Thursday, June 10, 2010

Logan Charles Rowe - July 13, 2003

At the beginning of November 2002 one of my coworkers at US Bank gave birth to an adorable little boy, which in turn inspired me to decide it was time for kids. Now, Joey and I had just gotten married in August, and we had always said we would wait 5 years to have children. We wanted some time to ourselves to see and do before we took on that awesome responsibility. However, I had no trouble convincing Joey that now was the time.

Fast forward a few weeks to the week before Thanksgiving. We took Joey’s mom with us on a trip to Maryland and shocked the crap out of her by telling her we were “trying.” Now, we began trying with the expectation that it would take a while. I simply stopped taking my birth control.

Fast forward two more weeks to me making a visit to my mom’s house in Somerset. I woke up on December 9 knowing I was supposed to “start” in a few days, but having a “feeling.” So I peed on the stick and low and behold it showed positive. Holy crap! I called Joey at work in Morehead and shared the news, but he acted like he was barely paying attention to me. Hello! This is major news, here! I ended the call by asking that he not tell anyone yet because I wanted a doctor to confirm it first. Did he listen? Of course not. Apparently he hung up the phone and told anyone who would listen. I hung up the phone and called my mom at work. Not only was she shocked to find out I thought I was pregnant, but also that it was on purpose. I hadn’t even really told anyone what we were up to. I called Dr. Clark’s office, my long time gynecologist and man who had delivered me to this world, and made an appointment for that afternoon. He confirmed what I already thought was true. There was a tiny person growing in me and Dr. Clark estimated that it would arrive on August 18, 2003.

The next thing to do was figure out how to tell my sisters (since this was at a time they were still home). I decided to go to Wal-Mart. There I bought baby things – a “My Favorite Aunt” bib, a bottle, and a pacifier. I put them in Christmas bags and decided I would have them open early Christmas presents that evening. It was close enough to the actual holiday that I thought I could get away with it. I had everyone sit on the couch (including mom - couldn’t have any suspicion) and open their gifts. Well, Catherine opened the bib and thought I was making fun of her because she had gotten something on her shirt at dinner the night before. Eventually it dawned on everyone and we had a lovely group hug.

I made it back to Morehead and finished December uneventfully (pregnancy wise). Then came January and with it morning sickness. Not just in the morning though - all day. I took a sleeve of saltines to work and would nibble on them through the day, but that was all I could put in my stomach. This lasted a full two weeks, every single day and caused me to lose 10 pounds. And then just as suddenly as it began, it was over. I went pretty much back to normal with only an occasional bought of nausea.

In February, Kentucky was hit by an ice storm. The weekend it came I had gone to Somerset (I don’t remember why). Joey was at home as Morehead froze over. His sister Becky and her fiancĂ© Eric came over to stay at our house with Joey as the power went out and the it got very cold. They hung blankets to close off the living room and stayed together in there in an attempt to keep warm. I was warm in Somerset, which was only suffering from rain, not the ice that the northern part of Kentucky was dealing with. I was able to find a kerosene heater to take back with me, but refused to come home early. I knew they were miserable, but I didn’t think the best place for a person growing a child was in a freezing house. Add that to the bad roads, and I decided to stay put. By the time I made it back, they were all mad at me, but I did what I thought was best. The electricity came back on within the next day or two, and life got back to normal.

March arrived and with it the need to begin wearing maternity clothes. On March 8 Joey’s dad was turning 70 and we were having a surprise party for him with a lot of family and old friends coming. Joey and I drove his mom and dad in our car from Salyersville to Paintsville where the shin-dig was happening. Joey and Bill were in the front seats, and Barb and I sat in the back. The main road to Paintsville was closed because of an accident, so we had to take a tiny, curvy, back road instead. And that’s where it hit me – severe nausea. Joey ended up having to pull the car over (well, really just stop since the road was so small) so I could get out and throw up. Yuck. Bill and I switched seats and Joey drove very carefully and slowly, and I survived the rest of the drive. However, on the way home after the weekend, on a road I had ridden plenty of times before, I was hit with it again and Joey had to stop for me again. Luckily, that marked the end of the sickness for the pregnancy.

On March 17th we had the chance to have an ultrasound to see what sex the baby was. We were both convinced it was a boy and were excited to have it verified. However, the baby did not share our excitement. We found out it was a healthy baby…that liked to keep its legs locked together. No matter what I did. We left disappointed, but still certain in our hearts it was a boy.

May was uneventful, aside from baby’s first concert. My mom, sisters, and I went to see The Dixie Chicks. They were awesome. And while the baby wasn’t a terribly active baby, I was certain the loud music would cause lots of movement. I was wrong. I’m pretty sure he slept through the whole thing.

In June we decided it was time to buy baby furniture. We rented a small U-Haul trailer, went to Babies-r-Us in Lexington, and purchased a crib (that turned into a toddler bed, and then a full size bed headboard), a changing table, a dresser, and a glider chair. My sister Jessica visited shortly thereafter and helped Joey put together the crib and helped me arrange the room.

This is also the time I started swelling and my blood pressure started creeping up. My doctor was keeping a close eye on me and was threatening bed rest. I was having trouble putting anything other than flip flops on my massive feet and nasty cankles. By the first week of July she made it official and ordered me to bed. I was to lie on my left side (I think) and only be up for a minimal portion of the day. At first this seemed like such a treat. Being told to be lazy? Okay! However, after the first few days I could see that this was going to get old quickly. I had almost 2 months until the baby was due. How would I survive that long? If only the DVR had been around.

Mom came to visit on July 12th. Joey on and I had been thinking about moving to Indianapolis, IN (I can’t remember why) so she and I spent time on the internet looking at housing options. On Sunday July 13th we went to Wal-Mart to purchase some miscellaneous things I still needed for the baby. I remember that I wore maternity jeans, but they were crazy tight on my ridiculously swollen legs. We bought shampoo and soap, wipes, Vaseline, and a trash can, among other things. By the time we got home all I wanted to do was lay down and not move. So I settled in on the bed to watch TV and mom headed to Lexington because she was in the process of trying to find somewhere to live there.

Around 5 that afternoon while lying on my side watching a movie (I’m pretty sure it was Pretty Woman on TBS), I heard the strangest ‘pop’ noise coming from my belly area. I wasn’t sure what that was about, but was hit with the sudden need to go “number 2.” While in the bathroom I decided I was leaking and had noticed a little blood. I composed myself and walked to the other end of the house where Joey was on the computer and watching a Nascar race and informed him that I thought my water had broken. We walked to the living room where I sat on the couch while we called the doctor. They said it was probably nothing, but to come on in. When I stood up from the couch a gush of liquid flowed out and I was left without a doubt that my water had broken. Now, seeing that we still had almost 7 weeks until the baby was due, I hadn’t packed a bag yet. So Joey and I began rushing around like idiots throwing things in bags (he had to pack too since the hospital we were going to was in a city about 30 minutes away). We hopped in the car and while driving down the interstate, it happened. My first contraction. I breathed like I’d read I was supposed to and was surprised to find that it wasn’t too bad.

By the time we got to the hospital I had had a few more contractions, but was breathing through them okay. I got checked in and taken to my room where I changed into the hospital gown and climbed in bed. My doctor was at the hospital so she came in to check me. I was already 2 cm dilated! Woo hoo! However, because I would be delivering a little more than 6 weeks early and the on call pediatrician had already dealt with a very premature baby earlier that day, and I was only beginning labor, they decided to send me to the University of Kentucky hospital (UK) to be safe. They gave me a drug to stop labor (or put it on hold or something) and prepared to put me in an ambulance to UK. Joey and I decided that he would follow the ambulance in our car so we’d have it there. Mom was already in Lexington so she said she’d meet us at the hospital, and Joey’s family was leaving Salyersville to also meet us at UK.

It was very strange riding in the ambulance. It’s odd to be lying down in a moving vehicle, as well as looking out in the wrong direction. Everything was going fine until we were getting close to Lexington, when I suddenly felt a very strong contraction and suddenly felt like I needed to pee. The nurse riding with me checked me and discovered I was fully dilated. She told me not to push, to try to wait until we were at the hospital. I started crying because I didn’t want to have my baby in the ambulance. The EMT (who was male) let me squeeze his hand during contractions, which were much harder to handle now. I felt certain later on that I’d broken some bones in his hand, but he never complained. They just helped me breathe and tried to keep me calm.

After they realized I was ready to deliver, I got the siren treatment and we began speeding through intersections and stop lights on our way to the hospital. This of course, meant Joey got left behind because he couldn’t run stop lights. By the time we arrived at the hospital I had no idea where Joey was and really just wanted to get the baby OUT. Mom was waiting for me right as they got me out of the ambulance and I remember her smiling and looking so happy, only to be told I was fully dilated and really wanted to push, as I started using her hand to squeeze during contractions. They got me in the emergency room and up to a delivery room, with none of the UK docs really catching on to the fact that I was READY. Finally, a nurse checked me and caught on quick. The doctor appeared, though still no Joey, and I was finally able to push. Mom was holding my right hand and I only remember pushing two or three times before the baby slid right out at 8:43 pm, less than 4 hours since my water broke. Mom got to cut the umbilical cord since Joey still wasn’t there, and off my little boy went to get cleaned up. The nurse asked me his name and I gave it to her – Logan Charles Rowe; Charles after my father who would have loved to meet his grandson.

Joey arrived and was completely disappointed that he had missed the whole thing. He went to where they were checking Logan and unfortunately realized the baby was having some trouble breathing. Ordinarily, when a baby is arriving premature they’ll give the mother steroids to help the babies lungs develop. However, in my case they didn’t have time to start an IV, much less give me steroids. They let me hold Logan for a second and then whisked him away to the nursery. While the doctor finished with me the nurses were trying to start an IV, but weren’t having any luck. I was poked in both arms and hands, and they were threatening to try my feet, when they finally hit a vein in my arm. They moved me to a room and I was able to get a bit cleaned up and more comfortable. Then they let Joey and I go to the nursery to see Mr. Logan. He was so tiny and precious. He weighed 5 lb. 9.5 oz., which is actually a good size for a baby born at 34 weeks. We didn’t get to hold him at that time, though.

We went back to my room which had two beds so Joey could sleep there with me. At some point we were informed that Logan was still having trouble breathing so they had moved him to the NICU. We were incredibly relieved to be at UK instead of the tiny hospital in Mt. Sterling – UK has one of the best Children’s Hospitals. We went to see Logan in the NICU and it was pretty heartbreaking. My tiny little boy had IVs and wires all over him, along with a CPAP over his mouth and nose to help him breathe. We weren’t allowed to hold him and I certainly couldn’t breastfeed him as I’d wanted to. This began my journey down the road of the breast pump. I stayed in the hospital a few days and was released. However, we realized going back to Morehead meant being a bit over an hour away from our baby, so Joey’s parents graciously rented a room for us at a hotel just down the road from the hospital. It came with a kitchen, which was very handy.

We didn’t leave the hospital until late that night and needed to go shopping for some food and other things, but mainly a breast pump. We stopped at the hotel to drop off our things and went straight to Wal-Mart. After finishing our shopping around midnight, we left the store to find a huge thunderstorm. Joey went to get the car and I jumped in while he loaded it up. Thus began our stay in Lexington.

Logan improved slowly during his 10 day stay in the NICU. He moved from the CPAP to an oxygen hood, to a nasal cannula, back to the hood, back to the cannula, and finally breathing on his own. We were able to hold him 7 days after his birth. We got to bathe him and I had the opportunity to try to breastfeed him. However, he had to be bottle fed prior to that so they could measure exactly how much he was getting, so by the time we tried breastfeeding he was addicted to the bottle. I was disappointed, but not terribly so. When they finally released him on July 22nd, he left the NICU and came straight to us. It’s a little scary to bring home a baby who just days before was having trouble breathing on his own. I sat next to him in the back seat and kept leaning down to make sure he was still breathing. We made it home safely and began the journey of raising our little boy.

(Logan today - almost 7 years old)

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