Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Gift

Well, the day of delivery came and went.  Here's our story with photos.....

At approx. 1:30 a.m. on June 18th, I got up to use the bathroom and noticed a thunderstorm brewing.  I made a joke to The Farmer, "Maybe we should name him stormy".  I had no idea what the future would hold.

By 2:30 a.m. the smoke detectors started beeping.  Our electricity went out.  We got up around 3:30 a.m. and lit a few candles.  I suggested The Farmer go to his mom's and try to call the power company.  (She still has a corded phone.)  I am only thinking about getting my last shower in before heading off for the cesarean. I waited anxiously as he left.

Upon arriving back minutes later, he said there was no need to call as he could see the truck lights down the road by the substation.  The utility crew was already at work.  Oh.....thank you God!

By 4:30 a.m., still no electricity.  Now I'm getting worried again.  I ask The Farmer to take me to the substation so we can see how much longer.  (We're supposed to be at the hospital before 6:00 a.m. and it's a 35 minute drive.  I have not yet packed and can't see in the closet without a light.)

It's starting to get daylight as we head down the road.  There are two trucks and two utility workers weathering the rain trying to get us power.  I know one of them.  I used to work with his sister.  Nice family. We pull up and I ask if there's any estimate as to how much longer.  One is on the phone and says just a few minutes.  The other comes over to the vehicle and says lightning struck the transformer and it could be a few hours.  I mention that we have to be at the hospital in an hour as I'm delivering a baby today.  He says they will try to switch us over to another line in the mean time.  I am so grateful for these men, up half the night, trying to get our power back.  I thank them profusely as we drive off.

I mention to The Farmer maybe we should call the hospital and see if there's any way I can clean up there before my procedure.  He takes me to his mother's to use the phone.  I call and they graciously say I can take a shower if we arrive early.  I then call my sister to let her know we have no power so she can let dad know, just in case it's not back on when he comes to stay with the other kids.

We head back home.  I try to pack using Ruben's little flashlight.  It's 5:00 a.m. as we're heading out the door.  Suddenly, the lights came on!  The Farmer says, "Quick, get in the shower!"  I make a scramble for it.    At 5:30, we head off to the hospital.

Upon arrival, a nurse escorted us to our room.  As she prepped the computer and monitor, we snapped a couple of photos....

Ready or we go....

At 8:14 a.m. we are blessed with a beautiful son, Levi, J.C., 9 lbs. 1 oz., 20.5 inches long.  

While I was being stitched up, The Farmer went between the baby and I.  Then the Farmer cut the cord.

I can hear him cry.  I'm sobbing with a mother's love over that prayerfully awaited cry.  Thank you God....Thank you Lord!   

Levi is bathed and cleansed.  "Then the Lord said to Moses, "Now set the Levites apart from the rest of the people of Israel and make them ceremonially clean."  Numbers 8:5-6

Approx. 45 minutes later, we are reunited in recovery.  He's beautiful!  

Unfortunately, I had a reaction to the anesthesia and wasn't able to hold him and nurse as soon as I wished.  Levi was also having low blood sugar issues.  

We arrived back in our room at approx. 10:00 a.m.  My sister and RileyAnn were there waiting.  

Big sister's in love.....

Notice the John Deere colored hat The Farmer chose for his son.  He said he thought Ruben would like it ;-)

The next day big brother and another big sister came....

The following day, Grandpa and cousins came...

Levi wasn't quite as happy as cousin Josie.  

6-21-12  Upon release, Levi had lost 10% of his birth weight so appointments were set up for a weight check the next day.  We were finally able to go home, though he wasn't thrilled about his car seat.  

Everyone was happy to be home.  

6-22-12  The next day, back we went for a weight check....

He was down to an 11% loss of birth weight.  We had to meet with a dr., who told us to supplement the breast milk with formula.  We also met with a lactation consultant and attempted to get a breast pump without success. 

6-25-12  Back to dr. for another weight check.  Levi had now lost 13% of his birth weight.  Our 9 lb. + boy, was only 7 lbs. 13 oz.  He was failing to thrive.  The dr. examined him and couldn't find anything physically wrong.  Since there was some cause for concern with his kidney during a prenatal ultrasound, we were sent for a kidney ultrasound.  

After some finagling, we also located a breast pump, but only had an hour to pick it up.  I stayed with Levi for the ultrasound and The Farmer went to get the pump.  Did I mention we were expecting this visit to be a 10 minute weight check?  We were planning to take the other kids for an ice cream treat after since they'd been so helpful.  By this point, they had been waiting in the van nearly 3 hours. 

I was exhausted, parched, and feeling like a failure of a mother.  On the verge of tears, a sweet nurse helped me get Levi to the registration area for the ultrasound.  The registration lady treated me like a 3rd class citizen at best.  We were sent back to the waiting room to wait.  These last few days felt as if that thunderstorm just kept rolling through over and over with little sleep and post natal hormones raging.  Was it ever going to end?

Shortly, I spotted an older lady coming toward me wearing an apron that said "Volunteer Services".  You know babies seem to attract everyone.  She was looking adoringly at Levi and said with a smile, "I haven't been that content in years."  She then offered me something to drink, "coffee or ice water?"  I could feel the tears starting to sting as I whispered, "water".  She returned with a large styrafoam cup full of ice water. Her kindness was like living water. 

Eventually Levi's name was called and he had his ultrasound.  When he was finished, I let the ultrasound technician lead me to an entrance where I hoped The Farmer would find me.  By this point, I felt so weak and small.  Soon thereafter, The Farmer came back for us.  He got the pump and had treated the kids to ice cream.  

6-26-12 Today was Levi's due date. He seemed to wake up and want to eat.

I needed to see the dr. I had been taking an antibiotic for an infection in my incision and since broke out in a rash on my abdomen. I called the on call dr. last night and she wanted me to come in right away, but The Farmer and I were too weary. So we put it off till this morning.

Thankfully, my incision is healing and the dr. felt I was allergic to the surgical scrub they used before the cesarean. So we picked up some hydrocortisone cream, got a few groceries and headed home. It is very apparent to me that our bodies are not made for all the synthetic products of this world.

6-27-12 Back for another weight check. Finally, Levi gained 1.5 oz!! This was his first gain since birth. We were scheduled to come back again in 2 days for another weight check, but opted to have a public health nurse come into our home instead. It's too much running and too hard to keep leaving the other kids. After breast feeding, pumping, and supplementing with formula, we are exhausted. Also. with the great weather, The Farmer needs to get his hay made.

We were so thankful to get through delivery with a live baby, we never anticipated all these struggles. At the beginning of this pregnancy, I was diagnosed with PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome), which makes it difficult to carry babies to full term. I have since learned the difficulties of breast feeding with this Syndrome as only 1/3 of women with PCOS are successful. This has been a very emotional battle for me.

We are thankful for all the kind words, thoughts and prayers of our family and friends. But, we are not out of the woods yet. Please continue to pray that Levi thrives and grows healthy and strong like his siblings. God has blessed our family and given us such a precious gift.


  1. He is precious!

    I have had supply issues with each of mine too and don't breastfeed too long. With Mason (#7) we were in the NICU because of his spina bifida and surgeries and I pumped around the clock, nursed, and survived. I'm not sure I slept. LOL! We nursed for a few weeks and in the end despite being on Reglan (prescription medication that increases breastmilk) and taking fenugreek (another galactogaug to increase milk) my body simply wouldn't make enough milk. We had already had to supplement every feeding and God finally said it was time to let nursing go. That a healthy, semi-sane mommy would be more important for Mason than a nursing mommy. ((HUGS)) It's not an easy place to be.

    Praying all goes well for you and the baby from here on out, so glad he is here!

  2. Thank you Tristan for your kind words. It's good to know I'm not alone. I am my own worst critic.

    I had been following your journey with Mason up until the last couple of weeks. He too is a precious gift :)

    Trying to focus on God's great gift,