Saturday, March 17, 2012

January 27th, 2012

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Jason and I got up around 4 am to get ready to go to our little town's hospital.  I straightened my hair, did my makeup, and prayed that everything would go well.  I remember being excited about being able to "look good" for the pictures my brother would be taking after we had Cullen.  

We got to the ER entrance at 5am.  I walked in and the lady at the desk said, "You must be Erin!  Here to have your baby.  Do you want me to wheel you up?"  I laughed, no, I could walk myself up.  I have always thought it silly that the nurses wheel up the mom's who are having C-sections.

Jason and I went up to the 3rd floor.  Our room was #303.  I changed, got hooked up to the monitors, and waited.  And waited.

My parents showed up at 7:30 (ish) with our 5 year old.  He was so excited to get his gift from us and from Cullen.  Although he was very skeptical that Cullen could get him something since he wasn't born yet.

I walked back, got my spinal and waited for Jason.

My C-section was much worse then I would have ever imagined.  It felt like they had to jump on the top of my stomach to get Cullen out.  But once they had him out, he screamed and cried.  Jason said he had a ton of hair, which he did.  He was chubby and beautiful!  His apgar score was a 9 both times.  He peed on the nurse :-)  Everything seemed fine with him.  

With me, not so much.  I am not completely sure I can explain what happened, but I could feel 
they did when they cleaned and sewed me up, but the pain was all in my chest.  I was in so much pain I sounded like a woman giving birth, not one with the baby already born.  I was in such a pitiful state, Jason refused to leave my side and take the baby out.  He stayed with me until they were done and then took Cullen out to meet his big brother.

I am not completely clear on all that happened after that.  I was tucked tightly into my warm blanket cocoon, in the recover room.  The TV was on, and the monitors beeped and I just basked in the warmth and glow of thinking about this new little boy that I couldn't wait to hold.  But he was never brought to me.

Jason came in and said that they were having a hard time waking him up.  His vitals were all good, but they were a little concerned.  Don't worry though, he would be fine.

I finished with recovery and was wheeled into my room.  Still hadn't seen or held Cullen.  Jason would come in sporadically and give me updates, but nothing concrete.

Finally, he came in, tears in his eyes, and told me that there was something wrong with Cullen.  His vitals were good and they had given him an X-ray, but they couldn't figure out what was wrong.  He was limp, unresponsive, and his glucose was low.  They had tried to draw blood and he never cried.  He never even flinched.  The big city neonatal unit had come out and also assessed him.  They decided they were going to take him to their NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) to further evaluate him.  And they were leaving now.

Carol, one of the NICU ladies brought him into the room.  It was the first time I had seen him since Jason had held him up to me an eternity hours before.  She brought him over and told me I had about 10 minutes before they had to leave.

It was strange.  Holding him with a room full of people I didn't know standing around.  All my mind kept screaming at me was to not cry in front of them.  It wasn't until a few weeks later I realized that my mind was in defense mode, refusing to allow me to think that that moment might have been the first and last time I ever held my baby.

I held him.  

Cherished him.  
Memorized his chunky cheeks and sweet blue eyes.

Then they took him, strapped him into his little box, and promised me that they would drive slowly and without the siren on.

They shuffled him out and Jerek went running after them.  He wanted to tell his little brother good bye one more time.

Jason and his parents left to be with Cullen.  My parents stayed with me for a little while and then they left.  Carol, the NICU lady called me.  They had gotten to the hospital safely.  Cullen was doing well.  The "sugar drip" seemed to be working and he was becoming more responsive.  

My nurse came in.  She said that the doctor might let me leave in the morning.  I had to be able to get up and walk around, but they would do help me do that in the morning.  Did I need anything.  No.  

I wanted to scream "YES!" I need my husband.  I need my baby.  I need everything to be alright.  I need to wake up and start the day all over.

She came in a little later.  I still hadn't fallen asleep.  She suggested I take a sleeping pill.  I was apprehensive.  I had never taken one before and I wanted to be able to wake up if something happened or if Jason called.  She assured me it would just help me sleep, make me drowsy, but would not knock me out.  I took them and slept.

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