Our Puppy was born. October 20,2009 will forever be scorched into my brain. It was, however, one of the best, and the worst days of my life. The memories are not as sharp (or as harsh) as they once were, but I figure I should record it now before all but the most important parts are forgotten. So here, my faithful readers, is Puppy's Birth story. Bits and pieces have come out, but never the whole thing. Bear with me as it is a bit rough, but rest assured there is a happy ending!
My pregnancy was wildly uneventful, and in fact most of it is a blur as I had another baby (FISH!) at home and needed me to take care of her every need. Contractions came and went for the last few weeks, but nothing major. Around 3 AM I was awoken to contractions. I called the zoo keeper who as working night shift and that got the ball rolling. By the time we dropped fish of at my parents it was already 5:30, and we were still looking at a 30 minute drive to the hospital. I was triaged and then sent to a room... and progressing FAST. I could tell the nurses were watching the monitors, but nobody was freaking out, so I wasn't that bothered. Puppy's heart rate was dropping after contractions. During contractions was normal for minor cord issues, but after is a bit scarier (although I still am a bit fuzzy on the why). I was given an oxygen mask and told to lay on my left side with as little movement as possible, and to breath calmly... with no pain meds during transition :). I was not trying to be a hero, I was just going too fast. The nurses started calling franticly for anesthesia. They were hoping pain meds would calm me down, and would help Puppy's heart rate, or at least that is what we were told. Looking back my guess is they wanted to be prepared in case an emergency C-section needed to happen. I bypassed an epidural since I was so close to pushing and was just given a spinal, which only lasts for roughly 30 minutes. My water was broke once my midwife arrived with a significant amount of Meconioum. (Not our first time at the meconium carnival... fish had it too.) Shortly after it was time to push (it was like 10 minutes or something crazy like that. I think it was 9ish). NICU nurses were in the room in case he had aspirated meconium as standard procedure (again had it with fish), but it was a pretty calm situation. He 7 pushes or so later he was out. It was until push 5 or so I realized something really wasn't right. She had me push with no contraction, and keep pushing until he was out. She flooped him onto my belly cut the cord and wisked him away. He was "dusky"... but really he just looked dead. A greyish color I will never forget. He wasn't moving, wasn't breathing, just a few of his left fingers were jerking.
Even through all of this I still wasn't that worried. Yes, he was being worked on, but my midwife kept reassuring me that lots of little boys had breathing issues at birth. "Whimpy white boy syndrome" is what it is called. A few hours in the NICU and he would be all ours. I was left in the recovery room and the entire entourage needed to keep my son alive, as well as his daddy, went upstairs. It was another hour and a half before I would see them again. Once I finally got upstairs I was not prepared for what I was about to see. Machine upon machine hooked up to my little bot, heat lamps and blood drawls, all in his first hour of life. Within five minutes we were approached by the St. Ann's NICU Doctor who informed us that Puppy had suffered from extensive oxygen depravation, and that he would benifit from a new cooling technology offered at Nationwide Childrens Hospital. The transport team was on thier way as there was a very short window in which the treatment could be started. I would have to say good bye to my baby boy only minutes after first really meeting him. Transport came, loaded him up and wisked him away, with Daddy trailing behind. I am so thankful for the friends who came to visit me that day at the hospital. I wouldn't wish staying on a Post partum floor without an infant on anyone. But that is what I did. Sat and waited patiently for text updates or phone calls from the Zoo Keeper from the hospital acroos town.
The next couple weeks are a blur of Hospital, and news, some of it good, most of it bad. We learned that he had also suffered a stroke in the womb about a month prior to birth. We were told he may never walk, may never sit (cough cough... HE CAN!), that his trunk muscles may never develop. We were prepared for the worst. And while when we think about him today we try to keep out expectations low, we know that God is watching over our little miracle. That he is destined for greatness. Yes, October 20th was a day that I will never desire to relive. But October 20th has brought me to a place I never though I would ever reach. A place of compassion and patience. A place that can say that I am a special needs parent, and I am surviving... maybe even thriving. We have a bumps (okay mountians) to climb over, and I am sure there are plenty more to come as he grows. But he is our Miricle. Our little boy who shouldn't be. And to the God who allows me to hold him in my arms and watch him exceed our wildest expectations, I am forever greatful.