Ten years ago at this moment, I was 19 and 37 weeks pregnant. I was married and we had a 2 1/2 year old. Bobby was at work, and Britney and I were getting ready for my doctor's appointment. I was excited. I was going to have my last ultrasound before our new baby was born. My grandfather was going to be having heart surgery that day.
I drove into town. This was when we lived in Hillsboro. I'm sure Britney and I sang...probably "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" That kid loved that song. It was a sunny, beautiful day. We got to the doctor's office and were eventually taken back for the ultrasound. We were happy and goofing off and acting silly as we walked down the hallway.
During the ultrasound and while listening to Cody's heartbeat, the nurse said that he was quite active, but that his heart rate wasn't elevating with his activity. I was told to go get lunch, and drink a bunch of caffeine. I loaded Brit back into her car seat and drove to Canton House. We used to eat there A LOT. I asked the owner if I could use their phone to call Bobby at work and explain to him what was going on. I called him and told him. I wasn't scared at that point...just relaying the information. Brit and I ate lunch and I drank a lot of caffeine.
We made it back to the office, and I was hooked up again to the monitor. I was told pretty much the same thing...lots of movement, no elevated heart rate. They hooked me up for a stress test. Or was it non stress test? Whatever. They were not happy with the results, and I was then advised to go to the hospital so I could be further checked out. I remember rolling my eyes. I remember thinking how silly this all was. I had had a perfect pregnancy...no complications. Through all of the doctor's appointments, weighing, measuring, monitoring...not one thing was 'off'. I called Bobby at work again and we decided I would pick him up from work before we went to the hospital.
At DGH, I was asked to strip down and put a gown on. I was hooked up to their monitors and they put in an IV. Brit was with us and we were still laughing and playing with her. The doctor came in, and we did another ultrasound. He seemed worried. I heard him say to the nurse, under his breathe, that he estimated the baby's weight at 3.5 pounds. I was shocked. That was the first time anyone had ever said anything about the baby being small. Cody's heart rate was still an issue and the doctor decided to induce labor so he could evaluate it. At this point, I am without a doubt worried. We still had Brit with us and I was trying to be brave and calm.
They gave me Pitocin and my contractions started. There was a lot of commotion...nurses in and out, blood work, monitors, beeping. They also began prepping me for a c-section...just in case. Bobby called mom so she could make the drive...just in case. After my contractions became more intense, Cody's heart rate dropped. It was very quickly decided that if I were to go into labor, Cody would not survive. They decided that an emergency c-section needed to be done immediately. I remember being scared. I didn't know what was happening. I was worried about Britney. Quite literally out of nowhere, my brother popped his head into the room. I've never been so happy to see him. I still, to this day, have no idea how he got there or knew to get there, but he was there, which meant he could take Britney out of the room. As the anesthesiologist is telling me the dangers of the procedure, and that it could result in my death, I watched my beautiful girl walking out of the room with my brother. I remember thinking I would never get to see her again.
They wheeled me to the OR and made Bobby stay out in the hall. The room was full of people. I sat on the edge of the bed, while this stranger poked a needle the size of the Chrysler building into my back...repeatedly. I was scared. I've never been so scared. Everything was happening so fast. I laid on the table, basically naked, while these people whispered about how small I was.
I remember the anesthesiologist asking me if I were numb. I probably looked at him like he had four heads. I didn't know, so he pinched my chest, close to my shoulder. I didn't feel it...that was good enough for him. I could see my stomach in the big overhead light. I've always wondered if it came down to it, would I want to watch something like that...a surgery on myself. The answer is no. I didn't. I internally panicked because I could see. Then they put the sheet up and I've never been so thankful to be looking at nothing. My arms were strapped down. They had let Bobby in the room by then and he was sitting just to the left of my head. I was so thankful he was there. I can't imagine going through that alone.
I was cut and tugged on. When they pushed on me, the table wobbled. I had also panicked at one point because I didn't think I was breathing. I couldn't feel me breathing...that was weird. They got our boy out, took him to evaluate him and clean him up. He weighed 2 lbs 15 oz. The nurse brought him over to me and it seemed like she yelled "He has an ear deformity" He was small and pink and I'm sure he looked better than I did at the time.
He was medically sound...no heart or lung issues, he didn't need oxygen or an IV. He was healthy in that little body of his. To be honest, much right after his birth is a blur. I don't remember. I know my stomach was stapled, but I don't remember getting to my room. I remember my dad being there because he was touching my leg, kind of shaking it. I was still numb and it felt weird and I snapped at him to stop.
I got a spinal headache after that. I couldn't sit up without experiencing the worst pain I've ever felt. I finally made it down to the nursery to see Cody. He was in an incubator, completely bundled up. I could tell that he was small, but he didn't look that small. He looked like an old man. There was no fat on his face and his skin was wrinkly. Although he was healthy, he was so small that he couldn't maintain his body heat.
I finally convinced the doctor I had a spinal headache. Why would I make that up? Anyway, they did a blood patch and I felt SO much better almost immediately. I was able to spend more time with Cody. Every time I had seen him, he was wrapped in a mountain of blankets. The first time I saw him...just him in his diaper, I was so surprised by how small he was, I got teary eyed. He dropped down to 2 lbs 10 oz. Premie clothes were too big for him. His legs fit up in the body part so we tied the legs off to help hold in heat.
When it was time to go home, Cody couldn't. Leaving him at the hospital was one of the hardest things I've ever done. We came back to stay with him, usually three times a day. We drove back and forth from Hillsboro to Decatur God only knows how many times. There were issues with feeding, mostly because he wasn't gaining weight like they thought he should. The wanted to try tube feeding him, which we did for a while. It was horrible and he hated it.
Every day when we would speak to his doctor,either in person or on the phone, he would say "The baby is fine. We are just feeding him" The plan was for Cody to come home when he was 5 lbs, but he wasn't gaining the weight. We convinced the doctor we could take care of him just like the nurses were. They were 'just feeding' him after all...we could do that. The doctor wanted to wait until Cody was at least 3.5 lbs. He was in the hospital for 6 weeks.
I could go on and on. There is so much to tell...so many doctors and hospital trips, tests, procedures, operations, IVs, sickness...so much. There have been many hard times. So much fear and tears. Through it all he has remained happy. There's a strength about him, that's for sure. But all of those bad things aren't important right now. What's important is all the good and there has been a lot of good. All of his smiles and laughter, he and Britney and their life together, his best friends and adventures, accomplishments, all of the wonderful, amazing memories we've made with our family and friends.
I am thankful for everything and all of you who have enriched his life. All of you that have helped to make him the happy person he is. He's so excited to be 10 years old today!
~~~HAPPY BIRTHDAY CODY~~~