It's pretty amazing how easy his birth was once I got that teeny little boost of pitocin and he was born in one push. The midwife was every bit as good at catching the football baby as Dh had been. Everything looked good as they got me back to the bed and Pipster latched on to nurse.
The lights were dim in the room as he tried to nurse. He was latching on well, but then he began making funny noises that I'd never heard before. I didn't think his color looked good either, but no one seemed to notice until I finally took him off the breast and made them turn on the lights so we could see that he was actually blue and the sound was grunting because he couldn't breathe through his underdeveloped lungs!
As Dh put it, the SWAT team came running in then and controlled chaos ensued. My sweet little baby was examined, given a bottle to see if he could coordinate sucking and swallowing, and finally returned to me much later. To my dismay, he started grunting again while nursing, so they took him away again and gave him another bottle.
You know what they say? The third time's the charm? After he tried to nurse a third time and started grunting again, they blamed the breastfeeding and took him away to the NICU. He was the biggest baby in the NICU, and we spent 8 days there on the C-Pap, pumping, sleep testing, and I don't know what else. He wasn't allowed to nurse for 3 days because he always had trouble breathing while trying. I know that doesn't seem like a long time to wait for moms whose babies have been in NICU for much longer periods of time, but every day apart is a trial for mom and baby.
I'm thankful for those early attempts at nursing even though they seemed to cause breathing difficulties, because he was already imprinted at the breast and when we were finally given the go-ahead to try again, he remembered how in spite of the bottles.
Pip was finally discharged after 8 days and we got to take him home along with a heart rate monitor/alarm since he also had sleep apnea. The monitor was our friend for 8 long months until he went a certain length of time without any alarms. We were very fortunate that the infant CPR training I'd had was never needed because the alarm itself always startled him back into breathing.
Nursing was never a problem after those few days in the hospital! Pip chunked right up and was quite the luscious little lump. It was always very strange to label him "premature" and see him attached to the heart monitor. You'd never think he might have had a rough start as a baby since he's always tearing around, making noise, or breaking something (of his own or someone else's)!
Pip brings such joy to our home. I don't know how we could live without him! He is so full of life that I look forward to seeing what kind of man he will grow into.
Happy 11th Birthday, Pip!
We love you
even if I did put only 10 candles on your birthday cake!