Wow, I can’t believe it has been 7 years. I have had the privilege of being this little guy’s mom for the last 7 years! What a joy it has been. He is so funny and sweet. I am sitting here thinking back to the day he was born and how crazy it all was!
I started having contractions on the 13th. It was Monday and I wasn’t due for 4 more weeks. I remember thinking, “If these Braxton Hicks contractions keep hurting this bad I am not going to make it another 4 weeks”. I called the nurse and told her they were about 20 minutes apart and she told me that I wasn’t in labor and that it was false.They would see me in the morning at my regular non stress testing. I had been on bedrest for about 3 months because I had extremely high blood pressure and they were worried about me and the baby. I had to go for testing 3 times a week to make sure everything was going well. My next test was in the morning.
I remember not sleeping that night. I was too busy having contractions and they hurt (I have a high pain tolerance but these suckers hurt!). I also had purchased a medical grade fetal doppler device and I had used it the night before. I was a little worried about my baby when his heart beat would drop to 50 beats per minute when I would have one of these “false” contractions. I had told the nurse on the phone this and she told me not to worry about it because those “home dopplers” were not always right. I tried to tell her it was the same doppler they use in the office (my doctor offered to buy my doppler from me because it worked so well, home doppler my butt!) but she just talked over me and told me they would see me in the morning. I guess this would be a good time to tell you… If you think you are in labor and there is a problem, go to the hospital. Don’t listen to the nurse on the phone, just go. She hears the same thing from every pregnant woman and she treats everyone like they are over reacting. It might have been normal for other people, but not me.
When I got to my appointment the next morning ,they hooked me up for non stress testing. When they saw my babies heart beat was only 50 beats per minute (normal babies should be up over 120-160). They whisked me into a birthing room. They told me they had to induce me and get the baby out, he was under duress.
Poor Brad, he didn’t know what to do. I started calling my mom and in-laws, telling them we were having a baby. My mom thought she had plenty of time and barely made it there. About 2 hours into it, the heart beat was dropping too low. My blood pressure was sky-high and they didn’t want me to have a stroke. They decided I needed an emergency C-section. My mom had only been there an hour and she was a little shocked. They dressed Brad in blue scrubs and started prepping me. They gave me a spinal block and I remember feeling them start to cut into me (that was super gross). I remember the nurse and anesthesiologist talking (arguing) about my height and why the amount they had given me had not worked and that I could feel it. I said out loud, “I am here and I can hear you.” They then asked me again how tall I was and they were a little baffled as to why it wasn’t working. I told them I had always had a high tolerance to meds and that it always takes a little bit more than the normal person (I told you I had a high tolerance).
Then it was time to get this baby out. The only problem was he was so far down the birth canal he was stuck! I saw the video. The one doctor says, “Doctor I cannot get him out, I need some help”. The other doctor is pulling and pushing (I still cannot believe how crazy it all was, he was pounding on me) and he finally came out with the cord wrapped around his neck twice! His little hand was under the cord against his neck and this is what saved his life. Every time I had a contraction it would squeeze him and that is why his heart rate was dropping. My little miracle baby! All 4 lbs. 2 oz. of him. They brought him over to the side of my head and showed him to me (I could barely see him out of the corner of my eye) and they whisked him away for testing. Time to sew me up!
The baby was small but he was completely healthy. Perfect. He needed to stay in the NICU to make sure he was breathing properly and staying warm but he did not need the ventilator and he was doing just fine.
Ok, this is where it gets scary. When most normal women deliver their babies , their high blood pressure goes back to normal. Not me. My blood pressure stayed high for 3 days. They put me on Magnesium (MAG for short) for 72 hours. 72 hours of hell. I don’t know if you have ever been on MAG but it makes you feel like you want to die (the nurse from the first night came back on the 4th night and told me she was happy to see me because she wasn’t sure I was going to make it)! You are not allowed to eat or drink because your lungs can fill up with fluid and you will drowned. I couldn’t see my baby (he had no name, I can’t name a baby I have never seen) and I was so sick I couldn’t get out of bed. Finally after 2 days of not seeing my newborn, my friend Marci convinced the NICU nurse to bring him to me. I finally got to hold my sweet baby.
I remember looking him in the eyes and saying, “Hi, I’m your mom.” He was the sweetest thing I had ever seen. I had wanted to name him Cashton Richard Pennings (Cash Rich Penny- you get it?) but I took one look at him and he looked like a Teagan (Brad had picked that name out, and I did like it, but Cash was my first choice. At least until I saw him). He didn’t look like a Cash at all. Teagan was it. Finally after 2 days the poor baby had a name (they had been calling him baby Pennings because he didn’t have a name). Words cannot express how it felt to hold my baby boy for the first time. I am thankful that Brad had been taking such good care of him. He had changed his first diaper, given him his first bath, fed him his first bottle. He was and is a super dad!
I finally started to get better and by day 3 I could take short trips to the NICU. They made me stay in the hospital a full week and Teagan came home after 10 days. Once we were home we got into our new routine. The only challenge after that was breast feeding. Teagan was so small he had a hard time latching on. I was determined to make it work so we saw the lactaion nurse twice a week and it took almost 8 weeks to get him to nurse on his own. I am glad I stuck it out.
This is how small Teagan was. Those eggs are regular size plastic eggs. I love this picture
So now, 7 years later. He is not a preemie any more. He is a whopping 42 lbs (my nick name for him has always been skinny) and he is getting taller every day. He is a natural at sports (got it from his Dad) and he is so loving and sweet with Delaney. He has a tender sweet spirit and he is always considerate of other’s feelings (well most of the time he is). He loves to play practical jokes on everyone (especially me because I fall for them easily) and he is very sarcastic like Brad. It is fun to see what the future holds for my little skinny.
Happy Birthday Teagan. I love you!
Another day in my life.