Wednesday, June 22, 2011
The Call, the final chapter
So home we went, me still ribbing Mark for throwing me to the wolves instead of just calling my doctor. We laughed about all the people in our bed room that morning and what they were looking at, the vision of it all very clear to this day for me. I can't exactly remember the correlation between when this all took place and Thanksgiving, but my thought is it was right after Thanksgiving 1998. The month of December rolled in and we set a plan of inducing labor on December 30th, about two weeks before my due date. These babies could be born naturally and I was hoping for a vaginal birth. The team of specialists would be in the labor room with us and the details of what would happen after birth were explained. I was doing well, working full days in Mark and my in home daycare. I still had high energy because of steroid injections that were to help with the growth of the baby's lungs, should she come early. We saw the surgeon, my OBGYN, a pediatric cardiologist and a genetics doctor. There were the weekly ultrasounds, steroid injections and counseling for Mark and I, just in case things didn't go well. Beau was three and Santa would be coming soon. This was important to him, so we also tried to be on our game and had most of the Christmas stuff done. We had gotten a real tree and it was up, the house was decorated. The last Christmas picture of Beau alone was taken and mailed, afterall, we would not have this baby until after Christmas. We even sent a picture to the NICU, as Beau had been helped there after his birth and we wanted to have a connection again as we prepared to be there with our new baby. Most gifts were bought, and wrapped. But the one thing I had not prepared was a nursery. My courage about this project was lacking, I was skeptical, I was scared, I was realistic. What if there wasn't a baby to bring home, how would I ever face that room? That was the one thing I procrastinated and to this day it still makes my gut ache thinking about how I must have felt. I had this baby in me and knew she was alive and well, I saw ultrasounds, I heard heartbeats. Although Mark and I never found out the sex of our babies, we would guess based on the heartbeat rate. This baby's heartbeat was faster than Beau's had been. Since we were disagreeing on a boy name, but both loved the name Teale, we were hopeful it was a girl. I had come up with the name years earlier and we had kept it a secret, knowing if we had a girl, Teale would be her name. We like unusual names, but not way out there. Beau had been easy, Mark was nicknamed BoBo by his brother Todd. It had been a brother insult, after some big ugly wrestler in the 1970's. In HS some boys got wind of the nickname and he was called it by a select few. When Mark and I met on a local coed softball team, Mark was introduced to me as BoBo. I stopped calling him that, preferring Mark, but loved the idea of naming our son after him in this untraditional way. So that is how Beau got his name. I remember thinking it was tough envisioning a girl with gastroschesis, she may be more self conscious of her stomach and the scaring than a boy. Babies born with this do not have belly buttons, as the wall was not formed, so the pulling together of their stomach will not have a belly button. There were so many things to think about, to worry about, I was in constant thought about how this would be. Then I got the call that my friend had had her baby. She had done well and her son was in the NICU, we were invited to meet him. His surgery to fix his gastroschisis had gone well. Soon Mark and I were scrubbing at the sink before walking into the NICU to meet him. Little did we know how many times we would scrub at those sinks to go see our baby. I remembered the NICU from Beau's birth, but this was different. I asked a ton of questions, meeting nurses and looking around at all the critical babies. My friend's baby had been practically full term as I recall and was really quite sizable compared to many of the babies in the NICU. It all seemed surreal, this was going to happen to us and sooner than we thought.