Thursday, April 17, 2008

An Abundance of Baby-Related Blessings

Our son was born at 8:50am on Sunday, April 6th, 2008.

The local hospital (Sacred Heart Medical Center, for those wondering about the initials SHMC on the linens in the photos below) was our home away from home until Wednesday at 1:30pm.

During our stay at the hospital God provided for us in many miraculous ways, which I am pleased to share in thanksgiving and to give God glory.

The surgeon that performed the C-section was very skilled. My wife was and is healing unusually rapidly and with much less pain, discomfort, and bleeding than is typical. After four days she had normally stopped taking her more severe pain medication and was only taking ibuprofen, and was out in the sunshine in our back yard. After nine nights she was able to sleep on her stomach: a comfort something she had been missing out on for several months! Now she is moving about normally and disgruntled that by her doctor's orders she must wait five weeks before swing dancing again.

There's a bit of race between a new baby's metabolism starting up and the mother's milk production starting up; when our son was quick to develop his hunger the hospital was able to provide donor breast milk to feed him all he could eat on that first Tuesday and Wednesday, until my wife was producing enough milk herself. This would normally only be available to babies in intensive care, but the hospital had some it felt it could spare.

My wife is so sensitive to gluten that crumbs too small to see can cause a reaction. (We need to rinse off our groceries before putting them in the pantry, and I usually change clothes when I get home.) We expected her to have a gluten reaction in the hospital since so many people would be in and out of her room, and hospital staff is trained to use gel to sanitize hands rather than washing with soap and water to remove crumbs. This would have been very bad: gluten attacks shut down her metabolism enough it doubles how long she takes to recover from illnesses and probably would have also interfered with her milk coming in. But the hospital was able to give us our own room (most "mom and baby" rooms are doubles) and everyone was so dutiful about washing hands that no gluten attack happened.

None of these things could have been requested, let alone expected.

Less dramatic, but also a blessing, was an explanation for why our son remained in breech position despite all our efforts to turn him, and despite his feeling so loose in the womb. My wife and I were not comfortable with a c-section just because of a breech position, for the more common "Frank breech" is effectively as safe to deliver by labor as a normal head-down baby (according to numerous PubMed articles my wife read). But then a c-section was certainly required when the water broke before real contractions began, and it turned out the baby was in the rarer "footling breech" position which is definitely not safe to deliver by labor. So there are no remaining doubts about if surgery was the right choice. We even know that the breech position was not due to womb shape.

Finally, I must be thankful that I didn't faint during the circumcision. I do not do well with seeing blood. I had no worries about the operation since I had talked about the ceremony with God and had not been given any warnings. But even without worries, watching it carefully made me sweat profusely and sway enough I needed to kneel to avoid falling. Our pediatrician is a wonderful person and doctor, and deserves our thanks as well.

1 comment:

Shamus said...