I have wanted to update the blog on his arrival for awhile now. He is 2 weeks and 2 days old, so my apologies for the delay. As many of you already know, our sweet boy had a rough start to his little life. After being in the NICU for 11 days, we are thrilled and relieved to have him home and 100% healthy. For those of you who don't know the details of why he was there, I'll explain.
Burke was delivered at 39 weeks via C-section. As he was being "pulled out", he aspirated (breathed into his lungs) a large amount of amniotic fluid. This is very common among C-section deliveries and can result in intensive care that ranges anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. With Burke, he was considered to have TTN or Transient Tykipnia in Newborns. Basically, the fluid in his lungs made it difficult for him to breathe on his own without the help of oxygen. He also, we are fairly certain, acquired an infection as a result of this, too which is why his stay in the NICU was a bit longer than normal (he had to receive 7 days of antibiotics). As you can imagine, we were devastated to hear that our third baby was also going to have to receive care in the NICU.
Those 11 days our baby boy was in the NICU were the most difficult 11 days of my life. I can't even begin to filter through all the emotions we experienced during that time that brought back all of the emotions we experienced when our girls were in the NICU plus some new ones. A few hours after he was born, we received the news that he just wasn't strong enough to come back to our room yet and would need NICU care. Hearing those words made me feel like someone had just punched me in the stomach. Again? I thought. Why us? We've already done this, surely God wouldn't do this to us again. Is he OK? Will I be leaving my baby at the hospital again? I also felt angry and stupid. My whole pregnancy I assumed we would get to have the "normal" baby delivery experience. Having my baby sleeping next to me, having friends come up to visit, taking him home with us, etc. And all of that, in just a matter of hours, was taken away from us. And there I was again being wheeled down to the NICU to scrub in and ask permission to hold my baby. What was supposed to be a joyful day of celebration had turned into a sad day of worry and stress. Post-delivery hormones multiplied my sadness of seeing my new, precious baby hooked up to monitors and an oxygen machine. This just wasn't supposed to happen again.
The more I thought about what was happening to us, the more I questioned God. Every night I had prayed for a healthy baby, trusting that God would provide that for us. Why had he not? What else could He possibly have to teach us through this experience? Hadn't we been through enough? Infertility, check. Carrying, delivering, and then experiencing the NICU with twins, check. Getting through the first year of raising two babies, check. I have learned hard lessons, God. Please, not again. But then I realized that the real stupidity for me was to assume that God is ever done teaching any of us hard lessons. And even more depressing knowing this will definitely not be the last one. Throughout Burke's stay in the NICU, I was forced to empty myself of all the worry, sadness, and burden and allow God to fill me with hope, joy, and grace. Although I cried more tears that week and a half than I have cried in the last 5 years combined, I also experienced a peace and a grace that only He can give. I also was reminded of all the incredible people in our lives that love us so much. We were shown once again through our family and friends' offers to watch the girls, bring us dinner, pray, or do anything they could to make the experience a little easier, that we are beyond blessed to have such special people in our lives.
I will do a post soon on all of the pictures of Burke's first few weeks of life. But I wanted to share a few special moments we had this week where we saw God's hand in our lives.
While we were still in the hospital, Kyle was reading an email that had the quote on the bottom of this sheet. For whatever reason, the word "fortitude" caught his eye and he looked up the definition. He told me how much he really liked the word and its meaning. I kinda stared at him in disbelief for a minute because just a few weeks earlier I had looked up the meaning of Burke's name which means "fortification or fortitude." I had never shared the meaning of Burke's name with Kyle. When I told him that is what Burke's name means, he decided to make this when we got home to keep on our bathroom mirror and tape to Burke's crib in the NICU. Looks like we really did pick the right name for our little man. :) He certainly faced this early obstacle in his life with remarkable courage.
Long Way Home by Stephen Curtis Chapman
On my way home from the hospital one day, I heard this song on the radio. All I can say is that I have to believe that God meant for me to hear this song. It soothed my heart and soul so incredibly much. I immediately downloaded it on my phone and listened to it countless times that week. I can't even pick out my favorite line from the song because every word of this song touched me so deeply. What an awesome God we serve.
I really can't thank all of you enough who prayed for our family during this time and helped ease our burden. No words, thank you notes, etc. could ever express how thankful we are for each of you.
A happy post soon to come with pictures of the most handsome little man we've ever met (and his doting sisters) included. :)