Thursday, May 19, 2011

The first nine days (Sullivan's)

I have been thinking about this post since Sullivan was born.  When I got pregnant I had visions of how I thought everything was going to go.  I had a perfect pregnancy.  All my appointments were great, even the delivery was great.  But in the moments after Sullivan was born and my family and friends entered the room to see me hold him for the very first time, he started blowing bubbles.  My husband grabbed the aspirator and tried to suction the bubbles out of his mouth but they kept coming.

One of our friends used to be a nurse in labor and delivery told the nurse that he was grunting and blowing bubbles.  She quickly took him to the nursery and my husband went with him.

I wasn't really alarmed yet because I was still kind of in the moment of having just given birth to the sweetest most beautiful baby I had ever seen.  It's hard to explain but once they moved me to our room it hit me that our baby should be with us, and he wasn't yet.  They said that he had fluid in his lungs and was having trouble getting it out, and breathing.  When I saw our baby boy next he was under a plastic hood.  I wanted to hold him so badly.  I wanted to put him on my chest and nurse him in those early hours.  I wanted to see my husband hold our son for the first time.  My expectations and hopes of how those next few days would go crumbled.  I began pumping within an hour of delivery, and I continued to pump every two to three hours all day and night. Initially the nurses and doctors thought he might be out of the hospital within two to three days.  They said I could "nest" in the hospital if needed, which meant that I could stay there until he was released but I wouldn't get meals or medicine.  However, Sullivan wasn't getting better so he was transferred to another hospital with a better equipped NICU.  I followed the transport to the hospital and was sobbing.  I remember walking up to the front desk of the labor and delivery floor and telling them that my son was just transferred there and I wanted to know if I could use their pump and find out if I could nest there so at least I would be there for him at all times.  The woman gave me a hard time and I lost it.  I was sobbing again in front of a bunch of nurses and finally a sweet nurse said she would get the lactation consultant who would bring me the pump.  They had no rooms for me to stay in because there were so many mom's giving birth.  When I went back to see Sullivan, he was surrounded by nurses and the doctor.  He was getting hooked up to all the machines and they had to put an umbilical line in.  It was physically painful to see him like that.  Since we couldn't stay there Arty and I were at the hospital every day from 7am till 9pm or later with a few breaks for meals.  I pumped and pumped for him.  When he started getting better I got to nurse him and that was an amazing instant connection.  We took him home on October 31st, nine long days after he was born.  That was one of the best days of my life!


PS this is obviously a shorter version of what happened but if you have questions e-mail me!


  1. brings tears to my eyes megs...

    Tomorrow John and I are doing the 'one day crash course' for birth preparation/hospital tour. I'll let you know how it goes! about 7 weeks left!

  2. *Hugs* I know the pain of leaving your baby and not having your birth go the way that you planned. I'm so sorry you had to go through this! :(