Category Archives: Porter

Pyloric Stenosis: Vomit & Mommy Freak Out

Warning: this post is long!

As many of you know, when Porter was 15 days old he had surgery for Pyloric Stenosis. While the name sounds scarier and more serious than it actually is, it was still absolutely terrifying to have my 15 day year old infant go through such an ordeal, especially one that required surgery!

First off, what is Pyloric Stenosis? Basically for whatever reason, when a baby has Pyloric Stenosis his/her pylorus muscle thickens and prevents food from entering the small intestine from the stomach. This causes severe projectile vomiting (because the food cannot be passed.) Symptoms usually appear between 3-8 weeks and it is most common in first born males. David had Pyloric Stenosis as an infant (when he was around 3 weeks old) and it is thought to be at least somewhat hereditary.

It all started at 4 a.m. on Friday, January 11 when Porter was exactly two weeks old. I had just finished feeding him and began to burp him when he very forcefully projectile vomited (what looked to be) the entire feeding. I’m glad David was awake and helping me, because I’m not sure he would have believed me if I would have tried to tell him what the experience was like later. This is not just “baby spit up.” The amount of vomit and urgency of when it was vomited scared me and made me jump. However, we didn’t think too much about it and just assumed it was more spit up than usual. After cleaning up and changing, we all went back to bed.

When I fed Porter again a few hours later, he projectile vomited again. David had already left for work, but even at this point, I still wasn’t too alarmed. It worried me a tad, but as a new parent whose only parenting experience was what had occurred in the previous 14 days, I assumed that sometimes babies just spit up quite a bit.

Our morning continued and I was preparing for my good friend Rachel to come over to see the lil guy. I showered and fed him about an hour before she was due to arrive. Almost immediately after eating he vomited again, though it wasn’t quite as much as earlier. I started to worry a bit and the wheels in my head started to turn, but I wasn’t in “freak out” mode yet. In fact, when Rachel arrived, I even mentioned his throwing up, though it still wasn’t something I was majorly concerned about.

At his next feeding, he kept all the food down, so I assumed that whatever had been bothering him (if anything) had passed. I felt relieved and went on with my day; however, when I fed him around 4 p.m., he vomited, and the mommy in me began to think that something might be wrong. It was Friday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. and I decided to call the pediatrician. I knew they would be closing soon, so I didn’t hesitate any longer. When I called, I apologized for acting like a paranoid new mom and then told the nurse what was happening. She asked me a few questions (Is it after every feeding? Does he seem generally happy? Is he crying constantly?) and she decided that he was probably a “happy spitter” or that he might have reflux and to just keep my eye on it. Since she wasn’t worried about it, I decided not to worry about it, despite the fact that the vomit was projectile and it was in large amounts. It occurred to me that I should maybe mention that David had Pyloric Stenosis as an infant, but she seemed so confident that I had nothing to worry about that I didn’t even mention it.

The evening continued and he kept his “dinner time” feeding down. David got home around 8:30 p.m. and I was just preparing to feed Porter again. I told David about what had happened that day and relayed what the nurse had told me. Sure enough, Porter vomited again after that feeding, and it was at that point that David and I looked at each other and mentioned the possibility of him having Pyloric Stensois. We immediately got online (because Google is the answer to everything, right?) and started reading about Pyloric Stenosis and I was convinced that Porter had it. We knew our pediatric office was open on Saturdays, so we decided to see how the rest of the evening went and that we’d call in the morning if it was still happening and we were still worried.

I fed Porter again around 11:00 p.m. and as we expected, he vomited again. At this point we decided to call the pediatrician on call and he told us to try feeding him smaller amounts and more often until we could come into the office the next morning. I barely slept a wink that night.

We went to the office around 9 a.m., and Dr. Miller evaluated Porter and felt his tummy as well as weighed him. Sometimes with Pyloric Stenosis the enlarged pylorus muscle can be felt from the outside, but Dr. Miller didn’t feel anything. Porter had lost weight (which wasn’t surprising) and given David’s history, Dr. Miller sent us to the hospital to get an ultrasound. The first available ultrasound was at 11:00 a.m, and it was about 10:15 at this time, so we decided to head to the hospital instead of going home for the very short amount of time. The ultrasound lasted quite awhile (at least an hour), and we fed Porter a few rounds of sugar water while the technician watched to see if the sugar water was being passed through into the intestine. While some of the sugar water passed, it wasn’t as much as she hoped to see. She sent us out into the waiting room while the doctors interpreted the ultrasound. We were told that our pediatrician would call the waiting room to speak to us as soon as they made a decision. Thankfully Porter peacefully slept in his car seat as we waited to hear the results. I have to admit that I shed some tears in the waiting room. I knew that if he did have PS that it was fixable with surgery, but that didn’t mean that it would make the news any easier to hear. At this point I was also developing a migraine. Around 1:00 p.m., the doctor called and said he did indeed have PS and that they would be admitting him. We were told to stay in the waiting room and that someone from pediatrics would come get us when a room was ready. We waited for another hour to hour and a half and finally a nurse came to get us to bring us to his room.

Once we got to the room, we had to wait some more. We had no idea when the surgery would actually be and had to wait for Dr. Thomas–the surgeon on call–to arrive. They hooked Porter up to an IV (he needed fluids since he wasn’t allowed to eat and wouldn’t be able to for quite some time) and we basically just waited. We stood on opposite sides of his bed and held his tiny little hands. I was definitely a wreck at this point and couldn’t stop crying. Finally the doctor on call showed up and they scheduled the surgery for about an hour later. I continued to stand next to his bed and hold his hands (and continued to cry.) Occasionally, the nurses came in to check on him and each assured me that he would be fine. One of the surgical nurses who was going to be in on the surgery even came in and told me that they would take good care of him. None of their words made me feel better. My poor, tiny, 15 DAY old baby was going to have abdominal surgery and have to be put under anesthesia. Not to mention, he was probably STARVING because he hadn’t eaten since that morning. I knew that there was nothing I could do, but I felt absolutely awful and felt so badly for Porter. I kept sobbing and telling David that Porter was probably feeling really scared. I couldn’t handle it.

When they were ready for surgery, they came in with a wheelchair so that I could hold him while they took him down to surgery. He needed to stay hooked up to his IV (which was on a wheely thing) so a wheelchair was necessary. I was 100% sure that this was not normal protocol and that they were just doing this for my sake (David confirmed this later). I cried the whole way down to surgery and when they took him from my arms, I was convinced I’d never see him alive again. Even though I took extra strength Tylenol earlier in the afternoon, my migraine at this point was probably one of the worst I’d ever felt; however, it didn’t compare to the pain of my heart breaking (may sound dramatic, I know, but it’s truly how I felt.)

We were sent to the waiting room and about 45 minutes later the anesthesiologist came out and told us that the surgery had gone well. This was the same anesthesiologist who did my epidural for my delivery. This was the second time he had “saved” us, and I feel like we owe him so much. He wasn’t even on call to work that day, but David’s mom called him and he came in on his day off just for Porter’s surgery. He told us Dr. Thomas would be out shortly to see us. Sure enough, Dr. Thomas came to see us about twenty minutes later and told us that Porter was awake and doing well (Of course, this sent me into crying mode again.) He told us they would come get us when we could go back to the room. We waited for another hour and then a nurse came to get us and we went back to Porter’s recovery room.

When we got to the room, Porter was sitting in a bouncy chair and while he seemed sleepy, he was awake. He was still hooked up to an IV and the nurses carefully took him out of the seat and let me hold him for awhile. Something was wrong with the IV in his hand, so they took him away to re-do the IV. Apparently they had difficulty getting it back in his hand, and when they brought him back, the IV was coming out of his head. According to the nurses, our tough little guy didn’t even cry when they took out his old IV and put in his new one.

The surgeon came to see us again a bit later and told us that we should be able to go home the following evening (Sunday) if all went well. He put us on a strict feeding schedule and said that Porter could not eat for 6 hours (not until around 12:30 a.m. if I remember correctly). After that, we could feed him every 2 hours, starting with a very small amount (15CCs) of sugar water and eventually moving to diluted breast milk and full strength breast milk. He needed to keep down 7 feedings before we could go home (which is why the surgeon predicted Sunday evening for our discharge.) He warned us that sometimes babies continue to spit up for awhile after the surgery. We hoped this didn’t happen. At this point Porter was starving hungry and was extremely fussy. We had to hold him and give in and let him have a pacifier for the first time to keep him somewhat appeased. This went on for several hours.

Below is a picture of David holding Porter after he got out of surgery. All of the pictures were taken with our cell phones, so I apologize for the poor quality.

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We attempted to get a few hours of sleep before his first feeding (though that didn’t happen) and when it was time to try to give him his first feeding, he didn’t keep it down. Not only did he spit up, but his spit up had remnants of dried blood, which was worrisome to us, even though the nurses said it was probably just blood from the surgery. We were told to continue with the feeding regiment and to try again in 2 hours. Two hours later, we tried again, and he spit up again (and the spit up was still bloody). The nurses called the surgeon and he wanted us to wait four more hours before trying again and starting the regiment over. Since we had 4 hours, we tried to get a little bit of sleep, but this is nearly impossible on the fold out chairs provided in the hospital (not to mention we were still worried, as well.) This cycle continued a few more times and each time we were told to wait and/or start the regiment over. It was pretty early on Sunday morning that we realized our predicted discharge was not going to happen. We were going to have to spend at least another night in the hospital, since Porter had yet to keep a single feeding down, let alone 7.

It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon that Porter started keeping feedings down. I felt terrible, though, because it was obvious that he was hungry. He sucked down the first few feedings so fast, and I highly doubt they were satisfying. I mean, how satisfying can sugar water be after that long without eating? Not to mention, we could only feed him such a small amount. Later in the evening we started giving him larger amounts of diluted breast milk and finally full strength breast milk. At 12:00 a.m. on Monday morning, I was allowed to breastfeed for the first time, but he had gotten so use to taking a bottle that he didn’t want anything to do with me. This was hard for me, but I knew he had to get food somehow, so for the next two feedings we bottle fed him. Finally later on Monday morning (I think it was 7:00ish) he breastfed for the first time since this whole debacle began. Since he seemed to be keeping the feedings down, it was looking like we’d get to get to go home that day! Though he looks grumpy in the picture below, he was much happier once he was keeping some food in his belly.

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When we were finally released to go home Monday afternoon, the first thing we did was take a nap. Essentially we had close to 72 hours with very little sleep, and Porter was still exhausted as well. It felt good to sleep in our own bed and to have Porter back home.

The doctor warned us that he may still spit up from time to time and not to worry about it too much. For the first week after surgery, he did spit up every now and then (and sometimes it was projectile vomit), but for the most part he was eating well. It took him some time to get adjusted to full time breastfeeding, as he got a little lazy when he was bottle fed in the hospital. The doctor also said that he would probably eat more as he tried to “catch up” on what he had lost. And boy oh boy, our boy ate! There was one day when he literally ate every hour for ten hours straight. Eventually everything returned to normal, though.

A lot of people have asked about his scar. I took the following picture a few days after returning home. It was already starting to heal so nicely!

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I took this picture yesterday, so you can see that it’s still red and a little inflamed even 3 weeks later, but at our check up with the surgeon, he said it was looking good! Even now, David’s scar is noticeable (though not extremely), but it’s much larger and vertical. I’m sure Porter’s will heal to the point where it’s not easily seen at all, and even if it is, David says that “Chicks dig scars.”

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Finally, I’ll end this post with an unrelated picture. This past Monday Porter officially turned one month old. I can’t believe how much he’s grown, changed, and affected our lives. We are so in love with our little man!

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Porter’s Birthday: A Birth Story

Porter’s Birthday 12.28.12

While pregnant I loved reading other people’s birth stories; whether they were written by strangers, acquaintances, or dear friends, I really enjoyed reading about others’ birth experiences. While I knew no one’s birth story was going to prepare me for exactly what I would encounter, I felt a little more prepared nonetheless.

It was pretty early on the morning of Porter’s birth that I suspected it was “the day.” Ironically we were already supposed to head to the hospital for our 7 a.m. non-stress test. We were scheduled for the non-stress test due to him being overdue. When we went to the doctor a few days prior to the non-stress test, we knew that it would be a possibility that the day of the test could be “the day,” but only if something was wrong and I needed to be induced. I was pretty confident that Porter was “A-Okay” in there and that we wouldn’t need to be induced on that day.

During the last several weeks of my pregnancy, I was lucky to get a few hours of sleep each night, if that. I often woke up due to being uncomfortable and I’m not what one would call a “good sleeper,” so it was difficult for me to get to sleep and get back to sleep once woken up. I woke up around 1 a.m. on Friday due to general discomfort.  I tossed and turned for a while and finally resolved to going into the living room to lie on the couch.  While I didn’t fall back to sleep, around 4 a.m. I had my first contraction. However, this contraction did not cause any sort of alarm, because I had been having contractions (often at night and early morning) for about two weeks and this contraction did not feel any different. I continued to lie on the couch and tossed and turned for a while longer. I had had some more contractions, so I finally decided to start timing them, only to realize that they were consistently 6-7 minutes apart. When I had contractions in the previous days and weeks, they sometimes held a pattern, but not for longer than 45 minutes. There was once a time when I had contractions for 4 hours, but they were irregular and followed no pattern. Thus, when I realized they were consistently 6-7 minutes apart for an hour, it did cross my mind that maybe this was the real thing.  However, I wasn’t entirely convinced.

I decided to get up, but I didn’t wake up David because our alarm was set to wake up at 5:30 for the non-stress test anyway. When David woke up, I told him about the contractions. “Any pattern?” He asked. I told him that they had been 6-7 minutes apart for over an hour, but I also confessed that I wasn’t convinced it was the real thing.  Since we knew there was a chance of being induced, we had our hospital bags and gear ready to go and we got ready and packed up the car.

We live very close to the hospital—it’s only about a 6 minute drive—but in that short amount of time, my contractions started to intensify. They weren’t closer together, but by the time we pulled into the parking lot and I was getting out of the car, I knew that these contractions were quite unlike the others I had experienced.  We did not take our hospital bags into the hospital with us (because I still wasn’t sure).

We walked into the hospital and went up to the 4th floor and checked in for our non-stress test. I handed the woman the paperwork and she said “Honey, you don’t look very good.” David said, “Well, she’s been having contractions all morning.” Instead of giving me the test in triage as they had planned, they ended up putting me in a labor room.  I got gowned up and the nurse hooked me up to the belts that detect contractions (I’m sure there is a more technical term for these, but I have no idea what it is.) The belts were picking up the contractions, and they were now about 6 minutes apart.  The nurse decided to hook me up for the non-stress test anyway. She came in a few minutes later to tell me that she had called the doctor on call and that she had said to stop the test because I was in labor. When the nurse said these words, it was such a weird thing to hear. By this point it had definitely crossed my mind (especially as my contractions continued to intensify) but I had been imagining this moment for so long that it seemed like it wasn’t actually happening. David and I immediately looked at each other and smiled.  In the labor and delivery rooms there are white boards with patient information, the date, etc. I remember looking at the board and seeing the date and thinking to myself “Today is my child’s birthday.” Again, this feeling was so surreal and it didn’t seem like it was actually happening to me.

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(before it got too painful)

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By now it was probably around 9:00 in the morning. My contractions were now about 5 minutes apart and at this point the nurse came in to check my cervix and I was 4 centimeters dilated. I had been 3 centimeters dilated for almost 2 weeks, but I was excited to hear that there had been additional progress. My nurse then asked me if I had a plan for pain, and I immediately told her that I wanted an epidural.  While a lot of women have a plan for pain ahead of time, I really did not. I’ve had friends who have experienced every type of labor: natural with no pain medication, an epidural, and c-section. Even prior to giving birth, I was a firm believer in thinking that this decision is one that is unique to each and every woman. No two labors are the same and each labor requires different interventions.  While I was open to natural childbirth with no pain medication, I was also realistic and knew that this would probably not be the best option for me.  I know that I don’t have the highest level of pain tolerance, so I was prepared to let my labor determine whether or not I would have an epidural. When my nurse asked me this question, my contractions had gotten close to my “breaking point.” I knew that there was no way that I could deliver without the intervention of any pain medication or an epidural. I felt no shame in asking for the epidural, and if we ever have any other children, I will not hesitate to have another. It was absolutely the best decision for me, and I am so thankful for this advance in medical technology.

Not that any part of labor can be expected, but the next few hours of my labor experience were very unexpected. Despite me asking for the epidural, for whatever reason it did not happen in a timely manner. To say that I was disappointed in my nurse would be an extreme understatement.  When she first came into the room earlier in the morning, she was hardly personable.  I don’t think she even introduced herself and she rarely checked on me unless David or I hit the call button.  About another hour had passed, so by this point it was 10:00 a.m. and I still had not received my epidural (despite asking for it 3 hours ago.) My contractions were beyond anything I could describe and I cried/sobbed through each one. We called the nurse in and she checked my cervix. She said I was about 5-6 centimeters. At this point, David asked about the epidural again. She was very nonchalant and unconcerned and simply replied by saying “Oh, you’ll get it pretty soon. I’m going to hook you up to an IV soon and then the epidural will come soon after that.”

Another half hour or so passed and a different nurse came into the room. She said that the other nurse was assisting in another delivery. She checked my cervix and I was a “solid 6.” We asked her about the epidural, and even though I wasn’t hooked up with an IV yet, I asked if I could get some pain medication through an IV in the meantime. She asked if the epidural had been ordered yet and we told her that we had no clue. At one point I looked at David between contractions and cried, “I don’t want another one.” And he said, “You don’t want another kid?” I said, “No, I don’t want another contraction.” I could see the pain in his eyes; he felt so badly that he couldn’t help me.

At this point, David’s mom was standing outside the labor room. She works as an operating room nurse, and she came to check on me. David went into the hallway and told her that we still didn’t have an epidural. While David was in the hallway, an OB technician came into the room and was talking to the nurse. At the exact same time that I was having a contraction (and squirming and sobbing through it), these women decided it would be a good time to talk to me. They asked me where I taught and what grade levels. How they expected me to respond was beyond me.  All I could think at this point was “Are you kidding me?” I wanted to scream at them, but I couldn’t, because I was trying to get through the contraction.

The (new) nurse came in and gave me an IV with numorphan. While it did not take away the pain by any means, this made the contractions so much more manageable, and I immediately felt relief. After hearing that I was past 6 centimeters and I still didn’t have an epidural, David’s mom took it upon herself to personally contact the anesthesiologist (whom she is friends with.) When she contacted him, he told her that the epidural had never been ordered (despite having asked for it almost 4 hours ago.) The anesthesiologist was in my room within minutes and finally I received my epidural around 11 a.m. The relief was immediate. I still have no idea why my first nurse completely ignored our request.

A few minutes after I received the epidural my blood pressure crashed and an alarm on one of the monitors started going off. I don’t remember much, but I do remember David asking me repeatedly, “Baby, are you with me?” Apparently I had a weird reaction and passed out, but it was for only a short amount of time. They gave me something through the IV and my blood pressure returned to normal.

Around 11:30 my doctor arrived to break my water. Since I had the epidural, I didn’t feel much except for a gush of liquid coming out of me. David said it was quite disgusting, but I couldn’t see anything. Upon breaking my water, we learned that Porter had felt some stress and had pooped in the womb. We learned about the acronym C.O.A.T. in our childbirth class. C.O.A.T. stands for color, odor, amount, and time.  Amniotic fluid is supposed to be clear, and (according to David) my water was definitely not clear (due to Porter’s poo.) Our doctor assured us that this wasn’t that big of a deal and that it was common with overdue babies.  She said that when the baby was born, NICU would be in the room to be able to suction any poo-filled amniotic fluid from this mouth, nose, and lungs.

The next few hours were pretty uneventful. My mom and sister came, and since I had the epidural I could talk and carry on conversations without any pain. My mom, sister, and David all had lunch and we enjoyed these hours and continued to speculate on baby Blythe’s gender.

At 3:00 there was a shift change and I was yet again assigned with another nurse. Her name was Tina and Tina was AMAZING. I do not think I could have done it without her, and I’m so thankful for her!  My cervix had not been checked since around noon when I was still a 6. We were told that I would progress about a centimeter every hour or hour and a half, so we were expecting me to be at an 8 at the most. However, when she checked me she said I was 9 and ¾. When she said this, I yelled “Shut up!” Tina gave me a weird look, and I said, “I mean, I’m not trying to be mean, and I don’t really mean to tell you to shut up, but I was not expecting that at all.” She just laughed. She noticed my bladder was full, so she emptied my bladder and checked me again. After emptying my bladder, she said I was closer to 9. She made the prediction that I would have the baby by early evening (5:00-6:00 p.m.)

At 4:00 p.m. she came to check me again and I was at a full 10 centimeters. She said I was good to go and went to call the doctor on call (she had left to go back to the office after breaking my water.) Since we assumed the doctor was on the way, we kicked everyone else out of the room—we wanted it to be just us—and waited.  5:00 came and went and still the doctor hadn’t arrived. At this point the rest of our families had arrived and were waiting in the waiting room. I told David that he better go out there and tell them that nothing had happened yet and that the doctor hadn’t even come. When he walked out, they all stood up expecting to hear news of a baby boy or girl, but he had to disappoint them and say that absolutely nothing had happened and that we were still waiting for the doctor.

My doctor finally arrived around 6:00 p.m. and Tina had done a few practice pushes with me prior to the doctor arriving. Once Dr. Murphy came, we immediately got to work. Even with an epidural, I could still feel the contractions, but they weren’t necessarily painful. It was more of a pressure, but it told me when I needed to push.  For some reason the belt wasn’t picking up all my contractions, so there were times when I had to say “Okay, one’s coming!” because Tina and Dr. Murphy were unable to read them on the screen. We took advantage of each contraction and I pushed through each one for almost an hour. While I was making some progress, I still had a long way to go. At one point Tina asked if I wanted a mirror. While I never imagined that I would want to see anything down there, I agreed. While it was still pretty far back in the birth canal, I could see the baby’s head. It was amazing!

Between contractions, I was very concerned about two things: Maggie and our families sitting in the waiting room. Maggie had been alone since 6:45 a.m. and while my sister had let her out mid-day, she was alone and was probably lonely and hungry. I kept telling David that he needed to make sure someone went to go let her out.  However, no one wanted to leave in fear of missing the birth. I also kept telling David that I felt bad that our families had been waiting for three hours. I kept saying “They missed dinner time. They’re hungry!” He kept telling me to quit worrying about other things/people and to focus on the baby. After an hour, I still had not made as much progress as my doctor would have liked, so we decided to take a half hour break. I think at this point David’s parents went to go let Maggie out and picked up a pizza, too.

At about 7:40, it was time to start pushing again, and they decided to turn down my epidural so I could feel the pressure of the contractions more.  This last hour of pushing was kind of a blur. I remember getting really hot (despite everyone in the room saying the room was freezing.) I was sweating profusely, and at one point my temperature went up to 101.5. Tina put a cold, wet washcloth on my forehead and that cooled me down a bit. I think they also started me on antibiotics in case there was some sort of infection. My oxygen level also got quite low, so I wore an oxygen mask throughout most of this hour. During this hour I started to figure how to push more effectively and was making a lot more progress. Though they kept telling me that I was doing great and that I was getting closer, I kept doubting myself. After every contraction and series of pushes, I would look at David and shake my head. I felt defeated and I thought the baby should have been here by now. I felt like I couldn’t do something that my body was made to do and it was extremely frustrating. They pulled out the mirror again and showed me how much progress I had made; Porter’s head was RIGHT THERE (maybe a few inches away). It was probably about 8:20 at this point, and I was quickly running out of energy—remember, in addition to all the work my body had been doing all day, I had been awake since 1 a.m. My doctor said that we could try to help his head out with the aid of a vacuum. However, she warned that she could only use the vacuum so many times and that if it didn’t work, our only other option would be to have a c-section. She also said that the vacuum could not do all the work, and that I’d still have to push through my contractions.  We agreed, because we honestly didn’t see another option, and my doctor was pretty confident that the head was close enough that the vacuum would do the trick.

Since we agreed to the vacuum, the number of people in the room easily tripled. A few NICU nurses came in as well as an OB tech, and everyone got dressed in full out surgical gear. Little did I know that my sister was standing outside the locked double doors and could see all these people rushing into my labor room. Apparently she thought I was dying and then she locked herself in the bathroom.

I don’t really remember seeing the vacuum, so I can’t recall how it worked or exactly what happened, but during the third push of my next contraction at 8:48 p.m., Dr. Murphy was able to get (suck?) Porter’s head out.  David said that this process was very violent—he’s even demonstrated it a few times—and he said there was blood EVERYWHERE. They immediately put Porter on my stomach/chest and started cleaning him off with a blanket.

This is the part of the story that everyone is interested in.  I can’t tell you how many people have asked “What was it like when you realized it was a boy?” I wish I could explain this moment in words, but it’s utterly impossible to describe. However, without a doubt all the anticipation of waiting was 100% worth it in the end.  When the doctor placed him on my stomach, he was covered in blood, and as I said, they were drying him off with a blanket.  It seemed like there were limbs everywhere and his umbilical cord was in the way as well. I kept searching and searching, and for a split second I thought he was a girl.  Not that I was disappointed by any means, but for that moment, I literally thought to myself, “REALLY? I can’t believe it’s a girl!” Throughout the pregnancy I had such a strong feeling that it was a boy. I won’t claim that I KNEW it was a boy based on instinct alone, but I always said that I would be really surprised if it was a girl, so in that moment, I was kind of mind blown.  However, milliseconds later I saw his little manhood and cried out, “It’s a boy!” and I immediately started sobbing uncontrollably. David said he had never seen me this way (I don’t consider myself to be a “crier”).  Apparently right before I announced that it was a boy, David had said the same thing, but I truly did not hear him.  I was so focused on looking and finding out for myself that I couldn’t hear or focus on anything else in the room.  David cut the cord and the NICU nurses whisked Porter away.   After few minutes of hard, uncontrollable crying Tina finally asked me, “Are you okay? These are tears of joy, right?” All I could do was nod my head.

David immediately started snapping pictures as they continued to clean him up, check his heartbeat, weigh him, etc.  During this process one of the nurses said, “Oh, he has such beautiful eyes!” David said, “He gets that from his mama.” A few minutes later, the nurses kept saying how “pretty” and “cute” he was and how his face was just absolutely perfect (no marks, bruises, etc.) and I said, “He gets that from his daddy.” As if on cue, the nurses all replied with “Awww!”

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Porter week 1-9

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After Porter was all taken care of, one of the nurses asked David if he wanted to hold him. David said, “No, I want her to hold him first. She’s certainly earned that.” They put him in my arms and I could not stop staring at his little face. Everything about him, all 7 pounds and 10 ounces of him, was absolutely perfect, and I couldn’t believe that he was ours. “How did we make him?” I asked David. He laughed and said, “You know how we made him,” and of course I knew, too, but I couldn’t believe that this beautiful little thing had been in my belly for 9 months and that David and I together had created him.

Porter week 1-59

Porter week 1-67

By now a few minutes had passed and I was starting to realize that the happenings that were going on “down there” were not normal. At first I figured they were just getting out the placenta (which apparently came out right away) and cleaning me up, but when several minutes passed, I knew something else was going on.  Since I had the epidural, I couldn’t feel much, but I could feel sensations and knew there was a lot of touching, dabbing, pulling, etc. going on down there. The doctor and nurses didn’t say anything about what they were doing, so I wasn’t sure. I remember lots of things being shoved inside of me and being pulled out again. David later told me these were sponges that were trying to soak up all the blood. I remember Dr. Murphy counting the sponges as she put them in and as she pulled them out (to make sure she got them all.) It took them 45 minutes to get me to stop bleeding as well as stitched up.  At one point Dr. Murphy said, “Whoever did your epidural did a damn good job, because this would have been extremely painful otherwise.” It wasn’t until they were done (like I said about 45 minutes later) that Dr. Murphy told us what had happened. Basically, as a result and force of the vacuum, when Porter was pulled (or sucked) out, I had ripped from one “hole” to the other, and this was considered a third degree tear. I couldn’t really feel the ramifications of the tear (this definitely changed later) and it didn’t matter, either. Nothing mattered except for our darling little boy whom we were so thankful to have in our arms. Once I was good to go, I sent David out to tell our families the news. I wish I could have seen their reactions, but I’m glad David was able to experience the joy of telling them.

A few minutes later our families were allowed in the room after waiting for more than 6 hours. They all met Porter and made over at how cute he was. They didn’t stay too long, as it was late, and shortly before 11 p.m. David and I were left alone with our son for the first time, and thus, our journey of parenthood began.