One Month!

Dear Raegan,
There are two verses from the Bible that can summarize how I feel right now (and I know your daddy agrees). They are:

Every good and perfect gift is from above. ~James 1:17

I have prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. ~ 1 Samuel 1:27

You are now one month old! It is amazing to me how fast the last month has passed. It has been a whirlwind for sure!

Our wonderful, wonderful doctor has scheduled my induction for August 28th at 5:00 in the morning. That day was firmly planted on my calendar, I was going to stay at school until August 26th, I was going to have all my plans finished and organized and detailed instructions ready to go for my wonderful substitute. And then, August 14th rolled around, and you and God had other plans! Around 10:00 that morning in between classes I started not feeling well. It was so ironic because just two hours earlier I felt fine and was talking about how I knew I could make it another two weeks. I made it through the morning in pain, but trying to hold it together in front of my students. When lunch time rolled around, I was really not feeling well. I was in no mood to eat lunch, but I had recess duty that day, so I walked to the cafeteria to wait to go outside. Long story short, I was convinced to go home, call my doctor just to be sure, and rest.

I called your daddy and he drove me home while another teacher took my car to our house. He got me home, went back to eat with the people from his office, and I went to bed to try to rest. I would doze off for about 2 or 3 minutes and my pain would go away, but I finally called my doctor’s office and they told me to go to the hospital to get checked out. I called your daddy again, and he came home, I grabbed your diaper bag just in case, although I was certain I was NOT in labor! I also packed a change of clothes for your daddy and out the door we went. We finally arrived at a hospital that is 70 miles away at about 3:00. I was hooked up to monitors, but they just showed irritability and not contractions. I was feeling contractions, though!! They finally decided at about 5:30 that I was severely dehydrated. I was given two liters of fluid and that was supposed to stop the contractions. By this time, my mom had gotten to the hospital and the contractions were only getting stronger. Also by this time, they were showing up on the monitors.

Because I was now having regular contractions, they checked, and I was one centimeter dilated. After a long, drawn out ordeal, I was given three shots of Terbutaline to try to stop my labor. These shots slowed the contractions for about 5 minutes, and then they started back up. At one point I went to the restroom and realized I was bleeding again. This created a whole new frenzy! The nurses and on-call doctor finally decided I needed to go on to Oklahoma City where my perinatologist was located and to the hospital that I planned to deliver in. Because I was only 36 weeks along, we also needed a high-level NICU, just in case. The kicker to this was that we had to drive ourselves, and they would not transport me. So, at 10:00, with contractions three minutes apart, your daddy, my mom, and I loaded up, me in hospital gowns and IV still in my hand, and drove to Oklahoma City.

When we got in the car, my contractions became closer and closer together. By the time we got to OKC at 11:00, my contractions were a minute apart. We did not have a fun drive! I was in a triage room by 11:15 at our hospital and my doctor arrived about five minutes later. Again I was on monitors, but this time, they realized my placenta was abrupting again. The difference this time was that I was also contracting and dilating and instead of only being 21 weeks, you were now viable at 36 weeks. The next hour or two are a blur, but I remember four nurses being in the room, trying to get blood to type in case I needed a transfusion, as I was being taken in for an emergency c-section. They were practically running with the bed as they wheeled me upstairs to the labor and delivery floor. I did not go to my room first, they took me directly to the operating room, and threw scrubs at your daddy to put on! I got stuck 8 times and they finally got blood at the same time I was getting my spinal. Your daddy came in the room and sat next to me, and at 12:31 a.m., on August 15th, four weeks before your due date, you arrived in this world!

The NICU team was in the OR just in case you needed them. By the grace of God, you were only taken to a transitional nursery where you had your own nurse, and you never had to step foot into the NICU! You weighed six pounds, nine ounces and were 18 ½ inches long. You had a typical 36-weeker problem, and that was breathing too fast. I was wheeled back into my room to recover and your daddy got to go to the transitional nursery to see you and hold you. At around 5:30, my wonderful nurse had me get out of bed for the first time since my surgery. It was the most painful thing ever, but I knew it meant I would get to see you for the first time! She wheeled me down and I held you for the first time. I will never forget that moment! You finally got to come to my room at noon, twelve hours after you were born, and you never left again!

Your full name is Alan Raegan, after your daddy’s father. He’s not here with us anymore, but your daddy knew what your name would be from the minute we found out you were a boy. Your middle name was a little more difficult to decide on, but once we found this, it fit perfectly. Your grandpa’s name was Alan Rae, and I’m sure he’s watching you today.

You also chose a special week to be born. My grandparents’ anniversary is August 13, my parents’ anniversary is August 14, my birthday is August 16, my aunt and uncle’s anniversary is August 16, and my twin cousins’ birthday is August 17. What do you know that on the one day that was open, you snatched it up! You are by far the best birthday present I’ve ever received!

So now, one month later:
· You are still in preemie sized clothes
· At our one week check-up you weighed 6.8, almost back to birth weight
· You wear a size “N” diaper
· You are teeny-tiny, but have stolen everyone’s hearts
· You are flirting with four ounces in your bottle, but are not quite ready to consistently eat
that much
· You love to be swaddled
· You hate sleeping alone, so you are basically held almost all day long
· You are not a sleeper at night
· You have your daddy wrapped around your finger
· For that matter, you have our entire family wrapped around your finger
· I can stare at you for hours and wonder why I have been so blessed
· You have a head full of blonde hair
· You have blue eyese
· You will see a pediatric urologist on October 5th where we will discuss your kidney
problem and hopefully set a plan to solve the problem
· You have already been to three football games and three doctor’s appointments
· You are a wonderful traveler, which is good, because we are constantly on the go!

Raegan, we cannot imagine our lives without you. When you are screaming in the middle of the night, or just laying next to me not sleeping, I remember how long we waited for you and remember a doctor telling me we had little hope for children. I will never forget the complications we encountered on the way, the fear that each new complication brought us. But my God is bigger than the bleak outlook that doctor gave us and bigger than all my worries for the last nine months, and He knew all along that you were ours. I am so thankful He sent you to us, and cherish every minute I am given to spend with you.