After approximately 2 weeks of labor pains which ultimately did NOTHING to get the labor process going, I was induced on October 25, 2010. It was one of the most overwhelming, yet surreal experiences I've ever had. I was on the brink of tears most of the time (for what reason, I'm still not sure), and yet, I was the most calm I've ever been during any of my deliveries. In fact, I dozed off several times during the labor process!!!
It took 1 hour and 5 people to get my IV in. After that, it was the easiest delivery I've had. The doctors, nurses and technicians were amazing. The epidural was divine (why did I even CONSIDER not getting one??), I felt Jacob descend in literally 2 contractions, and he was out in 2 pushes. And he was absolutely beautiful. KC even got to carry him up to NICU after he was born.
This was the beginning of the sweetest, most endearingly adorable child I could possibly imagine - and he's MINE! All mine!!!
In spite of his heart defect, and Downs Syndrome Jacob came out relatively healthy. He wound up having high red blood cells, which made his blood like "sludge" and caused Jaundice. He needed just a tad bit of air for a couple of days, and they noticed the he had an infection which meant he needed to be on antibiotics for 10 days. They suspected that his aorta may be slightly constricted, but didn't find anything that confirmed that diagnosis in their original cardiogram and decided to monitor the blood pressure of his four extremities to see if there were any differences in blood pressure.
Although poor eating is considered common in children with Downs Syndrome, Jacob eats like a champion! - he just doesn't like to eat from his mother! grrrrr. Luckily, I'm persistent and am hopeful that he will see the error of his ways and begin nursing here shortly.
All in all, he is healthy and happy, and should be out of the hospital by Thursday, November 4th.
Another development/bonus is that our NICU neighbors wound up being fantastic! Sadly, they didn't find out about their baby's Down syndrome or heart defect until after he was born. I had the severe misfortune of being in my little 'curtain area' trying to nurse when they first came into the NICU where their new born baby was laying and met with the doctors. It was absolutely heart-breaking. It gave me several moments to reflect on how I had reacted so many weeks ago when I received the news about Jacob. Yep. I could TOTALLY empathize. In fact, I think they took it much better than I did. They met this trial head-on and have been the most amazingly strong and positive couple in spite of their adversity.
We've found that we have so much in common not only with our little babies, but our families, both being LDS, and so much more! They have been a blessing in our lives, and it has been wonderful to be able to lean on one another when life gets overwhelming or we just need someone to talk to who knows what we're going through.
What an overwhelming experience to have your world rocked in such a way with such a tiny, defenseless child. But when you look into their fearless, trusting eyes you can't help but bristle with protectiveness and vow to love and take care of that little one no matter what it takes.
So, the past 7 days have been filled with hours upon hours of me either driving to and from the hospital (30 minutes each way), feeding Jacob, meeting with doctors, specialists, nurses, therapists, etc. or just holding him and marveling at what a strong spirit he has. In spite of all the pain he has endured in his short little life with multiple IV's, blood tests, poking and prodding, and so much more, he just silently endures it all. Rarely do I hear a cry from his tiny little lips, or a squeak of pain. He is my rock. And maybe when I'm all grown up...I'll be as strong as him.