Thursday, July 11, 2013

Diva Brecken

I've stated before that Brecken is kind of a diva. He likes attention and gets TICKED if you're not looking at him. He is also nuts. Put him on a bed and he will immediately crawl to the nearest pillow, stick his face in it, and start "running" with his legs to drive his face in further, all while squealing with his little raspy voice. What a weirdo. But an awesome weirdo, you know. Just so you know, we did not nurture him into diva-hood. It is part of his nature, and he has always been a diva, as evidenced by his early and dramatic entry into the world.

If you remember last summer in Missouri at all, you know that is was HOT. We are talking triple digits plus humidity for almost the entire month of July. I spent July 12, 2012, coaching volleyball in a sweltering hot gym , and when I came home I definitely needed a shower. Pregnant lady, hot gym, stress, yelling a lot, jumping around...shower.

After I got out of the shower I started to put my clothes on until I realized I was still wet. Must not have dried off well enough. I got my towel back around me for another pat-down, went to put my clothes on again, still wasn't dry enough. Was I peeing without even knowing it!? I mean, I realized that pregnant ladies sometimes had "accidents" or whatnot, but this was a little odd, considering the fact that this was a new experience three times in a row.

Weird. I sat down to Google around on my phone (because that's what all wise and mature adults do, amiright?). I knew that my water would break before giving birth, but other than that I knew virtually NOTHING about the baby delivery process except for the fact that I wanted virtually no one else in the delivery room with me except for Brad and a doctor. I was only 29.5 weeks pregnant, so I thought I'd do some research (i.e. Google around) about it in the next few weeks when volleyball had calmed down a bit before the storm of a fall season. My Google research led me to a slight panic, because that's what virtually all people do when they Google any sort of ailment. I kept my head and decided to lie down on my bed for about 30 minutes to see if anything crazy happened when I stood up (as a few websites suggested). Sure enough, I "peed" again when I stood up. Neat.

I told Brad something weird was happening, but I had a regular prenatal checkup the next morning so I thought I'd just check with her about what was happening then. I did the "lie-down-and-wait" test again. Same craziness afterward. Brad told me to call my Mom. My Mom told me to call the doctor, and the doctor told me to immediately go to Labor and Delivery. Fine, I thought, I'll go, but this is not a big deal. I must just be peeing myself...another joy of pregnancy. I was headed to the beach in three days for some fun with my family and some maternity pictures, so surely I wouldn't have to miss that...)

It was late in the evening by now, so we met my parents at the hospital so they could watch Brody for the night. I knew they were worried but didn't want to show it, and my dad tried to insist I use a wheelchair. I can be stubborn, so I absolutely refused. We walked into L&D and I'm pretty sure people were giving me the "she cray-cray" look because they could hardly tell I was pregnant. What was I doing here? They got me back to a room quickly, where the nurse--after checking me over--immediately started moving faster and calling people. Something was up.

"You are dilated to a 6 with contractions every 2 minutes. Haven't you felt contractions?"

No...What was I supposed to be feeling? I had no idea. No inkling of a clue. This kid, Brecken, was NUTS. He kicked all the time. After she mentioned contractions I realized I had felt some tightening of my belly, but I truly thought maybe he had hiccups (again).

They wheeled me outta that room and down the hall faster than you can say discombobulated. I got checked all up and down AND ALL OVER several times by several different people, and the doctor put me on some meds to slow everything down, bolster Brecken's lungs, and make me feel absolutely delirious. You can read the whole gist of the story here.

After I was on the meds and everything had slowed down quite a bit, the NICU doctor came in to tell us about every possible thing that might go wrong with our baby during or after delivery. Brain damage, lung underdevelopment, vision impairment, hearing problems, autism, and various other birth defects were high on the list. We completely understood that it is a doctor's job to tell patients about all the stuff that could go wrong, and we appreciated him for telling us every detail, even though it was a lot to take in. They did tell us he looked decently big for his gestational age, and his brain even looked pretty good, but they could never be certain. We didn't stress. We had already fought one hard battle for a child, and we were ready for another one. In fact, we were even stronger this time. So we waited and prayed, and plenty of other people prayed for us and our child (again).

Docs expected Brecken to come after the meds wore off, but he stuck it out in the womb longer than they expected. Awesome, because every day in the womb is the equivalent of three days' progress in the NICU. I think he enjoyed all of the attention, even from the womb. I must admit that--while we were thankful for the extra time in the womb for his sake--I did not enjoy being on bed rest. And the worst part: Brody's visits had to be quick due to all of the cords and wires hanging around, and I wasn't able to hold him, which absolutely broke my heart. But you do what you have to do, so Brody sacrificed some Mommy time for Brecken. He's always been a good brother.

Due to the tremendous efforts of Cox Perinatal Unit and dozens of doctors and nurses, as well as the grace of a great God who holds everything together, Brecken's birth was delayed until late on July 21, when Brad, two doctors and about a dozen nurses watched as Brecken made his dramatic arrival. He was in great shape, and today we can't get enough of his crazy little self.

People have asked if I'm nervous about this happening again if we have another biological child. I suppose I am a bit, just as we are a bit nervous about adopting again. However, now that we know I'm (probably) prone to deliver early we can take some preventative steps to keep the bun in the oven longer. That said, knowing what I now know about Diva Brecken, who likes attention and does NOT sit still for anyone or anything, I am pretty sure he just kicked a hole right through his amniotic sac,  sent me into labor and came out pretty pleased with himself.

This is us, just a week before Brecken decided he wanted out of the oven. He should have known it was hotter outside.