Well, Cupcake, you certainly have thrown us an unexpected curveball!
6 April – Your mom went in for a “quick” follow up ultrasound “just to make sure” you were still growing well since you’ve been measuring a little behind. Mama knew something wasn’t quite right because the ultrasonographer was reeaaalllllly quiet during the ultrasound. Starting off with the good news, you were growing just fine and your heartbeat and the blood flow into your brain and through your umbilical cord was perfect. Your non-stress tests were absolutely gorgeous (if your mama does say so herself) and you were still dancing around like crazy. The not so good news was that your fluid level was extremely low for 33 weeks. This is probably part of the reason why you were having such a hard time turning around – your swimming pool was just a bit too shallow!
It’s a bit of a mystery as to why your amniotic fluid dropped. It is very uncommon for a young, healthy mama to have low amniotic fluid for no apparent reason. The perinatologist thinks it was just a random occurrence and that there was nothing we could have done to prevent it.
So… instead of going to see her own patients for the rest of the day as planned, your mama was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday morning. She had a bunch of IV fluids and was on strict bed rest. Your fluid volume the next day was a bit lower than the day before, but everything else was picture perfect. Your mama received some steroids to help your lungs work once you were on the outside because we knew you would likely be having a birthday before you were full term. We wanted to hear you telling us you are okay, so the steroids were to help you be able to fill your little lungs with air so that you could scream at us!
We had an hour-long visit with one of the neonatologists that Mom works with. He wanted to prepare us for what to expect when you were born, because we knew you would be born at least a few weeks early and would need to be in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for awhile. He is such a kind, wonderful doctor and your mama and papa feel so confident that you would be in the best hands. You had already shown everyone here that even though your fluid levels were a little low, you were still growing like a champ and just as strong as can be! And, your mama wanted to brag about how perfect your heart rate tracing was on the monitor . You are a strong, healthy little one that was just too eager to have a birthday!
We checked your fluid level again Friday, 8 April, and it had continued to drop. Because there were very serious concerns about you being inside mama’s uterus without very much water, the decision was made for you to have a birthday.
The happiest moment of our lives: Meeting our sweet baby boy. You were born on Friday, April 8th at 5:47PM. You weighed 3 pounds 11.5ounces and were screaming the moment you came out. Your screams were the best sounds that your mama and papa have ever heard.
Because you are still quite early, you were taken directly to the NICU where papa met you. You guys got to hold hands and papa got to see how strong you are while the doctors were finishing up mama’s surgery. Your screams were so loud, Mom could hear you from the operating room! Your mama and papa were surrounded by all of her wonderful, loving midwives, amazing nurses, and NICU staff.
You have mama’s lips and (we think) papa’s nose. You have LONG, LONG arms and legs and hands and feet. In fact, you and your papa have identical feet. You have nice curly hair on the back of your head and your skin is so, so very soft. You have the sweetest, most perfect newborn baby smell.
Once your mama recovered a bit from the surgery, she got to hold you for about 15 minutes. It was a beautiful moment to have you close to her. But because you are getting a little extra oxygen and you have two IVs, it was hard for you to snuggle in too tight. We know the oxygen mask is quite annoying, but the NICU team is pretty confident you won’t be on it for too long. You have had a couple doses of medication to help your lungs fill up with air, which really seems to be working! Now you’re just showing us all how strong and grown up for 33 weeks you are. The NICU team took a peek at your lungs this morning (with an x-ray) and were reassured that everything is normal for how old you are. Hopefully today, we’ll be able to slowly take you off your oxygen. Yesterday, we got to feed you a bit of the good milk that mama has already made for you. Your tummy was a bit upset this morning, so we had to hold off on your breakfast. But don’t worry, you have plenty more waiting for you in the fridge. We are really hoping that you take after your mama and her big healthy appetite
Your mama and papa are absolutely sure that even though you’re not quite four pounds, you are strong and healthy and you are going to be the talk of the NICU with how amazing and grown up you are.
Like your Uncle Mark told papa yesterday, “majestic Oak trees start out as tiny acorns”. It’s the wisest thing he’s ever said.
We are so proud to be your parents and think you are the most perfect, beautiful, amazing being on this planet. We can’t wait to show you off, but want to give you a little bit of time to adjust to life on the outside. You’re going to be a superstar…. Our beautiful, perfect, amazing superstar.
We still haven’t decided on what will be your legal name… we’re testing a few out on you and like to see how you react to them . The three of us will decide on one soon enough.
You get some rest and keep growing, sweet baby boy. Mama and papa are being looked after by an amazing team of family, mama’s midwives, doctors, and all the nursing staff at the Birth Center, so don’t you worry at all about us. We just need you to focus on getting bigger and stronger. We’ve never been so in love.