William Luke arrived just 2 days after my last post -- yes, folks, he's a Leap Day Baby! People assure me that his unusual birth date will be "just a fun quirk!", but my OCD tells me differently. ;-)
While he was scheduled to be born early at 34 weeks (due to his sister's exciting birth!), Will decided that he didn't want to be "scheduled" and arrived at 32 weeks -- 8 weeks early! Our sweet preemie boy weighed in at 5 pounds, 1 ounce and was 17 inches long. He was as healthy as a horse and only needed a little help with breathing during the first 36 hours.
Will did spend 2 weeks in the hospital's NICU because they wanted to make sure he "knew how to feed and was gaining properly". The major problem with this was that there was no way for him to learn how to breastfeed when they would only allow him to take 2-3 feedings by breast (don't want to tire him out!) for a maximum of 30 minutes. Throw in some nipple confusion from bottle feeds, irritation from a naso-gastric tube, and an exhausted mama (c-sections aren't minor surgery, despite what some people may lead you to believe!) who can't pump enough breastmilk and, VOILA! You have just created a scenario that is ripe for failure-to-thrive in an otherwise-healthy baby and some nasty postpartum depression in a mother who, in 7 previous births (including a full-term stillbirth), has NEVER previously exhibited any symptoms.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: NICUs (and hospitals, in general) are great for helping people SURVIVE, but are absolutely lousy at helping them THRIVE.
And, for those of you who care to disagree with me, you certainly have that right. But, please spare me your stories of "I have a friend who is a NICU nurse, and she says that...." or "My baby would have never learned how to eat if it weren't for the genius staff at our NICU.", That's nice. I have had plenty of personal experience with several "top-notch" NICUs over my 17 years of "childbirthin'" and they all have 3 things in common:
- They truly believe they possess more knowledge than any parent or "regular" physician out there.
- This knowledge (even when proven to be incorrect) is 100% infallible.
- They will hold onto babies MUCH longer than is necessary and use fear to undermine parents' belief in their own abilities to care for their children.
But, I will save that all for a later post. ::grumble, grumble::
This post is about Will and the increase in love and joy he brings to our family! With every baby, we marvel at how we didn't seem to be "missing" anything in our family, yet with each blessed addition our family now feels "whole" and we can't imagine life without this new person. Once again, through Will, God has given us this great gift and we feel so humbled and privileged. Despite what some people say or think, this never gets old or boring. How could it? Each person, each new life is 100% different from any that have come before or will come after him. We are adding a new chapter to our family's book and I can't wait to see what happens!
Welcome, welcome William Luke! You bless us every day with your sweet and gentle presence! How we love you so!
|My 7 beautiful babies together for the first time 10 days after Will's birth!|