As most of you know by now, our little miracle baby, Bentley (not Joey ;)), was born last Saturday, August 22nd! We had just made a plan a few weeks prior to be induced on August 30, but of course little man had a plan on his own. Par for course for this pregnancy things didn’t go as smooth as we were hoping. After being in the hospital the previous weekend due to chemo side effects I had been having contractions the following week and went into Women for Women on Thursday morning to get hooked up to a monitor after noticing some spotting. After picking up some contractions on the monitor and being dilated to a 3 they sent us over to Peoria.
We got to Peoria right around 11 am on Thursday morning and there was basically no change in dilation all day long but Dr. Leonardi didn’t want to send us back to Bloomington in case we did need to come back soon so he decided to keep us over night. Throughout the day and over night my blood pressure kept getting higher so the decision was made to induce us Friday morning. Because my blood pressure was so high I had to be put back on the dreaded magnesium sulfate. (If you remember from the last blog post I was on this the weekend before and it was absolutely horrible.) The magnesium made my legs super weak, my eye sight strange, my stomach upset, and just feel pretty miserable over all. This is was used last weekend to stop my contractions, so it seemed a little silly that I would be on that and pitocin (used to induce labor), as I thought they would counteract each other, but I had to trust that the doctors knew what they were doing!
Because Mr. Bentley decided he needed to make his arrival when he did, my blood counts and labs were completely off as it was my lowest point after treatment ended. Because of this I was told that I wouldn’t be able to have an epidural and if it came to a c-section I would have to be put under general anesthesia because my platelets were too low to be able to handle any kind of spinal injection. This was absolutely not at all what I wanted to hear. I went into this pregnancy saying when the time came that I wanted as many pain meds as I could have as often as I could have them. But, Bentley has a mind of his own and I again had to trust that God had a plan for all of this and that it would all work out in the end.
After starting pitocin around 9am and checking my dilation every few hours we soon realized it was going to be an incredibly long day and night as there wasn’t much change throughout the day. When my cervix was checked again at midnight there was still basically no change, so they decided to go ahead and break my water. I must say, the pain level of contractions after that jumped from about a 3-4 to off the charts. Luckily, things went pretty quickly after that, but that was absolutely the worst pain I have ever endured in my entire life. The nurses we had throughout the night were simply amazing. I’m not sure that I would have survived the night had it not been for their help. Cody, like a true champ, stayed awake with me the entire night and had to talk me through the contractions every minute or two. I keep telling Cody that I wish there was something I could do to him to make him understand the feeling. Not that I want to see my husband in pain…I just think sometimes he needs a different perspective on the things we women go through 🙂 Six hours after they broke my water I could tell it was time to push the little nugget out. The doctor was called and Bentley made his appearance about 39 minutes after I started pushing. I really only pushed on about 9 or 10 contractions, but it’s because I was in so much pain that I just needed to get him out! It’s also a good thing he was small at 5 pounds 7 ounces…not sure I coulda pushed out a much bigger baby!
Bentley was here and we couldn’t have felt more blessed or grateful in that moment. Looking back now, only a week later, the whole things seems surreal and as though we didn’t really live it. We have waited and prayed for this little boy for so long and it’s simply a miracle that he is here and as healthy as he is. Because he was born premature at 35 weeks and 4 days it was protocol that he go to the NICU. It was extremely hard to only get to hold him for 5-10 minutes before he was taken away and down the the NICU, but I knew he was in great hands. Unfortunately, because I was still on the magnesium for 24 hours after delivery, I was not allowed to go down to see him until I was off of it the next day. Thankfully we had incredible people taking care of us that didn’t quite agree with that. Dr. Leonardi told the nurses to do whatever they could to make sure I got down to see my little peanut. I mentioned the nurses we had throughout the night and how amazing they were and our day nurse was just as, if not more, amazing. She made sure to not care how many rules she was breaking and get me down to spend some time with Bentley. We even made it down there just in time for me to give him his first bottle and he ate like a champ! Sue, if you’re reading this, we cannot thank you enough for all you did for us that day and continuing to check in on us throughout our stay!
One positive of Bentley having to stay in the NICU and not in our room is that we actually got a few solid hours of sleep after an excruciatingly long couple of days. Checking in with the doctors and nurses in the NICU it was even more apparent that God had been watching over this little baby and making sure that he didn’t experience the same damaging effects of the chemo that I did. No one could believe how well he was doing for everything that he had endured over the last couple of months. He was a little bit jaundice so had to be under a light for a few days and his blood levels were a little off, like mine, just because of the time in our treatment scheduled that he arrived. We simply cannot thank God or all of you for prayers enough.
After spending 5 days in the NICU we got to come home Wednesday night and it felt so great to get back to our house and with our dogs after being at the hospital for the last week. Joey and Pacey did and have done so well with him since we’ve been home. They are already so protective of their little brother and Pacey has been sleeping on a blanket that smells like him every night 🙂 I never thought that it was possible to love something or someone as much as I love this little boy and I already can’t imagine a life without him anymore. I also didn’t think it was possible to love Cody any more that I already did, but every time I watch him with Bentley or hear the little talks he has with him my heart grows a little more full 🙂
It’s so great after all of these months of struggling with finding the positive in every situation to seeing nothing but the positives over the last couple of days. Again, we cannot thank you all enough for your continued prayers throughout this first half of our battle. We truly believe you all played a great part in getting this little boy here so flawlessly. As for me and my status, we have CT scans again in about 2-3 weeks and then probably surgery followed by treatment. As this first big hurdle has been passed, our journey is far from over so we continue to ask for your prayers as often as we can get them. But for now, I’m going to enjoy being a mom and a wife and not a cancer patient for awhile 🙂