Saturday, June 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!

I had been in the hospital for 11 days (having small contractions off and on that were controlled with different medications) when I went into labor. It was around 7:30 or 8pm when the contractions started and Dr. H started giving me the first of many labor-stopping drugs. She had told me the first day that she admitted me that when it's true labor there's really no way to stop it but the only way to determine if it's true labor is by trying to stop it. When the nurse checked me she said that I was possibly even less dilated than I had been when I was admitted. We took that as a great sign and I tried to relax and even sleep. As the contractions continued, Dr. H tried more drugs. Finally, I was given delalutin. That one made me woozy. I could only talk in one or two word sentences and I would wake myself up mumbling. According to the monitor the contractions seemed to stop and I was in no shape to explain whether or not I was feeling contractions. I honestly think that I was because I would wake up every few minutes but I had no sense of time so it was hard to tell the nurse. My parents even asked Dr. H if they should call Doug up to the hospital (he was in Troy at the time) just in case. Dr. H's opinion was that even if I was in true labor I wouldn't be delivering until the morning so the best thing to do was let Doug get some rest and for him to come the next day if I was still laboring.

Then around 2 or 2:30am I told my mom that something had changed. I felt a lot of pressure and like my body was pushing on it's own. She got the nurse and as soon as she checked me she said, "It's time to have a baby". Then, chaos. Labor and Delivery nurses, Dr. H, and the NICU nurses and nurse practitioner came running. My room filled with people as my nurse began to instruct me on how to not push and then how to push when the time came. You see, I'd never gotten the chance to go to Lamaze class so I was learning as I went (while on the crazy drugs I might add). My doctor got ready and she and the nurse were telling me "push hard because we don't want baby sitting in the birth canal too long" and then "push gently because we don't want to hurt baby". It was extremely confusing, especially because of the meds. But after 2 or 3 pushes, out came the baby and the first thing I hear is "It's a boy" coming from the nurse and then my doctor saying "It sure is".

My parents had called Doug and told him to come to the hospital a few minutes before I actually started pushing and he decided to call back to remind us about the camera. It was too late and my dad told him that he had a son. Doug was shocked along with the rest of us. We had forgotten all about the camera. Dr. H and all of the nurses were shocked by how quickly I had fully dilated and that the baby looked so healthy.

Logan Wayne Gooden was born at 2:42am weighing 1 lb. 10 oz. and measuring 13 in. long. After about an hour I was taken to the NICU to see Logan. Because Doug was not there yet my parents decided to stay outside so that Doug would get to see him first. So I was in there by myself.

You have no idea how incredibly strange it was for me. To be honest, I didn't feel like I had any connection to this little baby laying in front of me fighting for his life. They could have been showing me someone else's baby and I don't think I would have known it. You see, I don't think I had truly realized that I was having a baby yet. When I was admitted to the hospital I was feeling sporadic movement but not the pokes and kicks of a full-term baby. Then I was told that I was having a girl. We had been calling this baby Emily for over a week. And on top of all of that I was not able to hold my son or touch my son before he was wheeled away. I was given approximately 2 minutes to look at him but as I've said already, I was on some crazy drugs. So when I looked down at this tiny little baby with all his boy parts just hanging out there, I didn't have any real attachment to him. I knew in my mind that he was my son, but that "motherly love" just wasn't there.

While I was standing there looking at him a doctor I had never met was telling me all the good things (just one hour after Logan was born, he was receiving no oxygen, only breaths through the ventilator, which was a very good sign as far as his lungs were concerned) and the bad things we would be looking for (brain bleeds, the need for blood transfusions). She explained that there could come a time when we would have to decide whether or not to continue treatment. The nurses were talking to me too, having me take pictures and taking pictures for me of my hand with Logan to show how small he was.

About an hour later Doug got to the hospital and we went in to see Logan together. We had to give the NICU phone numbers to be able to reach us and we were each given bracelets allowing us to go into the NICU.

I stayed in the hospital until Sunday afternoon. We would go visit Logan as much as possible but I did a lot of resting in those first few days. I had been planning to breastfeed and the NICU nurses said that would be the best thing for our little baby but obviously he wasn't ready, so instead a lactation specialist was sent to my room to show me how to pump and every three hours I went and delivered milk to the NICU. On Sunday Logan got his first meal of breastmilk, pumped directly to his stomach through a feeding tube. Things seemed to be going so well.

And to tell you the truth, I relaxed a lot. I had been so terrified that something would happen to cause the baby to die before it was born that knowing that he was born alive and was now in good hands made me feel so safe. The doctors continued to remind us that things could change for the worst in a moment but instead they just kept getting better and better.

And just so you know, I did finally get my "motherly love" on July 1, when I got to hold him for the first time. It was an AMAZING feeling!!

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