November 5th, 2014. 37 weeks exactly
We had to be to the hospital at 5am for our scheduled c-section at 7:30am. I ended up having a doctor I had never even met performing the surgery due to my doctor speaking at a conference that same morning. I didn’t care, I just wanted to not be pregnant anymore. It was so nice to be admitted to the hospital and know that we wouldn’t be turned away this time. The jitters and nerves were setting in. We were so excited to meet our boy, but so nervous for the unknowns and potential complications.
They wheeled us into the operating room and began making preparations for the delivery. There was already a team of NICU nurses there ready to take the baby immediately after being delivered. My anesthesiologist started my spinal block. This was the thing I was most nervous for. I am not scared of needles but I do not like the idea of something going into my back while not being able to see. It only took a few minutes for the drugs to start working and for my legs to loose feeling. I immediately began itching and having a reaction to the spinal, and the anesthesiologist gave me drugs to counter the reaction.
Tommy had said he wasn’t going to watch any part of the delivery. He was going to stay right at my head and hold my itchy hand. I couldn’t feel a thing. I kept asking what part they were at. Tommy kept shrugging his shoulders. He looked on the verge of passing out. I was more worried about him falling off of his chair than what was even happening.
They had been working on me for what seemed like forever, but was actually about 10 minutes. I told Tommy just to peek over the curtain and tell me if he could see the baby yet. The doctors were joking amongst themselves and weren’t giving us a play-by-play of the status. Tommy peered over the sheet and immediately went pale white. He told me they had just broke my water and that he saw a wave of water flow out of my stomach and onto the floor.
All of a sudden things started getting crazy. The mood in the room accelerated all of a sudden Tommy was whisked away and my hand was empty. The NICU nurses told Tommy to come with them and the baby. I could hear the baby crying and I was SO grateful he was breathing!
I could see the backs of the NICU nurses working on the baby and shouting out measurements. 8 pounds, 19 1/2 inches. And loads of black hair!! They said he was doing great and Tommy ran back over to me, no longer white as a ghost. He was so excited and giddy. He said “He’s good-looking! You’re gonna think he’s good-looking.” Then he left me a again to run back to the baby. They asked dad if he had a camera. He said he left it in the other room, and they told him to get it. Soon he came back with a camera full of pictures and let me look through them while the doctors sewed me back together and they took the baby to the NICU for close monitoring. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I already felt fantastic. I could breathe. I wanted to eat. And I no longer felt like a thousand pounds. Our baby was here safe and I was so thrilled to not be pregnant.
Cooper Jay Lowell
11/5/14 – 8 lbs – 19 1/2 inches – 8:39am
I was released from the hospital 3 days later. Day 2 after surgery was rough, but overall I was doing amazing since delivery. Cooper had tested positive for an infection and needed to remain in the NICU for at least 7 days for IV antibiotics. His breathing had declined after delivery and he had to be put on a CPAP machine to get his oxygen levels up. Throughout the first week his breathing improved and he was taken off the CPAP and put onto an oxygen cannula. We were informed that his oxygen levels were not maintaining about 90% and we would need to take him home from the hospital still on oxygen. This was ok, we were just so ready to have our boy at home. It was hard to feel like a visitor around your own baby. We were told exactly what to do and when and we were constantly being watched.
Day 8 we woke up early and got ready to go to the hospital to pick up our baby. We had finally gotten his flooded room put back together. As we were leaving for the hospital we got a devastating call from the NICU. Cooper would not be released. Early that morning he had had what they called an SVT (supra ventricular tachycardia) episode. They said they were going to need to contact Cardiologists at Primary Children’s. He had also had a few instances where his airway was obstructed (usually while feeding) and he quit breathing.
When we got to the hospital Cooper had already had another SVT episode since the initial one early that morning. They informed us he would not be released from the NICU until Cooper had gone 48 hours without having any episodes.
2 weeks later our sweet boy was still in the NICU. We were beginning to get frustrated and didn’t understand why we weren’t able to take our son home. He was completely off oxygen. He was breathing great and all of his vitals were going awesome. He had almost gone 48 hours without any SVT’s and the doctors wanted us to room in the hospital that night to get ready to take Coop home.
We were so excited that night. This was the first time we felt like real parents and actually got to spend uninterrupted time with our child. That night was bliss. Cooper was doing great. He cried a lot and we didn’t know what to do because the nurses always just swept him away and fixed the problem. I was finally able to calm him down and fed him. I was thinking we would all finally start to get some sleep for the night just when all of Cooper’s monitors started alarming. According to the monitor Cooper’s heart rate had sky rocketed to almost 200, but Cooper seemed fine and was just as scared by all of the alarms as we were. We called the emergency nurse number unsure of what to do, just as Cooper started going white and lethargic. It was the scariest moment of my life. My adrenaline kicked in and panic set in as 2 nurses ran down the hall and busted through our door. They pushed medication into his IV they had kept in for emergencies, and the other nurse put a bag full of ice on his face. Within a few minutes his heart rate began to come down and the alarms finally stopped. We all caught our breath and the nurses explained to us that it was so good for us to see an SVT episode so that we would know what to do if this happens at home. But we knew this meant he still wouldn’t be coming home.
Cardiologist’s at Primary’s decided to start Cooper on Propranolol medication to prevent SVT’s and he needed to go 24 hours without any episodes before he could be released. It took about 5 more days to get the medication dosage correct and for Cooper to pass his 24 hour test. Our perfect boy was finally coming home!