Thousand Reasons Thursdays - Episode 11
Here's an excerpt from the first time we got to meet and interact with Paxton:
Three hours later, Casey came back in to see if I was awake. I didn’t want to be. I was still physically exhausted but anxious to know what was happening with our baby.
“Babe, they want to know if you feel up to seeing the baby? He’s so small, but they’re taking really good care of him.”
“Of course I want to see my baby!” I started to get up, just as the nurse came in, and she ran over to me just as my legs gave way. “Whoa, Mrs. Wilson, you’re not ready for that yet! Where are you going?”
“I want to see my baby! Casey said I could see him!!” I was like a crazed Mama Bear. Nothing made sense to me. Why weren’t my legs working? What was between my legs? Why won’t they bring me my baby? Why am I so angry?! I didn’t understand anything. All I knew was I needed to hold my baby.
“Ok. Hold on Mrs. Wilson. Let’s get you back into bed and I’ll get a wheelchair. You need to work the strength back up in your legs. You haven’t walked anywhere in weeks!”
She helped me back into bed, and cleaned me up, as she repacked my dressing, explaining the intricacies of my post-partum body. There were so many things I didn’t know about myself because I didn’t read “the book” and we never got a chance to go to any childbirth classes.
She left and quickly came back with a wheelchair and Casey, who had stepped outside while she was cleaning me up, without my realizing it.
I was pushed down the hallways of the hospital, down the elevator, and through more hallways until we finally reached the NICU. During this time the kind nurse gently prepped me for what I was about to see - and that I wouldn’t be able to hold him because he was too small.
We entered and they brought me to an isolette where a tiny little human, 2 pounds, 3 ounces, and 13 ½ inches long lay. A ventilator tube was taped into his mouth and wires and tubes of all sorts were all over him. He didn’t look real. He was wearing the tiniest diaper I had ever seen. Monitors and lights were flashing and beeping all around him, as our nurse introduced us to our son’s daytime nurse.
“Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, this Licianna, you baby’s day shift nurse. She’ll be taking good care of him while he’s here.” With that she left to go back to her floor.
Licianna had the softest, most soothing voice, as she explained what all the wires were and how the ventilator was helping him breathe. She explained he had had a close call in the Labor and Delivery Room and needed some extra support with breathing from the ventilator. He had 2 I.V.’s in his belly button administering antibiotics to support his very fragile immune system. The red light wrapped around his tiny foot was to monitor his O2 Saturation in his blood, and the electrodes on his chest were to monitor his heart rate, respiratory rate, and Co2 levels.
She explained that we wouldn’t be able to hold him because of all the wires and being on the ventilator. She encouraged us that it wouldn’t be permanent. He was 29 weeks old, after all! They just needed to help get his strength up, and preemies usually go home by their original due date! I looked at Casey and then back to the nurse. “You mean he’s going to be here until April 9th?!”
She saw our upset expressions and quickly added, “And sometimes babies go home even earlier, if they're strong enough!”
Then, she shocked us. “Would you like to touch him?” Casey and I looked at each other incredulously. “Can we?!” I just kept thinking about the old movie with John Travolta, Boy in the Plastic Bubble. I didn’t want to hurt him!
She guided us in how to thoroughly wash our hands like the hospital staff do, then put on gloves, and she gently opened little side-doors to the isolette. She showed us how to cradle him with one hand curved around his little head and the other hand enclosing his legs and bottom.
“When you cradle him like that, he feels like he is still in utero. It is comforting to him.”
I gave it a try. I held back tears of wonderment, love, and awe, as I touched my baby for the first time.
“You can talk to him. He will recognize your voice from when he was in your womb.”
I looked at her. This was all so surreal! Casey stood behind me, and put his hand over his little bottom. I kept my other hand on his head.
“Hey, Sweetie, it’s Mommy,” I gingerly squeaked. He moved a little, and I jerked my hand back in surprise.
“He heard you!” Licianna encouraged.
I slowly put my hand back, and Casey said, “Hey, Buddy! It’s Daddy,” as he choked back some tears of his own. This was all so overwhelming. I could have stayed there for the rest of the night, but the shifts were changing and we were ushered out until the next morning.