Friday, December 6, 2019

It's A Boy!

It was Friday, December 2, 2016, when I found out I was having a boy. I was so excited and appreciated the awesome staff at WakeMed Ostetrics and Gynecology in Raleigh. I remember how one very sweet nurse, who was from Panama, exclaimed with joy over my son. She expressed how exciting my blessing is, and that my man child is destined to lead and do some extraordinary things. She said why else would God bless me at forty with a boy. It meant something special... a special purpose. She was so encouraging, asking me to make sure I often let him know and keep him reminded of how amazing he is. I knew my son would bring me so much joy the day he was born. I just didn't know he would be born so early.

I had recently started a new job as an insurance adjuster for a great company in Rocky Mount. Everything was starting to work out since it was difficult for me on another job with my gestational diabetes among other ailments during my high risk pregnancy. Even my stand-up comedy had become sit-down comedy! I was trying to do above and beyond by myself because my husband was in Virginia Beach working while I remained in North Carolina. I was working hard to purchase a home for us, facing all types of setbacks and disappointments. I begged for my husband's help but he said he couldn't financially in which I tried to understand. He made all kinds of promises the day we were married, including me relocating to Virginia Beach. Why else would I apply and interview for jobs there?! Yet he made it painfully clear that he didn't want us, me rather, there once hitched. So I continued to press on here, traveling back and forth, becoming pregnant six months into our marriage. I would go to all of my doctor's visits alone. He never made it to any of my appointments, including the most important one when I found out we were having a son. I was so embarrassed because I worked so hard but was living with my parents whom I had helped over the years as a single woman. I didn't have any children and when I moved back in with them because my roommate got married, I decided I would of course help. After being held at gunpoint years prior by a crazy ex-boyfriend, living alone was out of the question. My husband didn't have an apartment. He resided in a studios for less hotel room that he shared with his uncle. He had fallen on hard times but was working and determined. So I supported him. That's what a wife does. I know, why did I get married? Well, I loved him and believed things would get better. I'd known him for five years and wasn't getting any younger and really wanted a family. I suffered with endometriosis and was told it would be difficult but not impossible. We were both excited about the baby. He would be my first but my husband's fifth. His other children were grown and one teenager.
 Anyway, apparently I was putting a big strain on my body that I didn't realize with everything. My doctor was so worried about my stress and advised me to focus on me and the baby. My cousin was planning a wonderful baby shower that would provide us with all the baby stuff we needed. My baby boy wasn't due till March so we had time. So I thought!

Wednesday morning, December 14, 2016 at 5 am my water broke. Although, I didn't know for sure if that's what it was. I actually thought I had wet myself. As I cleaned up, I began to google "wet yourself while pregnant". I searched and read articles until about 6 am. After reading that it could be fluid from my amniotic sac, I frantically called my husband who asked if it's best that I go and wake my mom. Of course I didn't. I instead laid back down pondering whether I should call out and visit my doctor or just get up, get dressed and head for work. After all, the baby cannot be coming this early because I'm only twenty six weeks. I had three more months to go! I must've just wet myself and besides feeling a little embarrassed, I was a little at ease knowing I'm alright. Right???

Wrong!!! I called my husband back and this time he was in a panic wondering why I hadn't awakened anyone or called 911. By this time, my mom was up and as she was heading out the door, I stopped her to inform her of what happened. She said I should call the doctor immediately. I finally called and reached him at the hospital where he was delivering a baby, and he said three words, "Get here now!" So I told my mom and she asked me to get ready. I got dressed and decided to warm up a piece of lemon pepper chicken to eat (I know, lol) and took a prenatal vitamin just in case I wasn't fed in a while. My mom thought I was nuts when she walked into my room ready to drive me to the ER only to find me eating that chicken. Once at the hospital, after seeing a squirrel stuck to the side of a tree, we went inside where I had to run into the bathroom because I was losing more fluid. They made me stop walking - urgently seating me into a wheelchair. Then onto a bed, no bathroom but bed pan then a foley catheter just in case my bundle might fall out. Yikes! They checked my cervix to make sure it hadn't ruptured after discovering that my water did in fact break. It was painful but had to be done. The doctor decided that we needed to be transported to either Chapel Hill or Greenville due to premature labor that my local hospital wasn't equipped to handle. Chapel Hill didn't have any beds available, so off to Greenville! A helicopter was supposed to be dispatched because it's more than hour drive. However, the weather would prove too risky with all the rain and heavy winds so an ambulance was sent instead. They arrived within thirty minutes. My mom left to drive home, pick up a few of my things and meet me in Greenville later. My doctor wished me well, explaining that my baby may come as soon as a week. He hugged me as I cried with nervousness. I was encouraged by a sweet nurse who assured me that everything is in God's hands. Amen to that!

We left in the care of two of the coolest EMT ever, who wanted me to name the little one after them - well at least his middle name. I asked if they could swing through the drive through at Popeyes with the sirens on so we could get through the line faster but we were sort of in a hurry so we couldn't. Darn! The talks we shared, especially about the chili cheese fries I should try at the hospital cafe took my mind off of worrying about me and my baby. I appreciated them for keeping me laughing and in good spirits. We made it to Vidant Medical Center safe and sound as I was taken to labor and delivery. Once again my cervix was checked and the foley catheter removed, allowing me to use the restroom. The doctors stated that I was to be there until I had a baby, whether it was in one week or eight weeks. I was staying put! With Christmas around the corner, I began to get a little depressed. They administered some procardia to postpone the preterm labor but it wasn't powerful enough to hinder my determined offspring.

The next morning, December 15, 2016, I woke up to light contractions at 7 am. I buzzed the nurse who paged the doctor who checked my cervix and said that baby was coming. After spending my first night at Vidant alone, she asked me contact my husband and whoever else I wanted present. I called him and my mom. My husband was still in Virginia assuming I wouldn't have the baby this soon so he continued to work. My mom went home because I insisted she get a good night's rest. She and my dad were on their way. My husband wasn't sure what time he would get there. Being hours away and no driver's license (lost from driving under the influence) made it hard for him to get around. I was rushed to labor and delivery. The nurses were amazing, especially one who helped me breath and held my hand as the contractions got worse and closer together. She put a nasal cannula on my face to give oxygen to the baby whose heart rate was dropping rapidly. Due to the fluid around the baby being infectious, I was being prepped for an emergency caesarean section. As awful as the contractions were, they sat me upright on the edge of the bed. They slump my shoulders down along with my head while the anesthesiologist was sticking a needle into my spine repeatedly to numb the lower part of my body. However, I could feel the baby and started pushing. I was urged to stop pushing, be still and keep breathing, frustrating the doctor with the needle. The obstetrician could see the anguish in my face so she looked down to find the baby's head crowning. She yelled for them to lay me back "NOW!" By this time my entire bottom half was completely numb but she asked me to give it one more big push. The baby slid right out into her hands. Thank God or else he would've hit the floor. As traumatic as the birth was, my baby boy was here at 10:26, beautiful but so tiny. I was so afraid because he was only 790 grams (1 pound, 12 ounces) and 13 inches long. He wasn't crying at all but his eyes were wide open. Lord knows it was so many people in that room, about fifteen or so, all hospital staff. It was one big welcoming party! My parents would make it just in time to see him looking up at them from his incubator on his way to the neonatal intensive care unit. I was sent to recovery where they stayed with me until my feeling came back. As I kissed my parents who were leaving to come back tomorrow, I couldn't help but think about my husband and how I wished he was by my side. He did call a few times, asking nurses and my parents what was going on. He also informed everyone on facebook that our son had arrived, yet he still hadn't. I sat in my room alone thinking about our son, DJ. I was so in love with him and anxious to see him again. Since I missed breakfast, I decided to order some for lunch. It was nearly 2 pm and I had bacon, eggs w/cheese, toast, fruit cup, potatoes and juice. Then I attempted to take a nap but the calls and messages kept coming. I was shown so much love by family and friends. Two of my aunts stopped by to check on me. It was convenient since most of my mom's side of the family lives in Greenville. I'm so grateful for them.

It was time to see DJ but his dad still hadn't gotten there. So I waited a bit longer. The nurse who witnessed how anxiously I wanted to spend time with my newborn said, "He snooze, he lose." So she went to get a wheelchair to carry me to the NICU. She was taking me to see my baby whether my husband showed up or not. He finally walked in just was we were easing down the hall. It was after 6 pm, closer to seven in the evening. Yeah, I kept time! Despite his absence from the birth and being late, I was still happy to see him. I was happy to name our son after him too. It was a family tradition to name your son after their father. The nurse let us go alone so we can have our privacy as a family. Entering the NICU for the first time was an experience in itself. We had to sign in showing our identification which they printed copies of and washed our hands thoroughly before they opened the double doors. The babies were in pods. We were told which pod DJ was in and headed that way. At last, we found him. I broke down crying at the sight of him. This time he was covered in tubes and hooked to a ventilator because his tiny lungs were underdeveloped. As we watched our little one laying there, I began to pray. I asked God for His strength and healing. It was such an emotional day but we had a long road ahead of us. This was only the beginning!

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