Friday, October 3, 2014

Jameson's Arrival, Part One

I was lying in bed last night, thinking about when Jameson was born.  It was all so surreal.  And everything was so fast.  On the eve of his birthday, I wound up in the hospital, unable to see from a really bad migraine.  The doctors checked all my stats and baby's too.  He said I was having some contractions, but nothing notable and he's see me in two weeks for my next appointment.  I still had a month to go. 

But Jameson had other plans.  All night long I woke up with contractions.  I started timing them around 5 am.  I still have the scrap paper with times scratched all over it in his baby book.  After breakfast I installed the carseat.  After lunch I called the midwife.  During naptime we called the babysitter for Little Man.  I think at this point, Hubs was still thinking we had a lot of time to play with so he made small talk near the front door with the girl from down the street, while I crushed the door trim and cried out we've got to go NOW.  I almost ripped the door handle off the car with each contraction on the way to the hospital. 

When we arrived at the unit and called the nurses station to let us in, they had no idea we were coming because the midwife really didn't think I was in labor and never bothered to let them know.  They quickly got me into a room anyway and handed me a gown to change.  After I changed, I literally fell to the ground while walking to the bed because the contraction was so strong.  The nurse was a little anxious to get me in that bed.  My first words were that I want an epidural.  To which she replied, you don't have time, you're already at 8.  I remember it all happening so fast and being so chaotic.  And less than 45 minutes from the time we pulled into the parking garage, the doctor, exclaimed "Its a boy!"  She didn't even have her gloves all the way on, he came so fast. 

And there he was.  Our Jameson.  So perfect and strong and healthy.  Everything was going so well and every indication was that everything was fine.  Hubs went home after a few hours to put Little Man to bed and I was so tired I asked the nurse to take Jameson to the nursery for a little bit so I could sleep.  I woke up in the middle of the night and she brought me my perfect little boy and I tried to feed him, but he wasn't really that interested.  So I just held him on my knees and we looked at each other, both so in awe of the other.  I thought he was so beautiful.  But there was this nagging thought that I couldn't shake, something about the shape of his eyes that seemed different in a familiar way.  But no, surely someone with a degree would have said something by now, right?  Right?  He was perfect anyway.  When I got so tired that I worried about dropping him, the nurse again took him to the nursery for a bit. 

But a bit was a little longer.  I woke up to breakfast in front of me and no baby for feedings.  After scarfing some hospital scrambled eggs down, I walked to the nursery to see my sweet boy and hopefully feed him.  And when I got to his crib, he had a red tube down his nose.  I started to freak out.  The nurse came over and stood across the crib from me and matter of factly stated that my boy started vomiting up bile in the middle of the night and they think he has a bowel obstruction, so an ambulance is on it's way to transfer him to a bigger hospital for tests and possibly surgery.  And oh, by the way, he probably has Down syndrome.  And I stood there, terrified, looking from my perfect little boy to the nurse and back again, willing myself to not fall down. 

It was still early when I called Hubs, who probably mistook the panic in my voice for nerves and fatigue and excitement.  I tried so hard to not tell him on the phone, but he needed to get to the hospital fast.  I told him that something might be wrong and they were taking him to a different hospital and you need to come quick.  So he did.  He and Little Man arrived around the same time as the transport team.  We introduced the brothers.  Little Man was only 16 months old.  Nurse Tactful filled in Hubs with the same information bombs she dropped on me earlier in the morning, we signed some papers and watched a crew take our baby away in this terrifyingly technical transfer incubator.  It was a Sunday and I needed a doctor to sign my discharge papers.  It felt like it took forever and that we were a world away from our boy, now 5 miles away on the other side of town.  17 hours after arriving at the hopsital, we rushed out the front doors and across town and into another hospital. 

It was all so fast and we had no idea what was happening and we were so scared and shocked.  And I was a hot mess of emotions and hormones and fatigue and fear.  We felt like someone had pulled the rug out from under us.  Once Jameson was settled into the NICU, we were allowed to see him, but Little Man was not.  After the initial meeting with the doctors, Hubs took Little Man home, got the babysitter back, brought me some clothes and Jimmy John's and we sat at a round table staring at nothing, shell shocked about everything that was happening. 

My whole family was on vacation in Michigan and I remember calling the cottage phone number to tell my sister-in-law that my baby was in the NICU and needed to have surgery and would probably be in for a while and probably has Down syndrome.  I kept breaking down crying whenever she replied.  Hubs had gotten a hold of his parents earlier.  They were living in Alaska at the time, as far away from us in Florida as possible.  We were all alone. 

I am out of time!  Will write Part Two soon! 

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