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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
And he is determined to keep our lives full of drama!

Benjamin Patrick Cole was born at roughly 1:25ish PM on Wednesday, June 24th. He was born into his Daddy's hands after a wild 25 minutes of hard labor and four pushes - five minutes before the first midwife could arrive! We planned for a homebirth, not a UC, but that's what we wound up having. Dh was awesome. He was a total rock star and kept me calm, talking me through every step and push, describing everything to me in this totally calm and collected voice which kept me from freaking out. I was telling him to call 911 right now and get a paramedic here, anyone who knew what they were doing and he talked me down, talked me through the quick pushes and then caught Ben like a pro. He totally must have been a midwife in a past life.

So, Tuesday morning I had an appt. with the mw. We talked about me being post dates and talked about scheduling a NST and BPP for the following Monday, with the hope that it wouldn't be needed. We were planning a homebirth and I very badly wanted to avoid the hospital. We talked a little about the birth, mentioned again that Dh wanted to catch the baby and asked if there was anything he needed to know about that. She said not really, that they would talk him through it and show him what was needed when the time came. She asked if we had any questions about what to do if baby came before the mw could get there and I totally blew that off, making a joke about how "I don't have precipitous labors - my babies like to take their sweet time coming out in to the world!"

After the appt. Dh and I spent the day together. It was the 13th anniversary of the day we started dating, so we did some walking around Hawthorne [a neat little district of small shops in Portland] and then went out to lunch, did some shopping, ran a couple of errands. Right up until when we left the restaurant I was feeling fine and kept saying that if it weren't for my blood pressure issues I would be perfectly happy staying pregnant for several more weeks. I was just not feeling at all in a hurry for baby. As we were leaving the restaurant Dh said he could see this total transition in my face. I felt a full shift and at that moment just felt DONE. I said, hey I think I just crossed the threshold between "content to be pregnant" and "ready to be done"
It wasn't a physical thing, it was this huge and sudden emotional shift.

We went home after our errands and just hung out around the house with the kids. I couldn't sleep very well that night and didn't go to bed til around 2am. All night long I kept waking up from tiny little stretches of sleep either due to contractions or my 3 year old who kept waking up crying that her legs hurt. By 5:30am I gave up trying to sleep and realized I had been having contractions all night. Intense, but irregular. I woke up Dh and said, hey maybe today will be a baby day! Our 3 year old got out of bed at 6am and a few minutes later I went to the bathroom and saw a little bit of mucous plug. Tot was getting noisy and I didn't want her to wake her siblings so Dh and I took her for a walk around the neighborhood {my mom has been staying with us for a while so she was there with the older kids}. Before we left I did some light housework, started a loaf of bread in the bread machine and a roast in the crock pot. At about 7 I called the mw to let her know we had some signs of very early labor, but that the ctx were not even close to anything regular or timeable and that we wouldn't have baby before nightfall or the next morning most likely.

We got back home around 8 and I laid down for a little bit with Tot. CTX pretty much stopped. I got up and folded a bunch of laundry, hanging shirts on hangers, etc. Just generally tidying up. I had a couple of ctx - intense, but not regular - while folding and decided to take a hot bath to chill them out a little. I was sure that the intense pain was doing no good at all and was tired of dealing with pointless pain. MW called back to check in while I was in the tub and I reassured her that there was still many hours til baby would be there. I got out of the tub and decided to get on the computer for a bit to kill some time. The hot water had worked to stop the ctx and I wanted a distraction. I posted to some friends here that Dh was getting on my nerves by watching Friends dvds and reiterated that there would be many hours until baby was born. As I hit post I heard the pop and felt a big gush. My poor computer chair! I picked up the phone from right by my arm and called the mw to let her know that my water broke, but no ctx so there was still hours until baby probably.

I stood up and turned around to clean the computer chair. Instead I leaned over the back of the computer chair, because an intense contraction hit hard. Then another within two minutes. And another within two minutes. Called the mw back and told her she might want to come over soon as they were coming faster and harder now. I told Dh to fill the birth pool and my mom to take our kids downstairs to their play room. Went to the bathroom to change my pants. By the time I got across the living room in to the bathroom the ctx were coming fast and hard with barely any time between them. I called the mw again and told her to leave now, and hurry. Hung up and immediately called her back and said that if she weren't there fast she wouldn't make it in time. I don't have any idea what she might have responded as I hung up the phone and tossed it away. At this point I was kneeling and leaning over the bathtub edge, begging baby to please, please just wait for the mw! I called to Dh that I was feeling like I had to push and he asked if I wanted to get in the pool while he called the mw for instructions. I said I would try and stood. Walking to the pool gave me a few seconds ctx relief. I put one foot in, turned around and went back to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet and Dh knelt in front of me. I felt the unmistakeable need to push and couldn't stop myself. Then I got off the toilet and knelt in front of the tub again. I heard the mw ask if Dh wanted her to stay on the phone to talk him through and he said no, I can do it. He set the phone aside and washed his hands quickly, because baby was crowning already. I was begging Dh to call 911, to get a paramedic, get anyone to come help. I was so scared! Dh totally calmed me down. He kept his cool completely and described everything to me in an utterly gentle, soft and calm voice. He said "Push gently, I see eyes. Okay now, there is the nose. Push, but not too fast so you don't tear. Good, you're doing great. There's the mouth and chin and..." whoosh there was everything else. Less than four full pushes and baby was out. I absolutely needed that calm grounding strength and guidance from Dh. It was his tone I heard, not so much the words that meant anything. I said, "Is she okay?" and he answered, "She's fine. HE's fine!" A son, not the daughter everyone was so sure we were expecting.

The mw arrived about five minutes later to find me cradling the baby while crouching on the bathroom floor and Dh trying to help me wrap him in a towel to keep him warm. He looked SO tiny to me, I thought for sure he must be barely six pounds. The mw helped me get in to bed as the other two arrived. We waited til the cord stopped pulsing and then cut it and the mw helped me into a good crouching position to birth the placenta. Then we just kind of hung out with our new boy while they did their thing.

Ben took twenty minutes, give or take a few, between water breaking and birth.

He weighed 8lbs 2oz, not even close to the tiny baby I thought he was. His health stats were all perfect. Lungs were a bit junky, but in a fast birth that's pretty normal. The mws left at about 5 and I took a nap with Ben. At about 6 we noticed that he was breathing rapidly... and that's when things started to get sucky.

By 9 he was showing all of the signs of respiratory distress - rapid breathing {87 breaths in one minute was the count that sent us to the ER}, nostrils flaring, grunting, retracting and fever. We went to the ER and at some point during the 18 minute drive his coloring turned dusky. His O2 sat was 74 when we got to the ER. They rushed him in for oxygen and then took us up to NICU, which is where we have been since.

He has pneumonia in his lower left lung, caused most likely by fluid retained during delivery {too fast to be squeezed out} and a naturally occurring bacteria present at birth, unknown which one. His health is great otherwise. He has been off oxygen since yesterday morning and off the IV fluids since yesterday evening. He's nursing well and if he didn't have pneumonia he would be perfectly healthy. His lungs sound clear, he has no fever - he's just the picture of newborn health, except for the IV heplock in his hand and the monitor wires coming from everywhere. We'll be here in the NICU until Wednesday, when his 7 day antibiotic course is done. It sucks royally, but I'm trying to be grateful that he is recovering so well.

Being in the NICU was not even close to in our plans. This week was supposed to be spent at home in bed with him, snuggled up skin to skin. We're doing as much skin to skin as we can here at the NICU. Luckily he has a private room and they're very family friendly here, so I haven't had to leave Ben's side since he was admitted. I have a laptop here which I borrowed, and this post took me nearly four hours to type off and on, between nursing and changing and snuggling. I miss my kids, I miss my husband, I miss my home and I'm kind of still in shock over how fast everything went. But Ben is going to be okay, and that's the important thing.

I am so glad that we had planned a homebirth. There was never a point, until a few minutes after my water broke, when I would have said, yes this is labor, let's go to the hospital now. After my water broke it took only about 20 minutes for Ben to be born. Had we left for the hospital immediately when my water broke we would have just been pulling in to the parking lot when he was born. He would have been born in the car, instead of in our bathroom. We were prepared at home with all of the birth supplies and with professional help on the way for assessing him and me. Instead of being rushed and all of the chaos of the hospital we had a few hours of peaceful relaxation at home for him to start his life. Since we wound up here so soon, I am very grateful for those quiet few hours of peaceful bonding we got to enjoy.

And that is the story of how my dramatic little man came in to the world and has kept us up on our toes ever since!
 

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Oh. MY. GOSH! WOW! What a great team you and your husband are!

I'm so so so sorry about the NICU
I can hear the sorrow in your words. Hugs to you and your family.
 

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Wow!! What a story. It sounds like your husband was amazing and so calm. I'm sorry to hear that Benjamin got off to a rough start - I hope he recovers quickly and you can resume your babymoon at home
 

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WOW what a great birth story, but I am so sorry your little guy is in the nicu. Shane was in for 6 days, but we weren't able to stay with him the whole time like it sounds like you are. He had respritory stress disorder and sepsis. It sucks that they have to be in the hospital, but in the end, I am glad my little man is home and healthy and I will be praying for the same for your little guy.
 

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Crashing, but what an amazing job you and your husband did getting that baby into this world. Congrats! I hope that you get to be home with your little boy soon and the time til Wednesday flies by.
 

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Incredible story! Welcome little guy!
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My little one ended up in the hospital too so I totally know how you feel. Are you managing to sleep ok at the hospital? I was lucky to be able to room-in with Mika as well but I am definitely sleeping much better now that we are back at home and I can just keep her next to me while we sleep. Hang in there Mama....soon you'll be together as a family at home and you can start the whole "getting to know each other" process all over again!
 

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Oh, mama, sorry little Ben ended up in the NICU, but it sounds like he's going to be fine. Congrats on your baby and good job on your crazy birth!!!
 

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What a whirlwind story! I'm sorry he's in the NICU. I hope he'll be out soon, and life can go on as normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by phrogger View Post
WOW what a great birth story, but I am so sorry your little guy is in the nicu. Shane was in for 6 days, but we weren't able to stay with him the whole time like it sounds like you are. He had respritory stress disorder and sepsis. It sucks that they have to be in the hospital, but in the end, I am glad my little man is home and healthy and I will be praying for the same for your little guy.
Thank you
I keep trying to remind myself how amazingly lucky we are that our NICU is so family friendly. It's all private rooms and there is a family room with microwave and fridge for storing snacks and meals and even a shower that we can use. I haven't stepped foot outside this floor since we arrived at the hospital Wednesday evening and I am so grateful for that. It would be heartbreaking to have to leave Ben's side and it's pretty rare to be able to do this.

The doctors want to do a full seven day course of antibiotics with him, but they're considering letting us discharge after five days. They're going to reassess everything tomorrow morning and look over all of the test results, but at this point I don't think he needs the full arbitrary seven at all. He is doing great and his 48hr culture was negative - the infection is gone. There's no reason to keep pumping him with abx if the infection is clear. So we might be able to go home tomorrow!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jessielove View Post
Thank you
I keep trying to remind myself how amazingly lucky we are that our NICU is so family friendly. It's all private rooms and there is a family room with microwave and fridge for storing snacks and meals and even a shower that we can use. I haven't stepped foot outside this floor since we arrived at the hospital Wednesday evening and I am so grateful for that. It would be heartbreaking to have to leave Ben's side and it's pretty rare to be able to do this.

The doctors want to do a full seven day course of antibiotics with him, but they're considering letting us discharge after five days. They're going to reassess everything tomorrow morning and look over all of the test results, but at this point I don't think he needs the full arbitrary seven at all. He is doing great and his 48hr culture was negative - the infection is gone. There's no reason to keep pumping him with abx if the infection is clear. So we might be able to go home tomorrow!
Thats where we were too. They originally wanted 7 days, but his cultures came back negative so they agreed that 5 days were fine and after the reassessment, it was 2 hours from the dr. seeing him until we were on our way home.

Your nicu sounds amazing, I wouldn't have left Shane side either, but I must say, the couple of hours we were kicked out for shift change nightly was nice. It forced us to leave and get some air and get away from all the noise and other babies.

We stayed at the Ronald McDonald house for the first two nights as well, so I was right around the corner, then we went home which was an hour away, but still close enough that I was there daily. We wanted to keep the room at RMD open for people who couldn't easily travel like we could.

Anyway, I hope he gets released sooner then later. Keeping my fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I probably should go home for a couple of hours, if just to see my other kids and sleep. Missing them is so hrad and I've only slept in half hour stretches for days, and very few of those. I must look like a zombie by this point - goodness knows I feel that way! We only live 18 minutes from here, so we're lucky in that, too. I just hate the idea of leaving Ben alone. I know that he's in good hands, but this whole thing is so totally the opposite of what he had planned and everything feels like it's out of my control, and this {staying here with him} is one thing which I do have control over... does that make sense? And I feel so lucky to be able to stay here that I feel terribly guilty if I think about leaving. SO many moms with babies in NICU can't do what I'm doing, being here with my baby all of the time. The only way I can leave and still have someone here with Ben is if Dh stays and I go, and he is so freaked out by the whole hospital environment that it's just not a real option. He was so cucumber cool during the whole wild birth experience, but fell apart as soon as he realized we had to go to the hospital.

Ben is snoozing a lot today. He's snuggled up on my lap while I connect to the outside world via laptop
I'll update again tomorrow on whether we get to go home or not!
 

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Congratulations on your sweet baby! I hope he's home with you soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We're stuck here til Wednesday. Why they give false hope and then snatch it away is beyond me. I would rather they just tell me the worst case scenario and then surprise me with good news then give me the best case and surprise me with bad. Ben is fully recovered, but they still insist on keeping him til Wednesday to complete the antibiotic course and monitor him. Trying to be grateful that he's healthy now, and I am, but this really sucks. How am I supposed to break the news to Dh tonight that we're not going home after all? I can't talk to him until he gets here after work.
 

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Sorry you aren't getting to go home yet. Hoping you can get him home soon and start enjoying your babymoon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Happy update: Benny and I are home!
We came home late last night and had the last IM abx shot done at the doctor's office as out patient this morning. Ben has gained nearly 6 ounces over his birth weight ~ he weighed almost 8 1/2 lbs this morning! His lungs and heart sounded good and the pneumonia is gone. He's such a sweet little pumpkin! Dh and I are both constantly checking to make sure he's breathing right, counting breaths, hovering. We went to the grocery store today {cupboards were just about bare after the main shopper & cook was away for nearly a week} and I wore Ben in a wrap the whole time, trying hard not to shoot death glares at all of the people who wanted to peek at him. Once person ~ a kid, and I did feel bad for my reaction but it was total instinct and uncontrollable ~ put a finger out to touch him and I took a huge step back and pulled the wrap back over him. You would think that by kid 5 neither of us would have any Paranoid Parent left, but the whole experience of NICU has shaken us a lot more than we thought and we're both completely paranoid about Ben's health now. I'm worried about the possibility of sleep apnea based on two incidences at the hospital which may or may not have been monitor malfunctions, so the Dr advised us on how to keep an eye out for signs of apnea episodes and told us that if we see any then they'll send home a monitor with us to test him.

I put pictures of Ben up on my blog {the first shot contains some breast exposure and there are NICU pics; just a warning if anyone is sensitive to either}. He has totally lit our house hold up. The kids are enthralled with him, especially our 3 1/2 year old. She likes to pet him and hug and kiss on him. Our 10 1/2 year old is nearly as overprotective of his new baby brother as Dh and I are.
 

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I'm so glad you guys are home and Ben is healthy!! I know what you mean about feeling vulnerable after events like that. Enjoy your home transition and family togetherness!!
 

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Yay! Glad you are home and starting your life as a family! I know how you feel about being paranoid though! We had to deal with fever with our baby and even though she doesn't have a fever anymore I find myself constantly wondering if she is too hot since we were so focused on her temp in the hospital...also, yes, we are normally so laid back but now I am worried about her getting sick again and feel much more apprehensive about people touching her. Ugh. I can't wait until she hits 6 weeks or so...


Again, though, congrats and welcome to your new little guy!
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What an amazing story! Wow!
 
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