Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Story of Rowan's birth

May 11, 2002:
It was a little after 1 in the afternoon. John had worked the night before, so he was upstairs in bed, sleeping. I was on bedrest, so I was lying on the couch reading. I had just finished eating a Pepperidge Farm Nantucket cookie with some milk when Rowan made a big movement. I felt a trickle and though, "Oh great. He kicked me in the bladder and now I've wet myself." I vaulted up from the couch - faster than I had moved in weeks - and went to the bathroom. My water had broken! That big momve was Rowan deciding that enough was enough, this short-waisted woman had no more room to give, and he was going to have to be born if he was going to have any space to stretch out.
I called Dr. Boyle, and she said that I should come on in so they could monitor my blood pressure while I walked to get labor going. So, we hopped in the car to go have our baby!
Once I started walking it didn't take long to get labor going. My contractions were strong and stead, and I used the jacuzzi and birthing ball to help things along. At about 8pm I decided to get an epidural block. Both John and I took a little nap, and a little after 10pm it was time to push!
Rowan's head was a little crooked, so it was hard work to push him out.
May 12, 2002:
Midnight came, so Rowan's birthday would be May 12th. I was very tired when at 1:27 he finally arrived! This was the first time we knew about Rowan's cleft lip and palate. When I remember it now, it seems like a dream.He was 7lbs even, and 20 inches long, with a head full of dark hair.

Rowan had to go to the nursery that night because he was breathing too quickly. That gave me some time to get used to the idea of his cleft. The only other baby I had ever seen with a cleft was one with a condition called Trisomy 18. This is a geneatic syndrome that has a cleft as part of it. It is fatal. My first thought when I saw Rowan was of this baby. I had to come to realize that just because he had a cleft, Rowan was not going to die. Nothing was wrong with him. In fact, he was very healthy. Later that morning, I began to come to terms with it. Holding him close and rubbing my cheek on his little head helped me begin to realize how amazing he was.

Rowan had to stay in the hospital an extra few days because he was jaundiced. That gave us some extra time to learn about him, his cleft, and how to feed him. It also gave me some time to begin to use a breast pump. I had never considered anything but breastfeeding for my baby and had never planned on using formula. It took a while for my milk to come in, so Rowan did have some formula while he was in the hospital. Once we left, however, I was able to give him breastmilk and nothing else. By the time we left the hospital, we were very comfortable feeding him with a Haberman feeder, and he was gaining weight. It was time to begin the rest of our lives together.

Rowan came home on May 16, 2002.

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