December 15 - 16, 2011
The next two days of Reid Andrew's life were spent with a whirlwind of emotions. Our boy...our precious, beautiful baby boy was here! And seriously...he was the epitome of beautiful. Full, soft, dark brown hair....just like his sister. Perfectly smooth, ivory skin. The most adorable little nose in the whole world and even his crooked little feet (Reid had bilateral clubfeet which is what started us on this journey back in September) were perfect. Ten toes, ten fingers....he was tiny but he was perfect.
However, to go with our joy was the overwhelming worry and concern. Our worst nightmare was happening. We were allowed to touch him but he was hooked up to so many machines and his temperature was not stable so holding him was completely out of the question. We weren't even able to kiss him. So we spent the days just laying our hands on his beautiful head or chest...letting him know we were there with him.
One big concern (besides the obvious of his lungs not working) was that his bladder was full....like really,h really full. We found this out via ultrasound at the beginning of November when I was first admitted to the hospital. We knew he was producing urine and releasing it because a) I had polyhydramnios and b) we saw him release it on ultrasound however we also knew that a babies bladder should not be as large as his was. He urinated immediately after he was born but it wasn't until early Friday morning that he would urinate again a gigantic 150 ml (trust me that's a lot for a baby). We were meeting with every specialist under the sun one of which was Reid's urologist. He felt that Reid must have a posterior valve (which is not supposed to be there). After multiple attempts by nurses and by his urologist to pass a catheter it was determined that he needed to have surgery. That if this continued he would not only be in pain from the filling of his bladder but it would also continue to cause a slew of other problems. So surgery was scheduled for the next day.
Surgery??? On my baby??? How could this be. I am 27 years old and up until December 14 of this year I had never even had surgery. We knew this was what was best for him, though. Each doctor we met with explained the need and offered us the reassurance that this was what was best for our boy.
We took vigil as our boy grew sicker and sicker. We listened as each doctor tried to come up with what was causing all this. We watched as they attempted to place an IV line again and again and again. He even had to receive his first haircut and let me just tell you...nurses are not very good at haircuts. He ended up with two shaved spots on the sides of his head, 9 attempts at placing an IV and eventually a little burn to the side of his head after one of the IV's infiltrated. Finally, Friday night they were able to place a PICC line into his right arm but that was only the beginning.
One of the only things I could think about through all of this was how much I longed to just hold him...I wanted him in my arms...I wanted to take away all of his pain. All of his suffering. Watching your baby lie in his little home and feeling helpless as his mommy is one of the most painful experiences in the world. It just all seemed surreal...Like I was literally just dreaming. The only thing that brought me back to reality was the pain. The pain in my abdomen and the pain in my heart. It was what let me know that this wasn't a dream but it was my life. Our life.
Our life. Our perfect, little, nightmarish life.