Halfway to First

A little while back, our sweet boy turned 6 months old! I'm not sure where time is going. The cake decorator in me couldn't resist marking the occasion with cake. Don't worry, he did not actually eat the cake. Clearly his mother's child, though, he did lunge and try (unsuccessfully) to grab some icing. It might seem a little silly, but it was a fun way to celebrate how well our son is doing.

Our pregnancy started pretty uneventful, I did not suffer from any morning sickness and had very few symptoms. Our appointments all went well and we anxiously anticipated finding out the gender at our anatomy scan. The day of the scan we arrived at the office full of anticipation! As the ultrasound tech began, I could sense something was off. She began going over measurements multiple times and not talking to us. I could see some percentiles and information on the screen and when I asked questions she quickly said we would have to wait to talk to the doctor. I was getting more paranoid by the minute. Somewhere in all of that, she mentioned we were having a boy. I was shocked as I was thoroughly convinced we were having a girl!

The doctor finally saw us, and we found out our son was measuring in the 14th percentile. They were not too concerned, but set up some tests to rule out genetic disorders. We had a momentary break in worry as the results came back and showed no issues. The doctor wanted us to go ahead and come back for a follow up ultrasound. That's when things got a bit scarier...

At 24 weeks, we had our follow-up ultrasound. This time it was even more evident the ultrasound tech was concerned. They did not have us even leave the room, but had the doctor come talk to us. The baby had dropped to the 4th percentile! My heart sank as the doctor started discussing appointments at a specialist and steroid shots in case the baby was coming soon.

For the next 13 weeks, our lives revolved around research, multiple weekly appointments, and lots of tears and prayers. Somewhere along the way I was diagnosed with IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction). I was overcome with fear each time we went in for measurements. We held our breath at each weekly doppler hoping to see good results and be told we could wait another week before induction. At any point if the growth did not meet a certain threshold, the baby would need to be delivered. We just squeaked by each time. Nothing was as nerve-wracking as laying there while they pulled measurements, praying our son was still alive and well.

Finally we had made it to 36 weeks and had our final growth scan. Since he was still <5th percentile, all the doctors were in agreement to induce right at 37 weeks. The doctors still had concerns about possible issues including still birth and skeletal dysplasia. While any mother is anxious to meet their child, I had an extra layer of anxiety just wanting to know that he would be ok!

The night before 37 weeks, we made our way to the hospital filled with a slew of emotions. They prepped me for induction. I had no clue what to expect and suddenly couldn't remember anything from our birthing classes! After a sleepless night, our journey toward my son's birth began...

Fast forward to late afternoon and nothing was happening...no contractions, no progress. They maxed out the medicine they could give and had to back off once there was a worrisome change in the baby's heart rate. We were now faced with a decision of trying this again, or doing a c-section. After lots of discussion, we decided to go for a c-section.

The next little bit was a flurry of excitement as I was whisked into a stark, bright room surrounded by a flurry of excitement and medical staff running around. My husband was finally allowed in the room and the procedure began. Before I knew it, we were greeted by the first cry of our little guy! All I wanted was to see and hold him, but a team of people surrounded him as they began to run some tests. Before I even had a chance to see him, he was whisked off to the NICU for breathing issues. Later that evening, he was able to come in our room only to end up back in the NICU the next day for weight and blood pressure issues.

Eight long, emotional days later we finally left the hospital. The next month or so was filled with sleepless nights, countless weight checks, and struggles as the doctor said our son was falling into the dreaded "failure to thrive". Thankfully after a lot of trial and error with feeding, persistence, and prayer - our son began to take off!

Now are guy has chubby cheeks and a strong personality. He loves music, his exersaucer, books, his paci, bath time, and his new sunglasses. He is hitting milestones and getting stronger every day! Our guy has been our joy as we reel over the recent loss of my mother, and we are thankful for him every day!

If this past year dealing with a difficult pregnancy, scary first couple months, and loss of my mom has taught me anything, it is to be grateful and cherish our friends and family. Even when it is incredibly difficult, I am trying to find joy in life and live in the moment...even a 6 month birthday milestone. 

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