Friday, February 12, 2010
Happy Birthday, Son!
Our baby is 6 years old today and I have loved every single moment of his wonderful life. He was our "surprise" and I know the very moment he was conceived :) We were always planning to have a 3rd baby, but maybe not so close to when daddy was taking his first set of medical boards (whoops) and when his big sister was only 15 months old, and when I had just claimed my body as my own after his 15 month old sister decided she would stop nursing.
After the shock and awe, we were so happy our family of 4 was about to become a family of 5, especially since my ob/gyn had told me I would probably never have any more children (that's another blog). Apparently, God's plan trumped my ob's medical diagnosis for He is good! At the beginning of the pregnancy, there was more than once we thought we would lose that little guy and I did my best to keep him exactly where he belonged. And then towards the end of my pregnancy, Charlie thought it was time to meet the family and we prolonged that as long as possible. At almost 6 weeks premature, Tristan Charles Pico came into the world on February 13 at 8:13 PM weighing in at 7 pounds and 20 inches. Yes, this was a premature baby.
They delivered that little guy by c-section and as I listened for his cry, I knew something was wrong when he finally did cry. The NICU team at Brookwood Hospital in Birmingham, AL were there to take over. They gave me a quick look at my son, but had to take him because he was having trouble breathing on his own. Daddy was torn, but with my blessing he rushed off to the NICU with our baby leaving me alone, scared and wondering what was happening just 2 floors down. 45 minutes later, I was still alone in recovery begging the nurse to call and check on my son. If my legs hadn't still been numb from epidural, I would have gotten up out of that hospital bed and found him!
Finally, daddy walked in followed by the NICU doctor both men looking somber. I remember Dr. DiCarlo standing at the foot of my bed with his hand holding my foot explaining to me that our son was having trouble breathing on his own and it looked like his lungs were wet. They were helping him breathe and were already giving him IV medications. "Will he be ok?" was my only question and his answer was we are doing everything we can and the next 24 hours will be important. I cried as the doctor left the room and my husband folded me into his arm. He held me as I cried and cried thinking this was all my fault. I was his mother and I had let him down. I thought about what I could have done differently and the answer was nothing.
I wanted to see him. I had to get to him and the nurse tells me "not tonight". WHAT???? You do not tell a mother who has waited months and months to meet her child "no", so my hubby fixed it. Being in the medical profession sometimes has its perks and this was one of those times. He got permission for me and my hospital bed to be wheeled down to the NICU and I could visit Charlie for a few minutes. I couldn't hold him and all I could really do was touch his little hand. I fell in love at that moment and we fought together. He made it through that night, but not without some difficulty and as I visited him the next day, they had place a second IV in his head and was still "hooked up", so I couldn't hold him. I did not hold that baby for 2 days and when I finally got him in my arms, he was home. I couldn't hold him too long and I still hadn't been able to nurse him, which is something I actually looked forward to with all my babies. And when the nurses tried to bottle feed him, he would stop breathing and turn blue. Again, not something a mother is prepared to watch her child go through.
When I was discharged on day 4, I didn't go home with a baby. I went home with a double breast pump, a tired husband, and no baby. I got up every 3 hours throughout the night to pump, which I would deliver to the hospital the next morning at 7:00 am (after the docs rounded), so the nurses could feed him in the wee hours of the night/morning. During the day, I would make the trip to the hospital to nurse him myself every 3 hours. I only did this thanks to a mother-in-law and one of my very best friends who happened to be my neighbor who drove me to the hospital to hold/feed my baby. And daddy would take a pumped bottle to the hospital for his last feeding at 10:00 pm and spend some quality father/son time together.
On day 10, Charlie came home to 2 very excited sisters, one very thankful mom, 2 helpful grandparents, and one very relieved daddy! After the girls held him and I knew Grandma would be holding him for the next 2 hours, I slept such a peaceful sleep because God had answered many prayers and brought our son home healthy (he had a few issues, but nothing we couldn't handle).
And that is how Tristan Charles Pico made our family of 4 a family of 5, a very blessed family of 5. He is an amazing, funny, bright, loving little boy who keeps all of us guessing what will come next. It is never a dull moment and I am still thankful for day 10 when Charlie made our family whole. God blessed us with a happy ending, or maybe I should call it a beginning. He watched over our family in its greatest time of need and in what sometimes felt like my darkest hour. So, today I have a healthy boy who is turning 6 and we would like to wish him the Happiest Birthday and say, "We love you, son"!
PS: Isn't it ironic that Cam's mom used to call her little brother "son" and from almost day 1 our little Isabelle called Charlie "son"? It must be genetic, but that nickname has definitely stuck and seems very fitting to the only boy in a house of girls! Lucky Son, is all I have to say :)