Sunday, February 24, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY!

My Baby - Ahem, I mean, my Big Boy turned 7 years old today! I can't believe he's been on this earth with us for 7 years, and yet, it feels like forever. I love this boy more than words could capture! I am so grateful that he came to our family and has blazed the trail (if not the birth canal - more on that later) for his little sisters. Christopher is such a wonderful example! I thoroughly appreciate his sensitivity, compassion, obedience and endlessly loving and giving heart.

Warning: Long post! And a graphic story...

So Christopher had a rather unique, or should I say frightening, entrance into this world. He was 10 days overdue so we scheduled an induction on the 24th, a Saturday. We arrived at the hospital at 6am and by 7am I was all "wired up" and just waiting for the doctor to administer the pitocin. When you go in for this you have to have been fasting since midnight the night before. When a nurse offered me a glass of juice, I gratefully accepted - grape, my favorite. They started the pitocin around 7:30am and by 9am I was feeling nothing. So my doctor came in to break the bag of waters and "get things moving." How prophetic that phrase would become. After she did so, Christopher's heart rate dropped dramatically. They tried to get me to roll from side to side, get up on all fours, ANYTHING to get this baby's heart rate back up - nothing. I remember hearing the doctor's fateful words, "We may have a cord!" Ok, WHAT is "a cord" and how do we fix it?!! She did a pelvic exam and reach into my cervix and yelled, "CORD! O.R. STAT!" This is bad.

FYI: "a cord" was short for a Prolapsed Cord (occurs in about 1 in 1000 births). Basically Christopher's head wasn't engaged in the birth canal and when she broke my bag of waters his cord washed down before his head did. This pinched the cord in half, cutting off oxygen, nutrients, etc. to the baby. Typically the head puts further pressure on the cord which increases with each contraction. I was told you have a maximum of 10 minutes before fetal death, of course by about 4-5 minutes there is some kind of brain damage.

Sidenote: I also ended up having a condition known as polyhydramnios. It's an overproduction of amniotic fluid, so while it may have seemed that his head was down, there was so much fluid, that he could never have fully engaged in the pelvis. It's very difficult to diagnose early. This occurs in .5-2% of all pregnancies. Am I weird, or what?!

I was laying on the hospital bed flat on my back with the doctors hand WAY up inside me (thank goodness she was a tiny Asian woman!) trying to hold the umbilical cord out of the birth canal, thus keeping oxygen flowing to the baby. The time was 9:15am. She rode with me into the O.R. (operating room) and nurses, anesthesia and doctors started piling into the room. The tried to kick Chris out of the room, and I PANICKED! "Ok, he can stay."

There was no time to try placing an epidural, so they had to give me general anesthesia (knock me out). As the mask was placed over my face I felt the excruciating pain as the doctor sliced into my lower abdomen. Then I slept.

Christopher was "extracted" as we say, at 9:20am. He was non-responsive at first (the cord was wrapped twice around his neck), but after some good, hard rubbing (and spanking), he came around and let out a good cry. My doctor was amazing. I know this is an OBGYN's worst nightmare, but her quick thinking gave us a perfectly healthy baby boy!

When I woke up about an hour later, I started throwing up every ounce of grape juice I had, had earlier. A grumpy nurse came in and started wiping me up while mumbling something like, "That's why we don't give juice to induction patients!" Yeah, yeah, yeah, where's my baby?! When Chris finally brought him in, I took him into my arms for the first time and burst into tears. As a gazed at him in my drug-induced state, I remember so clearly saying, "He looks like a little man!" That has been one of his more prominent nicknames ever since. He was so perfect, but I was so worried that something had happened to him during the "extraction." Incidentally, Chris didn't tell me all the sordid details until months later.

It was a very long, hard recovery (apparently I don't react well to anesthesia), but it was SO worth it!

To my Buddy:
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, for all of Eternity, my baby you'll be."

I wish I had pictures from further back than 2 years old, but we didn't have digital camera and I don't have any on my computer at the moment!
Chrisser's 2nd birthday, going on a horse ride at C&M Stables in Florence.

Christopher and Peanut on 4th of July 2004

Isn't he cute?! On my birthday in 2004

Sweet babies! Christmas 2004

Christmas 2003

Birthday 2008!

Some of his "lute!" He REALLY needed new clothes!

Getting ready to open his gifts

Grandma surprised us and came up to celebrate - actually, this is a REALLY long story, but we were all sick (including grandma) so it was low-key, but very nice.

Payton enjoying some cake and ice cream

Christopher made the first cut - silly boy!

His birthday sign

The birthday cake spread

Blowing out the candles

What a day! Like I said, we've been sick - AGAIN! This is our 3rd round of "junk" and we've pretty much been continually sick for 2 months!

7 comments:

Rebecca said...

Thanks for sharing your miracle birth of Christopher. I was nearly in tears the whole time reading it. I know I'm a baby! I really haven't had the priveledge of being around you after having your kids, but I do have a memory of Christopher. Once when visiting the ward there I think Christopher was about 3 or 4 but he came up to me (not even knowing who I was) and gave me the biggest hug ever and told me he loved me. (tears) What a sweet little blessing he is! Happy Birthday Christopher! ((Hugs)) I love you too!

H-less E-less said...

I cried reading this post. I am so grateful you have your little Buddy and thankful to all on board during the process of his arrival (including those heavenly helpers).

I loved the details. I felt like I was living it with you. Especially since I worked in Labor and Delivery and all too often would be the one scrubbing in for one of those emergencies. I am curious why your doc decided to break your water when she did? You must've been dialated?

I can really feel, at least on the nurses end (except that horrible one complaining about the grape juice, don't get me started on nurses that think more about themselves) of such a life threatening time. I am so happy yours ended up with now a beautiful 7 year old boy.

Happy Birthday Christopher!

JAMIE COOK~ said...

What I cutie...I really needed this post...I had some serious issues with my pregnancy and delivering my little baby. She was in the hospital for a month, and then I ended up in the ICU just a few days later. I like to hear that IN THE END---the babies end up ok...and grow to be beautiful people! Thankyou for sharing, it made me feel like I am ok and I can keep going with having more babies...you guys are great!

Becky said...

WOW 7 years old!! Baptism next year are we really getting that old! He is adorable. Such a cute, "little man". You did good!

Cami said...

Crazy! How is you dr? Mine is Dr. Lee.

Pinky said...

Got me crying! Your words so vividly brought that Wonderful,but Panicked day flooding back. As the Mom YOU prayed "Please just let everything be ok with my baby" As The Mother of the Mom, I Prayed... Please Father Let everything be ok with MY baby!" And then we BOTH Prayed.... "THANK YOU!"
LOVE YOU!

emily a. said...

I also loved reading the story of his birth. As I hear more and more stories about deliveries I am in complete awe of what mother's go through to bring these little spirits into the world. What a lucky boy to have such a loving mom!