If you're interested in the gory details, please read on. If not, skip to the blue stars.
On Wednesday, June 4th, I woke up feeling extremely giddy and "Today's The Day!"-ish. Perfectly without reason, as I was still three weeks off from my due date. Then I lost my plug. Hmmm. I didn't have any contractions (besides the normal Braxton Hicks), but my doctor reminded me that there was a huge championship game in Sao Paulo that night, and if I went into labor at 5, I wouldn't get to the hospital til 8. (And then, only with luck ....) So going on my gut more than anything, we left for the hospital around 1:30 and arrived at 3:00.
I was talking them into admitting me when, amazingly enough, I had a really strong contraction. (Way to go, Jordan!) They agreed to keep me under observation. Two hours later (and halfway through To Kill a Mockingbird) the contractions finally started - regularly, and strong. I've never been so happy to be in pain. It meant I could stay.
At 5:00, I was a mere 2cm. But I had a book, my best friend, and satellite TV. (We watched The Devil Wears Prada from start to finish.) I was able to relax through the contractions, and all in all was doing just fine. By 8:00, I'd progressed to a 4. I think my doctor was anxious to get home before the after-game traffic, so she proposed to break my water. Now, with both Nathan and Isaac, the doctor broke the water and I had a baby in my arms an hour later. I figured it'd be the same with Jordan. No such luck.
Dra. Lucila broke my water at 8:20, but Jordan didn't seem to care at all. The contractions continued to be about every 4-5 minutes, only moderately strong. Hrumph. At 10, I was only a 7. Very discouraging. We flipped channels til we found Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves.
Finally, just about when the Sheriff of Nottingham was staggering and spitting blood, the contractions really got going - about midnight by now. I was fully dilated by this point, but Jordan hadn't descended at all. After a half an hour of major work, I was ready to push. Once. Hard. And then we met our newest little angel at 12:44AM on Thursday, June 5th.
***************It is now safe for the squeamish. **********************
Jordan has very little hair, but what he has is brown and looks like it COULD be wavy. (Did we finally get a Burry?!) Eyes a dark, slate gray-blue and the most perfect creamy skin imaginable. Rosy rose-petal soft. Loooooong fingers (that will be ruthlessly forced to play the piano) and out-of-proportion big feet.
He weighed in at 2.57 kilos, which translates to 5.6 pounds (teeny tiny!) 46.5cm, which I don't have a clue what it means in inches, and I'm too lazy to look it up. He's long. Long and skinny. REALLY skinny. He left the hospital today at a mere 2.2 kilos - only 4.8 pounds!
Despite the easiest of entries into this world, it became clear within minutes that Jordan was having trouble breathing. His whole chest was heaving and he was coughing and spitting up fluid. He was immediately taken to the NICU and, frankly, my heart stopped. My heart skips around just writing about it.
He was on a respirator for a few days, and they were continually sucking liquid out of his lungs...We could only touch him through little cubby holes. I just stayed by his incubator for hours, crying and stroking him ...
Nathan and Isaac came to visit on Saturday - it was wonderful to see them. It was wonderful to smile.
After a few days Jordan's liver proved to not be doing too hot either, and he had to go under the lights for several days. He also (and this is weird) has an unusually high number of red blood cells, which makes his blood very thick, which in turn makes it hard for him to keep an IV in. His arms have bruises up and down and finally they had to stick it in his head. Yeah, THAT was hard to watch ...
And then the good news. Today, on his eighth day in the NICU, we were finally able to go home. Biliruben count is great, he's breathing beautifully, and we've never made such good time from Sao Paulo to Jacare.
This week has been .... surreal. I feel like I've been floating. I didn't talk to anyone for days. All the other moms and nurses in the NICU probably thought I was the rudest person alive. I just couldn't ... ENGAGE with anyone. All I could do was stare at my baby and pray. This week has been ... impossible. Impossible to talk about or write about or describe in any known form of communication. Every day was a lesson on faith and patience and accepting the Lord's will. And hope. Lots of hope.
But after 8 days of hell, I came home to heaven today. I've got all my boys under one roof, and you'd be hard put to find a happier woman than me.
Nathan continues to excel in his role as big brother. He's an expert at holding Jordan and cradles him so delicately that it brings tears to my eyes every time. Nathan even sings to his little brother - the favorite being "I am a Child of God," of course.
So we're home. All of us. Steve's taking two weeks off and I am looking forward to absolute familial bliss. Roughhousing, breaking up fights, enforcing the sharing rule, and trying to keep Jordan from getting hugged to death, but BLISS nonetheless.
It's a wonderful life. It really is.