Today is Harry's birthday and even though this blog was up and running I did not post his birth story. Enjoy!
My pregnancy with Harry was pretty normal. The only big complications I had early in the pregnancy was some nausea, horrible heart burn and a round of kidney stones (that hurt worse than the c-section). I had the feeling that Harry would be a big baby like his brother so I decided to go for a repeat c-section rather than trying for a VBAC. I would have had to switch to a different OB because the hospital he delivered at did not allow VBACs.
Things started getting a bit crazy towards the last few weeks of the pregnancy. I was measuring very large so I had to go in for weekly nonstress tests. During one nonstress test I was having some mild contractions due to being dehydrated. I ended up spending four hours laying in the same position until the contractions stopped. I was so sore after. The next week my OB decided that since I was measuring 42 weeks at 36 weeks that he wanted to move the scheduled c-section up. He was worried that I would go into labor. At that point I was so huge and uncomfortable that I was ready for anything.
Unfortunately the week my c-section was scheduled on was Thanksgiving week. We had planned on having my in laws and my mother come to us and cook a wonderful meal. My mother was then planning to stay so that she could watch Evan for us.
Bright and early on a Tuesday morning we left to have our baby. I had already been through the whole thing before so I was pretty relaxed but also excited to be meeting the new member of our family.
The c-section it's self went pretty well. My favorite part is when they finally pull the baby out and you can breathe again. That feeling is just so amazing. Harry tinkled a bit on my OB as he was being pulled out, I think he wanted revenge since he was quite happy in my womb. As soon as he was out the OR staff started taking bets on how much he would weigh. Harry was a chunker. The RT that was on hand to make sure the breathing was going well brought Harry over for us to look at and even took a bunch of pictures while I was being sewn up. It was great finally seeing him even if the newborn hat that had been put on his head kept popping off (Not only do I have huge babies but they also have giant heads. Me and vaginal birth were just not meant to be.). Harry's birth weight was 11 pounds 6 ounces, exactly one pound more than his brother. They looked almost identical at birth except that Harry was a bit shorter and fatter. They both have birthmarks in similar places, how odd is that?
Recovery was pretty different this time around. I had been given a medication for nausea that made me loopy. I didn't feel safe holding Harry for a few hours but once I got my hands on him I hardly let him out of my sight. He was making a groaning noise that we had noticed Evan make when he was newly born (before we knew anything about his heart defect) but we kind of just ignored it because we thought it was normal. Our pediatrician was not quite as relaxed about it as we were, he felt that there was something not quiet right. He told us later that he was expecting a call in the middle of the night.
After we were setted down for the night I let the nurse remove him from the room to run some of the many tests that need to be run. Harry's glucose had been running low (normally huge babies run high because the mom often has gestational diabetes which I did not have) so they were watching it carefully. They had also been testing Harry's pulseox because of Evan's history and had noticed that this time it was low and that Harry was breathing rather fast. That set off a round of tests and an x-ray to rule out some things. The diagnosis was TTN. He was given oxygen through an oxygen hood which meant that I was not able to hold him. Seeing him like that brought back so many bad memories of Evan's birth.
My decision to have Harry at the same hospital that I gave birth to Evan meant that I had yet again chosen a hospital with no NICU. When Harry's condition had not improved markedly in by the morning he had to be transfered. Our wonderful pediatrician tired valiantly to buy him more time but Harry just needed the help of the extra oxygen too much. We were both very distraught at the time and had not wanted to have yet another child be transfered to a NICU.
My dear friend A came with her husband just before Harry was to be transfered (it was about 3 in the afternoon by now). She had been planning on visiting us but I had called in tears so she came right over. Her husband helped my husband give Harry a blessing which really eased my mind a lot. A stayed by my side as I was released from the hospital (My wonderful OB let me out early so that I could be by Harry's side). She sent her husband out to pick up my pain medication and other sundries that I would need including a nice dinner. My husband followed the ambulance to the new hospital to be with Harry while they settled him in.
There was such a difference in my mood once I got to the new hospital and saw Harry all bundled up. I was so relieved. I could finally hold him again as he had bee put on a nasal cannula for his oxygen supplement. It was a different NICU than the one Evan has spent time in so the bad memories were not there. This NICU was nice and roomy (if there can be such a thing in a NICU). The babies were also not nearly as sick in this one so there was a less urgent air to the place. Harry was not even in a warmer, he was in a normal bassinet. All those things signaled to my mind that every thing would turn out ok.
Despite his rocky start Harry quickly improved. He only ended up staying one day longer than we would have if he had not had the breathing issues. The neonatologist that was taking care of Harry was very impressed with my determination in staying with my baby so soon after a c-section. I just could not lay by while my baby was taken from my arms to another hospital. I felt I had lost too much time with Evan at a critical time and was not going to let that happen again.
Taking Harry home was a glorious thing. Since we had spent Thanksgiving at the hospital my husband and I decided to have our own Thanksgiving that Sunday. It was a day of much Thanksgiving for a wonderful Thanksgiving baby.