Monday, May 11, 2009

18 years ago.

I should have posted something on Friday, but I was busy on Friday, and didn't have time to post. Andy was born 18 years ago, on May 8th. Today is May 11. Eighteen years ago, today, I was in Wichita Kansas, staying at my friend Sharon's apartment. Kev and I (and Sharon) were taking several treks to the Wesley Medical Center to see Andy. I'd like to be able to tell you lots of wonderful things about those days, but honestly, I don't remember much.

Andy was born on the 8th at 4:30 a.m. He was eleven days early. After he was born, and I went to my room, Kev and I waited and waited for the nurse to bring him in. Around 6:30, Kev fell asleep in the chair. I was still to keyed up to sleep, so I remember just patiently waiting for them to bring my baby boy in, as I watched Kev sleep while sitting in the uncomfortable recliner. Finally, around 7:30, Kev gave up and decided to go to work. (We were much younger then, and he could get by on a lot less sleep than he can now!) The nurse finally brought me my baby at 8. She said they hadn't brought him in because his body temperature was a little low and they wanted to warm him up first. (He was a skinny baby, only 6 lbs 2 oz.)

I had visitors in throughout the day, Dan and Kelli, Virginia, Jody, and around 4:30, Lana and her son Jeff. Right after they walked out of the door, I heard "Code Blue in the Nursery." Lots of nurses ran down the hall to the nursery. I remember thinking "I hope it's not my baby." And, then someone shut my door.

After a few minutes, my friend, Virginia stopped back by and stayed to keep me company. She didn't know what was going on either, but it was busy, so she just stayed--until the Dr. came in to see me.

I'm still not 100% sure of the truth, but the Dr. told me that Andy had "momentarily" stopped breathing. He was breathing fine now, but just to be on the safe side, the Dr. wanted to fly him to Wichita, to the NICU there. There I was. A new, first time Mom, thinking that maybe something was wrong with this baby. And, I was alone.

I called Kev and he came up to the hospital. The Dr. repeated that we shouldn't worry, but he just wanted someone to check this out. (The Dr. had, in the past two months, lost 2 babies. One was stillborn, the other was a SIDS baby. He was nervous and scared and probably afraid of a lawsuit.) So, from that point on, things are rather blurry.

I remember being very stubborn about wanting, and making Kevin hold Andy. He hadn't held him yet, and if something were to happen, I wanted Kev to hold his son. And, at the same time, I refused to believe that anything was wrong, or that anything bad could really happen to my baby. And, I forgot to call my Mom. And, she was upset when she called, because the hospital switchboard wasn't very willing to transfer her call to me...which scared her.

Kev and I sat in the Nursery with Andy. He was being given oxygen, and they had him in a special isolet. But, we held him and talked to him. The airplane didn't arrive until 3 a.m. Kev had to go to his second job at the bar around 10. I pretended to rest.

I don't know why I didn't fly down with Andy. I really don't remember anyone encouraging me to go. I don't remember anyone telling me I could go with him. So, he flew down alone.

Kev picked me up the next morning when I was dismissed. The worst feeling in the world is leaving the hospital with balloons and flowers and no baby.

We drove to Wichita as soon as I got a bag packed. We had called Sharon, and were staying with her. We got there and went to the hospital and finally found the NICU. That was an experience for us, as we had to gown up and scrub for 3 minutes before being allowed in the room. The nurse was nice, and immediately took us to see Andy and to update us on everything. Funny thing, in Colby, Andy looked so tiny, but in the NICU, he was the biggest baby, at 6 lbs. He was swaddled in blankets with his monitors and all. The other babies were too tiny and weren't wrapped up. The nurse said he hadn't had any more problems, and she thought the Dr. would "down grade" him later that day.

Thinking back now, do I remember ever seeing, or talking to a Dr.? Or did we just talk to nurses? See, I can't remember. We got to hold Andy and then we had to leave. We spent some time at Sharon's, and then we went to bed. I didn't sleep well, partially because we were sleeping on the floor, and my milk came in, so I was miserable and scared and worried and uncertain and just getting through the day. We spend several hours at the hospital the next day. They'd moved Andy into another nursery. He still had monitors and such, but we didn't have to scrub anymore and we were encouraged to hold him, and I could even nurse him.

Mom and Dad came up that day. They stayed at my Aunt Margaret's (Dad's oldest sister). That was Saturday, May 11. The Dr., or someone, said they'd probably release Andy on Monday. So, on Sunday, Kev drove back home. Mom and Dad stayed with me and would bring Andy and I home on Monday.

Andy never stopped breathing again, but we took him home with an apnea monitor which he wore until he was 3 months old. I kinda liked that monitor, because I sure slept good and didn't worry about SIDS because that monitor was sensitive! We've never learned why he stopped breathing. I honestly thought for a long time that he hadn't really stopped breathing, that it was just a "hiccup" in his breathing pattern. Our friend Cathy, the nurse, later told us that he definitely had stopped breathing--for a minute. So, I'm not sure what actually happened.

Later, my Aunt, Sandy, said that sometimes babies who don't have a lot of body fat can't regulate their body temperature well, and that can sometimes cause them to stop breathing momentarily, because they are cold. I'm guessing that's what happened with Andy.

And, I now get angry with myself, because I didn't demand they bring me my baby, and that I didn't hold him next to my body to warm him up and keep him safe and secure. I tell myself, that if I had had him in the room with me, he'd never have had to go to Wichita. And, now, I'd make sure I flew with my baby. I was so trusting, and inexperienced, and there wasn't anyone around to give me advice, or to help me think. Kev was stunned and scared, I was in shock and scared, and we didn't know how to help each other. But, that was 18 years ago.

That tiny, skinny, 6 lb. bundle is now 175 lbs and is 6 foot tall, and he's healthy! He's also graduating from High School this coming Saturday. He's a very special person. And, while I wish his arrival had been different, I'm sure glad that he's been a part of my life these past 18 years.

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