Thursday, December 29, 2011

{Our boy}

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 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.

Monday, December 26, 2011

{Our boy}: Our families life

So many have been curious about our families story and before I forget all the details I thought I would share. It will be long as the last few months have been filled with more then I ever thought imaginable but I would like a way to look back and one day share with our daughter her baby brothers story. So I will start here...

December 14, 2011.

I was 35 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I started out the day the way most of my days have started out over the past few months. Preparing for a doctors appointment. This particular appointment was to be my 4th in a matter of six days and was with my perinatologist. I think both Ian and I knew that today would be the day. The day that we would see our sweet son's face. With all the anxiety over the last few months of the health of our boy we were so excited yet so scared.

As we arrived at the hospital we began to explain our whole history, one in which we have become accustomed to explaining, to the nurses in the labor and delivery department as well as giving my general OB an "update." We knew we would be headed for the OR as my perinatologist felt a natural delivery would be to stressful for our boys wee body. We had a nurse, who must not have really understood the delicacy of Reid's life, try to convince me that a natural delivery (OK not exactly natural but induced) would be what was best for our boy but we knew otherwise. As I walked into the OR I have never felt more helpless in my life. I knew that there was not much more I could do at this point except for to pray. So that is what I did.

After being situated on the table they brought my ever loving husband in to be by my side. The delivery itself was rather intense. You see they were unable at first to get Reid out. He had apparently found a nice comfy home and was well....stuck. Ian and I were really unsure of what to think as my body was pulled and tugged and pushed on as hard as possible to deliver our baby boy. One of the nurses used my husbands phone to snap a couple of photos of Reid before he was passed through the "window" into the NICU. I knew in my mind with the lack of crying and the photos that I saw that it was not as we hoped but my heart continued to pray for our boy that God would give us but a moment to be with him.

As we waited in the recovery room for Reid's neonatoligist and the minutes slowly ticked by I realized that all the unknowns of the last few months were turning into our worst nightmare. Finally, after a little over an hour Reid's doctor and one of the most amazing ladies in the whole world (I will refer to her as my guardian angel) came to my bedside to speak to us. What they told us can be summed up into "not looking good." They were both very concerned for Reid and were unsure if he would survive at this point. I longed to just hold my boy. To see his face, his tiny hands, his precious feet.

Finally, I was considered recovered enough and they wheeled me through the NICU. The first time I saw Reid was one of the most proudest yet most frightened moments in my life. My baby, all 3 pounds and 13 ounces, was living with the support of machines. He was not breathing on his own at all. That first meeting with my boy was one I will hold with me forever. He decided it was a perfect time to open his eyes and look right at me. I feel blessed because my family was able to snap a photo of this precious moment for me. I know God was watching down knowing that in the coming weeks and months and probably years I will need that moment to remember how grateful I am...and will always be for Reid's little life.

My husband and I along with our parents spent the rest of the night waiting for the sensation in my legs to return so that I could be wheeled to the NICU to spend time with our baby...our angel. We spent the rest of the night watching over our boy while trying to rest some since both of our bodies had been through more emotional stress in just a few short hours than I'm certain either of us has experienced in our entire lives.

We didn't know it at that time but we would only have a few short days with our baby. I blindly assumed and hoped that we would just be like lots of NICU mommies and daddies....trying to balance our home life with the life of our new baby. What was to come over the next few days has definitely changed our lives and we can only hope that because of it we will be better people...better parents for our girl while here on earth...better people to all of those who love us and better people for anyone who we might meet along our journey here on earth.

Celebrating Christmas without our precious boy was hard...knowing he will never have a first Christmas here on earth with us was even harder. But knowing that he spent his first Christmas with Jesus celebrating is comforting.

From our family to yours we hope you have had a very blessed and happy holiday season.

Friday, December 9, 2011


*This is a personal post. No tutorials here. Just a desperate plea for prayers :) And I wanted to add too that we are hopefully all is ok but there are many many unknowns. *


Life has a funny way of throwing you a curve ball just when you think you have it all figured out.

My life.

My life changed in so many ways on September 2, 2011.

September 2, 2011 was the day my pregnancy went from nothing to worry about to high risk. It was only the beginning.

Since that day I have learned many things and especially over the last month I have learned that and always has been in the hands of God. Sure I make decisions every single day but he is the one guiding me. I have learned that the "control" that I thought I had is meaningless. I have learned that no matter what I do I cannot go back to before September 2 and make things perfect again.

One day I will share with you all what has been going on but quite frankly I am just not ready. And I am mostly not ready because well we have no answers. We aren't really sure how our sweet baby boy is. And our doctors really aren't sure either. What we are sure of is that God has lead us down a path...down a path for us to learn...for us to be humbled by. We are sure that we are loved...that our daughter and our sweet boy have so many who love them so very much. We are sure that without our loved ones we would not be where we are right now.

I write this now in hopes that if you have any extra time in your day (and I know how busy this time of year is) but I ask that you pray for our boy. Pray that he is strong and healthy and that he lives a long, exciting life. That our children can grow up playing with one another...enjoy each others company...and enjoy that special bond that only siblings understand. I know it is a big request but as we near the end it has become more real and I strongly believe in the power of prayer. I believe that God listens to each and everyone of us and I believe that he will do what is best.

For everyone who has already been praying...for all the phone calls, texts, emails, meals and love that we have received over this time...I am forever in debt to you. Although I hope that no one else has to experience this I hope that we are able to repay everyone some how.

I pray.

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