Monday, March 21, 2011

Landon Has Arrived!

Landon Wyatt's Birth Story

Landon Wyatt Franks arrived at 8:52 am on Thursday, March 17th, St. Patrick's Day!  It was a memorable experience and definitely one I will never forget.  The c-section was an experience within itself.  We woke up at 5:45 in the morning to begin our day.  Surprisingly, I slept very well the night before which I had not anticipated.  I had a plan for myself the day before....  Step 1: We would eat as late as possible since I could not eat after midnight and would likely not be eating for many hours after the surgery.  Little did I know it would actually be almost 24 hours before I would eat again!  Step 2:  As soon as I felt sleepy, I would hit the sack to be certain I would go straight to sleep, therefore derailing the train of irrational thoughts that I feared would take over that night.  Apparently, my plan worked well!  I felt great in the morning.

As we left the house, the nerves kicked in full force.  We only live about 10-15 minutes from the hospital and that trip seemed to be much faster than it had previously been for all those trips to my monitoring sessions.  We had received a gift the previous weekend at my surprise baby shower thrown by my very good friend, Natalie.  The gift was several St. Patrick's Day t-shirts for me, Patrick, my mom, Merrick, and even a little onesie for Landon.  What a great idea to bring some fun to the very anxious event.  The nurses were amused and thought it was a great idea since they, too, were decorated for the big day.  We headed to the preparation room and began the process to prepare for the surgery.  I'll spare the details, but will say that it was so very different than the experience of a natural delivery.  It felt very clinical and unnatural.  Some people say they love the idea of a c-section rather than natural, but I have to say that I was not totally sold on this procedure.  Having experience both now, I would take the natural any day!  And that's saying a lot considering how long it took me to deliver Merrick.  However, in the end, it was the absolute best decision for Landon and I'm 100% at peace with our decision.  As I laid on the table, after receiving the spinal block, I felt nauseous and thought I might hurl.  The anesthesiologist said this was normal and it would pass soon - sure enough as soon as Patrick came in to that very cold room, sat beside me, and grabbed my hand, I suddenly felt completely normal again.  At this point, however,  I began to feel the flood of butterflies in my tummy because I would soon learn the accuracy of the doctors' predictions about Landon's size, weight, and ability to thrive.

When my dr. finally got in there (that is the best way I can describe it, unfortunately), she suddenly stopped her conversation about music, American Idol, and whatever other random topics were being discussed between her partner, nurses, and the NICU team and said very loudly, "Oh my God!  Look at that cord!"  OK, now this is an interesting thing to do to a nosy woman like myself who really just wanted to rip down the curtain and check it out immediately.  She began to talk about how long it was and how coiled it was.  You will see from the pictures I posted that the cord actually looked like a telephone cord (for those of you who can actually remember what a phone cord looks like).  I'm still uncertain how normal this is, but she was mostly shocked by its length and did tell me the following day, that it was the longest cord she has ever seen.  Though we are still testing everything, she wonders if this might have been part of the problem with Landon in the womb (too long to get nutrients to him or maybe it was so long he was tangled at some point).  We will know more after all testing is complete, though.

As she pulls him out, he goes directly to the NICU team to begin assessing him in the room.  Patrick, poor guy, kept moving back and forth between me and Landon.  I'm not sure if he knew where he should be, but as the wonderful man that he is... tried to be at both places at once.  I was able to watch them clean him up, cut the cord, assess his viability.  I continuously called out to Patrick amidst my tears asking, "How much does he weigh?" until they finally laid him on the scale - 4 lbs. and 1.6 oz.  I cried even more because this was the weight I had guessed AND the minimum weight I wanted him to be if he was going to be this small.  My next question was how well had he measured on his Apgar score.  This scale measures his skin color, pulse, reflex, muscle tone, and breathing and ranges from 0-10.  Landon scored between an 8-9!  This was even more beautiful news to my ears.  My dr. was excited, as well.  I mean, in the end, she had also been on this journey with our family and was so happy to hear his weight and was thoroughly impressed with the outcome.

I only got to see Landon for about 30 seconds before they whisked him away to the NICU unit to begin assessing him further.  I had no idea it would be more than 24 hours before I would get to see him again. Patrick traveled with him and I was left alone in the room to wrap up the surgery.  I was then wheeled into the recovery room and waited for about 2 hours before being admitted into a room.  Again, it was an experience I will never forget!  Our child was truly a miracle and he was here and with us.  Initial signs all pointing in a very positive direction and we couldn't have been happier.

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