Isaac Joel was born on Tuesday, February 10th @ 9:28pm. He weighed 7lb,11oz & was 22in long. It was one of the 7 happiest moments of my life.
I had a somewhat long stay in the hospital. There were a few difficulties. Labor was difficult..........more so than usual. Of course, I always think that about EVERY labor, in the immediate days to follow. It may be that the most recent just stands out in my mind for a while. But, probably to the disappointment of my fellow-natural-childbirth-loving friends, I actually gave in & had an epidural this time. It was a pretty rough induction. I'll spare you the details of all that. But, with the epidural in place, I had a painless ending & was so incredibly excited when I held him for the first time. My dear loving husband & wonderful, supportive mother in law were by my side. I found out later that Isaac had swallowed a bunch of blood & wasn't breathing at first. I am really glad no one told me about it at the time. The nurses got him crying in 30 seconds or so. If I had known he wasn't breathing, those would have been the longest 30 seconds of my life. But, over all, the labor was uncomplicated, my blood pressure (the health "issue" I mentioned in my last post) stayed under control & I gave birth to a healthy boy.
The reason our stay in the hospital was extended is that I noticed, after a while, that Isaac was more "jittery" than any of my other babies had been. It was more pronounced than just the normal "startle" reflex that most babies have. That is sometimes a symptom of something being wrong neurologically...........though I didn't know it at the time. I just wanted to point out a concern I had to the nurse so she would tell me that was normal & not to worry about it. But it lead the doctors to order a brain ultra sound. The ultra sound showed that he had a little calcium deposit in his brain. It was caused by an infection that he suffered while in utero. It is probably from a normally harmless virus that I had while pregnant. It is a virus that I carried or was exposed to, but didn't even have many (if any) symptoms for............such as a certain type of cold virus or mono. They are now running multiple tests to find out what that virus was. But the bottom line is that the calcium deposit is evidence of a small amount of brain damage caused by the virus he was infected with. Only time will tell the extent of the damage in how he functions. But his symptoms right now are so subtle.........really just on the extreme side of normal..........that the doctors seem very positive & hopeful. He eats like a champ. He seems absolutely normal in every way except that he is just a little shakier than he should be. As long as he stays swaddled, he is very happy & content. The doctors & nurses keep telling me how good it is that I noticed his "jitters", because otherwise they never would have known anything was wrong. The earlier the detection of damage, the better. If they can pin-point what caused it, there may be treatments that can help minimize the consequences later. So, everyone please pray that they figure out what the virus was. I had a difficult couple of days there, when I was trying to take in all that I was being told. But I feel very positive now & it is possible that, once these jitters pass.........he may never display another symptom of brain damage. Or, he could have significant difficulties. Only time will tell. But I can only take this one day at a time. Right now...........he is amazingly healthy. I am so thankful for that. And I am so incredibly happy to be home.
On another note, I had some amazing doctors & nurses. One nurse even sought me out in the baby nursery & sat with me & hugged me while I cried. I felt like we became friends & I hope I can find her to update her on Isaac's situation in a few days. My experience with these doctors & nurses renewed my resolve that, when my kids are grown, I will stick with my "empty-nest-plan" to become a nurse. I had a couple of really crappy nurses who made me feel like I didn't really matter to them & made me feel lonely & uncared for at a vulnerable time. But, mostly my nurses were so sweet & caring that I felt like was not alone & that they understood what I was feeling. Health care providers have the power to really make a person feel alone............or truly concerned for & cared about. The doctors were mostly very attentive & acted quickly to try to figure things out & communicate with me. I thank God for the staff at the hospital.
Also I am thankful to God for my in laws who have been so helpful to me this pregnancy. Especially Emily who takes Seth to youth group every week & gives Jarod & Micah weekly cooking lessons. She & Sarah have taken the kids off of my hands several times so I can rest, they have helped me with my laundry & cleaning. Deborah has helped as well. My church family is amazing! I was provided with a week (or MORE) of meals. My dear friends Carol & Leon have spent a lot of time watching my kids this week. I am forever grateful for my awesome husband & mother in law who always help me get through my labors. I don't know what I'd do without all the wonderful family, friends & others that God has placed in my life. I am so blessed.
My other babies are happy I am finally home. I really missed them. It was only 4 days! It could have been so much worse! I don't know how mothers of babies with much worse problems can even cope with having to be away from home so long. Or having to go home without their babies! Again...........I have so much to be thankful for! I am home with my husband (who gets to stay home with me for 3 weeks!!!) & ALL of my babies!!! All the big brothers LOVE Isaac!!! They can't get enough of him. Now we start our new life as a family of 8!!! Good grief. ;-)