There’s no right way to have a pregnancy announcement, gender reveal and give birth in under 24 hours, but Micah and I are now experts at that sort of thing.
People kept asking us how we were taking everything, and all we could do was keep moving forward because we are now responsible for another human being.
The first couple of days, I was still in the hospital and unable to see Paxon. Healing from anemia and blood loss is serious business. No matter how many times you say “I’m fine” the doctors and nurses will always fire back with a “just to be sure” and I’m truly glad they did. Even after leaving the hospital I felt incredibly off.
I kept receiving updates from Micah who was lucky enough to be in Spokane right after Pax got taken there. It is not easy to see your son with all of those cords and tubes connected to him – it still isn’t. I’m always going to be grateful he won’t be able to remember this stage of his life.
Most people get a few months to pick a baby name. Micah and I had one solid day before we had to find something for insurance reasons and all sorts of other adult stuff. In the NICU he’s referred to as “baby Lee” because he had no name when he was admitted and the hospital didn’t know who his dad is. I’m so glad Micah was full of ideas because I couldn’t get over the initial “oh my god he’s going to have the name we give him for the rest of his life.” In the end, Micah made up a name and it’s so unique. It couldn’t be more fitting.
Paxon was off of oxygen almost immediately after getting to the NICU. Having arrived with a respiratory infection and being put on antibiotics for that, I was surprised but so grateful.
It wasn’t until August 28th, two days after Paxon was born, that I got to see him again. Pictures don’t do anything to show how truly small he was. It was overwhelming to see his size compared to any other baby I’ve ever seen. Micah was too afraid to hold him, but they didn’t give me a choice. The nurse said “you’re mom so you’re holding.” That was terrifying, but I look back and I’m glad she did that.
While I held him I looked down at him and felt so out of my element. Without a doubt, I already loved him, but because of everything I felt like I wasn’t doing it right. I wish I could tell everyone it felt so natural and I knew how to do everything immediately, but that was not the case. I’ve never viewed myself in a very maternal way, but I’m learning and hopefully succeeding.
He had an IV on his foot which I think was to keep him from ripping it out, but eventually I got a call saying that he had ripped his IV out and they decided to place it in one of the veins on his forehead where he couldn’t reach. I called it his unicorn IV and I’m so glad I never had to see them put it in.
I got to try feeding him with a bottle and breastfeeding when he was one week old. My mom visited me in Spokane and I am forever going to cherish having her there with me while I attempted to feed my new, surprise baby. She has been through it all with three kids and she offered wisdom I never would have been able to hear if it weren’t for her dropping everything and being there.
If it weren’t for my dad and step mom I wouldn’t have been able to even start breastfeeding in the first place. They got me a hotel room in one of the closest hotels to the hospital. With the doctor and nurses telling me he needed to breastfeed twice a day, there was simply nothing else I could do to be there.
All the growing he was supposed to be doing inside of me was happening in a little incubator right before my eyes. It’s hard to let go and simply trust the process, but the NICU nurses and doctors at Deaconess in Spokane have made this whole thing so much easier. Since I had no preparation for Paxon, having him in the hospital has been a silver lining because I’m learning how to be a mom and my family is helping me and Micah prepare to take him home.