(Noun) 1: the final outcome of the main dramatic complication in a literary work…
2: the outcome of a complex sequence of events
The stork arrived in the very early morning of Monday August 6, bearing all of my hopes and dreams in a tiny but mighty 4lb13oz package. Baby Rafkap is here.
It doesn’t 100% sit right with me that my story is another one that wrapped up neatly with a miracle baby that we never expected. Because I know for so many of the people I had hoped to help with my raw emotions that this very well may never be the case. I know for myself that I often felt betrayed by these stories, but like the six painful long years that preceded it, I was never in control of my own narrative.
It’s also not to say that years of infertility and pregnancy loss were washed away by this pregnancy (side note: A hymn from my vacation bible school days just popped into my head. “I’ve been redeemed by the blood of the lamb” which, of course, is especially poignant given that we’ve been calling Baby Rafkap our little lamb…who was born under the sign of the lion and I’m really digressing now, anyway…) I mentioned before that I spent my pregnancy in fear of losing him, consistently waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s a terrible feeling, and I am grateful that it was intermingled with feelings of total gratitude and excitement and around the 32 week mark my OBGYN said “He could be born now and be perfectly fine” which lightened the load slightly.
Our little lamb’s coming into the world was a long process, much like the journey to his conception. We got a fairly definitive answer to the question of whether my uterine anomaly mattered and the answer was yes. My placenta and cord started withholding nutrients and his size for gestational age slid from 50th to 25th to 10th across his scans. He was diagnosed with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and it was time to get him born and get him fed. I reported to the hospital when the telltale sign of decreased movement set in and we spent a long but pretty nice day together, befitting of our last day as a family of 2. The pre-induction process is a series of medication, monitoring, and returning to the hospital 2.5-3 hours later, a process we repeated twice. We wandered the area of the hospital. We went out for pizza, and froyo, and talked about our life together and how grateful we were for each other and how it brought us to this day.
The induction officially started on Sunday and anyone familiar with the process at all knows pitocin, so with epidural in place they started the process. I have no concept of time but sometime during twilight, a nurse who was not my L&D nurse came running in, telling me to roll on my side, placing oxygen on my face as another nurse, then my nurse, then the OB came in.
This was it. This was the other shoe.
One or both of us were going to die.
The pitocin had kicked in full gear and a series of closely spaced strong contractions had caused Mr. Tiny but Mighty’s heart to slow down. Easily fixed by stopping the pitocin for a rest break and creeping back up slowly. I was less alarmed when it happened a second time. Reposition, oxygen, stop the meds. There was a question of him being “intolerant” to labor and nobody had to tell us what the treatment would be. As we hovered at the lowest dose, I looked over at Hubby and said “When are they just going to come in and say we’re doing the section?” But they never did. When the team came rushing in around 1:30 AM, I braced myself for the bed to be unlocked and be whisked away to the OR but thankfully not. A quick check and it was time to push.
2 hours later he came screaming into the world. They held him up to see and my first reaction was a surprised “Hiiiiiii!” He couldn’t be put on my chest until the cord was cut because the cord was too short (probably why he started losing nutrition). Of all the clever nicknames we gave him in utero, when he finally was placed on my chest I greeted him with the first thing that popped out at 3:47 AM and inadvertently gave him the one that has stuck so far:
He’s our miracle man, without a NICU stay despite hypoglycemia and hypothermia issues common in the IUGR population. He stayed an extra day under nursery supervision and my fear of having to come home without him never came to fruition.
The overnights are challenging as I’m not sure he gets the difference between night and day yet and Hubby and I are definitely tired, but this little man is worth it. Last night he cried off and on no matter what we did for close to two hours. Finally, my fed, dry, warm, swaddled, shushed baby tucked up next to my heartbeat in his favorite womb position settled down and fell asleep.
“Good job, Mama” Hubby said as he kissed my forehead and fell asleep himself.
I guess this is kind of where the road ends for this blog and seeking the stork. I don’t know with everything that happened if little man could or should be an only child, at least, my only biological child. We’ll talk this over later with my doctor but given that many of the potential risks came true, it’s a possibility.
Not that I want to be greedy because this little prince that was promised and his Daddy are my everything.
This has been such a great outlet for me over the years for everything I’m feeling and I hope you as a reader have found it entertaining if not helpful.