We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 on Sunday evening. The reality began to sink in when Jonathan looked at me and said "We get to meet our son tomorrow". We could not have been more anxious or excited. Everyone at the hospital was so amazing from the moment we arrived. We did start off on a great note with a giant gift bag of goodies from the Green family to help us enjoy our stay more. It was such a thoughtful gesture on their behalf and they still never cease to amaze me. Sunday was a pretty uneventful evening, minus the few "medical procedures" I had done, which at that point let me know that modesty is in NO way possible when giving birth. My nurses were all amazing and never once asked questions, everyone was on the same page! I was ecstatic!
Monday morning came quickly to those who did not sleep Sunday night (cough, cough, me). But it started on a lovely note with the question any woman wants to hear "Would you like your epidural now?". Ahhh! Music to my contracting uterus! I was shocked they gave it to me so early, but I was definitely feeling the pain and dilating quickly so it seemed like the logical thing to do. At about 2:00 we were told that because I had dilated so rapidly that it looked like he would be out around 3:30. HA! Little did everyone know that I held in the back of my mind that nothing about this pregnancy had been planned and I doubted that Dalton was going to let us start now. But I was hopeful.
We spent the afternoon just the two of us reflecting back on what we had learned and the good that had come out of our journey.It was a special time for us to pray and just be us, coming to God to ask for the strength for when our unknowns became known.
Turned out our little man was sunny side up and on a diagonal angle. Stinker. They told me that this was the most difficult way to deliver a baby the natural way. They could have been lying to get me to keep going but I assure you, they weren't. I started pushing around 5:00 pm. Slowly coming to the realization that this was not going to be as fun as it looked in the movies. I need two more bouts of epidural medicine because the pressure was so bad. They let me take a break and rest and we tried on and off until 8:00 while the Doctors decided what was the safest way to get him out. They did not want to use tools to pull him out because of the ventricles in his brain, but they told me if I was able to handle it we could attempt the natural route because Dalton really was tolerating labor well and the tools could be used as a guide. I was determined! I knew that having a C-Section meant not seeing Dalton for 12 hours and having to be in recovery with certain restrictions (on a side note the entire time I was pushing my focal point was an ice cold Diet Coke, no one told me they try and torture you by not letting you drink anything! I felt like I was in a dry mouth prison. If I ever see another ice chip... It's not the same people!).
So I pushed, and pushed, and pushed some more for 2 hours straight. I was making progress and they were willing to let me continue, as long as I wasn't exhausted or going to curse them for not giving me anything to drink. Sparing the gory details, and yes there are plenty. We tried 2 times with forceps to no avail and three times with the vacuum. At that point I said in the kindest tone possible, "Let me get the C-Section, I'm too exhausted to keep going".**Warning words appear nicer than they were in reality**. My Doctor begged me, and told me if I could do 3 more pushes it was going to either happen or not and if it didn't C-Section it was. I do not usually consider myself a strong person by any stretch of the imagination. But at that moment I prayed for the strength and somehow, someway by God's grace Dalton came out!
I started at him with wide eyes and smooched my sweet hubby. I was so proud of Jonathan, he was an amazing coach never once making me want to punch him or say anything mean directed at him. Jonathan cut the cord and they took him to the table for evaluation from the NICU team. By the way there were about 14 people in here, I apologized to each of them for screaming bloody murder and explained to them that I was usually such a calm person-don't know if they bought it or not. That first whimper of a cry about a minute later was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. That was when we lost it. First unknown- known, he was breathing! One of the girls from the team came to me and said if we get him stable you can hold him for a minute. I was so excited! They placed him in my arms and to be honest I was in a daze. This precious little angel now sat in my arms for me to care for with God's guidance. It was a moment I will never forget. I got to hold him for a minute and then he went with his Daddy up to the NICU to start his testing.
I got all "gussied up" as the Doctor fixed my war wounds, during which the whole time I kept saying "I am a rock star!"I have to gloat a second, I was just so beyond proud of myself and I am just so thankful that God gave me all the strength I needed to have him naturally.
Jonathan came back about 30 minutes later with the news that he was 8lb on the nose and that the testing was going to be about another hour. By this time it was midnight and I could physically feel my body breaking down. But I was going to see my baby boy before I went to bed! The pediatric cardiologist came and spent time with us after he assessed Dalton. There are 3 concerns with his heart and 1 major one that will have to be figured out before he actually gets to leave.
I want this to be a happy post to remember the positives so I will post more on the actual diagnosis a bit later and after we know more.
Jonathan and I wheeled up to the NICU around 12:30. Going in to see your brand new baby covered in wires and tubes was not easy. But I was prepared for that. I know that what they are doing is helping him, so I was strangely okay. The biggest disappointment was them telling us we could not hold him for a at least a few days, again, I was prepared but hearing it really kind of stunk. I did get to get up next to him and hold his little hand. He is so beautiful. Lots of hair and I even heard a rumor there were some dimples on our boy! I could tell how much everyone up there already loved him by the sweet names they were calling him and how gentle they were when they handled him. That gave me a lot of comfort. The neonatologist explained everything they saw and what the steps were for the next day (today). Like I said, I will do a health update later. Leaving him up there was not the easiest thing especially when we wheeled out and I heard him let out a giant cry. He didn't want us to leave either. The strangest part was, I knew it was him crying. I had a feeling and the nurse came out and said "Did you hear those lungs?". We came back to the room and promptly crashed. Sleep isn't really an option because I am still in a lot of pain. Just counting down the minutes to when I can go back and see our little man.
Thank you all for your texts, phone calls, emails, Facebook messages, and more. The support has been amazing and knowing how prayed for Dalton is only continues to give us hope. We love you all so much and can't wait for the world to meet him!
Last night before the hospital.
Night on the town.
Keeping everyone up to date while waiting to check in.
This was before the drama!
It was like she was there with us!
I got made fun of for this...don't know why!
Daddy and Kyle probably learning WAY more than they wanted to.
Honey, Daddy, and PawPaw awaiting his arrival.
Mommy and Brie
This may be my all time favorite birthing picture.
Told ya we smooched<3
8 lbs 21 inches
Lots of loving hands working to make him strong.
Daddy and his boy
He wasn't too happy about leaving us.
Daddy will make it all better.
These pictures are never glamorous but I had to do it.
My favorite picture.
Us and the amazing team who forced me to do what I knew I could!
He couldn't escape if he tried.
So hard not to pick him up.
He was sleeping when we arrived.
Quite the grip on my hand.
6! Count 'em 6!