Born Thursday, December 16, 2010
6 pounds 1/2 ounce, 18 inches long
We welcomed Wells last Thursday evening. It was a crazy, fast-paced evening. My scheduled c-section was still 18 days away, but I was able to identify a few early indicators of preeclampsia, a disease I have developed with the pregnancies of James and Margaret. After being admitted to the triage Thursday afternoon and submitting a urine sample and blood work, Dr. B. decided it was time to have a birthday party and discover who this little one was. (We waited until delivery to find out the sex . . . very exciting!) Preeclampsia hadn't completely hit my body, but one blood test came back higher than normal and Dr. B. didn't want to take any chances on this baby's health or mine.
So we headed into the operating room 45 minutes later. In about twenty minutes, we were completely surprised to find out that we were now parents to a beautiful baby boy! We were concerned about his health, like any parent, but we thought we were in the clear when it came to any major health problems. We made it to 35 weeks and 5 days, almost 4 weeks longer than Margaret's pregnancy, so we thought our little man wouldn't have the problems many premature babies have.
Wells was nice and pink and had quite an impressive set of lungs on him (crying like crazy). He was checked out by the nurses, wrapped in a blanket, and placed on my chest. I never thought I would get that blessed moment. To have him immediately next to me, cheek to cheek, was amazing. We fell in love! After twenty minutes or so, the nurse took him back to the warming table to clean him up a bit and he started to cry again and then grunt. That's when the first red flag went up and the NICU team decided to take Wells back to the transitional nursery to watch him and allow his grunting time to resolve itself.
Unfortunately, I was placed in recovery alone without my new love. Wade would come back and forth and give me updates, but Wells would not stop grunting. They said it could take anywhere from an hour to ten hours, so we waited patiently.
In the morning the next red flag occurred, our pediatrician, Dr. B., and the NICU neonatologist, Dr. R., decided it would be best for Wells to be admitted to the NICU. He wouldn't calm down and that was making his grunting worse. We were so distraught and confused. What had happened? Why was he getting worse and not improving? How long will he have to stay? Will he be home for Christmas? When can I start breastfeeding? Wade and I were extremely frustrated!
They started Wells on Vapotherm, a supplemental oxygen, through his nose; placed a feeding tube down his throat; and started a line with his umbilical artery through his precious little belly button. We had seen all of this before with Margaret, but just hadn't prepared our hearts for this with our 36 week old.
He struggled all day long. Being more mature can sometimes create more problems in the NICU, because his brain is more developed and he doesn't want to be messed with (he fights more). The fussing doesn't help his lungs or give them time to heal and recover. The nurses and doctors continued to increase his supplemental oxygen, and by the end of Saturday he was on the highest amount of vapotherm and percentage of oxygen.
In the middle of Saturday night, the next red flag occurred. It's never good when a neonatologist enters your hospital room, and unfortunately we woke up to one around 2 A.M. The doctor shared with us her decision to go ahead and place Wells on the ventilator. We had no other alternatives, and Wells needed time to rest his lungs. We were once again devastated. It was so hard to wrap our minds and hearts around this development. Were we really here again? Day 3 of Margaret's life this same event occurred, and here we were again. Why?
Unfortunately, Sunday morning wasn't much better. Wade and I finally calmed down emotionally and entered the NICU ready to fight this battle with Wells. However, the nurses informed us that Wells had high white blood cell counts, which could mean that he is developing an infection. They went ahead and started him on antibiotics, while they wait for the infection results (3 days).
So our little man has taken an unexpected path in his first three days of life. We are so grateful that he is here, but it's so hard to accept these daily struggles. Why is life so unfair? Can we handle this? When will we take little Wells home? Our faith is tested every hour. Wade and I pray constantly and feel the prayers of our family and friends. We are once again reminded how precious life is and how we are not in control.
Enjoy pics of our beautiful boy.