When Dylan entered our hearts it was a different story. I think deep down I knew that something must have been wrong. I knew from my nursing background that unexplained IUGR usually is indicative of something. I wanted to believe that everything would be ok and that he was just going to be small. When I was in labor the setting was very different. It was just Mitch and my mom with me and it was very quiet. When I was ready to deliver I had to remind Mitch to get the camera ready. Very few pictures were taken, we never even got out the video camera because it all happened so fast. I pushed for only 20 minutes and when the doctor told me to reach down and grab our baby I saw his face and I knew. I knew it was something. He wasn't breathing or crying so the nurse took him from me and brought him over to the warmer. She gave him oxygen and suctioned him. I remember her telling me that Dylan had a hypospadius and undecended testicles. All I could ask was "why?" He still was having a hard time breathing so she took him to the nursery. Mitch went with him. My doctor was finishing up with me and told the nurse to send the placenta to pathology and call the pediatrician. The next few hours are kind of a blur. I had had an epidural and my legs were very numb. I remember my nurse telling me that she had to admit another patient and she seemed to be gone for a very long time. My mom and Mitch kept going back and forth from the nursery. I just layed on my side and cried. These were not happy tears. The pediatrician came in and told me that she wanted to transfer him to another hospital because he had a hole in his right lung and needed to be put on a ventilator so he could breathe easier. She anticipated that he would only need to stay a few days and then asked me his name. I said, "Dylan." She smiled and said, "well then I am going to call him my little Dyl Pickle" (hence the nickname). After she left, my doctor came back in and said that he would discharge me so that we could follow the ambulance an hour south to San Diego. I said o.k.
My nurse finally came back in - it seemed like it had been hours and asked me if I wanted to go to the nursery to see him before the transport team came. So I wiped my face and got in the wheelchair. I remember wanting Mitch to take lots of pictures because I was so scared that Dylan might not make it (I never told anyone at the time but that was the thought running through my head as I was wheeled down the hall). Then I saw him. He had an oxygen mask on his face and he was in the infant warmer. His color was gray and he had no tone. He did not look like a healthy baby. I remember looking at him and feeling my chest tighten up, it was hard to breathe, I had a huge lump in my throat. It was surreal. I didn't want to cry in front of the other happy dad next to us watching as his baby got the first bath. I kissed Dylan's little hands and feet and told him I loved him and then got wheeled back to my room so I could get changed and packed up. The transport team arrived and brought him into my room to say goodbye. He was intubated by now and the transport nurse told me they also noticed a sacral dimple on his back. I think I just nodded and said "oh." I was in a daze and feeling a lot of pain. My nurse came in gave me some Tylenol with codeine and had me sign the discharge papers and gave me a hug. As Mitch went to get the car all the other nurses came over and hugged me and said it will all be ok. I wanted so much to believe them, but I knew. As we drove to San Diego that night all I though about was that I wanted to go back to a week before when I was still pregnant - everything was ok then, we were happy.
After receiving the WHS diagnosis I thought that I would never be happy again. This was the most horrible syndrome that I had ever read about and I was more scared than I have ever been in my whole life. I have never cried so hard. I tried so hard to put on a happy face for Hailey but really I was dying inside.
When we brought Dylan home from the hospital a friend of mine sent me a card and she wrote, "you will smile again and you will be happy again. I see lots of smiles in your future." She was right. Dylan is two years old today! I can't believe it. I honestly wasn't sure if he was going to make it to this birthday (because of what we were initially told about WHS). Dylan is AMAZING! We all love him so much. When I cry now they are happy tears. Happy tears and lots of smiles because he is doing things that we were told he may never do. Heck, they even told us that he may never know us or recognize us! He proved that prediction wrong when he was six weeks old and looked right at us and gave us a big toothless grin. As I put him to bed tonight I gave him a big hug and kiss and layed him down(as I always do) and he smiled and squealed, then sat straight up (this is the first time he has done this in his crib) and my mom and I said, "we're going to have to lower that crib mattress." It's the little things that you really come to appreciate, most parents probably take that mattress lowering milestone for granted but I certainly don't. Today was a great day.
I want to share a few photos from Dylan's birth. I haven't shown them to anyone because it was hard for me to relive that day but maybe now it's time.
In labor, February 20, 2009.
My mom and Mitch
Dylan right after birth
Taking me to the nursery - this was the best smile I could muster up.
After he was extubated and when we learned about his cleft palate - my face was so puffy and swollen from crying.
Today, February 20, 2011 - this is the beautiful sight we woke up to. It has been cold and rainy here for the last few days but this morning the clouds opened up and gave us a beautiful day for a wonderful birthday.
Happy boy with grandma
Opening presents - he was so excited and loved everything!
Our happy family.
All the kiddos.
Happy Birthday Big Man! Everyone loves you so much! xoxoxo