Welcome to the world!

Micah's birthday

Welcome to the world, little one!

Micah Jair Hanley

[who is like God] [he shines]

8 lbs, 10 oz

It wasn’t the easiest entry into the world, and little did we know just how appropriate his middle name would be.

At my last OB appointment, I measured 4 cm with regular, though weak, contractions. The doctor advised I call whoever I wanted around for delivery and to come to the hospital for an induction in the morning if it didn’t happen on its own before then. Please understand that my greatest concern for delivery was that I’d go into labor with my husband on the other side of the road, leaving me to have a baby on my own with five children. Everyone in my OB’s office knew this. I think they flagged my chart or something. Oh, and I live an hour from the hospital with a history of going from 7 cm to a new baby in about 15 minutes.

I know women all over the world have done it alone throughout history. But that isn’t me. Hospitals and epidurals suit me fine.

So anyway, I showed up for the induction and they got it going around 7AM. The contractions continued, but never got all that strong. Around 11, the nurse asked me where I thought I was at and honestly I’d had stronger Braxton Hicks than what I was feeling. But I was beginning to feel some pressure, so they checked me.

Eight centimeters. Eight! And apparently my water had broken at some point without any noticeable signs. There just wasn’t any membrane there anymore. It took another half hour to get to ten, and then it all just sort of stopped.

OK, so the contractions didn’t. But I pushed and pushed and pushed and nothing happened. He refused to move. Remember my history, now. Because yeah, I’m a wimp thinking this was hard and all, but the longest I’ve ever pushed is maybe five minutes. Three or four good pushes and I’m holding my baby. But not with Micah. I pushed for fifty minutes with him firmly lodged and showing no signs of descending further. I was tired. Until finally he decided he’d had enough and made it the rest of the way with two pushes.

And he was silent. The cord was wrapped around his neck and he was blue. It took some suctioning and patting before I finally got to hear that first cry. And then I got to hold him through the stitches and afterbirth.

Micah crying

Best anesthesia. Ever.

But the nurse kept harassing him, patting his back and keeping him crying. He was struggling a bit to breathe, but I was just so happy to have him in my arms, to look at him, to touch him, and to hear his cry.

But then they took him away. I caught glimpses of him between the nurses working him over. Measuring, listening, keeping him crying.

“He has some fluid in his lungs,” they said, “Probably from the quick delivery. Sometimes they inhale it when they come too fast.”

Suctioning baby

So they suctioned his lungs. And put him on an oxygen monitor. And gave him back to me.

And all seemed well. Except that little noise he made when he breathed. And the fact he wouldn’t nurse. But I guess if you had to make the choice between eating and breathing, you’d choose breathing, too.

“Some babies just struggle a little more to transition,” they told me every time they listened. “It’s just taking him a little longer.”

At 11 PM, I asked the nurse again to listen. He’d been making the little grunting noises for over an hour without a break. She called in another nurse who called in a nurse from the neonatal intensive care unit. And little Micah was transferred down to NICU.

By the time he was 12 hours old, he had his first IV, three blood draws and his first X-Ray. He was hooked up to monitors to track his heart rate, his respiration and his oxygen levels. And he was placed inside his little spaceship, where we had to reach through little holes to stroke his skin and comfort him.

Baby in incubator

While downstairs, I was glad they were taking it seriously. That he was being tested and monitored.

When I went back up to my room to get some of my things, however, he wasn’t there. I had to fight back tears because I didn’t know what was wrong. Was it something little that would resolve on its own? Or something more serious? Until his respiration came down to 60 or below, they wouldn’t even let me try to nurse him. So they tracked down a pump, and I wanted to cry again.

He had fluid in his lungs and a pneumothorax. At this point, it was probably good that the internet wasn’t working, because I only knew what they told me: he had a small pocket of air that had leaked from his lungs. Probably from the quick delivery. It would probably resolve on its own. But they had to rule out infection so they started him on antibiotics while waiting for the results from the blood culture.

I would have totally (and unnecessarily) freaked if I had realized that “pneomothorax” is more commonly known as “collapsed lung.”

By Sunday morning, I knew I was going to be released without him. I tried not to think about it. After all, it wasn’t like I had to leave. I got to sleep on a recliner and John got to sleep on a little couch right in Micah’s room. We could listen to his monitors beep all night and stroke him anytime we wanted.

But he had improved overnight and he was moved back to a regular bassinet. I could nurse him. I could hold him. And though it was a little awkward holding my wee little Micah hooked up with so many wires, he spent very little time out of my arms after that.

By Monday morning, there were rumors of him going home Tuesday.

By Monday evening, the pneumothorax and fluid in his lungs had resolved itself and there were no signs of infection in any of his bloodwork.

But then his bloodwork showed that he was having a reaction to my blood. Now, I’m A positive and he’s B negative. I don’t pretend to understand this stuff, but up until that moment, I thought the only issue was if the mom was rH negative. Apparently not, though problems are rare and not as severe.

And that meant increased risk of jaundice and of that jaundice becoming more severe.

So they started him on light therapy, and let me know he wouldn’t be going home until his biliruben levels stabilized.

All of our children have animal nicknames, mostly for the purpose of talking about them online. We had been calling little Micah Cricket. But we’re thinking of changing that to Glow Worm.

Baby in wallaby blankety

But his levels continued to rise. They added a light to his blanket. And while he seemed to enjoy his tanning salon, mom fretted.

Baby resting

They added a second light. And we had to wear shades to hold the little guy. Remember his middle name? Yeah, he shone alright.

Baby glowing

But he finally turned the corner and his levels continued to decline, even while stepping off the light therapy. And Wednesday morning, we were allowed to take little Micah, our little Glow Worm, home to five anxious siblings who are beside themselves with joy over their new baby brother.

And I still hardly put him down. I know I’m going to have to share. My other children are begging to hold him. And I want them to hold him. But I also don’t want to let him go.

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29 Comments

  1. Reply

    Manda

    November 4, 2010

    Congratulations! He’s beautiful! Will be praying for oil Micah and mama and family! Sooo happy for y’all! =)

  2. Reply

    Lorraine

    November 4, 2010

    Congrats! I’ve had 2 in the NICU & 3 on billie lights. (out of my 3 kids!) so yea… I know how scary and hard it can be to go home without your munchkin… Glad to hear he’s fine now and back at home! (btw, all 3 of mine were born early, jaundiced, and 2 had breathing problems. At ages 9,7,& 5, you wouldn’t know it to look at them now!)

  3. Reply

    Lori

    November 4, 2010

    Beautifully done (the baby and, as always, the writing)!

  4. Reply

    Julie

    November 4, 2010

    Congratulations! So glad he was finally able to come home!

  5. Reply

    JRoberts

    November 4, 2010

    Congratulations, he is beautiful.

    Scary story, but the Lord truly does answer prayers and is watching out for His children.

  6. Reply

    Rae

    November 4, 2010

    congratulations!

    I was reading with anxiety as I saw the words “He’d been making the little grunting noises” as that can be a sign of Strep B. I have a good friend who tested negative for Strep B a month before her boy was born, but he was born with a bad case of strep B. He stayed in NICU on a drop for 10 days. It was hard.

    I know that induction can cause an increased risk for jaundice (been there, done that) so I am so glad it is under control and all is well now!

    Snuggle that baby close! (I know you already are).

    πŸ˜€

  7. Reply

    ChristineMM

    November 4, 2010

    Oh my gosh what a birth story. So sorry for the medical complications!

    Congrats on the birth.

    He looks just like my first born in your photos #1 & 4, how strange! My son was 9 lb 8 oz. Even their bodies look the same. I am going to tweet a photo of my baby at one day old and then look at your photo #1.

    I am so sorry for the medical complications and will pray for the little guy.

    (Glow Worm is a better fitting nickname. πŸ™‚ )

  8. Reply

    April

    November 4, 2010

    Congratulations to you all. He’s beautiful.

  9. Reply

    Cora

    November 4, 2010

    Dana, πŸ˜€ Congratulations to (“You & Baby Micah, & Daddy & sibling’s)
    I could not read fast enough, and tears began to pour down my face. My daughter went through the opposite experience. Her tiny baby never left the hospital. Praise God in heaven. for your health and Micah and dad. Everyone in your family. I am so happy to share your blessings from afar. Your online friends in Christ. Aunt Cora

  10. Reply

    Michele

    November 4, 2010

    Wow; that NICU pic with all the monitors – he looks just like my Little Guy. He had a pnemothroax as well; ended up a tube in his chest & hospitalized for 5 days. I had a c-section delivery; they told me delivery has nothing to with it though; that it can happen no matter what, but is common in preemies. My little one was 8lbs 9oz LOL!

    He also had antibiotics but no jaundice. My twins had jaundice so the glow pic brings me back to their predicament. I’ve since read jaundice is related to the vit K shot. Three of my 6 had the vit K shot & 3 did not; the 3 that did had jaundice… guess what? The 3 that did not have the shot also did NOT have jaundice. Go figure.

    Well, SO glad he’s home & well. I SO SO SO understand that relief & joy!

    Blessings to all, Michele

  11. Reply

    Renae

    November 4, 2010

    It’s so wonderful to be able to share a bit in your family’s joy via pictures and the internet! I just wish I could be there to wait in line to hold Micah. πŸ˜‰

  12. Reply

    Jenn Casey

    November 4, 2010

    Congratulations! He’s gorgeous.

    My first spent some time in NICU and the first few times I ever nursed him we had to work around the wires and machines. Reading your post brought that memory back to me.

    I’m so glad everything is just fine and I LOVE the nickname Glow Worm! Precious.

    Enjoy your babymoon! :o)

  13. Reply

    Holly

    November 4, 2010

    Dana, Congratulations. He is so big and beautiful! πŸ™‚

    I am still babymooning here – my little one is 4 weeks old today and he weighed 8 lbs. 12 oz.

    I’m sorry for all of the troubles you had – it can be such a scary time. I’m thankful things are better now.

    I have an rh problem too – isoimmunization with a big E and then a new one with this pregnancy – little c. As you said, it is complex and somewhat difficult to understand. There are so many types. I had to have lab work every 2 weeks and also ultrasounds every two weeks to measure the bloodflow in his brain (to check for anemia.) I was surprised to read of your difficulties – usually you don’t hear of problems following delivery, unless it was already a known problem. Difficulties should have been revealed during your initial bloodwork in pregnancy. I’ll be curious to hear if they say anything further to explain???

    Anyway – best wishes! My baby is my ninth – and it is sweeter each time.

  14. Reply

    Vanessa

    November 4, 2010

    What a beautiful baby! Congratulations and love and prayers that he thrives and keeps shining his light for all the world to see πŸ™‚

    My children were both NICU babies, premmies, I well recall the amazing little world inside those rooms, and the strangeness of being separated.

    Dear Cora, sending love. Our NICU had a wall of heartfelt stories about the babies who now sleep but will never be forgotten. I’m forever grateful to the dedicated teams who cared for my babies.

    Wishing your family many lovely, special days with their new brother … I love his name and nickname!!

  15. Reply

    dusti

    November 4, 2010

    so happy for you
    enjoy your new blessing

  16. Reply

    Alison

    November 5, 2010

    you did it again!!! edge of the seat! πŸ™‚

    congrats though! he’s beautiful. i love those precious moments where you can’t bare the thought of not holding him. good job, mama. give him a little squeeze for me. πŸ™‚

  17. Reply

    Kristina

    November 5, 2010

    Congratulations! I’m so glad he’s doing well! He’s beautiful, of course.

  18. Reply

    Matt

    November 5, 2010

    Glad to hear everyone’s doing great! You may still want to have him in direct sunlight for a little while (if the air isn’t too cold). It’s better than the artificial lights. My oldest (from my first wife) had jaundice and we had to keep her in direct sunlight whenever she was sleeping for the first week or two (can’t remember).

  19. Reply

    T F Stern

    November 5, 2010

    It may not have been a good idea to visit Three Mile Island nuclear facilities and purchase their produce; looks like that baby glows in the dark…lol

  20. Reply

    Amanda

    November 5, 2010

    I came via the SSF yahoo group. Thank you for sharing your birth story! I’ve always loved the name Micah. I’m glad he is doing well, and I’ll hold you all in my prayers.

  21. Reply

    Louisa

    November 6, 2010

    Now I thought my babies were the most gorgeous…but I have to say HE IS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!! Congrats and glad it all worked out…..

  22. Reply

    Dana

    November 6, 2010

    Thank you everyone! He is a delight! Unfortunately, his biliruben levels rose again without the therapy so he’s on a wallaby blanket but for the moment at least we get to treat him at home. And I so love snuggling the little guy. πŸ™‚

  23. Reply

    Elizabeth Jones

    November 7, 2010

    Congratulations! I found you from your post on a yahoo group and have truly enjoyed your blog. You are blessed.

    Cheers
    Beth

  24. Reply

    Sheri

    November 7, 2010

    From the deepest part of me…congratulations and bless you all!

    I look forward to posts about lil’ Glow Worm’s progress and how you all are doing.

    πŸ˜€

  25. Reply

    Nan Keltie

    December 14, 2010

    So thankful your little one is okay. I read this post and was so touched by the way your mommy heart shines through this beautiful story. God is so good!

  26. Reply

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