One Wednesday in March, I walked into Janda's office and said, for the hundredth time, "How can my stomach get a month bigger than this!"
Janda replied, helpfully, "You are getting BIG. When was the last time we took a picture?"
Normally we took the pregnancy photos on the weekend, when I was a little less tired and my hair had been brushed nicely. At first I thought, "No, no photo today," due to my fondness for routine and the fact that I had worked all day and was tired, but I thought it was touching that Janda was into documenting the pregnancy, so we took the photo.
Good thing we did- that was the last day that I was pregnant!!
We didn't have a clue what was coming our way; the only hint was some major back pain while I was trying to do the dishes. It was so uncomfortable that Janda finished the dishes. I suppose looking back that that was probably back labor. Anyhow, it went away and after dinner Janda and I stayed up too late (11pm on a schoolnight!) and watched Lord of the Rings The Two Towers. At midnight I woke up and had to go to the bathroom, not at all unusual during week 34 of a pregnancy. Once downstairs, I realized that not only did I have to go to the bathroom, something unusual was going on.
Since this was my first pregnancy and I was only 34 weeks, I didn't really think that my water could be breaking, but I thought something was happening. Janda came down and we talked to the on-call midwife. I was convinced that she was going to tell us that it was nothing and to just come in for our appointment on Monday. But no, she told us to come to the hospital. I was then convinced that when we got there they would tell us to go home and come in for our appointment on Monday.
We got to the hospital around 1am, talked to the midwife, determined that my water had really broken and that the baby was breech. Within 90 minutes, I was getting a C-section and at 3:17am Janda and I heard the cries that would bring tears to our eyes. Our son has good lungs.
For a 34 week and 5 day baby, Ryder was quite healthy and large, 6lbs 11oz! Thank goodness he decided to come early, any bigger and I wouldn't have been able to move!
Thursday was a blur. I was in recovery until 6am, went to visit Ryder for a couple of hours and then rested for a while. Janda left to take care of things at school and returned around midday. We spent the afternoon resting and admiring our baby.
Happy Birthday Ryder!
The next morning we got the bad news that our otherwise healthy baby was experiencing a serious health issue that required him to be transported to Children's Hospital in Boston. Since it was so soon post-surgery for me, the hospital would not let me go with him. The rest of that day was spent nervously waiting for updates from Janda.
Thank goodness they discharged me the next morning and for the next 2 weeks, Janda and I spent our days at Children's Hospital. We arrived mid-morning after rush hour traffic and didn't get home until 9pm or later every night. It was a tough 2 weeks, but really we were very lucky. A lot of the other babies in the NICU had been or will be there for months.
First family photo at Children's
The first week was spent getting tests and waiting for OR time and the second week was spent recovering from the surgery. He did great in the recovery, thank goodness.
Scariest day of my life - still anesthetized post surgery
Ryder received topnotch care in the NICU at Children's. I cannot say enough good things about the compassionate and knowledgeable staff of the NICU and the surgeons who worked on Ryder's case. We hated leaving him every night, but we knew that he was receiving the best possible care.
Ryder loved his nurses at Children's - look how peacefully he is sleeping
Finally on Saturday April 6, after 17 days in hospitals, we were given the all clear to take him home. Unfortunately, we had to bring him home with a catheter, but we were home nonetheless.
On our way home at last
After all that Ryder had been through, we were ecstatic to have him home to meet friends and family and to just enjoy having a baby. He has really taken to life at home and has put on a considerable amount of weight. He is getting healthy and for that we are thankful!