Mar 31, 2010

Zachary was taken to Sick Kids around 8.30pm, about the same time I was being taken to my postpartum room. Ryan and my parents went to see him, while I waited for a porter (someone to wheel me through the tunnel from one hospital to the other). I finally arrived around 9, and it was so good to see him again. He looked so peaceful in his little incubator, but it was so hard not to hold him. I did have a chance to attempt to feed him that night. A little awkward since he had to stay on his stomach and lie on a pillow, but still good to have him close to me. We stay until about 1 am, then made our way back to Mt Sinai. That in itself was an adventure since no one knew how to get us back. I was still in my hospital gown and it was freezing cold outside, but they didn't have a porter to take us through the tunnel. My whole stay (which was only until the next morning) was a little weird, so I was very glad that I was able to just check out and go be with Zachary.
His surgery was scheduled for the next morning. And at 11 am we were watching our little guy being wheeled down the hall to the OR.
The surgery took about 3 1/2 hours. We were able to see him soon after, but no one else was able to see him. My poor mother in law came just after he was taken and had to wait until he was out of recovery...almost 6 hours later. The surgery went very well. He was 7 10 at birth, but had a nice big belly. This was actually a big blessing because they didn't have to do a skin graft and had extra skin to leave on top of the incision to help with the healing.
To date he has not developed hydrocephalus, but will continue to have head ultrasounds to monitor the fluid levels.
The next day we had a small family reunion. His two big brothers were coming to visit! :)  It was so wonderful to see them again.  They both looked so grown up since I last saw them.  If felt nice to have all my boys together.
On the Tuesday, we were given our own room.  That was fantastic!! I could actually stay with him. 
He was in the hospital for 11 days.  So much happened during that time and so much of it feels like a blur.  We had originally been told he would be there for a least 2 weeks, so we were elated to bring him home early.
Life at home has been wonderful so far.  I was very blessed and spoiled to have my Mom with me. She had taken a 6 week leave of absence from work to help out.  While she did laundry and made supper, I was able to figure out life with three.  I can never thank her enough for the sacrifice she made.
Zachary is a wonderful new born. He eats well, sleeps well and is generally content.  That in itself makes life easier.
Right now we are waiting for our Apr 14th appointment to find out when he can go on his back.  Some have been surprised he hasn't yet, but neurology told us to wait until that date to re-evaluate.
He is the perfect addition to our family.

Mar 30, 2010

To begin this post, I would suggest you start with the previous one. It will help with the flow of things. :)
...It was still hard to believe this was all happening. The next few months were followed with Dr's appointments and as much research as I could find. We had decided only to tell a handfull of people. My husband and I are just private sort of people.
Each appointment we had included an ultrasound and each ultrasound gave another positive to the outcome. Of course there is only so much they can determine from an ultrasound and so much they can predict before the baby is born.
Our first appointment was with the genetics department at Mt Sinai. They gave us some great info and set up a meeting with a neurosurgeon at Sick Kids. The counsellor was going over the U/S report from Oshawa and the tech had put what the sex was. So we found out we were having a boy. We had both thought we were having a girl. Already being blessed with two boys, I did want a girl. Of course when they are here you wouldn't trade them for anything else, but to buy some pretty dresses would have been fun. :)
So to this point we knew our little boy had myelomeningocele and it was located at S1 S2 in the spine. That is a low part of the spine, which is good (well the best case sinario for our situation). And no hydrocephalus was present thus far (fluid on the brain) and his head was actually smaller than his gestation age. That in itself was remarkable. For those of you who have not met my husband, he was not blessed with a small head. :)
My OB at Mt Sinai thought everything looked good for me to have a natural delivery. That really surprised us since everything we read said C section. I was willing to have a C section, but after having two natural and very fast deliveries, it wasn't what I wanted. My husband must have asked a thousand times to make sure it was safe, and he didn't see why not.
So the months pass on and we get our induction date, February 10th @ 4pm. I would be 38 weeks at that time.
We make all our arrangements and head to the hospital. After we are checked in and hooked up to monitors, the head nurse come in to explain there is no bed. What do you mean there's no bed?! There was no bed at Sick Kids for the baby. While we can all appreciate that if a baby is born and needs care, we want them to have a bed. The troubling part of all this, was we weren't aware this could happen. So 2 hours after arriving we were heading home, with instructions to call the next day to see if there was room. This was a Wednesday and my husband was only off until Friday. Thankfully that weekend was Family Day, so he had 6 days off. But now with the change, it could mean he won't be around very long after the birth. It was a sad feeling.
So we called room.
We called Friday, and waited for them to call back. While we waited, I told Ryan I was going to tell them I wasn't feeling right...some cramping, more pressure. While I mildly had some cramping, it wasn't anything to get excited about. They called back and thanfully told us to come in. Once again we made the drive back to TO.
When we arrived they were cleaning our room, so we went to the waiting room. While there, I was having contractions. My Mom insisted on timing them and low and behold they were 2-3 minutes apart lasting for 45 sec. Yes I could feel them, but they weren't very intense.
Once in the labour room and all hooked up, the Dr came in to discuss induction options. When she checked me I was already 3 cm and so she broke my water. So no induction necessary. :)
My water was broken at 3.13pm. And little Zachary arrived at 5.20 pm. Hooray for fast deliveries!
He was whisked away to another room to be wrapped up and within the hour or so we were able to see him. Except for the big white bandage around him...he looked absolutely perfect!
We then waited for transport over to Sick Kids Hospital, where he would remain the rest of his hospital stay.

Mar 28, 2010

Our Journey Begins...

I have struggled for some time on whether I was going to blog again or not. 6 months ago our world was turned upside down. I went for a routine utlrasound in Bowmanville on Sept 29th. The tech was really nice, she was from Tennessee and had a cute little accent. After she was finished all her measurements, she turned the monitor to let me have a look at my little baby. She told me she wasn't able to see everything and was going to book me another scan. I waited in the waiting room and thought it strange that she didn't send me to the receptionist to rebook. Instead she came out a couple minutes later with a torn off piece of yellow paper, that said Oct 1 @ 1pm Oshawa Hospital. She didn't offer anymore details just that is where I would be going in a few days.
I left the hospital and called my husband. I knew something wasn't right, but of course didn't know what to prepare for. Two days later I had an appointment with my OB. He came in an did the usual pleasantries and slowly started into a conversation regarding my U/S. He told me our baby had Spina Bifida. He didn't have a whole lot of information as the tech truly couldn't see everything, but he didn't think it looked good. From his understanding the defect was high on the back and it wasn't clear if the skull had properly formed. He was so sensitive in delivering this news. My eyes filled up with tears as he informed me a baby cannot survive if the defect was how they thought. He finished the appointment doing the usual OB stuff and I left his office with this new information.
Once again I called my husband. He left work to come home and found me on the computer googling Spina Bifida. Oh isn't the internet such a great place to go for :). The rest of that time is a little bit of a blur, but the thought of the unknown and whether our baby was only being kept alive by me, was in the for front of our thoughts.
I had a long conversation with my parents and my heart broke as I could hear my Dad's voice get shaky as he prayed with me over the phone.
That night was a long one, but knowing we would find out more the next day at our second U/S made it more bearable.
Ryan and I made our way over to Oshawa Hospital and went to sign in. The lady looked at me and asked what time our appt was. I told her 1pm. She shuffled through some papers and told me my appt was actually at 10am...I was 3 hours late. I looked at her dumbfounded and informed her this was very important and the tech in Bowmanville had booked the appt. She handed me a piece of paper with a phone number to call to rebook. I left in tears.
I called Bowmanville Hospital to explain what had happened and see what they could do. They called Oshawa and tried to make me feel better and sympathize with my situation. In the end they said they could get me in on Tuesday. TUESDAY!?!?? That was 4 days away. How could I possibly wait for this type of information when I was supposed to find out today? It was terrible. We spent the next couple of hours trying to call different Dr's to see what could be done. All to no avail. We went home realizing we would just have to wait.
After we had been home for a little while, the phone rang. And although I missed the phone, I saw we had a message. While we were trying to figure something out the hospital had called saying they could get us in the next day. What a relief!
I confirmed our time at least 3 times!
We went back to the hospital on Friday and braced ourselves.
After and hour and a half ultrasound, they finally brought Ryan into the room.
The Dr came in to give us a report. She gave us news we weren't expecting. Our baby did have SB, but it was low down on the back and the head was fine. We couldn't believe it!! We went from not knowing if we had a viable baby to a baby that although had a birth defect, was otherwise very healthy. :)

I will continue again...other duties call :)