Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Kaden is Two Weeks OLD!!!

Today marks Kaden's two week birthday:)

We went to the pediatrician and here are his 2 week stats:

Weight: 6 lbs, 11 oz (the 8th percentile for weight...we need to fatten him up!!)

 Height: 21 inches  (the 67th percentile for height...can you say tall and slim like daddy??!)

I cannot even express the relief that he has gained last week's check up he only weighed 6 lbs 5 oz...however I'm still overwhelmed by my mission to get this boy to grow!

Kaden has been such a joy...a perfect baby! He hardly ever cries and is content as long as he is being held...we are sure this won't last long and are wary of the day our luck runs out!

Here are some cute things about Kaden that we've recorded since bringing him home:

- Kaden LOVES to breast-feed. If he could he would be suckin all night long. Most the time he isn’t even eating, he just loves to be next to mommy.

- Kaden LOVEs to be held, he will squirm and wiggles for and hour and the minute you pick him up he will immediately fall asleep. At nighttime dad will take Kaden and sleep with him on the couch, with Kaden snuggled into his chest, and mom sometimes can’t resist and will bring him into bed to sleep next to her.

- Kaden is always pursing his lips and furrowing his brow, leading us to believe he will be a great thinker :)

- Kaden can only sleep with his arms above his head and loves to suck his fingers

- Kaden kicks like crazy when you change his diaper, as though he were trying to run away

- Kaden’s little giblets always find a way to peak out of the diaper where he manages to shoot a stream of pee straight out of the diaper, no matter what we do he finds a way to pee all over everyone without getting himself wet!

- Kaden has really skinny legs and super strong arms, just like his dad.

- Kaden is such a good baby. He only whimpers and that is only when he is hungry. When he got his heal pricked, he furrowed his brow and that was it.

-Kaden turns his head when he hears mommy and daddy’s voices---he is even recognizing Grandma Taylor’s voiceJ

-Kaden loves to snuggle in the fetal position on mommy’s chest

-Kaden makes  his “owl” face and it is the cutest thing in the world.

Thoughts about Parenthood: 
-I’ve never felt such overwhelming love or overwhelming fatigue

-I feel guilty for leaving to go to the store

-I can sit and stare at him for hours

-I’m a nervous wreck

-I cry if he cries 

-Never before have I been so content to just sit and stare at him all day—absorbing how beautiful each little piece of him is: eyes, nose, ears, and all fingers and toes. He is my miracle!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kaden's Birth Story

Dear Friends and Family,

Here is a little summary of the last couple weeks and the wonderful miracle we’ve seen with Kaden.

Monday night, July 1st, Callista was getting ready for bed and she broke into tears. “I am so so tired of being pregnant, everything is uncomfortable and in pain, I want so bad to not be pregnant anymore.” Trying to comfort her, Ben said, “Wait a second honey, I think I hear something…” putting his head to her 9 month large tummy he nodded his head as if listening intently to instructions. “Yep … Oh really …. Oh she’ll be happy to hear that….” Pulling his head away from her stomach he said, “Sweet heart Kaden has just told me he is going to start coming tomorrow”. Laughing she responds, “Oh really, Kaden told you that did he? Well, if you are so sure, what are you willing to wager on this prediction?”

“A homemade apple pie” Ben responded

“Deal. If I go into labor tomorrow, I will bake you an apple pie, If it doesn’t start tomorrow, you owe me one” replied Callista and they both got into bed and fell asleep.

The next morning, Tuesday July 2nd, Callista went in for her last growth measurement (she wasn’t scheduled for induction for another week). During the ultrasound they found that her amniotic fluid levels were low, something called oligohydramnios. There wasn’t really an explanation for this; her water had not yet broke and previous ultrasounds showed normal levels. Regardless of the cause, low levels of amniotic fluid can cause umbilical cord problems, so the standard treatment is immediate induction. So at about noon on Tuesday they started Callista on Oxytocin.

At first, the contractions were mild. They felt more like stomach grumbles than pain. These soft contractions lasted a while, until 8 o clock. During these 8 hours Callista barely dilated, going from a 2 to a 4 despite the fact that on the monitor she was having consistent contractions every minute or two. At 8 o’clock her OB/GYN broke her water.

Almost immediately the contractions came hard and painful, each one harder and more painful than the previous. In an effort to prove herself strong, Callista wanted to see how long she could endure the contractions unmedicated. At 10:00 the pain was too much, and with the begging’s of her husband, she consented to an epidural. Unfortunately, it took the anesthesia team roughly a half hour to come.  Needless to say, those last 30 minutes of natural contractions were dramatic…

Once the epidural was placed Callista was in heaven. Completely relieved from pain she was talking and laughing, and eventually ready to get some sleep. The nurse came and measured her, but there had been no change, she was still at a four.  At this rate it was becoming more and more likely that the baby would come in the morning.

Tucked into bed, she tried to fall asleep. About 40 minutes later I called the nurse in, watching the monitor Kaden’s heart rate seemed to be dropping quite a bit with each contraction. Concerned about the same thing a resident physician came running in to measure Callista, she was at a 10. In 45 minutes or so, Callista went from being dilated to a 4 to being dilated to a 10 and completely effaced.

All the teams were immediately called, the newborn cardiology team, the neonatology team, the OB/GYN team. All in all there were roughly 25 people in the delivery room waiting for Kaden’s arrival. Were amazed at how fast everyone was able to get there.

Callista started pushing at about 11:45 pm.

After a few rounds of pushing, Kaden’s heart rate began to drop and we needed to act fast. Her OB/GYN expedited the delivery using forceps and we went through another couple rounds of pushing.

Kaden was delivered at 12:20 AM July 3rd.

He came out angry as heck. The neonatology team immediately did their evaluations. Given his heart condition, we half expected him to have trouble breathing or to be blue. However, Kaden looked incredible. He was breathing well; he had great color, and was responding appropriately.

The tension came down dramatically as the teams realized that there was no immediate emergency.

We got to hold him for about ten minutes and time seemed to hold still. He was beautiful. He had Callista’s button nose and cheek dimples and Ben’s chin and lips. We had been worried up until now that he may have some genetic cause for the hear t defect which could also cause mental delay. These genetic causes often manifest with dysmorphic facial features.  We can’t tell you how relieved we were to see his perfect little face. However he came out, we would have loved him forever, but we were very grateful to have avoided that struggle.

They bundled little Kaden up and they rolled him down to the NICU where they would perform an Echocardiogram on his heart. With Kaden gone, the attention shifted to Callista. Given the speed of the delivery, going from a 4 to a 10 in 45 minutes and the forceps, she was hurt pretty bad. We’ll spare the details and leave it at this; she experienced a 3rd degree perennial tear with many layers of stitching.  As the epidural wore off over the next few hours, this injury became incredibly painful and will take some months to bounce back from.

Up till this point the plan for Kaden had been to do a procedure within the first few days of life where they run a wire up into the heart, and blow up a balloon in the region of the severely narrowed pulmonary valve. This procedure is called a Balloon valvuloplasty. If this worked, it was likely Kaden could come home in 2 weeks or so. If that didn’t work, we move to the very traumatic open heart surgery, where they would open Kaden up and manually fix the valve. If this was the case, his NICU stay would be up to 3 months or more.

Down in the NICU Ben watched as they performed the ECHO. Shaking his head, the Cardiologist told Ben that the Pulmonary Valve was very dysmorphic. He doubted whether the balloon valvuloplasty would be enough.

“Tell me honestly, do you think he’ll need open heart surgery?” Ben asked

“Speaking honestly … Yes. I think you’re in for the long haul. We’ll try to balloon the thing open, but when it is this bad, usually they need to be opened up and fixed surgically. My advice, don’t tell your wife this, but prepare her for the worst.

Disregarding his advice, Ben went and told her everything in as optimistic terms as he could find. She was still pretty out of it and stayed hopeful. Ben however was devastated. The dreams of a quick procedure and being able to take him home in 2 weeks seemed to be dwindling.

A few hours later, at about 9:00 AM on Wednesday July 3rd, the cardiology team came to visit Kaden and delivered some good news. They would be able to fit Kaden in just a few hours for then to perform the Balloon valvuloplasty. They indicated that we would know immediately if it was a success and whether or not he would need an open heart surgery. 5 months of wondering about Kaden’s fate would be answered in just a few hours

At noon Ben kissed Kaden’s cheek as they rolled him into the Interventional Radiology surgical room.

At 3 o clock, our Surgeon walked to our room and told Callista and I that the procedure had been an incredible success. Everything went right. The valve open up beautifully and the pressures normalized rapidly. He indicated that as expected the valve was not perfect and may need surgery when Kaden is in his late teens, But from his standpoint, Kaden’s story was as happy and good as anyone could have hoped.

Over the next few days Kaden continued to amaze. Without any significant problems, Kaden breathed wonderfully, his heart beat well, and he ate like a champ. We were even able to get Kaden to begin breast feeding.

After a day or two, both the cardiology and neonatology team indicated that given his awesome performance, there was no need for him to stay any longer. Kaden was discharge on Saturday July 6th. Ironically, Kaden was discharged almost before Callista was.

Since then we have had some of the happiest days of our lives with Kaden. He eats and sleeps well. He loves to snuggle with mom and take naps with Dad. Callista’s mom Linda has been with us the last week and her help has been priceless.

We know that all of you have been directing your prayers and best wishes toward us. We truly believe that this made a difference. Sometimes, despite heart felt prayers and hopes, a miracle doesn’t happen. Sometimes we have to face the unthinkable, and mourn over a tragedy.

But …. Sometimes a miracle does happen. Sometimes, God takes the impossible and makes it reality. I don’t know why it happens sometimes and not other times. But I do believe there is something bigger than us, directing our lives and influencing events for our good.

Both Callista and I thank you for all your support. We are so grateful for all you have done for us. Lastly we are grateful to God for this beautiful blessing and miracle in our lives.

The Welling’s

P.S. Now for some pictures of Kaden (see below)