite person. 

I finally was allowed to see Callum about 8 hours after he was born. I had to wait until the spinal had worn off and I was able to walk. Let me tell you, nothing could have kept me from getting out of that bed.  I practically leapt out of bed when the nurse said I could get up slowly. I was shaking from head to toe as Nate wheeled me to the NICU to see our baby for the first time. I was so excited and nervous. When I finally saw him inside his incubator, I lost it. He was so perfect and tiny and he was ours! I couldn't believe this little person had been inside me for 9 months. When Nate put him in my arms I experienced pure and absolute joy. I fell in love with him right then and there. It didn't matter anymore that we didn't get to bond immediately after his birth. The nurse told me to put him to my breast and he latched like a champ. We were up to see him that day at every possible minute between sleep.

Callum did so well that he only needed to stay in the NICU for about 28 hours. The night he was brought to us, we had fallen asleep waiting for him to arrive in our room. I was woken up at about 1:30 am by a baby's cry that sounded just like him-- in those early days he sounded like a hoarse tea kettle thanks to the tubes he'd had down his throat. I fell back asleep thinking that surely that baby wasn't mine as he was still in NICU. About 20 minutes later, a nurse wheeled him into my room. It WAS my baby I heard! They had been getting him cleaned up for me and he wasn't impressed with being bathed. I remember how excited we were to finally have him sleeping next to us. Our family was complete!

After Callum was out of NICU, we both did fine recovery wise and were able to go home 3 days later. He had a bit of jaundice we had to keep an eye on, and I had an incredibly easy caesarean recovery. Emotionally though, I'd say I'm still recovering. I never thought that the day my baby was born would be the worst AND best day of my life at the same time.

That said, being a mom is the best thing in the world. And no, I'm not just saying that. Is it hard? Hell yeah! But it's also SO worth it. It helps that I have an amazing support system at home with both my wonderful husband and amazing mom. Callum is also a very easy baby. He eats well, and he sleeps through the night. Having him is worth every second of the 6 years of heart ache we had to endure before finally holding him in our arms. My dreams have finally come true!