photo by *spud*
I’m typing this up the same day as part five because tomorrow is Little Man’s birthday, as well as his best buddy, WB. We have a combined total of 4 hours of birthday parties and probably won’t have time to post the final part of my series tomorrow morning. Thank you for staying with me and allowing me to share our story with you.
After Little Man was born, we got a quick peak at him before the nurses whisked him away to the NICU. He was so tiny! But so long! And so beautiful. Trey was torn between staying with me and following Little Man to the NICU. I told him to go with the baby, I would be fine. My doula came in to keep me company while they were finishing the surgery. There’s nothing weirder than being awake and aware that your innards are on display to a whole surgical team. Truly.
Naturally, it took me some time to recover from my surgery. By the time I was able to see Little Man again, he had been in this world for more than five hours. He was under a heat lamp (I know there is a technical name for it, but I don’t know what) since he was unable to control his own body temp. And he had all these lines and tubes and things hooked up to him, feeding him, helping him breathe, checking his blood pressure. He looked so fragile and helpless and I couldn’t hold him like I wanted to. According to the nurses, though, he was doing just fine, and I couldn’t really do anything, so I went back to my recovery room.
My doctor thought that my blood pressure would improve as soon as Little Man was born. It didn’t. It remained on the low end of high, but somewhat controlled under the medication. Then one day, while my friend who was keeping Monkey brought her (and her own kids) for a quick visit with me and Trey, the machine monitoring my BP started alarming. We looked at it and it was something like 210/150. I swear. Things started moving rapidly, as they had just before my surgery. My family and friends were ushered out of the room. I was being moved to a room closer to the nurse’s station and they were going to give me something called a Magnesium Sulfate drip to try and bring down my BP. I thought my freak-out meter was pegged before, but this just completely broke the meter.
Friends, let me explain something to you. Words cannot adequately describe what I went through. That Magnesium Sulfate stuff beat me down like nothing ever has before. It’s administered through an IV, in my hand, and a nurse has to monitor me very closely. And it burns. And I don’t mean a little uncomfortable kind of burning. I mean my body was on fire from the inside out. I could feel it traveling up my hand and through my arm. I could think of nothing else. Not my kids, not my husband, not Christmas, nothing for however long I was on it. All of my focus was on not completely freaking the shit out and ripping all the wires from my body and leaving the hospital.
I have no idea how long it lasted. 12 hours is a good guess because I remember being miserable all night long. When the MagSulf finally worked it’s way out of my body, I slept. For 24 hours, in the same position.
After that, everything returned to “normal.” My BP was down and controllable by oral medications. I recovered from the surgery and went home. Little Man had to stay at the hospital. Trey had to head back out of town to continue his training and I tried to go about taking care of Monkey, finish my Christmas shopping and getting the house ready for Little Man. Thank goodness a bassinet from Trey’s sister had arrived just recently.
Little Man spent a total of 24 days in the hospital. He was off everything except the nasal tube feeding by the first few days and slowly progressed to different beds as his ability to regulate his temperature grew. By the time he was discharged, he weighed in at a whopping 4 pounds and 13.4 ounces. He was so tiny, when he wasn’t sleeping in his bassinet in our bedroom, he was sleeping in a laundry basket in our living room.
But he grew and grew and grew. You would never know, to look at him now, that his start was so rocky. He’s barely on the Almighty Growth Curve, but at least he’s on it (he wasn’t for two years). He runs and plays and fights with his sister and his best full-term buddy and he can hold his own.
I’m so excited to share this day – his day – with him; my Little Man.