Daniel James was born on February 1st at 5:47 A.M. He was 23 inches long, and he weighed 12 lbs, 6 ounces.
Yes, you read that right.
I have quite a traumatic birth story to share, but I don’t really feel up to it right now. To give you an idea, I labored for 18 hours, pushed for 1 1/2 hours, and still had to have a cesarean. Daniel was so big that the doctor had some difficulty removing him, and everyone agreed that there was absolutely no way I could have delivered him vaginally. I was so worn out and in such severe pain that I really don’t remember much of the c-section, except I could hear the doctor and nurses taking guesses as to how big Daniel would be (most thought around 10 lbs). When the doctor lifted him up, I heard many exclamations of “Oh my God!” and someone said, “Look at the size of his head!” Then I passed out from sheer exhaustion.
As it turns out, big babies sometimes have just as much trouble transitioning from life in the uterus as small babies do, so Daniel is currently in the NICU, and will most likely remain there for at least the next two days. He’s having respiratory distress, and some difficulty keeping his blood oxygen level up, so he’s been in an oxygen tent.
He also has a slightly enlarged heart, so a heart echo was done. We’re still waiting for the results. However, he was placed on nasal oxygen this morning, and has been doing better today. The doctors seem truly baffled by his size, since I didn’t have gestational diabetes, and I only gained a total of 26 pounds (I’m already 20 lbs lighter!) I don’t have a history of big babies, and there seems to be no plausible explanation for our “chunky monkey,” as we’ve been referring to him. People keep saying things like, “How did YOU manage to carry that baby?” My answer is, “I didn’t manage it very well!”
I spent most of yesterday in tears, but I’m doing better today. I have quite a lot of pain, and I’m sad that I’m separated from my baby. We’re also facing a huge medical bill now because, as most of you know, we’re self-employed and pay 100% of our insurance costs. Catastrophic insurance is all we can afford, so we’re looking at a minimum of $15,000 out of pocket. Fortunately, the hospital is willing to set up a payment plan for us.
I’ve been grieving the loss of the peaceful, joyful birth experience we hoped for, because the reality couldn’t have been farther from what we had planned. Despite everything, we’re very thankful that both Daniel and I came through this experience safely. The doctors said that if this had happened 100 years ago, we would both be dead. We have much to be grateful for, and we thank God for giving both Kathy and the doctors the wisdom to help us make the right decisions.
I’ll post again when both Daniel and I are able to go home. I’m not sure when that will be, because I have extremely low hemoglobin, and they mentioned this morning that I may need to have a blood transfusion, especially if I start to feel lightheaded, nauseous, or dizzy.
Thanks so much for your prayers and well wishes. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.