Thursday, December 30, 2010

Parenting Scare

Thanksgiving Day,day two of Naomi's life in the outside world came with a scare. Jamie went home mid-morning to care for our dogs. As I sat alone with our daughter, a nurse came to get her for a check up with the Pediatrician. When they returned to the room the nurse said the doctor found a heart murmur and as a precaution he called a cardiologist to come take a listen. Also someone from radiology would come get her for an EKG and chest x-ray. While the nurse was explaining how common heart murmurs are and how it is just standard procedure to run such tests I was not worried. I thought to myself how I've known others to have heart murmurs and they live normal lives. I even called Jamie to say what was going on and not to worry. It was when radiology came within less than 10 minutes that I became a little more concerned. Then I called my mom to ask her to pray, it was then that I just fell apart. Why, after all we've been through, would God allow our baby to be anything less than 100% healthy? I prayed for her the entire pregnancy. Was I not specific enough, was it because I didn't say, "God please form our baby's heart to NOT have a murmur." This is totally minor- I know, but jeez, why can't we be the parents who don't have to have any freekin' tests run on their newborn- yes, even for something perceived as common and minor.
 She came back from her tests screaming her poor little head off. In a matter of an hour the cardiologist (who by the way, I was told, was called in from home so he might not make it right away) was there, so the nurse took her to the nursery again. I thought the worst. It was a holiday for one and what doctor gets to the hospital that fast unless it is something to be alarmed about!? Those moments she was gone were torture. To shorten my long story...the Cardiologist came in to tell us the diagnosis and asked us to come to his office the following week for yet another test, an echo cardiogram- basically to find out the severity and whether she would require"treatment" or not.
When we arrived at his office I made eye contact with a woman who was there with her son of about 7 years old. She smiled at us with a certain sincere empathy. I thought, "oh God are we about to become a part of another club no parent signs up for? The kids-with-heart-problems-who-need-lots-of-appointments-and-surgery-club?" I had been pretty calm over the 4 days leading up to this. I told myself that lots of kids are born like this, we'll get there and they will determine that she won't be affected by it.

The moment we sat down in the exam room an overwhelming fear came over me. The ultrasound tech- that's what an echo cardiogram is-started the ultrasound on Naomi's heart. As I sat there all I could think was that something was horribly wrong. The tech said nothing. No small talk. This only made my fear worse. I'm used to tech's not saying what they see ( remembering my miscarriage) but jeez,say something! Talk about the weather even! I started bawling. We sat there for over 30 minutes. I used tissue after tissue, sobbing convinced I would lose her too. I had two choices for a view, either watch the screen or look at a bulletin board filled with family pictures. Tech chic had three beautiful kids, which I hated her for. I thought, "she probably doesn't have babies in heaven. She obviously has no idea what it's like to sit in this chair. Very wrong of me to think -I know, I know. So, then she got the doctor who came in and with terrible body language took a look at the recordings she took. He looked for probably five minutes which felt like another hour. I cried even more, thinking, "I know something is really wrong, would you just give us the news already!" Here's the worst part, there was a seahorse on a shelf in the corner of the room. The exact same seahorse I bought Naomi, the first thing I bought her when I was pregnant. I sat there thinking over and over about how when she is dead I will remember her and this awful day that we get the bad news by the seahorse. And that will always be 'her thing'. I know, horrible isn't it? Get a grip right!? I really couldn't control myself and I thought I might go into a full fledged panic attack.

Well, finally the doctor said she has a very small hole in the muscle between the two bottom chambers of her heart. As she grows he expects this hole to close because that muscle will be bigger, which is the best news you can receive if you have a murmur. Her diagnosis is Ventricular Septal Defect. These are pretty common and there are three ways this could go. 1. She can grow out of it without symptoms 2. She could be given medication if she develops symptoms.3.She could have a balloon procedure to repair it if it becomes even more troublesome There are a few things to watch for as far as heart failure goes, so he warned us of those and wants to see her back in six weeks. He then disclosed that the reason he had us come to his office is because sometimes when a baby is born with this, it can also mean there are abnormalities that caused the defect and those are much bigger problems. They ruled that out. Okay, phew, we can handle that. I could sense that, from him- even when he talked to us that day in the hospital. Even though everything he said made us believe it was minor I could sense there could be more going on. I apologized for crying so much and he was so sweet to say, " This is a scary place for any parent to be and you are just 5 days post partum so you can cry all you want to." What a nice guy! Can't say the same for Tech chic, she was still in the room and remained stoic even after we were relieved at the news. Meh

So now we wait and watch. You know how hard that is? Believe me I am so thankful that she is so healthy and this is minor, I know.There are a million other things that could be so much worse! I guess the combination of loss plus,being a first time mom who was sleep deprived and overwhelmed with breastfeeding-which is a whole other post-equals a paranoid, crying mama! It has taken me weeks to complete this post, so her follow up appointment is in just 11 more days. Yes, I am counting them down. I feel like I will be able to relax a little when he hears of her sleep, awake and eating schedule and weight gain...if he thinks she is on track. I do-think she's okay and not needing treatment- but there are days when I worry.

In better news, she smiled at me last night. It was such a glorious moment! Moments like that make all the pain and worry worth it! We're getting  a little better at multi-tasking so I will be back to update you all on her progress and post more pictures.

Naomi meets her seahorse

Friday, December 10, 2010

Naomi's arrival

 Sorry I've been absent from blog land for so long! I'm back with part one of the past weeks' events surrounding Naomi's first days with us. She's finally here!!!

Naomi Alazne 8lbs.3oz. 19.5 inches

We arrived to the hospital at 5:30am on Wednesday morning Nov. 24th. My nurses prepped me for surgery which included two blown veins as a result of one nurse attempting to get an IV placed. As I previously wrote, I was not looking forward to the c-section but of course wanted to meet our baby! I experienced a lot of fear while waiting until our 7:00 surgery time, in fact I would venture to say I was bordering on a panic attack a few times. I was so afraid of something going wrong and losing Naomi too. It was a battlefield in my mind that morning..I was fighting to stay sane, I was fighting to feel joy, I was fighting to focus on Naomi's approaching birth and not Audrey's. It was so difficult to be in the moment completely saturated in joy -like parents of a new baby would be expected to be. Instead it felt more like I was having a surgical procedure, not bringing our beautiful baby into the world. Nonetheless we did - bring her into the world. She was born at 7:28am. If I could have cried, I would have, it was such a beautiful moment. Apparently, I needed to be able to feel my stomach in order to cry and since I couldn't, the tears just wouldn't come.
The anesthesiologist said that once I start to feel my upper body being pushed up and pulled down, the moment she appears over the curtain is near. Sure enough as I was feeling this pulling he spoke of, I heard my OB say, "Wow, this is a good sized baby! Maybe a nine pounder!" Then he held her up for me to see ever so briefly over the curtain. As the nurses took her to the baby station, someone said, "Look at all that red hair." I asked Jamie, "Do they mean red, red?" He said, "Oh yeah, it's red."
I thought, "huh, I never imagined red hair, I assumed it would be brown, I pictured brown and Audrey had dark brown."
All I could see from where I layed was her right leg and foot kicking about as she cried and cried. Oh,what music that was to my ears. I could tell from there that she too had her daddy's feet- just like Audrey.
It seemed like it took a lifetime for the doc to put me back together. It also seemed like a lifetime for the nurses to do all they needed with Naomi, I was anxious to see her and hold her. Finally, when Jamie came back from her station holding her, I stared at her in amazement, realizing she is ours. We get to keep her! That is when the joy overcame me.  I am so in love!
After about an hour in the OR, we were transferred back into our room where I was finally able to hold my baby girl and begin breastfeeding- which she was a natural at! A good friend arrived about a half hour later, then my dad and step-mom.Other visitors slowly came throughout the day and not all at was almost as if they had appointment times- that was really cool. It was a perfect morning. Everything came together and we have our beautiful baby Naomi home with us now.

I am so in love!