Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Perfect...a.k.a. William's Birth Story

I am a planner...maybe not a great planner, but I still like to think I know how things will transpire.  In fact, sometimes it may be much more accurate to say that I am a dreamer and a wisher.  I am a future designer whose mock ups do not always come to fruition.

I am that person who up until Tuesday was pregnant with her third child.  I am that person whose OB is a highly skilled and well respected physician who offered her an induction date.  Perfect!  I was given the opportunity to plan when and how my son would enter the world.  Here were the details: oldest child will start Kindergarten uninterrupted then we will discreetly sneak away and birth the final branch of our 5-member family...older two siblings have matching Big Bro / Big Sis outfits which they will wear to the hospital on specified OB (as opposed to another on-call doc) will be there to deliver my baby...a professional photographer will come up to the hospital to capture all of those beautiful once-in-a-lifetime pajamas...a baseball for baby's hand print via Pinterest dad even managed to be in town and was here to meet his namesake grandson.  And as of Tuesday morning, everything had fallen into place perfectly!

Slowly those plans began to crumble.  What was supposed to be a swift li'l induction quickly became anything but that.  First, my water wouldn't break because of my baby's too-high position, but it finally did break and labor officially began.  Then my contractions were crazy and felt nothing like they did with my previous two deliveries, but they finally were controlled with my epidural.  My OB had 2 mid-day surgeries, and I am thinking that he kind of expected to come out of surgery and find me almost complete and ready to push.  That would be, well, perfect timing for both he and I and for a number of reasons.  Unfortunately when he did come out of surgery at 1:30 PM (six-and-a-half hours after labor began) I was still only halfway to that magical ten-centimeter-dilation goal and it looked like the other half was still hours away.

At 3:45 PM I was still only seven centimeters and the baby was still extremely high.  We all started discussing a possible need for a c-section; however, my RN was not ready to give up on me yet.  She came up with the perfect solution by remembering a position for me to lay which was rumored to really speed up the dilation action.  Guess what?  It worked!  At 4:15 PM I was ready to push and so giddy!  I reminded my OB that I had not required an episiotomy (look it up here if you don't know what it is) with my first two deliveries and was really hoping that this would would be the same, although I trusted him to let me know if that would need to which he agreed, reassured me, and even joked "You like things perfect, huh?"  If I only knew how that seemingly innocent observation was about to implode all around me...
William Joseph Morris was born on Tuesday August 21st at 4:39 PM with 10 fingers, 10 toes, gray/blue skin and an umbilical cord tightly wound around his neck.  My professional photographer friend was supposed to shoot Bobby cutting the cord, but instead my OB had to quickly cut it from the back of his throat.  The photographer was supposed to shoot that moment when they put him on my chest and I burst into proud-mama tears but instead I barely saw him as they whisked him across the room and put an oxygen mask on his tiny face.  No one was saying anything.  I did hear tiny, muffled grunts coming from William which alleviated my very worst fears, but still I knew something was terribly wrong.  At some point shortly after this, my photographer left the room because obviously this was not a routine birth.  The OB was still there and he kept saying "William is okay," but we were not told what was not okay or why I still wasn't not holding my li'l blue baby.  I kept hearing the nurses reporting that it had been one minute, three minutes, fourteen minutes (since he was actually born).  I didn't know exactly what was going on, but I knew as the time increased, so did the alarm in their voices.  A tube was put in his throat to suction out mucus, he was popped on the bottom, beaten on the back, then wheeled away in an incubator to the NICU.  I never held him.  I barely even saw him.
As it turns out, William's heart rate sky rocketed to almost 300 beats per minute which was rendering his heart unable to circulate oxygenated blood properly to his body.  His first night offered many questions and no answers.  He was put on an antibiotic and a BETA blocker and I recovered from childbirth without my child.  That first night of his life all of my family and friends slowly trickled in and then out while we all waited for answers.

As of writing this today, still during William's first 24 hours of life, he has had a couple of EKG's and a cardiac ultrasound which has ruled out all major problems: no holes, no tears, all the requisite valves, chambers, veins, arteries, etc.  Right now his "episode" has been chalked up to some synapses misfiring due to childbirth stress.  He is maintaining a stable heart rate with the help of the BETA blocker.  But I will likely be sent home from the hospital without William, as they want to keep him at least a full 3 days for observation.  He has only been given fluids, so he also has to learn to start eating/drinking for nourishment.  Having a NICU baby was definitely not in my birth plan.
I want to share Bobby's (my husband's) Facebook status:
If you ever think you have problems or just need a little humble pie....walk through or past an NICU! Thank God my child is doing much better, but others in the unit not so well!! You think you have problems? I doubt it! Thanks for the prayer and send some the way of these other kids up here in this hospital!
William is obviously one of the healthiest babies in the NICU, but nevertheless he is there.  During an emotional breakdown this morning, I wondered aloud if God were showing me just how UNperfect His plan sometimes can be.  I know that no amount of planning can overrule what God has in mind for our lives. 
I want to thank everyone who already knows this story and has been praying for us for the last day and a half.  I want to thank God for the gift of my child, for the health care he and I have received, and for the seemingly healthy outcome William will eventually have. 
Please, everyone reading this, remind me sometimes that life does not seem perfect when compared to what we want out of life.  I need to just breathe, listen, and follow.  I look forward to some perfect beautiful newborn pictures of William and perfect beautiful family-of-five stories which I will share with you all on this blog.  But for now, I am still getting used to the fact that this birth is just not what I planned, but you know what?  It's still okay.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on the beautiful baby boy! So sorry things didn't go as planned and he's in the NICU, though! Praying he is able to go home soon.