(the first video right after Logan was born. listen to his cry--it's not normal)
I know most of you have read Logan's birth story and outside of that there is not a lot to say about Logan's NICU stay. I tried to be as detailed as I could, but there is more to say.
Anytime I received the March of Dimes letters in the mail asking for donations with a dime in the envelope with cute return address labels I instantly assumed March of Dimes was specifically for babies who were born prematurely. I also assumed that most babies who ended up in the NICU were there for that same reason and or some tragic disease or deformity. I did not educate myself on March of Dimes nor did I participate in any kind of donation or walk. Without a second thought I would pocket that dime and file away the return labels and not take a second thought about it. Now, I feel guilty. I feel like I should have known better.
As most of you know I had a fairly normal pregnancy. There was brief concern that I might go prematurely but Logan hung out in his oven for a full 41 weeks. We were never expecting a big baby and I had no issues with blood pressure or diabetes. My doctors were perfectly happy letting Logan hang out as long as he needed to. Inducing never came up between us. Problems with labor and delivery never came up either. Sure we were aware that "anything can happen" and while we had a fairly specific birth plan our doctors urged us to keep an open mind. Of course if my health or Logan's were to become jeopardized we gave all our faith in not only the doctors but our Great Physician. I prayed and prayed that everything would go smoothly. My greatest fear was dying and leaving B all alone with our son who'd never get to see my face. It nearly killed me. That fear, however, never crossed my mind once labor hit. B was an incredible coach and helped me remain focused throughout all 18 hours of my labor and delivery.
The moment Logan's slippery body emerged and he took his first breath I felt my heart explode. It literally took my breath away. I could not believe that I had just pushed a baby out of me, that I had helped create and grow this other human being. B could not stop saying how beautiful he was. Over and over. I had tears running down the sides of my face, as if they could never stop. I have no idea how many people were in the room, but I do know that the peds team from the NICU was there because there was meconium in Logan's bag of water. That was just protocol. Little did we know necessary their presence quickly became.
I believe that nurses are trained to say the right things at the right time. I clearly remember a soft voice telling me that he was having a little trouble breathing and to put my O2 mask near his face. The mask took over his small dimensions, his eyes squeezed tightly, crying. When I look back at the video and listen to his cry, it is obvious that he is having a hard time taking in a full breath.
Logan and B were both whisked off to the nursery and I was left alone to be cleaned up. Three hours later I saw our new son in the NICU. It is no place any parent ever anticipates their baby ending up, especially a full-term baby. When I tell other mamas that Logan was in the NICU or that I am a NICU mama they all ask how early he was. This, again, was one of those assumptions I had prior to our experience. The NICU mama badge is not a badge I ever wanted to accept or wear proudly as that just seemed so inappropriate. However, I have accepted it and because Logan came home a healthy baby boy 5 days later I do wear it proudly. I hope to never have to be in there again, but I know that is beyond my control. There is NOTHING anyone could have done to prevent Logan from popping a hole in his lung. He just cried so hard with his first breath it was as if you took a water balloon and blew it up until it popped.
Logan is the reason why I am walking in the March for Babies walk on April 30th. Babies born prematurely, babies born with infections, etc...they are why I am going to walk. I know that all across the country that this walk is taking place over the next two weekends. If you have one near you and you have an hour and a half to be inspired, moved and get some exercise then I urge you to also walk. Thank you to Jasmine for already making a donation! If you feel led to, please help me out with my walk! THANK YOU! God bless your babies.