After thirty-six hours of labor, my Dr. finally came in and said he had to do an emergency c-section. I had lost almost most of my amniotic fluid and I was only 3 cm dilated. The worried look on his face was contagious. I agreed. In the process of the operation, I heard them starting to whisper. I started to think something was wrong so I to asked if everything was ok. The Dr. notified me that Aiden had made his apperance and they were working on him. Working on him?! What did that mean? Is he ok?
The room went silent. If life had a pause button, it was pushed at that moment. I couldn’t breath. The beeping from the machine I was attached to began to pick up. The nurse came over and told me to calm down because my blood pressure was starting to rise quickly. I couldn’t calm down. My baby was out and I haven’t heard him cry. What was going on?
They brought him over for a quick second and took him away. Was he ok? No one was answering me. They asked my husband to accompany them and he followed one of the nurses, quickly through the doors. I was alone and terrified. Where were they taking my Aiden? The drugs started to set in and I began to feel dizzy. All I remember was getting wheeled through the corridors of the hospital and then darkness.
I woke up and go would fall back asleep. The drugs were strong and I was losing the battle of trying to stay away. I remember a Dr. coming my room in the middle of the day and trying to explain to me what was going on, but I couldn’t comprehend anything she was saying. Darkness again. It was about 11 pm when I finally came to. I remember frantically looking for Aiden and thinking maybe I was wrong about them leaving the babies with the mother’s after birth. My husband was gone too. I felt my heart racing as I rang the nurse to see what was going on.
After what seemed like forever the nurse came over and sat beside my bed. I wanted to throw up. We knew each other because when I was pregnant, I had high blood pressure and she was the one who would give me tests three times a week. It was a friendly face that was much needed at the time. “He is ok, he is in the NICCU.” she said as fast as possible. “I am not allowed to do this but if your not in too much pain, I can get you into the wheel chair and bring you over. Your husband has been in and out of there all day.” If I felt up for it? I don’t care how much pain I was in, I wanted my baby!
There is nothing more horrifying than seeing your child for the first time laying on a tiny bed with wires connected everywhere. NOTHING was seen on the ultra sounds. What went wrong? How did I not feel something was wrong? Guilt took over and I cried while looking at him. my first day as being a mom and I failed! I needed to take the pain away. I was still unaware of what was happening because I needed a Dr. to tell me but they weren’t around.
My husband stepped away to let me see our boy. He was spread eagle on his little bed with a light shining down on him. They let me hold him and informed me that they needed to transfer him to a different hospital in the morning. The Dr. would come by in a bit to see me and let me know what’s going on. I got to hold my cookie. I became hysterical, I couldn’t believe this was happening. It wasn’t in my birth plan! I was supposed to be sleeping in my room with him in his portable bassinet next to me. I was supposed to be learning how to breastfeed, how to hold him, how to do all of the first things that moms have to do. It was time for me to go back my room. Thirty minutes is all I had with my newborn son.
The Dr. came in about an hour later and explained that Aiden was born with an undetected abnormality called Tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF). What the hell!? An abnormal connection between the trachea and esophagus. Why wasn’t it seen? “The trachea is so thin that it can’t be seen in ultra sounds.” As much as I wanted to sit and point fingers at people and yell at all the Dr.’s, I couldn’t. I just begged them to make him better.
The next morning I woke up and saw the EMS team getting ready to transport Cookie to the near by children’s hospital. The second time I’m seeing him and I found myself having to trust total strangers with my new baby. I stuck my hand through the little hole of the transport bed and promised I would see him after surgery. With every breath I took, I could feel the little cracks chipping their way through my heart.
About thirty hours after my c-section I was being wheeled out of the hospital against doctor’s orders. I signed myself out and went straight over to the hospital where my boy was. John was looking for a wheel chair and me, being the impatient person I am, started walking up the ramp to get to the help desk. When I got to the top and stated my name and why I was there, the officer looked at me as if I were a ghost. He checked my name and said, “You just had a c-section! What are you doing walking?!” There were no wheel chairs at the bottom and my son is in surgery, I’m not going to wait! He ran and got a chair and wheeled me to the waiting room.
Nine hours later, I FINALLY got to see my Aiden. More tubes and wires were connected to his frail little body. I wanted to pick him up, but of course we couldn’t. I sat by his bed side all night just waiting for him to move, make a noise, cry, anything! I was jealous that my husband got to spend so much time with him and I wanted to soak up every minute I could. The nurse finally came over and told us we were more than welcome to stay but she thought it would be best if I went home to get some rest. We agreed and I whispered in his ear that I would be there when he woke up in the morning.
After about seven days (infections came and went) we were told we could finally hold him! I was over the moon. The nurse went over and picked up this little jelly roll wrapped up in 3 blankets and placed him in my arms. That moment. That’s the moment my heart became whole again. I knew our son was a fighter and if he was, I was going to be. That moment. That’s the moment I promised I wouldn’t cry and think the worst in everything that was happening. His tiny little hands wrapped around my finger and he fell asleep. Ever since then, I haven’t let go of his hand.
Anything can happen in that delivery room. When people asked me how the pain from the c-section I had was, I had no answer. I never felt anything. I was walking (holding onto things of course) right through the pain. Aiden struggled with eating for about three – four years after birth. He under went multiple surgeries to stretch his esophagus and has some developmental delays. Today he is a sociable little boy who is in Kindergarten, who enjoy’s eating chicken nuggets. He plays baseball and basketball and reads very well. He is my strength and my best friend.
My little nugget was very lucky to have a mild case of TEF. There are different types of TEF and it can come with other abnormalities or disabilities. Lucky for us, it was minor and it has been repaired. Thank you to all the Doctor’s, nurse’s, friend’s, and family member’s who helped us through that time. I will forever be grateful for the out pour of love received from everyone.
If you have a birthing story that you would like to share on http://www.thisnerdymom.com, please email us for a feature!