Friday, March 16, 2012

{Fletcher Wayne Harding}

We happily welcomed our son Fletcher Wayne Harding into the world one month ago yesterday, February 15th at 12:16am weighing 7 lbs 8 oz and measuring 20.5 in. He was my belated Valentine's Day gift that came 23 days early...he beat his sister by 11 days! :)

I knew he would be arriving early when I found out on Monday, that I was already 2-3 centimeters dilated and 60% effaced. We thought it would be best to go in with a full nights rest the next day Tuesday,(V-day.) I admit that I thought it would be SUPER cutie to have my baby love on the holiday that celebrates love. This day also marked the passing of Fletcher's Great Grandfather, Wayne Harding Jr. so this day was for sure one that would not be forgotten. 

We headed to the hospital since I was pretty sure I was starting active labor. When we arrived at the hospital we found out that I was actually the same as the previous day with no progress. So I was going to be observed for 30 minutes and then discharged. Ryan told the nurses that we would walk around for that time to see if this would help things along and sure enough IT DID! I was now 4 centimeters dilated and we were told we had a couple options. Either we could stay and have lunch at the hospital cafeteria (YUM!) or we could go home, have a good lunch, walk around and come back later if things progressed more. A very important detail was that since I was only 36 weeks into my pregnancy that I WOULD NOT be induced. We were told that they would NOT help my pregnancy but they wouldn't stop it either. So we decided to head home and take care of a few things before the arrival of our lil man. 

We grabbed a quick lunch and made a few stops on the way home. I was able to get in a nap with Reegan and daddy before Dr. Apigo called to check in and see if I would be heading back to the hospital. We arrived to Thunderbird Hospital around 5:30PM and things went pretty fast.

Once back at admitting we did MORE walking, were moved to Labor and Delivery and we got the ball rolling. :) My water was broken around 9PM and on came the contractions...hard and heavy! I requested my epidurual soon after and was a little late because it took a bit to get into my system and I struggled with the contractions (labor shakes = NO FUN.) But I made it through and before I knew it pushing time had arrived. At 12:16am we welcomed Fletcher into the world. I liked that he ended up being the day after Valentine's Day so that he not only had a day of his own but so that when he is older that he can spoil his spouse on V-Day and then turn around and get spoiled the following day. ;)

Me and my little guy *hearts*
Pretty sooner after his arrival the nurses noticed that Fletcher was grunting and had flaring of the nostrils. This indicated that his was having to work a little too hard to breath. They worked on positioning him a loooooong time so that he was on his belly with his bottom elevated above his chest so that his lungs were a little more compressed enabling him to breath easier.

Booty in the air! :)
After getting him in a good position his second nurse said that he could come to Postpartum with us but that made me a little nervous since it was clear that he was having some issues with his breathing. His initial nurse walking in and quickly changed the plan saying that he would go to The Nest for observation while we rested in our room. I was taken to our room on a stretcher because my epidural wasn't taken out after Fletcher arrived (oops!) so I was completely numb in my legs. We slept until about 6am when I was finally feeling like I might be able to get up with some assistance from my nurse. My shortie nurse was definitely worried that I was gonna fall and kept saying hold on to something! LOL!  During this time Ryan went in to check on Fletcher, and that is when we learned he would be admitted into NICU to get receive breathing assistance. :(  This was the last thing we both wanted to hear, but knew it was best for him to get the additional help needed.  As soon as he was put into NICU, the staff injected his lungs with Surfactant which open them and he started to breath a little easier. Normally a baby will produce enough Surfactant on their own but it's not uncommon for a case like Fletcher where a dose must be given. It's also not strictly due to the fact that he was 23 days early because we were told that babies born at 40 weeks can also have this same experience. Even with this miracle drug (as they called it) we were not out of the woods!  It was still clear that he was having to labor to breath and needed to be kept for observation. He was also put on airflow but not oxygen. He received the same amount of oxygen that we normally breath in but also was given airflow that assisted in opening his lungs completely. 

After the first 24 hours in NICU, we learned that Fletcher was diagnosed with Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn (TTN.)  TTN basically means that Fletcher still had fluid in his lungs that he was having trouble getting rid of because his lungs. This is because hey were not fully opening when he would inhale which is how the fluid would be released. They said that when the lungs open all the way the little hairlike alveoli at the opening would be fully exposed and fluid is released this way.

Typically after a few days of treatment, in our case 6 days, the baby usually makes a full recovery and needs no further medical attention for this issue. What a blessing to know that once he turned the corner that this condition would not reoccur in the future. As seen in some of the pictures Fletcher was retaining quite a bit of the IV fluids he was on because within the first few days he wasn't urinating (which is normal) so once he started filling those diapers up things progressed much faster/better. Our little man also had to be put on a Billy Blanket for his jaundice...since we weren't at home where he could get a little sunlight he had to get some of his UV rays in the hospital.

Getting his UV rays from the Billy Blanket
Fletcher with his airflow/feeding tube still looking like a little angel

Fletcher positioned by the nurses.

Ryan and I felt so blessed to have access to the resources that were needed to help Fletcher.  There are so many people in the world that do not have the same advantages we do in this day and age and babies are resilient but still very fragile.  The nurses and doctors at Banner Thunderbird Hospital were so helpful, and we are so thankful for all their help during this very stressful and exhausting time. We received some much encouragement and support between family, friends and the staff and couldn't have handled it as well without everyone. It of course was great reaching the goal milestones in those days! When Fletch got off his feed tubing, off the the airflow, off the IV, and being able to hold him without all those cords was great! Other big steps included moving to a big boy bed and being strong enough to get his hearing test and carseat test done before being discharged. And then just as fast as he was whisked away to The Nest for observation that night he was born they told us it was time to head home! I had tried so hard not to get my hopes up and could hardly believe that the time had already come! :)

Holding my finger with his tiny hand
Fletcher is home now and thriving!!!...we swear that he must be the hungriest baby we know!  It has been such an amazing experience seeing Reegan get to know her little brother.  She still is learning all about our newest addition, but is clearly loving having a little brother. We love him to pieces and imagine our family without this wonderful little guy!

Thank you to everyone who supported us during this past month.  We look forward to Fletcher growing up with such an awesome support group.

xo - {Rache}
Getting his hearing testing done right before being discharged :)
Such a little guy and  SO MANY cords :/
Daddy feeding his puffy little baby :
Fletcher's Room/Set Up
Close up of coming home
Feeding time
A close up of his IV that had to be put in at least 3 times. :/
Lit up like a Christmas tree LOL!
More daddy/son time
Moving from the motoring bed on the right to his big boy bed on the left
A rare moment that he was awake. :)
Snoozing away!
Happy daddy
Loving his bunk! 
Cute lil mug!
The tube at the top left is where they would inject my breast milk for feeding
Daddy was SO happy when he got to hold Fletcher (which wasn't that often)
Loving on our little man!!!
Fletcher flipping the bird...OOPS!
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Such a cutie!
Our little blue man
Spending as much time as possible with him
Daddy changing Fletcher's diaper
Fletcher comes home! YAY!
All bundled up in his sleeper

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