Saturday, January 28, 2006

The beginning

Alexander was so special from the start. He truly was in every sense of the world a miracle. You see, Alex was a Vasectomy reversal baby. Reversals don't really carry a very high chance of success, but less than 6 months after, we conceived our sweet boy.

My pregnancy was very uneventful. It was almost TOO easy. I gained little weight, didn't have any complications.

At 5pm on January 27th, after a day of shopping my water broke almost 4 weeks early. Surprised and scared we got everything in motion to go to the hospital. My sister met us there to take the kids back home but before they left they hung out with us in the hospital room for a while. They left at 11pm to go home and get some sleep, knowing that when they returned in the morning there would be a new baby brother in the family.

Alex was born quickly at 2:32am. He was absolutely perfect having none of the preemie problems we had been forewarned about. He nursed right away, passed his initial newborn exam with flying colors. We spent a few hours with him and moved to the post partum room. They wanted Alex to be in the nursery while we slept because the nurse didn't trust him not to pull some funny business, premature babies can sometimes do ok at first and then start to spiral down after a few hours and have trouble. Fortunately Alex did not.

In the morning Alex was brought to us after the pediatrician gave him a throrough once over. She told us that he looked great and we would most likely be taking him home with us on Monday. We had a little birthday party for him with the kids, complete with cake and chocolate milks. For some reason I needed to make sure that every one of them got to hug and kiss him before they left to go to grandmas house.

After they left Craig went to do his tradition, shopping for the going home outfit. The nurse came in and said that Alex was a little chilly so I should hold him skin to skin to warm him up. I changed his diaper and snuggled him. Craig returned and the 3 of us hung out watching tv for a while.

After a while Craig looked over at Alex and commented that he was very pink. I looked down and thought that he looked purple, but figured it was the lighting in the room. To be sure I leaned him back to get a good look at him and when I did his eyes got wide, he gasped, let out a tiny sqeak of a cry and then his eyes rolled back and closed. By this time Craig was already running down the hall to get some help as I was too stunned to think to push the call button......

Two nurses ran into the room and I was still holding him like that, his head in my hands and I, in a state of almost shock said very calmly "I don't think he's breathing right" I think I fully expected to be told he was fine actually, the heart doesn't let the mind process things sometimes. The nurse instead said "oh no he's NOT!" and grabbed him from my arms. She instructed Craig to grab his IV pole (he was on antibiotics because he was early) and they all took off running down the hall. I sat there for a minute, not quite understanding what just happened and staring after them.

After a few minutes Craig came back and said 'they are giving hime some oxygen". I still couldn't even fathom that something might be seriousely wrong.

After a couple of minutes I knew I couldn't just sit there and wonder anymore and Craig and I ventured down the hall past the well baby nursery and to the window of the special care nursery. I was actually releived by what I saw, a nurse giving him blow-by oxygen. I figured if he was getting blow-by then he was actually breathing on his own and that was a very good thing. They let us in and the nurse said "he's just having a little trouble getting enough oxygen, respiratory therapy is bringing a hood and we'll see if that does the trick" Not wanting to be in the way and it seeming as if everything is well under control and not too scary, we went back to our room.

We sat there and cried for a while, both still quite unsure what was going on but terrified that our perfect world had just been turned on it's nose. I tried to stay optimistic because I know babies, especially early babies can struggle with thier breathing and need some help for a few days. Still the tears woulnd't stop coming.
The midwife came in and I think for the first time I really started to realize that something wasn't right at all. It seemed as if information and no information at the same time was just flying all around us. I remember hearing "we think it's his heart, these things can be fixed" and "we can't get him intubated". Then the priest came. When I saw him my heart sank and I literally sobbed like I had never before. My baby was dying. We were taken down to see Alex and he was very very blue. I was scared of him and cried harder at the guilt of that thought. I looked at them bagging his tiny blue body and couldn't bear to watch my son die in front of me.

I stood there for a minute and the midwife I think kind of nudged me closer. Craig and I kissed his little head and told him we loved him. They asked if we wanted him baptised "if anything should happen".

We went back to our room to await the ambulance that would take Alex to a bigger hospital better equipped to care for him. Numerous people made numerous attempts to intubate him, with no success. Aircraft was grounded due to the fog. The 2 1/2 hour wait for the ambulance seemed an eternity and everytime I looked at the clock it seemed to be standing still. I was dishcharged and the midwife and nurse helped us pack up our belongings. They tried to get me to eat but there was no way anything was going down without coming back up.

Finally we were told the ambulance had arrived. We were taken back down to Alex to see him quick before he was loaded up. His color was worse but when the doctor lifted the mask off his face he let out a tiny squeak of a cry which for that moment I took as his way of saying "i'm ok". The NICU team informed us that they too had been unsuccessfull in intubating him and after we kissed him and told him we loved him they loaded him in the incubator and left with our sweet baby.
We went back to our room where the doctor sat down and told us the news, it was worse than we could have imagined. It was his heart, but they thought he had deformities in his breathing tubes as well, possibly all over his body.... she said "it's very very grave". We were given 2 pictures of him and they helped us to the car and we headed after our baby boy.

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