Back in October of 2018 I posted about my pregnancy losses. My last loss was in July of 2018. I published that post on October 15 and then the morning of October 16 I woke up and took a pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant. I didn’t want to update right away because I’d been through 2 losses in two years. Then I got more and more pregnant and I didn’t feel like doing anything! Man, being 40/41 and pregnant is NOT easy!
My pregnancy was tough. I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes again. This time it was MUCH earlier. I was diagnosed in February and due in June. I stuck with a high fat and very low carb diet. I did end up on insulin to keep my morning levels low. That caused a huge issue when I was not taught how to dose my insulin and I ended up overdosing on my first dose and had to spend the night in the hospital being monitored. Once I got taught the proper way to dose the syringe I handled it perfectly the rest of the pregnancy. The upside is I only gained 5 pounds with my pregnancy!
On June 11, 2019, Simon Thomas was born via my sixth c-section. He weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces and was 20″ long. I got to hold him for a little while in recovery but then he was swept away from me because he was having breathing issues. They kept him in the nursery all day and put him on oxygen. I only got to try feeding him the one time while in recovery.
Sometime in the middle of the night I was able to talk the nurses into getting me into a wheelchair so I could go to the nursery and hold him since he couldn’t come out. He was still on oxygen and we had no idea what was going on. The next morning we were given an update that they had done an echo cardiogram and found he had a PDA- Patent Ductus Arteriosus, which all babies have but it usually closes up right away. They thought that was causing his breathing issues and they transferred him to OSF St Francis NICU in Peoria since Ottawa, where I delivered, could not help him. He was transferred at 10:30 in the morning the day after delivery.
I got my doctor to release me from the hospital around noon so I could go be with him in Peoria. Keep in mind, that is 28 hours after I had my sixth c-section! The doctor had checked me over, said I was healing great and since I was just going to be in another hospital I could go. Released me with my pain meds and we got in the car to drive 1.5 hours to see our baby. While on the road we got a call that Simon had reached the hospital and they did a lung x-ray finding that his lungs were partially collapsed. They said they would do another x-ray shortly to keep an eye on things. As we pulled into the hospital parking garage they called again and said both lungs collapsed and they were putting in a chest tube and putting him on a breathing machine.
Our poor guy had tubes coming out of everywhere. He had a nasal cannula for oxygen, the chest tube to make sure there was no air outside the lungs, a feeding tube, a tube through his belly button for blood draws, an IV on the top of his head giving him fluids and “nutrition” (sugar water), heart monitors, plus the pulse ox monitor that would move between his hand and feet. The kids came to see him and I think Gabriel had the hardest time seeing him that way. He kept a good few feet between him and the isolatte.
It turned out that Simon had a pneumothorax, which is the term for collapsed lung. Apparently on his first breath he popped a hole in his lung. The air coming out of his lung then put pressure on his lungs. It was moving his heart out of position and it collapsed his lungs. The PDA corrected itself and was never an issue to begin with. Once they got the chest tube in, got him on a respirator, and gave him a surfactant it was just just a matter of healing time.
On the 16th, which is 5 days after he was born, we finally removed the feeding tube and I was able to start breast-feeding him. I had been pumping since day one so he was getting my milk through the feeding tube. They still wanted to keep him in NICU until he was completely fine breathing room oxygen.
On June 18 he was released from the hospital and we came home. His big sister, Quinn, could NOT wait to hold her baby brother. She had been dying to hold him since he was in mommy’s tummy and mommy couldn’t even hold Simon until the 13th, which is two days after he was born!
I give huge props to those parents that have to deal with much worse situations in NICU and have to stay so much longer. Six days was so long. I was by myself almost the entire time since we were so far from family. The room had no windows so it was like being in a closet for a week.
Simon is now 4 weeks old. His scar from his chest tube is almost non-existent. It looks like a tiny freckle but it’s fading every day. He’s a great baby. He nurses every 2-3 hours during the day and gives me two big blocks of sleep at night, only waking once a night for a diaper and nursing then back to sleep. I feel so extremely blessed to finish off our family with Simon. We now have 6 kids. Here is the birth stories of my other kids (I still need to do two more apparently)