Happy 3rd Birthday, John!

Today's John's birthday, #3. 5-5-05 is his birthday -- isn't that a neat date to have? We didn't think it was meant to be....his due date wasn't until the end of June. I'll never forget waking up that morning. I was 32 weeks and was scheduled for a non-stress test since I had diabetes and was watching the Today show while waiting on time to take the kids to the sitter and when they mentioned the date, I remember thinking "Today would be a great day for a birthday. Too bad I'm not far enough along to have an early baby today.". Got to the hospital with no problems but once I was hooked up to the non-stress test, we started noticing contractions...and then we started noticing they were consistently every 5 minutes...and then we started noticing that I could feel them (they had been very mild up to that point). They decided to check me before letting me go home -- which turned out to be a very good thing -- and I'll never forget the look of disgust on the dr's face when he told me I was dilated to 4 cm. He told me I was going upstairs (labor and delivery) to get the contractions stopped and then we'd see how far I had dilated before deciding what to do. Around 11, I made my way upstairs and was put in a triage room with an IV of fluids, meds to try and stop the contractions, meds to try and get me to sleep or at least try and relax, meds to help mature his lungs, and a catheter (I know, gross) because they didn't want me to move at all. No getting out of the bed, period. I asked them how long I'd be like that and I remember getting an answer somewhere along the lines of "not until this kid is born". I'm thinking 8 weeks in the hospital and on all these meds -- that can't be cheap. It was a very bad moment. We tried the meds all afternoon while they starved me 'cause they don't let laboring women eat and we prayed for labor to stop. Contractions never did stop although they did slow down but that wasn't enough. Around 5, they told Jonathan (who was there by then) and me that we needed to decide whether to be admitted to the antepartum unit for an attempt to stop the labor overnight or go ahead and be admitted to a laboring room so we could stop the meds and go ahead and deliver. I don't remember the conversation but Jonathan and me were like "No way are we going to decide" but somehow we ended up in a delivery room. Meds were stopped at 6 because I was already at 7 cm and John was born just a little after 7, less than an hour later. That hour was not a lot of fun, either, 'cause we had to call a bazillion people to get the kids taken care of, to call my parents in Tennessee, and trying to reach Jonathan's Mom & Dad who were in Myrtle Beach (where they are today and every year at this time). He's calling people; I'm having a melt down in the bed. And in between phone calls, we're visited by a NICU nurse who was sent to give us the what-to-expect-with-a-32-weeker which was just terrifying. We were relieved when John came out crying and was breathing on his own at least long enough for us to hold him and marvel at his size (6#, 3 oz; diabetics have big babies when their diabetes is poorly controlled). He was taken to the NICU while we were settled in to a post-partum room. It was a little after midnight before we got an update and were able to see him. He was born on a Thursday and went home on a Thursday exactly 2 weeks later, 1 day after his "big" sister turned 1. He was never on a ventilator, thank God, but was on what they call a CPAP machine for about 36 hours or so. It's a big mask type thing so he was taken off of it just before I was discharged from the hospital so we could finally see his face almost wire free (still had a g-tube for feeding). He battled jaundice and then it was just a matter of him deciding he wanted to eat. They wouldn't send him home until he could "nipple all his feeds" which means eat with his mouth and not with his g-tube. He had to do that for 24 hours before we could go. During that 2 weeks, Jonathan would go to work and I would get up, get the other 3 dressed and taken them to a sitter and go spend an hour with John in the NICU. Then I'd come home, pick the kids up the sitter, go home, make lunch, Jonathan would come home for lunch and pick up Nathan to take him to kindergarten, then me, Caleb, and Elizabeth would nap. Then the 3 of us would go get Nathan from school, come home, fix dinner, take the kids back to the sitter (thank God for Kisha!) and Jonathan and I would go spend an hour together with John in the NICU before picking up the kids and taking them home for bed. Is it any wonder I came down with a bad kidney infection??? Seriously, we're so blessed that things didn't go as bad as they could have with John and with me.

John in the NICU, after the CPAP was removed; feeding tube in.

And here we are -- 3 years later, those 2 weeks just distant memories. It just seems so surreal sometimes, especially with a little (or not-so-little) one smiling up at me from his bouncy. We thank God for our babies -- whether Timothy is the last one or not -- and thank God for His provision and protection especially during these last 3 years.

John at 1

John at 2

John a few weeks ago

(haven't downloaded any pics of his new haircut off the camera yet)

Happy Birthday, John!

1 comment:

Heather said...

Happy Late Birthday! He's such a cutue!