Well here we are, June 29th. I slept through the night and woke up immediately terrified of the day. The only thing I kept thinking was.... please come out breathing... please be strong enough... I hope I brewed someone with his dad's personalty and his mom's sass. NICU came back in the morning with the statistics...
a 23 week baby has a 30% survival rate and an 80% chance of something being wrong, which could be in sight, hearing, respiratory or mental. The question was officially asked and had to be answered "Do you want to hold you baby and keep him comfortable until he passes, or do you want to let him try in NICU and give life a chance, not knowing the outcome?"
Matt and I decided that we would let NICU and Henry decide, if he came out breathing and vigorous we would fight and we would fight hard. We have worked very hard to get to this point and we weren't going to give up on our sweet baby. However, we were very concerned about his quality of life, if he came out blue and not breathing we didn't want to put him on life support and force a life that he wasn't ready for, just because we wanted him so bad. So we waited....
Around noon I felt that cramp, that same first cramp I felt on Saturday and I knew it was coming. We called my mom and my brother and told them they needed to get there. By the time everyone had arrived I was back to full on contractions. I had my epidural turned back on and they added a pitocin drip, the labor had to go quick for Henry's well being. The doctor told me to call him as soon as I felt pressure, he said I would know what he meant. So it was just me, my family and my nurse. It wasn't long before I felt that pressure, we called the doctor and they called NICU, there were 12 doctors and nurses in my room. My parents stayed because I turned into a child and wouldn't let them leave and of course Matt was by my side. With my legs up and the doctor in position I started crying and said "I don't know what I'm doing, I didn't even make it to my birthing classes" the doctor assured me that he would walk me through it, that it would be fast and that we've got this.
He told me to grab the sides of the bed and to bear down, take a deep breathe in then hold it and push. I pushed. Then he asked me to do it again. I pushed. Out came Henry at 3:41pm. CRYING. They took him right to the little area they had set up to check him out in the corner of the room.
I cried loud and hard, and just stared at Matt. I looked over at my mom and she said "listen to him, he is crying, he is crying" We knew that this was a good sign, breathing was questionable and crying was unheard of for this tiny of a baby. After what felt like a life time but was actually probably just 1 minute. All of the doctors that were checking on Henry stepped away and the main guy walked up to Matt and I and said, "You tell us what to do" I said "How is he?" his response was "He came out crying, he is breathing and he looks pretty good" The only words that came out were "Save him!" In that second it was all hands on deck... they went to work to save our sweet boy, they brought him over to us so we could meet him and they took him away... I yell after them "His name is Henry!" and the doctor said "Come on Hank, Let's go make a home run."
During this time of focusing on Henry I stopped paying attention to me, once Henry and his doctors were out of the room I was left with 2 nurses and 1 doctor, it turns out that I hadn't stopped bleeding and that my placenta was stuck. They upped my pitocin dip and let me sit for 20 minutes, he came back and I pushed and pushed and lost blood until finally after about 30-40 minutes he was able to tug it out. I had lost 1000 cc of blood, double what was expected for a normal birth. He put some kind of something (gel or a pill, no one was sure) in my butt to stop the bleeding, and stop infection. That hurt. The whole thing hurt. Matt was able to go to NICU and meet henry around 6.
They turned off the epidural, gave me some pain meds and left us alone. About 4 hours later they let me get up, for the first time in 4 days I was able to stand. I was very disoriented and the only way the nurse would let me shower was if Matt helped. So Matt helped me shower, the first shower in 5 days... I felt so much better once I was clean. Once I got out the nurse brought me a wheel chair and Matt and I went to NICU to hang out with Henry.
There he was, perfect. He is the tiniest baby in NICU, but he is so beautiful, all 1lb 6oz of him. On day 1 he was already beating the odds, he showed us who he was with that first cry.
Happy birthday Henry, we love you!