I have been writing this post in my head for a long long time and am so glad to be finally sitting down to do this. Friends keep asking when I’m going to blog about our son Reid, and I’ve been wanting to so badly, trust me! So here goes. Just a warning: there are a bazillion photos of the same kid in this post, but because he’s mine I make no apologies!
It all started at my 35-week midwife appointment. Well it started well before that of course ;), but the CHAOS started at my 35-week midwife appointment. Up until then I’d been having what I thought to be the perfect pregnancy: no morning sickness, no heartburn, no aches or pains. Apart from a few weirdo skin tags and a mild hernia I felt great! Baby was kicking and twirling and my belly was growing. But at 35 weeks one of my midwives noticed I was measuring on the small side and I had higher than normal blood pressure. (I had two oh-so-awesome and amazing women taking care of me through my pregnancy by the way.) She called for an ultrasound which revealed that my baby was too small, way too small. The obstetrician diagnosed it as IUGR, Intrauterine Growth Restriction (or Retardation, but I prefer the former!). More tests were done that Thursday and by the afternoon I was told that this baby had to come out as soon as possible. Since Dusty was away at the time for work and only able to make it back by Friday night, they negotiated Saturday morning so that Dusty and I could be together. This news from the doctor was so devastating to hear. I cried and cried. I also questioned the doctor and was skeptical of the recommendation: induction. Would my baby not grow more if we waited longer?…I’m not a big person, maybe I just have a small baby because I am small?? My baby was moving, had lots of amniotic fluid, and my blood pressure had returned to normal….are we SURE this is the right thing to do??? I felt stupid pushing back but I only wanted what was best for our baby and the doctor’s decision was so sudden and shocking. That evening I went to my prenatal class whose topic ironically was ‘intervention and informed consent’! Thankfully the couples in our class were so great and supportive and it was nice to be around people while I waited for Dusty’s return. By Saturday, the doctors had reassessed and were recommending that we go straight to cesarean delivery. Do you think I pushed back on that one? You bet. Throughout my pregnancy whenever I heard ‘C-section’ I basically tuned out. That wouldn’t be me. I don’t need to listen to this part. I’m having a natural delivery. I’m fit, I do yoga, I know pain- I used to row and I tree-planted through university. I KNOW pain. Preggo ladies, listen up: whether you like it or not a c-section could be in the cards! For me they knew that induction would be stressful on baby and because he was so small he might not have tolerated the intense contractions. Even without contractions, Reid’s delivery and the days and weeks that followed were intense. Reid was born April 28 at 1:18pm and weighed only 3lbs 8.8 ounces. A tiny chickadee. When he came out he immediately wailed which sent an overwhelming wave of relief rushing through my body. Dusty announced that he was a he (a feeling I had all along :)!) and then they took him to the warming table to check him over. I didn’t see this part of course but Dusty said he peed a big sprinkler pee and managed to hit all the observing resident pediatricians- I believe there were four. We had a feeling our son was a trooper!
Reid spent 19 days in the hospital in the NICU amidst many amazing nurses and doctors. He was tiny, but other than that healthy and just needed to grow. After 5 days I was discharged, but Dusty and I stayed the following 13 days at Jeneece Place which is reserved for families travelling to Victoria for medical care, but allows locals to stay if there is availability. We were so thankful to be able to stay there as it made feeding Reid every two to three hours manageable since it’s on the hospital grounds. Reid was a little superstar in the NICU. He learned to breastfeed quickly and wanted to eat all the time- it’s like he knew that hitting four-pounds was the goal and then he could go home. We joked that one day we would come into the NICU and he would be jumping up and down in his incubator, pounding the plexiglass with his little fists like a caged animal demanding release.
Reid has come a long way since his entry into this world. He’s changed so much! My little birdie is now giving us smiles non-stop, is holding his head up like a champ, and he rolled over for the first time the other day! No longer does he look like a scrawny baby Mr. Burns! Hee hee.
What follows are photos from the last four months, from the operating room to today! Some are iPhone and pocket camera pics as you’ll see, in all their distorted, grainy glory 🙂 Some of the operating room photos were taken by one of our two wonderful midwives, Julia Stolkes. Thank you Julia! Did I mention how amazing they are?! Jill Pearman is her partner in crime and with the two of them I always felt in good hands, so supported and cared for. This journey would not have been the same without these two fabulously smart, wise, and funny women. They deserve medals.
Oh yes, the photos. Dusty took some of the ones of me. And my friend Kyla slings a Samsung Galaxy like nobody’s business and she took the one of the three of us at the beach- thanks Kyla! And of course included are Reid’s nude baby shots I took on his Oma’s hand-knit blanket. I love these shots!
It may look like all I’ve been doing is taking photos of my son these past four months. Not true! I’ve taken other photos too 🙂 We’ve had quite the busy time on the home front actually. Apart from a conveyor belt of visitors, we also nursed a very sick kitty back to health (yay Rudi!), sold our home, and quickly bought another! Last month we moved house to our new home. As for parenthood, it has been a wild and wonderful ride so far and I’m loving every minute of it. It’s true what everyone says, ‘it changes your life’. It really does. You can’t love anything more than your child. Not possible. For me I find parenthood has helped me know what is important and what is maybe not so crucial in my life. It’s helped me focus my energy on the big picture and to ‘not sweat the small stuff’. I love how this little person can have such an effect!
If you’ve gotten this far, thanks for reading. I hope to fill you in on more of Reid’s shenanigans in the near future!