Caleb James arrived on his due date, Thursday, July 7, 2011, at 4:27 p.m., weighing in at 8.098 pounds and (if I am recalling correctly), 22 inches long. With a scalp full of sandy blondy browny hair. Mom is doing great.
But it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies yet.
I finally have permission from Kymmie to do a post about all that has happened. So here’s the summary for blog world.
She had been to the doctor on Wednesday morning and discussed/arranged for inducement on Friday morning. But Wednesday night she had a bad back-ache that wouldn’t go away, so I told her it might be simply a back ache, or it might be labor, and to be paying attention!
Thursday morning, she and hubby (I will now call him Dad!) went to the hospital to get checked and it was decided to admit her for delivery. Things were going very well, she got the epidural, was given all the appropriate monitors and drugs and whatever.
People were coming and going – I was there as soon as I could once I heard she was being checked; her dad came in; her sisters from her dad’s house came in (one preggie herself); StepDad John came in; everything going good.
One sister left for work; step-mom went back to work; Dad and preggie sister went to get a bite to eat; John and I took a walk around the building.
Got back and she was having a pain she shouldn’t have been feeling, doctor called in and she said that there might be a better and safer way to get this baby here (preparing us) and if things were not calmer in a few minutes, it would be a c-section.
Sure enough, things were not calmer. Baby showing signs of distress. Emergency C-section, here we go! Dad handed me his cell phone, I texted Kymmie’s dad for him saying “C-Section right now!” …. they grabbed their check from the restaurant and got back to hug on Kymmie as they were wheeling her down the hall.
Soon enough, Dad came out to see us through the nursery, but without the baby. Said they were working on him. And we all peered through the cracks between the closed window blinds in the nursery trying to get glimpses of Baby Caleb being worked on over in the corner. It took forever.
Here’s the complication: At some point, Caleb had breathed in some fluid. Most likely the normal fluids that circulate in babies while in utero. He had had a *movement* in utero and they feel that it was this fluid that he aspirated into his lungs. Might have been amnio fluid. Doesn’t matter. It was something.
So they worked on him. And worked on him some more. And some more. First they were going to transfer him to another hospital, then they thought they should keep him there. Eventually, later in the evening, it was decided to go ahead and move him to another hospital nearby that has a comprehensive neonatal ICU.
When they came in and told us they thought he should be transferred, very scary, let me tell you. They sent for a transport unit. It was taking a while, so went to check on things. But Baby Caleb is definitely Kymmie’s child, he was not cooperating at all. They put a tube in his nose, he pulled it out. Took them a while to get him hooked up for moving.
Went back to give Kymmie the update and told her she is going to have to be strong like she has never been strong before.
They brought him to her room (she’s recovering from c-section, remember, and is very VERY loopy on drugs) … He was in a little portable incubator looking contraption and she was only able to stroke his little arm before he was whisked away.
Grammy Pammy packed up and headed to the other hospital, telling Dad that I would be there so he could go back and forth between Kymmie and baby as he felt he needed to do. Met the crew coming in the door of the ICU unit with him and watched as they moved him to his room and started working. Sent Dad a note saying they thought it would take about two hours or so to do their tests and get him settled.
Then went and camped out on the sofa outside in the main hallway. If something was going to happen, I was going to be there. Grammy was just a few steps away.
So meanwhile, they have Baby Caleb on a ventilator. How this aspiration works is that the moisture causes the sides of the lung sacs to stick together, much like moisture in a plastic bag causes the sides to stick together. Like how the plastic sticks to the moisture on a bottle of milk that you bring home from the grocery store. This is what was happening to his lungs. His little heart was working hard to make up for what his lungs weren’t able to do yet.
They had to work him up from a c-pap type machine to a small ventilator, then to a larger ventilator.
About 5AM, I was becoming non-functional, so went to stay with Baby Caleb for about 30 minutes before heading home for a bit of rest. Felt VERY strongly that this little baby was going to be fine. Just might take a while for him to get fine, but he was going to get there. Then went home for about 2 hours of sleep, a shower and a plan for the next morning.
And that’s the end of Day One!
Day Two (Friday):
Go to Caleb’s hospital and check on him. Dad is sitting there watching vigilantly. He has been a trooper of all troopers and I could not be more proud of how he has handled things. I tell him that my mission for the day is to get Kymmie up and around and get her up here to see the baby. And she may have to stay off her pain meds to do it.
So I leave and go help her get up and into the shower and move around and clothes on (jammies) and all that sort of stuff. She is able to get a pass to spend as much time there as possible but I am still very mindful of the fact that she has her own issues. However, my girl is strong of mind and very determined and if seeing the baby means staying off pain meds, she can do that. Although they did give her a darvoset about an hour before we left.
Long story short, she got to spend about two hours with the baby that day. I may or may not have had “words” with a nurse who was trying to throw me out of the NICU, which I was trying to leave anyway because we had Kymmie there and was wanting to get her settled in and make sure she wasn’t falling apart at the sight of her baby on a ventilator. I got back to the main desk and realized I had her cell phone, so sent John back in to give it to her (only 3 allowed at a time), see the baby briefly and then we would go to the snack bar and wait for her to let us know she was ready to go back to HER hospital.
Except the Nazi Nurse had other plans. I was to leave immediately. Certainly couldn’t loiter in a hallway. Then they buzz in Kymmie’s step mom and I tell her that we aren’t allowed back there because there are already 3 and they won’t let us stay in this hallway, and then a doctor came and put me straight on what was going to happen. Ahem.
But you know what? Once baby and mommy are reunited, things start improving.
Day Three (Saturday):
More improvements all around. Caleb’s ventilator is moved down a size and his numbers keep improving. Kymmie gets to see him that afternoon. Dad is still running back and forth between both hospitals. Since I can’t see him at the one hospital, I just go straight to Kymmie to help her get around. Uh, not needed on that situation, she is moving just fine and has plans of action in place. Sister Carole is there with a sock monkey hat that I had insisted on, and will post pics of that soon. When it is time for Kymmie’s plan of action to start happening, I head back home for some rest. Before bedtime, get news that Caleb’s numbers have continued to improve.
Praise the Lord!
Day Four (Sunday / Today):
We’re taking it easy but on call if needed! Kymmie will be released from her hospital today, but she was already almost packed and ready to go when I heard from her this morning. Am assuming they will stop by to see Baby Caleb on the way to get her settled at home, but at least she and Dad will be able to be mobile together, not with him one place and she another.
Can I just say this? The internet may have its faults but it has been an amazing place … just a few notes over on FB giving updates and prayers started pouring in. Pouring in. Family and friends asking THEIR friends, who don’t even know about Caleb, and prayers are coming from everywhere. It is very powerful and uplifting.
Kymmie has a great group of friends that care deeply about her. Dad’s two best buddies were up there on Night One. As much as there has been tension over the years with us and her dad’s side of things, I’m telling you they were all there for her and continue to be. I’ve been concerned with her having so many visitors, but it is comforting to her and is keeping her occupied and not worrying or fretting so much.
But if you are the praying kind, please keep Baby Caleb in your thoughts and prayers. He is still on the ventilator and that isn’t something to take lightly, even though he is improving. We haven’t had our hands on that baby to cuddle him yet and we are all anxious to do so! And while you are at it, pray for continued strength for Caleb’s mom and dad, they are going to need it as this process continues. Looks like baby might stay in NICU as long as two weeks.
Meanwhile, we hear stories of this same situation happening to others and keep hearing of good results and no future problems. And there is an answer to a prayer itself.
Dear Lord: I pray today that you take care of Baby Caleb, hold him in your hand and give him the strength he needs so that his body can heal. Our faith is strong. Amen.