Saturday, February 9, 2013

The First Time Holding My Children

I don't know of a single parent that isn't amazed at how quickly their children grow up.  I am one of those parents.  I can remember holding my oldest son for the first time... I can remember holding each of them for the first time.  I held my oldest for the first time in the NICU.  He wasn't breathing at birth.  Thankfully, I gave birth in a hospital with a NICU attached to the C-section room.  When he was born, he didn't cry, due to the fact that he wasn't breathing.  They delivered him and ran to another room.  I knew something was wrong because I had watched enough "A Baby Story" shows to know they will show you your baby if nothing is wrong.  I got to see him after they stapled me up and started bringing me back to my room.  My husband was holding him, and I started to cry, and told him I was his mommy.  My husband then returned him to the NICU nurses. 

It was several hours after giving birth that I was wheeled down to the NICU.  While I was holding him, I couldn't get over how tiny he was.  As I was holding him, one of the alarms starting going off.  It was the worse feeling in my life.  The monitor showed he had flat-lined.  Thankfully, the wire had come unattached.   I was so thankful for all the nurses that took such good care of him for the four days he was in there.

I remember the first time I had to change his diaper, I felt like such a novice.  I had changed my siblings diapers, and the diapers of children I watched, but after seeing how efficiently the NICU nurses could do it, I knew I had a long way to go.

When my daughter was born, I was scared to death that something was going to go wrong.  I still had my wonderful midwife, Karen McBride.  The birth went absolutely perfectly.  She was a scheduled c-section, because of the complications leading to my first c-section.  She didn't wait until the scheduled day, she came six days early.  I had worked the night before I gave birth, I went home early since I was having contractions.

She cried at her birth, which made me cry.  I didn't get to hear my firstborn cry at his birth.   I had to wait to hold her also, but not as long.  I remember they brought her in to me, and they had attached a little bow to her head.  I took a good look at her and couldn't believe how much she looked like her little big brother.  He was only 13 months and 13 days old.  The first time he saw her, he got the biggest smile on his face.  I believe he remembered her from the pre-existence.

Someone (one of my brother-in-law's ex-girlfriends) came to visit me that evening, and asked me if I hated needing to wait to see what color the baby's eyes are.  I told her I knew they were blue, she said I couldn't know that.  I assured her that I had seen them, and they are blue.  She told me that babies do not open their eyes for a few days.  I was wishing I was dreaming, but I wasn't.  I assured her that human babies open their eyes at birth, puppies and kittens do not.

My five year-old was born back east in NY.  He was the only child I didn't have my midwife for.  I was blessed to find Dr Chauhdry.  He was a very caring doctor.  By the time I was pregnant with my son back east, I had been through a few doctors with really bad bedside manners.  When I met Dr. Chauhdry, I assured him that I knew I was overweight, and that I didn't want him to tell me that I was.  After laying that groundwork, we were good to go.  I don't think he would have ever told me I was, but after the doctors before him, I didn't want to take the chance.  I will never understand why doctors think they have to tell someone they are overweight.  We know it...  That is just my rambling after seeing the news on Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey.  Some people are just rude...

Anyway, my five year-old came 6 days before his scheduled c-section also.  I was excited that he was going to be born before Christmas.  The room the c-section was done there was about 1/4 the size, or less, of the rooms my older children were born in.  I was quite shocked that they had to maneuver in such a small room.  I was so concerned because there wasn't a NICU at the hospital.  Thankfully, we didn't need one.

 I once again didn't get to hold the baby right away.  My whole body was itching shortly after birth.  I didn't know if I was allergic to something or what, but it was terrible.  I now know that it was the Pemphigoid Gestationis, but I wouldn't be diagnosed until I moved back to Utah.

I learned later that my blood pressure would drop so low that they couldn't let me have the baby due to needing to monitor me.  There were times that they would tell me to breathe, when I thought it was obvious that I was.  I guess it wasn't as obvious as I thought.  I got to hold him a few hours after he was born.  He was my biggest baby yet.  I couldn't believe how big he seemed, at a whole 7 lbs 8 oz.  He latched on quickly.  He was hungry.  Right after his birth, he sneezed seven times in a row.  It was funny. 

When my baby was born, she was also a scheduled c-section, after doing an amniocentesis to make sure her lungs were developed, she didn't seem to want to come out.  It seemed to me that she had hooked her little feet under my rib cage and wasn't about ready to budge.  I could feel the pressure of my midwife pushing on my upper stomach, by my higher ribs.  The table was moving while they were trying to get her out.  She cried at birth.  It is amazing how you look forward to that cry, since you didn't hear it at the first birth.

After they got me sewed back together, they brought me to my room.  My husband got to carry the baby to the room.  I was a bit nervous he would drop her, I don't know why since he had never dropped any of our babies.  For the record, he didn't.

My sister and my children were all in the room waiting for us.  They all held her.  I don't remember who held her first.  I do know she is my first baby that I didn't have to wait to hold.  She was so tiny.  I did know how much she weighed, but no one knew how long she was.  My husband wasn't in the room when they measured her.   She was 6 pounds, 3 ounces.  So, when a nurse finally told me that she was 21 inches long, I couldn't believe it.  At that weight, I thought she would look like a string bean.  The nurse was mistaken, she was 18 1/2 inches.  She was a tiny little thing.  She was swimming in the newborn clothing. 

I am so blessed to have had four healthy, wonderful children.  I have been blessed to have my husband by my side during all of their births.  He has held my hand as I have gone through major surgeries to have the children.  I think it is wonderful that they allow the husband to be in the room while they do a c-section.

After the birth of my first child, they didn't let him in the room right away.  When they asked him if he wanted to go, he looked at me.  I told him to go.  I wanted the baby to have a parent with him.  By the time our last baby was born, he just got up and went. 

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