We’re back home, a little sad to leave the bubble of Prentice Hospital. All we had to do there was ogle our new baby and order room service. Marriott provides the catering for Prentice, and there is literally a room service menu in the room that has more selections on it than many hotels I’ve stayed in. My favorite was the broiled tilapia and brown rice with garbanzo beans & raisins. Can you believe it?
Dave was such a brave guy about the whole labor and delivery thing. Let’s face it, there are some real Gwar moments throughout the process. But his moment of reckoning came when the doctor returned Will from his circumcision. They started to remove the gauze and he just turned white. White as a sheet, then ended up on the bed on all fours trying to regain his composure. The nurses all said that most new fathers have a moment like that somewhere along the way, so that was his.
My moment of terror came when Will came out and we realized he had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck not once but twice. In addition, there were 2 knots in the 4 foot long cord (the longest the doctor said she had ever seen). Each contraction in the final stages of labor had choked him over and over, dropping his heart rate from 145 beats per minute down to a heart wrenching 60. As soon as he was pulled away from my body, the nurses went to work. Suctioning his lungs, massaging him, getting him to move. His little blue body quickly turned pink and we all exhaled for the first time once we heard that gift of a scream. Oh thank God. There’s a picture that Sarah caught of me with my hands over my face. That was the moment we heard him yell out. Thank God he screamed, turned pink, and was given back to me. I knew he would be OK, but you don’t picture the birth of your baby starting off by watching a little blue limp body being worked over.
But that wasn’t all of it. Will’s blood sugar was just not picking up like it should. He couldn’t push past around 37 and they considered anything under 55 critically low. If I didn’t push breast milk and get him to nurse a LOT he would have to go to NICU. But we did it and his levels swung up enough to avoid going to intensive care. Over the next several hours he and I worked together to get lots of good colostrum into his tummy, but he had to endure a heel stick and blood test every 3 hours until they saw that his levels were stable.
Saturday by noon we were all loaded up in the Subaru as Dave drove us home more carefully than I think he’s ever driven in his life. I noticed that the speed limit was a constant all the way back, every turn signal, every lane change made like he had a full glass of water on the dashboard and was trying not to spill a drop.
Ally, Brittany and Rob drove up from Peoria to see the new nephew and deliver some good home cooking. The girls made their mom’s mac & cheese and her chocolate chip cookies. A very sweet gesture that made Melissa even a little more part of all of this. Dave and I have had a couple of moments where we both know we’re thinking the same thing. Will’s grandmother is close by even if she isn’t here in body. We know she would have been in the middle of it all, no army could have kept her away from meeting her grandson. There’s no doubt who Will’s guardian angel is.
Stephanie and Sophie came by for dinner and we all just relaxed with the new baby, staring at his eyes, his thick dark hair, his incredibly soft little feet, and how tiny his the little bones in his fingers must be.
Tonight Dave and I were looking at him and both gasped at the same time when we saw them…the trademark Piper dimples. He got ’em! He smiled in his sleep and there they were, two little shadows puckered inward. Yay! I was hoping he’d get those. All of Dave’s siblings have them. It’s official, he’s the cutest baby boy in Chicago.