Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dearest of Zekes - First hours (birth story III)

My dear Ezekiel, my Chubbermunch, My Booger, My Cheeks, My sweet-baby-sweet,

 I have been putting off this letter because it makes me face the facts. You are one. The first year of your dear sweet life is gone never to return. Too morbid? Sorry. Daddy's always getting on me for that.

Against Daddy's chest in your first moments of life
I've never written about the first days of your life, partly because it's a very emotional subject. But I guess its time now that it's been a year!

The first few hours of your life were sweet and frightening and overwhelming. ( You can read the firsts parts of the birth story here, here, and here.) I couldn't believe how beautiful you were and how perfect. I had to give you to your Daddy because there was something wrong with my body and I was in too much pain to hold you. The placenta that held you and fed you wouldn't be released and  the pain I experienced after you were born dwarfed the pain it took to birth you. Thankfully I had wonderful doctors and the pain was soon over and you were in my arms again. But the sweet moments were quickly ended. Your perfect little chest rose and fell far too quickly. They were afraid of infection and after a sweet tearful hour, they took you away from me. My heart felt torn in two as I watched you leave my arms and they carted you off to the NICU.

I had to be cleaned up and fed and wheeled away to a new room, but the moment I was free I found you.

Seeing your precious faced tubed and taped was the saddest moment of my life. Holding you quickened your breath and heart rate. I could only pat and caress your little head and put my hand on that fast moving chest. You had to be fed through an IV because when I put you to my breast your oxygen levels plummeted. I watched you move your little mouth, knowing you were going hungry that first night. Your name means "God is my Strength" and we all needed it. All I wanted to do was hold you and feed you, but I had to leave you to strangers as I went back to my room sick at heart.

You were already smiling at Daddy.
Your Daddy adored you. He was so sweet and caring and I could have never lived through those few days without his strength. I hope that if you are blessed with a wife someday, you will be to her what your Daddy is too me. He got up in the middle of the night countless times and wheeled me down to the NICU. I think he actually did it in his sleep once or twice. He was so scared for both of us in the beginning when a specialist was with you and another one was being called in for me. But despite the fear and exhaustion, he hung in there until it all settled. Then he lost it a little (he loves us so much Zeke, you'll never know how much until you have a child of your own.)

No tubes! You were such a breath-taking newborn.
BUT all of the drama ended quickly, when you coughed up the fluid that was in your lungs. We said a pray more full of thanksgiving than ever before when your oxygen levels rose and your breathing rate fell and we were told you were going to be just fine. Your breathing improved quickly and your nurse the next morning was a lactation consulted who worked hard to get us nursing! I finally got to feed my baby and it was WORK. I had to be at the NICU every three hours for the next two days and it was EXHAUSTING.

It was so worth all the exhaustion as you gained weight, got the tubes removed and got discharged just a few hours after I did! We were so relieved when they could stop pricking your little foot to check your blood sugar. (The nurse who cleaned and re-wrapped your foot is one of my favorite people in the world. It was such a sweet gesture, like she knew how the dried blood was breaking my Mama-heart.) We weren't told up until the last minute whether you could come home with us. You can only imagine our joy as we packed you up! 

You came home with us and changed our life forever!

You have brought us an unbelievable amount of happiness this past year Zeke. I have always known I wanted to be a Mommy but I never knew that all along I wanted to be YOUR Mommy. I now understand the phrase "my pride and joy." That is what you are my Zeke. My heart swells with both whenever I look at you. You are my firstborn, the sweetest and best gift imaginable, and I can never bless the Lord enough for granting the desire of my heart.

Love, Love, Love, Love,


A. Gonzalez said...

That was absolutely beautiful Amy. I reread the 3 stories that you & Jon wrote about the birthing experience. So intense, but reminds me of why I want a natural birth!

amybeth said...

Thanks. :-) Intense but awesome.

Anonymous said...

Such an amazing story. Zeke is a beautiful, blessed little boy. My Milo is soon to turn a year as well, so I completely understand how you feel.