Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The First Days

It's very hard to believe, but William is 2 weeks old today.  It truly feels like yesterday that I was still pregnant; the night before my induction Bobby had football practice so the (two) kids and ate dinner at my mom's.  I was so tired -- tired of getting up to go to the bathroom multiple times per night; tired of my crazy, pregnancy/hormone dreams making me sleep restlessly; tired of not being able to see my toes; tired of my maternity clothes.  Boy, I only thought I knew tired!

The first days are the hardest whether you have one child, two, three, or any combination of a new family.  The first days are full of uncertainty, unrest, and unending diaper changes and feedings.  For Bobby and me, our first days as William's parents were all of that and more; we were also concerned about how he entered the world so scarily full of needs.  However, 1 Samuel 1:27 says "For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him."  In the first days, so many people were praying for William, for the nurses and doctors who were looking after him, and for Bobby and me who were left with more questions than answers, that those days seem to have passed in the blink of an eye.  I cannot believe two weeks have already passed.  Here is an update of all we have learned and all that we know.
First of all the health issue:  We have seen the pediatrician twice now -- shortly after coming home and again today for his 2-week checkup.  Both times Will has received a clean bill of health and we have been told to go home and "spoil him rotten."  We saw a wonderful cardiologist, Dr. Robb Romp at UAB who will be Will's cardiologist for as long as he needs one.  What happened at birth is called Supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) -- a condition which causes the heart to beat very quickly (200-300 beats/minute) for an extended period of time. It is occurs in 1 of 250-1000 kids.  Read more about it here or here.  Basically, the heart has its own built-in pacemaker, and when the electrodes go haywire, the heart beats faster and faster until it becomes unable to correctly oxygenate blood and distribute it to the rest of the body.  Depending on who you ask, most people will tell you this is not a life-threatening disorder, but it can have very serious health ramifications if left untreated. 

The only way to accurately diagnose SVT is to look at a heart strip from an EKG in the moment.  Unfortunately "in the moment" for Will meant immediately after birth; because the nurses were more concerned about stabilizing him than then EKG strips, the cardiologist cannot say with absolute certainty that Will even has SVT.  But treating it is better than taking the risk of not treating it.  Will must take a BETA blocker for up to a year, or until Dr. Romp is absolutely confident he has outgrown this condition -- almost all patients simply outgrow SVT and never have episodes again.

Next, the new-mommy concerns:  Hmm..where to begin?  I am trying to nurse Will.  After all, "the breast is best" according to the medical society.  But if you want to be a successful breastfeeding duo, there are assumptions for success -- avoid use of a pacifier or any kind of bottles for up to the first month if possible.  Try to nurse the baby within the first hour of birth if possible.  Notice a trend here?  The cards are stacked against me here.  NICU babies are bottle fed and plugged with pacis.  Again, I'm not blaming anyone for negligent care; rather I'm simply bemoaning the fact that my sweet little challenging baby comes with even more built-in obstacles.

Will wants to nurse every 2 hours or so and he has a hard time getting full at each feeding.  This is wrecking havoc on my, um, chest.  But then there is a part of me when he is snuggled up and latched on which just smells the top of his head and becomes misty-eyed at the realization that this day, this moment, will never be replicated with another child down the road.  I lavish each moment, good, bad, or sad because I want to remember everything.
This morning I heard the most alarming thing from my backseat...Caroline: "I'm gonna teach Willwem to eat cheerios."  Me: "Nooooooo!"  I was praying my sweet girl didn't stick a cheerio in the baby's mouth.  Then I had a good laugh.  All she knows is that she is someone's big sister now.  She is a little confused about her role in the world right now.  She wants to put on pull-ups, she has sucked his paci, and she wants to put him in her baby stroller.  Again, I frequently find my stress levels above-normal, but I also beg myself to find the humor, feel the compassion, and display the tripled love for the kids.  They, too, should remember these first days with nothing less than smiles.

I'm so tired right now.  I constantly feel like my eyes are glassing over.  I miss my pre-pregnancy GAP skinny jeans, and I still feel guilty about enjoying a cool, occasional adult beverage.  But I know that those problems are temporary, as is this entire infancy.  I also know that God always knew the Morris family would include at least (and hopefully no more than) five members. 

The first days have been sleep deprived, concen overloaded, and worrysome.  But the first days lead to the best days and I am so thankful that we have the future at our doorstep.  Thank you, again, to everyone who has sent thoughts and prayers our way.  Stay tuned...like my Aunt Joyce joked once while I was pregnant with Will "...and then there were three!"

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations again to the Morris family on your newest member! I'm so glad to hear William is doing well. Your blog post is so touching. I know you are blessed beyond measure and its absolutely neccesary to find the humor in these early days! It truly passes in the blink of an eye. I am sad to think I don't remember many details from the first few days my little man came home.