Beckett is one week old today! Hard to believe – it seems like just yesterday we were heading into Labor and Delivery!
A lot has transpired in a week – most of which you probably know from Facebook. But since that was delivered in bits and pieces, I thought I’d share the full story here. Feel free to skip if you’re tired of reading about it!
I’m not one of those women blessed with 4 hour labors – clearly I like to hold babies in as long as possible – my contractions started around 7am on the 19th. They weren’t painful yet but very different than the contractions I’ve been having over the past 4 weeks. I started keeping track and around 11am they were coming about 4-5 minutes apart. I called my midwife, went in and they sent me over to the hospital. After leaving the dr, Todd and I decided to grab lunch, go home and repack before heading in. I just knew I wouldn’t have this baby quickly and I really wanted to take our time. We got to CMC Pineville around 2pm.
My sister came to the hospital to help. She is a doula (oh, and a photographer…and a massage therapist) and I can’t thank her enough for her help in getting me as far as I did. I really wanted to try a natural childbirth, so I held off on an epidural until I was 7cm. This is the point in labor where you reach a stage called Transition. It’s the most painful and intense part of the experience (or so I’m told) and all thoughts of a natural birth went flying out the window. I hit a wall very quickly and I’m pretty sure I became a crazed demon woman screaming at everyone in sight to give me drugs. Thankfully they were very quick to oblige and within 15 minutes or so, my room became tranquil and lovely again. I’m sure everyone in (and out) of my room was happy to hear me shut up.
It was time to push around 11 – and Beckett was born at 11:21. He came out screaming and wailing but they very quickly realized there were some issues with his lungs. To make a long story short, they determined in the end that his lungs were still full of amniotic fluid. Generally, babies expel the fluid as they are being delivered, but because Beckett came out rather quickly, he wasn’t able to. The nurses spent a lot of time trying to suction him out, but they just couldn’t get his color normal and his lungs clear. It’s a scary feeling to watch your baby lay on the little bed, being suctioned out by nurses who exchange worried glances with one another. I could see his color was a weird bluish grey, and I knew something was wrong. They whisked him off to NICU with promises to return in a few hours.
It wasn’t long before we found out that it wouldn’t be a few hours in NICU, but a few days. He was hooked up to oxygen because he couldn’t breathe well on his own, and they started him on antibiotics just in case the breathing issue was a result of infection. They had to monitor him for everything from fluid in his lungs to cystic fibrosis because the symptoms are all very similar.
It was kind of a surreal time for us – I knew I had given birth to this beautiful baby boy – but he wasn’t in my room with me. It was a long and sad walk from my room to the NICU and I watched visitors come and go to see other babies and moms in rooms near mine. Todd and I sat alone holding Beckett, carefully trying to avoid tugging on all his wires and tubes. When I needed to eat or sleep, I had to leave Beckett in his little bed and walk all the way back to my empty room. I was discharged on Saturday and we had to leave the hospital without our son in his carefully chosen outfit and brand new car seat.
I have a huge respect for mothers who have gone through serious trauma with their babies. We are so fortunate that Beckett spent only 3 days in the NICU. It was one of the most incredibly difficult things I’ve experienced as a mother – and I know that we had to deal with far less than some families. He recovered quickly and well, and is doing great today.
We are adjusting well to this sweet, wide eyed little boy. So far he is very good natured and content and I have to confess I am spending a lot of my days just gazing at him. Besides a small cold, I am recovering well and we are sleeping better than I expected. Thanks to those of you who have dropped by with dinner and flowers – it has been so appreciated. Plus, y’all are really good cooks.