Monday, September 8, 2008

Timing is Everything...

Never in our craziest dreams would we have expected for September to roll around...and already have a baby here! You all might get tired of hearing this from us...but, we still look at each other and just say "holy cow...WE HAVE A BABY?!?!??!?!".... I have heard from many of our friends that this is a normal occurrence with your first baby anyway... It takes a long time for things like this to sink in.

Timing is so crazy. It would be easy to really get caught up in wishing that our baby would have come closer to her due date. Anyone who has studied the development of a baby from conception, to embryo, to fetus...to birth, knows how crucial and critical every day is. To me...it's an absolute miracle that ANY of us come out functional!!

Instead of wishing that we would have had those extra 10 weeks for our baby to grow like normal...when we really think about it... we could never be grateful enough that she came right when she did... though, of course, in a perfect world...we would definitely have been grateful for every extra second we could have gotten...and know it's absolutely the best for babies to go as close to full term as possible... we couldn't be more grateful that she held on as long as she did before coming:

-If we would have gone through any of this a century ago... I would easily have started back over a bachelor...having lost a wife and a baby.
-If this would have happened earlier than 1898... and they somehow delivered the baby....we would have most likely been sent home with a tiny bundle, and an eyedropper to feed her... and been told to keep her warm in the kitchen stove, but not to expect her to survive the night. The first incubator station for premature babies was put in to use around the turn of the century in Chicago...
-If she were born earlier than 1922...we would have had to deal with a premature baby without the aid of a doctor who had studied anything formally about neonatology. The first textbook on this subject was written in that year...
-If she had been born even 50 years ago...chances would have been slim for her to get any of the special treatment she would have needed. The first NICU in America was opened in 1965...and that was all the way out in New Haven Connecticut! And it was about that time that they began to use ventilators on premature babies
-It was only in 1975 that neonatologist were beginning to be certified as such by the American Board of Pediatrics
-Realistically...it would be hard to imagine that she would have survived had she been born before the 1980s, which is when they started to develop pulmonary surfactant therapy, which really makes all the difference in whether the baby's lungs can function that early on...and the use of the Betamethasone, the steriod shot that prepares the little baby to come prematurely...(Steph got two of these before Avery came the next day...)
-If she had come 3 or 5 weeks earlier...many of her organ systems would still be under-developed, and would have had a much higher chance of developing brain-bleeds, or any of a number of common complications for babies younger than 29 weeks...
-If she would have come even a week earlier...we would have been stuck out of state, with all the worries of insurance, being away from home indefintely, eventually transporting her once she became stable or relocating...(I'm getting heartburn just imagining that!)
-If she would have come a day earlier...she wouldn't have gotten the benefit of the 2 rounds of the Betamethasone steriod shots that most likely helped her tremendously...
-If she would have come even a few hours earlier...Stephanie's platelet count would have been too low for me to have been with her during the c-section, and she would have been put completely out for the surgery...
-On a selfish note...if she would have come a day earlier (or a month later, for that matter...) I wouldn't have an August birthday buddy!! ;)

I could probably go on and on ad nauseum...but it will never cease to amaze me how perfectly the stars aligned for our baby to come... it's hard to believe how lucky we are...and hard to feel like we deserve to be so blessed... We are VERY aware that this is not always the case...and our hearts go out to every parent who has gone through any difficulty relating to bringing a child into this life. There is nothing for us all, but to count our blessings...mourn with those who mourn...reach out to hold each other AND reach out to be held when needed...

5 comments:

Heather said...

You don't know me, but we have a mutual friend, Becky, who introduced me to your blog.

My nephew, Alan, was born 13 weeks early on April 27th, and has been in the NICU in Arizona ever since. I live out of state so I've only been able to see him twice (last time I got to hold him!), and can't "be there" for my brother and his wife like I wish I could. My heart aches for them, and now for the both of you.

Neither of them have blogs so I only receive occasional updates and do my best to write about them from my limited knowledge. Thank you for your detailed, optimistic, and uplifting sharing of your feelings and experiences surrounding sweet little Avery. It's nice to get a glimpse into what my brother and his wife may be feeling. Your little family is truly inspiring.

...Besides that, I like your fun writing style. It usually gives me a good chuckle. :)

Dusty + Mary Anne said...

wow...I can't believe how much the hand of the Lord is so apparent in your story with little Avery. It is simply amazing. I'm so happy that she has hit the 3 lb mark! Way to go! And the story of the doctor's office calling about making an appointment...now that's just comical beyond belief. We love your optimistic outlook on everything!

Shane and Kendra said...

I am so glad that you found our blog! I loved seeing the pictures and reading the sweet stories and updates on your little miracle...Avery! Congratulations to the both of you. I am so glad to hear that mom and baby are doing so good! It's amazing how somehting so small can make such a HUGE impact on your life. Being a parent is the BEST. Looking forward to Avery hitting many more milestones.

Lynsie said...

Ryan, you are truly one of the most amazing people I know! Your blog is incredible (WOW!!! SOOOO touching and thought-provoking!) and you and Steph are incredible. I am so happy your sweet Avery is doing so well! You are ALL in our prayers and I hope you know how much I love you guys!!!

Cousin Lyns

ps. Steph - You are gorgeous!

Mama said...

I wanted to share with you...
if your baby does not go home on an apnea monitor please consider using the Angelcare Deluxe Motion Monitor. These are available at BabiesRUs. They are pricey but so worth it. This monitor saved my son's life. There are other brands but they are not as sensative as this one. Samuel had a "full apnea" spell two weeks after we brought him home from the hospital requiring CPR. Had it not been for such a monitor we would have lost him to SIDS. In fact, I know a couple who recently lost their 10 week old full term baby to SIDS(thelukesponbergfoundation.blogspot.com). It never occurred to me to recommend the monitor to them as the baby was full term and a big baby, and very healthy. He just went to sleep one evening. At any rate, I appreciate your time and am so happy to hear Avery is growing.


Blessings to you and yours,
Holly