Welcome, Christopher Allen Baull
Its been a while, so I guess we have some catching up to do.
I started having contractions the beginning of March, and was in and out of the hospital for a week. They gave me several doses of a muscle relaxer, that helped to slow the contractions, but they kept coming back. At 32 weeks pregnant, they gave me 2 doses of steroid shots, to help Christopher’s lungs develop by 35 weeks – they didn’t think I would be able to carry him to full-term – and put me on bed rest.
After I hit the 35 weeks mark, my doctor agreed to let me go back to work, as long as I promised to sit at my desk and not work myself too hard. I managed to work that Wednesday and Friday, plus a few hours on the Monday that Christopher was born.
The weekend before Christopher was born, I was sick. The contractions had been on and off for the past month, but not being able to keep any food down was making them worse. I figured I didn’t have much time left, before I delivered, so I made myself go to work on Monday, April 2. By 10:30a, I was in too much pain. I called Mark and told him to meet me at the hospital.
Once at the hospital, we were taken up to the Maternity Ward, immediately, and I was hooked up to the monitors. I still wasn’t feeling well, so the nurse brought me some apple juice, to give my blood sugar a quick boost. I remember looking at the clock, right before the nurse came back with my apple juice, and it was 11:10a. I was able to drink some of the juice, but it was too late. I started feeling faint, and they lost Christopher’s heart beat on the monitor.
This is when things went mad.
The nurse called for help, and we went from the three of us (in half of a triage room) to 5 nurses, plus Mark and I. One nurse was holding oxygen on my mouth, another was removing my jewelry, another was searching for Christopher’s heartbeat, another was putting an IV in my arm, and the final nurse was prepping my abdomen for surgery. Like it or not, I was headed to the OR for an emergency c-section.
Now, every expectant mother is advised to have a birth plan, before they head to the hospital. I had one. I wanted to have Mark, his mom, Renae, and my mom, Donna, in the room with me. I wanted an epidural, as soon as it was offered, and I wanted Mark to be sitting behind me, on the bed, when it came time to push. The one thing I didn’t plan for, was a c-section.
Through the madness, I was able to get the nurse, who was removing my jewelry, to tell me what was happening. She told me that I would be taken to the OR, immediately, and that Mark could not come with me. I would be put under general anesthesia, and they would deliver the baby, right away. I managed to pull the oxygen mask off my face long enough to tell Mark to call my mom, right now!
Before Mark got back to the room, I was in an elevator and headed down to the OR. The anesthesiologist was so kind. She explained what was going to happen, and stroked my hair until I went under – its what my mom would have done to calm me, too.
April 2. 2012 – Christopher Allen Baull was born at 11:38a. He was 7lbs, 2oz, and 20in long.
I woke up in the recovery room, but not back on the maternity floor. My first question: Where is my baby, and is he okay? They told me that he had come out crying, and he was up in the nursery, doing just fine. They kept me in recovery for 30 minutes (or at least that’s how long they told me), before I was taken back up to the Maternity floor.
When I was finally taken back upstairs, I was greeted (right off the elevator) by Issa and Star. They told me Mark and Scotty were waiting inside for me. As soon as I was wheeled into the Maternity Ward, Mark was standing there. There was a baby crying, and he told me that it was Christopher, and that he was in the nursery still being checked out.
The nurses were kind enough to wheel my bed into the nursery, and they laid Christopher on my chest. Unfortunately, he still needed to be on the NICU bed, and hooked up to oxygen, so he only laid there for a minute before they took him back, and took me to my room.
Mark’s mom, step-dad, and brother were waiting for us, back in our room. Shortly thereafter, Mom and Auntie El arrived. Everyone was able to go down to the nursery and see Christopher, through the window – everyone but me.
Mark apparently caught the bug that I had had all weekend, and he needed to go home to get some rest. I had plenty of family to stay with me, so he reluctantly left.
Family and friends stopped by throughout the remainder of the day to visit Christopher and I. Christopher remained on the NICU bed, and hooked up to oxygen, so he had to stay in the nursery. Mom was allowed to go into the nursery, so she would go down periodically and bring back pictures.
I was anxious to hold my son, so every time a nurse came in to check on me, I asked when I would be able to see my baby. Every time was the same answer – he’s still on oxygen; when he is stable, then they would let me know.
By 7p, I was an emotional wreck. I asked the nurse, again, when I would be able to hold my baby, and she said that he was doing better, and that he should be able to be off the oxygen shortly, but since it was the change of shift, she would let the incoming nurse know that I still hadn’t actually held my baby, and they would take me down to see him, one way or another.
9:30p – I was sitting in my bed bawling my eyes out. They had forgotten about taking me to see Christopher. I called for a nurse and asked when I could go to the nursery. She saw how upset I was, and she brought me a wheelchair and helped me into it. I was finally going to get to hold my son – I thought.
I got into the nursery, and was informed that Christopher had only been off oxygen for an hour, and they were still monitoring him, to make sure that he was breathing properly, so I would not be able to actually hold him, yet. Regardless, I was able to touch him, and talk to him.
I sat there for a half hour, just stroking his head and hand, when he started to get fussy. The nurse swaddled him up and handed him to me. Even as I type, a month later, tears come to my eyes. I was so happy. I sat in the nursery for another hour or so, before I was was just too tired to be awake anymore. I had been able to hold my son, and so had Mom, so I was okay to go back to my room for the night. The nurse said that Christopher had done well without his oxygen, so he would likely be able to leave the nursery soon, but to go get some sleep. She said that when the nurse came in to wake me to check on me, to ask about Christopher, and they may be able to bring him to me.
2a came, and I was woken up to be checked, so I asked how Christopher was doing. The nurse finished with me, and went to the nursery for an update. I was expecting her to come back and tell me that I would have to wait, again, to get to see him. However, much to my surprise, a nursery nurse arrived, wheeling Christopher in his bassinet. She said that after I had held him, his stats remained level, and they hadn’t had to hook him back up to the oxygen, since. I sat up, in my bed for the next 3 hours, just holding him and looking at him.
Day 2 of our stay was much better. Christopher stayed in the room with me all day. Mark was feeling better, too, so he was finally able to hold our son.
The rest of our stay was fairly routine, so I won’t bore you with all the details – all the eventful stuff happened in the first 24 hours, anyway.
Fast forward one month, and Christopher is now 9lbs, 1oz, and 22in long. He is still in the 15th percentile for his weight, but he’s growing, so his doctor is happy, and so are we.
Annabelle is a wonderful big sister. She tries her best to help, and she loves to give us the play-by-play of what Christopher is doing. “Mommy, Christopher’s happy,” Mommy, Christopher’s crying,” etc. Unfortunately, she still has a difficult time understanding that Christopher needs Mommy to do everything for him, whereas Annabelle can do quite a bit on her own.
The good news – Annabelle has been doing AMAZING with her potty training ever since Christopher was born. It was like something clicked when he arrived – that diapers are for babies, and she wasn’t a baby anymore, so she needed to use the potty, like a big girl. We still have a few accidents, but it doesn’t happen very often. We are hoping that she can keep this up for another week, and then we will start letting her wear her big girl panties.
Having two children can be a handful some days, but they are great – I wouldn’t trade them for anything. However, I don’t see a third anywhere in our future. Our family is perfect, just the way it is.
Hopefully, now that we’re all caught up, I can keep it that way.
And, as always, Annabelle & Christopher, I will love you for forever and a day.
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