Sunday, December 19, 2010

Edwin Wells

Edwin "Wells"

Born Thursday, December 16, 2010

5:50 P.M.

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.
In love

Pitiful but so sweet

Wade's favorite . . . little precious feet

Daddaddy's (Edwin Dale) first picture with Edwin Wells


Molly Witherington said...

Melissa, he is beautiful! Life is so unfair and I hate that you all are having to go through this again. Hopefully it's just a little hiccup. I know of many babies (particularly white boys) who come a few weeks early and whose lungs just need a little help and they are home in no time. I will pray that this is the case and you will have him in your arms soon and he'll feed great. I truly hate this for you all. It is so unfair that some people just seem to have simple pregnancies and uneventful deliveries and perfectly healthy babies while y'all are challenged time and time again. Y'all are truly being tested and God must have big plans for Margaret and Wells as He did for James. I cannot begin to understand what y'all are going through, having only had 24 hours of NICU with one of mine. But please know that we are praying for all of you, especially sweet, handsome Wells!

Anonymous said...

Melissa and Wade, my heart goes out to you and your precious baby Wells! I cannot believe you guys are going through these difficulties truly isn't fair, but I know you three will get through this! You both are so strong, and your love and strength will pull little Wells through. All our love to you guys and big sister, Margaret!


Margaret said...

I hate that your sweet little family is having to go through this with your new, precious baby boy! I am praying for sweet Wells and also for faith and strength for you and Wade. The pictures of Wells are beautiful and I pray that it wont be long before he is home where he is supposed to be! Please let me know if there is anything I can do!!

Love Margaret

Laura Bailey said...

Melissa and Wade,
Just finished reading the blog this morning and sharing photos of Wells with Hudson. We had a pretty amazing conversation about Wells and Margaret and why they both had to go through such hardships at the beginning of life. Life and its path sometimes are nearly impossible to understand or accept. Just remember you are not on this journey alone. As you have heard in a benediction or two before, remember Jesus walks with you everyday. He goes above to protect, he goes below to support, he goes in front to guide, he goes behind to encourage and he walks beside you everyday...because he loves you...and precious little Wells. Cannot wait to meet our nephew and cousin! Love and hugs to you all, Laura

Anonymous said...


I actually checked your blog on Thursday while I was giving a final because I knew it had to be about time for your new baby to arrive. I was so excited to see your post this morning! Wells is a handsome little man, and clearly a fighter! I pray that you will be home with Wells and Margaret sooner than you think is possible!

Best Regards,

Libby Isele Johnson

Jill Fields said...

Hi Melissa!

Congratulations on such a little sweetheart!

I am a friend of Danielle's and have admired Miss Margaret from cyber space for a long while now, and just read about Wells' precious birth and now his NICU visit. I am praying hard for you guys! I CANNOT imagine how you are feeling, but know that there are so many us out here that are praying for your baby boy, Mommy and Daddy, and new big sister!

Love, Jill Fields

Boothe said...

i had no idea any of this was going on until tonight, so i am SO SORRY i haven't sent you a message. reading your sweet words makes me cry and smile and reel in FRUSTATION that you all are facing this again. we will be praying fiercely for that sweet boy. it makes me so angry that you have been handed these trials again, for the third time, to some degree... and yet i am confident of the power of the God we serve and believe He has this all mapped out. we are going to be praying specifically that you will find improvement for wells and his health every day, that you and wade will feel a supernatural peace and respite even in those dark hours, that margaret can be loved and cared for and smothered with attention while you're away, that you and wade will feel comfort while you have to be separated from her, that your parents and his will be able to meet basic needs for you and feel the Lord equipping them every day, and that you will ultimately be encouraged and that your spirits will be lifted moment by moment until that precious boy comes home. we love you!

boothe (and conor, sellers, and lulu)

Rachel Williamson said...

I met you at the Monkey Business Consignment sale with Danielle...I am 35 weeks today and have been wondering how your pregnancy was going. Glad Wells made it here safely and we will happily take on the prayers of getting him to the point of being well enough to go home with you. Never underestimate the miracles that occur at Christmas!