Friday, March 14, 2014

Blake's Birth Story

Now that you know all about Nathan and his cleft palate, I am going to move on to Blake, my second child, who is currently 7 years old.

Blake was born on November 16 2006, three days early. I was 24 years old, we had just moved into a brand new townhome a few weeks prior, and I was starting to have my suspicions about Julianna, though I couldn't put my finger on it yet. My husband was in the middle of his first year teaching high school English. Julianna was almost 3 years old. I remember laying on the bed with Julianna, just half an hour after Joel left for work. We were enjoying our cuddling, and then it happened--my water broke. Such a strange sensation. So I called Joel, told him to come back home, my mom, who was then living only 1 hour away, arrived to stay with Julianna, and off we went to the hospital.

The labor and delivery went beautifully--no complications at all. They tried to give me pitocin to induce labor more in the beginning, because as it turned out, my water didn't completely break, just part of it, somehow. But the pitocin was causing Blake to have an irregular heartbeat, so that was stopped. Instead they broke my water completely, and within a few hours, he was born. Another beautiful redhead. And a big one--8 lbs 14 oz. He looked SOLID. Like a little body builder with broad shoulders and a big torso--just a solid little boy, especially when we looked at him next to the other babies in the hospital. He nursed very well (something I will never take for granted after having a cleft palate baby) and everything looked great!

Except for those two little spots on his abdomen...what were those, we wondered? They looked like birthmarks, but were a little big, we thought. We weren't that concerned, but just in case, we asked the doctor what he thought. After taking a look, he said, it could just be a mark from the trauma of delivery, or maybe the cord was wrapped around him at one point, or maybe they were just birthmarks. He wasn't worried at all, so we didn't worry, either. We went home from the hospital with our newest addition to the family, excited for Julianna to have a brother.

It wasn't long before we actually began to worry. Within the first few days of being home, we began to notice strange symptoms. First, it was how red and splotchy he looked, most of the time, almost like he had a sunburn in different places. I remember nursing him one morning, and just looking at his sweet face, and seeing the skin right around his nose and under his eyes slowly turn red, and little by little, it would spread over his entire face, and pretty soon, his entire body was red. And while this was happening, he was squirming, and uncomfortable. I called the doctor, and they brushed it off as a newborn thing and said not to worry. But it kept happening, a few times a day, and I could tell he didn't like it.

Then in the first week or so, those two spots on his abdomen began to form blisters. Raised blisters that did not look good at all. And it seemed like there were other little spots, near the crown of his head, and on his back near his shoulder, that began to surface. So we took him right in to the pediatrician. They looked at the blisters and thought it must be impetigo, and prescribed some cream. Well, we tried that for a week, and that didn't work at all. He continued to blister, and to turn red all over his body. When we took him back to the pediatrician, they didn't know what to tell us, other than to send Blake to a dermatologist. We were finally going to get some answers.

After we got authorization for the dermatologist, we called to make an appointment. Unfortunately, they were booked for the next 4 months. We pleaded with them to see our baby--something was really wrong. We described the symptoms and how scared we were, but the best they could do was put us on a cancellation list. Luckily, the very next day, we got a call, and they asked if we could come in tomorrow. Of course we could! So we were on our way to get the answers we had been looking for. Blake was just 3 weeks old...

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