Tuesday, April 26, 2011
At 12:42 p.m. on October 12th, our little miracle came into the world. His dark hair was so evident that before Dr. Clark cut the amniotic sac she could see it and called Nei.l over to look. He then had the privilege of cutting the cord, and I listened intently for the sound of Trist.an’s little cry. Please baby, cry! I thought over and over. Finally it came and i had tears in my eyes I was trying to blink away so that I could see my baby clearly when Dr. Clark held him up over the blue drape for me. They quickly took his heart rate, wrapped him in a blanket and without the usual rituals of weighing and measuring, handed him to Nei.l. Nei.l brought him around to my head and sat there with me holding Trist.an’s head against my cheek as they sewed me back up. It seemed to take forever. The nurse told us his heart rate was low and we could tell his color was not good. I was scared that we weren’t going to make it out of the OR with Trist.an alive. At last they took the curtain down and wheeled us back to the L & D room where everyone was waiting.
When the nurses finished hooking me up to all the monitors, Nei.l handed me Trist.an and I held him for the first time. I was amazed at this little person with dark curly hair and dark eyes and just kept wondering how long he would stay with us. McK.enna and Ad.ele both got up on the bed with me and took turns admiring their brother.
McK.enna was SO anxious to hold him and I was completely shocked by Ad.ele’s reaction. Lately she has been so jealous of any other child that gets near me. McK.enna often gets hit, pinched, or hair pulled if Ad.ele doesn’t like her proximity to me! But as she looked at Trist.an, she just got excited and kept saying “Baby!” She didn’t try to get him away from me or anything.
After I had the chance to hold him for a while, Nei.l took him and announced that he was ready to give him a name and a blessing (kind of what other churches call a christening). The blessing Nei.l gave was beautiful and left little doubt to anyone what a special spirit this baby was. It was amazing because after the blessing Trist.an pinked up quite a bit and his breathing seemed to improve as well. Nurses doing my vitals also checked Trist.an’s heart rate at our request and this too had improved to a normal range.
At this point we started passing Tris.tan around, and almost everyone got the chance to hold him. That’s saying a lot- there were aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, cousins, and many close friends. So many teary eyes. The photographer from “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” was there. She got a family photo of Trist.an with Neil and me and the girls. She also took many other shots and I am so excited to see how they turned out. We never really got a break but Nei.l and I had both thought that this day would be for everyone who wanted, to be able to meet Trist.an.
So later that evening, Julie, our NILMDTS photographer came back to get some shots of us after I had recovered a bit. So many pictures that I know I will treasure. THANK YOU SO MUCH JULIE!
We moved to a tiny gloomy room out of the maternity ward. When we were moved, the nurse over there informed us that they did not have diapers or formula so we would have to get our own if we needed them. Yeah, I’ll just run to Smith’s and pick those up! They had no idea what to do with Tris.tan. While the nurse was doing my vitals, I asked if she could take Tris.tan’s heart rate and said she needed to talk to the pediatrician about what they could do for Trist.an, first. It was like he was no longer a patient at all!
When Beth and Joan came over from Rainbow Kids, Beth stepped out to talk to the nursing director. She got us moved to a big bright room in the new maternity ward. Apparently, somewhere along the line the message was passed along that we didn’t want anything done for Trist.an and that we would feel better not being around the well babies. THANK YOU BETH for straightening out that misunderstanding!
Visitors continued into the late evening and we asked the last of the visitors to leave at 10. The nurse came to take my vitals and Trist.an’s heart rate. 110- still in normal range. Nei.l and I took turns holding him and by 10:30 I was dozing with Trist.an cuddled up on my chest. I woke up to admire him and see if Nei.l wanted another turn. We talked about how we didn’t want to go to sleep, we didn’t want to miss out on any time we could have with Tristan.
At this point Trist.an started crying. I tried breastfeeding him- for the umpteenth time- just in case he might want it. No luck. Tried the bottle and he didn’t want that. Nei.l changed him and he was messy but he continued to cry. After everything we could think of, he still cried. I actually enjoyed the sound and told Nei.l that it was probably a good thing. From what I understood, he would probably be too weak towards the end to be able to cry. We got out the video camera and recorded his voice. Then the crying stopped and he only made a few newborn noises as I curled him up with his head of soft hair under my chin.
I started to doze as the nurse came back in to take my vitals. She then helped me to unwrap Trist.an to take his heart rate. She listened and adjusted her stethoscope and listened again. He’s gone… she can’t find his heart beat. But I didn’t want to believe it and neither did she. She readjusted and listened again. I whispered for Nei.l who was on the computer and didn’t know what was going on yet. The nurse went to get the pediatrician.
I looked at the clock. 11:25. We had been counting the hours of his life. More than we expected but what never could have been enough time. Here it was- 18 minutes short of 11 whole hours- the entire lifetime of our son, Trist.an Nei.l W.yatt.