Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Celebrating Noel

Five years ago, I was itchy, and uncomfortable, and felt horrible.

I'll be honest, I had no pregnant glow...in fact, when I was gearing up for my next visit, I was planning to ask the doctor when she thought we could talk about induction, even though I was only 35 weeks pregnant.

The day of my appointment, I saw the dip stick turn GREEN, and I knew something wasn't right. The doctor came back in, and told me to head to the hospital, where she hoped to see my liver serum tests turn around, and if they didn't, we'd be having a baby, for my safety...and we would worry about the baby when he arrived. Not the words you want to hear, even though I was so ready not to be pregnant. I immediately felt panicked and started to cry, not for me, but because I thought when Noel was born, he'd be whisked away to the NICU. A million thoughts raced through my head and I was nervous and scared. My wonderful doctor said she was pretty sure we'd see my numbers go down with a day of rest and some IV fluids, and I'd be sent home on Friday.

The numbers went up.

I was napping in my hospital bed, alone, when the nurse came in to tell me the news that they would start inducing me that afternoon. I felt so calm. I started making calls. First, to Elliott, who I told to come back to the hospital, then to my parents, who wanted to be there when the baby was born, but were 8 hours away. They got in the car and left within the hour.

The greatest team of people were with me for the next 26 hours. The nurse who started the Pitocin explained everything to me in detail, and had also been a NICU nurse. She was the most comforting person, and although I can't remember her name, I will never forget her. She just had this way about her that made us feel so good about everything. She kept saying that when Noel was born, she'd do everything in her power to make sure he didn't have to go to the NICU, and if he did, she'd see to it that she, personally, was his nurse.

That is the kind of patient care everyone should receive.

My doctor was off that weekend and her colleague was with me as I labored over the next 26 hours. She, too, made me feel incredibly secure in a situation where I normally would have been scared out of my mind.

My husband was a rock. He was calm and reassuring. We excitedly watched our son's heart beating on the monitor...We talked about our life together, and what our future would be like. He transformed that day from a husband into a dad.

After a long, long day of seeing family and friends and laboring, Noel was ready to make his entry into the world. Once he was ready, he quickly showed his adorable, tiny self...and he CRIED-the sound we hoped to hear from him. As the doctor showed him to us for the first time, I thought, "I can't believe he has blonde hair."

He was so tiny: only 4 lbs. 9 oz., but he was strong and healthy in every way. He never cried. He slept a lot. He ate a LOT. He loved to be held. He was an angel.

He grew, and grew, and grew...into the wise, wonderful, silly, fun, crazy, goofy, cool FIVE year old that we celebrate today.

Noel, YOU are simply a gem. Thank you for being you.


Darcy said...

awwww...this post makes me teary-eyed. Thanks for sharing.

Aaron & Diane Mitschke said...

So sweet! Happy Birthday, Noel! We miss you!

fat chick on the run said...

So beautiful...I know what you went through and it now seems a million years ago, all the pain and sadness we felt is now filled with happiness and jumping and singing and mess.

Jennifer said...

Such a sweet tribute to your son. I love it!