Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It Would Have Been Today

I am so sorry it has taken me so long to provide an update.  I feel like I really left everyone hanging with  my last post (which was a month ago!!!).  I kept thinking I was going to get through writing Ian's birth story, and that would be my next post.  But that is a LONG story, and I have come to realize that it is going to take awhile to get that down on paper, as I now am learning to type with one hand while I hold my baby in the other (and the bottle with my chin).  So...here is a very quick update...and I promise that the birth story will come someday.

First, today is the day that we expected Ian to be born.  It would have been today because today was our scheduled induction.  But 5 weeks ago, Ian decided he was finished waiting after 33 weeks in the womb.  His impatience with getting out was just a preview of what was to come.  We call Ian "Grumplestiltskin" as a nickname, as he is constantly groaning, moaning and making grumpy faces.  It's really hilarious and, although I still feel guilty sometimes for laughing at how grumpy he is, I can't help but enjoy how surly our little angel-faced boy is. He has his sweet moments too, but by and large, his time is spent complaining in baby language.

As you have probably guessed, he is home with us now.  In fact, he came home 3 days after my last post.  The doctors had told me that day (December 12th) that Ian couldn't come home until he ate for 48 hours straight, without the need for a feeding tube.  After my meltdown (which I shared with all of you), it was like a light went off in my head.  He was doing so good eating when I was there feeding him...and then I would come back to the NICU in the morning, only to find that he had a feeding tube in...again.  It dawned on me that no one was ever going to take care of my baby as well as I would.  So, for two whole days and nights, I stayed at the hospital...except for a three hour nap I took once each day (when The Prince took over our "NICU" watch).  Between the two of us, for two days and nights we gave Ian every bottle feeding and...guess what...he didn't need a feeding tube even once.

It isn't really fair to make the assumption I'm making, but I can't help it.  I think the nurses in the NICU are very busy, and they might not have wanted to spend the whole 30 minutes Ian was allowed to complete his feedings when they could just put in a feeding tube and do the other things they had to get done.  I'm not judging them for that (or at least trying not to), but The Prince and I just had a motivation and a singular focus that the nurses didn't have.  Regardless, I am just so glad that our NICU experience was only a couple of weeks long.  I don't know how much more of the frustration of not having him home I could have taken.

At any rate, Ian came home on December 15th.  Within two days, my baby blues were gone.  I still cry when I'm really happy sometimes (okay...lots of times).  But there is no wailing.  No choked breath.  No bargaining with God.  My baby is finally home, in my arms, and I am truly overflowing with joy.  I welcome the sleep deprivation (no crap...I really enjoy it because it is validation that I am FINALLY a mommy) and The Prince and I have never been happier or more in love.  Motherhood is everything I ever dreamed it would be, and more, and I just know that nothing is ever going to be the same for me (Yeah...straight past Positive Polly and directly on to Positive Pollyanna).  I can honestly say, without hesitation, it was worth the wait and all of the IF trials that we went through to get to this spot.  My prayer now is that every single one of the IF ladies I know gets to have this experience.  This is just a joy that should never be denied to someone who wants a child.

Ian's only real health problem is that he has reflux disease.  Many babies get reflux, but Ian's is more severe as his stomach acid quickly eroded his esophagus and gave him a sort of baby ulcer.  He is on medicine for it now, but the pain and discomfort he gets from the stomach acid coming up is part of why he grumbles and moans so much.  You can tell when his groans are "pain" groans versus "I'm a grumpy baby" groans (just in case anyone was worried that we were laughing at his pain).  It is hard to watch him go through the pain but there is really nothing we can do other than give him the medicine, hold him upright through all feedings and for one hour after feedings, and prop him up during his naps.  The Prince and I are always covered in throw-up, as Ian spits up (and projectile vomits) at least 10 times after every feeding.  I don't even bother to wash the spit-up off anymore.  I can tell I stink like sour milk, but Ian loves me anyways and that's what counts.  We'll find out in May if Ian has any serious developmental delays as a result of his prematurity, but his pediatrician is really pleased with how strong and interactive Ian is...so we are hopeful that there won't be any major setbacks.

I also wanted to send a separate message to those women out there who are currently doing egg donor cycles, are considering using an egg donor, or are pregnant with a baby conceived via egg donor.  I spent a long time worrying about how I would feel about my baby's lack of genetic connection to me.  Would it bother me that he might not look like me?  Would I feel any weird disconnect emotionally?  Would I think about the egg donor when I looked at him?  The answer to all of those questions, at least for me, is unequivocally NO WAY!!!  I connected with Ian when he was still inside, but when I gave birth to him...it was a feeling I can't describe.  I talk about the egg donor with ease when the issue comes up with healthcare providers, etc.  And talking about it doesn't make me feel one iota less connected to Ian.  He is my baby all the way.  In fact, even people who know we used an egg donor think he looks like me.  The Prince and I look at pictures of The Prince as a baby and the egg donor and...Ian looks more like me than either of them (though he does have his daddy's jaw line).  And even if Ian looked (or ends up looking) nothing like me...I could care less.  He's beautiful and perfect and mine...all mine (I hope that isn't triggering mental images of a female Golum hovering over a baby, stroking the baby and whispering "My precious").  The "egg donor issue" is really a non-issue once your baby is born.  I couldn't possibly love him more...so I know using an egg donor didn't effect my love for him.  I hope that observation from someone living the experience can put other women's minds at ease.

Okay...Grumplestiltskin is telling me that my allotted time for typing with both hands is up.  I can't wait to catch-up on everyone else's blogs soon and, again, I promise there's a birth story post coming.

9 comments:

beccasfamilyof5 said...

He is a beautiful little boy and he is yours, you are going to be his mother life however it came about! Good to see him looking so well on what should have been his birthday. Good to see you writing again too.

China Doll said...

I'm so pleased to hear from you and to hear that all is well (reflux and ulcer aside, poor boy). I was getting worried about you! Great, great post :) xx

Charlotte said...

I am so glad to read this and hearing about your joy with your son. You are such a wonderful mother!

ks said...

Oh man he is CUTE! I'm so happy that the PPD passed, it is tough, all the emotions that flood you after delivery! Congrats on getting him home and falling into your new normal so well!

amiracle4us said...

I am so happy things are working out!!! He is adorable :)

Jem said...

What a handsome boy! I'm glad you got all "mammy bear" and took charge of this 48 hours of feeding situation at the NICU. Of course you are the best person/people to take care of Ian.

Thanks for sharing your perspective on donor eggs. We used donor sperm and I'm still a little afraid that Mr. Jem will not feel the same way about our baby than if it were genetically his, too. He keeps telling me it won't be the case, but...

Anonymous said...

Seeing your update today made me cry, and I had only seen the picture at that point. I'm so happy to see that your baby blues passed quickly and that you have bonded so well with Ian. And big hugs and a high five for taking charge in the NICU, I bet the nurses and doctors were happy to see you fight so fierceful for your little man. Can't wait to read your birth story

Ciccolata said...

I am so happy for you! Like your other readers, I wanted so badly to hear how things were going, but I certainly understood that your life has changed so much in the past month. Sorry to hear about the reflux. One of my friends' son has GERD, so she can totally relate to what you're experiencing. Her son is two now and is doing well. Ian is gorgeous and as I look at the picture, I can see how he looks like you. There just might be something to this whole epigenetics thing after all!

Christina said...

What a handsome little man!! I completely understand the delay in posting once the LO arrives!

Hope everything continues to go well! So glad he is home and that your thoughts regarding him being not being "yours" are unfounded and untrue!! He is all yours (and the Prince's) now and forever!