Saturday, August 4, 2012

Dylan's Birth Story

Get comfortable.  Here goes...
Nervous and excited to welcome another son into our family!
Our healthy baby boy was born on July 22nd, 2012 at 7:32 pm!  After only 20 minutes of pushing (following 48 hours of labor - however most of this time was spent unsuccessfully trying to stop labor), Dylan made his grand entrance with the sweetest noise a parent has ever heard: CRYING!! And crying, and crying, and crying.  "Clear those lungs, sweet boy!" was all that Ben and I could think about!  With our fears about how Dylan would behave as a 35 weeker, his vigorous crying was simply music to our ears!  He weighed in at 6 lbs 2 oz and was 19 inches long (a far cry from our whopping 9 lb 7 oz boy the first time around - but he is still a decent size for being so early)!

Dr. Edwards, the neonatologist, requested delayed cord clamping, and then Ben got to cut the cord - all while Dylan was laying on ME!  This might seem normal to lots of moms, but when your previous experience was a c-section this was all absolutely amazing to us!

I knew that in order for Dylan to have a fighting chance to avoid a stay in the NICU, he would need to spend as much time skin-to-skin with me as possible, with minimal interruptions and very little stimulation or stress.  So for the first 6 hours of his life he rested easy on my chest (other than short interruptions for medicines and assessments).  He continued to grunt (a sweet sounding noise that is actually a sign of respiratory distress) for the first several hours, but because I had spoken with Dr. Edwards about this ahead of time, he was comfortable allowing Dylan to stay with me skin-to-skin and give him a longer time to transition from birth.  Of course if Dylan had appeared to be in significant distress we would have sent him straight to the NICU, but he never showed more than the intermittent grunting.

Not surprisingly, he had low blood sugars at birth - and this is when I kind of turned into a mother bear...As a brief back story, I have been helping modify our hypoglycemia protocol downtown at University Hospital, so the recommendations for when to check blood sugars and when NICU interventions are required has been fresh on my mind...So back to Dylan - they checked his blood sugar as soon as he was born (not recommended), and it was low (although he showed no symptoms of hypoglycemia).  So I breastfed him and topped him off with 25 mls of a bottle.  Then they checked his blood sugar again immediately after he finished eating (anyone with any medical knowledge knows that this is too soon for the feeding to have made a difference in my newborn baby), and surprise! Still low (36).  I got him to take another full ounce of the bottle and when they checked it a third time (again, immediately after he finished the feeding - all of this was within an hour of birth), it was low but coming up (41 for my nurse friends who care)!  Then they called the neonatologist (Dr. Edwards) so he could come speak to me about admitting Dylan for hypoglycemia treatment. WHAT?! My response: Good.  I want to talk to Dr. Edwards so I can speak with someone who knows how this should have been handled!  When he arrived, he reminded my that hypoglycemia was one reason why we had discussed that Dylan may need to spend some time in the NICU.  I let him know that Dylan had now taken 2 ounces of a bottle plus a breastfeeding, but that he had only finished the feeding 10 minutes before.  Dr. Edwards scratched his head, and very agreeably said we should wait another hour before checking another sugar to give the feedings time to bring up his blood sugar. THANK YOU!  So an hour later his blood sugar was in the clear (61) and we were headed to the postpartum unit.  I probably owe my L & D nurse an apology for being difficult about this, but when you mess with my baby you had better use the medical evidence to back you up!! :) :)

The next few days went by in a flash.  Ben continued to work long hours while I was in the hospital (no rest for the med student who just had a baby)! We had some ups and downs with feedings, and I had an almost breakdown about whether or not he needed a feeding tube.  I was convinced he wasn't eating well enough, and it was my nurses who convinced me that he was doing well - he hadn't lost weight, he was peeing and pooping; what more could I ask for?! Stop being the nurse and be thankful that I have a 35 weeker that is proving everyone wrong about needing to be in the NICU!  I talked with friends and family, I cried my eyes out, and eventually he started feeding a little bit better.

Noah was absolutely fascinated with "BABY!"

First bath! I requested to have his bath delayed until we arrived on the postpartum  unit.  I wanted to be sure that he had plenty of time to transition before a bath could stress him out and send him to the NICU.

So here we are at 3 am having our first bath (8 hours after he was born)!  They do not allow parents in the nursery at IU North, so I watched for a little while from the window.  I didn't know it yet, but my nurse in this picture who gave him the bath, Lise, would end up being my biggest supporter and cheerleader while I stressed over Dylan's feedings.  I will never forget the compassion she showed me or the time she spent with me because she knew I needed someone to remind me to be the mom and not the nurse.

Proud grandparents! Grandbaby #6 on the Schmith side :)

Momma and her boys - pay no mind to my ugly hospital gown :)

Proud Aunt Renee! She was amazing during this unexpected ordeal - she took care of Noah and made sure arrangements were made each day so I never even had to ask, and she cleaned my entire house!  Not just cleaned it - but redecorated Noah's room and finished putting the nursery together for us with the help of my parents!  We are so incredibly grateful for everything she did during this time - it truly means the world to us!

Dylan is Mamaw Great's 8th great-grandbaby!

Slow flow, sidelying! Some things are just engrained in your brain forever :)

The Phares clan!  When we told Kate that Dylan came out of my belly she immediately asked, "Then why are you still fat?"  Haha I love that girl :) And hopefully I won't stay 'fat' for too long! 
Aunt Liz, Bryce and Lydia met Dylan.  He was a glow worm on the bili blanket (for jaundice) that day!

Noah loves to hold his little brother.  And in the hospital he thought it was funny to take Dylan's hat off.

Barb!  Even though she has to fill in for me and manage the unit for the next 12 weeks, she still visited me AND brought me flowers!  I hope she still likes me at the end of my 12 week hiatus from work!

Great Grandma Kirkhoff meeting the little guy

He came home with us on Tuesday night, and we finally had our family under one roof again!
We're busting out of this place!

SO happy to be home!!
Notice the balloons in the background? This is the only evidence they were ever there - we got home around 8:15 on Tuesday night, and someone cut them down before morning! Rude!

Reunited :)  We missed our wild child like crazy while we were in the hospital!
Lots more pictures to come soon!! It's crazy around here but we are loving life! :) :)


  1. Welcome to this crazy world Dylan!! I can't wait to meet you!!

  2. Absolutely adore this post and all the pics. Can't wait to meet Dylan this week!