While it wasn’t in the way that we’d anticipated, Kristopher Donovan Estepp made his way into our family – and deep into our hearts – a few weeks early. My blood pressure had been on the rise for a little while, and while pre-eclamsia was a real threat, the protein had managed to stay out of the pees until the very end. Then my MFM decided she was just ready to give the go-ahead to avoid any further complications. I was admitted to the hospital Thursday afternoon, November 19. We prepared for a c section the next morning.
It was frightening. Since we were just at the hospital for observation, I didn’t really have anything with me. Clayton went back to the house to take care of the dogs, get our things, and stop by to bring me my last pregnancy meal (if you’re wondering it was Culver’s – chicken tenders and cheese curds) and my dad and stepmom came to visit for a bit. That night it was just keeping me comfortable and waiting for the morning to come.
I was pretty uncomfortable most of the night and the baby was extremely active. I only got a few hours sleep before 6 am hit and we were prepping me for surgery. First thing was me washing up with special soap and slipping into the hospital gown, then the nurse came in for my IV and shave and everything else. The anesthesiologist followed and explained to me what he’d be doing and I started taking medicine, including the gross citrus acid stuff that helps me not die while being under anesthesia. Clayton changed into his disposable daddy scrubs and after a quick visit from his mom we were off!
They had Clayton wait outside while they got me ready for surgery. I sat on the table and bent over and the skilled doctor started to do his thing with the spinal tap. It took a long time and there was one oopsie that almost had me jerking off the table but we got it done just in the nick of time. He’d said that if it took any more he would’ve just put me to sleep, so I’m glad that didn’t have to happen. I of course got sick and woozy as soon as it started hitting and they had to compensate for that but before I knew it I was stable, not feeling anything, curtain up and they were already carving into me apparently when they led Clayton in. He sat next to me and held my hand like a boss, which was just what I needed because I was suffering from some panicky anxiety. It didn’t seem like any time had passed until my doctor was talking about how he was breech again (he’d been head down on the ultrasound two days before) and well, that explained all the uncomfortable movements from the night before. He was flipping into the best c-section position for us! And then he was out, I heard him cry, and a big sigh of relief was had. And I cried a little bit.
Kristopher was 7 lb 10 ounces (he’d been estimated at 7 lb 14 oz the week before) and 21 inches long. He passed his APGAR with a 9/9 but his sugar was a bit low and was having a few breathing issues. Clayton went to be with little man and once I was stitched up we were all in recovery together for a bit. I was finally able to hold him! The first bit of skin to skin was awesome and I did not want to put my baby down. Unfortunately I had to, because we were going to separate places. He needed to be watched in the nursery and I had to be wheeled to my room (eventually). That’s when things started to not go as planned.
His breathing was not improving – he was having rapid bouts and super high respiration levels so they decided he needed to be sent to the NICU. The grandparents all got to see him before he was carried off, and Clayton got to spend a little more time with him. And that started my crusade to be able to go. Unfortunately, because I was on a magnesium drip, I had to stay in bed with a catheter in for 24 hours after delivery. It was the hardest time because I wanted to be there with him but couldn’t even go in a wheelchair. You better believe that once those 24 hours were up I was rabid about getting someone to wheel me down to the NICU to see my guy. It was hard holding him with so many wires and sensors connected to him, but it was 100% worth it.
We were both there for four days. He progressively got better (though there was a bit of jaundice scare at the end) and I recovered like a champ. By day 2 I wasn’t even using a wheelchair to go to the NICU at all. I was impressing every nurse that came in contact with me over how much I was doing so fast. To be honest, it’s why I feel like I’m doing so well now. The motivation to be near my boy and be recovered for him was all that I needed.
We’re all home now, obviously, and he just had his three week birthday. In the past three weeks we’ve moved 2 hours from our home, celebrated Thanksgiving, been through some struggles and some triumphs and it’s all been worth it. I love this little guy and so does his daddy. He makes our little family 100% complete and he really is the sweetest baby with the best disposition ever. I’ve never been happier, even when I’m drag-butt tired.