Saturday, September 29, 2012

2 + 2 more...equals a family of four!

A few months after Mark Jr. was born, I found out that I was pregnant again! This pregnancy was very “easy.” Just like with Mark Jr., I wasn’t sick much at all. I went to the same midwife that I’d gone to with Mark Jr., and everything was measuring right, and I was gaining the right amount of weight, and basically following all of the steps to have a healthy pregnancy. Fortunately, I didn’t have to deal with a cyst like I did with Mark Jr., so the pregnancy proceeded as normal. Baby #2 was due on July 21…only 3 days after MY birthday!

Regular visits to the midwife were all going well. She scheduled a checkup on July 17…4 days before the due date, and the day before my 26th birthday. My husband decided that since we were going out for the checkup, that he’d take me to my favorite restuarant after the checkup for a birthday dinner. We saw the midwife for the checkup, and she seemed to think that something could happen THAT DAY, but the baby’s head still was not down… So, she told me to go ahead and do my birthday dinner, go walk around at Wal-Mart for a while, and then come back, and see where we were afer that… We did as she said…went out for my birthday dinner. It was DELICIOUS….but only a few minutes after I finished eating it, I felt very nauseous. I ended up “losing” all of my wonderful dinner… As soon as I could, I called the midwife and told her what happened…and that I didn’t really feel up to walking around at Wal-Mart then. She instructed us to get to her house as soon as we could…she thought that the baby was definitely coming THAT night!!!

We called family who wanted to be present for the birth on the way back to the midwife’s house…and almost as soon as I got back there, I started contracting. Things were going well, but the baby’s head still was not down. Some family members showed up not too long after that, and I continued to labor. My water broke…but the baby’s head was still not down! The midwfie monitored the baby’s heartbeat throughout the labor. After one particular contraction, she said that there had been a decrease in the baby’s heartbeat, so we had to get the baby out fast! She was able to push the baby’s head into the right place, but it seemed that as soon as she did, the baby would turn again. Long story short, she ended up getting the head in the birth canal, and I ended up pushing harder that I EVER did with Mark Jr. to get the baby out as soon as we could! In the midst of all of this, the clock struck midnight…it was my birthday…people began singing “Happy Birthday” to me as I was in labor! People began encouraging me by telling me, “Your baby is going to be born on your birthday!” My birthday gift from God!

IT’S A BOY!!! As I looked down at my baby, being cleaned up, I saw how beautiful he was….strawberry blonde hair, blue sparkling eyes…I began to sob! As my sister-in-law asked me what was wrong, why I was crying, I said, “Look how beautiful my baby is!” A name at this point was no problem because we had a boy name that we hadn’t used for our first child…so, “Caleb” was born! The only thing is that I didn’t hear him crying…at all! He was grunting. The midwife immediately got the oxygen mask and gave him oxygen. They worked on him with this and other techniques for about an hour, and he still was not breathing well. The family decided to take him to a nearby hospital. I got to hold him for about 30 seconds before he was taken off to the hospital. I wanted more than anything to be with him… I told the other midwife who had been present for the birth that I wanted to go to the hospital to be with my baby. She said that I could on two conditions…that I could get up and take a shower…and that I ate something. I got up, took a shower, while my sister-in-law made me some breakfast foods….scrambled eggs and toast… I ate the food…and asked again to be taken to the hospital to see my baby.

The assisting midwife drove me to the hospital, explaining to me that he would have tubes and things hooked up to him and to not overreact…everything would be okay. I was calm…I just wanted to see my baby. As we arrived at the hospital, I had to go through all of the steps to even get back to the NICU where my Caleb was now being treated. When I had “prepped” myself, I walked into the room, filled with incubators with tiny babies, and others in cribs that were hooked up to tubes and machines monitoring all of their “vitals.” As I walked in, with my husband, who had been in the NICU already visiting our baby boy, a nurse stopped me, and said, “Who are you?” I said, “I am Caleb’s mom.” She said, “No, you aren’t.” I said, “Yes, ma’am, I am.” She said, “That baby is only a few hours old. There is no way that you look like this and are up a few hours after giving birth!” I assured her, and my husband did as well, that Caleb was my baby…I told her that I was determined to see him, and that since his birth, I had taken a shower, changed clothes, and had breakfast. She just looked at me as if I were an alien from another planet, but then allowed us to see our baby. I could have been knocked over with a feather as I saw that beautiful baby with things stuck all over him, and tubes in his nose and mouth. I was happy to be near him though. I talked to him, and held his hand…which was all that I could do at that point.

The doctors did not know what was wrong with Caleb at first.  They were almost certain that he wasn't a full term baby, even after I told them several times that he was. They did an x-ray and found out that his lungs had not fully developed. There was nothing that I could have done to change that…nothing that really happened to make it that way…just that some babies’ lungs don’t fully develop when they are in the womb. He had good days, and bad days…and so did my husband and I…we cried and longed to hold our baby. Our first child, who was only 13 months old at this time, was being watched by family. Someone brought him to see us…so that was some comfort. My father-in-law is a pastor. One day, he and my husband went in to see Caleb together. They each held one of Caleb’s hands, and held each other’s hands….making a circle, and prayed over him. The next day, the doctor’s told us that they weren’t sure what happened, but that Caleb was doing great, and could be released tomorrow if all continued to go as it had been for the past few hours. The doctor’s didn’t know what happened, but we did… The Lord had touched Caleb and healed him! We were able to go home the next day. He spent 8 days in NICU.

I will never forget when big brother first saw little brother. He said, “Baby,” and looked at him all of the time. He was already so gentle…touching him with little touches, rubbing his hands, just looking and watching him constantly. At home, when it was Caleb’s nap time, Mark didn’t want him to go to sleep…because he couldn’t see him, and he didn’t have anyone to “watch out” for…so, he would yell, “Bubba!” over and over…trying to keep him awake! They were precious together though… Caleb was a very laid back baby…very different from his brother… He was content, but cried more than Mark Jr. did. Mark Jr. always found ways to entertain himself…Caleb wanted to be entertained and just lay back and watch…but if he didn’t have something or someone to watch, he wasn’t happy!

Caleb is now 8 years old. He has blonde hair and blue eyes, and is still a beautiful boy. He warms my heart. He loves to cuddle and just sit with me and his daddy. His favorite color is blue… He does well in school…and seems to excel in math. His lungs haven’t given him any more problems, and his checkups since birth have all been great… “His lungs sound wonderful” we were told at all of his early checkups. Praise the Lord for what He did with my Caleb! He is a joy in our lives! He loves macaroni and cheese, and pizza…but the best part is a local pizzeria that combine the two…YES, macaroni and cheese pizza…. You should see those blue eyes light up when he sees that! He had been saying for a long time that he wanted to be a policeman when he grew up…but about a year ago, he looked at me and said, “But if I am a policeman, I might have to shoot someone.” He decided that he doesn’t know anymore what he wants to be, because he doesn’t want to have to shoot anyone, even a “bad guy.” If someone asks him what he wants to be when he grows up, he said, “God hasn’t told me yet.”  He does have some idea that he wants to be a pizza delivery man...because he wants to get free pizza!  ;) 

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